Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, August 28, 2006

A conversation with's Paul Forster

Considering our offices are only 12 miles apart it's a wonder I haven't spent more time with the job search companies that surround me., the web's premier vertical job search engine is located in nearby Stamford, CT. Yesterday I had the fortune of speaking with their founder and CEO, Paul Forster.

For those who have never heard of, it’s a search engine that lets you search multiple job resources at once. Instead of going from job board to job board, Indeed scours them all. now gets over 1 million users and 25 million searches each month. That’s a 300% increase in job searches over the past year according to comScore Media Metrix. Indeed claims this is three times more search than their nearest competitor.

Is it possible that they could one day move ahead of Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs in traffic? This blogger thinks it could happen but we are years away from that. In the Near-term they will hover among the top 5 job site destinations. Monster and the others have too much brand awareness to be toppled just yet.

I asked Paul where he sees the site 5 or 10 ten years from now. He replied that he wants Indeed to be the most “comprehensive” site on the web to find jobs and provide the “best job search experience”. He calls attention to their tools as one way Indeed is making job search more efficient.

You can literally get jobs from Indeed any which way but loose. Whether its by Instant Message, Email or Desktop. They are also putting a lot of effort into My Indeed where you can save jobs and add notes (watch out JibberJobber, & MyJobTips!).

So although they have been quiet lately on the PR front (there last big announcement was back in June), Forster says more enhancements and features are in the pipeline but did not give any estimates as to the next release. I pressed him for a few clues but none were given. “We’re just concentrating on being more comprehensive, adding more sources, and improving the search alogorithm”.

When I commented that there is still a lot of room for Indeed to grow (I think a lot of less savvy web users have never heard of them) he agreed and I asked him if any kind of national ad campaign was in the works to increase their name recognition, he replied no. They’d rather grow naturally though word of mouth, PR, search engine marketing and partnerships with other media sites. He pointed me to sites like which recently added an Indeed Jobroll to their site. Other sites in the fold now include, and

I asked what he thought about the recent announcement of competitor SimplyHired getting in bed with Myspace. He said they are aggressively pursuing other media partners far and wide. I told him he should hookup with Facebook. My comment drew an excited chuckle. “Any site with that amount of traffic would be great for us”, he added.

As for job seekers, one of my first questions had to do with why job seekers should use Indeed instead of SimplyHired or Jobster. His response was that he believes Indeed provides the most “accurate” and “comprehensive” results of the major verticals. He said freshness was important as well and cited the fact that Indeed’s results are only from the last 30 days while others were 45 days. He also suggested that “the general usability of the site” was the best.

Indeed gets a lot of jobseeker feedback. Two things job seekers always write in about are that Indeed “saves them time” and that they find jobs they may have otherwise not found. In one such email a job hunter says;

“I just wanted to say thanks! Your job search with e-mail alert is the best, fastest, and most extensive job search resource ever!” said Steve Hesterman, a job seeker living in Crescent City, California. “You have enabled me to stay three steps ahead of my competition on several local job opportunities. Most of my would-be competition never even learned of these job opportunities - it was as if I was the only one in town who knew - thanks to you!”

A job seeker’s dream? Yes, indeed.

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