SES NY Interview: Paul Forster, CEO Indeed.com
Paul is speaking today at SES New York. Recently, he was glad enough to answer some questions about Indeed, Jobs, Social Media & Search Marketing.
1) Please give me your background and tell us what you do for a living .
I’m the CEO and co-founder of Indeed, a search engine for jobs . My bio is here: http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/newyork/paul-forster.php Indeed was founded by Rony Kahan and me in late 2004. We previously founded a job board for financial professionals, so we’ve been in the online recruitment industry for a decade now.
2) Has Indeed become the de facto place to search for jobs online?
Indeed is certainly the leading search engine for jobs. Our goal is to be the starting point for everyone’s job search – to provide the most comprehensive and relevant job search results for all job seekers. Indeed now has over 12 million unique visitors and over 200 million page views per month in the US. Worldwide we have over 16 million unique visitors per month. According to Comscore Media Metrix, Indeed is one of the top 10 fastest growing websites in the US by unique visitors and the top search engine for jobs in Hitwise’s top 10 employment and training websites. (see: http://blog.indeed.com/2009/02/27/indeed-moves-up-the-traffic-rankings/)
3) Can you talk about Indeed’s forays into the areas of user generated content and social media?
We’ve made a lot of progress in this area. Our forums are very popular, with discussions ranging from general job search tips to career-specific advice. Insofar as social networking can help people in their job searches, we try to facilitate that. When you are looking at a job in Indeed’s search results, for example, you can view everyone in your Linkedin or Facebook network who works for that company (click ‘more…’ below any job search result). Similarly, Indeed’s Facebook application shows you jobs from companies where there are people you know.
4) Has social media changed the traditional job search dynamic of responding to a job ad with an emailed resume?
No, not for the majority of people. Some have high expectations that social media is going to change the way people find jobs, but I don’t think it has really happened yet. Researching and networking into companies have been a big impact, but to obtain a job online you generally still have to search job listings and apply to them. Big questions remain about the integration of classified advertising into social networks. There’s a fundamental problem: classifieds require matching millions of unique users to a vast number of different ads, whereas social networking is about a limited universe of direct connections between users.
5) How has search marketing helped Indeed grow market share and meet business objectives?
We dedicate a substantial budget to search marketing. As Indeed is a search engine, we obviously believe in this kind of marketing – and it is very effective for us. However, our traffic growth has also depended tremendously on organic search, media mentions, social media and plain old word-of-mouth. Ultimately, we believe having the best job search service is the way to ensure repeat visitors and traffic growth.
6) How can an employer get wide visibility for their job posting without spending much money?
Employers can include their jobs on Indeed for free. The quickest way is to send us an XML feed of their jobs. But if jobs are included on a reputable job board, they will be included in our search results that way. Any employer or job board can boost their visibility and get more targeted job seeker traffic by sponsoring their jobs on Indeed. Sponsored jobs appear above our organic results and advertisers only pay per click. Please visit ads.indeed.com for more information.