Indeed University: Cultivating the next generation of Indeed tech leaders
About the program
Indeed University (IU) is an immersive onboarding program at Indeed, which brings together newly hired engineers from around the world to teach them about data-driven decision making. Teams have the opportunity to build and launch startups within Indeed that can create WOW experiences for job seekers and employers. They are trained in the company's product design philosophy, and are inspired to conceive, develop and pilot products that help people get jobs.
Creating WOW Experiences
Indeed's principle of creating WOW experiences starts with addressing the needs of the customers thoughtfully, with an authentic interest in the person and the problem that we are trying to solve for them. At Indeed University, we teach participants to start with the customer and not just create solutions for solutions' sake. They spend their first weeks of IU learning about the jobseekers and employers through product talks and user experience panels. We then have them brainstorm potential problems and solutions. We provide them with knowledge of what other product teams at Indeed are working on and encourage them to think of creative new ways to solve problems. As the program progresses, IU participants get a chance to get to know their customers through ongoing testing, marketing campaigns, and reaching out to directly to learn about users' needs. There is a constant feedback loop, and we encourage participants to iterate on their products based on that feedback.
Bringing Indeed University to Tokyo & Seattle
After three successful summer sessions of Indeed University in Austin, this year Indeed introduced two IU sessions in Tokyo and Seattle to accommodate new hires graduating at different times of the year. During each 12-week session, Indeed engineers from Austin, Tokyo, Seattle, San Francisco, and Hyderabad came together to reimagine the Indeed experience. Some highlights of program included:
- Gong Projects, where IU participants test potential improvements to the Indeed job search interface. They develop test ideas, learn about target audiences and test buckets, and move through the development workflow. When a test is live, everyone gathers around as the project lead rings the gong in celebration!
- Leadership Talks, which offer IU participants the opportunity to attend presentations from experienced tech leaders and members of the Senior Leadership Team to learn more about Indeed products, strategy, as well as advances in HR technology.
- Developing Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) by brainstorming solutions to solve real problems, and developing the strongest concepts into MVPs which are eligible to eventually become Indeed products. Teams test, analyze, and iterate with coaching by senior leadership, including Indeed's CEO, CTO, and President.
- Social events for team building and celebrating successes, and to keep everyone motivated and connected.
Creating a learning engine that is developing product leaders
Indeed University isn't just for new hires. It's also an opportunity for seasoned tech employees to play a management role as IU Leads, helping mentor new hires through all phases of the program. They coach individuals, assist teams with building and delivering products, and help organize IU infrastructure and events. Leads selected from Product, Engineering, and Quality Assurance teams also promote IU's core tenants of:
- Intrapreneurship - Indeed's program follows a startup business model, providing newly hired employees the opportunity to launch their own ventures within the company.
- Meritocracy of Ideas - Participants are tasked with convincing Indeed staff to join them on their project, and the company encourages more experienced staff to also sign up as mentors.
- Autonomy: Participants simply need the backing of two colleagues to progress a project, which has helped prevent ideas from being prematurely terminated in their infancy.
One Indeed University concept that exceeded expectations was Job Spotter, a mobile app that allows users to submit photos of help wanted signs and uploading those "offline" jobs to Indeed's website. Today, a large portion of the job economy still does not exist online as many businesses still rely on "Help Wanted" signs placed in their businesses' windows as the main way to reach potential hires. Job Spotter is a solution which makes it possible for Indeed to add those jobs to its job search site. It facilitates more access to jobs that would have otherwise not be online, so that job seekers can find them, while also giving those businesses' more visibility for their jobs so that they are able to reach more candidates. Since its launch in 2016, the Job Spotter app has become available across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.