2016 will be the year of (machine) intelligence in recruitment

There was much excitement in the AI community earlier this month with the launch of OpenAI, the non-profit that’s on a mission to use AI to benefit humanity. The group is chaired by Elon Musk and Sam Altman and supported by a who’s who of tech luminaries including Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.

It’s a fitting conclusion to a year filled with ground-breaking advances in AI and machine learning. Personal assistant x.ai launched to great reception. Facebook created a stir by unveiling Facebook M, a mysterious intelligence that appears to far exceed the capabilities of Siri and Cortana.

At untapt HQ we were happy to win an Amazon Echo at an Amazon pitch event. It comes with an AI called Alexa who’s good at playing David Bowie but still some way away from passing a Turing Test. There may be a ways to go in some areas, but it’s moving in the right direction.

Many of today’s most innovative companies rely on machine learning to set them apart. Netflix famously offered a million dollar prize for the best movie recommendation algorithm which was won in 2009 by an algorithm called ‘BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos’. Airbnb has recently been working on a powerful two-sided marketplace algorithm for matching guests and hosts. The marketing platform AdRoll has been experimenting with an advanced modeling technique called Factorization Machines for its programmatic bidding algorithm.

At untapt, we use machine learning to precisely match our members with jobs. At the start of 2015, managers asked to interview about 20% of engineers introduced by untapt. As we reach the end of 2015 we’ve doubled our accuracy — managers are interviewing 40% of their candidates. That’s our machine getting better, and we’re just getting started.

We predict 2016 will be the year of bringing AI and machine learning to larger scale, commercial and mass applications and really solving the hardest industry problems, particularly those that currently rely on human intuition. We’ll lead the charge in recruitment tech, with a targeted 50% interview rate for 2016.

What does this mean for you, our members and clients? It means we’ll keep getting better at introducing the right engineer to the right company. We’ll land more engineers their dream jobs. We’ll make it even faster and easier for managers to build their teams.

On behalf of all of us here at untapt, we wish you a very happy new year and a healthy and prosperous 2016. We look forward to being a part of it.


Ed is co-founder and CEO of untapt. A FinTech veteran and an Oxford alum, Ed was previously MD at JPMorgan and has held technology positions at IBM and various startups. Coder by day, Ed leads a double life as DJ after work. And if you happen to run into him, ask him how much he loves Seamless (hint: a lot).