Circle White
Back to news

Why recruiting on Indeed might now be less effective for your business

If you are a recruitment agency or employer who relies on Indeed for the bulk of your recruitment, you may have noticed a drop in visibility and effectiveness for your advertising campaign?
Banner Image

What has changed at Indeed and what do you need to know?

If you are a recruitment agency or employer who relies on Indeed for the bulk of your recruitment, you may have noticed that your visibility and effectiveness of your advertising campaign has dipped recently. We will look at why this is happening, what you need to look out for and what questions you should be asking of your recruitment partners. 

Indeed’s most recent update marks a significant adjustment for their customers and sets out to address issues of distribution and visibility across all jobs.

Some of the common issues Indeed are combatting with these changes are:

  • Locating blasting – advertising the same position more than once, at the same time and in multiple locations which are very close to one another.
  • Advert duplication – by aggregating other advertising sources and listing the roles through Indeed, the same roles are advertised multiple times.
  • Persistent advert refreshing – some companies are regularly refreshing their own advertising in order to boost their presence on Indeed, in order to drive higher volumes of applications. 

Indeed requires you to sponsor jobs that are are for larger geographic areas. For example, if you advertised a job for the location of Kent or England it would require sponsorship. You may see a message like “This job must be sponsored in order to be shown on Indeed”.
Define your locations carefully [...] you should ensure that the Town / City and post code collectively describe the same location.


Indeed are implementing updates that will continue to evolve. Recruitment agencies will no longer be able to leverage Indeed’s advert aggregation services to boost the visibility of their direct advertising for free. If you are working at an agency and tracking referral traffic from Indeed as a source to your website, you will likely have already noticed this huge drop off.

As the changes take effect, employers and recruiters will need to stay informed and possibly rethink their recruitment strategies on Indeed.

Previously, staffing agencies could post jobs on Indeed for free and have them appear in search results. However, Indeed has changed their policy. Now, staffing agencies need to use Indeed's "sponsored jobs" option to ensure their listings reach job seekers.

As of May 2nd, 2024, recruitment agencies outside of Japan will no longer benefit from free job listings on Indeed. This means your postings won't show up in search results unless you use Indeed's sponsored jobs option. This change follows a similar update in the US and Canada back in 2019.

The reliance on Indeed for free job post outcomes might see a shift, encouraging a more strategic approach to sponsoring jobs, especially for those hard-to-fill positions. Indeed suggests that sponsored jobs tend to fill faster than non-sponsored ones, a trend that could become more pronounced with the new marketplace dynamics.

Why should you pay for something that was free?

While free job boards can be a valuable tool, relying solely on them might limit your reach. Here's why considering sponsored options can be beneficial:

  • Increased Visibility: Sponsored jobs appear more prominently in search results, leading to a higher chance of attracting qualified candidates.
  • Targeted Reach: Paid options often allow for targeting specific demographics and skill sets, ensuring your postings reach the right audience.

Remember, Indeed is a business, and free job postings are part of their overall strategy.

  • Focus on Building a Long-Term Strategy: Striking a balance between free and paid advertising can be an effective approach. However, relying solely on free options may not be sustainable in the long run.
  • Maintaining Good Practices is Key: Indeed monitors job postings for abuse. Following their guidelines helps ensure continued access to free advertising.
The takeaway:

  • Explore a mix of free and paid options to maximize your recruitment success.
  • Upholding best practices on free platforms helps maintain access to that valuable resource.

Do you work with recruitment agencies?

Perhaps you don't advertise on Indeed directly but you work with a recruitment agency? If your agency partner advertises on Indeed – you now need to ask them about their strategy. 

  • What budget do they allocate to their total listing of adverts? 
  • How is this prioritised? 
  • How often are your adverts selected to be run as part of that campaign? 

They should know the answers to these questions and be able to give you confidence that their investment is being spent in the right areas that will benefit your recruitment strategy the most. 

We have partnered with Indeed on and off now for more than 5 years, and during that time we have always worked very closely with our account managers to ensure we are constantly reviewing our sponsored campaign performance. Indeed works differently to the majority of job boards out there, and we have to keep on top of our campaign to ensure our customers' hiring priorities are managed. 

You need to have the correct strategy in place for each role - and you can't assume that each talent pool will interact with your advert campaign in the same manner. Yes, it is more involved, but our customers see the benefit of our relationship with Indeed as part of our overall recruitment strategy. 

Alex Pitts - Associate Director of Recruitment

Get in touch

Reach out to our recruitment team today if you have questions about your usage of Indeed and how Applause IT could help contribute to your successful recruitment strategy. 
Background 2 Image

Keep up to date

Sign up to our newsletter to get our latest news and job alerts.