How HR and People Analytics can help manage Employee Wellbeing

As employees, we all want to perform well in our jobs and be recognised for our contribution. But when working late or not speaking up when you are overloaded becomes the cultural norm, it may lead to employees experiencing damage to their wellbeing and in the worst case, burning out.

With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem this year, a Gallup study found that around two-thirds of full time employees experience occupational burnout at some stage. This issue not only affects the employees, but the wider organisation. People who experience burnouts are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to be actively seeking a different job. And of course, if employees are constantly absent, this affect the business. In turn, this could financially impact the business due to high churn rate and funds needed for recruitment.  

By taking more responsibility for the wellbeing of their employees, businesses can create a more positive and productive work environment for their people to thrive in. Innovative technology like Predictive People Analytics is uniquely positioned to support HR to do this in an accurate and timely fashion.

Giving your employees a voice

Sometimes employees may lack the confidence to speak up in the workplace or ask for help. They may instead suffer in silence, which undoubtedly makes the problem worse. Using a platform like Cognisess Pro will allow these people to communicate how they are feeling directly to HR from the privacy of their desks, or at home. Our platform allows employees to log data regarding their mood and how many hours they slept, as well as providing a variety of emotion assessments including how hard they are on themselves in times of difficulty and pressure. These tools can provide HR with the insights needed to improve employees’ wellbeing and optimise the working environment to overcome these issues identified.

Relationships and teams are key

Relationships are key to nurturing a positive work environment; the most important working relationships employers have is with their team. Interactions happen daily making positive relationships and healthy dynamics key to a successful business. Therefore, creating an environment where team members work cohesively is important. According to Dr G. Ramesh and Dr K. Vasuki, in Addressing Employee’s Underperformance by Nurturing a Positive Work environment, one of the reasons why people under perform is due to conflict within a team and personality differences. In contrast, a meta-analysis by Kristof-Brown found that employees who fit in with their company, coworkers and managers perform better in their job. Therefore, implementing a software which understands the current team can help HR Managers to enhance the team with the addition of new candidates which align with the current culture and attributes.

In the past, creating a great team was a process of trial and error, backed up by a manager’s knowledge on each person’s unique abilities. However, a new hire can change a team’s dynamic positively or negatively and it may seem like there is no way to predict the outcome of this. Our Team Fit feature is able to eliminate this risk. Managers are more able to reveal how an individual will fit into an existing team dynamic, allowing them to maintain a conflict free environment. It collates and maps an individual’s results, like how they work and communicate, via a user-friendly graph against the attributes of others in any defined team or group. The team and individual don’t need to meet for the HR manager to understand whether a person would fit well into that team. This scientifically valid assessment not only increases resource efficiency for managers, but also prevents any loss in productivity derived from the wrong individuals working together – or worse, accelerating churn.

Creating a supportive culture

It is also important that employees fit into a company’s culture. Although employees have different skill sets, workers who collectively share the same set of values may feel more united and motivated when working towards a business’s goals and objectives. Meta analysis by Kristof-Brown also found that employees who relate to their company culture are satisfied in their role.

One of Cognisess’ clients recently used our culture fit tool to ensure they recruited people who would fit into their very distinctive culture.  

Our analysis uncovered that the company’s employees demonstrated a high level of emotional intelligence. This is a useful attribute to collectively possess in regards to mental health. This ability allows them to be aware of how they are feeling and know when they need to take a break, which can prevent them from burnout. It also assists them in identifying when others are struggling, which contributes to a supportive work environment. However, it is possible to increase your emotional intelligence, encouraging your employees to do this may help them manage their wellbeing, creating an overall positive work environment.  

For more information on how we apply this feature of Cognisess Pro, our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer explains the process on a video:

Forewarned is forearmed

Burnout and poor mental health clearly can affect people, but it also affects organisations. Using Predictive Analytics tools for your People can help your organisation operate in a more responsible and efficient business environment whilst also supporting employees to deliver optimum performance and fulfill their true potential. If you would like to find out more about Predictive Analytics for People, book a demo 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?

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

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.    

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: www.telegraph.co.uk/combating-bias-in-recruitment

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 support@cognisess.com.

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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 support@cognisess.com.

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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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Deep Learning: Changing HR Forever

Cognisess’ guest blogger Technology4JB takes a look at the opportunities emerging in the people & talent space to use the power of AI and Machine Learning. It provides an easy to understand guide for HR Professionals who are considering what the benefits of this new technology might be.

One of the latest advancements in technology is deep machine learning, which focuses on the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to adapt and learn from users’ behaviours through brain-like structures called neural networks. Among the industries set to be disrupted by deep learning is human resources.

AI is now being tested out on a number of different Internet of Things connected devices. Gartner claims AI will soon be integrated into every software by 2020, which research VP Jim Hare calls “the biggest gold rush in recent years.”

Tech giant Samsung has been testing deep learning by applying it in various devices, including in ultrasound equipment and in their latest smartphones through Bixby. According to the information shared by O2, Galaxy S8’s Bixby makes things easy for users to ‘do what they want, when they want’. Samsung’s propriety mobile AI assists users in completing tasks, tells them what they’re looking at, learns routines, and remembers what users need to do. This latest development in mobile AI can help further drive the adoption of deep learning in human resources.

With the amount of data that is available in the hiring process, machine learning can unearth more efficient approaches for identifying strong candidates. Through a model that is trained based on data made from example collections, companies are able to create accurate predictions instead of following a static procedure.

There are certain ways that deep learning can assist in making the HR process more efficient such as the following:

Evaluate more candidates quickly

From a nearly endless pool of possibilities, algorithms can help HR in finding and recruiting candidates quickly and effectively. AI can accomplish the time- and labour-intensive task of searching for the right applicant, such as screening CVs or scheduling interviews. Deep learning excels at statistical analysis and pattern recognition that makes evaluating CVs of successful employees easier and helps identifying whether an applicant comes with similar traits and experience that is required for the position. Aside from automating high-volume tasks, the technology integrates seamlessly with the current recruiting process, so it doesn’t disrupt the workflow. Since time for recruitment processes are reduced, it’s less likely for a company to lose the best talent to some of their competitors that aren’t using similar processes.

Improves quality of hires

Based on the statistical figures presented by CareerBuilder about the cost of a bad hire, the study showed that 41% of companies stated a bad hire cost them in the region of £20,000, while 25% said it cost them £40,000. The report even includes the often-cited Harvard Business Review study that revealed 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

With deep learning and AI present, HR employees will be able to use the data gathered to standardise an applicant’s experience, skills, and knowledge based on the requirements of the job. This enhancement in recruiting is projected to lead to happier and more productive employees, who are less likely to leave their jobs.

Enhance employee satisfaction

Since algorithms work with the idea that ‘A is equal to A,’ the technology will be able to improve employee satisfaction via regular, unbiased performance reviews. Deep learning has the ability to evaluate employee performance based on the data provided to the system and without any personal bias. It can examine past performance trends of individuals, teams, or departments as well as predict future outcomes. Research published on Digitalist Magazine discussed how AI can end bias as the technology can learn how to filter irrelevancies out of the decision-making process. It can quickly select the most suitable applicant from a pile of CVs and guide HR employees based on what it calculated objectively to be the best candidate and not based on personal prejudice. The data collected is assessed by deep learning and can give HR managers and directors insights into the next necessary steps to take to improve the performance of the employees when the software spots a potential problem.

With deep learning and AI performing many of the routine tasks quicker, it makes the whole HR process efficient and employees more productive. While it’s highly unlikely that AI will replace humans in the HR field, its comprehensive capabilities to provide data-driven solutions will undoubtedly be a huge part to the continuing evolution of the industry.

Written by guest blogger Technology4JB

For more information about Cognisess get in touch at support@cognisess.com