Indeed Business Model – How does Indeed Make Money

Indeed is the world’s #1 job website with over 250 million unique visitors per month. Founded in 2004, the company has become the most popular single-topic search engine for job seekers and companies seeking talent. Indeed enables job seekers to find positions in any industry and location of their interest. This leading employment website gathers jobs from all over the internet like job boards, recruiting agencies, company careers etc.

Today Indeed is available in more than 60 countries and 28 languages. Although Indeed is completely free for job seekers, it charges employers to use some premium features on the platform. So, want to know how exactly does Indeed make money, what is its business model? Then, let us jump into the topic. Before that let’s see how and when Indeed had come into existence.

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History of Indeed

Indeed, the dominant job portal in the world was founded in 2004 by two American entrepreneurs Paul Forster and Rony Kahan. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas, Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.

The founders initially launched a website called for finance professionals. The website became one of the largest employment sites for finance jobs. However, in 2003, they sold it to eFinancialCareers which is a British Job site. Later, when the founders noticed the benefits of Google‘s pay per click model, they decided to launch a search engine like Google for job listings. In 2004 (in one year), they launched Indeed, a job listing website that provides the best results for any work-related query. The company was so profitable instantly after its launch and it required only $5 million from a funding round held in 2005.

Indeed became the most visited job board in the U.S by 2008, within three years of its inception. Eventually, it has become the most successful job portal worldwide. Japanese conglomerate Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. acquired Indeed on October 1, 2012, for around $1 billion. Indeed posted annual revenues of US$ 2.75 billion in FY 2018.

Okay enough said. Let’s get into how Indeed works to understand the business model of the company better. So shall we?

How Indeed Works?

Indeed, the #1 job search site worldwide works similar to a search engine that is specific for job-related queries such as job listing, company reviews, salary comparison, benefits etc. Job seekers can browse any kind of job in any professional industry in any location over the world. The different categories which Indeed has job listing are:

  • Software
  • Banking
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Healthcare
  • Mechanical
  • Government
  • Legal
  • and the list goes on

The recent additions to these categories along with Fresher, Part-time are Work From Home, Food Service. Thus, Indeed is a large platform for job searching and one can find job listings from any industry. The job search site is crowded with a multiple number of job listings. Most companies all over the world post jobs on the platform. Additionally, Indeed also aggregates job listings from company careers, job boards, newspapers etc.

Thus Indeed holds a 4.17% market share and has over 330 million visits every month. The website lets job seekers upload their resumes, and professional information so that employers can access them and shortlist talented candidates to interview. However, as said Indeed charges money for employers to use premium features on the platform and hire the right candidates through it. Simply, it operates as a pay per click model. Let’s look into that in detail in Indeed’s business model.

Read: Upwork Business Model – How Upwork Makes Money

Indeed Business Model

Indeed is a powerful job search engine that is completely free for job seekers. Job seekers can browse jobs, upload resumes, get shortlisted for absolutely free of cost. Whereas employers need to pay a certain amount to make their shortlisting process easy and effective. As there are millions of job posts on the platform, there are chances for a job post to disappear from the first page. Hence, chances for people to apply for such job posts become narrow and it becomes tough for companies to hire candidates. Therefore, Indeed offers premium features for employers to help them increase their job post’s visibility. 

So as discussed above, Indeed works on a business model similar to Google Ads. It offers a Pay Per Click plan for employers for which they can bid on certain keywords to gain maximum visibility. This can also be called a Sponsored post. Employers need to pay a certain amount whenever someone clicks on their job post.

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However, Indeed does not completely rely on its PPC model. It also makes money by charging employers for accessing the resumes of job seekers. Additionally, employers can place targeted ads on the homepage of Indeed to achieve greater visibility and finish their hiring faster. The company charges a certain fee to place these targeted ads.

So, overall Indeed’s business model is based on PPC and it earns maximum profit from advertising fees. It also makes money from offering more premium features to employers. Let’s see that in detail below.

How Indeed Makes money?

Without any ado, let’s directly jump into understanding how Indeed makes money.

Sponsored Posts or PPC

Having said that, although the platform is completely free for job seekers, Indeed charges money for employers to help finish the hiring process faster. As you can see millions of job postings on the platform each day for different roles and locations, a job post can easily get lost. So, in order to help employers stay on top, Indeed lets them highlight their job posts.

Employers can go for Sponsored Job Posting and Indeed displays these sponsored posts on either top of the list or the side. This works similar to Google Ads and employers can bid for the ad position from their PPC budget.

The price for PPC bids depends on the popularity of keywords or search terms in a particular location. Employers will need to pay from their PPC budget every time a job seeker clicks on the ad. The pricing starts from $5 per day to maximum depending on the employer’s requirements.

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Targeted Ads

Same as any website, Indeed places targeted ads on its platform. These targeted ads can show up in different places on the platform such as homepage, side bar, recommended job page, post apply etc. The placement of ads can be decided by employers based on their needs. These ads also show up in regular searches when job seekers narrow down their search queries.

The company doesn’t disclose the pricing of ads publicly.

Indeed Resume

Indeed lets job seekers upload their resumes to the platform to make the shortlisting process easy for recruiters. Employers or recruiters can browse the resumes of candidates and access potential resumes to shortlist suitable candidates for the job. However, they need to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the resumes.

The website offers two plans: Standard subscription and Professional subscription

The pricing is $100/month per recruiter and $250/month per recruiter. The recruiter can opt for the plan based on how often they hire and how often they get in contact with potential candidates to proceed with the interview process. The Professional subscription plan unlocks Indeed Hiring Insights and allows employers to send bulk messages to candidates.

Seen by Indeed

Indeed is able to keep its dominant position in the market for many good reasons. The company uses technology to ease the hiring process faster. Additionally, it helps job seekers to land their dream job or get a job in a company that matches their expectations of salary, location, and culture with Seen matching technology.

Seen enables candidates to highlight their resumes, skills, experience, interests and career aspirations. It also lets them specify salary, location and culture expectations. Finally, Seen matches them with companies that match their maximum specifications. The best part is Indeed doesn’t charge a penny from job seekers. Employers or recruiters will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access the results or the list of automatically shortlisted candidates by Indeed Seen.

Hiring Events

Indeed promotes bulk Hiring Events for employers to interview multiple candidates virtually at one go. Employers or recruiters can post their events on the platform. They can initially screen and shortlist a few candidates to invite them to the event. Finally, they can offer a job for the right candidates after the interview.

While Indeed takes care of advertising the event, screening profiles and scheduling the event, recruiters can focus on interviews. Again, Indeed charges a one-time fee for employers based on the location, demand and number of targeted users.

Indeed hosted over 30,000 hiring events in over 3,500 cities all over the world till today.

The company doesn’t disclose most of its pricing details on its website as the prices likely vary based on different parameters.

Wrapping Up

So, as you can see, this is how the search engine for job listings, Indeed makes money. It operates on a brilliant business model that only charges employers for accessing various premium features. There are many job search sites over the world, but with its unique features and offerings, Indeed is the top search engine for work-related searches. The company’s revenue and profits are although not disclosed, it is evident that it reported good profits in the recent Q4.

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