Saturday, 27 August 2016

Have I broken LinkedIn's Job Recommendation Engine?

I obviously haven't broken the engine, sorry about the click bait title but I have found that the job recommendation engine is actually pretty rubbish, it's only taken me around four years to find out.

Back in 2012 or thereabouts, I was working as a Dynamics CRM developer when I started using LinkedIn. LinkedIn has this feature, where emails containing job ads that match one's preferences are sent out, even if one hasn't set said preferences. By and large these jobs where relevant, sure, they would contain the odd random job, which as far as I could work out was only relevant geographically, i.e. they were in the city I live in or the odd job that related to actual Customer Relationship Management, but in general the emails contained relevant job ads.

This situation continued more or less unchanged for the next 3 years while I continued working as a Senior/Lead Dynamics CRM developer and then it wasn't much changed when I became a Solutions Architect, apart from the frequency of the emails, which markedly increased.

Sure, the emails did contain the odd job ad for old fashioned architects, you know the ones that design buildings and they would also contain job ads for other IT architects (Infrastructure, Networking, Cloud Technologies (AWS/Azure mostly)) and even for developer roles but they were mostly relevant.

About a year ago, I became the Head of IT of a small company and that's when LinkedIn's Job Recommendation Engine started going pear shaped.

It turns out that Heat of IT seems to be too vague a title for the engine to deal with so the emails just contain jobs that revert back to mostly geographical significance and I say mostly because  the emails now contain  job ads that are completely irrelevant, e.g. secretary 100 miles from home, see a list of f jobs contained in the last email:

Finance Analyst - Home town
Network Engineer - Home town
Planning Manager - Home town
Ruby Web Developer - 50 miles from home.
PHP Developer - Home town

I did get a few emails a couple of month back that contained a job listing for a Head of IT and another for a Head of Technology, but given that these emails seem to be coming weekly or more often, this is very poor.

What is strange is that when I first joined this company I used to get emails containing jobs for Head of just about everything but IT, I'm probably exaggerating a little bit here as this is all from memory until I started to twig that something had gone wrong with the emails.

Maybe, LinkedIn is trying to tell me something about my choice of career.