This Tech Startup Uses AI to Eliminate All Hiring Biases | Fast Company


– I was a mid 30s, female, single mom, didn’t look like the prototype
of the tech entrepreneur by any stretch of the imagination, yet I was super passionate
about the field. If I had listened or looked at the world of tech entrepreneurship and made my determination that way, I would’ve never ventured into the field. (angsty rock music) – [Narrator] Pymetrics was founded by Harvard and MIT-trained neuroscientist Frida Polli in 2011. Pymetrics developed
neuroscience-based assessment and prediction technology to transform the way that companies hire. (playful music) – The way people are matched to jobs, whether it’s from an
external recruitment process or within the company, it is very analog and that leads to four major problems. One is it’s hugely inefficient. There are 250 applying
for any one open role. Secondly, it’s very ineffective, so 50% of first-year hires fail. That’s a massive, massive failure rate. Three is it’s very lacking in diversity. And then last, but not least, the candidate experience is terrible. Your application was often
never even acknowledged that it had been received. The resume black hole, as
I like to say, is a thing. It exists. If you look at the workforce today, it’s full of all types of bias, gender bias, ethnic bias,
socio-economic bias, age bias, and we as humans are
incapable of having our biases removed from us. It is physically impossibly. – As technology develops
in the employment space, what we see are lots of opportunities for us to improve processes
and increase efficiency. What that means is we
can automate decisions and so what Pymetrics does is intentionally audit these algorithms to ensure that we’re not
inherently bringing in the unconscious biases that the
human selection process has. – Pymetrics works very
much like Netflix did to transform what used to
be a Blockbuster economy to a Netflix economy. It opened up the options to millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions. So that’s part of what we
do is we allow a company to evaluate many, many more candidates than they ever would’ve in the past. (upbeat electronic music) The beauty of this technology is that it is giving a person a fit to many, many different roles that they may be being evaluated for and it’s allowing a company
to really evaluate all people that are applying to it, as well as doing it for
multiple different roles. As a candidate, you go to their website, you say this is the job
I’m looking to apply for, you start an application process, you fill in all your basic data, and then at that point,
you will be sent a link saying hey, please go
do the Pymetrics game. – Underlying the games are longstanding, well-developed neuroscience activities. So these are the same sorts of exercises that academics and very
well known universities have been using for decades to understand difference
between groups and individuals on traits like attention,
inhibition, risk, and emotion. And so given that we
wanted to rely on something that we know is sound and
based in solid science, we adapted some of those
neuroscience exercises that we see in the literature for our use in the employment space. – Pymetrics knows absolutely nothing about your demographic background. We don’t know your name. We don’t know your age. We don’t know your gender. We don’t know your ethnicity. We know nothing about you and that’s exactly the
way we want to keep it. (chuckling) It’s like don’t
tell us anything about yourself, except for your cognitive,
social, and emotional traits, and that’s the only
information we are gonna use to make that matching. So if I apply to a company
that’s using Pymetrics, I don’t just get evaluated
for the role I’ve applied to, I do get that, but I also
get evaluated for any role that I may not have thought of applying to that’s also being powered
by the Pymetrics platform, so that’s a huge value to me. If I choose to come out of
that application process or the company decides not
to hire me, I can then be put into a much, much broader
pool of evaluation for roles across all of
the Pymetrics companies. (uplifting music) Right now, I feel like we’re
kinda at the starting point of a new age of HR, really being engaged with analytics and AI and machine learning and big data and all of those labels
that people throw around in a way that really is unprecedented. We work with about a 100
different companies at this point, ranging from giant companies
like Unilever and Accenture that are taking hundreds
of thousands of employees and really radically
transforming their experience to fast-growth startups. – What we’re seeing
with some of our clients are numbers such as 15-20% increases in under-represented minorities. We’re seeing 100% increases in individuals hired over
the age of 30 and 40. Specifically with clients who
have a very young workforce, what that means is that people who traditionally
would’ve been discouraged from applying for a particular role, or even just screened
out by a human screener, would have had that
opportunity opened to them. – The self-discovery process
for the applicant is huge. Think of me. I was a mid 30s, female, single mom, didn’t look like the prototype
of the tech entrepreneur by any stretch of the imagination, yet I was super passionate
about the field. If I had listened or looked at the world of tech entrepreneurship and made my determination that way, I would’ve never ventured into the field. And that’s what we do for people. We give them the confidence, we give them the data point that they need to say I would be a
good fit for this role, I’m gonna go ahead and apply to this, even if I don’t see people
that necessarily look like me that are predominant in the field. If everyone used Pymetrics today or some technology that
functioned like Pymetrics, the workplace would be a
more accurate and fair place. We would have people that
were happier at their jobs, better suited for their jobs, staying longer, performing
better, and so on.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “This Tech Startup Uses AI to Eliminate All Hiring Biases | Fast Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *