Recruiting-tech Startup Lensa Measuring How Candidates Play a Game

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Oct 1, 2015

Expanding into the U.S. from Europe is a startup taking complex measurements of how people play a game, and matching those people to employers based on the way they played.

If you’ve heard of companies like Knack and Pymetrics — well, this is roughly in that genre.

Lensa has a development team in Budapest and employees in San Francisco and salespeople in New York. Its sweet spot is probably the mid market, about 500- to 5,000-employee customers.

nodesJob seekers play a little game where they move nodes around a screen, trying to reach an object (see my screenshot).

The game takes 400 measurements every second about how the person is playing the game. It measures not so much how well you did, but how you played. How often did you touch the mouse pad? Did you give up? Try multiple times? Learn as you went?

(Speaking of trying it multiple times: I asked simulation expert Mark Chussil to play the game. It’s hard to gauge at this point without more details, he says, but, he says, “I definitely agree with the idea that the point is not whether you solve the game but how you go about the game. The cool thing is that it makes me want to play the game again.”)

Anyhow, job seekers get a little description of their results, describing themselves as one of seven archetypes. Employers get this too — a snapshot of the candidate — as well as information on candidates’ hard skills, based mainly on their resumes.

artistThe system learns as it goes. It might find that a lot of great salespeople at IBM are artists, or are not artists, based on who’s playing the game and getting a description of themselves. Companies can then use it to find hires who have characteristics similar or different to their current department.

Or, CEO Gergo Vari tells me, they can use it to build internal teams. Maybe a company is putting together a team of people to build a new product, and it doesn’t want people who are all impatient (or who are all too patient, for that matter). Or, it needs more, or fewer, go-getters.

Vari says more games on the way. Possibly, they could be niche games. You want more creative people, so you use a game to specifically measure creativity.  

Lensa is self-funded, with about 40 employees.

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