Tech & Work

Indeed drags help wanted signs into the internet age with new crowd sourcing app

Indeed's new Job Spotter app lets users take photos of help wanted signs, then upload them to Indeed's site. Users also earn rewards for each approved post.

According to Indeed, a large portion of job postings never make it to the internet. For employers this means less exposure, and for job searchers it means their dream job might completely pass them by.

SEE: 10 cities in the United States where software engineers can get paid top dollar (TechRepublic)

Job searching is increasingly done online. If you've been in the market for a new position you've probably spent time searching on the internet, which is where sites like Indeed come in. Indeed and sites like it allow you to search for employment around the country, but with one big catch: employers are the ones who have to do the posting.

Indeed estimates that millions of jobs are currently advertised only in store windows, and the Job Spotter app is its solution to that problem.

Now available on Android, Job Spotter allows anyone with a smartphone to snap photos of help wanted signs. The photos are geotagged, uploaded to Indeed's servers, and run through Google cloud vision APIs to check for duplication, clarity, and correct location. Once the photos are approved the posting goes live on Indeed for anyone searching the area.

The caveat for anyone trying to search for these offline jobs is that they're all mixed into a "help wanted" category. If you aren't searching for that particular term you may not see the results at all.

SEE: 10 mistakes to avoid when seeking a new job (TechRepublic)

If you do search for "help wanted" you might not immediately know that the postings came from the Job Spotter app either. The only indication is that all the posts say "Apply in person." Open up the post and you'll see the photos the app user took along with the geotagged location, but that's about it.

In some cases the signs are perfectly legible, so you can find the phone number, web site, and other important details. In other cases the clarity might not be the best, and all you have to rely on is the address that the app tagged.

Wondering why you should use the app?

The Job Spotter app isn't a job search engine: it's purely for uploading photos of help wanted signs. That's probably not enough to motivate most people, and Indeed knows it. That's why it's baked rewards right into the app.

For every approved job post you submit you earn 50 points. At 100 points you earn a dollar in Amazon gift card credit, which pays out at the end of every month. Indeed doesn't limit the points you can earn, which means you can actually get some pretty big payouts if you hit the street and take pictures!

Indeed plans to eventually add a "cash out" option so users can collect their earnings at any time. There's also plans to add other retailers to the mix too, so Amazon won't be your only option if you'd prefer to shop elsewhere.

Still beneficial for job searchers and business owners

If you're willing to wade through job postings that don't give much description the app is a great tool. A lot of businesses don't have the time, resources, or know-how to create online postings and this is their opportunity to bridge that gap.

Business owners can benefit from the app even if they don't want to snap a bunch of pictures to earn gift cards. Taking just a couple of pictures for your job posting can mean the difference between a couple of applicants and a huge online pool to choose from.

Job spotter is available on Android, and an iOS version should be coming out soon.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  • If you're a business owner looking for low-level, temporary, or part-time help Indeed's Job Spotter can give you exposure to applicants who may never have walked by your business on their own.
  • Looking for a good way to earn some Amazon spending cash? Amazon gift codes can be redeemed in any small amount, so even if you earn a couple bucks a month you could eventually earn a discount on something you've been wanting to buy.
  • Getting jobs in front of searchers isn't every business' strong suit. By using this kind of crowd sourcing technology to expand visibility businesses and candidates can benefit greatly.

Also see

Indeed.com

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox