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Wall Street May Bank on Computer Games as Recruiting Tool

Image: Gaming enthusiasts try out games

Gaming enthusiasts try out games. Juergen Schwarz / Getty Images file

Why Girls Are Getting in on Gaming 2:02

"I have yet to meet anybody who thinks the resume is an incredibly great piece of information about anybody, especially when you are 22. What kind of 22-year-old's resume says anything about them, really?"

Polli, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from MIT, along with her team of six created a game-based recruiting tool that companies and universities are using to determine which students fit better at certain jobs in specific firms. So far they are in the pilot stage or negotiations with four major U.S. financial institutions and have proof of concepts underway with two of the top five U.S. banks, Polli said.

The platform is currently in beta, but is launching for the banks to use this recruiting season.

A Win-Win Situation?

Basically, Pymetrics works with companies to assess their top 50 or more employees in specific divisions using its neuroscience games online. The games are simple and measure things like a person's attentiveness and impulsiveness. (Test your own skills on Pymetrics' website.)

"We are going to recommend you to a bank where we see you will be a good fit. But if you want to apply to another bank independently, they will never know that you weren't a match,"

The prospective employees' gaming results creates a profile of his or her strengths. Likewise, student applicants who have completed Pymetrics gaming system also have a profile created. Pymetrics compares the students' profiles to the company profiles to determine which firm would likely be a better fit for the candidate.

"The resume ... cannot provide the level of information about a candidate that a game-based assessment can where you are uncovering their social and cognitive profile."

It's not designed to be a competition, because different jobs require different characteristics. For example, if a game reveals that a person is impulsive, it's not necessarily a bad quality because that can be a strength in positions like business development and sales, Polli said.

"It's only an upside to students because it's a sourcing tool. We are going to recommend you to a bank where we see you will be a good fit. But if you want to apply to another bank independently, they will never know that you weren't a match," Polli said. "It will always feel like a win situation for them."

But the use-cases for Pymetrics platform go beyond just recruiting students straight out of school. It can also be used to better place employees already within an organization and could be used as a way for recruiters to better search for new employees, Polli said.

While Pymetrics, which is backed by Khosla Ventures, touts itself as "the next generation job marketplace" it's not aiming to completely replace services like LinkedIn, at least not yet.

"The resume, which really is what LinkedIn is, it's a searchable place of online resumes, cannot provide the level of information about a candidate that a game-based assessment can where you are uncovering their social and cognitive profile," Polli said. "So we are different than what they do and I think it adds that third layer of recommendation engine tools that is sort of missing."