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The Indeed.com Game: Are you as dumb as HR?

Pssst! Want a job? You might have to relocate to… Anonymous Proxy, Ohio (???)… Read on to learn how!

In The Bogus-ness of Indeed.com we discussed phony success metrics published by “the world’s #1 job site.” The point of that column is that Indeed implies it fills lots of jobs and finds jobs for lots of people (“140 million”) — yet never actually claims anything of the sort.

Bob, an Ask The Headhunter reader who uses no surname, just sent me something interesting — more bogus-ness from Indeed that’s worth a laugh. You can play along, too!

I call this game…

Are you as dumb as HR?

Bob suggests we visit I got a job! at Indeed.com. (Please open a new browser so you can play along without closing this page.)

indeed-i-got-a-jobWow! Look at all the millions of  success stories people have posted! Now click the button at the upper right of that page, labeled “Add your story.” Indeed gives you a form:

indeed-form

Cool form, eh? Well, to play this game, you don’t have to do any more work than the good folks at Indeed do to find you a job. Don’t enter any information. Leave it all blank!

Just click the button labeled “Share your story.”

BAM! You’re done! Indeed will congratulate you on your new fake job and add one to its counter.

indeed-total-stories-shared

Did you win?

You just helped Indeed fake out the next person that comes along!

Bob says, “What this means is that robots can actually click this and increase the job count automatically.”

Boy, those robots must be indeed-anonymous-proxyawfully tired! Indeed is helping people get jobs… where? Why, in Anonymous Proxy! (Hey, is that in Ohio?)

One of Indeed’s big marketing lines is about “How the world works.” Now you know how Indeed works. It doesn’t claim it filled all those jobs. You claimed you got all those jobs!

But wait a minute… You’re not as dumb as the HR departments that dump billions of dollars into job boards like Indeed every day! Yay!

But if you keep playing this game, you still lose — because you’ll keep wondering why you can’t find a job online!

Is there another way? Of course there is — don’t play games! There’s no faking it. There’s no automated shortcut to the job you really want. Check Ask The Headhunter In A Nutshell: The short course for 4 tips that include no shortcuts — or dumb online forms.

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13 Comments
  1. I noticed an entry that said, “I got a job in Anonymous Proxy!”

  2. @Jane: Thanks for the tip – I added the image from the Indeed website to this column. Still can’t figure out where Anonymous Proxy is…

  3. Love how Nick kept it humorous and light while disseminating pure truth of how a true job search is done and how it isn’t.

  4. Incredible! Just to clarify, let me explain more of the comment I made about “a robot increasing the count.” I’ve done a lot of work with web development and html forms with submitting data to databases. A simple little html word called “required” can be added to any form field to – you guessed it – require the user to add it. If it’s not added, no form submission allowed (you’ve seen it all the time, for example…”you forgot to enter a username” it will say). A common practice is to use this “required” to prevent automatic submission of forms. Without it, all hell breaks loose from various types of internet robots. So I’m pretty sure the people at Indeed understand the most basic HTML code because, well, they built Indeed. I think it’s safe to assume they have purposely left this code out to increase job counts, and more importantly, the perception of job hunting success.

  5. Small amendment – I do see now that my city (since I am logged in on Indeed) is default filled in. If I remove it, the “share your story” does not respond when I click it. However, I can add random jumble as the city and it works. And, as a last note, it is very easy for a bot to populate a form field.

    Overall, I really appreciate you taking the time to share this with your readers. Even though I still think Indeed is the best job board (in terms of usability), I think there is a lot of subtle deception. Most of it is spot on with your “bogus-ness” post.

    I think it’s just plain wrong that their success numbers can be manipulated. Depending on the nature of how untrue those numbers actually are, that could even be grounds for a legitimate lawsuit by those who pay Indeed for their services. However, I don’t think anything like that will happen. Employers WILL find someone because so many people apply. It’s the little folk like me, looking for a job, that have to make it through a hurricane of applicants because of Indeed’s absurd reach.

    Thanks for writing about my comment. Really fun!

  6. @bob: Thanks for submitting this interesting little Indeed faux pas. I tried to contact you via e-mail but it was returned undeliverable. Pls drop me a note at the address below.

  7. as an HR professional, who do you thinks keeps your worthless ass out of court every day?

    Dumb? I think not…

  8. Thanks for lifting the cover on yet another creative (disingenuous) game played by the jobs boards–designed to make their site look better by manipulating the numbers.

    @J Higgins: the point of this piece is about HR’s reliance on both the job boards and on ATSes and Taleo to attract quality applicants instead of letting the hiring managers do their own recruiting. God forbid that anyone actually talk to people who could be future employees.

    And unless you are an attorney licensed to practice in your state, I don’t want any HR person handling legal matters!

  9. @J Higgins: marybeth made a reasonable assumption about what you mean, but what you said makes no sense to me. Elaborate?

  10. @marybeth

    Nice comeback!

    I think we should all make our own job board and rake in the $billions ;-)

  11. @Nick: His comment did not make any sense to me either. There is nothing to indicate that there are legal issues, much less having HR serving as legal counsel (perish the thought) to keep some unnamed party out of court. If he’s offended by the assessment of the latest game, an HR version of (pick your favorite board game), then there is a very simple and cost-saving remedy—don’t pay for “talent” from Indeed or any other job board that purports to find prospective employees for you.

  12. @J Higgins: Well that explains a bit: I mean it is quite difficult to be effective in Recruitment playing junior barrister isn’t it?

    RWS

  13. The only good thing that indeed.com offers is a baseline for market rates of what jobs pay and location of jobs. I much prefer to apply directly to corporate websites. At least then I have a chance getting a real job.

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