Proud FINALISTS of a Bath Life Award 2021

In a record-breaking year for nominations, Cognisess is named a finalist in the People Services category.

As we scale up and our global reach strengthens, we are still proudly a Bath based company. Looking forward to the Awards night on 9th September.

(Look out for information about our new, central Bath offices, coming in June …)

Bath Life Awards 2021

Adverse Impact and Cognisess

By Nick Jarman

Recognise Talent – Enable Potential – Encourage Diversity

The Cognisess Approach

Adverse impact refers to employment practices that appear neutral but have a discriminatory effect on a protected group. Adverse impact may occur in hiring, promotion, training and development, transfer, layoff and even performance appraisals.* 

People analytics offer many advantages when it comes to managing a hiring process, maximising the quality of a company’s new hires and reducing any Adverse Impact found in a process.  

The merits of removing human elements of a selection process are many, not least in saving a huge amount of time that would normally be spent sifting through CVs, reading cover letters and processing hundreds and thousands of candidates manually.  

As well as this, reducing manual processes in selection can help alleviate a lot of potential bias, from an unconscious lean towards candidates with similar interests and backgrounds to preferring candidates with similar work experiences and ignoring those demonstrating high potential but lacking in past opportunities to demonstrate it in the workplace.  

Making use of data-driven analytic processes can help the best candidates to be identified, regardless of who they are, where they have come from and what they have previously achieved in their career.  

Cognitive assessments are the gold standard for how people analytics methodology can be used in predicting future job potential. However, this form of assessment has been associated with differences between demographic groups.  

Personality assessments provide fantastic data to enrich an overall view of a candidate’s suitability for a particular type of job. These assessments don’t have particularly high validity in predicting future performance when used in isolation but in combination with cognitive assessments can be invaluable in providing a holistic view of a candidate. Another big advantage of this form of assessment is in the small differences found in personality attributes across ethnicity, gender and age.  

At Cognisess we don’t rate candidates based solely on their attribute scores. We make use of an algorithm which takes Attributes judged to be important in the role and assigning them weightings used to predict future success in a role. By using these ‘Profilers’ we are able to minimise any differences known to affect candidates of demographics at the level of each attribute, thus facilitating the reduction of bias in any hiring decisions. Further to this, we can reduce a data set comprised of several Attribute scores and reduce this into a percentage match score, making the sifting of large candidate cohorts as simple as the click of a button.  

The use of different cut-off scores for accepting/rejecting candidates can influence the demographics of candidates sent through to the next stage of a selection process. Ultimately this is the more salient end-measure of Adverse Impact in a process and so it is important to be able to be able to discover the effects of different Profilers and cut-off scores before finalising any decision in candidate selection. This is easy to do with a Profiler, ensuring the best and most-informed decision is always made and the least possible amount of Adverse Impact is found within the selection process.  

Harnessing statistics, psychometrics and flexibility, Cognisess can aid the fair selection of the most capable, and the most diverse range of candidates for your role.  

*Society for Human Resource Management 2020 

White Paper – Why your Graduate Assessment Centre Needs an Overhaul

Head of Commercial and Operations, Dr Jared Skey reflects on changes in the world of graduate employment over the last 40 years.

In a world with a far greater number and variety of graduates, a more sophisticated approach is required when hiring.


Graduate recruitment in the 2020s is a large-scale complex challenge.

A considered approach to graduate recruitment and development is needed.

A modern, games-based approach plays a key role. 

To read the full white paper click below:

Cognisess introduces ‘first of its kind’ talent retention platform

West of England Combined Authority has put together a number of initiatives to support businesses in our region to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Our recruitment app, Yondur has been identified as a tool to help keep talent within the region. Yondur will be developed as WECA’s ‘Regional Talent Retention Platform’.

Yondur, developed by Cognisess, is a tool for individuals to identify their skills, compile a sophisticated digital CV, career match and ultimately match with jobs.  A range of assessments are presented as a series of games which measure both ‘hard’ skills such as mental arithmetic and spelling and ‘soft’ skills, like emotional intelligence.  The Regional Talent Retention Platform, once developed, will use similar assessments to identify displaced talent within the region and re-distribute that talent locally.

Intended Users of the Platform:  

  • Employees at risk of or who are being made redundant
  • Employees looking for employment in their existing role/ sector
  • Employees looking for employment in a new role/ sector
  • Businesses at risk of or that are making employees redundant
  • Businesses with workforce pressures aiming to avoid or minimise redundancies
  • Businesses with a recruitment requirement
  • Practitioners supporting businesses and or employees to use the platform.

Cognisess’ CEO Chris Butt impresses that:

“Replacing the CV with Yondur – a more meaningful, engaging and objective digital passport – will support job seekers across the region find the roles and career opportunities that best match their talent & potential. There are significant changes happening in society and the economy, due to Covid, that now require a fresh approach to hiring and nurturing the region’s human capital. 

We are excited to work with WECA and local employers to build the tools that will support their ambitions to scale and keep people in the West Country. We’ve so much to offer as a region but retaining and supporting talent begins with finding the right job and career path and Yondur will be the marketplace.”

Read the press release here

Career change and up skilling solutions for older workers from our Partner BUSY at Work Australia.

Career change and up skilling solutions for older workers

Recognising Talent. Enabling Potential.

The BUSY Group Ltd is the Australian agent for Cognisess – an award-winning, powerful human resourcing tool and provider of the world’s most comprehensive predictive people analytics software platform.

Developed in the United Kingdom by a unique team of psychologists, data engineers, human resource specialists and neuroscientists, Cognisess utilises neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict people and workforce performance of your individuals, teams and organisation.

For individuals looking to change career trajectory or up-skill, the platform can be utilised to identify personal career interests and skills and guide them to job opportunities that may not have been previously considered or explored.

With the unique insights provided by Cognisess, The BUSY Group offer personalised advice
and guidance on up skilling for a current job, transitioning into new roles within a current industry or pathways to new careers, including options for relevant education and training.

It helps older workers answer the question “What’s my next career move?”.

Human Generated Data

Cognisess uses over 50 combined measures, using an online platform with gamification and questionnaire methods, to objectively assess performance and gather insights across 11 areas and 150 attributes:

  • Cognitive ability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Behaviour
  • Team dynamics
  • Social cohesion & personality
  • Core skills
  • Workforce KPIs
  • Career Interests
  • Career values
  • Video & sentiment analytics
  • Feedback loop Solutions A powerful platform & portfolio of measurable performance areas allows you to build AI/Data- Driven, agile solutions that put your people at the centre of your business. Through Cognisess, The BUSY Group can provide a number of tailored solutions which are designed to unlock the potential of your teams and individuals within your organisation or manage change.

These include:

Workplace and Talent Analytics – assessing individual potential, strengths, weaknesses and workplace personalities

Recruitment and Benchmarking – spotting unique talent and personal strengths to help organisations find the right person aligned to job requirements

Team Cohesion within your workplace – understanding team dynamics, strengths and gaps to enable better task allocation, leadership potential, succession planning and future hire decisions

Organisational Dynamics – combining teams more effectively to ensure a strong workplace culture and maximise productivity

Change Management utilising unbiased insights

Cognisess allows organisations to uncover higher potentials, predict performance and reshape the future of talent.

The BUSY Group can work with your organisation to assist your human resourcing decisions, inform career trajectories for individuals, improve workplace culture and encourage stronger team performance.

For further information visit:

Assessment Benchmarking Recruitment

Team Fit Performance Engagement Insights

Career change and up skilling solutions for older workers

Andries Pretorius of One Step North challenges the Cognisess Team.

When we lose an hour of sleep for daylight saving there is a 23% spike in heart attacks. Workplace accidents increase, as does the suicide rate.

Ok Andries you have our attention.

The Cognisess team recently joined a two-part programme introduced to us by Andries Pretorius, former Welsh Rugby International – turned – Master of Business Psychology.

Founded on his experience and published research in professional sport, Andries and his team at One Step North offer a full range of bespoke training services to ‘unlock personal and team performance.’ 

He refers to ‘mental GOOD health’ and offers a number of insights and recommendations for promoting and preserving it. 

Great to see familiar faces smiling. Thanks for the element of humour One Step North.

What did he tell us?

In session 1 we are taken through the effects of hormones on our bodies, attitudes, function and performance:  Cortisol, Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, Melatonin and Oxytocin.

Largely, the information he gave us was nothing we hadn’t read or heard before but his presentation certainly woke us up.  He cleverly illustrated how and why we react like we do to certain situations, under varying levels of stress.  He highlighted factors like caffeine intake vs hydration and the importance of eating something green for breakfast.  Did you realise that just 2% dehydration can affect concentrate … erm … what was I saying?  Gulp.

Session 2 focused on the importance of sleep for our physical and mental wellbeing.  Especially pertinent at present, whilst many of us are battling home school as well as work and increasingly working evenings and weekends.  It was quite a wake-up call, (excuse the pun), to many of us and enjoyable to spend time with colleagues discussing our wellbeing.

What was the feedback?

Feedback from the Cognisess team was excellent and we thank Andries for his time.  Many of our colleagues have taken onboard a number of his suggestions and the general feeling was of positivity for taking time out to think about ourselves.

What resonance with Cognisess?

One of the benefits of using the Cognisess platform is to enable potential.  Identifying, enabling and nurturing talent, whether existing or new must be a priority for every business.  People who feel valued, visible and recognised within an organisation, have better mental and physical health and are more productive.  Fact.  We are exploring ways in which we can work together with One Step North on our journey into a better workplace future.      

On a personal note, it struck me that much of this we consider in the wellbeing of our children … from diet and hydration, to exercise and even the importance of a bedtime routine and limited screen time.  I personally feel neglected … by myself.

I am definitely having a glass of water before my morning coffee now.  Baby steps.

Note:  Cognisess is also taking part in a study conducted by Thrive at Work West of England into mental good health in the workplace.  I look forward to telling you more as it unfolds.   

Adverse Impact and Hiring

What do we mean by Adverse Impact?

By Nick Jarman – Research Assistant at Cognisess

…Adverse Impact is most pertinent when it has a negative effect on candidates of a protected class, namely: Age, Disability, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Marital Status, Pregnancy/Maternity.”

Any candidate, for any role, within any organisation, could potentially be adversely impacted by the way they present themselves at each stage of the selection process.

This Adverse Impact is most pertinent when it has a negative effect on candidates of a protected class, namely: Age, Disability, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Marital Status, Pregnancy/Maternity.

Adverse Impact can be felt even during apparently neutral processes, a measure of indirect discrimination.

An important aspect of indirect discrimination is that it is often identified statistically. The intention to discriminate is irrelevant. The output of the selection process is the most important factor.

It is worth noting that a policy is not indirectly discriminatory if the action is objectively justified in the absence of a less disadvantageous method of producing the same measure.

Although Adverse Impact can be measured during each stage of a selection process, a general rule of thumb is that the hiring-rate of each minority group must be 80% of the hiring rate of the majority group within that company. For example, if males comprise the majority class within the organisation and 90 males are hired from a pool of 100 then the hiring rate from each other minority group must be at least 72%.

How can we mitigate Adverse Impact in our hiring process?

There are a few general ways in which Adverse Impact can be reduced during a selection process. For one, regular monitoring of pass rates at every stage of the selection process will allow apparently neutral policies to be statistically explored regularly and often. The result is a process within which any indirect discrimination can be detected and rectified before it causes Adverse Impact for any particular class of candidate.

Another method of reducing Adverse Impact in a selection process is by focusing specifically on job-relevant competencies. These might be identified as a result of rigorous job analysis based on the job description, or can be more generic competencies specified at the beginning of the hiring process. The result of a specific focus on job-relevant competencies is to judge every candidate on the exact same competencies, regardless of their personal characteristics, thus removing irrelevant stages.

Related to this is the use of standardised interview techniques. Rather than having a more free-flowing personal interview where the interviewer’s personality and individual interests may be a source of unconscious bias, the interview will contain set questions designed to measure aspects of the job-relevant competencies defined at the start of the hiring process. In addition, constant monitoring of any assessors used within the selection process will serve to identify any unconscious bias creeping into any decision making process before it becomes an Adverse Impact. It also informs the focus on ongoing assessor training.

A final way to help reduce Adverse Impact in a hiring process is to make use of a diverse panel of assessors. This serves a myriad of purposes, not least to help reduce any unconscious bias present within any individual assessor. Introducing a wider diversity of thought will also help reduce any naivety that might occur in establishing the selection process.

Request a demo to learn how Cognisess can address Adverse Impact in your hiring process.

Contact Polly Hill to be kept up to date with Cognisess Insights. –