How Social Media And Gaming Are Changing How People Get Hired

Silicon Valley based company Knack is a company that matches potential employees that use online games and predictive analytics.

Guy Halfteck the founder and CEO of Knack said that entrepreneurs who say we are looking for team players and change agents asks the question. What does that mean? And goes on to suggest that it is meaningless and suggested that it makes the person who wrote that feel good. Instead Mr Halftech suggests that there is a more scientific approach which relies less on the recruiters instinct and puts focus on the potential candidates potential to succeed.

Mr. Halfteck developed the idea of Knack after being rejected for a management position. He said that the process was prolonged, and relied on a cover letter, resume, personality questionnaires and interviews. This apparently proved to be fruitless for Mr Halftech, so he set out to create a system that enables people to get to know each other by using science and technology. He specifically wanted to use game theory as a method of revealing a person’s true self.

He continued saying that when people play games they are sending honest signals about who they are. And that Knack employs online games such as Wasabi Waiter or Meta Maza. While playing you are sending revealing and honest signals about who you are said Mr Halftech

The Game 'Wasabi Waiter'

This is a game that the player acts as a server in a Sushi restaurant at the same time respond to the moods and needs of the hungry customers. The technology that they use enable them to understand the person playing and be able to predict if they will be successful or not.

Thousands of bits of data is collected while people play the games, this data measures traits, such as, self-restraint, resilience and empathy.

Knack counts clients such as the Royal Bank of Canada, IBM, American Express and they have developed formulas for each job that is based on traits possessed by successful people who are already employed doing the work.

If the applicants score in the gaming is a match against the behavioural science's formula, then it is envisaged that the person being tested will do well in that role and thus a potential match has been made.

Mr Halfteck says that this technology enables them to understand the person and be able to predict how successful that person will be, he continued that there will be an enormous rebalancing between Credentials and potential.

People with Autism and ADHD get match-ups

A New York-based company, Pymetrics, also uses games for evaluating potential candidates, one area they deal with more is the financial sector. In this case they use neuroscience games.

Alena Chiang, head of marketing at Pymetrics said that they gather tens of thousands of data points for each person through the games, compared to questionnaires, which only has one question which gives a data point.

She continued that the traditional method of HR is not great, and that it was unintentionally discriminatory, she said their aim was to democratize that removing any subjectivity or bias that currently exists.

The company is expanding their core job matching service and will be creating some new analytical models that will help find jobs for people who have dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. This was begun by Frida Polli with Julie Yoo.

People with these problems as applicant are often short-changed using traditional hiring methods.

Using Technology and the data gathering they hope to quantify the value of these people’s incredible attention to detail or the meticulous focus and then match them up with jobs that they would most likely thrive, says Ms. Chiang.

Predictive analytics

By using social media data, a company called Entelo has created over 100 million profiles of potential candidates which recruiters will be able to access using a search engine.

The candidates haven’t signed up for the service nor have they asked to be included into the database. However, for many it doesn't matter.

A story is told about an individual who Entelo had suspected was ready to move jobs based upon a small change on his Twitter profile.

Entelo had checked the person’s profile against the algorithm that had been developed to identify restless staff in a company and were then able to successfully recommend the person to recruiters.

The man was surprised and happy to find that a job search had been done unknown to him. Other people have asked that their names be removed from the database when they found out.

This usage of data has been common practice for many year, however the hurdle was the ability of corporate management to understand its complexity of how the data and algorithms are represented.