Indeed Moves Resume Search to Subscription Model

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer December 12, 2017
Indeed Moves Resume Search to Subscription Model

The world's most popular job search engine is changing its resume search service for employers from a pay-per-contact model to a monthly subscription plan.

Indeed Resume, a searchable database of more than 100 million resumes, will become a two-tier subscription-based model by January 2018. Currently, recruiters browse the database for free and pay for each candidate they contact. Searching the database will remain free, but employers will need a subscription to contact certain numbers of candidates.

With 2.6 million new resumes added each month, and a 44 percent total candidate response rate, Indeed Resume has become a powerful tool for recruiters, the company said. "We believe [the change] will be more effective for both employers and job seekers. The change will make it much easier to predict and set recruiting costs while rewarding recruiters with tangible benefits."

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Indeed also announced a limit on the number of contacts allowed per month. Recruiters signing up for the standard $100 subscription will have access to 30 new contacts per month. The professional $250 subscription will allow up to 100 contacts per month. Unused contacts will roll over and accumulate for up to six months. Unused contacts can also be transferred to colleagues' subscriptions.

Featured Employers—who receive prominent ad placement on Indeed—will continue to have unlimited contacts through the first quarter of 2018. After that, they will need to choose one of the two subscription plans.

And there's more: Every time a job seeker responds to an outreach, Indeed will grant employers contact credits. Positive candidate responses will receive two credits, and negative candidate responses will receive one credit. The company said it expects to be rewarding "lots of contact credits" to employers, which they can then use to reach more candidates without going over their subscriber limits.

Indeed said it is removing unlimited contacts to incentivize recruiters to become more efficient and effective. "We know that the best recruiters send out fewer contacts and receive the highest response rates, while improving the job seeker experience by limiting irrelevant contacts," the company said.

The change will require employers to improve their outreach to be more personalized, said Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media, a recruiting technology consulting firm in Trumbull, Conn. The new limitations "also seem to mirror what LinkedIn did with InMails, where they limit the amount you can send," he said.

But the driving reason behind the announcement is about maximizing revenue, Russell continued. "They need to pay for all those fancy new TV commercials. I've also heard they are raising rates on job postings, so this new pricing will both increase revenue and provide a more stable stream of income than just pay-per-contact."

Jeff Dickey-Chasins, a leading job board and careers site consultant based in Des Moines, Iowa, agreed that employers will likely pay more in the long run, but it may also be more convenient. "It's probably easier for employers to manage," he said. "Most employers are used to annual or semiannual expenditures for recruiting expenses, as opposed to pay-as-you-go. This once again blurs the line between Indeed and the old-school job boards, who have been operating this way for years."

Indeed Resume will remain free for job seekers looking to create or upload their resumes.

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