Kendra Vant

Why Settle? Using Machine Learning to Help People Find New Opportunities

When you search for a job, you want to know you have seen everything available that's right for you. If you're looking for your next team member, you want to find the standout applicants as quickly as possible. With 150 million candidates and 700k hirers across 16 countries, the scale of Seek's search and match problem long since outstripped any possibility of manual curation of opportunities and candidates.

In this talk I will introduce our ongoing work using machine learning to build radically more efficient and effective employment marketplaces. In particular, I will discuss our recent efforts combining natural language processing and Deep Learning to connect people to their dream job.

A firm conviction not to die wondering ‘what if?’ has given Kendra Vant a rich and varied career working with memorable people, companies and universities across New Zealand, Australia, the US and Malaysia. Through it all, her greatest satisfaction has come from working with smart people to solve difficult problems.

After doctoral research in experimental quantum physics at MIT and postdoctoral work in applied quantum computing at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kendra was serendipitously placed to ride the tsunami of corporate interest in applying machine learning to create personalised experiences in an increasingly connected and digital world.

She has worked in insurance, banking, telecommunications, government, gaming and the airline industry and is currently Principal Data Scientist with Seek Asia Pacific and Americas, applying emerging techniques in natural language processing and deep learning to the problem of finding other people their dream job.

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