Even Antarctica Has a Job Board, as Job Search Engines Expand Globally

Jul 28, 2010
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Looking for a job as a chef in the Antarctic? Try looking here. Or if you’re a recruiter looking for an experienced vuvuzela sales person, then this South African job site is one place to start.

Talk about global recruiting. In the last couple days, both Indeed and SiumplyHired have announced country-specific (or, in the case of Antarctica, continent-specific) job search sites.

SimplyHired added South Africa and Argentina to its roster. Indeed added 24 countries.

In five years the two job search engines have gone from start-up to grown-up, indexing millions of jobs a year. They’ve built enough of a presence to land themselves among the top 10-most-trafficked career sites.

Indeed’s new sites now give it a presence in a remarkable 53 countries. It offers its listings in 24 different languages, among them Norwegian, Turkish, Greek, and Russian.

SimplyHired, based in Silicon Valley, across the continent from its Connecticut rival, is now in 21 countries, providing its listings in 10 languages that include Chinese, Korean, German, and Spanish.

The two search engines now have a presence in more countries than CareerBuilder and just behind Monster. And Indeed may have the only job board devoted to Antarctica, which is almost certainly more for fun and marketing than anything else.

What’s particularly surprising about the two search engines is that after five years their business model is almost unchanged. Jobs are free to post and free to search. They don’t collect resumes and don’t require registration. You won’t find a single credit card come-on or vocational school ad. (At least, none I’ve ever seen.)

The two search engines survive on revenue from premium listings and  Google AdSense, which might bring in enough in a year to pay for outings like SimplyHired’s staff winery visit.

The fact that both companies have survived, and even grown through this global jobs drought, is evidence of the strength of the appeal of the pay-per-click model. Borrowing from the success of Google’s keyword ad program, the two sites allow employers to set a budget and pay only when a potential candidate clicks into the ad.

They’ve also been particularly clever in how they built networks. Where CareerBuilder and Monster pay for the traffic partnerships they have (the HotJobs acquisition is a traffic play), Indeed and SimplyHired offer tools that enable bloggers, niche sites, and in fact almost anyone, to offer jobs on their site. The publisher customizes the job feed to target jobs to the audience and they get to share in any revenue that is generated through their site.

In the early years, when both sites were scraping listings off other sites, including most of the major job boards, a concern was what would happen if the pay boards decided, as Craigslist did, to cut them off. Today, every job distribution service and most (if not all) ATS vendors send jobs directly to Indeed and SimplyHired.

With their traffic continuing to grow and their global footprint expanding, both sites are regularly included by employers as job posting destinations. It would almost unthinkable for a job board to turn off the feeds to either site. What would be the point? So many employers are sending their jobs directly to the search engines, that it would be a loss only to those who don’t.

What will be interesting to see is how the services evolve. While they’ve resisted collecting resumes up to now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that change in the next five years. That they haven’t yet is partly technical and mostly practical. Resumes would have changed the competitive dynamic. Without resumes they are a distribution network. Collecting and selling resumes makes them a direct job board competitor, which might have choked them off at the starting gate.

If you haven’t checked into either site in a while, you might be surprised at the tools and utilities they offer, including integrations with Facebook and LinkedIn. Even if you don’t need to post a job, use the sites for business intelligence. Running searches is a good way to keep up with the local economy and to track what the competition is doing.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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