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Law Firm to Use Software Games for Hiring

Military leaders have long used games for battlefield strategy, and now a law firm is using games as a hiring strategy.

O'Melveny & Myers is evaluating potential associates through games that measure effort, attention, planning, memory, and flexibility. The firm says the artificially intelligent games will help assess candidates "based on potential, not pedigree."

Pymetrics, a New York company, is designing the games to remove potential gender, racial or ethnic bias in employment. It's a battle law firms have been fighting for some time.

Diversity and Inclusion

In a press release, O'Melveny said it is the first law firm to adopt the technology to propel diversity and inclusion. Firm lawyers are playing the neuroscience-based games to create an algorithmic profile for the firm.

Job applicants will then play the games, and the algorithm will help the firm identify candidates with the strongest potential for success. The goal is to assess cognitive and emotional traits -- not gender, racial or ethnic traits -- which should level the playing field in hiring.

Darin Snyder, the firm's diversity and inclusion partner, said O'Melveny has "not been satisfied" with the number of diverse candidates. He told the American Lawyer that the firm wants to "increase the number of diverse attorneys" among new recruits.

"We believe Pymetrics will improve our ability to connect with and recruit a broader array of candidates with the potential to succeed at O'Melveny," he said.

"People Analytics"

The firm is also introducing "people analytics," a tool to survey employees about flexible work options. It's designed to help lawyers achieve work/life balance.

Werk, a New York startup, measures worker "needs" versus "wants." It identifies the gap between them, and then provides information to help the law firm create flexible programs.

"Through Werk, we will gain the insights we need to leverage flexibility not just to engage and retain our existing attorneys, but to attract a new generation of talent," said Michelle Egan, managing director for talent development.

O'Melveny said nothing about games in the break rooms, but it could help. Chess, one of the early war games, could be just as fun as the hiring games.

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