For the past year, the Dutch-British consumer-goods giant Unilever has been using artificial intelligence to hire entry-level employees, and the company says it has dramatically increased diversity and cost-efficiency. Unilever is one of the world's leading consumer-goods conglomerates, with billion-dollar brands like Axe, Dove, and Lipton, and it hasemployees worldwide. Clementi said the company needed to find a way to rejuvenate itself, and transforming new talent recruitment was one way to do so.
If candidates pass the AI screening, they go through an in-person screening that determines whether they get the job. They then spend about 20 minutes playing 12 neuroscience-based games on the Pymetrics platform. If their results match the required profile of a certain position, they move on to an interview via HireVue, where they record responses to preset interview questions.
The technology analyzes things like keywords, intonation, and body language, and makes notes on them for the hiring manager.
All of this can be completed on a smartphone or tablet. If the candidate makes it through these two steps, they are invited to a Unilever office to go through a day-in-the-life scenario. By the end of the day, a manager will decide whether they are the right fit for the job. The hiring overhaul began with Unilever North America and took effect in 68 countries, was conducted in 15 languages, and involved a total ofapplicants.
Unilever shared its North American results, from July to June Unilever said the socioeconomic representation of its new hires was less top-heavy, but it did not say by how much. And there was gender parity among hires, which was virtually unchanged year-over-year. The average score of the overall process was 4.
Candidates can find job listings on Unilever's website, but college seniors are also targeted with job postings on Facebook, LinkedIn, The Muse, and WayUp in lieu of college visits. They then submit the link to their LinkedIn profile. Pymetrics CEO Frida Polli, who founded the company with Julie Yoo insaid the 12 games were "essentially the gold standard of cognitive neuroscience" in that they're based on tests that those in the field have long employed.
Games test traits like ability to focus, memory, relationship to risk, and ability to read emotional versus contextual cues. For example, the game that tests risk gives users three minutes to collect as much "money" as possible using this system: clicking "pump" inflates a balloon by 5 cents; at any point, the user can click "collect money"; and if the balloon pops, the user receives no money. The user is presented with balloons until the timer runs out.
The "balloon game" measures a candidate's relationship to risk. A cautious user who takes a small amount of money from each balloon to avoid losing anything is neither better nor worse than an adventurous user who tries to take each balloon to its limit. Unilever had exceptional employees in different roles play the games and used their results as a benchmark to measure new candidates against.
Users are told immediately after each game how their performance was analyzed, and recruiters can see those results compared with benchmarks. Polli said a candidate's performance on each of the games could vary depending on context — the same way their performance on the SAT would change if they were tired versus alert, for example.
But unlike with the SAT, she said, practice would not significantly alter one's performance on the Pymetrics games. Unilever candidates who did not make it to the next round could submit their results to other companies that partner with Pymetrics.
Candidates who have the traits required of the position they're applying to then take a HireVue interview, which can be done with a computer camera or with a smartphone. They spend a few minutes on each of the questions required for their role, speaking to the camera. The interviews are not live. Candidates can do their HireVue interview on their smartphone. HireVue's AI analyzes each of the answers, noting aspects like keywords, body language, and tone. Hiring managers then see a detailed list of candidates the program deemed performed best.
After the algorithms help managers pick the most promising candidates, it's time to let human judgment take over. Candidates who have made it this far are invited to a Unilever office to experience what the job would entail, and if the recruiter working with them deems them a fit, they will receive an offer shortly after their visit.
Polli said that of all her company's clients, Unilever was "by far the one that went from 0 to Rather than undergoing a small beta phase, Unilever used the process described above with all intern applications as proof of concept, then rolled it out to all entry-level positions.Remember Me. Pymetrics taps into a similar market gap as Aspiring Minds. They can also choose to have their profile shared with potential employers who use pymetrics.
By Aprilpymetrics had reached over 80, job seekers and has partnered with a handful of major global companies, like Fidelity and Egon Zehnder. They also track candidates that were successfully matched with job to incorporate success rates back into the algorithm. Fantastic post! I had never heard about Pymetrics before. Seems like quite a fascinating concept.
I wonder what the data points it uses though for each game, and if it compares metrics between games to make more complex assessments. Very interesting! I can very well imagine that certain skills can be tested by playing relatively simple games.
A true blind audition
I would like to believe that assessing skills such as empathy still requires some human interaction. But maybe they could complement their games with data measured with webcams about emotions expressed. Great post! Do they factor this in? Thank you for this post, Carina. It encouraged me to re-take the Pymetrics test that I did several months ago. Overall, I agree with the approach that certain skills can be measured.
However, I am not sure to what degree this test is representative of true behavioral traits. Can an online balloon game in which you can gain or lose 5 imaginary cents correctly predict your risk-taking profile? The test results were inconsistent with reality for me.
Also, my second concern is related to veracity. Since you can retake the tests several times and you are told what your potential employers are looking for, you can manipulate the outcome of the individual tests to fit the desired profile. What do you think? I think this is a very interesting business model.
What I wonder though is that there are attributes that might not be easy or even possible to measure. You must be logged in to post a comment. Register for an account. Skip to content. We manage this forum to gather and share perspectives from the HBS student community.I got to know more about myself. Instead, we evaluate overbehavioral data points to match you to jobs fairly and accurately. Your unique behavioral attributes make you a great fit for a job—often many jobs—somewhere in our ecosystem.
The more you are your authentic self, the better we can match you to your dream job. After completing pymetrics, you receive your unique pymetrics profile that can be used to apply for any job within our ecosystem.
This profile reveals your most unique cognitive, social, and emotional attributes, and how these behaviors translate at work. Access to the pymetrics platform is only available to candidates who apply for jobs at companies we partner with, for now.
We want you to get hired, not just for any job, but your perfect job. The entire process was all so seamless and well-designed, the questions and criteria all felt very honest, encouraging and 'human', especially in comparison to other experiences.
I was astounded by how engaging and comfortable the series of tests were. The experience was so unlike what I've been used to and I found myself smiling during the tests, it was almost unbelievable how at ease I was!
I was hired into a job I had never heard of before pymetrics. I played interesting and thought-provoking games, and in 3 weeks I was interviewed and hired by a top-tier financial services institution. Pymetrics changed my career.
I am a person with disabilities. I have been discriminated against by several employers and have a limited educational background due to financial limitations This allows me to evaluate different education goals and select an optimal career and education path.
I am currently transitioning careers as I wasn't feeling fulfilled and satisfied with my previous job. Unlike many other career and personality tests, I enjoy not knowing what is being tested so I am not trying to guess the 'correct' answer the entire time. I love the fact that, though I didn't get accepted into the program I was applying for, I was not left with nothing.
Instead, I got to know more about myself. My wife was looking through the results just shaking her head and laughing at how well the games and algorithms pegged me.
Sick of your job? Pymetrics lets you play games to find your next career
We believe in involving those affected by our technology in our design process. These configurations will not be shared with anyone. If you are unsure if you should select an accommodation, feel free to send us an email at support pymetrics. If you have a different medical condition or disability that limits your ability to complete the games and would like to request an accommodation, please reach out to the employer that invited you to play pymetrics.How to beat LinkedIn: The Game.
Since its founding inLinkedIn has quickly become one of the most popular video games of all time. For those unfamiliar, LinkedIn is a 2D, turn-based MMORPG that sets itself apart from its competitors by placing players not in a fantasy world of orcs and goblins, but in the treacherous world of business.
Players can choose from dozens of character classes e. Like many games, it has dubious real-life utility. This illusion of importance creates a sense of naive trust among its users. This makes it easy to exploit. But it is, in fact, possible to win at LinkedIn. I have done so, and you can too, by following this short strategy guide. Box art by Joe Veix. The most important part of winning LinkedIn is creating the perfect profile. Once your profile is in decent shape, you can start connecting with strangers.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn limits users to only 30, connections, and 3, connection requests, so use some discretion. Spend a few hours each day connecting with people. Start by searching for employees at powerful corporations like Google and Facebook. As users within various spheres of influence accept your connection requests, you will begin to gain legitimacy.
At first a few people might decline your request, but eventually, once your network grows, important people will see that others they know are already connected with you, and accept your invitation without suspicion. Work your way through the corporate food chain like an intestinal parasite at a gratis conference buffet.
Thanks fellas! Before long, you will be friends with all of the titans of industry, and maybe even the bassist of Alien Ant Farm. When signing up for LinkedIn, users are encouraged to input their current job, if they have one, along with the month they started, placing themselves into a social hierarchy.
All you have to do is create 12 active jobs, each with a different starting month. Great work, Pig Boy! Which means everyone can get some of the social benefits of an Ivy League education, without any of the student debt.
Weirdly, only one guy ever got suspicious. Eventually, your impressive resume will begin to attract corporate recruiters. For example, someone from Quantcast once emailed me regarding a second LinkedIn account I had set up Pro Tip: double your connections with two accounts!
I probably seemed too eager, or my story about my alias was too convoluted. He never responded, and a few days later LinkedIn banned Greebo. I consider this one of my greatest failures.Those resumes sitting in a stack on your desk, waiting for you to dive in and try to find your next great candidate? Go ahead and rip them up. Polli says that so far, the platform has been more effective at finding the right hires than traditional resumes. Polli spent a combined decade as a cognitive neuroscientist at Harvard and MIT, where she studied the various ways to measure people's cognitive and emotional attributes.
For his part, Elon Musk has said that degrees are overrated in hiring. The results have been promising. Polli says that some companies have more than doubled the percentage of candidates they hire out of those they invite for in-person interviews.
And companies are reporting that job performance has improved among newly hired candidates. Many of the company's clients roll out the software beginning with a particular department or need, like a call center or IT team. The results are compared not just to a type of role, but to that role within the particular company.
You want them to be much more specifically tailored than that," Polli says. The startup has about 70 employees based in New York, London and Singapore.We use behavioral assessments to evaluate candidates.
Rather than focusing on backward-looking resumes or self-reported questionnaires, we collect objective behavioral data that measures a candidate's true potential.
The same set of assessments is used to measure the unique attributes of your top performers. This data is used to build custom algorithms that represent success in a given role at your company. Every algorithm is rigorously tested for bias. The pymetrics platform can evaluate candidates for any role within your company, and ultimately, any role in the pymetrics ecosystem.
Every candidate has a fit - redirect, don't reject. Rather than looking at a backward-looking resume or self-reported questionnaire, we collect objective behavioral data that measures a candidate's true potential. The same set of assessments are used to measure the unique attributes of your top performers.
We believe that AI can, and will, play a critical role in shaping the world for the better. That's why we build AI with the highest standard of ethical design principles. We even open-sourced our algorithm auditing tool to empower others to do the same.
Our industry leading clients understand that being a champion of diversity is central to their success. Login Learn more. We are redefining talent acquisition. Collect unbiased data. Train custom AI. Suggest unbiased matches. Technology is neutral - we're using it for good.If only finding your dream job were as easy as Pong. Well, Pymetrics, a young startup that launched in the fall ofclaims that may actually be true. As of today, Pymetrics has about 80, registered job candidates and a growing list of employers, which include Fidelity and search and talent strategy firm Egon Zehnder.
Pymetrics measures neither your IQ nor your knowledge of any subject matter, but rather assesses fifty key cognitive and emotional traits. After you play all the games, sophisticated data-science algorithms analyze your performance and create your cognitive and emotional profile—and your career profile as well. Pymetrics identifies what you are naturally best at, and matches it up with the career that requires it. The one you can fall in love with, in theory.
If LinkedIn and Match. Using technology to job-hunt by personal traits is only logical, says Polli. In an age when Amazon recommends your next unputdownable book and Netflix the next awesome movie, computer algorithms should suggest the next best candidate to a hiring manager and the next dream job to an applicant. To Polli, this is unacceptable. Polli realized that job-hunting tools were outdated when she herself was trying to figure out her career options.
As a student at Harvard Business School, and already with a Ph. This is not what we would do in a research lab to figure things out. Why are we doing it for career? Polli partnered up with Yoo, whom she had met a few years prior when they both worked as post-doctoral researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
They set off to remedy the problem. First, they developed a prototype, then they looked for investors. A friend put Polli in touch with Khosla Ventures, known to invest in science projects. Khosla Ventures was interested and in the fall ofPymetrics launched. It has been building a list of employers and job hunters since. To demonstrate how games work, Polli runs one of them. That game, Polli says, shows how attentive you are.
Her own Pymetrics profile fits the theme, she says—she can be a bit impulsive, but very efficient. In another game, you have to read faces—look at a photograph and tell what the person is feeling based on their facial expression. For some professions, such as human resources, the ability to read faces quickly and correctly is super important.
For others, not so. And hopefully gaming brings some excitement to the daunting job search process. And then it will send your profile to potential employers looking for people like you. Previous Next. The best indie games 1 day ago. The best Oculus Rift games 1 day ago. The 50 best shows on Amazon Prime right now 4 days ago.pymetrics Internal Demo Day Pitch