Pymetrics is one of several AI companies used to screen job applicants. Their app uses video games for personality tests. (Source: Pymetrics)

Corporations Turn to Algorithms, Games to Weed Out Job Applicants

A BBC reporter wrote about her experience in applying for a job and how she was required to fill out an application and do a test that involved online games that were designed to assess personality. According to the story, more companies than ever are using such online systems to narrow down job applicants–who often never meet a human being before being rejected.

Business reporter Andrea Murad wrote about her experience in completing a test by the New York firm Pymetrics online from her computer at home.

“These included having to quickly count the number of dots in two boxes, inflating a balloon before it burst to win money, and matching emotions to facial expressions. Then an artificial intelligence (AI) software system assessed my personality, and either passed or failed me. No human had a look-in.”

Murad writes that because of COVID, even fewer in-person interviews are being conducted, particularly since people are working from home anyway. The test she took graded her based on”risk tolerance” and how quickly she responded to certain situations. She said the company claims to measure cognitive traits and emotional intelligence in 25 minutes.

The program is used by McDonald’s, JP Morgan Bank, accounting firm PWC, and food group Kraft Heinz for screening. Those who pass get an interview with a human recruiter.

“Everyone wants the right job, and to hire the right person,” said Frida Polli, Pymetrics founder. “It doesn’t benefit anyone for the match to be off. Trying to use these AI systems in smart ways is to everyone’s advantage.”

Utah-based HireVue uses an AI system that records videos of job applicants answering interview questions via their laptop’s webcam and microphone. By September 2019 it had conducted a total of 12 million interviews, of which 20% were via the AI software. The remaining 80% were with a human interviewer on the other end of a video screen. The overall figure has now risen to 19 million, with the same percentage split.

According to a 2019 report by The Undercover Recruiter, in the next 10 years AI will replace 16% of recruitment jobs.