Written by Nathan Hewitt

Improvements to customer data security and sovereignty

In June 2022, we announced that, thanks to our partnership with AWS, we now have introduced regional data hosting. This means that customers and their candidates will have increased speed when they use the Sapia platform, and means companies using the platform can have confidence that candidate data is treated in line with data sovereignty legislation, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Here is the full list of improvements to data security and sovereignty for Sapia customers.

World-leading protections
Sapia’s platform is built on AWS, and is protected by anti-virus, anti-malware, intrusion detection, intrusion protection, and anti-DDoS protocols. We comply with most major cybersecurity requirements, including ISO 27001, Soc 2 Type 1 (Type 2 in progress), and GDPR.

We use AWS’ serverless solution, which can automatically support billions of requests per day. Our sophisticated tech stack includes React.js, GraphQL, MongoDB, Node.js and Terraform.

Regional data hosting
Sapia offers regional data hosting via AWS. All data is processed within highly secure and fault-tolerant data centres, located in the same geography as the one in which the data is stored. All data is stored in and served from AWS data centres using industry standard encryption; both at rest and in while transit.

Availability and reliability
Sapia uses a purpose-built, distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing storage system that replicates data six ways across three AWS Availability Zones (AZs), making it highly durable. Our storage system is automatic, features continuous data backup, and allows for point-in-time restore (PITR).


Contact Centre recruitment & retention – this will blow your mind!

Imagine being able to dial-up (or down) any chosen metric such as NPS, retention, absenteeism, staff turnover or any performance data point simply through smarter, predictive, data-driven hiring.

Predictive Talent Analytics turns the imaginary into reality, presenting a variety of businesses, including contact centres, with the opportunity to improve hiring outcomes and raise the performance bar. With only a minor tweak to existing business processes, predictive talent analytics addresses challenge faced by many contact centres.

Recruitment typically involves face-to-face or telephone interviews and psychometric or situational awareness tests. However, there’s an opportunity to make better hires and to achieve better outcomes through the use of Predictive Talent Analytics.

Many organisations are already using analytics to help with their talent processes. Crucially, these are descriptive analytical tools. They’re reporting the past and present. They aren’t looking forward to tomorrow and that’s key. If the business is moving forward your talent tools should also be pointing in the same direction.

Consider a call-waiting display board showing missed and waiting calls. This is reporting.

Alternatively, consider a board that does the same but also accurately predicts significant increases in call volumes, providing you with enough time to increase staffing levels appropriately. That’s predictive.

Descriptive analytical tools showing the path to achievement taken by good performers within the business can add value. But does that mean that every candidate within a bracketed level of academic achievement, from a particular socio-economic background, from a certain area of town or from a particular job board is right for your business? It’s unlikely! Psychometric tests add value but does that mean that everyone within a pre-set number of personality types will be a good fit for your business? That’s also unlikely.

The simple truth is that, even with psychometric testing and rigorous interviews, people are still cycling out of contact centres and the same business challenges remain.

With only a minor tweak to talent processes, predictive talent analytics presents an opportunity to harness existing data and drive the business forward by making hiring recommendations based on somebody’s future capability.

Telling you who is more likely to stay and produce better results for your business.

But wait, it gets better!

Pick the right predictive talent analytics tool and this can be done in an interesting, innovative and intriguing way taking approximately five minutes.

Once the tool’s algorithm knows what good looks like, crucially within your business (because every company is different!), your talent acquisition team can approach the wider talent market armed with a new tool that will drive up efficiency and performance.

Picking the right hires, first time.

Predictive talent analytics boosts business performance

  • Volume & time – with the right choice of tool, your talent team can simultaneously engage hundreds or thousands of candidates and, within a few minutes, be shown which applicants should be at the top of the talent pile because the data is showing they’ll be a good hire.
  • Retention – Each hiring intake is full of talent with the capability to perform for the business. An algorithm has effectively asked thousands of questions and subsequently identified the people who will be capable performers, specifically for your business.
  • Goodbye generic – Your business is unique. If the algorithm provided by your predictive analytics provider is unique to your business, then every single candidate prediction is personalised. A contact centre has the potential to analyse thousands of candidates and pick the individuals who best fit the specific requirements of the business or team, driven by data.

Consider this. Candidate A has solid, recent, relevant experience and good academic grades, ticking all the right hiring boxes but post-hire subsequently cycles out of the business in a few months.

Candidate B is a recent school-leaver with poor grades, no work history but receives a high-performance prediction and, once trained, becomes an excellent employee for many years to come.

On paper candidate A is the better prospect but with the fullness of time, candidate B, identified using predictive talent analytics, is the better hire.

Instead of using generic personality bandings to make hiring decisions, use a different solution.

Use predictive talent analytics to rapidly identify people who will generate more sales or any other measured output. Find those who will be absent less or those who will help the business achieve a higher NPS. Bring applicants into the recruitment pipeline knowing the data is showing they will be a capable, or excellent, performer for your business.

Now that’s an opportunity worth grasping!

Steven John worked within contact centres whilst studying at university, was a recruiter for 13 years and is now Business Development Manager at Sapia, a leading workforce science business providing a data-driven prediction with every hire. This article was originally written for the UK Contact Centre Forum

You can try out Sapia’s FirstInterview right now, or leave us your details to book a demo

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Creating a truly inclusive interview process

A job interview is often an intimidating experience for a candidate, but it needn’t be this way. There are ways that companies can make interviews a comfortable process for the candidate, more effective at getting the right data to make decisions, and reduce biases that can disadvantage members of under-represented groups.

Interviews need to be structured and ask the same standard questions of everyone, making them applicable to the type of role you’re filling. Questions need to be open-ended that permit more than one answer, providing an opportunity to see how candidates think through problems and solutions. Questions shouldn’t be written to be as “gotchas,” but rather give people an opportunity to be themselves.

We’ve talked at length about bias when doing initial screening, but this is something that traditional style face-to-face first interviews also don’t solve for. It is possible for interviews to be ‘blind’ and free from bias as well.

This requires removing visual biases – those based on what we see – from an interview process. This is made possible through the use of text-chat as the preferred method of interview. It’s something that many successful companies like Automattic (the makers of WordPress) have done for years.

Texting is something that most people are familiar with. Ai-enabled text chat feels very similar to texting a friend. Text chat is how we truly communicate asynchronously – we all do it every day with our friends and family. It needs no acting; we all know how to chat. Empowered by the right AI, text chat can be human and real, it is blind, reduces bias, evens the playing field by giving everyone a fair go and gives them all personalised feedback at scale. It can harness the true power of language to understand the candidate’s personality, language skills, critical thinking and much more.

We know we can get this right because at Sapia where we use chat-enabled Ai we send every candidate who uses our platform feedback on their interview, identify their strengths and weaknesses and help them understand what they might improve on. Thousands of messages a day confirm we are accurate (98%) of the time.

An inclusive interview process doesn’t exclude anyone from having an interview. This is something we are able to offer at Sapia. Everybody gets a chance at interviewing for the job. Everyone gets a fair go.


We cover this and so much more in our report: Hiring for Equality. Download the report here.

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What Everyone Knows About Assessment Centres But Won’t Say

To find out how to use Recruitment Automation to hire faster, reduce bias and save, we also have a great retail industry eBook on Ai in HR.

Let’s discuss the significant issues that talent acquisition teams face with assessment centres every day. As a solution provider operating in the high-volume recruiting space, we’ve identified seven common assessment centre problems.

Firstly, a bit of an explanation.

What is the recruitment Assessment Centre?

Assessment Centres or “Group Interviews” are a popular recruitment tool for those who specialise in high volume recruitment or large enrolment programs. They usually bring together a large number of candidates. This group is then reduced to a smaller group in the final phase of the recruiting selection process.

Let’s talk about the advantages of Group Interviews.

Firstly, group interviews offer significant advantages for high-volume recruitment. They are thought to yield better results. For every candidate interviewed more are hired with greater accuracy. That is, compared to standard face-to-face interviews. They are also quicker. In that, there is far greater efficiency in the number of candidates interviewed per hour. Many large-scale recruitment programs use assessment centres to evaluate candidates against one another using various exercises. These exercises are designed to assess your suitability for the job. They check your performance in your role as well as your knowledge of the company and its culture. Some exercises involve you working individually. Others assess you and your ability to work as part of a group.

For the candidate:

An invitation to an assessment centre shows that you are successful in the early stages of the recruitment process. It usually takes place after the first round of pre-selection interviews and before the final selection. This can be seen as more reliable and fair than an interview alone. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your potential in a variety of environments. Candidates should also be able to learn more about the culture of the organisation and the role of the workplace.

For the organisation:

Assessment Centres provide an evaluation method based on multiple evaluations, including occupational simulations. They monitor a candidate’s performance across a range of activities. This is to assess skills, competencies and traits that could be used in the workplace. Many companies use this method to recruit their graduate programs. In other words, to assess potential employees who have little or no professional experience. The bonus is that it also gives employers the opportunity to make a positive impression.

This all sounds great, except for these 7 Big Assessment Centre Problems

Assessment Centre Problem 1 

1. They are a pain to organise.
“No Julie, we do not have an afternoon session on Tuesday just on Monday and Thursday” – sound familiar?

Assessment Centre Problem 2

2. No one wants to be there.
The candidate wishes they had a job already. The hiring manager wishes they had their staff already. The recruiter wishes they were out for lunch. The general tone is:
“when will this be over?”.

Assessment Centre Problem 3

3. They are disappointing.
The results are never what you expected – for anyone! Maybe you attend with optimism. More likely you probably think to yourself “how will I select from this dire bunch of candidates???!“.
And every candidate is thinking: “This is ridiculous and unfair and like …totally ridiculous”.

Assessment Centre Problem 4

4. Speaking loud seems to get you noticed.
Seems like whether you are the assessor or the candidate, the person who speaks loud often wins out. Almost always leaving participants to wonder: “Were fair decisions made and were the right decisions made?“.
Loud does not equate to right. Being confident does not equate to right either. Right?

Assessment Centre Problem 5

5. They are all different.
There is little to no consistency or standardisation. For anyone is part of a national or global talent acquisition team – this is somewhat worrying. Particularly when you are recruiting for the same role across multiple geographies. When the bar to enter that role (and your organisation) moves, its a shift in goalposts and everyone knows: “that just ain’t fair!”.

Assessment Centre Problem 6

6. Keeping the paperwork for compliance reasons is terribly time-consuming.
The record-keeping on assessment centres is an administrators nightmare. The spreadsheets to obtain attendance records, then print-outs to capture scoring. And for how long do you actually have to keep every scoring sheet? Is it a year or is it 7?

Assessment Centre Problem 7

7. Calibration is rarely objective and never data-driven.
In concluding the assessment centre, the team calibrate their results together. This is the final decision-making process. Who should we progress to hire and who should be declined?
For anyone who has been an assessor, we all know that this calibration piece is too often based on opinions:  “I believe she will really fit in” “She seemed to be super friendly” “I think she will be a great hire”. Believe, seemed, think.  What is this? A fortune-tellers table in the corner of a dodgy country market? What happened to objective decision making?


Above all, they are ridiculously time-consuming! With so much time being spent on Group Interviews, should we think seriously about how they could be done better? Hours organising and days invested in an event with unpredictable results. Seems crazy! Can we do something to improve this costly and unwieldy process?

Sapia is solving these assessment centre problems.

It is for these reasons that Sapia has launched LiveInterview – the app that specialises in making group interviews:
1. Easier to organise
2. A pleasure to be there
3. Yield better results – especially considering all attendees were preselected using FirstInterview!
4. Totally fair and equitable
5. Consistent and standardised
6. Easy to administer. No record-keeping needed anymore, ever
7. Data-driven objective decision making plus it delivers a better hiring yield.

Assessment Centres have their place.

Now, let’s make the assessment centre shine, and produce the results we expect. To learn more, leave your details here, and we will be in contact.

Watch the video here – LiveInterview for Assessment Centres

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