black woman job interview

How to create a fairer recruitment process for BAME applicants

The recent Black Lives Matter movement has created an awareness of the prominent racial inequality globally. In fact, last year the Guardian reported that black Britons and those of South Asian origin faced shocking discrimination at levels unchanged since the 1960s.

Perhaps your company wants to support this movement by creating a fairer recruitment process. Currently, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) applicants face an uphill battle in the hiring process. Applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds have to send 80% more applications than a white British person before they get a positive response from a company; according to a study by the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Even if they progress onto an assessment centre or interview stage, black and ethnic minority candidates are 14% more likely to be rejected than white candidates. 

But why is this the case? 

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 called cognitive bias.  Every one of us carries a degree of unconscious bias and is informed by our previous personal experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. 

Although we may not intentionally be applying bias, our brain automatically applies these ‘shortcuts’ to make decisions quickly. 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. Ultimately, these inherent biases can also impact decision-making for BAME candidates in the hiring process. 

How can you rectify this?

Unconscious bias is an inherent part of being human. Once we realise we can be prone to unconscious bias, despite our best efforts, we should be turning to AI as a helpful tool to help keep us compliant and open up the recruitment process.

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, revealed to Information Age that “AI doesn’t have to understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none.” Because AI is objective it can assist you in identifying the strongest candidates. 

Learn more about unconscious bias here. 

Solution: Blind Recruitment 

Creating a fairer recruitment process is simpler than you think with an AI-driven recruitment platform such as Cognisess Pro. Our AI can assess and objectively identify the best candidate by purely focusing on skills and abilities. By combining this with blind recruitment you will create an overall fairer process. Information such as age, gender and race is hidden from assessors and is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments. These details may unconsciously influence a hiring decision. This is called ‘blind recruitment’ and focuses purely on the attributes that matter when hiring a candidate, for instance, emotional intelligence, task switching and resilience. This process provides decision-makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role – regardless of background.

Taking the time to craft a fairer application process may also increase the number of diverse applicants who apply. Additionally, a diverse team has a variety of benefits. For example, it can equate to a more profitable company, a McKinsey report uncovered that “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Cognisess Pro was recently awarded best AI product in HR by CogX. The platform is data-driven with 50 assessments to choose from measuring over 120 attributes. This range of data has been proven to assist companies like AB InBev and IHG  make better informed and fewer bias decisions about recruitment and assessments.  For example, hotel giant IHG has recently eliminated potential bias by 93.75% using Cognisess Pro, enabling a fairer and more accurate approach to talent management compared to their more traditional recruitment processes.

Although we can’t help our unconscious bias, we can use AI as a tool to help reduce these biases to strive for a fairer recruitment process. Schedule a free demo to find out more.  

Cognisess wins global award for AI in HR

We have been recognised as a global leader for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR by the CogX 2020 Awards. It celebrates the best emerging technologies in different sectors and industries, the CogX Awards handpicks winners from entrants from around the world. 

“We’ve experienced significant global expansion over the past year, both in terms of the number and scale of our clients, as well as the capabilities of our products. So it feels great to be recognised by the world-leading CogX awards, that especially focus on accelerating the ethical and safe adoption of AI.

AI is a rapidly evolving science with enormous potential, and our values are closely aligned with CogX when it comes to the responsible use of AI. Our goal is to democratise human capital and remove any bias from people management – helping businesses to identify, nurture and retain the best talent regardless of ethnicity, gender or social group”

Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess

The CogX award is symbolic of the major successes and developments we have experienced over the past year:

  • A growing relationship with InterContinental Hotels – with 5,656 hotels in nearly 100 countries – where employees will use the Cognisess platform for performance and talent management.
  • The global roll out of the Cognisess recruitment platform by AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, supporting tens of thousands of candidates to apply for roles at all levels.
  • Increased use of Yondur, a free careers and talent assessment app for job seekers, students and career movers, into new markets including Australia, Singapore and The Netherlands.
  • The translation of Cognisess assessments into 11 languages.
  • Advances in video analytics that read facial micro-expressions, irrespective of culture, to help recruiters make better informed and more accurate recruitment decisions.

The CogX Awards are judged by a panel of tech and global innovation experts from the Office of AI, University of Cambridge, PwC, Sodexo and others. Cognisess is joined on the list of this year’s winners by The Gates Foundation, King’s College, The Alan Turing Institute and the BBC.

notepad and coffee to prepare for a video interview

Advice and tools to conduct successful video interviews

The coronavirus is affecting the way we hire. Many HR recruiters are now working remotely and are reaping the benefits of video interviews. In fact, 67% of companies are now using video interviews to hire workers according to the recruitment company, Walters People. 

In this blog, we will explore how to successfully conduct a video interview and the differences between face to face and video interviews.  

How to set up a video interview

This interview may be a candidate’s first verbal interaction with your company. Here’s how to make a great first impression. 

Pick a suitable environment 

Select a room which will be quiet and free of disruptions. Once you find a place, look behind you, this is what the candidate will see during the interview, remove anything you wouldn’t want the candidate to see. 

Additionally, choose a place in the house where you have a strong internet connection. Lag, video freezes or the call dropping will disrupt the interview. 

Test your webcam and microphone

If your webcam isn’t built-in, place it on top of your screen so you’re eye level with the applicant. Most video call providers allow you to test your webcam before a call. In this mode, ensure that you can see your whole face and check if there is light obscuring it.

It’s also important to test the audio. If you wear headphones check if they have a microphone, otherwise the applicant won’t be able to hear you.

Why video interviews are different

Technical difficulties 

This study found that interviewees who have technical difficulties are often perceived poorly by the assessor. This means the best candidates may not get hired due to a bad internet signal. Instead, ask the candidates to record their answers to give everyone a fair chance and eliminate the possibility of a great answer being ruined by the call dropping.

 Lack of non-verbal communication 

Many interviewers may say they have a good gut instinct. Gut feeling is a great resource, but it is the imperfect and human equivalent of processing lots of data (such as the applicant’s body language and communication) and coming to a conclusion. However, a lot of these decision-making factors disappear in a video interview. 

Researchers at the George Washington University “analyzed 12 studies on technology and job interviews published between 2000 and 2007 and believe that the absence of body language, eye contact and rapport building in video interviews can hurt a person’s chance of landing the job.” For example, you may not be able to read someone’s body language if the screen only shows part of their face. 

This may seem problematic, but by using technology to enhance your decision making and assist you with these potential ‘blind spots’ will allow you to hire the most suitable candidates. 

The solution: Cognisess’ Video Analysis

By using our DeepLearnTM Video Analysis tool our technology will be able to detect a candidate’s true emotion, instead of what they may like to present to an interview panel.

Each candidate records themselves answering several key questions that have been set by the company. Our Computer Vision technology is then able to analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame.

As Cognisess Pro isn’t human, so it has the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process, it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our tool isn’t programmed to see race, age or gender – it is purely assessing what an applicant is non-verbally communicating. This becomes a vital tool when companies are pursuing policies of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

A sample of the emotions the tool can identify 

  • Confidence and control. When customers are interacting with your business, they want to talk to someone who is in control of a situation and confident in their abilities. You can now measure this before you hire an applicant.  
  • Positivity. An upbeat employee not only improves morale in the workplace but their positive nature will help them successfully communicate with clients. For example, if a client sees a sales executive who is sincerely positive about a product, they are more likely to buy it. 
  • Expressiveness.  Some people make everyone they talk to feel like they are being truly listened to. A high level of expression (within reason) is seen in western cultures as a sign of high levels of engagement in the subject of the conversation.
  • Resilience and grit. This allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere, despite rejection and a lack of noticeable process over a period of time. 

As a result, HR professionals can draw conclusions from their expertise and the data presented to them. They can listen to the content of the answer (verbal communication) as well as understanding how candidates are feeling (non-verbal communication). 

Technology can help us navigate through the rapidly changing world of work. Using our video analysis tool will allow you to hire confidently and remotely. Knowing that you’ve given every candidate a fair chance, whilst finding the best fit for your company. Book a free demo today to explore how you can enhance your video interview process. 

3 types of survey that will identify your employee’s needs

Companies are moving beyond sole reliance on traditional surveys to more agile listening strategies, driven by advances in technology. In response to current events, we have created some new custom surveys that will allow you to assess your employee’s needs. 

Pulse survey 

Sometimes you need employee data quickly. These are short surveys that provide access to employee opinions and reaction to events. We recommend sending these weekly. Here are some of our pulse surveys: 

Mood – How do you feel? 

This tracks mood and sleep every time an employee logs into their Cognisess account. It builds a picture of the relationship between mood, sleep and productivity.

Ask Me (work related) video diary

This is to track or record how an employee is feeling using the Ask Me video tool. It can be used for appraisal, ideas and feedback. Alongside listening to their feedback, you have the option to view how the person is truly feeling. The machine vision used by our DeepLearn™ uses highly advanced algorithms that read from 27+ points on the face. It tracks the differences of the positions over time to establish a picture of the emotion that is being expressed by a person. 

Employee survey 

We recommend sending these on a monthly basis. These will give you a thorough insight into your employees and culture. Here are a few of our new employee surveys. 

Leadership Check in 

This template is for the executive leadership team to get a pulse on their employees to make sure they have the support they need while working from home during the Covid19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Listening in challenging times

This template is for employees to understand trends and changes over time and can be used to monitor engagement. Questions include: What are the biggest challenges you anticipate you will have in meeting your customers’ needs? And, my manager makes an effort to keep in touch with me when I’m working from home. 

Coping in a new world

This template is for employees and how they adapt to changes to working from home. Questions include: Are you meeting set criteria working from home?, Are you finding new ways to work efficiently? And, do you have a similar routine/structure as you did at work?

Health and wellbeing 

Employer response to COVID-19 

This template is for employees and relates to Covid-19 and working in a different way. Sample questions include: What policies/aspects do you feel have worked during this time? And what level of flexibility is provided by your organisation when it comes to getting work done? 

Mental Wellbeing 

Checking in on your people in this challenging time is important. A dip in work performance may be due to low mood instead of lack of work ethic. This template is for employees and focuses on areas of job satisfaction, personal & mental wellbeing.

You can add your own questions, allowing you to ask the questions that are valuable to your organisation. 


Alongside these advanced survey tools, Cognisess Pro has over 60 scientifically-backed assessments that will help you further understand your employee’s personality and abilities. Harness the full power of Cognisess Pro today by booking a free demo. We look forward to helping you to recognise your employee’s needs, talent and potential.

How can Cognisess Pro empower your employees post lockdown

Now more than ever is the time to listen to what your employees need. Here is some advice and tools to uncover this information successfully. 

Firstly, understand and empathise

Your employees are looking for support to help them through this crisis. As they navigate uncertainty in their own lives, acknowledge that they might be feeling anxious, unsettled, and concerned for both their personal and family’s health. Be there to listen and make sure they have access to the information and resources they need.

Be proactive

Anticipate needs and questions that might come up and make a plan. And if you’re unsure what your employees’ concerns are, find out by asking for feedback. Boosting your employee listening strategy during this time can help you better communicate and act on a plan that has a more meaningful impact.

What strategies and tools can you use on Cognisess Pro?

Employee Surveys. Comprehensive employee surveys that deliver a thorough understanding of organisational culture, experience and engagement and links to business performance.

Targeted Pulse Surveys. Sometimes you need employee data quickly. These are short surveys that provide access to employee opinions and reaction to events.

Daily Mood and Sleep. Daily monitoring of an employee’s mood and sleep, with an emphasis on Health and Wellbeing. You will be able to assess how your workforce are generally feeling, which can inform your general strategy moving forward. 

• Games and Assessments. Targeted games, assessments and questionnaires for employees to focus on different aspects of wellbeing, self discovery and their talent and potential.

Supporting remote working 

Cognisess Pro can also be accessed anytime and anywhere, your employees will be able to access it from home if they choose to work remotely after lockdown has ended. Allowing your people to give feedback to you whilst working where they feel most comfortable. 

By listening to your employees you empower them. Cognisess Pro is built for HR to understand and unleash employee’s potential.By gaining this understanding using our tools you can build a stronger and united future workforce. Book a demo to start this journey today.

computer in new work place

The new normal: How has the workplace changed?

All around the globe the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away lives and jobs, damaged industries and enterprises, and turned the unimaginable into the usual. A return to normal, whenever it comes, will be a different normal. What we do right now will define the future, and yet making decisions and acting with assurance has never been more challenging.

Communication is key

Be aware that what leaders think they’re communicating isn’t always being perceived the way they intend. Research shows that 74% of executives say they are currently helping their employees learn to work in new ways, yet only a third of surveyed employees said the same: a 36-point gap. Moving forward, feedback loops need to be built into all interactions with employees.

Creating a feedback loop

Sustaining communication, collaboration, capabilities and culture in a virtual operating model is now the work of HR leaders. How are they shifting to a full “work-from-home” model that keeps the workforce engaged and productive, setting up virtual agents, keeping track of essential workers in the midst of a crisis, and standing up a robust online learning platform, all while simultaneously planning for re-entry and an unknown new normal?

In response to this, we have created survey templates so you can create this feedback loop. Example templates include quality of life, coping in a new world, leadership check in and working as a team. Alongside these sets of questions, you can add your own, allowing you to ask the questions that are valuable to your organisation. 

Smarter workforce planning

This rapid change means it’s now time to plan accordingly: 

Strategy and company policies that support remote and distributed work, with specific guidelines and rules in place.

• A culture that applies the underlying principles of agility across all aspects of the business, enabled by strong digital communication methods, tools, and ways of working.

An accelerated online, personalised skills and development strategy for employees to adapt to new needs and reshaped business. This can be successfully executed on our online platform, Cognisess Pro – find out more here.  

A renewed vision of talent sourcing, and how work gets done in a remote environment where all resources are now equidistant and accessible digitally. For example, job sharing, crowd-sourcing and distributed talent sourcing

The future is here. By planning and adapting with the current climate you can ensure your employees feel supported during these are uncertain times. Our expert team can assist you with this. Contact us today to discuss how our platform can be your solution.  

woman working remotely

How to stay productive when working remotely

The coronavirus outbreak has transformed the way we work. More employees than ever are working remotely. For some, it may be another challenge to navigate alongside the outbreak. In this blog, we will explore how to stay productive outside the office environment.

Get a consistently good night’s sleep 

A good night’s sleep is key to a productive day. This study found that U.S workers who sleep less compared to the rest of the workforce have “significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes”. They also estimated a $1,967 loss in productivity for each employee from their lack of sleep. However, if you are feeling particularly stressed about the lockdown it can be hard to fall asleep. This becomes a vicious cycle of needing sleep but not sleeping, causing you to become more tired and stressed. This limits how productive you can be throughout the working day. 

Creating a bedtime routine will help you sleep better. This includes avoiding electronic devices an hour before bed to meditate or read a book instead. The NHS website also advises keeping your bedroom as a place to only sleep in,  as there is “a strong association in people’s minds between sleep and the bedroom.”. If you are working in your room, move your desk to a different space to create the ideal environment to sleep in. 

Work with the right people

Perhaps you are a manager trying to not only manage your productivity, but your team’s too. It can be hard to feel united as a team when you are not in the same room. Team composition can greatly impact on performance. A Bandran Hall Group survey reported that 72% of all organisations viewed team performance as having a positive effect on overall productivity. Cognisess Team Fit can support managers with the evaluation of their teams. For instance, if a sales manager notices one of her teams are not working well together she can use Team Fit from the comfort of her own home to diagnose the imbalance and apply an informed solution.

Team Fit is a tool to help organisations create diverse and high performing teams. Learn more about Team Fit here. If the right people are working together you can ensure that they will be productive without a manager constantly checking in on their progress. 

Based on our analysis of self-reports from employees, teams that have gone through a guided Cognisess Team Fit exercise tend to communicate in a better and more constructive way.

Take a break 

Research conducted by the Draugiem Group found the employees who where the most productive didn’t work longer hours. They took regular breaks, for every 52 minutes they spent working they took a 17-minute break. These breaks were usually taken away from the computer, for instance, taking a walk, reading a book or talking to coworkers (not about work). 

This schedule can easily be performed at home. Taking regular breaks may make you feel more relaxed and in a positive frame of mind to tackle any tricky tasks.    

Although we are in the middle of a pandemic, working remotely doesn’t need to be a challenge. By getting enough sleep, working with the right people and establishing a routine where you take regular breaks will ensure that you are reaching your full potential. If you would like to discuss how our platform and expert team can help you during this challenging time, please contact us. 

Work sticky notes for coronavirus

How to create a great candidate experience during the coronavirus outbreak

At present, 9,529 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus. As the population starts self-isolating, how can companies keep connected with the top talent? 

Jobseekers now have plenty of time to apply for positions. However, Recruiting Brief found that 80–90% of applicants say a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role. By creating an excellent candidate experience you will ensure that your company is an applicant’s top choice.  

At a time where everyone feels a little isolated from the world, it’s more important than ever to keep connected. Using a virtual recruitment platform like Cognisess Pro will help you keep the recruitment process moving. The platform can be accessed at home using a wifi connection, ensuring the safety of your staff and the applicants.   

Here are a few ways you can use our platform to create a great candidate experience. 

Engaging assessments

Perhaps you have an assessment centre day as part of the recruitment process, however, due to the ban on mass gatherings you are unable to undertake this. By rescheduling for later on in the year you are risking the top candidates being hired elsewhere.

On our platform, we have over 60 scientifically-backed assessments that are tailored to test the attributes that are important to the role you’re recruiting for. From emotional intelligence to mental arithmetic. Candidates typically find our assessments engaging and interesting, which will make your application process stand out. You can assign the assessments instantly to as many candidates as you want.  

Read about how IHG was able to eliminate the second day of their assessment centre due to our accurate assessments. This resulted in a 50% reduction in assessment centre time and cost.

Meet them through a video interview

People are an essential part of a company. It is important to hire applicants who will positively represent a business. Although currently you are unable to meet potential hires in person, using a video interview tool will help you meet each applicant virtually. You may also use our DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not what they may like to present to an interview panel.

Each candidate records themselves answering several key questions that have been set by the company. HR professionals are then able to draw conclusions from their own expertise.  Our Computer Vision technology is then able to analyse from 27+ points on the face, searching for emotions such as positivity alongside other attributes relevant to the job frame by frame. As a result, a business can identify top talent from their entire applicant pool and keep the recruitment process moving. 

Keep in contact

80% of job seekers say they would not reapply to a company that didn’t notify them of their application status, according to Lever. In this uncertain time, reaching out to inform candidates of their progress will be seen as a thoughtful gesture. The candidate will most likely remember this positive experience when they decide whether or not to accept the job.  On our platform, it only takes a few minutes to keep connected and send a message to your candidate pool. 

The coronavirus outbreak has changed how we work. More people now work remotely and connect online, therefore it’s also time for the recruitment process to adapt. There are many ways you can create a good online experience for candidates, from video interviews to regularly communicating with them. If you are interested in using the Cognisess platform for this, our team is working remotely and can give you a free demo of the platform.  

man stressed with laptop

How your stressful thoughts affect your immunity and what to do about it

Monica Durigon explores how we can combat stressful thoughts. She is a qualified nutritional therapist and member of BANT (British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine). You can view the original post here.

I have written on the topic of immunity before. Still, I feel compelled to do it again as the current Corona Virus infection has reached pandemic proportion, and new research and data are emerging daily.

We receive constant updates on vaccines developments, the number of infections and deaths, government debates about the best strategies for containment and endless reminders of the symptoms and actions to take to prevent and cope with the virus.

We are constantly reminded that the most effective way to avoid infections is by washing our hands with soap ( often and thoroughly), avoid touching our face ( where the virus can gain access to our mucosal cavities and enter our body ) and social distancing and isolation.  This is valid and standard advice applicable to any viral and bacterial infections.

How can we support our natural immunity?

What has been mostly missing from big media is information on how we can support our natural immunity. There is no cure for this virus; however, we can influence the way our immune system responds to it and as a result, possibly alleviate its presenting symptoms and support a quicker recovery.

I would like to highlight the importance of recognising and remembering that the level of impact of this virus, is different amongst the population. Currently we know that the elderly and people with pre-existing health issues are at risk of severe health consequences. These individuals should do their best to avoid their exposure to infection by immediately considering social distancing and discuss the course of actions with their medical team. You can find more information on who is considered at higher risk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

The constant bombardment from the media with the statistic of infections and death, criticisms to the government interventions, stories about European isolation and discrimination, doomed opinions from experts and far too many non-experts … pointless polemics …are enough to drive a sense of worrying and anxiety even in the most relaxed and zen-minded of us.

We all understand from a logical perspective that, worrying does not change the situation…and, in this current situation, worrying is not only pointless but plainly counter-productive for our health because of its effects at the biological level.

There is a whole relative new science, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)  which studies the complex communication between the brain and the immune system and their implications for health.

However, there has been minimal discussion about the effects that stress, fear and anxiety can have on the immune system. The psychological stress that many amongst us are experiencing at the moment induces the same release of chemicals in our body that other type of stressors would.

Negative thoughts and worries about what has happened and what might happen in the future produce a physical change in the body.  I recond that it is essential to be aware of this, to understand how this happens and to adopt behaviours which can modify these adverse biological outcomes.

In straightforward terms:

1) You worry- feel stressed, anxious, powerless, fearful …

2) In response, your brain releases the hormones CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), ACTH (  adrenocorticotropin hormone ) and ß-endorphin

3) These hormones travel to your adrenal glands and initiate the release of cortisol and catecholamines ( adrenaline and noradrenaline).

This “communication route”, called the HPA axis ( Hypothalamus- pituitary-adrenal axis ),  produces the “fight or flight” response.

How the cascade of hormones involved in this axis can affect the immune response

Cortisol and the catecholamines can directly suppress the actions of some immune cells, ( T lymphocytes and macrophages) which produce and release cytokines ( chemical messengers ) such as interleukin -2, interferon-Y, interleukin 12( and many more). These molecules are pro-inflammatory, and some of them pyrogenic ( which means they induce a fever) and are needed to fight viruses. Elevated levels of cortisol, noradrenaline and adrenalin, suppress the production of these pro-inflammatory cytokines and the immune responses to viruses are compromised.

What can you do to decrease your worrying thoughts and maintain a calm and rational mindset in the current situation?

To help you stay calm and rational in this current situation, consider including in your daily routines, some rituals or activities which enable your nervous system to have a break and reset. Yoga, breathing exercises and medication are effective and proven methods to recalibrate your stress response. I use an online platform called Gaia https://www.gaia.com  to practice yoga at home, and I find the following apps helpful to maintain my meditation practice: Headspace https://www.headspace.com and Insight Timer https://insighttimer.com.

A simple exercise such as deep belly breathing  for few minutes can reduce your stress response and bring you back into a parasympathetic response (the rest and digest mode of the nervous system vs the fight or flight mode).

You can use these tools whenever you need to check out of your head during the day, but I also recommend that you make them part of your day in a more structured way. Add them to your routines, perhaps the easiest way to have them to follow a well-established habit such as brushing your teeth in the am and pm. All you need is a few minutes per day to reap some benefits.

Another tool that I found extremely helpful in keeping in the zen area is a daily gratitude practice. I would recommend that in the evening you close your day by listing a few events, small gestures, acts of kindness that happened in your day. Gratitude is the mother of all good feelings, and God knows we need them now, and we need to remind our self of the kindness and beauty that is still present in our life.

What supplements can we take?

From a nutrients point of view, I found that L-theanine is a helpful supplement to relax. If taken in the evening to facilitate relaxation before going to beds, L-theanine and lemon balm combined are even more useful. L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in high concentration in green tea and can modulate inhibitory neurotransmitters, selective serotonin, and dopamine (your happy and calming hormones) to bring about anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) and calming effects. L-theanine can also improve cognition and attention, perhaps due to changes in alpha brain wave activity. Research shows that an effective dosage is between 200 to 400mg per day.

Another nutrient which might be used to decrease anxiety is magnesium. Research has demonstrated that magnesium attenuates the psychological response to stress by modulating the release of ACTH ( in the brain) and cortisol ( from the adrenal glands). It has a relaxing effect on the musculoskeletal system as well and improves cardiovascular function by reducing high blood pressure which goes hand in hand with anxiety and elevated stress.  5,6,7

You can add some powdered magnesium to a cup of well-stewed chamomile tea for even more calming and soothing feelings. Avoid magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate formulas as they are less bioavailable. Choose a bisglycinate or mixed formula. I use a variety of magnesium supplements ( not at the same time ):  High Potency Magnesium by Viridian ( 1 x day ); MAG365, natural flavouring formula  ( 1 heaped teaspoon mixed in hot water or chamomile) or a  complete formula called MegaMag Calmeze which includes amino acids ( L glutamine, L theanine and L taurine ), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6and vitamin C, nutrients which have been proved to help modulating the stress response. Be aware that if you have impaired kidneys function, you should not take more than 350mg of magnesium per day.

From a general nutritional perspective maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is essential for having stable moods.  Constant spikes and drops of glucose in the blood due to a diet rich in refined carbohydrates ( and perhaps also under-optimal in terms of proteins, fats and essential nutrients)  lead to irritability, cravings, dips in energy and initiate a stress response.

Adrenaline and cortisol are some of the hormones that help maintain blood sugar levels. They, along with glucagon are called “stress” or “gluco-counter-regulatory” hormones – which means they make the blood sugar rise. Elevated cortisol secretions, as previously explained, will interfere with the immune response and long term high amount of glucose in the blood leads to insulin resistance, the step which precedes the development of diabetes type 2.

I have explained in detail how to maintain a healthy blood sugar level by implementing a low glycemic diet in my previous blogs. Click here for explanations and practical advice.

Finally, I just wanted to conclude this blog by offering you a song which I find soothing and deeply relaxing for the body and the mind. I first heard it in one of my yoga classes a month ago, and it has become my regular soundtrack while I get ready to go to sleep. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

“In dreams “by Jay Jagdeesh

Wishing you the best of health and vitality.

an ethical job applicant

Ethical Hiring with AI: Can it spot a lying applicant?

On paper, a candidate could be perfect for a role. They have relevant experience alongside their impressive list of qualifications. But is this candidate too good to be true? How do you know he’s telling the truth? Sometimes it’s difficult to know if you made the right hiring decision until the applicant has started in the role.   

How honest are candidates? 

A new report by Checkster titled Is Your Company Hiring Charlatans? A study of ethical standards in the hiring process has uncovered that candidates aren’t being completely honest when they apply for a job. Key findings include: 

  • 60% of candidates have claimed or are willing to claim that they have expertise in skills they have no knowledge in. 
  • 42% have lied about relevant experience.
  • Over 50% of applicants have said they worked at a company longer than they had, so they can omit an employer. 

With this in mind, how can you identify the candidates with the relevant skills and experience? In the past, you may have had to rely on your emotional intelligence to identify a lying candidate. But technology is making it easier to create an ethical hiring process.  

Stay ahead of the game

The games on our platform can measure over 120 attributes. The study has revealed that over half of candidates will lie about their abilities. However, this can be prevented by using scientifically-backed games in the application process. For instance, Adam may write in his cover letter that he is achievement-driven, but our assessments can reveal how achievement-driven he really is. You get to know a candidate before you meet them, allowing the most relevant candidates to demonstrate their skills and stand out from the less qualified. 

Using these games in the application process will also prevent candidates from actively reverse engineering their applications. For example, in our new Lens Pro assessment candidates have to choose between two equally viable options, instead of two answers where it’s obvious what the ‘correct one’ is. The process becomes about their true abilities, not the persona which they think will get them the job. This helps an employer really get to know an applicant and the true values they stand for. 

Find the right candidate for you

By creating a recruitment process that actively tests the applicants on the job’s key abilities will reveal how skilled they actually are. Our platform focuses on finding the right candidate by assessing how suitable they are for the role and company through our cognitive or personality games. 

To find out more about how we cater to job fit, book a demo with us today.