It’s a big day for Silicon Beach: Criteria Corp just announced the closure of a strategic investment from Sumeru Equity Partners worth $56 million.
Though Criteria Corp has been partnering with hundreds of companies since 2006, providing them with pre-hire personality and skill screening tools, this is by far their largest round to date.
Increasingly, companies are using forms of psychometric testing to get into the nitty gritty of a candidate’s profile. A job candidate may look great on paper, but a list of “skills and experience” can make it difficult to tell how well an applicant will mesh with a team’s culture.
A 2017 survey of HR professionals from around the world indicated that more than 62 percent of companies rely on these types of tests in the pre-hire phase. This makes it all the more important that these tests are crafted with care and intelligence.
Criteria’s CEO, Josh Millet, said test quality is of the utmost concern for his team.
We have some great psychologists involved in creating our tests.”
“We have some great psychologists involved in creating our tests,” Millet said, pointing to figures like company co-founder Dr. Eric Loken, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard, in addition to a robust Scientific Advisory Board that elevates their product from simple personality quizzes to thoughtful assessments with a strong scientific backbone.
The company works with hundreds of firms in a range of fields, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Allstate Insurance and Domino’s Pizza.
Millet told Built In that, in addition to investments in the company’s sales and marketing divisions, the company will be honing in on product development.
Currently, the company is researching methods for providing more accurate personality and skill assessments with a shorter test-taking window; providing the same results in a five-to-ten minute window, rather than a full-fledged 45-minute exam.
The firm is already making strides in this arena with one of its latest test options, known acrononymously as “G.A.M.E.” — short for General Aptitude Mobile Evaluation. This five-to-six-minute test may look like a series of “brain games” to candidates, but can provide a rich trove of data to potential employers.
While the fresh investment may be the beginning of a new chapter for Criteria, the 13-year-old company has had the pleasure of witnessing Silicon Beach grow up around it. Millet noted that while, at one point, LA’s tech scene was largely limited to entertainment and e-commerce, the city now serves as home to a growing number of flourishing B2B businesses — a shift of which Criteria is proudly a part.