The intervention consists in exposing a set of job seekers to algorithmic recommendations of vacancies. The recommender system used in the intervention is a combination of two vacancy rankings : a ranking based on the chances of a hire taking place and another based on the suitability of the job to the jobseeker's explicit search criteria. The first ranking is obtained from a state of the art maching learning algorithm trained on data on past hires recorded by the PES. The latter is inspired by the matching score currently used at the French PES, which is computed as the weighted sum of the degrees of adequacy between the job seeker's search criteria and the job posting's characteristics and requirements (e.g. job seeker's experience vs. required experience, salary sought vs. proposed salary, etc.).
The intervention proceeds as follows:
- Selected jobseekers receive an invitation email.
- By clicking on a link in the email, jobseekers access an online survey.
- Job seekers are first exposed (or not depending on the treatment group, see below) to an infographic giving details on the algorithm that generated the recommendations.
- Job seekers see 5 vacancies, which are recommended to them by the algorithm.
- Job seekers can (if they want to) give their opinion on each recommendation by indicating whether or not the vacancy interests them.
- Job seekers are then asked three questions regarding: their level of understanding of the process behind the recommendations, their chances of being hired on recommendations, and their perception that the recommendations are based on job search experience of previous job seekers.
- Once the job seekers have answered these three questions, a new page with the 5 recommended ads (those viewed just before) is displayed. On this page, they have the possibility to click on recommended job ads in order to view further details and apply.