Indeed will now require all recruitment-based companies and accounts in the U.S. and Canada to sponsor their job listings, the site explains in a post on the policy, which took effect Jan. 7.
Indeed listed recruiting firms, placement firms, headhunters and staffing agencies as groups to be affected by the rule. Such companies will no longer be able to post free job listings that would then appear organically in Indeed's search results.
"Indeed gives preference to content posted directly by employers, and works to provide unique, good quality job advertisements that connects [sic] job seekers directly to employers," Indeed wrote.
When Indeed announced its impending policy change in an October blog post, it said it expected job seekers and employers to be the chief beneficiaries of the shift.
"Over time, our Search Quality team has identified a number of persistent problems with jobs from recruitment-based companies, including high rates of duplication, reposting, location blasting and inaccurate job descriptions," Indeed wrote. "Also important is ensuring companies don't use posting practices that unfairly inflate job visibility and adversely affect job seekers, such as reposting or posting jobs in locations other than where the employee will actually work." For Indeed, which has expanded its offerings in recent years, promoting equity and posting best practices while serving candidates' and employers' needs is essential.
Indeed's analysis found that job listings to be affected by the new rule "represent approximately 5% of applies but just 2% of hires on Indeed." Recruiters who pay up will still get above-the-fold visibility under a "sponsored" banner at the top of Indeed's search results. Recruiters can spend as much or as little as they want, but the cost of running an ad with the greatest reach could drive recruiters toward free online job boards like Google Jobs.
The announcement is indicative of the larger impact that low unemployment and a talent shortage has had on the industry. New tech companies have found opportunities to serve a growing pool of recruiters; in response to Indeed's announcement, tech company Jobiak launched an Indeed Swap program to cater to affected recruiters. Companies that offer similar programmatic solutions to employers' and recruiters' hiring problems could continue to spring up.