Selling stuff to HR isn’t easy.

It’s a market filled with people who are inundated with phone calls, are risk averse and budget constrained. Not a good recipe for quick closes. In order to cut through the clutter, vendors that tend to be the most aggressive tend to also be the most successful.

Indeed Job Spotter LogoIt’s not a popularity contest, and knows this all too well. At the expense of upsetting a few apple carts, the company is well-known to have a very aggressive sales team. Like it or not, the tactic built a billion dollar valuation in less than a decade.

By now, I’m sure the sales team has contacted everyone in Hoover’s database many times over. But that’s easy. What’s difficult for job sites to do is pitch the mom-and-pop on Main St. The nail salon. The corner pub. The dry cleaner.

These businesses pay for job postings too. The problem is it’s not in a quantity that would get the attention of a global site like Indeed easily. No business wants a well-paid sales person prospecting organizations that only hire a few people a year. It’s not cost effective.

Indeed, however, has come up with a brilliant solution to sell to small businesses without one sales person having to raise a finger. Enter their new Android app, Job Spotter. As their landing page describes:
Indeed's Job Spotter App

Job Spotter is an awesome way to explore your community and earn redeemable points, all in the name of helping local businesses.

If you spot a hiring sign, take a picture of it and the storefront, and submit it to Job Spotter. Submit enough photos to earn the most points, and we’ll give you an Amazon gift card in exchange.

Submit as many hiring signs as you want. There is no limit to the points you can earn!

Basically, people who download the free app can go around town and take pictures of Help Wanted signs in the windows of local businesses and submit them. Each sign uploaded is worth 50 cents in Amazon gift cards.

When I first read about the app, I thought “No one is going to take pictures of Help Wanted signs. They’re too busy playing Pokemon Go.”

Boy was I wrong.

In a little over a month, the app already has over 100,000 downloads, 400 reviews representing a 4.4/5 stars, and almost 300 G+’s. Yes, Google Plus still lives. One reviewer responded, “Easy-peasy! Love it! Very simple to use, never had a problem with app. If you contact support, they are fast on responding to questions and suggestions. Great way to earn Amazon gift cards.”

So why is this so brilliant?

Well, all these Help Wanted pictures represent sales leads. It’s probably safe to assume the data uploaded by app users are regularly filtered down to the sales people at Indeed. The information lays the groundwork for successful, warm call. “Hi, I’m with and I noticed you have a Help Wanted sign in your window. I’d like to tell you how we can help you fill your open position.”

Not only is the strategy incredibly innovative, but so is the math. Indeed is getting a warm lead for the whopping investment of 50 cents. Fifty freakin’ cents, people. You can’t even get clicks for 50 cents anymore, let alone warm leads.

Historically, a company in the HR tech space that has grown to the level of success that Indeed has, for as long as it has, starts to get fat and lazy. It’s nice to see such out-of-the-box thinking still exists in the confines of a yawn-inducing industry like human resources.

About the Author

joel-cheesman-headshotJoel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead.

He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an iOS app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is the father of two children and lives in Indianapolis. Yes, he’s on Twitter and LinkedIn.