HR discussing hiring decision

How that bad hiring decision was made

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

Was there bias at play? 

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

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

Learn more about bias here. 

Was the recruiter in a bad mood?

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

What time of day was it?

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

There were too many factors at play 

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

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

Harness the power of technology

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

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

How our emotions influence the decisions we make

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

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

Are our decisions influenced by our emotions?

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

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

AI can see our emotional state 

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

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

How good are we at decision making?  

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

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

Why we need to work with AI  

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

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

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

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

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

4 tips to improve your recruitment process

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep track, organise and maintain all the information involved in the recruitment process. This is especially true when you have hundreds, if not, thousands of applications for one job role.

It is common knowledge that recruiting can be a time consuming and costly process.  But how can we improve it? Here are 4 tips to help you refine the recruitment process.

Streamline your recruitment process

The recruitment process needs to be rigorous if it’s going to find the right talent, but it also needs to be streamlined, consistent and fast. Using technology can drastically reduce the time spent by your recruitment team. Online assessments such as Cognisess Pro can help narrow down the talent pool quickly by removing applicants who miss the requirements. This means the technology is doing all the hard work for you and gives you a simplified view of all your candidates.

Outline the job description clearly

It can be frustrating when applicants apply for a job role which they clearly aren’t suitable for or when they don’t quite understand the job role. This uses up your valuable time by having to review and reject these applicants. To avoid this problem, it starts with the job description. Ensuring that the job description is clearly outlined with a clear criterion. For example, degree-level education or certain skill requirements.

Technologies have been developed to help reduce this and again, filter out individuals based on talent. For instance, gamification can be used to analyse individuals based on their true skills and attributes, which additionally enhances your decision making. This ensures your candidates will have the right skill set for the job advertised.

Keep communication clear, consistent & personal

Throughout the process, there can be many stages with multiple emails and further correspondences between candidates, managers and agents. Therefore, you need to make your processes as clear and consistent as possible to ensure fair and equal treatment of all applicants. Implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help reduce miscommunication and errors in the recruitment process. In fact, 81% of job seekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience.

Whilst you still want to have a personal touch throughout the recruitment process, applying technologies to assist with your applicant management can help keep communication consistent and personal with each candidate. This is especially important when candidates are also your customers.

Harness recruitment analytics

You may not see the relevance in recruitment analytics, but it can be really insightful as an HR manager or recruiter. Analytics are readily available with many software solutions nowadays making it even easier to get to grips with recruitment analytics.

In addition, people analytics can add to this by providing an insight on current employees to shape what candidate you are looking for going forward. Understanding what people analytics and recruitment analytics can do for your business is the next step to successfully recruiting candidates.

Contact us today to find out how we can help refine your recruitment process

Webinar: How Millennials and Genz are changing the workplace

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

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

The webinar will cover: 

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

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

Three Good Reasons to Utilise AI Over Traditional Recruitment Methods

AI is on the rise. 38% of companies now use AI and 62% of companies are expected to by the end of the year. But what is the buzz about? Why are so many businesses beginning to utilise it? In this blog post, Cognisess will reveal why AI is applied over traditional recruitment methods.

It’s the less biased approach

Subjectivity and bias are unavoidable traits in humans. There are 150 types of unconscious biases in the workplace, so it’s difficult to be completely objective when hiring from a CV. Cognisess Deep Learn™, our AI algorithm, isn’t programmed to take into account gender, race or age. 69% of executives agree diversity is an important issue. Deep Learn™ focuses on the skills of each individual, creating a fairer hiring process and a more diverse workforce.

The best AI tools employ a range of data to calculate well-rounded results. Amazon’s AI CV tool only operated with one type of data, a CV. The AI was taught what a good hire looked like from their male-dominated workforce data  – from this it learnt a successful candidate would be male so began to discount females.

On Cognisess Pro it is optional to disclose age, gender and race – but it’s never taken into account for our assessments. Cognisess focuses on the attributes that matter when hiring a candidate. The platform is data-driven with over 50 assessments to choose from and over 120 attributes. This range of data enables a less biased approach compared to a traditional CV.   

It cuts time and costs

Traditionally hiring a candidate is a lengthy process, the average time to fill is 40 days in the HR sector. 67% of professionals report AI saves them time. The recruitment timescale with AI decreases, for instance, here’s how effortless it is to hire through Cognisess Pro:

  1. Setting up a job and posting it online only takes 25 minutes,
  2. It only takes 15 minutes for each candidate to complete our sophisticated assessments.
  3. When you review the applications, instead of attempting to read all the application forms in your inbox Cognisess Pro has already analysed them and calculated a percentage of how suited each person is to the role. This allows you to review the top talent for the role, without searching through a mass of applications.

It costs a company £3,000 on average to hire one person. Cognisess has saved companies £250,000 purely on assessment centres after switching from traditional methods to Cognisess Pro. It performs the menial work for you, enabling a more efficient hiring process.

It allows you to retain your employees

78% of business leaders perceive employee retention as important or urgent. While one third of new hires leave after six months. It is a notorious issue, an employee leaving can lead to customer dissatisfaction, damaging your brand image as a result.  

Traditional recruitment methods aren’t able to assess whether a candidate will fit in with your company culture – but AI can. If you know a candidate will fit in with your culture, they will more likely to remain in the role. On top of Culture Fit, Cognisess Pro is able to predict current and future performance – reducing the risk of a bad hire. If a new employee is a good fit for the role it will create a loyal and engaged relationship with the company.

Adopting AI into at least one aspect of your recruitment process will enhance it. AI doesn’t make hiring decisions for you, it is there to present its analysis for you to make a balanced hiring decision.

If you are unsure how to incorporate AI into your recruitment process, contact us today to schedule a demo of Cognisess Pro – the most advanced People Analytics and AI Assessment Platform on the market today.

Adopt These 3 Behaviours From Elite Athletes To Maximise Your Career Performance

From Usain Bolt to Venus Williams, professional athletes are transferring their skills into the business world. Their work ethic, determination and ability to work in a team are only some of the reasons they thrive. Stay ahead of the curve and adopt these three behaviours to achieve maximum performance.  

They believe they are the best

Muhammad Ali said “to be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” At present Cognisess has analysed the attributes of 53,974 people. Each individual is particularly strong in at least one skill, however, they may have a negative perception of their skill set if they have a low score in emotional stability – this will negatively impact their work performance. If you believe you aren’t good enough you will feel inadequate compared to your colleagues, even if your abilities are similar or greater than theirs – this will stunt your growth.

Elite athletes who win competitions don’t focus on winning, as they fully believe they are the best and are going to succeed. They don’t consider winning a race as they know they are going to win it. Transferring this into a business context, don’t perform your job to get promoted, but perform it to the best of your ability. If you approach your career with the mentality that it will be successful you will thrive in the opportunities presented to you. Since you are approaching every task to the best of your ability, employers will notice you are a high performer. The best method to get ahead is by not worrying about it, keep up the high performance. Businesses using Cognisess Pro are able to track employees progress over time by retaking assessments. This tool could be used to identify these high performers long term.

They expect failure

It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so its inevitable failure will appear throughout the process. Failure can keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Athletes use it to drive them to success, a study found Olympic gold medalists considered their setbacks essential to their achievements.

Cognisess knows that the fear of failure can cause you to focus your attention on not failing – stopping you pursuing success. A successful athlete doesn’t care about failing, only performing to the best ability –  if they achieve this, they are satisfied whatever the result. Freeing themselves from failure means they can fully commit to their sporting activity. Constructing a psychology safe environment for your team, whilst instructing them to perform to the best of their abilities will minimise their fear of failure. You can then track their current and future performance with Cognisess Pro, allowing you to observe what occurs when your employees don’t fear failure.

They set goals that drive them

Through Cognisess Sport we have identified athletes are emotionally intelligent. Athletes are aware of the power feelings have on performance and employ positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is replacing a negative thought such as ‘I can’t meet this deadline – it’s impossible’ with a positive such as ‘although this is a tight deadline, I have the ability to do this’.

They are also achievement driven, setting goals to allow direction and focus. A study found establishing goals reduces anxiety and lowers the chances of overworking yourself. This is equally important in the world of sport and business. There are three types of goals in sports psychology – process goals, performance goals and outcome goals.

Type of goal

Definition

How can this be applied in a business context?

Process Goal

An athlete’s training targets. For example, go to the gym five times a week.

Reading a different white paper once a week to improve your understanding of your industry.

Performance Goal

A goal that tracks an athletes progress in the sport. For instance, gaining a certain amount of muscle in the desired time frame.

Aiming to exceed your sales target by 10% every day.

Outcome Goal

The long-term plans for an athlete’s career –  such as competing in the Olympics.

Become CEO of a company.

These three types of goals inform each other. They provide the building blocks for your career to flourish from (process goal), a consistent standard to increase your expertise (performance goal) and establish what your long-term ambition is (outcome goal). The absence of one will decrease your productivity long term.

In order to push yourself to full potential, you need to adopt positive behaviours. Cognisess can support and assess an individual’s journey to becoming a high performer. The journey maybe challenging, but like an elite athlete, you must stay dedicated in pursuit of your goal.

Contact us to schedule a demo of Cognisess Pro– the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today.

Why AI Needs To Support School Leavers Entering The Workplace

Previously, Cognisess has blogged regarding the future of AI of our workplace. This week we shift back to the present. Currently, AI has established a firm presence in the workplace – it has the capacity to troubleshoot issues the workforce will encounter in the future. Below we discuss how AI can support school leavers.

The Skills Gap

“We have observed a skills gap between students transitioning from education into the workplace. Cognisess can play a key role in identifying this gap to support students, educationalists and employers alike” Comments Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants discovered eight out of ten British school leavers lack essential business skills, and 90% of those surveyed also reported a rise in workload from skills shortages. This issue will increase as more young people join the workforce. 90% of jobs will require digital skills by 2025, but only 40% of EU citizens will possess this skill. Businesses need to address this gap to take pressure off skilled workers and distribute the work evenly amongst employees.

Cognisess believes school leavers need to be supported better and AI technologies will unquestionably be part of any solution. Our solutions like Cognisess Learn or Cognisess Apprenticeship can identify individuals core skills, whilst supporting their transition into the workforce and discovering their best fit for an organisation’s role and culture.

Apprenticeships

Cognisess believes one way to tackle the skills gap is through apprenticeships. Managers are able to tailor their apprentice’s training to the skills they require. Apprenticeships are on the increase, a survey by CBI predicts almost half of businesses are increasing their intake of apprentices within the next 12 months. Cognisess identified this opportunity early on and created Cognisess Apprentice to aid companies in matching young people’s’ talent to their skills gaps.products predictive people analytics cognisess pro Apprentice

Cognisess Apprentice allows you to recruit apprentices, assessing their skillset prior to the apprenticeship offer. During their training it also provides a tool to monitor and support them, as a manager you can send appraisal surveys and re-assign assessments to track their improvement.

Cognisess Apprentice enables the school leaver to concretely identify their attributes, informing what they can bring to a company. A school leaver may be aware of subjects they are strong in, but won’t be familiar with their attributes – for example, like how emotionally intelligent they are. Possessing an awareness of their strengths will give them a boost in confidence – which will be beneficial in a new environment. Remaining on one platform from the recruitment stage to the end of their apprenticeship creates a continuity for school leavers and employers, which is important when integrating into a new environment.  

Could this all be solved earlier?

Ideally, this issue should be solved before young people leaves education. Cognisess Learn can help schools and colleges identify students emotional and cognitive skills. Cognisess Learn grants young people the opportunity to receive the relevant support in their skill gaps. Students also gain a better understanding of their skills, so they can outline what is required to increase their employability. Additionally, Cambridge University researchers discovered why a group of 550 children are struggling in school through AI. The algorithm measured each student’s cognitive skills including their listening, problem solving and vocabulary abilities. The results uncovered learning difficulties that were previously undiagnosed in participants. In the future, Cognisess hopes AI in schools will be seen as the norm in order to address student skill gaps well before and prior to employment.

AI will greatly assist in developing a the next generation of our skilled workforce. Young people are the future workforce, so it is essential they are equipped with the skills to operate within it. Cognisess’ software can directly support this development by re-skilling young people today for a more productive tomorrow.

Contact us to schedule a demo of Cognisess Apprentice or Learn – the most advanced People Analytics and Assessments Platform on the market today.