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.
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.
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.
How much support we expect in our work environment
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.
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’.
At Cognisess we have been able to collect data that represents the values of each generation.
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
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“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
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?
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.”
Amongst marketing colleagues throughout any sector of
business, it is inconceivable that customers would not have their fingerprints
and footprints of their data analysed to the nth degree to better understand
their value, buying behaviours, patterns of consumption and preferences. CRM and other data driven disciplines like
ASO, SEO, NPS are the life-blood of decision making in marketing. Sure hunches
in marketing are still important – but only if they are backed up with data.
So, why is it the case, that HR do not as yet apply the same rigour in better
understand human potential and performance when making key hiring and appraisal
HR and People Management have always been an inherently
human set of processes…. the clue is in the title. But are people necessarily
the best judge of people? Traditionally HR, hiring managers and recruiters are
trusted with the responsibility of using their experience to assess and select
the best talent available in the market. Knowing what a ‘good hire’ looks like
is part logic (reviewing CVs and experience track record) and part intuition
(having a feel for whether the person will fit the organisation through
interviews). Both of these practices are
fraught with inconsistencies, inaccuracies, subjectivity and even bias
(unconscious or otherwise). But in fairness to the HR profession it has been
very difficult, up until now, to replace the wisdom of experience with anything
else. But advances in Big Data,
Cognitive NeuroScience, automation and machine learning – have heralded a new
era of certainty and reliability in the form of People Analytics: the science
of assessing people through data.
New Technology – New HR Solutions
Humans and AI are finally able to start working together to
make better business decisions. In a recent McKinsey study, 47%
of executives have embedded at least one AI capability into their business
process. However, HR remain the function which is least convinced of
the benefits to their organisations in deploying AI in HR falling way behind
operations, product development, service delivery and marketing and sales. Lack
of coherent internal and external data sets, lack of skills to operate in an
increasingly digital and data driven HR environment and lack of leadership to
drive changes in traditional practices: are some of the main reasons cited for
lack of uptake amongst businesses for People Analytics.
As a pioneer in bringing machine learning and People
Analytics into the HR market over the past 5 years, here are a number of key
benefits that Cognisess have delivered for those companies who have been early
adopters for AI in HR.
Saving time – AI has an appetite for data. It is able to process applicants and identify the top candidates faster than an employee manually organising them. This means HR managers can spend more time preparing applicants for the role. Recently the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, was able to interview their strongest candidates just 3 days after they’d sent in their application. Before employing Cognisess Pro’s people analytics, it took them 10 days. Cognisess saved them time, enabling them to hire the best talent faster.
Saving money – One bad hire can cost €45,000 (£39,294) in loss of productivity. Predictive analytics cannot foresee the future, but in can prevent unsuitable candidates from advancing through the process. It reveals not only the best talent – but also those candidates who will fit or adapt into a specific company the culture, thrive in the role and therefore stay – thus saving companies a considerable amount of money and resource in the long term.
Increasing diversity, decreasing potential bias – Humans are naturally biased, and although we all do try to minimise it, our bias is always subconsciously present. In the past, there was no way to eliminate it from the recruitment process – predictive analytics and machine learning has completely transformed this. For instance, Cognisess Deep Learn ™ our AI engine, doesn’t take into account race, gender, age or background. Instead, it focuses purely on a person’s cognitive ability and emotional and social attributes to perform to any given role. This change allowed hotel giant, IHG, to eliminate potential bias by 93% from their recruitment process. This not only increases their prospect of developing a truly diversified workforce, but also demonstrates a clear commitment to fairness and inclusion for the employer brand.
How will it transform HR?
“Companies who adopt a predictive analytics system create a
brighter future. They not only gain useful objective data on their applicants
and employees, but they also gain insight about their talent pools. Managers
can identify strengths and weaknesses – even uncovering hidden talents!”
Comments Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess. This approach encourages employees to
develop their adaptability and skills whilst managers can better envision a
person’s progression in a business by using AI to create complete picture about
people and their potential.
As People Analytics become more affordable, accessible and
user-friendly we will see many more companies recruit and appraise through a
predictive analytics platform, whilst dialling back less reliable traditional
recruitment methods. Forward thinking companies such as DFS and Knight Frank
are already using our predictive analytics platform, Cognisess Pro to transform
their approach. Cognisess Pro’s objective method of assessing talent works well
to support and validate recruiters ‘gut instincts’ about a candidate with the data
and evidence to back up why they are a good fit for the role. With Cognisess
Pro, companies can constantly refine the attributes they are looking for whether
it’s short term memory or emotional intelligence – or any other of 120
attributes the platform analyses.
The benefits for HR
With 73% of applicants abandon job applications if they take longer than 15 minutes, there is clearly an art to retaining candidates until the end of an application. Cognisess Pro’s gamified assessments engage the candidate whilst gaining insights for the recruiter – 90% of applicants have a positive experience on the platform. “Our clients often see an increase in applications using our platform.” Reveals Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess. A positive application experience also leaves candidates with a good first impression of a business.
With ethnically diverse teams outperforming non-diverse teams by 35%, it consciously pays to focusing on a person’s innate abilities and skills to identify what a balanced and diverse team fit looks like. Predictive analytics create a fairer process for all by removing subjectivity and bias. Typically recruiters are disposed to hiring the type of person they personally connect and recognise through experience or preference – rather than ability or potential. Having a more objective approach greatly increases the chances of a building a more diverse and productive workforce.
Increased Speed to Hire
People analytics allows HR to recruit quickly cut through
the volume of applicants and information to identify the best talent whilst
creating a positive and fair process for every participant. Simultaneously the technology
allows recruiters and managers to monitor and benchmark their existing employee
talent pool to quickly spot opportunities to redeploy talent – rather than
always reaching for an external solution.
Learn more about AI in HR
Cognisess is already supporting some of the world’s leading businesses to transform their approach to managing talent and potential.
Every one of us
carries a degree of unconscious bias. This is informed by our personal
experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. It’s the way our brains make
quick judgements about people and situations without us even registering it. Ultimately
these inherent biases can impact decision-making in the hiring process. For
instance, during a study by PNAS, participants were invited to review a
number of job applications. Despite the applications being randomly assigning a
male or female name, each reviewer was more likely to conclude:
The male applicants were better qualified than female candidates.
They were inclined to hire male candidates over female applicants.
The male applicants were deemed more worthy of a higher starting salary than the female candidates.
They were more willing to invest in developing a male candidate than a female one.
This is a prime
example of unconscious bias at play. Although reviewers didn’t deliberately
discount females because of their gender; their unconscious bias did.
Ultimately this would impact on the hiring decision, career development and
salary of the candidates. It may have even prevented the best candidates from
being considered for a position.
Can bias ever be eliminated or at least reduced?
“Because we are all human, we all harbour conscious and unconscious biases. Sometimes they’re useful – like when we stubbornly always choose to stay at our favourite brand of hotel; but often they’re not. Even when we try our best to identify and minimise them, they are always there as they form an intrinsic part of being human,” revealed Cognisess CSO, Dr Boris Altemeyer: “
Although this bias is instinctive, there are methods recruiters can use to minimise the risk of affecting hiring decisions. The emergence of artificial intelligence provides an effective solution to reduce bias. According to Dr Altemeyer: “AI doesn’t have to worry about understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none.”
Cognisess Pro, our market leading AI recruitment platform, makes it optional for candidates to disclose age, gender, race or the schools they went to and that can be hidden from assessors too. More significantly this information is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments. This is called ‘blind recruitment’ and focuses purely on the attributes and abilities that matter when hiring a candidate. This process provides decision makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role –regardless of background. 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, CIL 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.
Why should companies strive to minimise it?
It is a given that leading recruiters are committed to a fairer recruitment process for applicants. This is important in building a credible employer brand and reputation to compete in the talent market. But making a conscious effort to remove bias also provides other significant benefits. “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” according to a recent Mckinsey report. Adopting an approach like Cognisess Pro which can reduce or eliminate bias, will lead to the development of a more diverse workforce. “Teams which have a more diverse composition bring so much more to the business in terms of having strength in depth to maximise opportunities like problem solving, creativity, customer empathy and innovation which can benefit a company in both the short and long term,” confirmed CSO, Dr Altemeyer.
Additionally, a recent analysis of talent attraction strategies revealed that 67% of applicants want to join a diverse team . Focusing on this will support companies to attract more candidates and the best talent into the applicant pool.
Taking the first steps to address bias
“In the battle for talent, not every company is going to win the hearts and minds of the top 3% of graduates every year – and that thinking in itself is a form of bias”, stated Cognisess CEO Chris Butt: “Therefore companies have no other option to but too look beyond the obvious to identify talent in its many forms and how it can ably fill the skills gaps they have.”
Cognisess Pro is the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today bringing AI to HR. It is helping companies create a fairer process and pinpointing the best person for the role based on ability and potential – not gender, age or race. If you are uncertain of how to best start the journey of integrating AI into your HR processes, contact us today to schedule a demo.
Bath is full of talented businesses and athletes making an impact in the community. Cognisess became an event partner for the Bath Business and Sport Awards to champion guests as part of their ‘Discover your Talent’ campaign. This initiative is aimed at uncovering hidden talents and harnessing a person’s potential.
Over fifty attendees from both events played Colour Switch, one of Cognisess’ scientifically backed games. This assesses their response inhibition – which is a person’s ability to stay concentrated on a task without being distracted by their surroundings. This is an important ability for both athletes and business employees. Guests could potentially boost their overall performance by improving their skill level in it.
Cognisess would like to thank the guests of the Bath Sport and Business Awards for their enthusiasm and engagement with their event stand. The guests enjoyed interacting with the product – including Emma Isaac (Bath Sport Awards Coach of the Year 2018), who tweeted that she ‘loved’ Cognisess’ game.
The participants competed to beat the scores elite athletes including: Lloyd Wallace (British Olympic freestyle skier), Adam Mann (Bath City FC player) and Kahn Fotualii (Bath Rugby player). The top three scores from each award won some exciting prizes.
The stand attracted the attention of Olympic silver medalist Samantha Murray, the world number one wheelchair fencer Piers Gilliver and Bath Rugby players Freddie Burns and Tom Dunn.
The Cognisess’ team really enjoyed both events and would like to congratulate the winners of the awards.