If you are not aware, Indeed recently announced that it will remove all the free postings made by Recruiting and staffing agencies. This is not an unprecedented step. Even with their ATS partners like Recruiterflow, Indeed had made their plans clear that they will be restricting the access to recruiting and staffing agencies.
What made Indeed make this move?
There are several reasons that are behind Indeed making such a move. They already talked about one of the reasons and that is improving the quality of search and experience of candidates.
Battling google for jobs
The second reason is competitive pressure from the likes of Google. Google search still remains the biggest way Indeed attracts candidates looking for a job. A simple search on Similarweb will tell you that 42% of Indeed’s traffic comes from search.
Indeed’s model is that of an aggregator where it aggregated jobs in an area and gave users a better way to look for the jobs they want. So the value chain was pretty simple — Search engines -> Indeed →Companies/agencies posing on Indeed. As Indeed was able to get a lion’s share of search traffic that generated on google for people trying to find jobs, the business thrived.
The business model of Indeed is predicated on playing arbitrage with Google search and taking a chunk of this pie. This infact is the core business model of almost every content aggregator on the web(think yelp!). What helps them differentiate is that they can optimize their experience for just one thing, unlike google. Google that has to optimize its user experience for a multitude of use cases.
With Google entering the market with Google for jobs, it is going to have an impact on Indeed and maybe Indeed is already feeling the pinch. Despite google’s chops for making it easier for people to search for Jobs, Indeed still retains the top spot. However, the castle now seems to be built on a shaky ground.
Although there is no public data, there is a great chance that Indeed saw it’s top of the intent traffic(active job seekers) being lost to Google. This means a change in the way they position themselves with job seekers. One of the ways to do this would be to establish themselves as a place where candidates come directly without google. This means removing the middleman and getting candidates straight to organizations recruiting. Posting jobs on Indeed is completely free. This means that every organization in the world can tap into the pool of candidates on Indeed.
Recruiting agencies did not play nice
Okay, a part of the blame is on recruiting agencies as well. A lot of recruiting agencies work on contingency recruiting business model. This means that they get paid only if the candidate they introduced gets hired. This creates a race against time to get the HR time stamp. Recruiting agencies are often competing against a myriad of other agencies to submit the same candidate. This leads to behavior where agencies keep jobs open even if they are not hiring for it but to build their database. This created a bad user experience for candidates.
(Note: Using Recruiterflow’s automated email recipes, our users are first to establish the connect with the candidate and secure representation rights! Schedule a demo with us to understand how you can do it too!)
Most importantly — Because they can do it now!
This is a time when Indeed can take this risk. It’s a household name. Almost every business knows what Indeed is and so do the job seekers! Indeed is big enough to come out of the shadow of Google: Indeed is a household name today and it not very difficult for companies to start posting their own vacancies
It is not just the Indeed. I would venture a guess that a host of other free job boards might make the same move.
So the question is what’s next for recruiting and staffing agencies?
The fundamental expectation from a recruiting and staffing business is rapidly evolving. The candidate pool that is active is easily available to businesses themselves. What they need is a helping hand to access the pool that is passive. They need someone who can close candidates and help them recruit the finest talent out there.
Why post and pray isn’t a good business model
Internet has made access to information exceptionally easy. It is going to be increasingly easier for active candidates to find companies in their area who are looking for people with their skillsets.
When an agency presents candidates that they have sourced through job postings on free job boards like Indeed, they are playing with information asymmetry and hoping to get lucky! Well, in the age of information, a business model predicated on information asymmetry just doesn’t make a lot of sense! I know that a lot of Recruiters still make 5–6 figure income just doing this but I wouldn’t expect that business to grow quickly.
What can you do stay a step ahead of the future?
If as a recruiter, your only value add is that you collect candidates, screen them and submit them, it’s not going to help you in the new way of doing things. To become a successful recruiter, you need to have a deep understanding of people, the niche of your recruiting and the ability to source great candidates.
Modern clients expect you will bring something to the table that they can’t themselves.
- Recruiting expertise in your niche
- Clients may not always be best placed to identify great sources to source candidates.
- Becoming a true value partner for your clients
- Embrace proactive sourcing
- Find them candidates that they can’t find anywhere else
- Deliver true value by helping them go through the recruiting process and avoid mistakes.
As a recruiter, you solve one or both of these problems for your clients.
You save them time
I don’t have time to screen candidates. So I am going to pay someone to source candidates. Here, you are competing against someone who can offer their time at a lesser price.
You’re an enabler
You help them achieve something they couldn’t have themselves. The client just doesn’t know how to fill their positions. Here, you are not selling your time but your expertise. You are competing with a very small number of people who can deliver the same to your clients.
It is important that you realize that selling time doesn’t scale well. Time is a commodity but expertise isn’t and that’s what you want to be selling. You are selling expertise, you are selling your ability to forge and nurture relationships. You want to play it in a way where your advantage accumulates over time and technology helps you strengthen your advantage, not make you obsolete.
As we look forward to a new year, there is a lot to look forward to. That being said, our industry is having a moment of reckoning. Experts have wrongly predicted the death of the recruiting and staffing industry but our industry is leaping from strength to strength. We have another moment ahead of us and it is important for us to see the winds of change stay ahead.
Let us know how you plan to move to a more proactive sourcing and expertise based recruiting in the coming year!