Knack.it is a Palo Alto startup that endeavors to use gaming and big data and to lead to improved decisions on employee selection. Knack has developed games such as Wasabi Walter and Balloon Brigade that test for personality traits. Companies can then use the games to decide which traits are associated with good job performance and hire based on those measures.
MIT Sloan's Erik Brynjolfsson notes in a recent Business Week article, "People are our biggest resource, and right now a lot of them are mismatched." Firms make screening decisions on such factors as interviews and number of short-term jobs held that in many cases are not reliable predictors of job performance. Now they can have star employees play Knack and develop a profile of a successful hire that can be then matched against the Knack performance of job applicants. The Economist reports that Shell and Bain are starting to use Knack; will this be the beginning of a trend?
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