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Are you going to Indeed JAIL?!?!

Could you be going to "Indeed Jail"? -- Seriously, WTF?

The Chad and Cheese spend some time with industry veteran Tim Sackett as he discusses the trials and tribulations of being sentenced to Indeed "jail."

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll long for an alternative to Indeed.

Enjoy. -- Straight from America's Job Exchange!


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Announcer: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Chad: SHRM Talent. Hey, this is Chad and Cheese and- guess what? Yeah, we got Tim Sackett in the house.

Joel: The Sack-man.

Tim: -before? Am I the biggest guest you've-

Joel: I guess you are.

Tim: Like, the most frequented guest?

Chad: I think so.

Joel: Yeah, it's an illustrious list of all-stars. It's like SNL, where if you do five shows, you get a jacket. So you're well on your way.

Tim: So close, so close.

Chad: I think it's gonna be a Jobs2Careers jacket, because they're trying to get rid of

those now.

Joel: They're on clearance.

Chad: What's the new name? Talroo

Joel: Something like that. We're gonna get him on and get to the-

Tim: So the marketing firm where they fired him after he came up with that?

Joel: Oh, ouch, you're feeling salty today, Tim

Tim: I got something that's on my nerves.

Joel: So Tim is on the couch.

Chad: He is.

Joel: He's gonna vent a little bit.

Chad: And he should, he should.

Chad: Because from what I'm hearing, there's some bullshit happening over at Indeed.

Tim: Well, yeah.

Tim: That's nothing new but-

Joel: Tell us your situation and what it's like to be in indeed jail.

Tim: So yeah, if you don't like me calling it indeed, but it's Indeed jail. Remember when we used to do LinkedIn jail. And people still get into LinkedIn kind of told you, "here's how you get out of LinkedIn jail." We all kind of figured it out. And unfortunately you can't figure out how to get into Indeed jail. So, Indeed jail is when they stop scraping your site and no longer get free traffic. Which is awesome, we love the free traffic. It's like a crack pipe, right? They got us to-

Joel: Heroin drip, heroin drip.

Tim: You got addicted and you loved it and then they took it away. So I'm in Indeed jail, they (inaudible) my side because my search quality was bad. Now they send you a couple of blog posts in terms of, "here, let's have this define what search quality is."

Chad: Yeah, okay.

Tim: So basically there's a thing, right? So if you're a corporate company, corporate talent acquisition, those jobs are number one priority. If you're staffing for them like I am, mine take kind of second priority. And then the job boards they claim, like Careerbuilder and stuff take third priority. I don't know if that's really true, but whatever. So if I have a job that's very similar to corporate job that I'm working, even though it's not a direct job, basically they're saying, "hey, candidates don't wanna see the same job, they wanna see only the job from the real corporate entity.

Chad: So the duplicate (jobs) conversation.

Joel: So ABC company is the real company hiring the job, if Tim's company HRU Technical Resources actually put with the job on there, they're saying, "hey, that's bad search quality, we're not gonna scrape your site, because candidates don't want the duplicates."

Joel: Which, okay, you can say is reasonable.

Tim: That's very reasonable.

Tim: Yeah. So I was told, "hey you're putting in duplicate jobs, right? From the search quality perspective." So we go through and say, "well, they're not really duplicates because this company that we're working with, we're hiring contract jobs, not direct jobs, which are completely different, blah blah blah. And they don't care, they don't listen. So we go, "well show me where they are and we'll make sure we get these dupes off so that you can come back and search quality can run and we'll be good."

Chad: Show us what you don't like.

Joel: So you're bending over backwards.

Tim: I really, I truly wanna fix it, right? Because I wanna go out to the audience and say, "hey, don't get yourself in Indeed jail, that's how you don't." And so I said, “just give me an example, show me." No we can't do that. Can't give you examples. But, Tim, today only, if you pay to have all of your jobs sponsored, we will go out and scrape those crappy jobs off your site that our candidates don't wanna see, and we will put them in front of the candidates, because we really are concerned about candidates, but you have to pay to do that.

Chad: So it's different, if you pay for it, they're not crappy jobs anymore.

Tim: No, now they're great jobs-

Tim: Although, they're great jobs, okay.

Joel: You pay, they'll play basically.

Tim: They pay to play, but the other part I love, is in every communication I get from them, it's always about the candidate, which it never was until Google for Jobs came in and say we're about the candidate and then Indeed goes, "no, we are. No really, we are." No you're not, never were."

Chad: And never were.

Tim: And if I pay, guess what, you're not again. So that's kind of how it works.

Joel: So I wonder what happens to the duplicate jobs, quote unquote, that used to be there. That used to be there instead of yours, do they still remain on the index in the search results? I doubt they talked about that, but-

Tim: They don't talk- yeah we didn't get into that.

Chad: Well that's the quality.

Tim: They didn't give you anything that's the problem.

Chad: That's the quality that they don't wanna tell him about, which it almost feels like they're trying to be Google, and we don't want you to know our algorithm, right?

Tim: Oh for sure.

Chad: Which is all bullshit, it's like, "look, if you wanna help us focus on quality."

Joel: Google will actually tell you how to fix the problem.

Chad: Yes.

Tim: Yeah.

Joel: If you have spammy links, you have crappy content, there's a pretty robust FAQ knowledge base that will tell you how to get out of jail, you submit, hey I fixed the problem, they review it, and hopefully they get you out of jail. Indeed it sounds like does not have similar process.

Tim: No, in fact I got an email that basically said, "this decision is final." Final?

Chad: Final until you pay.

Tim: So if I fixed everything and actually rerun the search, it wouldn't matter. Unless I wanna pay, then it's completely fine.

Chad: So then it's not final then. It's not final, because if you wanna slam down the gold card, the platinum card, then it's not final.

Tim: Yeah the crazy part I don't understand though is how the whole process- so here's my recommendation would be; if you're currently getting your jobs scraped by Google organically, you're paying nothing. Never paid them a dime. Because if you do, they know now that you're a willing participant-

Joel: Indeed or Google. You said Google.

Tim: Indeed, sorry, Indeed. If I could pay money to Google in the new Google for jobs, I probably would. But that's not there yet.

Joel: Are your jobs in Google for jobs as well?

Tim: Yes.

Joel: Can you speak to the performance of that versus-

Tim: Well, yeah I mean again ... I know right now I'm not getting really any organic traffic from Indeed so, my Google traffic is way higher. But no, it's been increasing while I'm [inaudible 00:07:19] decreasing. And we actually have couple of clients that we worked with as well that were seeing some pretty big decreases from Indeed but also some pretty big increases from Google. But again, it's not necessarily there yet to say, "oh, well we can just walk away from Indeed, but ..."

Joel: So where do you go from here?

Tim: Probably Programmatic, JobAdX, you know, Jobs2Careers/Talroo, Appcast whatever, right.

Joel: Pando.

Tim: But yeah, you know, really playing in the different space. If I'm gonna pay for something, I'm gonna pay for something that works.

Chad: Yeah, well. That's pretty smart.

Joel: And how long have those jobs been on indeed?

Tim: Total in scraping?

Joel: Yeah.

Tim: 8 years.

Joel: So 8 years no problem. Google for jobs shows up, hey we've got a problem"

Tim: Got a problem.

Joel: Okay, I think that's not a coincidence.

Tim: I don't think it is either. And so I'm thinking, okay well I'm just a staff member, it's just me. So I'm at SHRM Talent. Yesterday I had a really great conversation with a corporate talent acquisition leader position leader, she fills about 150 sales jobs a year. And she said, "oh well we decided to change up our job posting strategy. We went from 40 and then we wanted to add a bunch of micro markets and stuff, so we went from 40 to 120." Indeed did the exact same thing to them. Search quality issues, even though it's all direct jobs.

Chad: Search quality issues?

Tim: Shut 'em down, and I said well how much were you- we were paying $9,000 a month to be sponsored and now we don't have a search quality issue, she's like, "we wanna get out of that mess."

Chad: So wait a minute, we're talking about an organization who this is where the job, the impetus, where the job starts. It's created, it is pushed. Nobody else, it is-

Tim: It's all them.

Chad: But they have search quality issues.

Tim: And again, they wouldn't tell her exactly why, they kind of hint.

Chad: Shitty job descriptions?

Tim: Well no it was location, right? They were in Columbus, Ohio and then they're Strongsville, Ohio and then they're like, "well that's the same location, same job." And you're like, "well yeah, but it's our job, and maybe those are two actual locations. You can't say that that's what it is.

Chad: And you should be able to parse that shit out if you wanted to anyway. I mean there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to split that into two jobs.

Tim: Yeah, but again, the reps, literally, all they do is go, "it's search quality, we have no control over it, telling us we have no idea, search quality, search quality." And it's like the gestapo, right?

Joel: Would you go as far as to say extortion?

Tim: Well no, because they're giving you something for free, right?

Chad: Well they're not now, they're not now.

Tim: The crack dealer wasn't extorting me when I decided to buy crack-

Joel: The first hit was free.

Tim: The first hit was free.

Tim: I'm a willing participant in this scheme, right?

Chad: An eight year high, but now you gotta pay for it.

Tim: I mean, I think the reality is though I think I have really good recruiters, and we do a lot of different things, it's not gonna kill us, we'll be fine. But, for me it's always about, again, this is happening to me, it's happening to other people that won't be fine because they post and pray and maybe the only way they're getting candidates. So how do we go out and say, "oh, well here's probably some things you might have to do."

Joel: So if you're listening, and you have a problem with Indeed, or you're in Indeed jail you wanna share your story, go to and tell us what's going on.

Chad: I would love to hear that. And just a little love, little Tim Book love. Tell us about the new book that just came out.

Tim: Yeah the Talent Fix, it's on the SHRM store, it will be on the Amazons probably in six weeks, there's always a time lag there. But it was my thing, I get tons of TA leaders that call and say, "okay, I'm broke in. What would you do, how would you fix." And so I just said from beginning to end, here's what I would do if I came in to run your shop.

Chad: And you're talking about different types of tech stacks per se, which is really cool, because we see so much redundancy, we see companies; they don't even use their applicant tracking system right, but yet they wanna start stacking other pieces of tech on, so from your standpoint, you go through just nice and clean and say, "this is, if you want this kind of stack, this is what you should look at."

Tim: Yeah, I mean I still I think I did an ebook too as well, a book that you can download, you guys I look at probably 100, 150 different techs systems a year where I write about probably 50 on the blog, but the reality, there's 20,000 plus, right, that are out there. I mean that's the one thing when you come around SHRM Talent, your own practitioners that are in the weeds, they're overwhelmed by all of it.

Chad: Oh god yeah.

Tim: I mean, they're just, they're just like, "oh crap, like what do we do? I have an ATS, now what?" Again, I was talking with some people yesterday. I mean they're just literally starving for permission. What do I do for texting? What do I do for sources?

Chad: And then there are these chat bots, oh my god.

Tim: And then they bring chat bots, and you're just like ugh.

Chad: Oh Jesus, yeah. Let's focus on process first and then we'll start to plug technology.

Tim: I mean, I know you guys agree with this, if your recruiting sucks, that technology is just gonna allow to suck faster. So how do we first fix recruiting, and then let the tech help you.

Chad: Stop blaming your applicant tracking system and your platforms, first off, find out where your recruitment suck comes from.

Tim: It's the number one issue I give. You come in into our place center, "well our ATS sucks, we need a change."

Chad: No.

Tim: Well wait a minute, let's take a look at what you have. And it's usually decent tech, they're just only using 25%. I'm like, "if you become a super user of the tech you have now, do that first and then let's come back and talk, because they just don't do it.

Chad: The new book, once again-

Chad: The Talent Fix, get it at-

Chad: Okay cool.

Joel: Any blog, where can we find that?

Tim: If you Google Tim Sackett, I'm like the first 100 pages of the Googles. But there's also another Tim Sackett.

Chad: Of the Googles.

Tim: The Googles.

Tim: There's another Tim Sackett, he's a truck driver chaplain. I am not the truck driver chaplain, Tim Sackett. So if you run into Tim Sackett truck driver Chaplin, different guy.

Chad: Does he have a blog?

Tim: I don't know if he does. I've always though how cool would it be if I was the truck driver chaplain Tim Sackett I was both guys. Like as my super hero.

Joel: Thanks Tim.

Tim: Thank's guys.

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