LinkedIn vs. Indeed: The Apply Button Smackdown!

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How seriously do we take site simplicity at ZipRecruiter?

So seriously, we have on multiple occasions REMOVED wholly built features because they weren’t receiving wide enough adoption by our customers. (Nationwide posting – we hardly knew you.)

Therefore while it may seem like a no-brainer to add LinkedIn and Indeed Apply buttons to the site, we took nothing for granted.

After a two-week A/B test last February, we reached statistical significance and concluded that adding the two apply buttons increased the overall volume of applications by 5%.

That was against a run rate of 200k+ applications, so a 5% lift was an additional 10k applications per month.

To put the magnitude of that win into perspective, were ZipRecruiter to try to buy enough traffic to generate 10k incremental applications it would  cost us between $20k -$30k. This was a big win.

After our first full month of running both buttons, the breakdown of application method on ZipRecruiter looked like this:


  • Indeed Apply: 6.9% (12,564)
  • LinkedIn Apply: 6.4%  (11,599)
  • ZipRecruiter Apply: 86.7%  (157,589)

Just one month later…it looked like this:


  • Indeed Apply: 10.1% (22,003)
  • LinkedIn Apply: 6.6% (14,377)
  • ZipRecruiter Apply: 83.3% (180,616)

The raw volume of applications through the Indeed Apply button shot up 75%!

We believe the substantial increase stemmed from the introduction of the “Indeed Apply” icon to Indeed organic results.

In essence, Indeed was calling out to job seekers that some jobs would have  a simple and trusted method for application. Clearly job seekers appreciated the option.

In June, things got silly. The raw volume of applications through the Indeed Apply button went up ANOTHER 66% over May.


  • Indeed Apply: 16.0% (38,610)
  • LinkedIn Apply: 5.4% (13,017)
  • ZipRecruiter Apply: 78.6% (188,747)

In just 4 months the Indeed Apply button utilization increased over 200% — from 12k applications to nearly 40k applications in a single month. What’s more, the bulk of these applications appeared to be incremental. More candidates out of the same volume of traffic.

So why did this happen? Clearly the ever growing use of mobile devices by job seekers (where they can’t upload a resume) will drive increased application through 1-click methods.

But why did use of the Indeed Apply button so dramatically outpace LinkedIn Apply?

We believe there are two causes.

  1. When someone gives their resume to Indeed, they do so with the explicit intent of finding a job or changing jobs. Even though LinkedIn has a multi-year head start collecting resumes, the majority of their users are not engaged in an active job search.
  2. Indeed is RAPIDLY building the size of their resume database. We asked Indeed for a run-rate and they told us they are adding more than 1 million new resumes a month. That’s a staggering volume of active job seekers set up to use the Indeed Apply button.

The final big question in our analysis was which type of candidates are using each apply method? We looked at 10 hard-to-fill job categories from June for an answer:

With both the Indeed and LinkedIn apply buttons available, the Indeed Apply button handily drove more candidates to skilled positions. The one category in which LinkedIn still maintains an edge is where you’d expect – Management and Executive roles.

As we said in last month’s job board rankings Indeed is not just growing fast, they are also innovating. The Apply Button is just one more way they’re attracting an ever-larger market share of job search on the web.

New to ZipRecruiter? Learn more now »

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