Tech & Work

eHarmony's Elevated Careers uses big data to match you with the perfect job

Dating site eHarmony recently launched a job-matching platform called Elevated Careers, which matches job seekers to companies based on culture, values, and personality.

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Image: iStockphoto/jackaldu

Dating site eHarmony hopes its 15+ years of matching people up with dates, will help it match people up with the right job.

On Friday, eHarmony launched Elevated Careers, a new platform for job seekers aimed at matching them with potential companies based on 24 value, culture, and personality factors. The goal is to make employees happier, while reducing churn and adding performance for the company.

SEE: Job description: Big data modeler (Tech Pro Research)

The company had been experimenting with new data models for quite some time and, in 2012, began courting the idea of building a job compatibility product. Steve Carter, eHarmony's vice president of matching, wanted to lead the project and he partnered with Dan Erickson, who originally pitched the idea, to begin building it.

"The eHarmony paradigm is: Go out and find people who are already married and figure out what predicts the happy ones and the unhappy ones, and then apply those models to single people," Carter said. "The Elevated Careers version of that is: Go out and find people who are full-time employed, get them to describe themselves and their companies, and then apply those models to people that are thinking about working at those companies."

To begin filling in information about the companies, the company began collecting information from resumes and profiles of platform users, company profiles submitted by current employees, and job listings. Early on, the Elevated Careers' team partnered with employment website Simply Hired, so that all the job listings of companies that Simply Hired is working with are now in the Elevated Careers database.

For companies that do not have a profile, eHarmony partnered with Global Market Insights to make recommendations based on geospatial data. If they know a specific company's industry and locale, Elevated Careers can make predictions, based on that information, of the company's culture or values.

In terms of matching job seekers, as mentioned, Elevated Careers matches based on 24 factors around values, culture, and personality. Culture comprises 16 of those factors, and it is based on how well employee values match with the target company.

"The culture of a company is the degree to which these values are held or expressed in the company," Carter said.

An example of one of these values could be work/life balance. Where a job seeker would be asked how much they value work/life balance, the company would be asked how well it is implemented within their organization.

Personality matching looks at eight different factors to determine how well and employee will work with an individual hiring manager. At this point, Carter said, it's a peer-to-peer personality matching system, so eHarmony isn't sure how much value it will be able to offer, or how widely it will be adopted early on.

Values and culture matching are the real value addition Carter said, as they can be used to predict worker engagement and, subsequently, company performance. However, there is also a skills matching layer that was built by a company called Burning Glass, that will also be a part of the Elevated Careers platform.

The new Elevated Careers platform is hosted on AWS, and the core database is elastic because it is search-based, so it can handle boosted or boolean searching, Carter said. The platform also runs an Oracle instance as well to handle transactional events.

Carter said the team behind Elevated Careers uses a few event-based tools, like Loggly, as well. And, while they're not using a lot of machine learning yet, they are working with Spark and an open source machine learning algorithm called Vowpal Wabbit, to add those capabilities in the future.

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The company's goal with Elevated Careers, right now, is to validate its success in the real world, Carter said. Testing has been done, but they want to see how it stacks up against real scenarios.

Over the next 12 months, eHarmony wants to add a dozen more partners to Elevated Careers, and they want to get one million job seekers using Elevated Careers. Carter said they also want to leverage the existing audience of eHarmony users for crossover.

"We would like to see, at least, 25% of the people who come to use eHarmony using this tool as well in the first year," Carter said.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. eHarmony's new platform, Elevated Careers, matches you with a job based on personality, values, and culture. Job seekers can use the platform to weed out better potential company matches where they will be more likely to "fit in."
  2. Company information comes from resumes, employee input, and user profiles. Geospatial data is used to compensate for companies without an existing profile.
  3. Elevated Careers is partnered with Simply Hired, so users have access to all of the job postings on the Simply Hired website. Also, eHarmony is experimenting with adding machine learning capabilities to Elevated Careers in the future.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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