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 

The new normal: How has the workplace changed?

computer in new work place

All around the globe the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away lives and jobs, damaged industries and enterprises, and turned the unimaginable into the usual. A return to normal, whenever it comes, will be a different normal. What we do right now will define the future, and yet making decisions and acting with assurance has never been more challenging.

Communication is key

Be aware that what leaders think they’re communicating isn’t always being perceived the way they intend. Research shows that 74% of executives say they are currently helping their employees learn to work in new ways, yet only a third of surveyed employees said the same: a 36-point gap. Moving forward, feedback loops need to be built into all interactions with employees.

Creating a feedback loop

Sustaining communication, collaboration, capabilities and culture in a virtual operating model is now the work of HR leaders. How are they shifting to a full “work-from-home” model that keeps the workforce engaged and productive, setting up virtual agents, keeping track of essential workers in the midst of a crisis, and standing up a robust online learning platform, all while simultaneously planning for re-entry and an unknown new normal?

In response to this, we have created survey templates so you can create this feedback loop. Example templates include quality of life, coping in a new world, leadership check in and working as a team. Alongside these sets of questions, you can add your own, allowing you to ask the questions that are valuable to your organisation. 

Smarter workforce planning

This rapid change means it’s now time to plan accordingly: 

Strategy and company policies that support remote and distributed work, with specific guidelines and rules in place.

• A culture that applies the underlying principles of agility across all aspects of the business, enabled by strong digital communication methods, tools, and ways of working.

An accelerated online, personalised skills and development strategy for employees to adapt to new needs and reshaped business. This can be successfully executed on our online platform, Cognisess Pro – find out more here.  

A renewed vision of talent sourcing, and how work gets done in a remote environment where all resources are now equidistant and accessible digitally. For example, job sharing, crowd-sourcing and distributed talent sourcing

The future is here. By planning and adapting with the current climate you can ensure your employees feel supported during these are uncertain times. Our expert team can assist you with this. Contact us today to discuss how our platform can be your solution.  

How To Make Work Meaningful (Again)

Here are our keynotes from Dr Boris Altemeyer’s talk at the Bath Digital Festival

Although AI and machine learning are popular buzzwords I don’t think it’s a fad. They are really revolutionising the way we work, how we position ourselves and understand the world of work. If you have seen AI modelling at work there is real potential to build models which have an impact on people’s lives. 

How to make work more meaningful. 

We want to get people in the right position so they are productive and happy, which will make them stay longer. Which is ultimately good news for both the company and the person. 

So how can we measure it? 

These are areas that measure what makes work meaningful. Individually we can rate how important each of these areas are to us.   

  • Achievement driven 
  • Recognition driven 
  • Building relationships 
  • How much support we expect in our work environment 
  • Working conditions 

Collecting the data 

  • If we gather this applicant data we can predict how they would behave in work-related situations before they are hired.
  • If we know a candidate is driven by these motivational areas, we can compare it against the company’s current culture. This will assess if the hire is a good fit for the person and the organisation. 
  • After they are hired we can track them over time to see how they grow alongside the organisation. 
  • It means we can give a company live feedback. They can understand how the organisation and the people within it have changed. This gives them an opportunity to change in order to make work meaningful again.  

What is meaningful to people right now?

At Cognisess we are able to track which of these factors are meaningful and important for each generation at work. 

  • Recognition has increased over time 
  • The level of support needed has grown  – with machine learning we can track and tailor it over time, as the support you need at 21 is different to when you are 40. 
  • The need for relationships at work has decreased – our relationships with our colleagues are becoming purely transactional. It is less important to network and work with the right people. 

The future of work

At present, even the most abstract things can be automated to be quicker and more efficient. Some may worry that AI and automation will make work obsolete.  However, what humans excel at is really difficult to automate. 

Humans are able to hold multiple and completely different options about themselves at the same time and think they are true, for example, I’m corporate, conscious and also a rebel. From a psychological point of view this is completely fine, but from a data and AI point of view it’s highly frustrating as we can’t model it. At the moment there are attributes humans are just better at like creativity and situational judgement. It’s not that we are not trying, it’s just really hard. 

At the moment, AI, automation and machine learning have made the more menial tasks in certain jobs redundant. This means we can focus on redefining how we work and how we can make work meaningful. 

If you would like to watch the full talk, click here.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact us below.