Looking back at the 5 most impactful stories of 2020 from inside Indeed
Joey Jackson is a Global Content Strategist for inside Indeed and Co-Managing Editor of the Inside Indeed culture blog. In his almost 5 years at Indeed, he’s had the pleasure of interviewing more than 400 Indeedians on video and helped tell the story of countless more on #insideindeed social media channels, podcasts and blogs. He’s a former journalist with a passion for storytelling of all kinds and can’t wait to belt out some karaoke tunes when it’s safe again in 2021.
“My life feels like a test I didn’t study for” – unknown
This quote pretty much sums up my feelings about 2020.
Trying to grasp the impact of this year and summarize it into a single blog post is like reading a book in a language you don’t speak and then trying to do a book report on it.
While it will take many years to truly grasp what 2020 meant to each of us, we can reflect on where we are and what we’ve learned in this moment.
One thing I can say for certain though is I’ve never been more proud to be an Indeedian.
Through strong leadership and a powerful purpose, Indeed has been able to adapt, learn and grow from our adversity and put our helpful spirit to work like never before.
The stories below are just the tip of the iceberg, but they show what can be accomplished when you have 10,000 passionate people — including a leadership team that approaches challenges with transparency, humility and humanity — coming together each day, no matter where they’re working and what obstacles they’re facing, to fulfill a common purpose.
Take a trip down memory lane with me as I recap the top 5 stories from life inside Indeed in a year like no other.
#1 Indeed leads the way in Working from Home
On March 4th, 2020, Indeed was one of the first companies to shut down all of our offices globally due to COVID-19. Many thought this was an overreaction at the time, but our leadership team made the conscious decision to put the safety of employees above all else.
It was quite an undertaking that required a lot of long hours and collaboration between many teams across the globe. Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Paul Wolfe, led the way, often having to adapt plans hour by hour and day by day in the early days of the pandemic. In this ever-changing landscape, Paul knew communication and transparency would be key to keeping people calm and up to date.
“We needed to be as transparent as possible, as it’s not only impacting the business but also impacting people’s lives… and that’s a scary thing,” Paul explains.
Since then, we have been adapting to life at home. Our IT team sprung into action to ensure we had all of the technical resources and infrastructure in place to function remotely, and leadership even decided to give out $500 (or local currency equivalent) stipends for Indeedians to spruce up their work-from-home environments.
Over the last nine months, we’ve learned to embrace the everyday surprises of virtual meetings. Random cameos from family members and pets have become the norm and allowed us to get to know each other in unexpected ways.
On our best days, this experience has taught us to be more patient and appreciative and to embrace the unexpected blending of work and life.
“This whole pandemic, for companies and people… you truly see people and their core when they are dealing with a crisis. You have a deeper appreciation of people around you,” Paul says.
The key for Indeed has been to create a culture of flexibility and trust.
“My working hours are broken up so I can spend time with the little ones,” National Account Manager and father of 5, Stuart explains. “By this, I mean being submerged in the pool, being the bad guy in Cops and Robbers and being the hero after creating a Slip ‘N Slide in the yard.”
#2 Solidifying our commitment to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
A global pandemic was not the only major issue we faced in 2020. A history of racial injustice is not new, but it bubbled to the surface in a major way this year. The Black Lives Matter movement became a powerful voice in this cause, prompting many companies to finally acknowledge and address systemic racism and inequality.
Our CEO, Chris Hyams, made clear where we stand on this issue and addressed a unique opportunity Indeed has to make an impact through our mission.
“Inclusion and Belonging is one of Indeed’s five Core Values. We have been working for years to raise awareness, grow allyship, and create an open and supportive environment for all employees. We do this because it makes Indeed a better place to work. But the most important motivation is that our mission is to help people get jobs. Economic opportunity — access to jobs — is core to the fight against racism, injustice, and inequity. The more Indeed represents the world around us, the better we are at helping all people get jobs.”
Through our partnership with German Football club, Eintracht Frankfurt, we were able to display our support for #BlackLivesMatter on the team’s jerseys. By popular demand, the jerseys became available to Indeedians around the world.
Indeed also made a concrete commitment to accessibility this year, to be a more inclusive product and workplace for those with disabilities. Product teams consulted with members of our Access Indeed Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) to better understand the challenges of communities facing barriers in the job search process and we took concrete steps to improve accessibility in our products and communication.
In addition, we launched a new Parents and Caregivers IRG to create a community for those who are facing the challenges of caring for kids and family members all day while working from home. This became even more difficult as parents adapted to the role of teacher, as well as trying to keep up with their daily work schedule. The group allowed them to share tips, activities and even some humorous stories to relieve some stress in this demanding new role.
Our employee-led Inclusion Resource Groups have been invaluable collaborators, leading virtual panel discussions and hosting guest speakers to help Indeedians dealing with a number of issues related to racism and injustice such as xenophobia in the Asian community, stress and anxiety in the Black community and being a better ally.
The work on all fronts with regards to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging is never complete. We know there is still a lot of work to do, but I have witnessed much of the work first hand and am incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made in spite of all the other challenges we faced this year.
#3 YOU Day
It started with a question in a Q&A session and led to a global holiday each month for all Indeedians. We deemed it YOU Day and it has shown Indeed’s dedication to putting the well-being of its employees first.
SVP of HR, Paul Wolfe, recognized the difference between our current working situation and a normal remote job early on.
“We’re not in a normal working-from-home situation. We are in the midst of a pandemic and trying to work at the same time. This is not a normal WFH experience.”
Indeed’s leadership realized many people weren’t taking the proper time to get away from work as the lines between work and life became blurred in the early days of the pandemic.
The solution was a shared global holiday where everyone was able to unplug at the same time. Check out the results in the video below.
#4 Defining our 5 core values
In 2004, Indeed changed the way people get jobs with a new approach. They built a job search product that put the job seeker first. This approach has allowed Indeed to become the preferred job site for millions around the world.
This year, we expanded on this core principle, defining four more values that will guide us in our mission to help people get jobs long into the future. If you want to know what Indeed stands for, look no further than the values below.
Value #1: Job seeker first
This is the one that started it all.
CEO Chris Hyams explains, “If there is a job out there, it needs to be on Indeed. If there is a job on Indeed, it needs to be from a real employer who is actively hiring right now. We need to know everything we can about every job and every job seeker to create the best match possible.”
Value #2: Pay per performance
This is how we make our money and our approach is simple. General Manager of Enterprise, Maggie Hulce sums it up.
“We want to get paid when we deliver value and we don’t want to get paid when we don’t.”
Value #3: Innovation
With new competitors popping up all the time, constant innovation is essential for our survival. To us, it’s about not being afraid to fail.
“Innovation is about trying lots of risky things with high probabilities of failure, but when they succeed, the payoff is one hundred or a thousand fold,” says Senior Product Director, Brendan Stern.
Value #4: Data Driven
Data is the great equalizer as COO, Dave O’Neill, explains, “We all have ideas, some of which we think are great, some of which prove not to be great, and I think it teaches us to be humble in our approach to problem solving and let the results speak for themselves.”
Value #5: Inclusion & Belonging
This has already been touched on, but it cannot be overstated how important it is to delivering on our job seeker first principle.
“The reason why I came to Indeed is to impact the world by helping people get jobs. I fundamentally believe that is life changing,” says Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, LaFawn Davis.
“We can accomplish this by removing bias and barriers, and that means making sure that our workforce reflects the diversity of communities where we operate, making sure we have an unbiased recruiting process, continuing our commitment to equal pay and promotion opportunities, removing barriers to entry by hiring people with nontraditional backgrounds and helping other companies do the same.”
Finally, in reviewing the long, strange journey that was 2020 inside Indeed, the theme that keeps jumping out to me is gratitude.
We’ve been able to work on products such as our Virtual Interview Platform that have allowed job seekers to find work quickly and safely. Our Employee Experience team has supported us with events and activities that make us feel connected even when we’re far away, and for our holiday gift, we were given money to donate to the causes we care about, helping others in a time of need.
I am so proud to see my co-workers share stories of how lucky they feel to not only have a job, but have one where we are listened to and allowed to be human as we struggle to deal with the unique challenges around us. Seeing these stories and thinking about all we’ve been through has humbled me and ignited my own sense of gratitude.
I am grateful for those who were generous enough to share their stories, allowing me and others to see ourselves in your struggle and success. I am grateful for the courage, compassion and creativity that has been an example to me and others through a year of constant learning. Most of all, I’m grateful to work with talented people who appreciate how lucky we are to have each other and a common purpose that unites us.
Happy 2021 from all of us #insideindeed!
Hear more reflections from Indeedians and why they feel optimistic for the future in the video below.
Looking for a new job in the new year? Come work at Indeed! Apply here.