While technologies come and go like the wind in most fields, it seems as if the scenery has barely changed in the “published job board” landscape over these past five years or so.  For years now, I’ve been advocating to clients that they primarily rely on three websites for finding published/advertised job leads: SimplyHired, LinkedIn, and Craigslist.

What, you say?  I shouldn’t check other job sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder, or TheLadders?  No, because the SimplyHired.com website is an “aggregator” site that already scrapes the leads off these other sites, plus thousands more, giving you one-stop-shopping capability when it comes to finding advertised opportunities.  It’s roughly the equivalent of searching the web using a search engine like Google or Bing — versus hunting information down one website at a time.  The efficiency you gain is off the charts.

And yet, SimplyHired has a very worthwhile (and arguably more well-known) competitor, which is Indeed.com.  Over the past few years I’ve had quite a people express surprise when I’ve recommended using SimplyHired in lieu of Indeed — for the set of reasons I outlined in an article of mine here from a few years back.  Things change, though.  So I decided it was time to conduct a little updated research on this topic to make sure my advice was still accurate and appropriate, since, after all, searching for published job openings continues to be an important step involved in finding work these days!

How did I go about this?  I set up automatic “alerts” to track the number of leads found by each site in the Seattle area, over the last 10 days, related to five common professional job titles: Project Manager, Receptionist, HR Generalist/Business Partner, Marketing Director/VP, and Chief Financial Officer.  This seemed like a good way to get a baseline reading on how effective each site was in turning up opportunities.  And while I’ll spare you the full boring details, I ensured that each of the searches conducted was identical and accounted for all closely-related titles/abbreviations related to the roles in question.

The results of 10 days of tracking?

Receptionist Jobs: Indeed found 32 openings, SimplyHired found 65
Project Manager Jobs: Indeed found 112 openings, SimplyHired found over 200
Human Resources Jobs: Indeed found 12 openings, SimplyHired found 35
Marketing Executive Jobs: Indeed found 15 openings, SimplyHired found 55
CFO Jobs: Indeed found 0 openings, SimplyHired found 12

These results are consistent with what I’ve observed for years, which is that SimplyHired tends to find almost twice as many leads as Indeed.com.  It wins the “quantity” trophy hands-down, which I’m assuming is due to simply having a better technology or methodology for extracting leads from the far reaches of the web.  This being said, however, some folks might argue that the leads on SimplyHired aren’t quite of the same “quality” found on the other sites.  That the bigger numbers might be due to repeated listings or allowing more fishy-sounding opportunities to creep into the database.  Frankly, there may be some tiny grain of truth to this, but even after watching closely for this possibility I didn’t see any compelling evidence that the jobs on SimplyHired tend to be any less “real” or less legitimate, for the most part, than the ones found on Indeed.com.

So here’s where this leaves us.  If you want to run an absolutely thorough search for every possible job opening that gets published on the Internet, and are willing to fight through an enormous amount of overlap between listings, I’d set up daily search alerts on both Indeed and SimplyHired.  This way, you’ll be guaranteed not to miss a single opportunity that might be found on one site, but not the other.  This will also ensure less “lag” in terms of hearing about a particular opening, since it’s entirely possible that one of these sites will pick up a particular listing a day or two faster than the other one.

For most job hunters, however, my historical recommendation still stands.  If you’re looking for maximum time efficiency, I’d only run a search on SimplyHired and wouldn’t worry about Indeed and other aggregator sites, since while you might miss a few advertised openings every now and then, you’ll still find 95% of what’s out there — in half the time or less.  That’s pretty useful, especially when you consider that pursuing published ads is only one small part of effective job hunting — and you don’t want to spend all day on this activity at the expense of networking and other important lead-generation methods.

As always, I welcome your thoughts on this issue, especially from those of you who have been running searches/alerts on the above sites for a while now.  Do the results of my “experiment” seem consistent with your own observations?  Have you had more luck with one site versus another?  Any other tips or tricks for getting the most of these sites?

P.S.  One other significant thing I noticed in my efforts above.  It appears that SimplyHired has now started to pick up jobs from the LinkedIn jobs database once again, which it had stopped doing a year or two ago.  This is important, since LinkedIn is one of the top places employers post leads these days.  So while for now, I’d suggest you continue running a separate alert on LinkedIn to be 100% sure you don’t miss anything, the day may come when SimplyHired once again covers that base — allowing for one less daily alert to worry about!