Prophecy Sciences (YC W13) transforms recruiting using neuroscience, behavioral tests, and bio-signals

Ask any startup or business what its top priorities are at any given moment and, more often than not, the conversation begins and ends with recruiting. In spite of this, recruiting and hiring top talent is a huge headache, the process is messy and inefficient, and most businesses stink at it as a result. According to Forbes, businesses in the U.S. spend close to $72 billion each year on recruiting services and products, yet 46 percent of hires fail within the first 18 months.

Rather than throwing darts, a new startup launching today wants to help companies turn hiring into a science. Using a combination of neurocognitive games, biometric signals and machine learning algorithms, Prophecy Sciences aims to help companies make smarter choices during the recruiting process. Of course, the real key to a successful hire is not simply locating the candidate with the best resume or most impressive credentials, although those certainly help. Ultimately, it’s about finding the person who’s the best fit for your team (and understands your company’s mission).

That’s why Prophecy Sciences starts with your team. The Y Combinator-backed company has created a 30-min sit-down test (which it also administers) that’s designed to measure the skill level, personality traits and interaction styles within working teams. Founded by Stanford neuroscience PhDs, rather than simply rely on Big Data or automation software, Prophecy Sciences wants to go deeper.

The test seeks to analyze the unique blend of chemical reactions, electrical impulses, reflexes and behaviors that make you who you are, and measure how you respond to group dynamics, before ultimately identifying trends between you and your colleagues. The idea being that the better it understands the patterns in how you and the team work, communicate and interact, the more effective it can be in helping you to find and place the right candidate — and optimize your existing teams, says Prophecy Sciences founder Bob Schafer.

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