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Bob employment, or the delusions of big data

With its start-up, Paul Duan was committed, there is a little more than a year, to reduce unemployment through an algorithm. But the magic is slow to operate.

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Bob employment, or the delusions of big data

With its start-up, Paul Duan was committed, there is a little more than a year, to reduce unemployment through an algorithm. But the magic is slow to operate.

The anniversary of Bob's employment took place in the utmost discretion. This site is dedicated to the support of the unemployed, which was the One of the media in 2016, now seems to have fallen into oblivion.

at the End of 2016, however, everyone was singing the praises of its founder, Paul Duan, the 24-year-old, described as a "little genius", who promised to "hack the unemployment". The magazine Society was tired of his A, excited about this great solution. Mixing algorithm and big data, start-up, would "reduce the number of job seekers in the 10% and save the State several billion euros". It is what it is!

The promise was tempting for a government obsessed by "the reversal of the unemployment curve". She allowed the young man to know his hour of glory and will be displayed alongside policy prestigious: Emmanuel Macron, minister of Economy, met in January 2016, Myriam El Khomri, minister of Labour of the time, and even François Hollande.

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A partnership with Pôle emploi

It must be said that the start-upper has been pushed by some good fairy, benefiting in particular from a nice boost "graceful" Image 7. "It was not a plan com', swear today Charlotte Mouraret, consultant within this agency's prestigious, who advises the stars of the CAC 40, Google and a few politicians of the right. With Anne Méaux [editor's NOTE: the owner of the house], we helped them graciously to respond to the media, because we immediately got on well with him. His innovative project was very attractive."

there is No doubt that Paul Duan has been able to strike the spirits and toquer the right doors in order to develop his project. Through its association Bayes Impact, created for the occasion and for the support of the solidarity-based initiatives using big data, it has picked up 740000 euros of donations and grants from private and public, including -a rarity - 185000 euros of Pôle emploi.

The public operator believes fort. So much so that he opened to him the access to the anonymised data of job seekers, and ads. Again, a red carpet is unusual. "We have established partnerships with 450 start-up, minimizes-t-on today at the job center. And if Bob has, admittedly, received a grant, others benefit from our logistical support, there was no need to make a case." No question to suggest a specific treatment.

"A digital tool more"

Yet, to hear Thomas Guillou, elected CGT Pôle emploi Ile-de-France, the management has not spared its efforts. "Meetings were held to present the site and we encourage them to talk to the job seekers. This partnership has been very forward in-house", he recalls. He has not had the thunderbolt for this is that"a digital tool, more" and has never met a "membership advisors", not "thrilled" to learn that they would "be overtaken by an algorithm". "Today, he smiles, is not heard from again. Radio Silence."

The general public has not been overwhelmingly conquered. At the end of November 2017, Bob employment claimed 130 268 accounts only. However, France counts more than 5 million unemployed. The number registered is "steadily on the rise, defends Nicolas Bizet, in charge of the communication of Bayes Impact. We move at our own pace, humbly, with awareness being a mere link in a great chain." Finished ads raucous: Paul Duan, who would be tired of the media exposure, and his team have been working in their corner and are refining the tool.

How many of the unemployed actually helped?

"I found the site rather in progress, argues Claire de Bucy, board development and professional trainer. It has the merit of taking the job seeker by the hand with practical advice." Advice that sound sometimes as evidence, when Bob employment, for example, remember that you have to "contact [his] knowledge working in the professional environment", or "make its mail application convincing in the eyes of the recruiter in thirty to sixty seconds".

According to Claire de Bucy, its main asset lies in the mass of information collected: "The data processed by Bob employment allow, for example, identify the qualities that appear more frequently in ads for candidates who are inspired by it." It is still necessary to have secured an interview and know how to handle it.

The site has it fulfilled its mission? We do not provide any precise figure on the number of unemployed helped. "42% of the people who we have stated to have found a job, and having tested consider that Bob contributed to", welcomes the "metric" of the site. The user type is, according to the data house, rather young (under 50 years of age) and 69% installed in urban areas.

the promise to the results: an expertise expected

An evaluation of the tool on a very large scale is in progress. Conducted by four researchers from the Centre for research in economics and statistics (Crest), the first findings are expected in the coming months. in "We follow the total of 200 000 jobseekers," said one of them, Bruno Crépon. We have established two cohorts, one with people sensitized to the use of Bob's employment, in particular via presentations in within the Pôle emploi, and the other composed of people who are not particularly informed of the existence of the site. The purpose of the experiment is to see if the first group wins or not, if Bob improves the dynamics of return to employment."

The reality of Bob is therefore more complicated than its initial promise, the less flamboyant too. "This communication around the algorithm, capable of reducing unemployment was a trap, writes Hélène Cazalis, a spokesman for the association Solidarités nouvelles face unemployment. It was a shortcut too fast." As if the fascination of the collective for the technology, miracle cure against unemployment, was blunt.

The job search is an activity that is a thankless, silent and sometimes very long. "Find a job, it is a combination of factors. And this is not a single tool that will do the job," concludes Claire de Bucy. Fans of magic are advised to look elsewhere.

When job sector plays the innovation card

Even if the general public does not necessarily Pôle emploi innovation, the public institution takes action to modernize and be open to new technologies. The operator has its own incubator, the Factory, and is forming partnerships with start-ups to test, in real time, for two to six months, a new service or a new feature.

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