Employment Hub Platform Senior Specialist

Job
from International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 10 Sep 2017

Background:

The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

As a global humanitarian organization, the IRC has unique capabilities - and is particularly known for rigorous research and evidence-based programs. A key initiative that supports this strategy is the IRC Research & Development (R&D) lab, aimed at investing in the design, development, and scaling of new humanitarian interventions and delivery models. The lab seeks to apply best practices from human-centered design, rapid iteration, multi-disciplinary problem-solving, and an innovation portfolio management function in the humanitarian context.

Through the Jordan Country Program, the R&D lab is launching an innovative employment hub that aims to generate at scale employment opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan The IRC has been operational in Jordan since 2007 and today, the IRC responds to refugees and Jordanians most urgent and sensitive needs, including health care, women's protection and empowerment, child protection, and economic resiliency. Building off existing IRC Jordan livelihoods and protection programming, the employment hub will house a series of new, data-driven, experimental interventions that seek to match-make Jordanians, refugees and firms and provide the necessary support to individuals in getting to work.

Job Overview:

The Employment Hub Platform Senior Specialist is the technical and management leader for designing a matchmaking algorithm to match employers to potential employees, overseeing all matches, and building out an internal jobs matching platform for the employment hub. The Employment Hub is a two-year project out of which two core activities are run: i) a mobile network of entrepreneurial IRC officers who will work with Jordanians, refugees, and firms to proactively facilitate matchmaking and help to address common access issues, and ii) a jobs collation platform that allows IRC officers, existing outreach staff and other stakeholders to algorithmically match jobs and job-seekers. An additional set of complementary and experimental activities, including behavioral nudges, flexible budgets, childcare support, transport support, and retention incentives, will be implemented as well. In line with the R&D approach, the objective is to structure fast-paced, small-scale experimentation to iteratively adapt a set of activities to optimize design and generate impact. During year 1, a series of experiments will be conducted to identify what works and in year 2, the program will scale a select set of interventions.

The Platform Senior Specialist is responsible for designing and executing a back-end matching algorithm and database, working with the officers to run and facilitate all matches, and building out an internally and externally facing jobs platform. This includes 1) developing a coded matching algorithm and iteratively training it to optimize over a series of metrics using case in-take and follow-up data that will be collected by the team; 2) implementing the algorithm to provide weekly matches for the broader team to pursue and overseeing the general matching strategy; and 3) designing, prototyping and launching a front-end jobs platform animated by the matching algorithm. All code will be open-source and the Platform Senior Specialist is responsible for maintaining data security, privacy, and proper confidentiality. In addition, the Platform Senior Specialist will work closely with other implementing partners to ensure basic interoperability with partner platforms and databases as deemed appropriate. This job provides the opportunity to build data-driven matching tools and platforms for an innovative employment hub that serves vulnerable Jordanians and Syrians. The position will be highly leveraged to facilitate rapid, creative experimentation that leads to the optimal matching algorithm and platform.

Major Responsibilities:

Matching Algorithm

  • Develop a back-end matchmaking algorithm in open-source software that matches potential employees with employers.
  • Trains and refines algorithm to improve matchmaking and generate lessons learned on predictors of matching.
  • Oversee learning and analysis on how to effectively segment the labor market to generate high-quality matches.
  • Structure and execute on matchmaking to provide officers with suggested weekly matches.
  • Structure downstream data collection to conduct client follow up and improve matching algorithm.
  • Oversee data management, including storage, privacy, and interoperability between different data collection sources.
  • Work with employment hub leadership and partners to determine and implement data-driven learning strategy leveraging back-end matchmaking process and front-end data platform.
  • Develops and maintains code, data security and storage processes and procedures.

Platform

  • Coordinate with other matchmaking jobs platforms to identify how to best structure work and complement existing initiatives and works directly with implementing partners to shape the design and implementation of humanitarian platforms as needed;
  • Develop internal officer tool for jobs matching that serves as basis for external-facing front-end matching platform;
  • Build out specific user-interface functions for refugees and Jordanians as needed for legal protections and usage;
  • Develop front-end jobs matching platform and interface that can be used by employers and employees to identify opportunities and receive suggested matches;
  • Structure and execute user-feedback, A/B testing and client engagement to improve the platform;
  • Roll out minimum viable product and oversee development of product to refine interface, matching and client needs;
  • Co-develop, with field teams, appropriate permission and authorization levels;
  • Oversee the development and refinement of the platform to meet evolving needs and incorporate user feedback

Technical Support

  • Provide training and close coaching of field teams in the testing and use of the platform.
  • Collaborate closely with ICT and ICT4P staff in IRC Jordan to ensure adequate specification around procurement, system support and maintenance.
  • Ensure timely and functional updating of all outreach and officer tablets and IT equipment.
  • Maintain detailed record of version adjustments and backups and rollback versions.
  • Develop summary usage dashboards and analytical tools for project.

Human Resources Management

  • Directly supervises 1 data entry officer.
  • Sets specific goals and expectations and provide regular, positive and constructive feedback fro officers
  • Builds capacity of the team under his/her supervision in basic assistance and livelihoods support methodologies, as well as management capacity.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Employment Hub Coordinator Position directly supervises: Data Entry Officer

Indirect Reporting: N/A Other Internal and/or external contacts:

Internal: IRC Officer and outreach teams, R&D Department, ERD Technical Unit, Grants Department, Supply Chain, Finance, HR, Research Evaluation and Learning Technical Unit, ICT4P Unit

External: Academic partners, Private sector partners and IT firms

Job Requirements:

Minimum Requirements

  • MS in data science, computer science, machine learning or related field; commensurate work experience a substitute.
  • Experience in algorithm development and machine learning techniques.
  • Experience in planning and delivering software platforms used across multiple products and organizational units.
  • Deep expertise and hands on experience with Web Applications and programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery and API's; knowledge of statistical software such as Python, R.
  • Extensive database management skills.
  • Front-end user interface design experience a plus.
  • Ability to clearly communicate and engage non-technical staff.
  • Prior experience working in emergency settings or insecure environments preferred.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, effective in liaison with external parties.
  • Personal qualities: Works well in and promotes teamwork, comfortable in a multi-cultural environment, flexible and able to handle pressure well.
  • Fluency in English is required, Arabic a plus.

Working Environment:

The position is based in Amman with frequent travel to field sites in Irbid and Mafraq.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l'Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l'exploitation et les abus, la protection de l'enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l'intégrité financière, et les représailles.