top of page

Reed: Should You Use Them For Your Recruitment?

How are Reed faring in this ultra-competitive market-place and how to effectively use them for your recruitment.

To host a leading UK job-site, whilst also running one of the most successful recruitment agencies in the country is no mean feat. In fact, it may well be one of the most impressive triumphs in the industry.

Reed have successfully built multiple revenue streams both from their vast recruitment agency network, as well as their job-board platform too. This has helped Reed become arguably Britain's best-known recruitment brand.

However, if we're being critical then you could argue that in recent years the job-board has slipped behind a couple of the other major-players in the job-board sector. It's not been anywhere near as drastic as the likes of Monster's fall from grace. Yet, I do fear that if they don't start to compete against the likes of Indeed - in terms of marketing aggressiveness - then eventually they will be side-lined more and more.

How do they compare against other sites?

As mentioned above, there's no denying that Reed have fallen behind the rest of the pack in terms of candidate attraction. Yet, this was to be expected with the exponential growth of LinkedIn and Indeed who have swallowed up huge swathes of market-share.

This is evident with their database numbers (13.1m CV's) being quite a number off their major rivals Totaljobs (23m) and CV-Library (18m) retrospectively. This shortfall of numbers will become apparent over time if you're continually searching on the platform. From speaking to many recruitment agencies over the past decade, they do speak highly of the quality of Reed's database in particular sectors such as administration, finance, HR and recruitment. It's hard to pin down exactly why this is, but it may possibly be due to their marketing campaigns targeting office-based candidates.

Reed's application ratio has been dwindling over the past couple of years - between the 8-10 mark per job posting (despite attracting circa 50 million applications in total a year). This response rate trails the likes of Totaljobs and Indeed quite significantly and the fact that Reed have one of the highest volumes of live jobs may actually be working against them a little. Obviously, they'll never turn away paid-for job postings on their site, but if the application rates don't pick up in the near-future, then their client base may start to look at other more fruitful avenues.

Have they won much business since the Totaljobs price rise?

In regard to the recent Totaljobs price hike, Reed have won huge swathes of market-share as a result of this. The number of live jobs on their website has surged by a fantastic +15%, which is over 200,000+ additional live adverts over the year from October 2021 - October 2022. The increase in job-choice usually bodes quite well for candidate satisfaction on the site.

From a more aesthetic standpoint, Reed have delivered a clean and vibrant website. The app works incredibly well and despite a potential conflict of interest with their recruitment agency division - they still boast some huge client names with the likes of HAYS, Ranstad and Manpower. Obviously, the actual candidates that they have available is the main consideration when subscribing to a job-board, but should you be spending 3-4 hours a day sourcing for candidates then you will appreciate how user-friendly both the site and app are.

Do they offer any free trials?

A feature that many will appreciate is the 'Freecruitment' service, where recruitment agencies can take advantage of one free trial each year. This trial includes a 100 CV downloads and 10 job postings, which is similar to what the likes of CV-Library also offer.

What are Reed's prices like?

One of the main attractions of using Reed is that they do come in a little cheaper than most other sites. To give an idea, they're discounted trial packages with 1 advert costing £89 and 1 weeks CV search access for £99. However, we recommend calling the sales team directly to see what other options are available as the online packages are rarely the best on offer. If you're looking for an annual subscription, they do tend to offer packages to smaller recruitment agencies around the £180-200 per month mark.

From a customer-service standpoint, Reed rank highly amongst the job-boards with a Trustpilot rating of 4.1 out of 5. They were known to be very flexible during the pandemic by allowing accounts to be placed on lengthy freeze periods and they have always priced their packages reasonably.

What do they do well...

  1. They provide a service which is excellent value for money, especially if your roles are mainly office-based/white-collar positions.

  2. As they were a bit at risk of falling behind the rest of the pack, they have ramped up their advertising presence in recent years with notable TV adverts and has accelerated the growth of their CV database, albeit they do still have some catching up to do.

  3. The level of customer-service with Reed has always been fairly positive and they have navigated numerous business pot-holes with integrity (no major price rises in recent months and they were flexible with contracts during the pandemic).

Where can they improve...

  1. Statistically, they do trail the likes of Indeed & Totaljobs in regard to attracting applications through.

  2. The candidate database provides less choice to the clients as they don't boast the numbers that CV-Library, Indeed and Totaljobs possess.

  3. Reed usually integrate CV view limits in their packages, which can be quite prohibitive for fast turnover sectors e.g. construction, driving and warehouse roles.

Overall rating: 7/10

Reed have a well-designed platform with the solid foundations of having a decent sized CV database and adverts that do fairly well. They have also been better for office-based roles and lacked a little on the blue-collar side of things.

After taking on huge volume of Totaljobs' previous clients, it's "go-mode" for Reed to establish themselves as one of the market-leaders again. Despite this, a part of me has a feeling that they're quite happy to just be sitting on the 'top-table' of job sites, without cutting their profit margins by spending over the odds on advertising.

Please feel free to reach out either in the comment section below or via email to if you have any questions!

bottom of page