Restless Bandit

For helping giant companies tap into the thousands of job applications they already have.

Steve Goodman, Anton Dam
Human Resources
San FranciscoCA 
$10 million
 Photo Credit: Courtesy Company

Why It's Disruptive

What Restless Bandit promises to do for large corporations is deceptively simple: It helps companies find worthy candidates for new positions from old job applications. Many applicants may be the wrong fit for one job, but they can be the right fit for another. What's more, companies often end up wasting a lot of resources on marketing campaigns to fill empty slots when a lower-cost in-house scan might prove more effective. Restless Bandit performs that task with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Co-founder and CEO Steve Goodman, who sold his previous recruitment startup, Bright, to LinkedIn for more than $120 million in 2014, says his team has invested more than 50,000 hours in analyzing resumes and hiring patterns to better inform the company's machine-learning algorithms. Restless Bandit, named for a problem in decision theory, has aggregated more than 100 million job descriptions and 30 million resumes to train its algorithms, which are now being used by such clients as Gannett, Adidas, Applebee's, and comScore.

Biggest Challenges

Of course, where there is technology taking the place of humans, some flaws can be expected. In the early days, Goodman says his company's algorithms inadvertently created a selection bias, favoring applicants from a particular school. That gets dicey from a compliance standpoint, and although Goodman says the company continues to monitor and tweak the platform, other issues might arise. --Diana Ransom