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How investing in AI has helped SEEK increase site usage and applications



Tech

By Loren Webb

SEEK’s ongoing investment into artificial intelligence (AI) and technology development is helping transform the job search experience for candidates and hirers. 

SEEK’s ‘Smarter Search’ has enhanced candidate and hirer experience in navigating the job search and talent sourcing process on the platform, which receives over 50 searches per second and 58 million impressions per day.

Smarter Search is an internally developed purpose-built search engine, which utilises AI to adaptively and autonomously learn from candidates’ searching hirers’ job ads on SEEK.

This investment has driven the delivery of more relevant search results from each time a candidate searches the platform.

SEEK receives over 41 million candidates visits per day and over 900,000 hirers post job ads on their platform, with Smarter Search delivering the following benefits since its introduction:

  • 11 percent increase in Job Ad click through rate
  • 10 percent uplift in candidate applications per session
  • Increase of over 600,000 applications per month

These benefits of Smarter Search for candidates and hirers extend across SEEK’s platform, whether accessed on mobile or desktop – which is crucial as over 71 percent of visits to SEEK occur on a mobile device (31 percent mobile web and 39%). App visitation has increased by 25 percent and 16 percent year-on-year, with 52 percent of all applications now submitted via mobile.

With 22 years of experience helping hirers and candidates connect through digital platforms, SEEK has leveraged this knowledge and pedigree in job market understanding, combined with the capabilities of their artificial intelligence team, to build a customised AI-based search engine.

This search engine, Smarter Search, learns from crowd-sourced behaviours from millions of users’ clicks and blends this with the best of retrieval-based search, which together compares users’ queries with job ads on site. As a result, SEEK delivers candidates with a more relevant and targeted job discovery experience, by learning from how candidates search within a specific industry, for a specific role within an industry, newly created role types, re-named roles or re-defined roles.

Developed by one of Australia’s largest AI teams, consisting of more than 100 specialist data scientists, software engineers and product managers, Smarter Search demonstrates SEEK’s prioritisation of technology innovation, with SEEK investing an incremental cumulative sum of $190m in ANZ product and technology CAPEX over the past 7 years.

Kendra Banks, Managing Director – SEEK Australia & New Zealand, said SEEK’s ongoing investment in technology innovation and integration of AI is about continuing to improve the experience of candidates and hirers using the employment platform.

“SEEK is a platform built on over 22 years’ worth of marketplace data, with the integration of AI, we are now able to understand candidate’s intent when searching. Understanding search intent is important because human behaviour is hard to predict, now we are able to learn from candidates’ behaviour to further benefit their careers.”

“Developing a bespoke search engine from the ground up, instead of relying on ‘off the shelf’ technology, is a challenge most companies would pass on due to the required investment and demand on employee resources required to be successful. At SEEK, we are committed to empowering candidates in their job search, which means creating and developing the technology features and products we know will achieve this objective.

“Smarter Search provides more relevant recommendations and better matches for candidates, which align to their preferences, skills and qualifications. These intuitive capabilities of Smarter Search enable hirers to focus on writing job ads that candidates will understand and without the overuse of industry keywords or jargon, leading to improved candidate response rates and reduction in time to hire.” Ms Banks explained.

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