How Gamification can benefit your recruitment process?

Gamification is a common buzzword in HR. However, what actually is it —and more importantly— how can it help your recruitment process? 

What is gamification? 

Gamification is more than just adding a game into your application process. These scientifically-backed games are an opportunity to truly assess a candidate’s behaviour, abilities and job performance. 

 According to our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer:

 “Gamification is great if it’s applied in the right way. But it should never come first. First of all, we need to define what we actually want to assess and then the gamification on top provides us with a new tool to generate better, clearer and truer data.”

Gamification is about understanding how people’s brains interpret information. For instance, assessing how well a person multitasks and prioritises. For years the ‘in-tray exercise’ has been a popular method of judging this. However, this task can be anxiety-provoking and competent candidates may underperform when they are fully aware that every decision they make will affect their job prospects. With gamification, we can build models that are very similar to daily tasks in a role without directly mimicking them. By engaging the candidates, they relax and forget it is a test situation. Test anxiety is common amongst applicants, and gamification can help combat this problem. We have even received feedback from past candidates surrounding this:  “This was a very unique and fun way to assess individuals. It allowed me to relax and was the first time I have ever enjoyed being assessed”. Because a candidate feels more relaxed, HR will get a lot more accurate data on their abilities. 

Candidates can’t second guess a game

Some candidates may try to reverse engineer their application. But with gamification, it’s difficult for a candidate to do this. For example, in our new Lens Pro assessment you choose between two options which are equally viable instead of two choices where it’s obvious what the ‘correct answer’ is. This helps an employer really get to know an applicant and the values they stand for. The process becomes about their true abilities, not the persona which they think will get them the job.  

Accessibility: more applicants, more talent

The games we have developed can be accessed anytime and anywhere in the world, which widens the talent pool. In the past, applicants who live in remote locations or have mobility issues wouldn’t have been able to physically attend assessment centres. Now they have an equal opportunity to showcase their abilities for a job. 

Breaking down cultural barriers 

It is also important to take into account the visual content of the games. Using shapes that have pre-existing cultural connotations may put candidates from those backgrounds at a disadvantage. For example, in a line up of shapes, they may choose the one that is perceived as lucky in their culture instead of the correct one. In our games, we use shapes that are universal and have no cultural connotations so everyone has an equal chance. 

More data in less time 

These games can also collect a large amount of data around how people make decisions and tackle problems in a short space of time. This means the application process can be much shorter. HR will be able to consider talent which may have otherwise dropped out of a longer application process, whilst using that data to enhance their decision making.

The future of recruitment? 

Gamification is a more engaging, accessible and less pressured method of collecting accurate data to get a fuller picture on a candidate. With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you use it in a recruitment process? In 2018, the global gamification market was valued at $5.5 billion. In the future, gamification may be a common part of most recruitment processes. On the surface, it may look simple but it is an expert skill. If you are interested in gamification, get in touch as we have experts who have been researching, testing and applying it extensively for years.

Book a demo with us to play our extensive library of scientifically-backed games or find out how you can use gamification in your next recruitment process. 

We’re sponsoring the Bath Digital Festival 2019!

Cognisess are excited to reveal that we are headline sponsors of the Bath Digital Festival 2019!

The Bath Digital Festival is the biggest and most inclusive technology festival in the South West. The festival aims to bring people and technology together in Bath. Now stepping into its seventh year, the Bath Digital Festival will guarantee an excellent display of technology to explore and aid your digital discovery. An event to truly explore, learn and develop your knowledge about our digital future.

As a software company that has developed its business using local talent, and benefits from a thriving digital ecosystem, we are pleased to be able to support the event and help position Bath as a place where people and companies can thrive. Our CEO, Chris Butt, commented:

“The world is becoming increasingly competitive and towns, cities and regions are under pressure to showcase their talent and potential. The Bath Digital Festival is part of demonstrating that the digital scene is real and thriving here and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, will also be attending the festival and discussing some interesting topics in the digital world. All details will be released closer to the date.

You can find all of the Cognisess team at the Bath Digital Festival this year. Keep up-to-date with all the talks and events you can attend whilst at the Festival. You can find out more about the event and how to get involved at the Bath Digital Festival website.

Will AI empower women & how?

We are all striving to become more inclusive because regardless of a person’s gender, ethnicity or background everyone has talent and potential. With more women working than ever before, gender equality is at the forefront of most HR professional’s minds. However, there is a lack of females in leadership positions, for instance, only 25 females are CEOs at Fortune 500 companies.

This imbalance can be observed across the workforce, with men and women respectfully dominating certain industries. For example, currently 80% of US software developers are men and 85% of social workers are women. But why is this the case? The effect of life domains on girls’ possible selves study suggests that culture, socialisation and gender role stereotyping discourages females from traditionally masculine subjects such as physics and mathematics. This may influence career choices later on, which further reinforces job role stereotypes. Therefore, these stereotypes based on gender can impact society heavily but the ever-growing change for equality will help open industries to all.

Will this ever change? 

We are on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, and as a result, new technology such as AI and automation will transform industries and workforces. Employees will dedicate less time to routine tasks like data handling, focusing more on adding value to the company. More jobs will require a personal touch using interpersonal skills, creativity and problem-solving abilities which will favour humans over AI and other technologies. According to a study by PWC, women could initially be impacted by the development and implementation of AI and automation. However, in the long term, it is suggested that more males could be affected. This should inspire women to retrain or change career in order to stay ahead of the curve which may mean applying for roles they haven’t considered before.

Currently, there is a lack of females in STEM related fields.  Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, comments that: “You can only hire in a balanced way for diversity if the talent is there and they have been educated in that field.” As this industry grows, there will be even more roles available in STEM industries. Initiatives have been created to encourage women to take STEM subjects. If this is successful, more females will be hired in typical male dominated roles. This will also mean a more diverse applicant pool. But how can HR managers ensure they are hiring the best candidates for a role, regardless of whether a position is traditionally held by a male or female?  

How can HR support this change? 

More and more businesses are introducing AI into their recruitment process. There are many benefits to adopting this technology, it saves you time, money and people power whilst allowing you to find candidates who fit into your company’s culture and team as well as the role you’re recruiting for. AI technologies can enable you to create a fairer and more diverse recruitment process. As humans are naturally prone to bias, it can sometimes influence decisions the workplace. It is common within the recruitment process as you are judging candidates on a range of skills and attributes to match the job role. However, factors such as gender and culture should not affect applying for a job (read our blog to find out more). AI removes the bias created by humans as it has the capacity to be completely objective.

“If AI doesn’t empower women, then we are doing it wrong”

Dr Boris Altemeyer

It is possible to create a recruitment process that is fair for all. But how do you define ‘fair’? Even if you programme AI software to identify the best candidates with a 50:50 gender split, it may still not be entirely fair. For instance, an applicant pool could have a larger amount of stronger female candidates. Therefore, not only would these qualified applicants miss out on this job opportunity, but the organisation wouldn’t necessarily be hiring the best candidates for the role. Dr Boris Altemeyer also reveals that “The AI needs to learn what is fair and balanced. We need to agree what we tell the AI to do in order to get the best possible outcome.” 

At Cognisess, we remove biases by making it optional for candidates to disclose age, gender, race or even the schools they attended. More significantly, this personal information is never considered in Cognisess’ set of assessments. Our system is mostly interested in assessing how your brain works. From this, recruiters can focus purely on what matters when hiring an applicant. This is called blind recruitment and it provides decision makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role regardless of background, age, gender or ethnicity. This creates an environment for recruiters to make objective and well-informed decisions about a candidate’s potential.

Creating equal opportunities for all with AI

At Cognisess, we are constantly pursuing a fair recruitment process for all. We recently investigated if gender bias was present in one of our client’s hiring processes. Although more male applicants applied for their graduate scheme, more female candidates were successful. When candidates were asked to complete a variety of cognitive, emotional, personality Cognisess assessments, there was no bias present. The number of passed and rejected candidates reflected the difference in applicant volume of each gender. The final stage of the graduate process was a video interview. The gender was revealed in this section of the process due to the video aspect. However, in this part of the process female applicants were more likely to pass this stage than males. This could be an indication of higher presentation skills in female candidates, but it could also reflect a subtle bias in the human assessors marking the video interviews. 

This shows the effect humans could have on a recruitment process. It is important to note that bias can happen towards any group of people, including males. This is why it is important HR teams constantly refines this in order to truly hire the best applicants.  

Initially, women will be the most affected by the fourth industrial revolution. But this could be an opportunity for them to step outside stereotypical female roles and realise their potential. With a more diverse applicant pool organisations will need to ensure they have a recruitment process in place that is fair for all. If you would like to discuss how AI and People Analytics can enhance your recruitment process, book a free demo with our expert team. 

Volume Recruitment in Retail: Harvest the volume, find the quality

From Christmas shopping to the rush to buy summer holiday essentials, retail is a high tempo sector regardless of the season. Hiring experienced and qualified staff is important to maintain high standards of service, but this can be challenging when there is a high turnover of staff and a high volume of applications in the talent pipeline. According to Labour Market Review, 60% of employers report that applicants lack important customer handling skills and only 11% of employers think their employees have all the necessary skills to work in their store. That increases the pressure to find the right talent as unsuitable workers who may find themselves as the face of a brand could damage a customer’s perception of the company and affect sales. But how can hiring managers guarantee they have made the right decision when involved in high volume of applicants and acute time pressures to fill vacancies quickly? The answer lies in harnessing the power of Predictive People Analytics from platforms like Cognisess.

Time is precious, recruitment is expensive

Sorting through a high volume of applications is a time consuming and costly process. On average, it takes 42 days to fill a position. In addition, Oxford Economics reveals that the average fee for replacing a departing staff member is £30,614. Costs typically includes £5,433 for logistics, such as agency fees and advertising, and wages during the time when a new employee is yet to reach optimum productivity level, believed to be an average of 28 weeks at a cost of £25,182. Therefore, reducing churn should reduce overall recruitment costs massively and in turn, these costs can be re-distributed across the business to improve business performance.

That’s why one of our clients, a popular UK furniture retailer, started to use Cognisess Pro. Since deploying Cognisess Pro, they have processed nearly 10,000 applications for multiple roles nationwide. Sorting through such a high volume of candidates had previously proved to be too time intensive for their store managers, who really wanted to focus more of their time on the customer experience, sales and optimising the performance of their current employees. By harnessing the recruitment and assessment features of Cognisess Pro, hiring managers were able to transform the application and hiring process by reducing the manual time and resources needed and in doing so generated a more accurate outcome.

Widen the talent pool – don’t narrow it.

When typically faced with the pressure of hiring in retail, managers tend to take short cuts and aim for applicants who appear (on the surface) to meet the basic job fit criteria and resemble candidates they have seen before. As such, many potentially suitable candidates can be ignored or overlooked and others who may not be suitable at all and are liable to churn are often hired. But of course with such time pressure to hire with limited time and resources, it is natural to narrow the field of opportunity rather than expand it.

Cognisess Pro is designed to take the strain of volume recruitment by accurately and scientifically filtering out at an early stage candidates who are simply not suitable based on the basic requirements of the job role. This automated process immediately relieves pressure on traditional manual sifting putting time and control back in the hands of hiring managers. In the case of our furniture retailing client, we provided a process to successfully handle the high volume of applicants by focusing on their abilities and attributes for the role within a ‘blind’ recruitment process which means the system had no visibility of race, gender or age. These characteristics may well have been unconsciously or consciously taken into account by humans previously and can be reliably avoided by using Cognisess Pro. Read more about removing bias in recruitment in our previous blog post

By using a series of Cognisess’ scientifically backed assessments to profile what good looks like amongst our client’s most successful employees, we were able to provide a benchmark and job profile. With the results, the software can automatically compare and rank every applicant’s scores against a series of cognitive, emotional and personality attributes which indicates how well-matched an applicant is to the specific job role. Not only did this give every applicant a fair chance, it also meant that the widest possible volume of applicants could be considered. Without Cognisess Pro, this opportunity would be too prohibitive in cost and resource terms.

How do you hire and keep the best candidates? 

Harnessing People Analytics through the Cognisess Pro platform is a hundred times faster and accurate than any human assessment. This includes widening the search for retail roles to attract applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences – many of which would be overlooked during traditional manual processes. And although some applicants may have the relevant transferable skills – others simply wouldn’t have the abilities or personality that the position requires. Cognisess Pro understands what to look for – in an instant.

However, even after hiring a candidate, it can be difficult to know you’ve hired a high quality applicant who will stay the distance in retail for the long term. Last year, Korn Ferry found that part-time retail employees have an 81% turnover rate on average, this means the retail sector is having to constantly recruiting to fill positions which is intensely resource hungry, disruptive to operations and puts pressure on delivering sales targets in such a highly dynamic customer-facing environment. Meta-data analysis by Kristof-Brown  found that employees who relate to a company’s culture are more satisfied in their role and more likely to stay. Hiring people who fit into the team they work with and the culture of the store may help them feel comfortable in their environment and more likely to perform well. 

Cognisess Pro provides additional levels of People Analytics insight in the recruitment process to complement this opportunity. Our Culture Fit tool helps recruiters understand whether an applicant will fit into their company’s culture, and our Team Fit tool rates how well an applicant’s personality traits and skills would fit the store team’s profile. This gamified set of assessments means analysis can be made at an early stage and without having to invest in time off the floor to hold individual and team fit meetings. This allows managers to identify candidates who have a natural fit to their company’s culture and to a team’s unique dynamic energy before even meeting them. This additional level of insight means you are not only selecting the best candidate for the role, you are also investing in an employee who is more likely to thrive and stay.

Be confident – find and hire the right talent

Constantly replacing retail employees is a drain on time and cost. Hiring the wrong talent for your company only exasperates that problem. By using Cognisess Pro and harnessing the power of People Analytics, managers can rely on our data-driven platform to quickly and accurately make the best people decisions every time. Find out how Cognisess Pro can expand and improve your applicant pool, book a demo with us today.

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

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

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

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

What is Computer Vision and AI?

Computer Vision acts as the eyes of an AI. This technology can visually process the world around them and they can be programmed to analyse the information it collects. For example, Computer Vision is used as part of our video analysis tool. The technology analyses each candidate’s facial expressions and micro-expressions from their video interview. Micro-expressions are facial movements that happen – even before we are consciously aware of making them. This means Computer Vision is able to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not what they may like to present to an interview panel.

This tool can be used to recruit across all industries. However, it is especially useful in customer focused or sales roles where ‘reading people’ or presenting yourself positively or empathetically is required. Computer Vision can observe how easy a person is to talk to, and how approachable they will be to customers – even under pressure.

Why should we trust machines to assess human behaviour?

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

As AI and Computer Vision aren’t human, they have the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, revealed to Information Age that “AI doesn’t have to understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none. AI does not need diversity and inclusion training. It’s incapable of taking an instant dislike to someone, secretly wondering whether someone’s planning on starting a family, or hiring someone who’s pleasingly similar to them.” As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our Computer Vision isn’t programmed to see race, age or gender – it is purely assessing what an applicant is non-verbally communicating. This becomes a vital tool when companies are pursuing policies of inclusion, diversity and fairness.

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

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

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

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

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

Make every day a good decision day with AI

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

Cognisess to Launch Office in Singapore After a Successful Trip

Last week Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess, conducted a successful trip to Techinnovation in Singapore. We are an emerging company with global ambitions. The aim of the trip was to establish individual relations with partners and collaborators from around the Asia Pacific. The trip was supported by the British Government and the Department of International Trade (DIT).

Cognisess is interested in the Asian Pacific market, according to PWC it is projected to be the fourth largest economy globally by 2020. Chris Butt travelled to Singapore as it boasts the best business environment in the world (The Economist Intelligence Unit Country Forecasts Report 2018) and is the best in the region for global innovation (The Global Innovation Index 2018). These factors create the perfect conditions for our innovative product to thrive.

Singapore’s rapidly growing market is an ideal location to expand to, so our CEO travelled to the country to investigate further. Chris Butt, our CEO, comments:

“I wanted to establish an understanding of the culture, the background and the opportunities Singapore has – there is so much potential there.”

Across the two days at Techinnovation Cognisess was based at an Innovate UK Hub stand. We would like to thank Innovate UK, EUREKA and Enterprise Europe Network for their collaborative organisational effort on this. The stand gave us the opportunity to showcase our product, gaining a lot of footfall and client leads as a result of this. Our product attracted the interest of the marine, oil and gas sectors – which are big industries in Singapore. We additionally gained a number of potential partnership opportunities in recruitment, consultancy, HR and technology firms.

Chris Butt comments on his time in the country:

“I especially enjoyed being part of a delegation of fifteen UK technology companies looking to export their products into the Asia Pacific market, which was part of the DIT mission. This included visiting the British High Commission, connecting with a number of the High Commission staff and meeting Natalie Black – the Trade Commissioner for the Asia Pacific. I would like to thank DIT for organising this and the useful information we received from them – including potential partner and customer contacts.”

As a result of this trip, Cognisess will be cementing partnerships within the next few months and setting up an office in Singapore by 2019. This is part of our vision for Cognisess’ software to be operated on a global scale.

 

blogs news cognisess predictive people analytics

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: support@cognisess.com.