The early days
Arena was formally founded by Michael Rosenbaum in 2015, but its roots began long before. Early in his career, as a Fellow at Harvard University working with the White House in economics and law, Rosenbaum observed tremendous inefficiencies in the labor market. Since it is primarily based on subjective perceptions of a job candidate’s future performance, the hiring process often failed to match people to jobs where they would be most likely to deliver desired business outcomes. Rosenbaum believed that capturing and applying a large amount of data could create more accurate predictions of a candidate’s performance, improving the labor market and solving a host of problems including income inequality and prevailing biases. Seeing the potential to rethink the way hiring is done, he decided to put his theory into practice.
Proving the theory
In 2001 Rosenbaum assembled a team that could develop an analytics engine for selecting candidates based on data. He created a technology company called Catalyte. Not only has Catalyte proven his theory, it continues to realize substantial growth and garner praise from the press (including the Wall Street Journal and CIO magazine), industry analysts (including Gartner), and clients (including Nike and L’Oréal).
Building the technology
In 2010, Catalyte’s engine was ready to move beyond technology and Rosenbaum incubated Pegged Software inside Catalyte to apply the same principles to help health care organizations improve their outcomes. Our first client was Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and our goal was to reduce employee turnover in clinical and administrative positions by 10%. In fact, initial turnover decreased by 58%, and after the machine learning effects improved the accuracy of the algorithms turnover was decreased by 77%. In 2015, Pegged Software became a separate company and in 2016 we changed the name to Arena.