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Semantic matching of job seeker to vacancy: a bidirectional approach

Sisay Adugna Chala (Institute of Knowledge Based Systems and Knowledge Management, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany)
Fazel Ansari (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Institute of Management Sciences, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria) (Institute of Knowledge Based Systems and Knowledge Management, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany)
Madjid Fathi (Institute of Knowledge Based Systems and Knowledge Management, University of Siegen, Siegen, Germany)
Kea Tijdens (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 5 November 2018




The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework of an automatic bidirectional matching system that measures the degree of semantic similarity of job-seeker qualifications and skills, against the vacancy provided by employers or job-agents.


The paper presents a framework of bidirectional jobseeker-to-vacancy matching system. Using occupational data from various sources such as the WageIndicator web survey, International Standard Classification of Occupations, European Skills, Competences, Qualifications, and Occupations as well as vacancy data from various open access internet sources and job seekers information from social networking sites, the authors apply machine learning techniques for bidirectional matching of job vacancies and occupational standards to enhance the contents of job vacancies and job seekers profiles. The authors also apply bidirectional matching of job seeker profiles and vacancies, i.e., semantic matching vacancies to job seekers and vice versa in the individual level. Moreover, data from occupational standards and social networks were utilized to enhance the relevance (i.e. degree of similarity) of job vacancies and job seekers, respectively.


The paper provides empirical insights of increase in job vacancy advertisements on the selected jobs – Internet of Things – with respect to other job vacancies, and identifies the evolution of job profiles and its effect on job vacancies announcements in the era of Industry 4.0. In addition, the paper shows the gap between job seeker interests and available jobs in the selected job area.

Research limitations/implications

Due to limited data about jobseekers, the research results may not guarantee high quality of recommendation and maturity of matching results. Therefore, further research is required to test if the proposed system works for other domains as well as more diverse data sets.


The paper demonstrates how online jobseeker-to-vacancy matching can be improved by use of semantic technology and the integration of occupational standards, web survey data, and social networking data into user profile collection and matching.



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Eduworks Marie Curie Initial Training Network Project (PITN-GA-2013-608311) which is part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program.


Chala, S.A., Ansari, F., Fathi, M. and Tijdens, K. (2018), "Semantic matching of job seeker to vacancy: a bidirectional approach", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 39 No. 8, pp. 1047-1063.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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