Second Chance Employer Profile


Since its founding in 2004, Indeed has become one of the world’s largest job sites, attracting more than 250 million unique visitors per month. It is available in more than 60 countries and 24 languages. A subsidiary of Japan’s Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., Indeed has 12,000-plus employees around the globe, with U.S. offices in Austin, Texas; New York; San Francisco; San Mateo, Calif.; Seattle; and Stamford, Conn. Its international offices are located in Amsterdam, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Hyderabad, London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Zürich and Toronto.

The site has a database of more than 150 million resumes and lists a total of more than 20 million jobs around the world.

Second chance hiring practices 

Hiring employees who were formerly incarcerated goes way back to the company’s beginning. In 2004. In fact, Indeed’s very first employee, a software engineer, had not only served time in prison but had been banned from the internet.

He was so instrumental in building the company’s infrastructure that Indeed CEO Chris Hyams said, “I think it’s fair to say that had [our founders] not been willing to give an opportunity to someone who had made a terrible mistaken — and paid for it – we might not be here today.” 

Nearly two decades later, Indeed is still dedicated to being a second chance employer. In hiring its own employees, the company doesn’t look at criminal records until after making a conditional job offer. And it carefully considers the nature of the crime, when it was committed and if it has any bearing on the type of job the candidate is applying for.

Indeed includes a fair chance commitment on all descriptions for its corporate jobs in the U.S.:

“We value diverse experiences, including those who have had prior contact with the criminal legal system. We are committed to providing individuals with criminal records, including formerly incarcerated individuals, a fair chance at employment.”

The company published a fair chance FAQ to help its current employees have a firm understanding of fair chance hiring, how it is accomplished and why it’s important.

Among other things, Indeed has partnered with Banyan Labs, a company that begins to train people, who are still incarcerated, on coding and technical skills. And it has hired some of those who’ve gone through the Banyan program while in prison.

Beyond what it’s doing internally for its own employees, Indeed made a major commitment to help jobseekers facing barriers find employment. It pledged $10 million to carry out its Essentials to Work program, launched in early 2022.

“Our mission as a business is to help all people get jobs, and the social impact team has made some very public commitments about what we want to accomplish as an organization,” says Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, senior director, social impact programs & partnerships. “We intend to help 30 million jobseekers facing barriers get hired by 2030. There are so many barriers, but we have made the conscious decision to think about jobseekers who are impacted by the criminal justice system. This is a priority for us.”

The company has dedicated its $10 million towards three areas that help those facing barriers to finding jobs. These are:

  • Internet access – Indeed is investing $5 million in a partnership with national nonprofit PCs for People to provide 10,000 computers and mobile hotspots to those needing them.
  • Record clearance – The company is funding organizations across the company to offer legal record-clearing services to job seekers with previous arrests or convictions who are eligible for expunction or nondisclosure.
  • Transportation – Through a $1.5 million partnership with Lyft and its Lyft Job Access Program, Indeed covers the cost of transportation for job seekers who need help getting to job training programs, interviews or to get to a new job during the first two weeks.

On an individual level, the company will help those with barriers to employment set up email addresses and find additional job readiness services that they may need.

Not only does Indeed plan to assist jobseekers, but its executives realize that they can positively influence those employers who list jobs on their website.

“Because we have a relationship with employers who are hiring through our platform and promoting their job openings on our platform, we have the ability to influence on what best practices are,” says Fatehi-Weeks.

“We’ve convened employer roundtables where we’ve educated employers about how they can learn more about diversifying their candidate pools. We want to spread the word that there’s a lot of talent that has been overlooked.”

Indeed works with the Center for Employment Opportunities, a national reentry organization. “We are providing them resources and have actually set up a formal partnership in which they give us feedback on how their clients experience and use the Indeed platform. As a result we are able to have a conversation about how we can improve our product in the eyes of a jobseeker who is impacted.”

To learn more about Indeed