How Amazon and Netflix are influencing VDAB

Digitalization is all around and definitely not restricted to sexy consumer brands like Amazon or Netflix. They did however set the tone when it comes to customer- centricity. “You watched/bought X, you might also like Y.” “People who bought this book, also liked A, B and C.”

Recommendations by peers (be it directly or indirectly, through algorithms online) are valuable for lots of people. Based on your buying or watching behavior, you discover new things favored by like-minded people that often prove to please you as well.

VDAB is taking this way of thinking and translating it to the job market. VDAB is sitting on a gigantic pile of data from basically all Belgian workers. Up until now, job recommendations for jobseekers were solely based on experience and degrees. VDAB noticed a discrepancy between recommendations and jobs people actually apply for.

You of course can’t look inside people’s heads to find the logic behind these career moves, but you can try to find similarities with other people’s behavior in the past and make more suitable recommendations accordingly. And this is exactly what VDAB is experimenting with right now, to better support and service Belgian job seekers.

Content source: SAS Forum, presentation by Paul Danneels, CIO at VDAB and recently awarded European CIO of the Year by network organization CIOnet.