Case Studies


OSC Increases Careerbuilder’s Application Rate 3% in a short engagment

Careerbuilder’s job search matches job seekers to ideal positions. They contacted the search relevance experts at OpenSource Connections to increase the number of job seekers that were able to find promising positions .

At Careerbuilder, smarter job search means increased revenue. So we sought out the search relevance experts at OSC to help our public-facing search. OSC identified creative, strategic investments that could significantly improve business outcomes, and the results spoke for themselves. After just the initial 50 hrs of implementation work, we were able to see major improvements for several key issues that delivered value to both consumers and clients! We can’t recommend OSC enough if you depend on search and want to make a significant impact on your business.

Joy Guerin — Product Owner, Job Search Team

Search drives Career Builder.

Serving the entire labor market means serving dramatically different needs in a single search interface. Some job seekers prioritize walking distance, and will take any job regardless of a skill match. Others hunt over the entire country for a position requiring their unique skills. Some job seekers use specific, targeted keywords to filter down to ideal matches. Others have less technological sophistication, and require search to be personalized to their needs.

Relevancy for job search goes beyond keywords and is very personal

During the assessment, OSC’s experts immediately identified promising low-hanging fruit that could return immediate ROI for job seekers. After the work was A/B tested, Careerbuilder reported a dramatic improvement, seeing an increase in application rate 3% with OSC’s initial solution. Careerbuilder immediately deployed the relevance updates, and decided to engage OSC in a lengthier relevance implementation project. During that time OSC further improved application rate with improvements to numerous other parts of the search experience.

Outside of the immediate tactical needs, OSC helped Careerbuilder reimagine how their business approached relevance investements. OSC exposed Careerbuilder to it’s search relevance methodology which prioritizes quick iterations leveraging test-driven relevance, rapid deployment, and A/B testing of relevance improvements. This let Careerbuilder more quickly determine the ROI of technical investments, allowing Careerbuilder to more quickly direct resources to promising approaches, and avoid expensive projects that had no impact on search. Careerbuilder could then behave like an agile startup, but one with deep domain expertise and experience.

Key Insights for Job Search

One of OSC’s key insights was to recognize how to narrow job matching based down to the entity being searched for. Most search relevance solution use a mish-mash of weights that reflect a global priority of the factors that searchers use. Location name gets a certain boost, skills, benefits etc. This often doesn’t work. Yet if you can bucket job seekers into the right category (low wage, walking distance, high skill, telecommute) you can target relevance ranking to narrower, often simpler needs. In other words, when you’re 99% sure that a job seeker just needs a job within walking distance, you need to turn relevance ranking on its head to focus heavily on proximity. Or more simply: when an entire search query matches exactly a job title — why even consider other factors? When the query incorporates only job skills, you can avoid guessing whether other field matches might also be relevant.

These sorts of domain-specific, entity-focussed search strategies lay a technical foundation for applying technologies like Solr or Elasticsearch to search relevance problems. They attack the problem directly, using your domain knowledge. In Careerbuilder’s case, we found the areas where the most ROI could be found and targeted those in succesive iterations. This form of relevance work is ongoing and involves extensive business and domain expertise. In one case, we recognized that searchers that sought a single employer (ie Starbucks or Burger King) tended to be seeking low-wage jobs with high proximity. Instead of rolling this employer’s job posting to a single grouped result, we realized it helps job seekers to see the full listing of results ordered only distance. Simple changes like this have a big impact and need thoughtful application of both technological and business insight to accomplish.

OSC brings its depth in search skills to a variety of domains, and we know we can help you with a relevance project

OSC’s Solr/Lucene knowledge expanded and greatly improved the abilities of our public job search. They delivered technical excellence at every turn: demonstrating expertise in Lucene internals, relevance models, and data science backed by a solid methodology for improving search relevance. On a deliverables front: they learned our legacy search stack quickly and made high-quality code contributions. OSC marries technical excellence with strategic insight: we highly recommend their experts to any search team.

Franco Catalano — Dev Lead Job Search Team

The future is Relevance. Are you ready?

The future is about matching users to jobs, products, insights, or other content that they need — often even before they ask the question. This is the new era of relevance-driven applications. Increasingly business outcomes are directly tied to whether search, recommendations, and personalization features deliver relevant content. Deliver relevant content and your app becomes sticky, even addictive to users. Fail to do so and users will flee to the competition. OSC guides clients both technically and strategically through this new era. We’re a team of relevance consultants, strategists, data scientists, and content managers. Let us help you evaluate how to make a transformation from a digital-first organization to a relevance-first organization.

We wrote the book on Relevance. We help the best solve thorny search, recommendations, and personalization problems. Let us help you: Get in Touch!