HR Technology (Global Online HR SBU) INTERVIEW with the Head of the SBU
Business Segment Interview for Annual Report 2017 (October, 2017)
We help people get jobs
COO and Senior Managing Corporate Executive Officer, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.; Head of Global Online HR SBU; CEO, Indeed, Inc.
Securing and working in a job is one of the most important aspects of anyone's life regardless of background, culture, or geographic region. However, the ability of job seekers to identify available employment opportunities varies throughout the world, and is particularly challenging in countries with underdeveloped economies. In addition, job seekers often need to search multiple locations both online and offline to find relevant jobs, while employers often have difficulty finding qualified talent.
This problem became obvious to me a number of years ago when I was in Jakarta, Indonesia to create a travel booking website. Since the traffic was bad in the city, the government had passed a law requiring three people in each car to drive into the city. As a result, a new job was created called "professional hitchhiker" for people who were paid to be passengers in cars. As I spoke with the hitchhikers, it became clear to me that they would prefer an alternative to their current jobs but had no idea how to achieve this goal. Through this experience, I became interested in building a global job site to make it easier for people to find jobs. Considering the significance of having a job, I felt it was a very important goal to pursue.
I had been evaluating the landscape of the job market and discovered that most companies focused on employers. However Indeed, an online US job search site launched in 2004, was different. It was the only company entirely focused on simplifying job searches for job seekers and its founders were passionate about their mission to help people get jobs. Indeed's entire reason for being was to take a long, frustrating, disjointed process and dramatically simplify it by aggregating jobs into one place and enabling job seekers to search for jobs relevant to them. I led the acquisition of Indeed in 2012.
Indeed's aggregation technology is both advanced in its use of algorithms and machine learning and accessible based on a simple interface with two search fields—one for keywords and the other for location. The combination is extremely powerful and relies on cutting-edge technology to sort through massive volumes of data in a single repository for all jobs and deliver search results that are the most relevant to job seekers. The technology supports Indeed's mission: "We help people get jobs". I consider the founding engineers to be geniuses for developing such an innovative system. I was deeply impressed with the technology when I first encountered Indeed. I decided to join Indeed to make it Recruit's global online HR solution.
Targeting Greater Efficiency with the Power of Data
Indeed's strength lies in its ability to use machine learning to deliver the best results for job seekers. This type of AI, machine learning takes the huge amount of data generated by Indeed's 200 million monthly unique visitors*2, identifies behavioral patterns and uses this information to deliver more relevant search results over time. Roughly 25 terabytes of data are generated each day through the keywords that job seekers enter in the search box. The volumes of data enable better search results, and better search results attract more users, which has enabled Indeed to become the most visited job site in the world*1. This virtuous cycle or "flywheel effect", as we call it, gives us the unique ability to provide job seekers with an experience that cannot be replicated.
Indeed believes that it can use the volumes of data generated and analyzed through machine learning to help create efficiencies across the HR industry, beyond job advertising. Many aspects of the HR function are still being performed manually, and there is a huge opportunity to add value through automation and innovation.
*1 comScore, Total Visits, March 2017
*2 Google Analytics, Unique Visitors, Sept 2016
Delivering Value by Turning Ideas into Reality
Indeed's commitment to helping people find jobs extends to offline job searches as well. For example, Indeed has introduced an app called Job Spotter aimed at getting as many offline jobs online as possible. Anyone can use the app to take a picture of a help wanted sign, and Indeed includes any job online that isn't already on the site. Contributors of job content are compensated for participating in the program. This is a perfect example of how Indeed continues to pursue comprehensive job content to benefit job seekers. We also believe that it's important to test new ideas and challenge common wisdom and perceptions.
I believe that technology can help people achieve their goals and aspirations, and I hope to continue working with people who share in this belief. Our vision for Indeed is to use the power of technology to find global solutions to better serve job seekers and we strive to lead the industry in this area.
Managing Corporate Executive Officer, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.; Head of Global Online HR SBU; CEO, Indeed, Inc.
- April 1999
- Joined Recruit Co., Ltd. (currently Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.)
- October 2009
- Executive Manager, CAP* Promotion Office *CAP: Customer Action Platform, referring to the travel, restaurant, beauty, learning, and other lifestyle business categories
- April 2011
- Executive Manager, Web Strategy Promotion Office; Executive Manager, CAP Company Internet Business Promotion Office; Unit Executive of the R&D Unit
- April 2012
- Corporate Executive Officer
- September 2012
- Chairman, Indeed, Inc.
- October 2012
- Corporate Executive Officer, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.
- October 2013
- CEO & President, Indeed, Inc.
- October 2015
- CEO, Indeed, Inc. (current position)
- April 2016
- Managing Corporate Executive Officer, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.; Head of Global Online HR SBU (current position)