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. 

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.  

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.  

Inclusive Growth book with Cognisess

Cognisess featured in Inclusive Growth

Promoting diversity and striving to be inclusive is at the forefront of most HR professional’s minds. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Toby Mildon’s new book, Inclusive Growth, enables you to achieve this. It provides a practical framework for your organisation to transform into a sustainable and inclusive workplace. 

The book explores the many avenues you can change, from culture to collaboration. We are also proud to feature as part of the solution to this. In the book we discuss how the platform encourages cognitive diversity in an organisation. To be successful, businesses need different types of people. Knowing if your organisation has enough leaders, problem solvers and planners allows you to hire new people to fulfil these needs.  Our data is accessible, transparent and can be anonymous in order to ensure the focus is on a candidate’s abilities, not their gender, ethnicity or age when it comes to hiring. 

Dr Boris Altemeyer, our Chief Scientific Officer comments that: 

“It is wonderful to see that Toby’s passion and knowledge can now be shared on a wider scale via this great book. Since the very beginning of our work together, it was very clear that Toby’s and our perception were very much aligned: diversity and inclusivity are not just essential, but also highly beneficial for everyone, and more often a mindset shift rather than a resource question. 

We are grateful to be part of this book. Our case study is an example of how technology can assist this mindset shift and make inclusivity and diversity of thought a seamless part of standard practices.”

Buy the book today to start your organisation’s journey to inclusivity and read more about how Cognisess can assist with this. 

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 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.

The AI will see you now… why we should trust Computer Vision

On the whole, humans are generally good at identifying emotions, but this mostly happens at an unconscious level and it isn’t always a reliable tool, particularly when it may involve having to make decisions based on this interpretation. According to psychology professor, Lisa Feldman Barrett our emotions are the brain’s method of understanding the body’s raw data. But sometimes the same sensations can be interpreted differently depending on external events. For example, a queasy stomach could be interpreted as nervousness before a job interview or excitement for an upcoming holiday.

We are reactive to the world around us. For example, if a HR professional has a disagreement with a colleague or is experiencing personal issues outside the workplace, they may bring these negative emotions into interviewing a candidate for a job. This may affect our perception of a candidate and the hiring decision.

Although we can’t change these factors, we can prevent them from influencing the recruitment process to ensure it is fair, consistent and transparent. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution and are increasingly driven by new technology, AI and Computer Vision will be on hand to assist humans in making data-led decisions that are consistently accurate and free of bias; attributes which will become increasingly important in a fast moving and compliant world.

What is Computer Vision and AI?

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 – even before we are consciously aware of making them. This means Computer Vision is able to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not 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 or sales 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.

Why should we trust machines to assess human behaviour?

Together, AI and Computer Vision are able to accurately repeat the same process over and over again. Our video analysis tool has analysed over 1.4 billion facial expressions with a 97% accuracy rate. This is an invaluable tool for humans and can be used to gain advantage particularly in dealing with scale or distance. Computer Vision doesn’t experience a post-lunchtime dip,  which is when a person feels drowsy for a few hours whilst their body digests their food.  Equally the AI doesn’t have a ‘bad day’ through fatigue which would impair their overall cognitive performance. It can process thousands of job applications and identify the top candidates, regardless of what time of day it is. This enables a recruiter to stay focused on putting their attention and expertise on the applicants that have relevant skills and abilities for the role.

As AI and Computer Vision aren’t human, they have the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). 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. AI does not need diversity and inclusion training. It’s incapable of taking an instant dislike to someone, secretly wondering whether someone’s planning on starting a family, or hiring someone who’s pleasingly similar to them.” As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our Computer Vision 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.

Making fast and accurate hiring decisions for every candidate – every time

Our clients using our video analysis tool will be able to give each applicant a fair chance, regardless of how large their applicant pool is.

Each candidate records themselves answering a number of key questions that have been set by the company. Computer Vision analyses each video interview frame by frame, searching for positivity and expressiveness, both of which are measures of genuine passion. ​The tool is a hundred times faster and accurate than any human assessment. As a result, a business is able to identify top talent from their entire applicant pool.

Working with Computer Vision supports hiring decisions, HR professionals are able to draw conclusions from their own expertise when finally ‘meeting’ each candidate, but also review the Computer Vision comprehensive analysis on them alongside the other Cognisess assessments that analyse Job Fit, Culture Fit and Team Fit.  

Recently, we have studied the performance of the video analysis tool with our client, AB InBev – the world’s leading brewer. Focusing on the candidates who had successfully passed their video interview stage, we uncovered a statistically significant relationship between an internal assessor’s high rating of a candidate and a good positivity and expressiveness score. This further shows how accurate this technology can be and how it can be applied to create a fair and transparent recruitment process were any areas of unconscious bias can be corrected as a helpful correction mechanism to support HR professionals avoid bias.

Make every day a good decision day with AI

Everyone of us within a workforce will have good and bad days, it is an inherent part of being human, after all. But in this new age of technology, AI and Computer Vision will ensure those occasion bad days doesn’t turn into bad hiring and bad decision days. If you would like to find out more about how our video analysis tool or Computer Vision can transform your recruitment process, book a FREE demo today with our expert team.    

Can you confidently hire a candidate, knowing they will fit into your culture?

It is widely accepted that a strong and cohesive company culture is the key to success. Forbes reported that businesses with strong cultures had a 4x increase in revenue growth and 96% of HR leaders are now prioritising cultural fit, according to a survey by ThriveMap. Yet, just over three-quarters (77%) of companies admitted to using gut feeling when assessing candidates for roles.

“For decades the HR hiring manager was the best People Analytics capability companies had. They worked without any data backup, operated based on a gut feeling and what had come before. Gut feeling is brilliant but it is the imperfect and human equivalent of processing lots of data and coming to a conclusion. Except….if that hiring manager has a bad day it will affect who’s going to get hired.” Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, reveals. Until recently there weren’t any People Analytics platforms like Cognisess Pro which could consistently, reliably and scientifically identify candidates whose values would match a company’s culture. Recruiting solely on gut feeling can be risky, with no concrete data to backup hiring decisions it can be hard to ensure which new hires would enrich the cultural fabric of an organisation – rather than dilute or disrupt it. With culture fit becoming such an important factor within HR performance, should companies be taking this gamble?

The disadvantages of hiring a poor cultural fit within a company  

  • Higher employee churn. If an employee’s values clash with the businesses culture, they may start seeking a new role elsewhere. A study by Columbia University uncovered that the likelihood of job turnover in companies with poor cultures is 48%, compared to businesses with a strong company culture (13%).
  • Reduced job performance. If an employee doesn’t feel comfortable in an organisation they won’t perform at their best. Meta analysis by Kristof-Brown found that employees who fit in with their company, coworkers and managers perform better in their job.
  • Employees are less engaged in their role. Gallup reported that 63% of employees aren’t engaged in their role. With disengaged employees costing U.S companies nearly $550 billion a year, this is a costly issue. In contrast, the meta analysis by Kristof-Brown also found that employees who relate to their company culture are satisfied in their role. Hiring people who will engage and thrive in a company culture will reduce costs long term.

How People Analytics is harnessing data to provide organisational and cultural insight

Until recently there have been limited tools for HR to match potential talent to their company’s prevailing culture and prevent an unsuitable organisational hire. Traditional testing methods, such as psychometric testing, give limited insight into whether an applicant would thrive or struggle in a company’s environment.

They also don’t factor in potentially different cultural dynamics across departments. These can be subtle, so they can be difficult to calibrate and quantify. But it is vital to identify and understand them, as an employee who thrives in one department may not necessarily fit into another. Factoring in these ‘subcultures’ will help companies make better hiring decisions.

Cognisess Pro’s Culture Fit tool is able to identify any potential cultural differences between departments, as well as the overarching company culture. For example, clients Knight Frank, the UK’s leading independent real estate consultancy, recently utilised this tool. Our People Analytics software was able to accurately distinguish the slight differences between their commercial and residential departments, such as comparing their task switching abilities, alongside analysing the dynamics their strong overall company culture.  

What is Culture Fit and how does it work?

Our Culture Fit tool is one of many specific talent assessment tools on our Cognisess Pro Platform. It is currently used by companies such as AB InBev, the world’s leading brewer, to measure and benchmark the cultural values of their organisation throughout the world. This provides internal insights that can inform HR hiring decisions as we as other organisation design tasks.  

Firstly, existing employees complete our Culture Fit survey on our platform. This allows us to map how an organisation’s cultural values are internally understood and lived. These results provide a benchmark for our science team who analyse this survey data and then build a specialised set of culture assessments for the company –  this is used during the recruitment process to assess applicants against the core values identified in the employee’s survey results. It is worth stressing that the cultural profile created for a client is bespoke to the culture of their organisation. It is not based on a generalised or standardised set of cultural norms. This assessment set is used alongside our other cognitive, emotional intelligence and personality assessments in the recruitment process – as may be relevant to particular functions or job roles. As a result of applying this tool, AB InBev was not only able to identify whether a candidate was suitable for a specific role but had a clear insight into the probability of them thriving in their unique company culture.

For more information watch our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, explaining the tool.

There are many disadvantages of hiring candidates who are a poor culture fit for a company. But, by using our Culture Fit tool recruiters can identify the strongest culture fits in the candidate pool. If you would like to try our Culture Fit tool book a FREE demo today.   

Hotel Giant IHG gained a 97% positive applicant experience using predictive people analytics – Can this along with other benefits be easily achieved by other companies?

Cognisess’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, explores the opportunities and challenges for businesses looking towards people analytics as a driver for HR transformation. He uses added insight from our recent case study with hotel giant IHG who recently applied AI in HR with Cognisess. 

In your opinion, what element of the IHG case study was particularly successful?

“On the second year of using Cognisess Pro for their Future Leaders fast-track recruitment programme, we used predictive analytics to screen the potential of candidates. Their cognitive and emotional intelligence scores assessed how an individual would perform in the assessment process. This avoided the need for applicants to undertake the usual case study module on day 2 of the assessment centre. This measure proved to be over 95% accurate in anticipating their rating based on assessor feedback. IHG could view the candidate’s predicted results without the applicants physically completing the required business case study. This meant IHG could eliminate the second day of the assessment centre without losing data to feed into the decision process, which resulted in a 50% reduction in assessment centre time and cost. This was a great example of doing something which was an immediate ‘quick win’.”

Why is the IHG Future Leaders programme so successful and can this success with people analytics be replicated with every company?

“First and foremost using people analytics helped IHG internally in terms of their own efficiency and effectiveness. They can now be confident about employing the right people and spend more of their valuable time with the right candidate, rather than spending that time on applicants that won’t go very far. These people may be brilliant people in their own right – but not for this particular role. This process cuts out a lot of the time wasting and guessing.

IHG was able to ‘white label’ the process using our platform, which meant everything looked and felt like IHG – allowing them to stay very true to their employer brand. This was one of the successful elements of the project. Candidates didn’t feel like they were in a third party system, as it’s all integrated. We got very good feedback from the candidates, with 97% of the applicants rating the process as positive even if they weren’t successful. The candidates feel appreciated because IHG wants to discover their potential, instead of assessing whether they can write a convincing CV – which in most cases just shows how good you are at writing CV’s.

A project isn’t going to be successful if an unsuccessful candidate has a bad experience – it should be a great experience whether they are successful or not. A bad applicant experience isn’t just a lost employee, but a lost customer. It can ultimately damage the employer’s brand.

I believe this approach can be replicated for other companies. Many of our clients use the Cognisess platform in different ways. Because businesses know their target audience well, Cognisess Pro can adjust the application process to suit the type of candidate who applies. For example, if the target applicant audience is likely to be time poor or not very tech savvy, the assessment process can be adjusted to work on their terms. This generates a positive buy-in and participation, resulting in high completion levels from the start and a positive experience for all. But a positive experience at IHG isn’t the same as AB InBev or Vauxhall, it needs to be congruent with what is expected of the brand and the nature of the role. The days of ‘one size fits all’ recruitment is over.”

It seems in order to find IHG’s ideal group of people for the Future Leaders programme they needed to find out more about their existing current cohort – how is this an unexpected bonus for companies like IHG?

“It is a very unexpected and welcome bonus. It is to do with the data agility; the application of predictive analytics, the number of different data points, the accuracy of prediction and where we build a benchmark from.

Clients are often surprised that we want to benchmark their existing people when looking for new people, which means we need to access more data from them than they would usually expect. We could take an educated guess about what ‘a good performer’ looks like in each organisation – but it’s never going to be as accurate as using actual data sets from existing teams and applying predictive analytics to those.

Additionally, that data doesn’t just need to be used solely for the benchmarking process. What some of our clients realise is they can use this information for personal development plans. They can identify that an employee could be a fantastic match for a promotion, perhaps not within their direct line of work but in another function – perhaps in sales or marketing. HR can rejig a career plan to ensure an employee makes the most out of their natural abilities. This is a real bonus for companies managing their talent pools and can be undertaken with not that much data.”

How easy was it for IHG to learn and operate Cognisess Pro?

“Our predictive analytics platform is easy to operate. Administrators can quickly understand how to use the analytics dashboard or manage user registration. We have deliberately designed the platform so administrators don’t need a statistics degree to use it.

For IHG we built some bespoke job profilers based on their current high performing employees, which allows recruiters to measure how good an applicant would be in a specific role. IHG’s administrators could easily analyse how good a candidate was compared to the 600 other applicants.

The more challenging aspect is understanding the data model that is behind Cognisess Pro. A company doesn’t need to understand this to use the platform and produce immediate results. However, once a company does start down the path of people analytics – they want to know more. We are able to provide training sessions if individuals within HR want to develop their data and analytical skills. Essentially if you really want to understand people, then understanding data is a necessary skill which HR will need to develop in the future. It also helps to have large datasets and applicant pools of IHG’s size and scale. AI and machine learning feast on bigger data sets, with more data they can make more informed and complete insights.”

How did it support decision making for IHG?

“Although IHG had a developed assessment framework prior to using Cognisess Pro, it was very time intensive. The feedback we got from IHG’s HR managers was that Cognisess Pro saved them time. Instead of taking several hours out of a busy HR director’s week to interview and individually test candidates, they were able to rely on Cognisess Pro’s video interview feature. This allows candidates to record their video interviews remotely whilst Deep LearnTM, Cognisess’ analytics engine, scores them.  

It made the overall process a lot smoother. At the end of each IHG assessment centre day, the assessors have 1 hour to decide which candidates to give offers to. After they’d decided amongst themselves, they bring the candidate’s Cognisess Pro results up on the screen. This objective data shows them how they fared throughout the whole process in terms of their video scores, personality scores, emotional wellbeing and cognitive scores. This allows the assessors to feel confident that what they saw matched the framework, the data and analytics backs them up. We never use this data to prompt assessors because we don’t want to suggest any self-fulfilling prophecy of ‘this is what the computer said – you must therefore agree.’ It works best when a person comes to their own conclusion and then looks at the data to scientifically validate their opinion.

This is incredibly important for companies like IHG to ensure they are operating in a way which is transparent, fair and objective to eliminate the likelihood of any bias creeping into their selection processes or decision making. In the future all companies may need to demonstrate their talent decisions are compliant with equal opportunities, anti-discrimination policies and law. I believe that Cognisess is well ahead of that curve and can support companies to achieve those goals today.”

For more insight, download our recent case study with global hotel giant IHG.