Indeed Conspiracy Theories

Grab your aluminum foil-covered cap and check-out our recent convo with Dennis Tupper, who thinks Indeed has delusions of staffing business grandeur. This is a Talroo exclusive.


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Joel: Feeling fine and cherry wine. What's up peeps? This is Joel Cheesman of the Chad and Cheese Podcast, joined today by Chad Sowash. Chad, how are you?

Chad : Hello.

Joel: And joining us today on the show for conspiracy theories is industry icon and veteran as well as Chad and Cheese super fan. Dennis Tupper. Dennis, welcome to the show.

Dennis: Thank you.

Joel: Well Dennis, let's get right into this thing. You've got some conspiracy theories about Indeed that you'd like to share. So I'm going to let you have the floor and Chad and I will unleash on you when you're done.

Dennis: Yeah, sure. So if you're paying attention in the industry for things long enough, you kind of noticed some trends and got a feeling that Indeed might be trending towards becoming more of a staffing firm than they are a job posting platform.

Joel: Which is when I interject the fact that I predicted that months ago. But, keep going please.

Dennis: So, I've just been paying attention to this for years now because when they came up with, I think it was Indeed Prime, I remember having our Indeed rep in the office for a meeting and then just literally turning the screen around and say, "What's that?" And it was an extremely uncomfortable for them and inquisitive for us at the time. It was just, "Oh yeah, it's just an experiment. It's only a couple markets," et cetera. And today, Indeed Prime is 50,000 plus candidates they boast, and in 80 different markets that went from eight to eighty. So is that a is that an experiment or is that a staffing product?

Joel: There are two companies that did the exact same fucking thing. Monster and CareerBuilder, and where the hell did they end up?

SFX: That is one big pile of shit.

Dennis: They didn't have Daddy Warbucks recruit behind them though, right?

Joel: Yeah, exactly right.

Dennis: They got deep pockets. Look at Google, they have deep pockets. They can kind of throw money around and test anything and fail, and it doesn't matter to the bottom line. If you look at what their recent release was in terms of earnings and stuff like that. I think Indeed Glassdoor, like 46% revenue increase.

Chad : Let's ask why, because I think once we ask why we can get into some of the more nitty gritty, but why is Indeed doing this?

Dennis: I don't if it's evil genius, long-term planning or something they stumbled into but, the way they built their business model is off of first job boards and then staffing and now they're really kicking off job boards and then staffing is getting treated differently than were in the past year and so I could talk about it at length and now staffing is being treated a little bit differently and then they're bringing on all these different products in terms of we can get into it with acquisition.

Dennis: It's like Syft, for gig and ClickIQ and Hire for Perm , which they're advertising that they're hiring, hiring specialists and recruiters. So, is that staffing?

Chad : Indeed is the stereotypical hit it and quit it playboy, aren't they?

Dennis: So, I don't know if it's some long-term plan but, you look at from inception, back in the early two thousands to present day, that would make a lot of sense if that's a long-term plan and it's being executed and very well. Or someone just got crazy-ass lucky in that luck keeps continuing. But, something tells me at a place that big with a backing like that, that it's probably more so a long-term plan.

Chad : I'm going to throw in a why, and you tell me if you think I'm right or not. I think a big why in this whole staffing strategy is Google for Jobs. And I think that Indeed realizes that the cash cow of clicks for job postings is waning and they need to roll the dice on some other businesses. They're already owned by a staffing company. So it's not a real long stretch to imagine that getting into the staffing business where, gee, that's kind of a profitable business anyway, is probably a good move in light of what Google's doing. Agree or not?

Dennis: Agree. You've got to differentiate yourself, especially from a giant, and you can get just completely eaten up if you don't differentiate yourself against Google for gosh sakes. Right?

Chad : And staffing is something I don't think Google cares a shit about.

Dennis: No.

Chad : There's no way that you're going to see Google reps recruiting.

Dennis: It's too much work. And if you look at what indeed does, they have the supply, they have millions and millions of relevant resumes. You can argue that the higher-end ones, they might not be as mature as a database for, they don't have that, they don't boast millions of resumes, but their legacy from like 2001. You got the demands. The demand's there. They have the contact info of all these companies, the hiring managers, procurement leads, owners, their names or phone numbers, all that stuff. And then they got the data. They can look at demand trends by company, by geo, by skill set. And then they have the infrastructure of ... they have a so many salespeople banging away at the phones. And their call centers in Tempe and Austin and wherever, where, those people have to have thick skin.

Dennis: Think about recruiters, you got to be banging the phones, working hard, sourcing. You gotta have thick skin, you got quotas, you got process, you got metrics. That's a staffing sales environment. They have everything in place where, I don't know if you saw the documentary or movie on Snowden, but he was just like, all this stuff was there. It just takes one person to flip that switch.

Joel: So companies have tried to do this before and as I'd said, Monster and CareerBuilder, they didn't have a recruit holdings backing. But they've tried this before. They've tried to edge into staffing. And in some cases, they went in with a sledgehammer and at least tried to break it up. Do you think that the big reason why Indeed's going to be a successful, or maybe they won't be, but do you think it all revolves around really the holdings company?

Dennis: I think that's a big part of it in terms of the ability to take risks and fail and still financially keep going. At the same time, I wasn't in the trenches back when Monster did it as I have been for the past like seven or so years, so I don't know as much about their attempts to do so, but I mean the backing is just unparalleled. And the types of products that are out there to help support it, weren't there now that are there now in term ClickIQ and Syft and stuff.

Joel: Here's the big question though. Why the fuck are staffing companies still fueling Indeed? Because they're paying them now. They used to have free organic traffic, all that other, everybody was happy. It was all rainbows and fucking unicorns. Then, they ripped all that shit away and said, you're going to pay for everything you get. But now taking a look at the growth of Indeed Prime and the prospect of going full staffing, why our staffing companies, why are RPOs, why are they fueling this specific competitor? That's exactly what Monster did. That's exactly what CareerBuilder did when they got on the heroin trip. Why are they doing it?

Dennis: I think it just comes a time when, what are we fueling, but what's our ROI and are you willing to sacrifice some revenue for them for revenue, what you get back? Which, okay, if-

Joel: That's so short-term dude, that is so short-term and so bullshit. You don't, if you're going to war with somebody, you don't feed them with ammunition. You don't pay for their big-ass bombs. And that's what staffing's doing.

Dennis: ... Yeah. If it's not big enough at the time, then it's okay to do it. If it continues to grow, then you've got to make a decision to not be a revenue stream for your competition. Short-term, long-term, once they interfere with you or become more of a threat then yeah, you got to make that [crosstalk 00:08:51].

SFX: Fuck this man, game over man. It's game over.

Joel: So let's stay on the Syft and the ClickIQ. Let's break those out a little bit. So Syft, obviously more focused in one specific area, where ClickIQ I think is an entirely different animal. That's a UK platform. Both of them are actually. So, what's the next step for something like Syft? Do they grow it in the UK or do they just go ahead and try to absorb that and bring it to the big money maker here in the U.S. and try to make it work here?

Dennis: Yeah, we're just a market where it's going to be more prevalent and I would think it'd be the U.S.-based so, it's a good acquisition to absorb over here and bring it into the biggest market that there is. And it was a good move, especially with gig where everything's going. There's so much there. All you had to do is just ... with them and buy it, implement it, watch it run.

Chad : What does Indeed look like in five years in your opinion?

Dennis: I think they could be more of a staffing company than they are. They'll look at everything they have interviewed as a product I think that they have there for personality and skill assessments. And they bought which can just pipeline more resumes. So I feel like they're