In brief: Interns at JPMorgan Chase have to play video games if they want a full-time position with the bank. The pilot program was developed by an AI startup called Pymetrics and is used to evaluate candidates on a variety of metrics including attention, memory, and altruism.
Matt Mitro, JPM’s head of campus recruiting, told Reuters the profiles generated by interns playing the games are compared with those of the firm’s established and successful employees to determine the best job placement. This gives human resources as a data-based assessment rather than relying on resume blurbs and best guesses.
“Our re-imagining of how we hire is part of a broader objective at the firm where we are asking ourselves: ‘Can we better meet our diversity goals by broadening the pool of candidates we are considering?’,” said Mitro.
The Pymetrics video games themselves seem innocuous to the player. Engadget tried some of them last year and gave an example where you are tasked with quickly filling balloons with water without popping them. On the surface, the games look unassuming and straightforward, but behind the scenes, a neuroscience-based artificial intelligence makes assessments about candidates based on how they play.
The company claims the games are more accurate than some standardized testing like Myers-Briggs. Questionnaires tend to have a wider margin of error due to candidates second-guessing or tailoring answers to the way they feel the employer wants rather than being honest.
Games are a much more objective tool for assessment as players approach problems in the ways they see best work for them. Pymetrics compares it to the difference between asking someone how much they weigh versus weighing them on a scale.
JPMorgan will continue testing the pilot program on interns through 2020 before adopting it permanently or expanding it to outside applicants. It also stressed that the technology is just a tool in the HR department’s tool belt — one “step of the selection process.”