Sr Director, Machine Learning - Search

Sr Director, Machine Learning - Search

Upwork ($UPWK) is the world’s work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Last year, more than $3.8 billion of work was done through Upwork by skilled professionals who are gaining more control by finding work they are passionate about and innovating their careers.

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As the Senior Director of Machine Learning for Search & Recommendations, you will lead a dynamic team responsible for developing and optimizing the algorithms that power our search and recommendation engines. Your work will directly impact the core of Upwork’s platform, enhancing the way clients and freelancers connect and collaborate.

If you have a deep passion for machine learning, excel in a collaborative and achievement-focused environment, and are driven by our mission to create economic opportunities, so people have better lives, we invite you to be part of our journey.

Responsibilities:

  • 10+ years of experience in machine learning, with a proven track record of developing and deploying ML models at scale, particularly in the areas of search and recommendations.
  • Design and implement a comprehensive machine learning strategy for search and recommendation systems that aligns with Upwork’s business goals and user needs.
  • Oversee the development and optimization of algorithms that improve search relevance, personalization, and recommendation quality across the Upwork platform.
  • Work closely with product, engineering, and data teams to drive the integration of ML models and ensure alignment with product roadmaps and technical infrastructure.
  • Develop metrics and monitoring systems to evaluate the effectiveness of ML models and algorithms. Use insights to guide future development efforts.

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • 10+ years of experience in machine learning, with a proven track record of developing and deploying ML models at scale, particularly in the areas of search and recommendations.
  • Deep understanding of the latest ML technologies, tools, and practices.
  • Expert level experience with deep learning frameworks such as PyTorch and TensorFlow, Large Language Model development, Retrieval Augmented Generation, Knowledge Graphs, Generative AI, Langchain, Transformer models, and others.
  • Good understanding of end-to-end machine learning services, toolings/systems, and deployment pipelines including feature store, CI/CD, testing, monitoring, and drifting
  • Strong communication skills and demonstrated ability to drive the initiative-level technical vision for ML and AI
  • Proven track record of publication and presentation at top tier venues. 

The annual base salary for this position in California and Washington ranges from $250,000 - $360,000. The range displayed reflects the minimum and maximum salary for this position in California and Washington, and individual base pay will depend on your skills, qualifications, experience, and location. Additionally, this position is eligible for the annual bonus plan or sales incentive plan and eligibility to participate in our long term equity incentive program.

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Change the world around you.

At Upwork, you'll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We are a remote-first organization working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. While we have physical offices in San Francisco and Chicago, we also hire full-time employees in 19 states in the United States.

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We foster amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. And oh yeah, we've also got amazing benefits - including medical insurance for you and your family, unlimited PTO, 401(k) with matching, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and a generous Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about our benefits and the employee experience.

Check out our Careers page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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