Artificial intelligence or AI may look like a title that came straight out of a Steven Spielberg movie, given its exaggerated prowess to learn excessively without being bound by morality or emotions. But in fact, this theory has been around from the dawn of computing history.

In 1950, Alan Turing published Computing Machinery and Intelligence in Mind, a landmark paper where he first introduced the concept of testing a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from that of a human. This test would later be known as the Turing Test.

Flash forward to 2017, with a heavy shift in being technologically-reliant, AIs like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant have now emerged, residing in the very core of our mobile gadgets. And they are ready to help us with a tap of a screen, regardless of what trouble comes our way.

As job searching has always been an inevitable dilemma for most working adults, we at SEEK Asia are taking the necessary (baby) steps to progress forward with AI by our side.

Generally, job hunting has gone through an evolution of its own. From newspapers to online job boards to comprehensive search platforms, the landscape of job application has changed drastically over the years. Unfortunately, one thing stays unsolved and that is the frustration that candidates feel when applying to these jobs, unsure of whether their hard work will bear fruits in the end.

And yes, we repeat, job application is tough business! Currently, most people search for jobs by using a combination of criteria or keywords that they know will bring them relevant results. Unfortunately, this is still a very binary way of achieving their goals as the method is primitively manual and might not help them discover the jobs which fulfil their overall needs.

So how does AI help in all this?

Job Recommendations

Just like how AI is built to emulate human intelligence, job recommendations on both and jobsDB (SEEK Asia’s online job platforms) are currently implementing a solution where our systems are able to replicate a user’s behaviour pattern.

How most job-to-job algorithms work

Not only do the systems learn from the candidate’s job applications, but they also have insights on the user’s profile. This will then give the systems the ability to sort out better career choices for the said user.

Job Recommendations (After a Job Application)

The AI behaviour above is also being used in our post-job applications. This is when a candidate has already applied to a job and a few similar ones are then suggested at the end of the flow. This way, we help candidates maintain greater relevancy in their job search while prompting them to take action when their intent to find and apply for suitable positions is high.

Recommendations after applying for a job

The chances of other candidates with similar career paths applying to a niche job scope is also high. Which is why this logic or AI behaviour is useful as it’s seamless and does not rely on just keywords. After the implementation, we even saw an immediate application increase of 4% to 17% .

More applications after implementation

New Homepage, New Recommendations Logic

Homepage is a brand or company’s essential page; a page that consistently gets a lot hits, the place where users start their journey with your product. And with jobsDB (did we mention that this is part of the SEEK Asia brand), the homepage was predominantly focused on job search.

But imagine this; what if you could have relevant jobs exposed to you without even typing a single keyword? This was the idea that sparked our interest in AI as a whole. Just think, wouldn’t it be cool if the website could anticipate what you want and suggest to you the jobs that you wanted without having to key in all the criteria manually? And all this could be done with an AI, sitting silently in the background, learning more about you as a person.

And that’s exactly what we did with the homepage recommendations.

What jobsDB looks like now

Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with AI. As AI is able to learn from your behaviour or past choices, when you do choose to drive your career in a different direction, it will take time for it to unlearn from the patterns that it has been introduced to previously.

Example; for one of our internal experiments, I once searched for telesales positions on my jobsDB account. Even though I hardly use jobsDB as it is a Hong Kong-based site and I’m in Malaysia, until today, the logic is unable to unlearn the experiment that I previously did. Not that convenient if I ever felt like migrating to Hong Kong for work…

What my feed looks like now…

But I do believe that as we move forward with technology, the world of artificial intelligence will be an added advantage to society. They will be our knowledgeable personal assistants, unbiased matchmakers and formidable recruiters, just like and jobsDB :)

Here are some quotes on Discovery and Recommendations for your highlighting pleasures! ;)