When looking for a job -- especially in this economy -- job-seekers are hoping to reach as many companies as possible, which has helped job aggregators increase their popularity. Typing in a job type and location, an aggregator (the most popular are Indeed and Simply Hired) hunts the Internet to deliver matches from company Web sites and job boards large and small.
Traffic on aggregators has increased dramatically over the last year. In June 2009, Indeed increased its traffic 59 percent compared to June 2008 -- it is now the fourth most-trafficked job site, according to comScore, a company monitoring online traffic. Simply Hired saw its traffic increase 35 percent over the same period.
Indeed had the most page views of any job site, 171 million in July, according to comScore.
Paul Forster, CEO of Indeed, says people like the site's ability to hunt for matches in a variety of places, and since it has access to a larger database of jobs, it yields more relevant matches.
"Our aim is to aggregate jobs wherever they are on the Web and include them in our search results as long as they are fresh and real," he says, "whether they're from company Web sites, job boards, staffing firms, newspaper classifieds or associations."
Indeed includes a company's job listing among its matches for free, or a company can have its listing featured on Indeed on a pay-per-click basis. That pricing model also seems to have helped the site set itself apart from the rest of the career-portal crowd.
"[Pay-per-click clients] only pay for performance, so if we don't drive any relevant traffic to them, they don't have to pay anything," he says. "I think that's pretty compelling, compared to the traditional pay-per-listing pricing model, which obviously is not performance-driven at all."
CareerXroads co-founder Gerry Crispin says that, while aggregators are nice tools, people shouldn't think that the results from a job aggregator are inclusive of all the jobs on the Web.
"They lead you to believe that they have scraped every single job that exists in every single company in that space," says Crispin. "That's not true, not even close."
Tony Petrucci, former vice president of HR at Aramark and adjunct professor of HR at Temple University, predicts that aggregators will continue gaining in popularity.
"As they become more sophisticated, people will very rarely even go to a specific site anymore," he says. "They'll just go to [an aggregator] and say 'Here's what I'm looking for' and [the aggregator] will use its crawler technology to go out and search ... ," he says.