Online professional social networks such as LinkedIn serve as a marketplace, wherein job seekers can find right career opportunities and job providers can reach out to potential candidates. LinkedIn’s job recommendations product is a key vehicle for efficient matching between potential candidates and job postings. However, we have observed in practice that a subset of job postings receive too many applications (due to several reasons such as the popularity of the company, nature of the job, etc.), while some other job postings receive too few applications. Both cases can result in job poster dissatisfaction and may lead to discontinuation of the associated job posting contracts. At the same time, if too many job seekers compete for the same job posting, each job seeker’s chance of getting this job will be reduced. In the long term, this reduces the chance of users finding jobs that they really like on the site. Therefore, it becomes beneficial for the job recommendation system to consider values provided to both job seekers as well as job posters in the marketplace.
In this paper we propose the job application redistribution problem, with the goal of ensuring that job postings do not receive too many or too few applications, while still providing job recommendations to users with the same level of relevance. We present a dynamic forecasting model to estimate the expected number of applications at the job expiration date, and algorithms to either promote or penalize jobs based on the output of the forecasting model. We also describe the system design and architecture for LiJAR, LinkedIn’s Job Applications Forecasting and Redistribution system, which we have implemented and deployed in production. We perform extensive evaluation of LiJAR through both offline and online A/B testing experiments. Our production deployment of this system as part of LinkedIn’s job recommendation engine has resulted in significant increase in the engagement of users for underserved jobs (6.5%) without affecting the user engagement in terms of the total number of job applications, thereby addressing the needs of job seekers as well as job providers simultaneously.