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

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– 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

Source: Youtube

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