I Tried Hiring on Indeed

Published May 17, 2021 by Scott Hirsch

TMP Enabled Large MSP

Introduction

At TalentMarketplace, we take a platform approach to hiring to make it faster, cheaper and easier. I have access to amazing technology and an exceptional recruitment team to find candidates. However, to understand our clients and competition better, I tried hiring on Indeed. Here’s what the process was like, what was good and what was bad.

The Process

I was looking to hire a junior developer. I was looking for someone with a little bit of work experience, a certificate or degree in programming or computer science or completion of a coding bootcamp. Ideally, the candidate would have experience in our tech stack though I was open to candidates not having all of the languages we use. I wanted to complete the entire hiring process (i.e. sign an employment contract) within 10 days.

First, I made an employer account on Indeed. This was super easy. I only had to fill out a few fields and then I was given immediate access to post the job description I had put together before signing up. The wizard to create the job posting was a little lengthy but it was comprehensive, intuitive and fit the format of job I was looking to post. After publishing the job posting around 6:00pm in the evening, I immediately began to receive applications. And I mean immediately. I had a dozen applicants within an hour. I was excited and began to review them right away. The first few were quite good; most had some experience and some education in the right field. I booked the first two interviews within a few hours. I went to bed that night thinking I had done a good job.

I woke up the next morning and found I had 56 applications. By the end of the day, I had 103. I reviewed as many as I could throughout the day and as the avalanche didn’t cease, I disabled the job posting after having it up for a little more than 24 hours. I reviewed 67 applications and booked 7 interviews. I hardly glanced at applications that came in later. In total, I received 103 applications, reviewed 67, rejected 29 and booked 7 interviews. I had booked all the interviews for the same week to move as quickly as possible. Each was to be 1 hour long. 2 of the 7 I had requested interviews with (which the candidate accepted) did not show up for the interview. The other 5 were all fine. I thought any and all of them could do the job but there was also no clear leader. In total, it took me about 1 hour to create the account and post the job, 5 hours to review the applications and 10 hours of interview time (including the no shows).

Then I got a message on LinkedIn from a candidate who noticed the job posting but wasn’t able to apply before I took it down. I informed her that I wasn’t accepting further applications but she was adamant that she was a perfect fit so she sent me her resume. She was right. We arranged an interview and she was the candidate I ended up hiring. I was able to complete the hire in the desired time frame.

The Good

  1. Sign up and posting was easy - simple, fast, intuitive
  2. Receiving applications was easy - getting a high volume of applicants took no effort
  3. Intuitive platform - simple to review applications and book interviews
  4. Free - no monetary cost, only time
  5. Good for junior/easy to fill positions - got lots of applicants

The Bad

  1. Reviewing the resumes and sorting through the applications was overwhelming - had to disable the job posting after only 1 day
  2. The rejection rate is 43% - this is very high for an entry level position
  3. No shows to interviews - waste of time and no recourse
  4. Buggy platform - For booking interviews, there was no option for Pacific Time so all my interview requests went through as Mountain Time. This required out-of-platform coordination with each of the candidates. I informed Indeed and they acknowledged the problem and recommended I change my country to the US which would have created a different problem. Also the resume preview functionality only works for PDFs, not Word docs which require a download and open.

Conclusion

I have a hard time saying I was “successful” at hiring through Indeed. Yes, I found a great candidate and hired her within my desired timeline. Certainly, Indeed was great for visibility and bringing attention to the job I was looking to hire for. This is how the successful candidate found and applied to TalentMarketplace. However, everything else happened off platform and it feels like all the activities I undertook reviewing applications and booking interviews was a waste of time. I understand that these are necessary activities to find the right candidate but candidates are left to self select into applying for jobs. This means that completely unqualified applicants buried the good candidates and drained my time. I received applications from overseas folks who were not legally able to work in the country. I received applications from folks that had no coding experience or qualifications at all. All of this while still being left with the lingering question “if I left the job posting up for longer, would I have found an even better candidate?”. In the subsequent months, I also started receiving unsolicited marketing emails from overseas development agencies who noticed the job posting and offered their services (I actually really admire the hustle on this).

Additionally, this process doesn’t scale. With the time and effort commitment that hiring through Indeed requires, there’s no way I would be able to hire more than one position concurrently. The rejection rate was also very high, particularly for a junior position. I don’t think hiring for a more senior position would be more effective.

Particularly irksome were the interview no-shows. Both of the no-shows confirmed the interview date and time and after a few minutes had passed on each of their interview times I followed up with them via email and phone which all went unanswered. Again, there’s no recourse or consequence for this.

I’m glad I tried hiring through Indeed to get a better perspective of what our clients experience. It has reaffirmed that we’re on the right track with the offering we provide at TalentMarketplace. Every candidate is screened with a phone interview before being made visible on the platform to make sure everyone is reliable and responsive. With the right combination of AI and human touch, a brief shortlist of the best candidates are provided directly to employers to save screening time. An account manager is available during every step to assist if there’s anything that goes wrong. If you’re interested in hiring in a scalable way, sign up here.