Austin-based Indeed is increasing its Seattle staff by about 50 percent this year.
What: Indeed, a job-search website
Who: Chris Hyams, president of Indeed
Speeding in Seattle: Indeed, an Austin, Texas-based company, set up an engineering office in Seattle in 2012. That office, the company’s first engineering center outside its headquarters, now has 80 employees. Indeed plans to add about 40 people by the end of the year. Indeed is one of a large and growing list of tech companies that have set up shop in Seattle, partly to grow from Seattle’s pool of software developers.
Jobs for everyone: Indeed gathers data from online job boards around the world to help workers find jobs by putting all the information in one place. Company President Hyams said the 3,000-person operation is still run very much like a startup. Small groups work on individual projects and each person gets a chance to build a big chunk of the end result.
After-college courses: Indeed hires heavily from universities around the world, Hyams said, especially into its engineering ranks. Last year, Indeed started an annual program for recent grads called Indeed University. The 12-week course brings all new hires to Austin and challenges small teams to create a product for Indeed using whatever idea they want and a $20,000 budget from the company. “The smartest thing we did was not say ‘no’ to any idea,” Hyams said.
Worth the pay out: Hyams figured Indeed University would be worth its expense of about $250,000 last year if just one product idea continued on, such as a service telling you what percentage of people applying for the same job have a bachelor’s degree.
Virtual help wanted: The most successful idea to come from the first year of Indeed University was Job Spotter, a service that finds physical “Help Wanted” signs in windows and puts them online. An Indeed University team realized that people working in many industries, from restaurants to retail, weren’t finding many jobs online because a lot weren’t posted on job boards, but rather with old-fashioned signs. The Job Spotter Android app incentivizes people to take pictures of help wanted signs and send them to Indeed. The company then puts them online with details like business name, contact information and location. People who send in pictures earn points that can be traded in for gift cards.
Global growth: Indeed was bought by the Japanese company Recruit in 2012 and now operates as an independent division. Indeed brought in revenue of $700 million in 2015, a 60 percent increase over 2014.