Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Chris Hyams, president of Indeed, the world's largest job site.

Chris Hyams, president of Indeed, the world’s largest job site.

Indeed started out in 2004 to build a better search engine for jobs.

Today, Austin-based Indeed is the world’s largest job site attracting 200 million unique monthly visitors.

Indeed is focused on how people will find jobs in the 21st century, said Chris Hyams, its president.

“More people find jobs on Indeed than anywhere else,” Hyams said.

On Friday morning, the home-grown company celebrated a move into its new expansive headquarters at 6433 Champion Grandview Way. At a press conference, Indeed employees wore blue shirts with the company’s slogan “I help people get jobs.” An ice sculpture of the Austin city skyline sat on a table in the company’s new cafeteria along with another table filled with blue and white cupcakes.

IMG_7259The event included a ribbon cutting with key Indeed employees and executives, City Councilwoman Sheri Gallo, Mayor Steve Adler and Tony Budet, chairman of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Indeed occupies an entire building and a few floors of a second building for a total of 220,000 square feet. The company with 500 employees on site plans to hire another 1,000 employees within the next three years, said “Deko” Hisayuki Idekoba, its Chief Executive Officer.

“Deko” Hisayuki Idekoba, Indeed's Chief Executive Officer.

“Deko” Hisayuki Idekoba, Indeed’s Chief Executive Officer.

In 2012, Recruit, a Japanese human resources company, bought Indeed for an undisclosed price. At that time, the company had 350 employees globally and less than 100 in Austin. Now the company has 2,500 employees globally. Indeed operates as an independent subsidiary of Recruit. Austin is the main site for the company’s engineering and development operations. It also has an office downtown at 804 Congress with 100 employees.

The growth of Indeed mirrors the growth of the city of Austin, said Mayor Adler.

“Everyone who comes to Austin knows the Austin they came to,” Adler said. He arrived in 1978 when Austin was the nation’s 42nd largest city and it only had two tall buildings downtown. Today, those two buildings are indistinguishable from all the mammoth skyscrapers that have since been built and Austin is the nation’s 11th largest city. It is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country for the past four years, growing 30 percent faster than its nearest competitor, Adler said. More than 100 people move to Austin every day.

“So goes, so goes Austin,” Adler said.

Indeed's President Chris Hyams gives Austin Mayor Steve Adler an Indeed company shirt.

Indeed’s President Chris Hyams gives Austin Mayor Steve Adler an Indeed company shirt.

Austin is innovative, young, hard driving and growing, he said.

“Austin is the music, Barton Springs, UT,” Adler said. “It’s a culture, a creative entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a city where it’s OK to fail.”

And Austin is a little bit weird and that’s good because it’s linked to creativity and innovation, Adler said.

And it’s going to continue to grow.

From Indeed’s job searching data, the company can see 50 percent of the searches for Austin jobs come from people living outside of Texas, Hyams said.

And Indeed’s new headquarters are built to accommodate that growth. Its work space features all kinds of amenities. It offers a full service cafeteria with a chef on a site to create healthy meals daily with entrees like wild boar and herb roasted orzo with lemon. It also has a sandwich bar and a salad bar. And the food staff created an app for workers that allows them to log on and order their meal for quick pick up so they can eat at their desk or on the run.

Indeed also has a fully stocked snack room with goldfish crackers, kind bars, oranges, apples, chips, nuts, pretzels and refrigerators loaded with Topo Chico, Red Bull, Perrier sparkling water, iced tea, Monster energy drinks and more.

IMG_7277In addition to the cafeteria, Indeed features a game room with ping pong tables, pool tables and shuffle board and a drink bar for lattes and smoothies. They even have a gong which they bang when an engineer finishes a coding project.

And in a separate building, a studio offers classes daily including yoga, meditation, Pilates, bootcamp and more. And a full service gym is equipped with treadmills, stationary bicycles, boxing gloves and bags and weight lifting equipment.

Employee perks help from a recruiting and retention perspective, Hyams said.
“We have incredibly low turnover,” Hyams said.

IMG_7279In Indeed’s main building, the first floor is public space along with the cafeteria and game room. The second through fourth floors are workspaces with wide open floor plans filled with standing and sitting desks along with lounge areas and conference rooms.

And no one has an office, not even the executives. They all work at desks on the open floor and everyone has a view of the oaks trees and rolling hills of the Austin hill country.

“We have a work culture that is very open and collaborative,” Hyams said.

Each floor is named after a different continent and the conference rooms bear the names of the country’s capital cities. For example, the Asian floor has conference rooms in the West wing named after Islamabad, Pakistan and Kabul, Afghanistan and the East wing includes conference rooms named after Beijing, China and Seoul, South Korea. Since Indeed operates in 60 countries worldwide, the international theme fit with the company’s culture, Hyams said.

IMG_7302And each conference room has a country flag above the door and wallpaper with a special city outline with major landmarks designed by an Austin artist.

Amid all the fun, Indeed is a big business. It makes money by selling advertisements on its site to highlight particular jobs. Its customers are recruiters and companies that pay to place job ads. It has more than 300,000 clients last year and includes everyone from Joe’s Pizza to Fortune 500 companies, Hyams said. The site aggregates all kinds of job listings from existing job boards, newspaper classifieds and other sites online. It also contains a database of 60 million resumes from people worldwide.

The job seekers are “everyone from long haul truck drivers to chief financial officers,” Hyams said. It is not focused on any particular niche or industry.

Indeed’s competition isn’t another online job site, but it’s the 50 percent of jobs that are not currently listed online, Hyams said. And Indeed is working on getting those listings on line, he said. Last summer, 55 college students attended Indeed University at the company. They formed 11 startups in 12 weeks all around the hiring space. Indeed adopted one of the ideas and now it regularly contributes to the company. A group of students came up with a mobile app to take pictures of help wanted signs posted on company doors and bulletin boards. The app tags where the picture was taken and the address of the business and uploads the info to the job site.

“We really think a lot about how will people find jobs in the 21st century,” Hyams said.