With $2.5 Million From Khosla Ventures, Pymetrics Launches A Game-Based Campus Recruiting Tool

Pymetrics thinks there’s a better way to do campus recruiting. The company, founded by a couple of neuroscientists, is launching a new, game-based recruiting tool on campuses that it believes will better assess the strengths of candidates and can find the right careers and companies for them. And it’s raised $2.5 million from Khosla Ventures and a bunch of angels to move that vision forward.

Pymetrics was founded by neuroscience experts Frida Polli and Julie Yoo, who studied at Harvard and MIT. They decided to build Pymetrics after Polli saw firsthand how difficult it was for students to deal with the recruiting process after graduation.

Recruiters today usually rely on stuff like grades and test scores to determine who the best applicants are for positions, but those metrics rarely correlate with actual job performance of candidates. With that in mind, the Pymetrics founders believed they could build better measureme tools for candidates’ cognitive and emotional abilities.

To do that, Pymetrics bases its assessment on a series of games that candidates can take to assess things like organization, work ethic, or risk-taking judgment. The games are short and fast-paced, asking candidates to do things like identify the emotional expression on a person’s face or to quickly respond to a series of images that flash on the screen.

Once the games are completed, the company uses machine learning to identify which specific careers might be best for a candidate. And it can even make suggestions about which companies will be best, based on what it knows about the corporate culture of different enterprise clients.

Pymetrics actually started out by providing its recruiting tools to enterprise companies like hedge funds, financial services companies, and big consulting firms. And while those clients have benefited from the candidates they have found by making the games a part of their recruiting process, the company saw a bigger opportunity to make the games available through university campuses.

By doing so, Pymetrics can find talent that recruiters might not have already identified, and it can match students up with relevant careers and companies that they might not have considered. All students need to do if they’re identified as a top fit for certain companies is to opt-in and have their information shared with Pymetrics clients.

For its launch, Pymetrics will be made available in a number of different undergraduate and MBA programs across the country, including Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Harvard, New York University, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

It’s doing that with $2.5 million in funding led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from angels that include Bob Pittman, Jeff Hammerbacher, and Andy Palmer, and Terry McGuire of Polaris Ventures. Along with the funding, Khosla Ventures’ Ben Ling will be joining the company’s board. The money will be used to grow the team, which has just four employees full-time now, and to support the platform at universities across the country.