February 9, 2023

ZipRecruiter vs Indeed Comparison (2024)

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Tags: HR

ZipRecruiter and Indeed are two competing online job listing sites that are often the go-to sources for job seekers looking for their next opportunity. Both vendors allow employers to post open job opportunities with the core purpose of sourcing applicants; however, their approaches are vastly different. Finding the best job posting sites depends on employer preferences, such as budgetary restrictions or the amount and quality of sourced candidates.

Because both job sites are major players in the industry, employers may want to utilize both ZipRecruiter and Indeed to attract the most eyes to their open positions. Use our detailed comparison below to determine which vendor offers the features most important to you when prioritizing your recruitment efforts.

ZipRecruiter vs. Indeed: Which platform is right for you?

  ZipRecruiter Indeed
Pricing SaaS pricing model Social media pricing model
Candidate sourcing Job post distributor Job post aggregator
Candidate management Employer dashboard Employer dashboard and ATS hybrid
Applicant experience Apply in ZipRecruiter Occasionally have to apply on other job boards
Reporting Job posting insights Job market trends and job posting insights

ZipRecruiter: Best for companies needing a large candidate pool quickly

ZipRecruiter has a wide job posting distribution network of over 100 job boards. This means employers can post their open positions to ZipRecruiter, and ZipRecruiter automatically syndicates them to all of the job boards in its network.

ZipRecruiter also has an intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that parses applicant résumés, determines if they may be a match for the open role, and invites candidates to apply. For employers with massive hiring quotas that need to fill positions quickly, these features can amass a qualified candidate pool with little effort on the employer’s side.

Despite this, the sheer volume of applications that ZipRecruiter sources for an open job position can be overwhelming. This may be a turn-off for employers who need more time or resources to screen candidates closely. However, larger employers may appreciate the number of applications, as it allows them to be choosier in their selection without worrying about a lack of qualified applicants.

Pros

  • AI candidate matching and inviting
  • Job candidate ranking
  • Attentive customer service
  • Mobile app
  • Customizable job post templates
  • Applicant tracking system (ATS) integrations such as Greenhouse, JazzHR, Zoho Recruit, and Breezy HR

Cons

  • Unclear pricing
  • No skills assessments
  • ATS integration options only on pro plan
  • Does not post to competing job boards, like Indeed, Monster, or CareerBuilder

Indeed: Best for companies sourcing talent on a budget

Indeed is perfect for companies sourcing talent on a budget because it is free. Employers can post as many open positions as they like without buying into a subscription-based plan.

In addition, customers can access Indeed’s free job hiring insights tool, where recruiters can view trends in job-specific roles throughout the U.S. Such tools allow recruiters to strategically pinpoint marketplaces to focus their recruitment efforts without posting their open position on multiple job boards with reckless abandon.

There is one major drawback: Because Indeed is a free tool for both recruiters and job seekers, it is easy for job openings to get lost in the mix of competing job posts. Unless recruiters pay to get their job posting sponsored, Indeed may not be the right fit for companies needing to source talent for urgently needed positions.

Pros

  • Interview scheduling
  • Budget-controlled pricing
  • Company pages
  • Mobile app
  • Large candidate pool
  • Built-in ATS software functions

Cons

  • Does not distribute job posts elsewhere
  • Customer service limited to online help forums or through email
  • Google Chrome Indeed Recruiter Extension can only transfer data to a limited number of ATSs, such as Greenhouse, Bullhorn, and Workday

ZipRecruiter vs. Indeed: A detailed comparison

Pricing

ZipRecruiter and Indeed follow different pricing ideologies. Where ZipRecruiter follows other software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies in the sphere — that is, a subscription-based tier model — Indeed’s pricing is more like that of a social media company — as in, users must buy ad space to reach a wider audience. Which model works better depends on several factors, such as hiring needs, budgetary constraints, and the nature of the open role itself.

  Pricing  
  ZipRecruiter Indeed
Free Plan No Yes
Free Trial Yes N/A
Budget Control No Yes

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter has three main subscription tiers to choose from — Standard, Premium, and Pro — with an additional Enhanced Pro package for enterprises. The main difference between each tier is the number of reusable “job slots,” or how many unique job ads employers need running at once, and job listing prioritization.

ZipRecruiter does not disclose its pricing for each tier on their website. Instead, users must sign-up for ZipRecruiter’s 4-day free trial period on the Standard or Premium plans before ZipRecruiter offers them a quote. ZipRecruiter considers the following when offering their quote:

  • Number of unique job ads needed to post at once
  • Visibility of the ad (priority listing)
  • Number of users needing access
  • Industry
  • Job location

The chart below provides a detailed look at each subscription plan:

    ZipRecruiter    
  Standard Premium Pro Enhanced Pro
Pricing 4-day free trial 4-day free trial Quote Consultation
Employer Dashboard Yes Yes Yes Yes
Distribution to 100+ Job Sites Yes Yes Yes Yes
Track and Rate Applicants Yes Yes Yes Yes
AI to Proactively Reach Candidates Yes Yes Yes Yes
Placement in Texts and Emails No Yes Yes Yes
36 million+ Résumé Database Access No Yes Yes Yes
TrafficBoost Credits to Post to Top of Job Boards No No Yes Yes
ATS Integration No No Yes Yes
Enhanced Listings With Labels and Highlights No No No Yes

Enterprises must contact ZipRecruiter directly for a consultation to access the most advanced features. These include market analysis and a dedicated specialist to aid in creating a targeted recruitment campaign for the business.

Even though ZipRecruiter’s subscription tiers provide flexibility for employers depending on hiring urgency, it may not be the most cost-effective for small businesses without consistent recruitment needs. However, enterprises and companies in industries with high turnover may appreciate the strategic insights and customized recruitment plans offered in ZipRecruiter’s higher-price plans. These features guarantee a wellspring of candidates to justify the more costly investment.

Indeed

In contrast to ZipRecruiter, Indeed is free to use with no cap on the number of job postings. Instead, Indeed allows employers to dictate their needs by putting the pricing in their hands.

Indeed’s pricing model operates much like other social media platforms. All users, both employers and job seekers, can use the site for free without paying for a subscription plan. The drawback is that employers’ job postings can get lost in the mix of competing posts.

To stand out, employers must pay to sponsor their posts to promote them as targeted job ads. Employers pay per application received, with the amount based on job title, job location, and local market conditions.

The chart below details the additional benefits associated with sponsoring a job posting compared to posting it for free:

  Indeed  
  Free Sponsored
Pay per Application Received No Yes
Career Site or ATS Job Promotion No Yes
Job Post Shown in Relevant Job Seek Search Results Yes Yes
Screener Questions Yes Yes
Indeed Assessments (Job Skills Tests) Yes Yes
Indeed Interview (Virtual Interviewing) Yes Yes
Recruitment Dashboard Yes Yes
Job Post Performance Data Yes Yes
Hiring Insights (Labor Market Data & Trend Reports) Yes Yes
ATS Integration Yes Yes
Increased Job Post Visibility No Yes
Control Over How Long Jobs Stay Live No Yes
Post Same Role Statewide, Nationwide, or Multiple Locations No Yes
Instant Match (Invite Qualified Candidates to Apply From Generated List) No Yes

Despite having to pay for extra visibility with sponsored job posts, Indeed makes it easy for companies on a strict budget to control their job ad spending. To do this, Indeed allows employers to see an approximate amount they will spend on a job post in their area before sponsoring. Employers can then set an application limit for each job post and have 72 hours to reject any unwanted applications before Indeed charges them.

Small businesses with urgent hiring needs can take advantage of higher posting visibility through Indeed’s sponsored job ads while remaining in control of their finances. Companies would have to subscribe to higher-priced tiers with Indeed’s competitors to receive equivalent job posting visibility.

Indeed also offers additional products targeted at employers with larger budgets needing more advanced features. For an additional price, companies can use products like Indeed’s Hiring Platform for automations or Indeed Resume to access Indeed’s over 225 million résumé database. Therefore, employers do not have to sacrifice customizable features with Indeed if they want to improve the efficiency of their hiring process.

Which to choose for pricing?

Indeed. Here’s why: Employers have much more control over their budget with Indeed. Recruitment teams can start using the program for free and choose to sponsor their job ads as the urgency of their hiring needs increases.

Indeed allows users to put safeguards in place to limit their spending on each post but also gives them the flexibility to add more advanced features as the business scales. This way, businesses of all sizes win, as Indeed offers a more dynamic pricing scheme to accommodate their various needs.

Candidate sourcing

Although ZipRecruiter and Indeed are job boards in name, how they source candidates differ significantly. As a job distributor, ZipRecruiter focuses on getting job posts to appear in as many places as possible. Meanwhile, as a job aggregator, Indeed collects as many job posts from around the web as possible to appear in one place. Determining the best method for the business ultimately depends on how it plans to interact with each solution during the recruitment process.

ZipRecruiter

When an employer posts a job to ZipRecruiter, ZipRecruiter automatically distributes it to over 100 job boards across the web, except for competitors like Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. ZipRecruiter’s primary goal is to get as many relevant job seekers to see the job post as possible. To aid in this effort, ZipRecruiter uses AI to scan résumés from other job boards and invite qualified candidates to apply.

ZipRecruiter distributes job posts to over 100 job posts automatically, increasing the odds of a qualified candidate applying to the position.
ZipRecruiter distributes job posts to over 100 job posts automatically, increasing the odds of a qualified candidate applying to the position. Source: ZipRecruiter

Depending on the subscription tier, companies can leverage additional tools, such as TrafficBoost to promote the position further to subscribers of ZipRecruiter emails. This benefits large businesses with more significant hiring needs and businesses searching for a candidate in highly specialized roles, as the likelihood of a qualified candidate seeing their job post is far higher.

However, because ZipRecruiter casts such a wide net when searching for candidates and does not regulate the number of applications received, there is a potential for human resources (HR) teams to be flooded with applicants.

While ZipRecruiter offers screening capabilities to whittle down candidates, small businesses may need more than one person to evaluate incoming candidate applications. On the other hand, larger companies with the resources to effectively manage candidates may appreciate the steady stream of applicants to choose from if a new hire does not work out.

Indeed

Unlike ZipRecruiter, Indeed does not distribute job postings but aggregates them from across the web. In other words, Indeed functions similar to a job search engine. Job seekers can instantly see job openings from hundreds of online job boards, including specific industries such as engineering, medicine, education, or nonprofits.

This approach can be either a benefit or a drawback for recruiting teams. On the one hand, job aggregator sites like Indeed are attractive to candidates, as it functions as one-stop-shopping for open job opportunities. On the other hand, employers are at risk of getting their job postings lost in the mix because Indeed does not distribute their postings elsewhere.

Unless employers sponsor their job posting and use extra features like Instant Match to increase visibility, employers are limited to search result pages in either Indeed or Google. Companies looking to source candidates quickly may need to post their open positions to both a career aggregator site like Indeed and a job distributor like ZipRecruiter to increase their qualified applicant counts.

Which to choose for candidate sourcing?

ZipRecruiter. Here’s why: By posting to multiple other job search sites, ZipRecruiter garners more traffic to a job post, so employers can receive potential candidates quickly. In contrast, as a job aggregator, Indeed’s approach is more job seeker friendly, but this can hurt employers’ chances of their job opening sticking out among competing postings.

Candidate management

Neither ZipRecruiter nor Indeed are complete applicant tracking systems; the tools at employers’ disposal for managing candidates, once sourced, are limited.

Both solutions utilize an employer dashboard that collects job applicants in one location to be filtered and screened. Although both ZipRecruiter and Indeed leverage screening questions to assist in ranking qualified candidates, Indeed includes additional features like skills assessments and interview scheduling to streamline the hiring process.

  Candidate Management  
  ZipRecruiter Indeed
Employer Dashboard Yes Yes
Screening Questions Yes Yes
Skills Assessments No Yes
Interview Scheduling No Yes

ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter provides two ways for employers to screen candidates. The first is through screening questions developed by the employer. Employers can use these questions to reduce the number of applicants in their dashboard for manual screening. Screening questions can range from simple yes or no questions to free-form questions to understand a candidate’s experience better. Employers can even mark “deal breaker” to a screening question to automatically hide applicants who did not answer the question satisfactorily from the main employer dashboard.

The second way employers can screen candidates is by training ZipRecruiter’s AI. The AI parses résumés and places potentially great matches higher up in the employer dashboard over others. After reviewing the résumés and applications, employers can then rate the pre-sorted candidates to train the AI to select candidates to fit their criteria more accurately.

By rating applicants, employers can train ZipRecruiter’s AI to weed out unqualified candidates, so employers only have to focus their energies on the best matches.
By rating applicants, employers can train ZipRecruiter’s AI to weed out unqualified candidates, so employers only have to focus their energies on the best matches. Source: ZipRecruiter

Beyond these, employers must look through each candidate’s application manually. Unless integrated with an ATS solution, employers must reach out directly to candidates to arrange an interview or organize further assessments, background checks, or reference checks. Because of this, ZipRecruiter may not be cost-effective for small businesses that use ZipRecruiter as their only hiring tool, since the amount of time sorting and contacting candidates prevents them from focusing on higher-priority work.

Indeed

Compared to ZipRecruiter, Indeed bridges the gap between a regular job board and an ATS. Employers can create “screener” questions, similar to ZipRecruiter, to narrow down qualified candidates. Indeed also allows employers to select deal-breaker questions to deprioritize candidates who do not answer satisfactorily.

However, employers can further filter qualified candidates by layering a skills assessment onto the application process. With Indeed Assessments, employers have access to over 200 skills tests ranging from data entry to automotive maintenance and even a phone interview for applicants to record responses. Employers can then compare candidate applications, résumés, and assessments on their dashboard and advance the candidates that best satisfy their requirements.

Employers can gain a better understanding of each applicant’s qualifications by requiring them to take a skills test as part of their application.
Employers can gain a better understanding of each applicant’s qualifications by requiring them to take a skills test as part of their application. Source: Indeed

Indeed also includes native interview scheduling for candidates right from employer dashboards. This, along with Indeed’s skill assessments, screener questions, and filtering functions, helps employers quickly develop a shortlist of top candidates. Additional capabilities like messaging candidates, email templates, and note sharing to collaborate with internal stakeholders allow employers to streamline hiring without integrating third-party services.

Indeed gives employers the feel of a large-scale ATS without the associated cost. With native features to manage candidates from application to job acceptance, Indeed makes the hiring process more efficient, even for businesses with limited hiring needs.

Which to choose for candidate management?

Indeed. Here’s why: Indeed includes ATS functions, such as skills assessments and interview scheduling, that allow employers to quickly pinpoint qualified candidates to move to the next hiring stage. Moreover, because these features are all native to Indeed, employers don’t have to spend time or money bouncing from one solution to another to manage their recruitment process effectively.

Applicant experience

To reach suitable candidates, employers should consider what aspects are most important to job seekers when interacting with job listing sites. The best sites allow job seekers to quickly identify positions that fit their skill set, assist in making their applications stand out, and provide opportunities for engagement with hiring employers.

ZipRecruiter and Indeed are free for job seekers and include mobile applications to apply to positions from any device easily. Beyond this, ZipRecruiter and Indeed offer different functions to attract job seekers and make their experiences more seamless.

  Applicant Experience  
  ZipRecruiter Indeed
Mobile App Yes Yes
Company Pages No Yes
AI Assistant Yes No

ZipRecruiter

Because ZipRecruiter is a job distribution platform, when job seekers use ZipRecruiter, they are applying to positions initially posted to the site and not drawn from other job boards. This means job seekers can easily apply to open positions with the information uploaded in their ZipRecruiter profile, including any résumés and CVs, without having to repeatedly fill out the same information. For some job posts, job seekers also have the option to apply with one click, further speeding up the application process.

Job seekers can also take advantage of ZipRecruiter’s personal recruitment assistant, “Phil.” A personification of ZipRecruiter’s AI technology, Phil assists job seekers during the hiring process. Phil automatically emails candidates job alerts, optimizes profiles by adding skills based on their résumés, and even pitches top job seekers directly to employers.

ZipRecruiter’s personal recruitment assistant Phil notifies job seekers when employers rate them a “great match,” so they are always aware of where they stand in the hiring process.
ZipRecruiter’s personal recruitment assistant Phil notifies job seekers when employers rate them a “great match,” so they are always aware of where they stand in the hiring process. Source: ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter’s main appeal to job seekers is its time-saving capabilities, allowing candidates to apply for several jobs with minimal effort. ZipRecruiter’s AI also provides job seekers with a steady supply of open opportunities fitting their skill sets, so they do not have to search for opportunities themselves. As a result, job seekers needing to find a new position fast have a better chance using ZipRecruiter, as it is actively working to find job seekers a role, even when they are not using the platform.

Indeed

In contrast to ZipRecruiter, Indeed’s approach to applicant experience is slightly more nuanced. For example, Indeed does not have an AI pitching job seeker profiles to employers. Moreover, as a job aggregator website, the application process on Indeed can be lengthy for job seekers, as Indeed may direct them to apply on company websites. Instead, because Indeed has been a staple online job board since 2004, it relies on its brand recognition to pull in job seekers and recruiters alike.

Since it is harder for job seekers to apply to many jobs at once, Indeed focuses on providing insights to candidates, so their applications are more intentional. For example, unlike ZipRecruiter, job seekers can see how many days since employers posted a job on each quick summary they see of a job on their homepage, without having to click and scroll through the entire ad. Job seekers can then quickly screen out stale job posts and focus on applying to jobs where there is a greater chance that employers will see their applications.

Like its sister company, Glassdoor, Indeed provides job seekers access to company pages to read company reviews, view open job positions, and compare salaries and benefits. Therefore, even if job seekers have to spend more time searching for job opportunities on Indeed, the platform allows them to make informed decisions during their job search instead of blindly applying to as many positions as possible.

Companies can claim and stylize their own company page on Indeed to provide job seekers a place to learn and engage with their business before applying to an open role.
Companies can claim and stylize their own company page on Indeed to provide job seekers a place to learn and engage with their business before applying to an open role. Source: Indeed

Which to choose for applicant experience?

It’s a tie. Here’s why: Because both platforms are free for job seekers, they are likely to use both during their search. Moreover, each offers beneficial services to job seekers — from ZipRecruiter’s AI to improve efficiency to Indeed’s company database for insight into a business’s culture. If they can, companies should consider utilizing both platforms to source the most complete candidate pool.

Reporting

Unless integrated with an ATS, both ZipRecruiter and Indeed offer little in the way of reporting analytics. However, through each platform’s respective recruiting pages, employers can gain fundamental insights into the performance of their job postings, such as how long a job post has been active and the number of candidates who applied.

Here’s a quick overview of the metrics available in each platform:

  Reporting  
  ZipRecruiter Indeed
Job Market Trends No Yes
Job Performance Pages Yes Yes
Job Post Impressions No Yes
Click-Through Rate (CTR) No Yes
Number of Applicants Yes Yes
Spending per Job N/A Yes

ZipRecruiter

Despite its price, ZipRecruiter’s reporting capabilities are sparse. Unless investing in a market analysis with specialists in ZipRecruiter’s enterprise solution, smaller businesses can access a basic report showing job location, date posted, TrafficBoost credits used, number of applicants, and conversion percentage.

ZipRecruiter’s Job Performance Page provides a snapshot of each job post, so employers can determine the success of their hiring campaigns.
ZipRecruiter’s Job Performance Page provides a snapshot of each job post, so employers can determine the success of their hiring campaigns. Source: ZipRecruiter

ZipRecruiter provides a glimpse of salary ranges for similar positions based on the job and location when initially posting a job ad. Beyond that, employers may need to integrate with an ATS solution to produce more meaningful metrics on talent acquisition, such as average time to fill, time to hire, or cost per hire.

Smaller companies without an ATS needing actionable insight into their recruitment efforts may have to resort to manual performance tracking methods. ZipRecruiter may not be the answer for companies requiring specific metrics to outperform their competition through a strategic hiring campaign without a large-scale budget.

Indeed

Employers can access Indeed’s Hiring Insights as long as they have a free account with Indeed. Hiring Insights gives employers a macro-view of how a particular job is doing across the U.S. to stay ahead of the competition. For example, employers can review data such as an insights map to compare talent pools, trendlines, competition scores, average salaries, and top search terms.

Indeed’s Hiring Insights gives employers the data to review labor statistics across the U.S., including the number of job seekers over a set period of time.
Indeed’s Hiring Insights gives employers the data to review labor statistics across the U.S., including the number of job seekers over a set period of time. Source: Indeed

For more granular insights, employers can use Indeed Analytics to gauge the performance of posted job ads. Compared to ZipRecruiter’s job performance page, Indeed’s analytics are considerably more thorough. In addition to location and number of candidates, employers can see data such as impressions, click-through rates, and cost per click. Companies can then easily weigh the cost of their hiring efforts against the value of the applicants they are collecting and adjust hiring tactics accordingly.

Which to choose for reporting?

Indeed. Here’s why: With free access to job market trend reports, Indeed makes it easy for employers to research and create targeted hiring campaigns before they even post a job ad. Unlike ZipRecruiter, Indeed gives employers the opportunity to post job ads in areas that will make the most impact without spending time and money promoting them elsewhere.

ZipRecruiter vs. Indeed: Ready to choose?

ZipRecruiter and Indeed are two of the most prominent online job board players, and it’s not hard to see why. Because both platforms are free to use by job seekers, they attract substantial talent pools for employers to optimize their recruitment efforts. As a result, employers may use both sites to collect the most diverse candidate pool. Of course, whichever platform an employer starts with depends on what is most valuable for their recruitment efforts: ZipRecruiter for efficiency or Indeed for value.

While ZipRecruiter and Indeed are great ways to advertise your open job positions, their candidate management and reporting capabilities are rather simplistic. For more advanced features, check out our Applicant Tracking System Software Guide to browse solutions to enhance your hiring processes.


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