Behind Indeed’s advocacy for job seekers

The job site has evolved from a search tool into a company that supports prospective employees throughout the hiring process.

It’s been nearly three years since job search site Indeed launched its first Canadian marketing campaign and the company remains focused on raising brand awareness with job seekers and employers alike, according to its SVP of marketing, Paul D’Arcy.

But as the company has risen to become one of the largest job site in Canada and globally — it now receives more than 200 million unique visitors per month — the brand has evolved from a search tool into more of an advocate for job seekers.

In recent years, Indeed has shifted into a “different mode” and has become as focused on advocacy (broadly speaking) as it is on building awareness, according to D’Arcy.

“We continue to do a lot of work around trying to make the hiring process more fair and more based on what one can contribute in the workplace,” he says, adding that it’s part of the company’s overriding mission to help people land jobs.

One need look no further than last year’s “Search for Greatness” campaign, which was entirely focused on bias in hiring, one of the “real world issues that job seekers face on a day-to-day basis,” as D’Arcy describes it in a video about the campaign.

In Canada, Indeed is currently running two TV spots: “Sunny,” which portrays the candidate’s journey from rejection to success, and “Ask Me Anything,” showing the out-of-the-box approach one woman takes to prepare for an upcoming interview. New York-based agency DCX is responsible for the creative.

These ads do not immediately spell advocacy, but in their authentic look at the ups and downs of the hiring process, they create an image of a company that has job seekers’ backs.

Outside of its consumer marketing, the job site’s advocacy shines through the product enhancements it has rolled out in recent years, which all address (to varying degrees) the imbalances inherent to the hiring process.

In 2017, it launched Job Spotter in Canada, allowing people to upload offline job postings by snapping photos of “Help Wanted” signs that dot storefronts and add them to Indeed’s website through the Job Spotter app. The crowd-sourcing tool has enabled users to store resumes online, streamlining the application process (especially on mobile) and helping employers connect with candidates more easily. Indeed has also launched employee reviews and collects salary data to help address the imbalance of information and power that exists in recruiting.

And it’s now focused on rolling out Indeed Assessments, a platform that “helps employers automate the screening process so they can make faster, more informed candidate evaluations,” according to a release. Currently being beta tested in Canada, Assessments allows employers to screen candidates for skills specifically related to the job rather than relying entirely on resumes, with the goal of reducing bias in hiring.

“One of the tough things about looking for a job is this match between a resume, which is an imperfect representation of someone’s skills and abilities, and a job description, which can also be an imperfect description of what work is really like,” says D’Arcy.

But while product improvements can help deliver on its mission, marketing will remain critical to its long-term goal of helping people think of its platform, and ultimately become employed. With that in mind, D’Arcy says Indeed plans to sustain its ongoing marketing investments “for a very long time.”