Pymetrics today announced it has raised $40 million to expand its work using a combination of neuroscience and artificial intelligence to help companies recruit the right job candidates. The funding will allow Pymetrics to continue its product development and expansion in markets outside the United States.
More than 60 companies use Pymetrics in their hiring practices today, including Unilever, Hyatt, and Accenture. In some instances, companies using Pymetrics have seen a 20 percent increase in the diversity of hires and a 65 percent increase in retention rates.
The $40 million funding round was led by General Atlantic, with participation from Salesforce Ventures and Workday Ventures, as well as existing investors Jazz Venture Partners and Khosla Ventures.
More than 1 million job candidates around the world have played Pymetrics games using the company‘s Android and iOS apps.
Pymetrics begins by asking the top performers in a position a company is hiring for to play a series of games. This allows Pymetrics to track their performance and responses to different scenarios and gauge the specific traits associated with that job. Candidates are then compared to these results.
The use of AI to match companies with candidates has been on the rise — with solutions from the likes of Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Vervoe, and Plum, but concerns about bias being baked into the process have also increased.
Last week, senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) members asking questions about how the EEOC assesses claims of discrimination based on algorithmic bias and the use of facial recognition software in the hiring process.
Since people already hired for positions within a company may come from a single, homogenous group, Pymetrics augments its service with a bias detection tool developed internally to prevent results that simply reinforce existing bias. In May, Pymetrics open-sourced a tool named Audit-AI.
“We look at what traits make that population [top performers] unique, and sometimes those traits might be predictive not of job performance but the homogeneity of the people who went through it,” Pymetrics lead data scientist Lewis Baker told VentureBeat in an interview in May. “And so we use Audit AI to make sure that we don’t overweight any traits that are actually more predictive of a certain demographic group.”
In addition to helping companies find new employees, Pymetrics is also used to help companies target existing employees for new positions and to identify potential areas for improvement.
Since the company was founded in 2013, it has raised a total of $58 million.
Pymetrics has 87 employees and is based in New York City, with offices in London, Singapore, and Sydney.