What is pymetrics?
Pymetrics taps into a similar market gap as Aspiring Minds. Launched in 2014 by co-founders Frida Polli and Julie Yoo from HBS and MIT, respectively, it uses decades of neuroscience research to help companies and potential employees assess “emotional intelligence and intellectual intelligence” to help recruiters find the right candidate for the job, and to help candidates find the right career path.
According to a 2014 article in INC, pymetrics first “funded itself entirely with revenue from the business until December 2013, when it raised $2.5 million from Khosla Ventures” after having built a prototype – it launched in the fall of 2014.
To take the test, users simply go to the pymetrics’ website and play 12 games, which the startup claims takes about 30 minutes. Upon completion, gamers receive insights about “50 key cognitive and emotional traits” like attention to detail and memory and are matched up with potential careers in which they might excel. They can also choose to have their profile shared with potential employers who use pymetrics. By April 2015, pymetrics had reached over 80,000 job seekers and has partnered with a handful of major global companies, like Fidelity and Egon Zehnder.
How does it use data to create value?
With every game played on its platform, pymetrics collects more and more data to feed into its “sophisticated data science algorithms, [allowing them] to create a personalized cognitive, emotional, and social profile, as well as career profile” for test takers. They also track candidates that were successfully matched with job to incorporate success rates back into the algorithm.
This neuroscience-meets-big-data approach allows them to create value in two major ways:
- It is highly objective. The personal and cognitive traits pymetrics tests through its games are measured in a “non-directional” way, so there is no good or bad side of the spectrum to fall on, no right and wrong. It aims to offer a neutral view of where a person falls on each trait and leaves it up to the recruiter to decide what’s desirable for the specific position they are trying to fill. As co-founder Frida Polli puts it, “we offer another data point that’s free of bias and subjectivity, and hopefully people will trust it as an objective data point.”
- It is fun and simple. People who have taken tests like Myers Briggs and other self-assessment tools know that these personality tests can be long and boring. Pymetrics breaks this pattern by offering fun online games that are quick to play and let the test taker forget that they are even being assessed on their personality traits. An example of a game that I tried out was Keypresses. The instructions prompted me to press the space bar on my keyboard as often as possible once I saw the word “GO” on the screen. It lasted for maybe 30 seconds. Once I finished, I found out that this game measured the “speed with which I process information.” Apparently I am “neither overly impulsive nor overly deliberate when processing and reacting to information that comes my way.”
As pymetrics continues to grow, they are aiming to grow their platform by adding more schools and more companies, aiming to “ultimately be a one-stop destination for someone that is trying to determine his or her career.”