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.  

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.

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Cognisess Invited to Attend TechInnovation in Singapore

Chris Butt, Cognisess’ CEO, is attending TechInnovation 2018 from the 18th to the 19th September as part of a UK AI delegation sponsored by Innovate UK and the European Enterprise Network (EEN).

TechInnovation is a technology conference dedicated to bringing together technology providers and seekers worldwide. It forms part of Singapore Technology Week as is the biggest Technology fair in the APAC region. Techinnovation specialises in pairing technology with industry needs. Cognisess are one of eighteen UK- based companies selected to take part in by Innovate UK to represent the UK and the EEN.

Our recently announced partnership with Zhaopin, China’s leading talent solutions and recruitment company, has paved the way for Cognisess to reach out to the wider APAC region and market. At Techinnovation, Cognisess will be looking to engage with other potential strategic partners to create business opportunities for our software to be operated on a worldwide basis.

Cognisess will feature with over 160 other exhibitors from the world of AI and Innovation.  Cognisess will be demonstrating how our predictive analytics platform can benefit companies who want to predict the current and future performance of their most valuable asset; their people. Cognisess Pro is already a market leading product, with the most comprehensive set of people assessments on the HR market with over 120+ cognitive, emotional and base skills assessments. With many major enterprises seeking to understand how innovative technologies like AI can transform their business – Cognisess hopes to showcase how our solutions can enable better decision making when it comes to people and their talent.

There will be opportunities to conduct one to one meetings with potential clients and partners allowing Cognisess to showcase at a personal level how Cognisess software can transform their business. The variety of industry talks on offer like, Open Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth, will continue to inspire us to develop our business and software. The Crowdsourcing and Crowdpitching events will provide Cognisess opportunities to seek collaboration or pitch software for the commercial market.

If you are attending the conference, please come and visit us at our exhibition stand. We are at the forefront of the Innovate UK Hub on stand UK01. If you are unable to attend the event but would like a free demo our software please contact:  

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Cognisess Competes in Bath Dragon Boat Race, Surpassing Charity Fundraising Target

Taking part in the annual Bath Dragon Boat Race for the first time, Cognisess raised £1,000 alone for The Mountain Way charity.

On Sunday 9th September Cognisses raced against twelve other local business teams, set the fastest time of the day at 56.63 seconds and qualified for the semi-finals. The team thoroughly enjoyed competing and raising money for the designated charity The Mountain Way.

The Mountain Way is a charity whose aim is to help military veterans suffering from Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Their programme offers a ten-day excursion into the French Pyrenees mountain town of Bagnéres-de-Luchon on a one to one basis. By eliminating everyday distractions the veterans can start focusing on recovery, allowing them to regain a level of control of their combat- damaged lives.

At Cognisess we are passionate about helping others reach their potential, which is why we are excited to be supporting The Mountain Way. The money donated goes to a good cause – aiding veterans to rehabilitate their mind, rediscover their skills and boost their confidence.

Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess, commented:

“We are so pleased to be supporting The Mountain Way and taking part in the Dragon Boat Race. The day has raised over £5,000 overall – and was fun and exciting for all the teams taking part. I’m proud that the Cognisess Sport crew has risen to the challenge – only losing narrowly by a second in the semi-finals. We look forward to 2019 and going one step further.”


Our fundraising page is still open if you would like to support the cause:

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Matching IT outliers to organisations

Dr Boris Altemeyer, CSO of Cognisess, has written an article for IT Pro Portal discussing how matching IT outliers can help organisations retain talent and make the most of its team members.

It seems ridiculous that organisations rarely place a value on their most important asset – their people. In IT this makes even less sense. Take a computer software company for example. The value of the business doesn’t lie in the bricks and mortar of the office building or the computer hardware within it. The real value lies in the team. That’s why organisations need to fully understand the skills and abilities they already possess.

We inhabit a fast-moving high-skills economy and no more so than in IT. Those with the right skills are in demand and can be hard to find. And our environment is constantly changing. A 2017 McKinsey report, Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation, estimated that jobs related to developing and deploying new technology will grow in line with a potential for increased spending on technology between 2015 and 2030 of more than 50 percent. About half would be on information-technology services.

With this ever growing skills gap, new and expanding IT organisations must make the most of their existing employees, identifying the outliers with unearthed potential. Does your organisation have people with outlying skills or abilities? Do you know what they are? Are these skills being deployed in your organisation? Or are they hidden and under-utilised?

Potential not performance
In the past, organisations haven’t been very good at finding their hidden gems. The standard approach is to identify high-potential employees (or HIPOs as they are often called) and place them in an expensive talent development programme. But these so called high-potential programmes are badly named.

Tools such as KPIs and subjective management appraisals only assess current contribution. They do not help you to understand potential. This is particularly the case with outliers, whose talents often go unnoticed or not understood. Looking for HIPOs will not help you to find the exceptional programmer, unhappy and underperforming in a management role as it’s the only way to progress. Or the new team member brimming with up to date knowledge and great ideas but lacking the confidence to come forward. Your existing employees can often step up and comfortably meet those difficult to fill skills gaps.

I have a friend who already has a successful career as an emergency doctor under his belt. Now with a young family and desire for a change – and a better work life balance – he is working as a senior software developer. He is using his problem solving skills, ability to think outside the box and his calm systematic approach in much the same way that he did to save lives in the aftermath of a road traffic accident. He has taken his programming hobby and turned it into a new career. But what are the options if your employees don’t have an obvious hobby or talent to pursue?

Unlocking hidden talent
We now have the unprecedented opportunity to harness artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the power of predictive analytics to find out where hidden talent lies. Through the use of AI, millions of data points can now be processed. Something which is beyond the abilities of even the most experienced HR professional or senior manager.

We can process and analyse hiring, workforce and external performance data to provide invaluable insights around the best fit for people’s talent and potential. Not just when they are recruited, but throughout the life-cycle of their employment, allowing you to go far beyond a CV and an annual performance appraisal. And these developments are all shaped and informed by our increased understanding of cognitive neuroscience.

Another critical aspect is how you can now identify strengths which are currently under utilised. People with potential can then be employed dynamically in the right circumstances and context. This becomes particularly important when trying to build cognitively diverse teams where change or transformation are mission critical. With the lifespan of organisations now shorter than ever before, all companies need to focus on creativity and innovation in order to survive.

Measurements can assess cognitive attributes, emotional intelligence, health & wellbeing, personality, behaviour, culture and team fit, as well as other core skills and competencies. New possibilities include advanced computer vision, which can analyse micro facial expressions and process audio recordings, video and written content. It’s an accurate, consistent and fair way of getting the right people into the right roles.

Real employee engagement
We know that employees with a good job fit are happier, more productive and loyal. This is particularly worth considering when research by Gallup shows that only 30% of workers are engaged in what they do.

Despite the high pay and well publicised perks, tech industry giants such as Amazon and Google are not immune. According to Payscale’s employee turnover report, the turnover rate among Fortune 500 companies in the IT industry is the highest among all the industries surveyed.

A possible explanation is that IT and tech companies hire smart young people. People who thrive on constant change and challenge. People who are likely to get bored quickly and move on. And in the current climate there won’t be a shortage of job offers. By providing new opportunities internally you will be holding onto a valuable asset.

The benefits of keeping good people are multiple. It’s tough out there and using your existing resource will save you money and time. As well as significantly reducing organisational risk. It’s now possible to combine statistical analysis with the latest machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to scientifically and accurately predict current and future performance. This simultaneously creates the internal feedback loops which inform machine learning, keeping you ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying and filling your own skills gap.

By getting your people into the best roles for them, you will reduce churn and increase productivity. And by identifying the outliers in your organisation you will be tapping into an incredible (and existing) organisational resource. Are there individuals within your organisation with extraordinary abilities who could be transformative for your business? It would seem foolish not to look.

For more information about how Cognisess helps organisations retain talent and make the most out of their team members contact us at

See more from IT Pro Portal at

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Roadmap 2020


Following some recent high level reports from the likes of the World Economic Forum and McKinsey Global Institute on the future of the workplace in the impending AI and Machine Learning era, Cognisess take a medium-term look at what this might mean for both employers and employees. It is certain that there will be a huge systemic transformation of the workplace and it is clear People Analytics will play a pivotal role in helping people and organisations alike in managing these transitions.

Cognisess predict that whilst these shifts will be profound and wide sweeping, these may not necessary result in the dystopic and inhuman vision of the future that many fear. Instead, we see new opportunities for a dynamic and empowered workforce empowered by access to human analytics and talent management tools which will turn the tables on today’s demand-driven employment industries.

For more information about Cognisess’ Roadmap and how we are working towards a people analytics enabled future contact us at

Combating Bias in Recruitment: Cognisess addresses the issue in the Sunday Telegraph article

The Sunday Telegraph added their voice to the debate surrounding the introduction of automation and AI into the workforce area by publishing an article regarding the future of recruitment and how it may remove bias from the recruitment process:

The article chooses the timing of the #MeToo movement to examine the future of candidate recruitment and asks whether it is possible to remove the bias out of talent selection using AI to analyse key employment skills, capability and performance – thus potentially replacing the traditional job interview. The argument being that machines are neither aware nor interested in someone’s age, gender, looks or other points of subjectivity which humans are sub–consciously (or consciously) prone to.

The article highlights how the Cognisess platform is designed to eliminate bias at the early stage screening process as well as the final stages of recruitment. “Unlike a human being AI has no inherent bias and even if all of the data is not completely perfect, the volume it accesses – three million data points every 10 minutes per applicant in some cases – gives it a considerable advantage over humans.” Commented CSO Dr Boris Altemeyer in the article.

Cognisess Deep Learn™ is the AI engine and the intelligence behind everything at Cognisess, using machine learning and algorithms to synthesise and observe probabilities and patterns. It’s an innovative and dynamic predictive analytics tool with the ability to learn, absorb and react to multiple information streams and data sets.

Dr Altemeyer explains “Technically this system can recruit in its entirety, but we would never advocate removing people completely from the process. If you think about humans reviewing 60 or more video interviews a day and still being absolutely unbiased or as sharp as when they watched the first one that would be a tall order for anyone, so it’s about getting as much of the purist data to them, so they make the best decisions”.

There are ever increasing pressures on companies to reduce bias and speed up hiring processes meaning HR and Recruiters have no choice but to turn to new technologies to make them more accurate, transparent and fair. These technologies mean that candidates and employees can not only look forward to being handled in a way that is inherently fairer and more accurate – but also they are hoping the new technology will provide a more personalised and individual approach – far greater so than any HR or Recruiter would ever have the time to dedicate.

AI may not solve societal inequality through talent recruitment – but it will improve social mobility far more than a human recruiter will be able to. Cognisess’ mission is to deliver a more accurate, fairer set of actionable insights into how we, as people, are assessed. And ultimately, that’s all most of us really want when putting ourselves forward to be considered for career opportunities. We simply want our potential to be judged objectively as to whether the job opportunity is well within our capability levels or perhaps it’s more of a stretch into a related field.  So let’s bring it about and be ever more transparent.

For more information about how Cognisess uses AI to remove bias from talent and recruitment assessment contact us at

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Cognisess heads to Toronto for UK accelerator business programme

Cognisess the UK-based, leading HR Analytics & Software company has been selected as one of 17 leading AI companies in the UK to form a trade delegation to Canada from 19-22 March 2018.

Following a rigorous selection process, Cognisess were identified as a key prospect to participate in Innovate UK’s Global Business Accelerator programme where leading UK AI businesses are sponsored to spend 4 days in Toronto meeting with Universities, Accelerators, R&D institutions in the AI sector as well as Venture Capitalists.

“We are grateful to Newable, Innovate UK and the Enterprise Europe Network for making this opportunity possible” commented Chris Butt, Cognisess CEO. “The timing for this programme couldn’t be better – we now have a well established customer base in the UK & Europe with strategic partners in Europe, Australia & Israel – but North America is the next big push for us. Toronto is an exciting location for technology collaboration, innovation and investment and we feel there will be scope to find the right partners who can help leverage our market leading AI platform into the US & Canadian market with scale.”

The delegation features emerging technologies such as robotics, proximity marketing, influencer marketing, VR and web censorship.

For more information about Cognisess and our leading HR Analytics software contact us at

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CSO of Cognisess presents Deep Learn at Cognition X Round Table

Dr Boris Altemeyer, CSO of Cognisess, joined the panel at Cognition X’s Round Table event at the Wayra Accelerator in London.

The agenda explored the Impact of AI on HR and Recruitment with 50 leading HR professionals attending from across different industry sectors. Cognisess, a leader in predictive people analytics, presented its Deep Learn vision and capability and how the company is delivering AI solutions across the HR and Workforce Analytics market. Cognisess discussed the real and practical opportunities for HR to embrace the nascent potential of AI based on a number of respective high profile client case studies including IHG and Ab InBev.

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Cognisess announce new Partner agreement with Australian market research firm

Cognisess are excited to announce that as from September 2017 they will be adding Lewers Research, a leading consumer research company based in Melbourne to their growing representation in Australia.

Lewers is an Australian owned, full service market research agency founded in 2005 by Lisa Lewers with an established reputation as a ‘discoverer of strategic value’ generating unique insight and analysis for branding, advertising, customer segmentation, acquisition and new product development.

Cognisess CEO Chris Butt said:
“Lewers are a great addition to the Cognisess Partner family and this comes on the back of an increasing interest from marketing orientated channel partners.  We have been recognised in the market for applying Predictive Analytics for People within the HR/Enterprise sectors – but there is growing attention from brand and consumer experts and service providers who can see the principles behind our AI technology are as valid to understanding and predicting the behaviour of customers as they are for potential and existing employee assessments. It comes from the same need to use data and insight to understand how people may perform or behave – but just in a different context”.

Cognisess Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer also commented:
“We welcome the intellectual creativity and rigour of Lewers into our platform – for example, we are already anticipating working together to innovate around understanding and spotting behavioural trends about when a customer starts to think about churning – long before a brand would ever know it’s going on. The vast costs of customers churning is something that can be mitigated and turned from a negative into an even more superior customer experience. This thinking is as applicable to the customer experience as it is to the employee one. So we look forward to engaging with Lewers on this and other innovations.”

Founder, Lisa Lewers said: “We have been doing some extensive research (as you might expect!) of the marketplace and Cognisess really stood out as having a very holistic approach to understanding People Analytics. Their platform, Cognisess Pro, covers a huge range of options to explore and discover emotional, cognitive and personality insights. Collaborating on this rich predictive analytics platform is exciting as we can go much deeper into understanding and predicting how customers really think and how they will behave in a range of different brand scenarios whilst leaving bias and subjectivity behind. I think the potential is limitless”.

For more information about partnering with Cognisess contact us at