Brendan Sterne can be standing in line at a local Starbucks when people see his company T-shirt and come up to him to say thanks.
“You helped me get my job,” they say, giving Sterne more evidence that he and his company, Indeed.com, are making an impact on the world.
Indeed, which began its job website in 2004, has grown into a huge player in employee hiring. It operates in more than 60 countries and more than 180 million people visit the site every month. It is also the busiest online job site in the United States.
The company is one the “Notable Newcomers” in the American-Statesman’s 2016 Top Workplaces project.
Sterne manages an engineering team in Austin that develops new features for Indeed’s constantly evolving website. He joined the company three years ago and has spent his career working for various tech companies in Austin.
The attraction to Indeed, he says, was the sense of mission.
“We are helping people find work,” he said. “It is very important. People who know the website love the site and they tell me ‘you helped me find my job.’ It happens and it’s nice.”
Sterne says his company is on a quest to keep making its site more powerful, more effective and easier to use.
It can implement a dozen or more experimental features into the site at one time and then track which ones attract users and are more effective at leading job seekers to job interviews.
Sterne describes the company as being very “data-driven.”
“We will take ideas for anywhere in the company and try them on the website. We use analytics to test new things. We test a lot of new things and the data will say what is good for job seekers. Our users will tell us what works and what doesn’t work.
“That idea permeates the whole company and makes the company kind of humble, from the leadership on down.”
Sterne and some of his team members regularly travel across town to the Launch Pad Job Club, which is a nonprofit resource that helps job seekers with the skills they need to find jobs.
His team will meet with 10 or more people at the job club who are looking for work and using its site.
“We are getting feedback. Even when it is not positive, we are learning and experiencing the frustrations of looking for a job,” Sterne said. “It keeps us grounded.”
There are other things Sterne likes about his company. He gets to do challenging work with talented people and they get to work flexibly in great surroundings. The company is growing fast, the atmosphere is positive and upbeat and there are plenty of opportunities for advancement as growth creates more job opportunities.
The workplace has a juice bar, a coffee bar, a salad bar and a gym.
“Those aspects are nice,” Sterne said, “but they are almost required of tech companies. Sometimes I feel guilty about how well we are treated.”
Leah Pasch is a technical writer who works with the company’s engineering staff on both internal and external communications.
“What is awesome about working here is I get to work with very smart, motivated, collaborative people. It is wonderful to collaborate and get things done and solve problems,” she said.
“Information is currency and sometimes power. Indeed is a very transparent and open place to work. We are all driving and believe in what we do here and helping the job seeker. I don’t have a lot of roadblocks. I have challenges, but the collaborative atmosphere here helps me do my job.”