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

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.

How to successfully interview thousands of applicants with Video Analysis

In the age of AI and automation, soft skills are essential. Although machines are better at processing and understanding large amounts of data, they can’t replace that human connection. Most roles have people-focused elements, whether it’s maintaining relationships with clients as an Account Manager or assisting customers as a Sales Assistant, every step is important. First impressions count. When meeting new people 55% of the impact comes from the way a person acts. This is why it is important to hire a candidate who can make a good impression when representing your company. 

33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire a candidate. However, a recruiter isn’t able to see how an applicant communicates and presents themselves in a written application. This can prevent them from hiring the best talent. 

Is there a way to meet every candidate who has applied for a job? 

This may seem impossible if there are over 1,000 candidates in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS), but here at Cognisess, we have made it possible for you to interview every candidate. Our DeepLearnTM Video Analysis is able to measure: 

  • Confidence and control. When customers are interacting with your business, they want to talk to someone who is in control of a situation and confident in their abilities. You can now measure this before you hire an applicant.  
  • Positivity. An upbeat employee not only improves morale in the workplace but their positive nature will help them successfully communicate with clients. For example, if a client sees a sales executive who is sincerely positive about a product, they are more likely to buy it. 
  • Expressiveness.  Some people make everyone they talk to feel like they are being truly listened to. A high level of expression (within reason) is seen in western cultures as a sign of high levels of engagement in the subject of the conversation.
  • Resilience and grit. This allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere, despite rejection and a lack of noticeable process over a period of time. 

How it works 

The machine vision used by DeepLearn™ uses highly advanced algorithms that read from 27+ points on the face. It tracks the differences of the positions over time to establish a picture of the emotion that is being expressed by a person. With its automated ‘Ask Me’ and ‘Meet Me’ video assessment tool, Cognisess Pro will recognise the values and attributes you’re looking for – accurately, objectively, every time. Book a demo to find out more about this feature. 

As Cognisess Pro isn’t human, it has the capacity to be completely objective (read our blog on unconscious bias in humans here). As there isn’t any human involvement in the analysis process, it supports a less bias hiring decision. Our tool 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.

The benefits of video analysis

  • Save time. Find the right applicant for you regardless of the volume of candidates. Our video analysis tool has analysed over 1.4 billion facial expressions with a 97% accuracy rate. This process can be done in a fraction of the time it would take a human to view and make a decision on each video.
  • Meet the human behind the application. The tool brings an application to life. Not only can you view a thorough assessment of a candidate’s personality and cognitive attributes but you can meet them too. 
  • Enhance decision making. Know that you have hired the right talent with the data to back up your decisions. This creates a more objective hiring process. 

Creating a fair recruitment process with our clients

This tool can be used across all industries. Companies also have the option to use the video interview tool without the DeepLearnTM analysis. In the past, clients such as hotel giant IHG, the world’s leading brewer AB InBev and special economic zone Alabuga have used it to enhance their recruitment process.  

Recently, we have studied the performance of the video analysis tool with one of our customers. Focusing on the candidates who had successfully passed their video interview, 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 the accuracy of this technology and how it can be applied to create a fair and transparent recruitment process, where any areas of unconscious bias can be corrected as a helpful mechanism to support HR professionals avoid bias. 

How our clients use DeepLearnTM Video Analysis

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, expressiveness alongside other attributes relevant to the job. ​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. 

HR professionals are able to draw conclusions from their own expertise when finally ‘meeting’ each candidate. They can also review a comprehensive analysis on them alongside the other Cognisess assessments that analyse Job Fit, Culture Fit and Team Fit. 

People are an essential part of a company. It is important to hire applicants who will represent a business in a positive manner. Using a video interview tool will help you meet each applicant in the early stages of the recruitment process. You may also use the DeepLearnTM  Video Analysis tool to detect a candidate’s true emotion at that moment, not what they may like to present to an interview panel. If you would like to find out more about our video analysis tool and how it can transform your recruitment process, book a FREE demo today with our expert team.    

Future Leaders: How they will transform leadership and how to spot and recruit them

Cognisess takes a look at an emerging trend in People Analytics using data and insights gained from analysing some of our client’s high-profile, global graduate recruitment schemes.

It is predicted that 50% of roles today will not exist by 2025. We will need strong leaders to guide employees through today’s rapidly changing workplace. But what will a future leader look like? How can companies identify these leaders and what skills will they need?

Key skills all future leaders will need

Adaptability  

The workplace is ever changing. Leaders will need to embrace this change to thrive. It is not only technology that is driving this change. In the future, there will be a shift in leadership style, moving away from an egocentric and hierarchical management style to focus on nurturing employees to be active and valued contributors. Instead of the leader telling their teams what they need, it will become more of an open dialogue between management and employees. This will create an environment were people and development are at the heart of the workplace. As a talent management platform, we are excited about this prospect and look forward to welcoming more organisations onto our People Analytics software.

High Emotional Intelligence

AI can process data more efficiently than humans, but there are still skills we are stronger in. A Korn Ferry study found human talent is 2.33 times more valuable compared to assets like technology. A high emotional intelligence allows future leaders to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses as well as their teams. This means the manager can troubleshoot ways to improve themselves as well as their team – creating the strongest team possible.

This ability will be supported by AI. For example, although a manager can identify why a team may not be working well together, with Cognisess Team Fit they are able to view data on employees talents and see how dynamic the group is through a series of graphs. This data supports a leaders ‘gut feeling’ with physical results they can present to colleagues.

Comfortable with embracing and leading innovation

In the future, AI and humans will work together to optimise the workplace. A leader will need to understand the new challenges and opportunities this presents – for example data management and skill building. Managers need to be open to not only accepting new technology but also managing the relationship between employees and AI. There will be workers who aren’t as comfortable with the change as others – a high performing future leader will support these people to adapt and become confident with working with technology. This will create a united and technologically minded workforce.

To stay ahead of the curve, leaders will need to keep updated on the new tools and assessments that can enhance their organisation before their competitors. By signing up to our newsletter you will hear about our products, company updates and industry news without having to leave your inbox. Sign up on our blog page.

How diverse will future leaders need to be?

The number of women the workforce is increasing and companies are continuously trying to become more inclusive of gender, race and age. There are also a number of benefits to having a diverse workforce, according to McKinsey racially and ethnically diverse companies outperform industry norms by 35%.

However, only 4% of CEOs worldwide are women according to Deloitte’s Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective. But the report also uncovered that businesses who have females in top leadership positions have almost double the number of women on their board. Gender diverse boards are also more likely to hire a female board chair or CEO. It seems that diversity has a multiplying effect, according to this Parliament UK report the female employment rate is at its highest since records began (71%). The current workforce is becoming more diverse than ever. In the future, females in today’s workforce will hopefully move into management positions, increasing diversity within leadership roles.


Equally, we will also need to recruit talent from all different walks of life regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, country of origin or educational background. Diversity of thinking and approach in the workplace is critical to ensure new ideas and solutions are free flowing. The danger of recruiting the same type of candidate from the same background is that you only ever get the same answers and consensus. Outside the box thinking really does come from outside of the box!

How are companies preparing for the future now?

The businesses who are adopting AI and People Analytics now are starting to get ahead of the curve. People Analytics help you to identify the attributes needed now and for the future to help develop a mobile and agile workforce for today and tomorrow.

At Cognisess we have supported a wide range of clients with their graduate programmes, from hotel giants (IHG) to the world’s largest brewer (AB InBev). These graduate programmes are developing the leadership talent of tomorrow. Although there will be universal leader traits for the future regardless of the sector (as discussed earlier on in this article), we also recognise that leaders may look different in every organisation depending on the sector or culture. For instance, a hotel manager needs to be able to work well under time pressure when solving customers queries in a fast paced hospitality environment. Whereas this would be an advantage as an AB InBev leader, but not essential.

What is the process?

Taking AB InBev’s graduate programme as an example, we initially assessed a current cohort of AB InBev’s top talent who are currently on the graduate scheme. Additionally, AB InBev wanted graduates who fitted into their strong company culture. The organisation’s most loyal employees also completed assessments on Cognisess Pro. The data collected included personality traits, emotional intelligence and cognitive abilities. The combined assessment results enabled Cognisess to uncover characteristics that correlate to success in the role and the company. Analysing their current high performers not only helps to understand the qualities that make them so successful – but informs which applicants to recruit to ensure a high performing future workforce.

Our expert team then constructed a detailed job profile based on the collected characteristics. This became the benchmark to assess the graduate recruits on Cognisess Pro. The applicants completed a series of cognitive, emotional and personality based assessments. The process resulted in targeted applicant recommendations, increasing the chance of successful hires for AB InBev. Recruiting these talented graduates who share the same values as the company and possess the qualities to lead will ensure a more efficient organisation, with the right people in those leadership roles.

Adapting to an ever-changing workforce, high emotional intelligence and being comfortable to embrace a new working relationship with AI are some of the universal traits a future leader will need. At Cognisess, we are supporting many leading companies to invest in identifying the attributes they need for future leadership and recruiting the best talent. Book a free demo of Cognisess Pro today to see how the most advanced People Analytics and AI Assessment Platform on the market today can help your organisation find the leaders of tomorrow.

We’re all human, so we can’t help our unconscious bias but AI can help reduce it in the recruitment process

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. But this approach adopted by our brain can lead to patterns of illogical thinking – this is called cognitive bias.  

It is thought there are at least 175 types of biases, this diagram allows you to explore all of them. But to keep things simple, we’ve grouped the biases into four types of typical hurdles the brain encounters every day:

  • Too much information – Our brain uses a few ‘shortcuts’ to condense information. A key aspect of this is humans are drawn to details that support their existing beliefs. An example of this was uncovered in a research paper by Harvard Business School. They 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. We also assume people we are familiar with are better than people we don’t know.
  • The need to act fast – 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.

How can bias affect the recruitment process?

Unfortunately, we can’t eliminate these biases and they can sometimes seep into the recruitment process. In a recent study, researchers sent a number of CVs to businesses. These applicants had similar levels of experience, the only aspect which differed were their names – the applicants either had stereotypical black, Latino or white names. They also asked a group of people to physically hand in their CV at a number of companies, again, they each shared similar qualifications but were different ethnicities. The researchers found that white applicants received 36% more callbacks than African Americans and 24% more than Latinos. The study also uncovered that racism in hiring hasn’t changed since 1989. Although we all want to ensure a recruitment process is as fair as possible and we may not intentionally be applying bias, our brain is automatically applying these bias ‘shortcuts’ to make decisions quickly.

Being unconsciously biased is an inherent part of being human – even if we try to avoid it or correct ourselves. So, once we realise we can be prone to unconscious bias despite our best efforts, we should be turning to AI as a helpful tool to help keep us compliant and open up the recruitment process.

How can AI transform the recruitment process?

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 AI isn’t human it has the capacity to be completely objective. This can be used as a tool to help HR create a fairer recruitment process. For instance, Cognisess Pro, our market-leading recruitment platform driven by AI, makes it optional for candidates to disclose age, gender, race or the schools they went to and can also hide this information from assessors too. More significantly, this personal information is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments – our system is mostly interested in assessing how your brain works. This way 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 to create an environment for recruiters to make objective and well-informed decisions about a candidates potential.

The Cognisess platform is data-driven with over 50 assessments to choose from and measures over 120 human attributes. The insights created from this data has been proven to assist companies like AB InBev, CIL and IHG  make better informed and fewer bias decisions about recruitment and assessments. For example, hotel giant IHG has recently ensured a gender equality of 93.75% through their recruitment process using Cognisess Pro, enabling a fairer and more accurate approach to talent management compared to their more traditional recruitment processes.

Attract more talent, increase your diversity

There are many benefits of using an AI recruiting platform like Cognisess Pro. Using this software provides an opportunity to increase diversity in a company’s workforce. A more diverse team can equate to a more profitable company, a McKinsey report uncovered that “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” It can also attract more talent to apply for a company with 67% of applicants wanting to join a diverse team.

As our brains have over 175 individual biases, it can be hard to be sure we are making a totally objective hiring decision. It makes sense to use AI as a tool to facilitate a fairer and more efficient process to help us accurately hire the best person for the role – every time. It is incorporating the best of both worlds, a recruiter’s years of experience with AI’s objective stance. Adopting AI in HR has never been easier. Our team of People Analytics experts can guide you through the first steps of adding AI to your HR processes. If you would like to find out more please get in contract or book a FREE demo of Cognisess Pro, the most advanced People Analytics and AI Assessment Platform on the market today.

People Analytics will change the way HR makes its decisions: but what’s driving this change?

Amongst marketing colleagues throughout any sector of business, it is inconceivable that customers would not have their fingerprints and footprints of their data analysed to the nth degree to better understand their value, buying behaviours, patterns of consumption and preferences.  CRM and other data driven disciplines like ASO, SEO, NPS are the life-blood of decision making in marketing. Sure hunches in marketing are still important – but only if they are backed up with data. So, why is it the case, that HR do not as yet apply the same rigour in better understand human potential and performance when making key hiring and appraisal decisions?

HR and People Management have always been an inherently human set of processes…. the clue is in the title. But are people necessarily the best judge of people? Traditionally HR, hiring managers and recruiters are trusted with the responsibility of using their experience to assess and select the best talent available in the market. Knowing what a ‘good hire’ looks like is part logic (reviewing CVs and experience track record) and part intuition (having a feel for whether the person will fit the organisation through interviews).  Both of these practices are fraught with inconsistencies, inaccuracies, subjectivity and even bias (unconscious or otherwise). But in fairness to the HR profession it has been very difficult, up until now, to replace the wisdom of experience with anything else.  But advances in Big Data, Cognitive NeuroScience, automation and machine learning – have heralded a new era of certainty and reliability in the form of People Analytics: the science of assessing people through data.

New Technology – New HR Solutions

Humans and AI are finally able to start working together to make better business decisions. In a recent McKinsey study, 47% of executives have embedded at least one AI capability into their business process.  However, HR remain the function which is least convinced of the benefits to their organisations in deploying AI in HR falling way behind operations, product development, service delivery and marketing and sales. Lack of coherent internal and external data sets, lack of skills to operate in an increasingly digital and data driven HR environment and lack of leadership to drive changes in traditional practices: are some of the main reasons cited for lack of uptake amongst businesses for People Analytics.

As a pioneer in bringing machine learning and People Analytics into the HR market over the past 5 years, here are a number of key benefits that Cognisess have delivered for those companies who have been early adopters for AI in HR.

Saving time – AI has an appetite for data. It is able to process applicants and identify the top candidates faster than an employee manually organising them. This means HR managers can spend more time preparing applicants for the role. Recently the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, was able to interview their strongest candidates just 3 days after they’d sent in their application. Before employing Cognisess Pro’s people analytics, it took them 10 days. Cognisess saved them time, enabling them to hire the best talent faster.

Saving money – One bad hire can cost €45,000 (£39,294) in loss of productivity. Predictive analytics cannot foresee the future, but in can prevent unsuitable candidates from advancing through the process. It reveals not only the best talent –  but also those candidates who will fit or adapt into a specific company the culture, thrive in the role and therefore stay – thus saving companies a considerable amount of money and resource in the long term.

Increasing diversity, decreasing potential bias – Humans are naturally biased, and although we all do try to minimise it, our bias is always subconsciously present. In the past, there was no way to eliminate it from the recruitment process – predictive analytics and machine learning has completely transformed this. For instance, Cognisess Deep Learn ™ our AI engine, doesn’t take into account race, gender, age or background. Instead, it focuses purely on a person’s cognitive ability and emotional and social attributes to perform to any given role. This change allowed hotel giant, IHG, to eliminate potential bias by 93% from their recruitment process. This not only increases their prospect of developing a truly diversified workforce, but also demonstrates a clear commitment to fairness and inclusion for the employer brand.

How will it transform HR?

“Companies who adopt a predictive analytics system create a brighter future. They not only gain useful objective data on their applicants and employees, but they also gain insight about their talent pools. Managers can identify strengths and weaknesses – even uncovering hidden talents!” Comments Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess. This approach encourages employees to develop their adaptability and skills whilst managers can better envision a person’s progression in a business by using AI to create complete picture about people and their potential.

As People Analytics become more affordable, accessible and user-friendly we will see many more companies recruit and appraise through a predictive analytics platform, whilst dialling back less reliable traditional recruitment methods. Forward thinking companies such as DFS and Knight Frank are already using our predictive analytics platform, Cognisess Pro to transform their approach. Cognisess Pro’s objective method of assessing talent works well to support and validate recruiters ‘gut instincts’ about a candidate with the data and evidence to back up why they are a good fit for the role. With Cognisess Pro, companies can constantly refine the attributes they are looking for whether it’s short term memory or emotional intelligence – or any other of 120 attributes the platform analyses.

The benefits for HR

Increased Efficiency

With 73% of applicants abandon job applications if they take longer than 15 minutes, there is clearly an art to retaining candidates until the end of an application. Cognisess Pro’s gamified assessments engage the candidate whilst gaining insights for the recruiter – 90% of applicants have a positive experience on the platform. “Our clients often see an increase in applications using our platform.” Reveals Chris Butt, CEO of Cognisess. A positive application experience also leaves candidates with a good first impression of a business.

Increased Diversity

With ethnically diverse teams outperforming non-diverse teams by 35%, it consciously pays to focusing on a person’s innate abilities and skills to identify what a balanced and diverse team fit looks like. Predictive analytics create a fairer process for all by removing subjectivity and bias. Typically recruiters are disposed to hiring the type of person they personally connect and recognise through experience or preference – rather than ability or potential.  Having a more objective approach greatly increases the chances of a building a more diverse and productive workforce.

Increased Speed to Hire

People analytics allows HR to recruit quickly cut through the volume of applicants and information to identify the best talent whilst creating a positive and fair process for every participant. Simultaneously the technology allows recruiters and managers to monitor and benchmark their existing employee talent pool to quickly spot opportunities to redeploy talent – rather than always reaching for an external solution.

Learn more about AI in HR

Cognisess is already supporting some of the world’s leading businesses to transform their approach to managing talent and potential. 

For more insight, download our recent case study with global hotel giant IHG.

What is unconscious bias and why it should be reduced in talent recruitment?

Unconscious bias: a brief overview

Every one of us carries a degree of unconscious bias. This is informed by our personal experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. It’s the way our brains make quick judgements about people and situations without us even registering it. Ultimately these inherent biases can impact decision-making in the hiring process. For instance, during a study by PNAS, participants were invited to review a number of job applications. Despite the applications being randomly assigning a male or female name, each reviewer was more likely to conclude:

  • The male applicants were better qualified than female candidates.
  • They were inclined to hire male candidates over female applicants.
  • The male applicants were deemed more worthy of a higher starting salary than the female candidates.   
  • They were more willing to invest in developing a male candidate than a female one.

This is a prime example of unconscious bias at play. Although reviewers didn’t deliberately discount females because of their gender; their unconscious bias did. Ultimately this would impact on the hiring decision, career development and salary of the candidates. It may have even prevented the best candidates from being considered for a position.

Can bias ever be eliminated or at least reduced?

“Because we are all human, we all harbour conscious and unconscious biases. Sometimes they’re useful – like when we stubbornly always choose to stay at our favourite brand of hotel; but often they’re not. Even when we try our best to identify and minimise them, they are always there as they form an intrinsic part of being human,” revealed Cognisess CSO, Dr Boris Altemeyer: “

Although this bias is instinctive, there are methods recruiters can use to minimise the risk of affecting hiring decisions. The emergence of artificial intelligence provides an effective solution to reduce bias. According to Dr Altemeyer: “AI doesn’t have to worry about understand its own unconscious bias, because it has none.”

Cognisess Pro, our market leading AI recruitment platform, makes it optional for candidates to disclose age, gender, race or the schools they went to and that can be hidden from assessors too.  More significantly this information is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments. This is called ‘blind recruitment’ and focuses purely on the attributes and abilities that matter when hiring a candidate. This process provides decision makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role – regardless of background. The platform is data-driven with 50 assessments to choose from measuring over 120 attributes. This range of data has been proven to assist companies like AB InBev, CIL and IHG  make better informed and fewer bias decisions about recruitment and assessments.  For example, hotel giant IHG has recently eliminated potential bias by 93.75% using Cognisess Pro, enabling a fairer and more accurate approach to talent management compared to their more traditional recruitment processes.

Why should companies strive to minimise it?   

It is a given that leading recruiters are committed to a fairer recruitment process for applicants. This is important in building a credible employer brand and reputation to compete in the talent market.  But making a conscious effort to remove bias also provides other significant benefits. “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”  according to a recent Mckinsey report. Adopting an approach like Cognisess Pro which can reduce or eliminate bias, will lead to the development of a more diverse workforce.  “Teams which have a more diverse composition bring so much more to the business in terms of having strength in depth to maximise opportunities like problem solving, creativity, customer empathy and innovation which can benefit a company in both the short and long term,” confirmed CSO, Dr Altemeyer.

Additionally, a recent analysis of talent attraction strategies revealed that  67% of applicants want to join a diverse team .  Focusing on this will support companies to attract more candidates and the best talent into the applicant pool.

Taking the first steps to address bias

“In the battle for talent, not every company is going to win the hearts and minds of the top 3% of graduates every year – and that thinking in itself is a form of bias”, stated Cognisess CEO Chris Butt: “Therefore companies have no other option to but too look beyond the obvious to identify talent in its many forms and how it can ably fill the skills gaps they have.”

Cognisess Pro is the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today bringing AI to HR. It is helping companies create a fairer process and pinpointing the best person for the role based on ability and potential – not gender, age or race. If you are uncertain of how to best start the journey of integrating AI into your HR processes, contact us today to schedule a demo.

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.

Why Amazon’s Ml / AI CV Selection Tool Developed a Bias

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, comments on why Amazon’s AI recruitment tool developed a sexist bias.

It is very interesting to see that a tech giant with, arguably, access to the absolute best talent in this area has admitted defeat. Their AI was simply automating bias, rather than removing it.

Based on our experience, it is not entirely surprising that this occurred. Relying on CV information for job fit is a limited, risky and biased approach. It is affected by factors such as language proficiency, the locus of control (how much you attribute things happening to you as being a result of your own actions), as well as education and social economic status.

Many high profile individuals rely on professional writers to fine-tune or completely ghostwrite their CVs. Therefore using mere a CV as an indicator of potential job performance relies on one – questionable – assumption: what you did in the past and are able to document coherently is indicative of what you are likely to do in a complex and changing environment.

It has been shown in research – meta-studies in particular – that CVs are not a reliable indicator of performance. Therefore, Cognisess starts at the point of which decisions are made: the brain.

The Cognisess Deep Learn framework that underlies many of our features doesn’t take the same approach as an AI CV selection tool. We are interested in learning as much as possible about a person to make a considered decision, whilst assessing their individual potential. However, personal information such as CV data is only a fraction (and actually the least part) that we are interested in.

Objective metrics such as the ability to inhibit automatic responses, paradigm-shifting, or problem solving, are not impacted by your ability to express how good you are at them. Which is why Cognisess use accessible game mechanics to measure them.

Whilst one can argue that there are gender differences between certain aspects of brain preference and function, this is far less of a concern in our complex profilers. If one were to select an employee purely based on one attribute, it wouldn’t paint a full picture of a candidate. However, when we build profilers with up to 140 separate aspects, each of which can have individual weights, target values, and thresholds, these effects arguably become insignificant.

The wealth of data that can be generated on cognition, emotion, behaviour and emotion detection in videos via AI, allows employers to take the crucial step to calibrate what ‘best’ truly looks like. In many cases, the Amazon AI recruiting tool will lead to additional scrutiny on what has caused the bias in workforce diversity including the poorly established or biased KPIs.

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

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Humanising AI

 In light of recent data privacy and GDPR developments and the associated fallout, this recent article from the Guardian which quoted Cognisess raises some interesting and valid points.  We do welcome this debate and think it is very timely.

However, whilst it rightly challenges where the human value is within these new systems – it perhaps underplays the significant benefits that predictive analytics and AI can offer job seekers and employees when done right.

We have seen the introduction of AI and automated processes, working in parallel with trained professionals, bringing greater transparency and less bias than traditional HR and recruitment practices, which can often be inherently flawed, with limited accountability. And that can only be a good thing.

We have also noted this technology enabling a greater democratisation of human capital, particularly with startups and SMEs who need access to affordable and dependable tools that are currently only available at a premium price to bigger companies. It’s the smaller players who have fewer resources and need to move with greater agility, who will benefit most from this revolution. Of course, the bigger companies will benefit from managing their scale better with greater transparency but it’s the army of smaller businesses who have the greater need to work smarter, faster and take greater risks in their talent acquisition efforts.

While the games and quizzes the Guardian mentions do indeed help to indicate which candidates might or might not be the best fit for a role, they can also empower people, from students to seasoned professionals in helping them to understand exactly where their talents lie and therefore more easily find the right opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Currently we rely on hearsay as to why we might not be successful for a job role or promotion. But now you as a candidate or employee can expect an accurate and transparent account of where your skills did not match on that occasion. This is a tremendously human improvement from the current level of feedback one might expect. Over stretched Human Resource professionals will never have the time or tools to accurately feedback detail to all candidates with the same speed and accuracy as the AI will.

And rather than ‘bewildering’, these tools are designed to help identify attributes which may often be overlooked by a fatigued or distracted interviewer. It is no fault of recruiters or employers that the job market is becoming increasingly complex. The bewilderment factor is in fact more prevalent from the speed at which the demand for new skills and capabilities are emerging.

Through candidate focused platforms like our Yondur.com and others, candidates can now freely familiarise themselves with a range of assessments and job requirements, and use these supporting resources to help them with both their search and their personal development.

Undoubtedly, workforce and HR Analytics is a rapidly evolving and growing industry and increased competition is a good thing, but quality will remain as important as ever, as will delivering real value and reliability for employers and employees alike. We believe that systems like Cognisess Pro will in fact add a stronger human dimension – if for no reason other than managers will have the time and accurate information to make the best people decisions.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be running a series of articles to highlight some of the work we’ve been doing in these areas with our advisors and clients to ensure that maximum transparency and data integrity is enshrined throughout the Cognisess platform and procedures.

For more information about how Cognisess uses AI to reduce bias for HR and recruitment practices contact us at support@cognisess.com.