black woman job interview

How to create a fairer recruitment process for BAME applicants

The recent Black Lives Matter movement has created an awareness of the prominent racial inequality globally. In fact, last year the Guardian reported that black Britons and those of South Asian origin faced shocking discrimination at levels unchanged since the 1960s.

Perhaps your company wants to support this movement by creating a fairer recruitment process. Currently, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) applicants face an uphill battle in the hiring process. Applicants from minority ethnic backgrounds have to send 80% more applications than a white British person before they get a positive response from a company; according to a study by the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Even if they progress onto an assessment centre or interview stage, black and ethnic minority candidates are 14% more likely to be rejected than white candidates. 

But why is this the case? 

Humans unconsciously process 11 million pieces of information per second. In order to manage this mass of data, our brains have had to adapt by creating ‘shortcuts’ to help us make decisions. Without this, we would be paralysed into making no decisions or just random ones. This is called cognitive bias.  Every one of us carries a degree of unconscious bias and is informed by our previous personal experiences, stereotypes and cultural context. 

Although we may not intentionally be applying bias, our brain automatically applies these ‘shortcuts’ to make decisions quickly. For example, Harvard Business School discovered employers aren’t prejudiced against women because of their gender, but because they have the perception that men perform better in certain tasks. Ultimately, these inherent biases can also impact decision-making for BAME candidates in the hiring process. 

How can you rectify this?

Unconscious bias is an inherent part of being human. 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.

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.” Because AI is objective it can assist you in identifying the strongest candidates. 

Learn more about unconscious bias here. 

Solution: Blind Recruitment 

Creating a fairer recruitment process is simpler than you think with an AI-driven recruitment platform such as Cognisess Pro. Our AI can assess and objectively identify the best candidate by purely focusing on skills and abilities. By combining this with blind recruitment you will create an overall fairer process. Information such as age, gender and race is hidden from assessors and is never taken into account for Cognisess assessments. These details may unconsciously influence a hiring decision. This is called ‘blind recruitment’ and focuses purely on the attributes that matter when hiring a candidate, for instance, emotional intelligence, task switching and resilience. This process provides decision-makers with an in-depth understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role – regardless of background.

Taking the time to craft a fairer application process may also increase the number of diverse applicants who apply. Additionally, a diverse team has a variety of benefits. For example, it 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.

Cognisess Pro was recently awarded best AI product in HR by CogX. 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 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.

Although we can’t help our unconscious bias, we can use AI as a tool to help reduce these biases to strive for a fairer recruitment process. Schedule a free demo to find out more.  

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.

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.