Programmers get so many job offers, a site made a special spam filter to help them cope

Decisions, decisions.
Decisions, decisions.
Image: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Programmers face an embarrassment of riches when looking for a new job. In fact, the abundance of offers can be so overwhelming that it becomes a problem in itself. (A good sort of problem, but a problem nonetheless.)

Job search site Indeed learned this when it launched a service called Indeed Prime in December 2015. It is meant to help programmers filter the flood of solicitations from recruiters so that they can only get job offers they are interested in. The machine-learning experts Indeed hired to work on the service were themselves inundated with job offers from recruiters, since machine learning is one of the hottest areas of tech right now. “You can call it a homegrown problem,” says Raj Mukherjee, senior vice president of product at Indeed.

Demand for tech jobs is rising fast. Tech jobs are the third-largest category in “hard to fill” roles on Indeed’s platform, behind sales and management. (Indeed defines “hard to fill” roles as those that are vacant for over 60 days.) In London and New York, tech jobs represent 10% of all Indeed job postings so far this year, making them the first- and second-most sought roles in those cities, respectively. Within tech, certain roles are especially hot, like machine learning. Here’s the breakdown:

Mukherjee claims the special job filter is working. He says candidates who are contacted by recruiters through Indeed Prime reply 90% of the time, a big win since recruiters’ emails are usually ignored by programmers. “As a recruiter, I would rather get a ‘no’ and know I don’t have to waste time, so I want a response,” Mukherjee says.

Indeed’s business, connecting job seekers to employers, is itself in the spotlight. Google is gunning for it with a new product called Google For Jobs that will launch soon. It will be a search engine that collects and presents job postings from other sites within Google search results. Google for Jobs will rely on aggregating content from major job boards, such as LinkedIn, GlassDoor, and Monster.

Mukherjee says Indeed will not give Google access to its job postings. “We have not decided to give them our jobs,” he says.

Indeed wants to preserve its role mediating job seekers and employers, Mukherjee says, and he argues that it can do so better than Google. “People don’t want to go to a general purpose search engine for jobs,” he says. Indeed’s calculation is that users will rely on it as a specialist site, just as people looking for local listings go to Yelp, and travelers turn to TripAdviser. “They both exist,” he says.