I am seeing organizations increasingly rely on AI that comes from social media or resume data. How do you see that? Does that bother you? Do you think we need to educate the market about the difference between first-party and third-party data and ask questions about how clean and unbiased the data is?
As a former HR leader, I couldn’t use technology that analyzes my candidate pool or my people based on what they do on social media. It horrifies me, and it kills trust. I feel like that kills trust, you know, because I’m on social media in my own personal way. What do you think about that trend, and how can we tackle it?
I think we need to educate people at the point of recruitment. We could let them know why they should feel safe using AI-based technology and that it doesn’t use third-party data or do anything unethical.
If we provide warnings and information, people will start to look for trustworthy AI. Remember how banks got everyone to feel safe about transferring money online? We need an education piece on how this AI is different from that one.
Imagine if we said, “Before you’re about to go through AI-based technology for this recruitment process, we’re going to let you know why you should feel safe in doing so. It doesn’t use third-party data, it doesn’t do anything unethical.”
Again, take internet banking: How did the banks get everyone to feel OK about transferring money online?
I mean, all of us used to go and check the money even got there, and you know, there’s some people that still don’t use it today. I’ve got a friend with a fantastic organic beauty products business. Another one who’s got a collagen business. Both are constantly having to say, “We look the same as other products – but let me tell you how we’re not.”
And I think there is an education piece on, let me tell you how we’re not.
I love that you’ve taken the candidate’s view on that. We need to protect them and our brand, and trust is crucial. We shouldn’t blindly trust AI; we should be able to trust it because it’s safe to do so. That’s a great call to action for all of us in that space.
Listen to the full episode of our podcast with Meahan Callaghan, CHRO of Redbubble, here:
It’s been an exciting start to 2021 for Sapia (Formerly PredictiveHire) and I’m pleased to share that we have been nominated as one of six global HR Tech startups to watch, by the HR Technology Conference and Expo, which is taking place this week.
I’m extremely proud of my team for achieving this feat – it’s been a team effort, and after several months of implementing new processes and initiatives, it’s a wonderful accomplishment. I am thrilled that Sapia has been recognized as one of the leaders in the industry by the HR Technology Conference this year.
Sapia was among six companies chosen from 24,000 applications to have the honour of presenting. It gives us the opportunity to showcase our technology to over four-thousand viewers that will be tuning in over the week. It’s a huge honour to be showcasing how our Ai-enabled chat technology can truly change recruiting.
We launched our exclusive Ethics Charter called FAIR earlier this year; a call to arms commitment that includes a guarantee towards inclusivity, fairness for all, explainable AI, transparency, privacy policies and accountability. We also recently commissioned exclusive research with Aptitude Research to uncover global company attitudes towards automation, technology in talent acquisition and unconscious human bias.
We’ve hit several milestones when it comes to evolving our offering for the better, and presenting at the conference this weekend is the cherry on top. Our biggest priorities right now are raising awareness of the importance of ethical AI and abolishing unconscious human bias. The world right now is at a stage where this is critical for the success of companies of the future and we’re proud to be discussing this and more at Friday’s session.
Sapia will be featuring in a session on innovative HR tech startups on Friday March 19 at 2:00PM ET.
To register for the virtual webinar, guests need to enter their details via this link: https://blog.hrtechnologyconference.com/hr-technology-conference-exposition-spring-set-to-explore-industrys-startup-ecosystem.
More about Sapia
Sapia is a frontier interview automation solution that solves three pain points in recruiting – bias, candidate experience, and efficiency. Customers are typically those that receive an enormous number of applications and are dissatisfied with how much collective time is spent hiring.
Unlike other forms of assessments which can feel confrontational, Sapia’ Chat Interview™ is built on a text-based conversation – totally familiar because text is central to our everyday lives. Every candidate gets a chance at an interview by answering five relatable questions. Every candidate also receives personalised feedback (99% CSAT). Ai then reads candidates’ answers for best-fit, translating assessments into personality readings, work-based traits and communication skills. Candidates are scored and ranked in real-time, making screening 90% faster. Sapia fits seamlessly into your HR tech-stack and with it you will get ‘off the Richter’ efficiency, reduce bias and humanise the application process. We call it ‘hiring with heart’.
The jewel of Australia’s tech sector, Atlassian, has been lauded for giving staff the privilege of working from home forever. But when I posted the story on our team Slack channel, I added a comment warning of the longer-term impact of “remote forever”.
One of our senior team members replied: “Why do people travel in the morning to an office, in a packed tram/train carrying a laptop, then work on that laptop only to carry it back home in a packed train, wasting precious time? That looked comical to me for a long time.”
When I worked for another technology company, we spent a lot of energy trying to convince leadership that WFH did not mean a free ride and would, in fact, unleash productivity and improve engagement. COVID-19 has brought forward the idea of WFH as an alternative arrangement for many who would not have otherwise considered it.
While we may be revelling in the success of dismantling the long-held bias that you need to see someone at work to trust they are doing the work, it comes with its own challenges around organisational relevance.
Does it matter what company you work for if the only difference between one job and another is for whom you are completing a task, and perhaps the one or two people with whom you work closely?
When we all worked in ofﬁces, some of that intimacy was built by the serendipity of conversations you had while going about your day’s work.
There was always the potential to catch someone from outside your team and share an idea and solicit a different perspective. There was an ease of connections and interactions that can be hard to replicate in a remote work context.
Being remote is a little bit like trying to establish a long-distance relationship which, as many know, has the chances of success stacked against it.
Then there is the inﬂuence of place, and of space. At REA Group, where I worked for some years, the building fed the culture. Its design and redesign had been carefully thought through to maximise connections and space to collaborate – and not just with those in your immediate team.
Why do people go to church to pray, the pub to drink, and the footy to watch their team, when they have the Bible at home, beer in the fridge and a TV in the living room? Because they are looking for connection, community and inspiration.
Once the novelty of WFH wears off, and for many it already has, comes the challenge of maintaining connection, building afﬁliation and building cultures when people and teams are not physically spending time together in a shared space.
Is there a way to assess performance when you can’t see people at work? How do you look out for people, mentor them, develop them, when your interactions are all booked in, bounded within a strict working day? What way to acknowledge someone for something you heard they did well, as you might if you jump in a lift together?
There is a real risk our employment relationship becomes transactional, which affects engagement, which then affects productivity.
We know from our own work in this space, personality is not 16 types on a table. It is way more nuanced and diverse than that. In a population of 85,000, equal men and women, we ﬁnd at least 400 uniquely identiﬁable personality types.
We live in a world of hyper-personalisation, from our morning news feed to our Netﬂix proﬁle based on our viewing history. How can an organisation retain that diversity of perspective. That is when it usually thinks of two binary ways of working: in an ofﬁce or at home? It can’t. That is why the future of work has to involve a new type of technology. One that can navigate the rich mix of types we work with and adapt to their communication and working style.
I have championed for WFH when in senior HR positions. However, this experience highlighted the many things I might have taken for granted in an ofﬁce environment. It has nothing to do with fancy decor and an ergonomic chair. It’s more the human moments of serendipitous connection that disappeared so quickly, almost without time to say goodbye.
It would be great to think we all emerge from this situation with a mind to honour the things we have learnt about our “work selves” and, most importantly, to build company cultures that thrive by accommodating those diverse needs.
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It is widely thought that Thomas Edison invented the concept of the job interview back in the early 1900s. To screen candidates, he would ask them to join him at a restaurant and eat a bowl of soup while he watched. He could pick out the losing candidates by their tendency to season their soup before eating it. According to Edison, premature salt-and-peppering speaks to a person’s over-reliance on assumptions. If you’re a true visionary, he posited, you leap into your soup face-first.
The soup test is definitely out there. And, given what we now know about psychology and candidate experience, it is not, strictly speaking, scientifically valid. But this exercise was first tested more than 100 years ago, so maybe we can forgive Edison for filling the holes in his data with social experiments.
Funnily enough, though, things haven’t changed much since Edison souped up his hiring game. Initial face-to-face job interviews remain the predominant tool of hiring managers. There are benefits to in-person interviews, but the deficits certainly outweigh the benefits. Simply put, the practice is infused with all manner of biases, unfairnesses, inefficiencies, and oddities. In the early 1900s, we had soup – now we have inscrutable corporate-isms, and bizarre group tasks with arbitrary scoring criteria.
Let’s say you’re looking to fill a position where quick thinking and adaptability are the two most important skills. You want your candidates to think fast, and think smart, especially when faced with sudden adversity. How do you find these people?
There is no perfect answer. People are people, after all. But there are far better ways to find out than dropping a pen in the middle of an interview to see whether or not a candidate picks it up for you. The ‘pen-drop’ test assumes that the quickest candidates are the most adaptable, and are the highest in empathy. But we have more reliable predictors for these, predictors subject to far fewer variables. The quickest pen picker-upper on a given day may not be the best lateral thinker, or the most open – they may have merely been the shortest candidate, or the most flexible candidate, or the candidate closest to the pen. Because you don’t have a control, or any way to account for variables such as these, can you really trust the findings?
Yes, the pen-drop test is an extreme example of a screening exercise that is only tenuously related to its desired outcome. But we have all, at some point in our working lives, participated in strange tasks and odd jobs during interviews. The greater point is this: Even the best-planned exercises are not a viable substitute for sound scientific measurement.
The HEXACO personality inventory has at least three major dimensions relating to the test of a quick-thinking, empathic person: Extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. If you can assess a candidate using the HEXACO inventory, you might learn that the candidate is:
And that’s only the start of what you might learn. By using an Ai-based recruitment or hiring tool, with a HEXACO personality modelling function, you have a simple, trustworthy, accurate, and fair way to sort your quick thinkers from your leaders, your leaders from your long-term planners, and so on.
That’s the essence of what a smart interviewer can do, and why we developed the world’s first smart interviewer. You no longer need to think up some strange post-interview exercise where you pull unsuspecting candidates into an impromptu indoor hockey game. You can simply:
(We’re not the fun police, of course. If your approach to offering first-rate candidate experience involves a blind-folded three-legged race, count us in. Just make sure you have a smart interview waiting at the finish line. Fun, then statistical validity. Best of both worlds.)
We all want a world filled with better, fairer, simpler interviews. How will you go about it? Data, or gut-feel? Soup, or science?