Posted on July 2, 2014

Second edition of the Textkernel Innovation Week

Innovation is what drives Textkernel’s employees and the company has always put a strong emphasis on research and development to advance its technology. In this spirit, once or twice a year Textkernel organises an innovation week in which each employee gets the chance to propose their own innovative idea and gather around it a team of colleagues to realise it.

A week-long competition

DSC_0163-lrDesigned to bring together staff from different teams within the company and encourage creativity, the Textkernel Innovation Week yielded once again impressive results. Taking place on 16-21 June for the second time in two years, the competition saw 8 teams collaborating on various projects of their choice.

Working tirelessly throughout the week, each team was able to set into motion ideas as diverse as the creation a “working at Textkernel” page for future colleagues or the development of an API for Jobfeed Analytics.

In a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork, work session extended well into the evening, during which colleagues took well deserved breaks to follow the World Cup group games projected on the kitchen wall.

15 minutes to convince

presentationsOn Friday evening, the company established its temporary headquarters next to the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam for the final project presentations. Each team was given fifteen minutes to convince a jury of their peers (and their colleagues) of the value of their innovation. A vote was then organised based on four criteria: quality of the presentation, innovative value, product readiness and business value.

Winner: ‘Skills Classifier’

The outcomes of this competition were outstanding. Among the winners, the “skills classifier” team grabbed the top prize.

Winners-innovation-week-lrMining skills from large amounts of profiles and job descriptions, the team was able to expand Textkernel’s skills inventory to 9000 items and link them to concepts such as job titles, job classes or industry. This breakthrough greatly enhances Textkernel’s semantic capabilities and could also improve the quality of its matching and extraction technology.

Petra – virtual personal assistant

petra-lr1The “Petra” project was also recognised by the jury for its innovative qualities. This virtual personal assistant is able to read through CVs and helps candidates complete their application in real-time. This project has the potential to enhance applicant experience, improve the quality of applications and bring recruiting to a whole new level.

Success

This second edition of the innovation week can only be considered a success. Not only were commercially and technologically valuable projects developed but the week-long competition was above all instrumental in strengthening work relationship among colleagues and reinforcing company culture.

Below you can view the video about life at Textkernel (in 1914), which was created as part of the “working at Textkernel” project.