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Understanding Indeed's Pay-Per-Apply Start Model: Early Insights

Understanding Indeed's Pay-Per-Apply Start Model: Early Insights

On May 1st, Indeed shifted from a pay-per-click (PPC) model to a pay-per-apply start (PPAS) model for indexed sponsored jobs. This transition has important implications for recruiters and employers.  

Understanding the Pay-Per-Apply Start Model 

Indeed previously operated on a PPC model. Job listings were optimized based on the likelihood of a candidate generating a click. However, with the PPAS model, the focus has shifted to identifying candidates, based on their profile and previous search patterns, who are more likely to initiate the application process. This change aims to attract candidates with higher intent and commitment. 

Benefits and Challenges 

The PPAS model offers several benefits. By targeting candidates who are more likely to start the application process, employers can potentially attract more qualified applicants, increasing the chances of finding the right fit for their organizations. Early indications show that budgets will last longer as organizations are not paying for the high volume of clicks that did not equate to an apply start.  

Conversely, campaigns may be impacted as the machine-learning algorithm adapts and learns to identify candidates who initiate the application process. This may affect the daily budget and duration of a sponsored job. Close monitoring and adjustments are necessary to optimize results. 

Delayed Introduction of Pay-Per-Apply Model 

It's important to note that the introduction of the pay-per-apply (PPA) model has been postponed until later this year. This model will initially be enabled for quick apply sponsored jobs, allowing employers to assess candidate quality based on specific skill sets before incurring charges. 

Early Observations and Results  

Restaurant Industry (4)

While this data represents a short time with the new system, there are some promising results. Across both observed industries, apply starts have increased compared to the PPC model, suggesting a higher level of candidate commitment.  

Differential Impact Across Industries 

The impact of the pay-per-apply start model varies across industries. In the infant stage of this transition, it seems that sectors such as IT, engineering, and healthcare seem to benefit more from the new pricing model compared to the restaurant industry. Evaluating industry-specific performance is crucial to understanding the model's effectiveness and making informed decisions. 

Long-Term Evaluation and Minimum Budget per Job 

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the model's impact, continuous evaluation is necessary. Comparing performance over an extended period, at 30, 60, and 90 days, will provide valuable insights into industry and job type variations. 

In addition, Indeed plans to implement a minimum budget per job in June. Recruiters and employers will need to consider this requirement when modifying campaigns to ensure compliance and optimal results. 


Indeed's transition to the pay-per-apply start model brings significant changes to recruitment advertising. While it is still early to draw definitive conclusions, initial findings suggest positive outcomes, including increased apply starts, improved budget utilization, and reduced costs per apply start. Adapting to industry-specific dynamics and continuously evaluating performance will be key to leveraging the benefits of this new model and maximizing recruitment success.