Geplaatst: 8 Mar, 2023
Messi & Marta – Do women football stars solve match situations differently?
BrainsFirst launches Global Women Football Brain Index-project
Today, BrainsFirst announced the launch of the Global Women’s Football Brain Index-project, ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The project is aimed at evaluating the cognitive abilities of female elite football players across the world and providing insights into the role of the brain in identifying and nurturing female football brains. “We expect to see a lot of similarities compared to our existing Football Brain Index. However, in elite sports it’s frequently the small differences that matter,” reports BrainsFirst founder Eric Castien.
Following the success of the Men’s Global Football Brain Index introduced in 2019, BrainsFirst decided to extend its longitudinal research to female football players. The project uses the latest neuroscience and AI technologies to assess cognitive abilities such as decision-making, attention, and spatial awareness.
The Global Women’s Football Brain Index will provide valuable insights into the cognitive abilities of female football players and how they relate to performance on the field. The project will also offer comparative data on male and female football players’ cognitive abilities, allowing for a better understanding of gender differences in football.
“The launch of the Global Women’s Football Brain Index is an important milestone for BrainsFirst,” says Castien. “Traditional methods of evaluating football talent systematically underestimate the performance of female players, because of their over dependence on physical development. We‘ve seen that cognitive abilities play a crucial role in elite football performance. Even in male football hidden talents are overlooked in the youth because of physical
underperformance and this gets worse with female players. But those tinier youngsters probably have much more powerful football brains. Both Messi and his female peer Marta are one of the smallest and smartest players on the field. We help clubs and associations to evaluate talents more fairly by taking a look under the hood. Today we introduce this inclusive way of talent assessment into women’s football, too.”
BrainsFirst started their research in global elite football in 2013. Neuroscientists Ilja Sligte and Andries van der Leij accomplished their mission to link brain functions to field performance thanks to participation of clubs like AZ Alkmaar, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord from Eredivisie, clubs in Premier League, Bundesliga, Jupiler League and Primera Division, and both the Dutch and Belgian FA. Today over 50 elite clubs use BrainsFirst in their talent identification process.
The first version of the Global Women Football Brain Index will be launched during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which takes place from 20 July to 20 August 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. The project will involve the participation of elite football clubs and federal associations to assess female football players from across the world, providing a comprehensive view of the cognitive abilities of female football players.
Business Development Director Jens Urlbauer adds: “Identifying and developing talent is key to the success of any football club, and this is especially true for women’s football. As the sport continues to grow and gain more recognition, it is important that we invest in talent identification programs to ensure that we are not missing out on talented female players who could become the stars of tomorrow.”
For more information on the Global Women Football Brain Index, visit the BrainsFirst website or contact the BrainsFirst press office.
Eric Castien – Founder firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about her sports solutions here
Geplaatst: 15 Feb, 2023
Press Release: “Why do we keep cramming the square into the round hole?”
Zero Talent Waste goals offers structural labor market solution
Almost 6 out of 10 vacancies are not filled or are only filled with difficulty. That is what the UWV concludes from a survey among more than 4,500 employers. Never before has the labor market been so stuck. The old solutions? Extend the vacancy, play with the terms of employment or launch a fun recruitment site. A patchwork that does not extend beyond the surface. Can we do better? Yes. BrainsFirst successfully introduced a new talent measurement tool that looks under the hood to find deep skills. The ability to find atypical talent increased significantly. And that’s only the beginning. “We’re going for Zero Talent Waste.”
In 2018, brain scientist Dr. Ilja Sligte noticed that the selection criteria that Air Traffic Control Netherlands (LVNL) had set up did not lead to the desired number of suitable new recruits per year. On behalf of the scaleup BrainsFirst, which he co-founded, Sligte proposed looking for talent differently.
It was time to find ways to break through this talent jam. “Together with LVNL, we are now primarily looking at deeper lying issues skills, at brain level. That produces surprising matches that are independent of CV, education, grade list or interests.”
This deep skills method is about recognizing very concrete, underlying skills that serve as the basis for acquiring knowledge and skills. Every brain is completely unique. “If you are naturally good at recognizing patterns and can work both quickly and accurately, you will acquire certain skills that come with a profession such as financial controller, first aid doctor or software tester. We map brains and match them with jobs,” says BrainsFirst founder Eric Castien. “Talent is largely invisible and hard to catch. Normally we only see the tip of the iceberg, but if we start to look under water as it were, we suddenly see hidden matches.”
From Messi to maintenance engineer
Six years of scientific research into the link between brain and job brought Castien and his brain partners Ilja Sligte and Andries van der Leij along various talent incubators. From the KNVB Campus in Zeist via office staff at the Municipality of Rotterdam, option traders at IMC, lawyers at the Zuidas, programmers in the Utrecht region and doctors-in-training at Amsterdam UMC.
Neuroscientist Sligte: “Any role or job demands something specific from the brain. If you look at supply and demand on the labor market, then the jars fit and lids less and less. With congestion in almost every sector as a result. Why? Employers try cramming squares into round holes with all their might. We are able to look at deep skills and in this way accelerate the stalled talent matching. Whether it’s top football, engineering, finance, healthcare or IT: look primarily for the match between brain potential and job profile.”
Mission #zerotalentwaste: EU framework as a cross-border basis
Labor market experts have recently referred to the ‘skills-based approach’ as a panacea for the labor market frictions. Sligte: “This refinement of profession or function into a cluster of skills is a good one step. Where it still pinches is how do you manage to remove subjectivity and bias from all those words? Agility, learning ability, attention, problem-solving ability: how do you quantify them and make every talent count, literally? By measuring brain functions and expressing them in numbers, we succeed much better than traditional methods. This provides a robust, sustainable basis for subsequent matching. Because our work is based on the European framework for Skills, Competencies and Occupations (ESCO) we have linked to brain types. That means it is finally possible for employers to go underwater and recognize what they are now looking for above water. This way you prevent the structural wasting of talent. I expect that hundreds of thousands of talents will be matched in this way in the coming years. ”
Geplaatst: 19 Jan, 2023
A working memory hero on duty
Have you ever walked from one room to another to realize that you have forgotten what you were up to? Yet when you retrace your steps, your previous intention magically pops up in mind again? Or have you ever forgotten your keys, your car or even your kids on a busy day? All of this relates to working memory and, more specifically, to what we can and cannot do with it. BrainsFirst game based assessments give insights into working memory and more!
The four components of working memory
Working memory is part of our conscious awareness at any given time of day and has four components. In the first place, it allows us to store our immediate experiences and a little bit of knowledge. Secondly, working memory plays a key role in processing different types of information, such as visual and auditory information. Moreover, it allows us to reach back to our long-term memory and retrieve previously stored information. Finally, working memory processes this previously stored information in the perspective of our current goal. For instance, you are using your working memory abilities right now, while reading and thinking about this text!
Working memory on the job
Working memory capacity is our ability to take what we know and what we can hang on to and leverage it in a way that allows us to satisfy our current goal. The current goal isn’t something like “I want that job” or “I want to be the best soccer player of all time”. It’s rather mundane, like “I like that job opening” or “ I want to get that ball”. We tend to maintain 4 up to 10 things in working memory, which we are subsequently able to use for about 10-20 seconds. Working memory is associated with a lot of positive effects on overall performance. People with a high working memory capacity tend to be better story tellers, recognize patterns easily more easily and usually perform well on standardized tests (eg. IQ, SAT).
Working memory: on the cutting edge
It is important to take working memory performance into account when assessing someone’s cognitive abilities. For instance, at some jobs it’s important to have a large working memory capacity. Think about, for example, a stock broker who needs to connect many streams of information to come up with new strategies in order to make as much profit as possible. Or think about someone who is in the sales-department and has to convince clients to buy their product. This grand finale, the orchestration of all the working memory activities together, determines if the sale will be a success or not. By assessing working memory (and other cognitive abilities), it is possible to assess someone’s true abilities, which can be a valuable aid when trying finding the right employee for the job.
Spiderman: A working memory superhero
A character that we expect to possess of extraordinary working memory skills is the Marvel cartoon hero “Spiderman”. Spiderman is able to keep an extreme amount of information in his working memory with a microscopic level of detail. This enables him to experience the world around him when needed in slow motion. These abilities would make Spiderman a perfect candidate for the job as stock broker. This is of course just fiction and far from reality but it is a nice example of how good working memory abilities can help you in everyday life.
Are you interested in the possibilities of measuring the brain skills like working memory (attention, anticipation, control) of your employees, or do you want to recruit the perfect candidate for the job based on their true natural abilities? Find the Spiderman for your position! Discover the BrainsFirst Assessment Games today!
Do I have your attention? Great! Then let me tell you something about attention and how measuring it can provide insights into someone’s performance at work. Nowadays our attention is often tested to its limits as we are continuously bombarded with massive amounts of information. Finding the right information sometimes seems like finding a needle in a haystack. However, we “humans” are very good at discerning the relevant from the irrelevant and are able to complete tasks that at first sight seem impossible just by paying attention. But what is attention anyway?
What is attention?
You can think of attention as a spotlight. A spotlight that only shines its light on the things that you are focusing on at that moment. But attention is not just about anchoring your focus on one particular thing, it is also involved in suppressing competing information and affects our perception of all stimuli surrounding us. While you are reading this, there are numerous sights, sounds, and sensations going on around you. The pressure of your feet against the floor, the sight of the street from a nearby window, the soft warmth of your shirt, the memory of a conversation you had earlier with a friend. All these factors compete for our attention but only the most relevant parts reach our awareness.
The multitasking myth
Attention is limited. Still we like to convince ourselves (and others) that we are multitasking heroes. That we can drive, text and fix our makeup while looking in the rearview mirror all at the same time. Previous research has shown that multitasking doesn’t really exist and is just a rapid attention switching technique. Some people will be better at this than others but multitasking always results in lower efficiency at higher energy costs. Since attention is a limited resource, we have to be selective about what we decide to focus on and what to ignore.
How Attentional performance contributes at the workplace
So what does your attention performance tell about how you function in a work setting? Attention is an important building block for abilities like decision making, operational speed, accuracy, perseverance and self-reflection. People that score high on attentional tasks are more likely to act fast and precise in situations where a lot of information is available, are able to maintain constant production levels for long periods of time and are relatively good at estimating which behavior is appropriate in any given situation. When someone scores low on attention this could result in up to 20% lower productivity on the job. For this attention can be seen as an important factor when determining if someone is suitable for a particular job.
Jobs that require a high level of attention
Especially work environments with a lot of different types of information require someone with a high level of attention. Attention is needed to make sure that all information is noted and processed properly. For example, in case of an air traffic controller, it’s essential to possess an exceptional level of attentional skills taking flight routes, different airplanes and multiple runways into consideration at the same time. The smallest error could result in dramatic consequences. Besides air traffic controllers, police officers should also possess good attentional skills. The smallest details in a case could be essential in finding a perpetrator, indicating signs of domestic violence or determining if someone is dangerous or not. These are both very important jobs that depend on superior attentional skills which could make the difference between life and death.
“You know my methods, Watson”
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective from the stories of the late 19th-century and early 20th-century, created by the writer and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes’ character has become one of the most famous characters in the world. Holmes is best known for his intelligence and his ability to deduce important conclusions from small, often seemingly unimportant clues. Because of his extraordinary detective skills we assume that, although Holmes is a fictional character, his level of attentional skills should have been extremely good, taking into consideration that he was able to pay attention to every clue no matter how small or meaningless it seemed to others.
Anticipation: The only real time machine!
We are all time travelers. Each day, we make thousands of short trips into the future. Not physically as with the DeLorean from back to the future, but within our minds in a time machine called anticipation. But how does this anticipation time traveling machine really help us in our daily life activities?
What is anticipation?
Anticipation is the process of imaginative speculation about the future that is based on information arising in your field of attention. When we cross a busy road, we anticipate the future movements and actions of everybody around us. We base our own movements on this short time traveling process. Anticipation comes in many different shapes. The simplest distinction is between explicit and implicit anticipation. Explicit anticipations are those of which you are aware and conscious about. They may be used as synonyms for predictions or expectations. For example, explicit anticipation is used when you plan ahead on a project or at the beginning of your day. Implicit anticipations, by contrast, work below the threshold of consciousness and are active within the brain without you being aware of them like crossing the road. You often are not aware of all the things you take into consideration before making the first step to the other side, Without being conscious about it, in your head you continuously make an future image of the situation around you taking things into consideration like the speed of cars, traffic lights and your own speed in space and time! Your implicit anticipation skills prepare you for all possible future events even the ones that you don’t expect.
Keep the stress up!
Our anticipation skills are important building blocks for behavioral expressions, which include: stress resilience, perseverance, goal-oriented acting, and working in a planned and systematic way. For example, planning ahead and accounting for all possible outcomes enables you to choose the best options (explicit anticipation). People that are adept in anticipatory thinking are better at assessing how to act in many different situations and keep their performance up under complication and stress. You often see that people with good anticipation skills perform even better under pressure and in stressful environments compared to workplaces where their anticipation capacities are not tested to their limits!
When the roof is on fire
People with high levels of anticipation skills will be most likely to thrive best in environments that require a lot of switching between activities, tasks and different types of information. For example, firefighters depend on their anticipation skills during their work. The moment a firefighter enters a burning building, the safety of a firefighter (and often the safety of others) depend on his or her ability to anticipate unexpected events. For example, a collapsing roof or an explosion could always happen and a firefighter must be prepared. In the heat of the moment, one’s level of anticipation can make the difference between life and death.
Anticipation and the non-flying Dutchman
When thinking about a role model of someone who possesses some exceptionally good anticipation skills, the first person that popped into my mind was the Dutch soccer player, Dennis Bergkamp. Dennis Bergkamp, known for his fear of flying, which even caused him to miss some of the most important matches in his career, owned his true fame to his exceptional soccer skills. Mainly, because of the fact that he never had to react on the actions of his teammates. To the contrary, he was always already at the right place at the right time and always knew where the ball and his teammates would go before they did. This ability can only be assigned to anticipation skills of the highest level!
Are you in control?
“This summer will be my summer!”
is what you told yourself after the December feeding frenzies. Now it’s the New Year and you are making the resolution to get in shape and achieve the perfect summer body. One that is suitable for long parades on the beach and breathtaking for all your admirers. But after a few weeks of hard work in the gym and watching your diet, you can literally hear that red velvet cake in the bakery shop window screaming your name. Which leaves us with the following question “are you really in control of your own actions?”. Find out by measuring cognitive control. In this blog you read everything about cognitive controle and how it relates to our daily lives and work performance.
Sorry, what do you mean by cognitive control?
Cognitive control allows our mind to override impulses. It helps us make thoughtful decisions based on our goals rather than our habits. It’s what allows us to select a certain behavior that is accepted as appropriate and reject inappropriate behavior. It also clarifies our long-term goals and purposes, which helps us to adjust our behavior to reach these goals. Our inhibition abilities are the brakes of our cognitive control system. They enable us to avoid doing certain behaviors and allow us to consider our actions instead of reacting on impulse. Cognitive control is at the center of our self-awareness. This is our highest level of consciousness, and a main building block of our willpower.
Cognitive control at work
Our cognitive control underlies important behavioral expressions like agility, improvisation, patience, self-control, and work pace. Cognitive control is of great importance on the work floor. It becomes especially important for jobs where important decisions must be made in short amounts of time. It also is of great importance for jobs where you have to deliver constant, precise and high quality work. Our cognitive control skills underlie our abilities to remain “zen” at the workplace. As the name already suggests, it enables us to be in control of the situation!
We are all familiar with those television shows that test inexperienced chefs to their limits like “Top chef” or “Master chef”. The best chefs in the world are heavily dependent on their cognitive control mechanisms. They have to continuously adapt their work pace to the occupation of the restaurant and the desires of the guests. Besides that, they have to account for a lot of information at once and make numerous decisions based on their product properties. When something goes wrong, they have to improvise last minute to save the dish. Information concerning the preparation, cooking time, and locations of different tables, have to be linked together and fast decisions have to be made constantly. Therefore, chefs and many other jobs in gastronomy require particularly good cognitive control performance!
Hole in one, or set point?
Two famous people that we expect to have extraordinary cognitive control skills are Tiger Woods (*at the peak of his career) and Rodger Federer. Both players ooze class and are able to adjust their movements until the very last moment. For example, Tiger Woods was aware of his movements every second during his golf competitions and could adjust or stop his swing until the very last moment. Like Tiger Woods, you can observe how Rodger Federer is in total control of his actions. He really knows what he’s doing, why he’s doing it, and when to do it. All without even thinking about it!
Win the war for talent: How recruiters can see more by looking differently
If you don’t recognize what you are looking for, you will never find it
The Netherlands is full of talent. Whether or not effectively schooled. Nevertheless, alarming reports weekly appear in the media that point to the scarcity of talent on the labor market. The ominous concept of war for talent has still not been reduced to a cease-fire. There is no lack of suggested directions for the solution. However, it goes wrong in the execution. Successful redistribution of talent on the labor market stands or falls by accepting a generally accepted talent currency.
The numbers don’t lie. According to the UWV, no fewer than 140 professions in the Netherlands have serious shortages. In addition to the well-known problem sectors such as IT, healthcare and education, the number of positions that are difficult to fill in the legal sector and in the government is increasing at the same rate for the first time in years. The real problem? The basic principles of job matchmaking as we know it is under attack.
You don’t win the war for talent with outdated armor equipment
The toolbox for quantifying and qualifying talent dates from the last century. The weapons used by the majority of recruitment departments in the war for talent are intelligence- or capacity tests, personality questionnaires, interviews and CVs. Sometimes supplemented by a reference check or, in the case of internal mobility, job evaluations. The 3 shortcomings of that toolkit are of great concern.
- high level of subjectivity
- lack of context
- focus on the past (and therefore a lousy predictor of the future)
It is precisely in thetalent twenties that performance in previous functions and roles of yesterday no longer provide a basis for performance in the future. The toolkit to qualify talent must be overhauled. There’s the rub. In the year 2020 the assessment industry supplies either casual-looking games or role-playing games based on VR technology; it is almost always old HR wine in new bottles. The form is modern, but the underlying basic principles still outdated. And therefore no longer sufficient. Result? The massive unutilization of potential valuable matches on the labor market.
The non-hire that has cost Facebook billions.
Not only traditional companies are guilty of using assessment methods and recruitment tools from the last century. The inability of Facebook’s talent acquisition department to recognize atypical talent led to the rejection of both Brian Acton and Jan Koum. The CVs and interviewing skills of this largely autodidactic duo did not pass the extremely expensive talent test of the social media giant in 2007. Both IT professionals took sweet revenge 6 years after their appplication rejection by selling their mobile messaging platform Whatsapp for almost $20 billion to the same Facebook.
Win the war for talent
Due to extensive automation, the irreversible breakthrough of AI and the digital transformation, the traditional function house is under pressure in every organization. Tasks are increasingly lapsing, traditional functions are changing, the required knowledge changes and distinguished skills are no longer necessary. Once an accountant, always an accountant? That time has passed. By continuing to do what you did, you get what you got: a huge waste of talent.
Every self-respecting HR professional knows that the expiry date of the traditional recruitment toolkit is behind us. The recruitment system is leaky and needs a structural fix. If you are no longer able to detect new talent with the glasses that you previously put on, then you have to literally and figuratively adjust your vision of talent – or have it adjusted. The war for talent requires other weapons and the adjustment of your search scope.
It sounds so simple. Discover other talent pools. Go for untapped potential. The problem – overfished pools – and the cause – labor market shortage – have long been cristal clear. The solutions – select differently – are presented at the “eat healthier” level. The why, what and when is named. The how not, and that makes the difference between a failing and successful recruitment strategy.
Look differently and discover talent at its natural source
The key to a balanced labor market is all in our head. Quite literally. If achievements from the past, school grades from years ago or tests that measure the nowbut not measure the future , cannot tell you whether a talent will deliver the performance you desire in a certain context, you will have to dig deeper. That means that you have to look for the underlying human performance processors at brain level. The building blocks of behavior and therefore of performance in the workplace. Voila: brain functions. An objective, accurate blueprint of a person’s neuro-cognitive abilities provides a reliable indication of, among other things, thinking capacity, thinking style, thinking speed, attention, planning, control & anticipation. This gives you insight into the potential and you can look at pure talent beneath the layer of knowledge and skills. You will find out by using a brain-based assessment.
The advantage for recruiters? Only in this way can you give a person who does not yet have the required (prior) knowledge or skills a fair chance in the application process. This “look under the hood” allows you as an HR professional to recognize atypical talent. Talents who are rejected elsewhere, get the opportunity they deserve at your organization. By looking at talent like this, you give yourself access to countless talent pools that previously seemed incomprehensible. You assess your workforce of the future primarily on growth potential. Now you now the how. How you can see more by looking differently.
Start today and see more
Do you want to win the war for talent and are you open to look at talents differently? Please contact us, we will be happy to discuss this with you.
Brain-based talent identification enters Primera DivisionReal Sociedad & BrainsFirst sign a 3-year agreement
The Spanish club, currently in the top ranks, and the Amsterdam-based Sports-tech company BrainsFirst start their collaboration this month with a focus on the identification and selection of the most promising football talents.The common goal is to make the process of talent identification & evaluation more fact-based, data-driven and scalable. Especially in times of Corona, remote testing is of great value. BrainsFirst offers an online validated assessment games platform, by combining gamification and its neuroscience-based technology. BrainsFirst enables Real Sociedad to assess the football brain potential – or game intelligence – of a player. This kind of data is seen as a crucial piece of the overall talent puzzle. According to previous experience i.e. The Netherlands, applying BrainsFirst as an early-funnel recruitment step leads to more justified admissions & rejections and consequently a higher efficiency in the overall process. Roberto Olabe Aranzabal, Director of Football for Real Sociedad explains: “We constantly look for relevant innovation and see cognitive data in respect to a very specific profile of a future professional football player as an added value for us. We want to have a holistic view and understand as early as possible the probability of the talents to meet those high requirements of elite football. BrainsFirst has proven to be an experienced and reliable partner for this aspect.” BrainsFirst has had its initial experiences in Spain with Celta de Vigo and Numancia. “Real Sociedad decides to choose this approach of talent identification & evaluation for the long term. They prove to have a clear vision and want to use the tools of today to succeed in the future. We are very pleased to work with this club,” says Jens Urlbauer, Director Business Development of BrainsFirst. About BrainsFirst BrainsFirst BV was founded in 2012 to define the context specific required cognitive functions of elite football players. Since 2014, the data collection, analysis & interpretation leads to a considerably higher number of justified admissions & rejections in talent academies. Dutch clubs like PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord and association KNVB are long-term partners. Clubs in Germany, Belgium, England and now Spain are kicking off. Interested in implementing brain-based talent identification into your academy process? Contact us today!
Bias-free selection by a computer algorithm?
In a series of 3 blog posts, we delve deeper into the phenomenon of bias in selection processes. Bias, and thus discrimination against applicants, is often unintentional but as a negative effect. Selecting completely without bias is very difficult, but you can take a number of measures.
Artificial intelligence wordt al jaren genoemd als oplossing om een goede efficiënte screening te maken uit grote aantallen CV’s. There is a bit confusion around what AI can and cannot do, since it is such a broad concept. But when it comes down to the war for talent AI plays a very specific role: to give more accurate and more efficient predictions of a candidate’s work-related behaviors and performance potential. In this way it can also help to remove bias from the first steps of the selection process. It is important to use a clear definition of AI in selection. AI is, “Finding patterns that people often don’t see by analyzing large amounts of data.” These patterns are converted into algorithms that are then used to make decisions that make the selection process more objective (read with less bias) and faster.
Unlike traditional recruitment methods, AI is able to find patterns unseen by the human eye without being distracted by irrelevant background information.
The benefits of AI in selection processes
The use of tools based on AI brings many advantages in recruitment:
- Better hiring quality
- Better candidate assessment
- Reducing bias
But watch out, it now seems that there are only benefits while there is still something to be said about the last 2 points. AI and the algorithms can take the human (un)conscious assessment out of the selection process, which is positive. But you have to be alert here that AI models are usually a result of the data you put in (the training data set). We often see that these are data models of high performers or of other uniform groups of employees in the organisation who share certain characteristics.
Based on this, a ‘model candidate’ is made with which the job applicants are compared. This gives an probabilistic estimate of the match between the candidate and the job. Theoretically, this sounds very promising. But if there is bias in your data or your training data set and the algorithms are not corrected for this, AI will only exacerbate the problem of bias in selection.
Subtle and unintended bias from AI
If you are going to predict football performance among 15 year olds, you will see that the oldest boys in the selection – born in January, February or March – are often the best footballplayers. This is because boys of 15 years are still growing and the slightly older boys are physically superior and therefore seem to be better players. A beautiful book has been written about this phenomenon by Malcom Gladwell; “Outliers, the Story of Success”. Bias suddenly takes the form of a birth month effect. It is therefore important that you try to avoid that your dataset used for the algorithm is too pure. It is not always transparent how an algorithm has been developed with which social acceptance is discussed. Candidates (rightly) wonder whether the criteria against which they have been set are correct. Who can reassure them that the algorithm does not select by age, for example?
What can you do to use AI in your selection process as well and objectively as possible?
- Actively request personal data: ask candidates for permission to analyze their personal data in order to normalize the data in order to prevent bias.
- Map unconscious biases: only when you know there is bias you can actively counteract this bias.
- Keep tracking inclusion and diversity: keep track of whether the measures you take actually promote inclusivity and diversity. Do regular research and discuss the results with your (HR) team.
- Research the tool you use: what are the claims of the suppliers and how can they prove them. Has the tool been scientifically developed and substantiated or is it more of a flashy modern tool where more attention has been paid to the experience and less to the research?
Conclusion; AI is no panacea
Avoiding bias in the selection process is difficult, even if you leave it to a computer, you have to stay alert. By mapping as many unconscious biases as possible in advance and continuing to correct them, you reduce the chance of excluding a candidate based on (un)conscious bias. It remains important to continuously refresh your knowledge of new technology and AI in order to make the best choices for the recruitment policy.