HR solving puzzle of IQ vs EQ

EQ vs IQ: Why your IQ score isn’t as important

The IQ test was created in 1904. Nearly 100 years later, we’re beginning to discover how there is much more to human intelligence than IQ.  

On the whole IQ tests assess your reasoning, memory, mathematical and language skills. Contrary to popular belief, IQ only measures a specific set of cognitive abilities and is not a measure of your overall intelligence. 

 Your score can also change over time, this can be due to a number of factors such as childhood development or your environment. The National Institute of Mental Health uncovered that employees who work in complex environments will perform a lot better on the tests over time than those who are in jobs that don’t challenge them. This demonstrates that intelligence isn’t fixed and there are factors that can improve our IQ. 

EQ is more valuable than you think 

We are starting to realise our emotions can help us in the workplace. For instance, a leader who is delivering negative feedback to a sensitive employee will need to use their emotional intelligence (EQ) to understand the best approach to take. 

Generally, emotional intelligence is:

  • Self-awareness – an understanding of your own emotions and how they could affect others.
  • Self-regulation – this is the ability to think before you react to a situation and the degree you are able to control your moods and impulses.
  • Internal motivation – rather than pursuing a goal for a reward, you are motivated to achieve for personal reasons, for instance, personal development.
  • Empathy – you are able to recognise and understand other people’s motivations.
  • Social skills – you are able to build a network and manage relationships.

More and more studies are revealing how beneficial emotional intelligence is to all of us. The World Economic Forum found that 90% of top performers at work also have high emotional intelligence.

Over the next few years, we will see AI being introduced into our workplace. Although machines are more proficient in processing and understanding large amounts of data, they can’t replace human connection. Dr Boris Altemeyer, our Chief Scientific Officer, revealed that: 

“The advance of technology means we can focus on what humans are truly good at. This can fall into the area of EQ: managing emotions of others (and ourselves, of course) and taking them into account in our decision making. After all, many aspects of our economy are now about generating and selling emotional experiences, not just logical solutions. This means that – particularly in customer-facing jobs – EQ can be many times more important than just high cognitive functioning / IQ.”

Although AI may excel in abilities assessed in IQ tests, machines struggle to perform EQ attributes. Therefore, your EQ score is going to be just as important as your IQ score in order to thrive in the future workforce. 

Everyone is different. Every role is different. 

A person is so much more than their IQ score. It only measures a specific part of who they are. When you hire someone you want to understand the candidate as a whole, not just their cognitive abilities. We have created Cognisess Pro with this in mind. Our scientifically backed assessments can show you how emotionally intelligent a candidate is, alongside cognitive and personality traits that are important in a role. Every role is different, which is why we are able to assess up to 120 attributes for a job. 

Although IQ is important, we are beginning to realise that our score can change over time. EQ is just as valuable in the workplace and we are beginning to champion different types of intelligence. Let’s celebrate them together, book a free demo to get a personalised insight into recruiting the right emotional intelligence and IQ abilities for your company. 

HR discussing hiring decision

How that bad hiring decision was made

Have you ever wondered how a bad hiring decision is made? Although we try to hire the most suitable candidate, sometimes bad hiring decisions are made. But this isn’t by coincidence, here are some factors that can influence a hiring decision. 

Was there bias at play? 

Humans unconsciously process 11 million pieces of information per second. In order to manage this mass of data, our brains have had to adapt by creating ‘shortcuts’ to help us make decisions. Without this, we would be paralysed into making no decisions or just random ones. This is cognitive bias.  Here are the 4 reasons why bias could influence a hiring decision.  

  • Too much information – Too many great applicants? Or maybe an applicant’s supporting statement is far too long.  If there is too much information humans are drawn to details that support their existing beliefs. For example, Harvard Business School discovered employers aren’t prejudiced against women because of their gender, but because they have the perception that men perform better in certain tasks.
  • Lack of information – In contrast, when there isn’t enough information our brain fills in the gaps. This includes filling in characteristics of a person or a group from prior history or stereotypes. 
  • The need to act fast – Did the position need to be filled quickly? When we need to make a decision quickly we tend to choose the option that is the least risky to avoid mistakes and preserve our status in a group.   
  • What should we remember? In a world packed with information, our brains need to decide which elements will prove useful in the future. Our minds have created a few methods to enhance storage space, for example, the brain prefers generalisations over specifics because they take up less space.

Learn more about bias here. 

Was the recruiter in a bad mood?

However hard we try to prevent it, our emotions are still a key influence when we make a decision. We know from research, as well as from experience, that it is generally a bad idea to make promises when in a good mood and major decisions when in a bad mood. It is harder to rationalise when we are experiencing negative emotions. The brain is focused on how angry or sad we are instead of the decision at hand.

What time of day was it?

Humans have natural energy highs and lows throughout the day which can impact the decisions they make. This study found that judges would give harsher sentences before their lunch break and were more favourable after, despite the cases being similar. Depending on the time of day a recruiter could make the wrong hiring decision because their energy is low. 

There were too many factors at play 

According to this study, we can only take 7 elements into consideration at once. It might be challenging to make the best decision if there is more than 7 equally qualified candidates for a job, or more than 7 important personal qualities detailed in the personal specification. 

However there is a way to ensure that you make the best decision, regardless of how many factors are at play. A platform like Cognisess Pro is able to consider up to 120 attributes in relation to a candidate’s suitability for a role. This is a lot more information than a human can process. The platform then can present it’s findings in a condensed way to aid HR’s decision making.  

Harness the power of technology

We can’t control the world around us. Sometimes our environment will influence our decisions and other times it could be our unconscious bias, an inherent part of being human. Although we can’t prevent these factors we can ensure they don’t allow you to make a bad hiring decision. Technology is free from human qualities like unconscious bias and energy levels, therefore it can be used as a tool to help us navigate a tricky hiring decision. 

Book a demo with us today if you would like to discuss how Cognisess Pro can help you hire the right person every time. 

How our emotions influence the decisions we make

The holiday and New Year season are a wonderful time (for the scientifically minded) to explore insights around the role of our Emotional State. Cognisess’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer discusses what our emotional state does to us and why that is important. 

As social beings, our interactions are shaped by our current mood and general emotional ‘status quo’ – i.e. our Emotional State. At certain times of the year, such as the winter holidays, we have a heightened awareness of our own and other’s Emotional State. This can often make or break conversations and occasions – as some of us might have found out first hand whilst meeting friends and family over the holidays! 

Are our decisions influenced by our emotions?

We know from research, as well as from experience, that it is generally a bad idea to make promises when in a good mood and major decisions when in a bad mood. We are much more likely to be empathetic and engaging when we are in a neutral or positive mood. Being able to assess how another person is feeling is a tremendous skill. And doing so without being overly influenced by our own Emotional State, is more than just a skill or talent. However, AI is able to help.  

The way we feel or perceive how someone else is feeling will influence how we choose to react. This heightened sensibility is something that makes distinctly superior to AI… or does it?  

AI can see our emotional state 

In the past, we have focussed a lot of our research efforts on developing computer vision. This is used in the platform’s video analysis tool to reliably detect micro-expressions and emotions from a candidate’s video interviews. Using our own dedicated algorithms and analysis we are able to reveal a tremendous amount about a person, for example:  

  • How engaged someone might be in a role  
  • Their suitability for a role were empathy or Emotional State play a big part. We have found this to be especially useful when working with the hospitality industry, in which customer service and mood state is paramount.  

How good are we at decision making?  

Some humans are good at spotting emotional states. A recruiter or manager may be known for their good ‘instinct’ when picking the right candidate. Most of us do these things without thinking about it, or even being able to verbalise it. Whilst this insightfulness can be seen as a great advantage over a machine the approach is also prone to human errors. For example, distraction, stress, fatigue, bias and our own ‘less-than-reliable’ Emotional State.  

However, machines don’t have an ‘off-day’. Which is why at Cognisess we generate greater accuracies and efficiencies with machines in order to open up new opportunities for humans to learn about their own Emotional States and mood patterns. 

Why we need to work with AI  

We are starting to see a reversal of roles between the human and the machine – particularly in candidate recruitment and employee management. Up to this point in time, we have spent a lot of time ‘mentoring’ the machines to mimic what we humans do, like finding patterns and starting to interpret them.  

Going forward, we will see this dynamic being reversed. We will gain knowledge by learning from the patterns that the machines uncover, which in turn will reveal a lot about other people’s behaviour. For instance, this will be particularly helpful when dealing with huge amounts of real-time human data, volumes of videos, and visual information that are too vast for any human to process. 

The ghost of recruitment past is fast becoming the traditional recruiter armed with their ‘instinct’ and the ghost of recruitment future is AI. Which ghost is part of your hiring process?  Give yourself the gift of a future proof recruitment process this Christmas by booking a free demo with us.  

– something that can accurately read the right Emotional State without being affected itself. Perhaps that’s something that ought to be on your Christmas list for next holiday season – just before you get to your family gathering? 

Looking at a closed feedback loop of emotion recognition and appraisal, we may be soon able to identify whether the emotional state of an employee or their manager affects their appraisals or performance and if so, how. Some might think this is an unwelcome intrusion on our privacy – but perhaps if you are a police officer, a care worker, an air traffic controller, a pilot or a surgeon – that could be a crucial piece of information to know. Likewise, it can be generally helpful to better understand which type of Emotional State is most conducive to (and predictive of) a good outcome in different decision-making and interaction scenarios – this is very much important within customer service environments where we can get the mood ‘just right’ – or very, very wrong. 

Recruiter holding a computer with a brain displayed

What is computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience?

Computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience are part of the new wave of HR technology. But what are they? Below we reveal their definitions and how they can be used in recruitment. 

What is computer vision? 

Computer vision acts as the eyes of an AI. This technology can visually process the world around them and they can be programmed to analyse the information it collects. For example, computer vision is used as part of our video analysis tool. The technology analyses each candidate’s facial expressions and micro-expressions from their video interview. Micro-expressions are facial movements that happen before we are consciously aware of them. This means computer vision is able to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel.

This tool can be used to recruit across all industries. However, it is especially useful in customer-focused roles where ‘reading people’ or presenting yourself positively or empathetically is required. Computer Vision can observe how easy a person is to talk to, and how approachable they will be to customers – even under pressure.

Learn more about computer vision here.

What is machine learning? 

Machine learning is a subset of AI. Like a brain, it is able to learn and independently come to its own conclusions. It is widely used in our everyday lives, for instance, it is used to recommend you  products online. 

It can be used in recruitment to identify the best candidates for you. For example, our team will give it data on your top performers and machine learning can select the common attributes that make that group successful. It will then use this knowledge to pick the best candidates from the applicant pool. 

What is neuroscience? 

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. By focusing on the brain we are able to reveal its impact on a person’s behaviour and cognitive functions.

This is actually a great resource in recruitment. Using neuroscience we are able to understand a candidate on an individual level, regardless of the volume of applicants. Equipped with this personality and cognitive data you can get to know the candidate before you meet them, you will understand what drives them and how they will react in certain situations. At Cognisess we do this by assessing applicants with our scientifically backed games which will enhance your decision making. 

A powerful combination

Computer vision, machine learning and neuroscience are only beginning to transform recruitment. At Cognisess we apply them in one user-friendly platform. Book a free demo with us to see how we do it. 

Person answering a personality assessment

Why personality assessments alone won’t identify the top talent

More companies are using personality assessments than ever before. NBC News has reported that their usage is increasing by 20% each year. But are they the most effective way to measure and predict job performance? 

Below is the results of Frank Schmidt’s meta-analysis based on nearly a century of workplace productivity data. 

Meta data that measures the most effective hiring methods.

As you can see, applying personality tests alongside traditional recruitment methods create a less effective process than using a multi-level assessment approach…But why is this the case? 

Personality tests are easy to manipulate 

Some candidates may try to reverse engineer these assessments in order to impress an assessor. For example, from a list of words a candidate will choose the most favourable ones to describe themselves, instead of what their truly like. 

This is damaging to the overall hiring process. HR believes the candidate is someone they’re not and can result in the wrong applicant being hired. 

We are constantly changing 

A lot of personality tests are based on the four-quadrant personality model. This model is built to assess our states. These are the more fluid parts of our personality, for example, a person may be highly organised at work but is disorganised in their personal life. It is recommended that individuals frequently retake these tests because a person’s context regularly changes. Meaning it can be unreliable to predict a person’s job performance. 

So we shouldn’t use personality tests in recruitment?  

This depends on how you apply them. A strong recruitment process would include a multi assessment approach that tests a variety of traits, behavioural and cognitive factors. Combining these components make a personality test much more effective. Here are some factors that indicate a strong personality assessment: 

  • They assess stable traits (instead of states). These are traits that are at the core of our personality, for example, how agreeable you are. Our platform uses the Big 5 Personality Model to measure these stable traits, which is the most reliable and scientifically backed personality model. The personality results are accurate for up to 6 months after they take the assessment. 
  • They allow you to compare each applicant’s scores. This helps you assess the strongest candidate. For example, with Cognisess Pro you can compare an individual’s score against the general population and identify the top scores in the applicant pool. 
  • They have an inbuilt ‘lie detector’. This helps detect candidates who are trying to ‘cheat’ by painting themselves in a more favourable light.  For example, in our new Lens Pro assessment you can choose between two options which are equally viable instead of two choices where it’s obvious what the ‘correct answer’ is. This helps an employer really get to know an applicant and the values they stand for. The process becomes about their true abilities, not the persona which they think will get them the job.  

A 360° recruitment process

Finding the right fit means assessing the whole person. By using a variety of assessments you will accurately understand each applicant’s behaviour, personality and cognitive attributes. Taking the time to understand the potential of your applicant pool will ensure you hire the right person who will thrive in a role. 

To get to this outcome you need an effective recruitment process. We have over 60 neuroscience assessments to suit your hiring needs. Please contact us if you would like help crafting a reliable and accurate recruitment process. 

How To Make Work Meaningful (Again)

Here are our keynotes from Dr Boris Altemeyer’s talk at the Bath Digital Festival

Although AI and machine learning are popular buzzwords I don’t think it’s a fad. They are really revolutionising the way we work, how we position ourselves and understand the world of work. If you have seen AI modelling at work there is real potential to build models which have an impact on people’s lives. 

How to make work more meaningful. 

We want to get people in the right position so they are productive and happy, which will make them stay longer. Which is ultimately good news for both the company and the person. 

So how can we measure it? 

These are areas that measure what makes work meaningful. Individually we can rate how important each of these areas are to us.   

  • Achievement driven 
  • Recognition driven 
  • Building relationships 
  • How much support we expect in our work environment 
  • Working conditions 

Collecting the data 

  • If we gather this applicant data we can predict how they would behave in work-related situations before they are hired.
  • If we know a candidate is driven by these motivational areas, we can compare it against the company’s current culture. This will assess if the hire is a good fit for the person and the organisation. 
  • After they are hired we can track them over time to see how they grow alongside the organisation. 
  • It means we can give a company live feedback. They can understand how the organisation and the people within it have changed. This gives them an opportunity to change in order to make work meaningful again.  

What is meaningful to people right now?

At Cognisess we are able to track which of these factors are meaningful and important for each generation at work. 

  • Recognition has increased over time 
  • The level of support needed has grown  – with machine learning we can track and tailor it over time, as the support you need at 21 is different to when you are 40. 
  • The need for relationships at work has decreased – our relationships with our colleagues are becoming purely transactional. It is less important to network and work with the right people. 

The future of work

At present, even the most abstract things can be automated to be quicker and more efficient. Some may worry that AI and automation will make work obsolete.  However, what humans excel at is really difficult to automate. 

Humans are able to hold multiple and completely different options about themselves at the same time and think they are true, for example, I’m corporate, conscious and also a rebel. From a psychological point of view this is completely fine, but from a data and AI point of view it’s highly frustrating as we can’t model it. At the moment there are attributes humans are just better at like creativity and situational judgement. It’s not that we are not trying, it’s just really hard. 

At the moment, AI, automation and machine learning have made the more menial tasks in certain jobs redundant. This means we can focus on redefining how we work and how we can make work meaningful. 

If you would like to watch the full talk, click here.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact us below.

4 Upcoming Bath Digital Festival Events Not to Miss Out on

Bath Digital Festival 2019 is next week, bringing a variety of technology and science events to the South-West. 

With over 80 events to choose from, which ones should you attend?  Here are 4 talks that will help you envision and enthuse about our digital future, from computers recognising emotions to how AI will affect the workplace.  

Making Work Meaningful (again) – the Future of Work and AI

12pm – 12:45pm, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to discover how AI will affect the workforce

The advent of AI has left many wondering: are humans obsolete soon? What can I do at work that will not be automated?

This talk will explore how humans can use AI and advances in Psychology and Neuroscience to understand better what makes the human mind so unique, and what we all bring to the table – in our own individual way

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here.

How to Teach Your Computer to Recognise Happiness

3pm – 3:45pm, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: The tech curious 

As machine vision has rapidly improved in recent years, there has been a surge in applications of this technology to the human face. It can detect facial expressions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. 

In this talk, we will cover the technical details of how cutting edge technologies like facial recognition software work, and discuss some of the potential uses and misuse. 

Interested in this event? Book your tickets here. 

Understanding the benefits of VR in psychological care

11am – 11:40am, Friday 25th October 2019

Perfect for: Anyone interested in psychology and VR 

Virtual reality technology is still sparse in most mainstream care environments. Jed Brown’s research has been focused on “What’s holding us back from implementing VR treatments more widely?” A year on, he believes that he understands part of the problem, and perhaps more importantly, part of the solution.

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here. 

Exploring Opportunities for a Career in Tech 

12pm – 2pm, Thursday 24th October 2019

Perfect for: Parents looking to re-enter the workforce

Learn about how you can transform your creativity and problem-solving skills into a Digital Career. We will be helping parents and career movers matching their skills to jobs alongside The Factory, Mayden Academy and ADLIB

Interested in the event? Book your tickets here. 

Webinar Keynotes: How Millennials and Generation Z are Changing the Workplace

Dr Boris Altemeyer, our Chief Scientific Officer explores this topic in our recent webinar.

Generation Z and Millennials have entered the workplace. It is believed by some that these generations have bad manners, contempt for authority and talk too much. However, generational clashes and misconceptions have been around since 400 B.C… 

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Socrates / Plato (disputed) 400 B.C (approx)  

This shows that generations have always clashed. This is especially true now with the rapid development of technology. Which means each new generation coming into work will see things differently based on the technology they used growing up. 

Perception vs. Reality – Why do we stereotype? 

We all look at the world in a different way. In psychology, we tend to say that the number of realities in a room is the number of people in the room plus one (which is what is actually happening).  

Our brain likes making shortcuts in order to make quick decisions. However, these shortcuts aren’t always accurate and can lead to some generalisations. Ageism is a problem that stems from biases. Being unconsciously biased is an inherent part of being human – even if we try to avoid it or correct ourselves. Below are the main bias ‘shortcuts’ that create stark differences in the perception of different groups and generations of people.

  • In-Group/Out-Group Bias – we prefer people from our own group.  
  • Confirmation Bias – we seek information that confirms our existing way of thinking and discard information that doesn’t.  
  • Recency Bias – we tend to use the latest encounter we’ve had with that group of people as an anchor point. 
  • Bandwagon Effect – the more people say it the more we agree with it.  
  • Blind-Spot Bias – this is believing that you are ultimately right because you see things the ‘right way’. 

If you would like to find out more about biases, read our blog on unconscious bias. 

The data 

At Cognisess we have been able to collect data that represents the values of each generation. 

The generations 

Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964

Generation X: Born between 1965 and 1980

Millennials: Born between 1981 and 1996

Generation Z: Born between 1997 and 2012

Older Generations

  • Value working conditions more – they will join a company if it seems like a nice place to work and will feel proud to work there. As mobile working becomes more common, the office environment becomes less important to younger generations. 
  • Value relationships more
  • Are not so bothered about recognition – Generation Z has a 26% higher drive for recognition than Baby Boomers. If this generation isn’t recognised for their work they will find less fulfilment in a role and are more likely to leave. 

Younger Generations

  • (Slightly) less achievement-driven – there has been a slight decrease in this from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. 
  • Far less trusting – as trust is hard to come by for these generations this builds a completely different work environment. 
  • More tolerant
  • Just as resilient – they don’t want to be handled with kid gloves. Younger generations just have a different way of working and ultimately want to find meaning in what they do. 

What does this mean for businesses?

  • Personalities have not changed – individual differences exist exactly as before
  • Younger generations will be attracted more to jobs that offer personal development, support and clear and frequent recognition of work
  • Work is now flexible – mobile working is not a perk anymore, it is standard
  • Generations will differ on the value of relationships – breakdown or misconception of trust will be a major issue in the workplace

For more in depth results, watch the webinar here. As a company, we are interested in providing insights into the workforce. If you would like to undertake this in your company please contact us with the form below.

How your gaming habits could help you secure a job

In the past, video games have had a bad reputation. But video games are actually good for your brain. Every time you play a video game it exercises your brain’s neuroplasticity. This is the part of your brain that helps you learn new skills. As you get older your brain’s neuroplasticity naturally declines. However, playing video games is known to have a positive impact on this ability regardless of your age. 

We live in a world where we are always trying to improve ourselves or be constantly productive. We all need to relax from time to time, otherwise, we can suffer from cognitive fatigue.  Because video games are fun, they allow us to switch off from the daily grind whilst unconsciously improving our skills at the same time. 

They also have a number of benefits. These researchers found that playing these games can help your perception, attention, memory, and decision-making skills. These skills aren’t only important in video games, they can also be used throughout our lives – particularly in the workplace.  Video games can increase your reaction time, which can be useful if you are working in a role where you need to respond quickly, for instance, a doctor who works in a hospital.  

Video games can also help you get a job. 

More and more companies are using games to assess applicants for jobs to create a more engaging experience. But these games are different from the ones you can play on your Xbox.  They are scientifically-backed and are designed to assess a candidate’s behaviour, abilities and future job performance. In 2018, the global gamification market was valued at $5.5 billion. In the future, these games may be a common part of most recruitment processes. 

Will gamers have an advantage? 

When it comes to games used in job applications, gamers may have a slight advantage. But they aren’t cheating, they have done the work to increase these skill areas. Just as much as a person who has been practising the guitar for a year will be better than a complete beginner. 

But this doesn’t mean that people who don’t play video games will be at a disadvantage in the gamified job application process. For every ability a video game can train there are other activities that can improve these skills. For example, a text-based adventure game will improve your reading ability, but reading a book will also do this. Video games are just a popular and fun way to develop these important skills. 

Technology helps us improve our lives. From conveniently paying for your meal deal on your phone to AI assistants like Alexa. Video games not only help you improve your skills but are also fun to play. This happy median will also help companies in the future fully understand job applicant’s abilities and help an individual discover their talent.

Webinar: How Millennials and Genz are changing the workplace

Now that Generation Z have joined Millennials in the corporate world, it is suspected that the long awaited reshape of the workplace is on its way. Dr Altemeyer, Business Psychologist and Chief Scientific Officer at Cognisess, will be exploring this hot topic leaving no stones unturned.

“One of the key aspects that makes generations clash is a difference in value perception and value judgements. This is not new – it goes back to the great Greek philosophers. However, we are changing a fundamental aspect of life – namely work – which as a defining factor for whole cultures is bound to lead to differences in opinions.” – Dr Boris Altemeyer. 

The webinar will cover: 

  • What makes work ‘meaningful’ for Millennials and Generation Z and why it’s different from what we have seen previously. 
  • Are there differences between how the generations make decisions at work? 
  • Has the ‘planned career’ is gone forever? There has been a drastic move from the 9-5 office-based work environment. Does this impact on our performance at work? 

The webinar will take place on the 26th of September at 11am GMT. Sign up here to find out how this 4th industrial revolution and two generations will completely redefine the way we work.