Mapped has becomes the first graduate aptitude testing platform built from the ground-up to promote greater diversity within hiring. It is designed to test the skills that count for commercial roles whilst also providing powerful insights into a candidate’s potential.
The solution is a numerical, analytical and problem-solving testing platform that replaces traditional psychometric and numerical reasoning tests. It has been developed alongside senior management teams at some of Europe’s foremost management, advisory and financial consultancies.
It is a joint venture between leading UK recruitment consultancy Freshminds, and Applied, a technology company dedicated to removing unconscious bias from recruitment and spin off from the Behavioural Insights Team (aka “the Nudge Unit”).
Patrick White, Innovation Manager at Freshminds, said: “In today’s ultra-competitive talent market, employers are vying with one another to attract and secure the best people.
“When that talent is a newly qualified graduate with nominal work experience at best, knowing which applicants have the greatest potential to be successful in a specific role is a challenge for employers, but the commercial cost of getting it wrong is substantial.”
95 per cent of FTSE 100 and over 95 per cent of The Times Top 100 Employers use some form of cognitive testing, so technology has been a central component of the hiring process for some time.
But White added: “Existing platforms we looked at did not effectively test the breadth of analytical skills that candidates will be expected to use in a real-world business setting, an assessment share by our clients. This is the gap that Mapped will occupy.”
“Perhaps the most significant aspect of the platform though – and the one that will deliver significant business benefits to organisations - is that it’s built from the ground-up to mitigate the harmful diversity effects of aptitude testing.”
“Our recorded results on big graduate schemes that are using traditional numerical reasoning providers show that the male/female pass rates can differ up to 20 per cent, and nearly all above 10 per cent. The science and data around this are fascinating, but consistently show it is not a reflective of inherent ability, and it is avoidable without changing standards or altering the nature of questions. The behavioural science behind this, is what we hope is going to differentiate us from other providers.”
Diversity has risen to the top of the organisational agenda in recent years, and it is easy to see why. A plethora of research has found that organisations whose workforces are diverse are more productive, safer investments and overall the teams perform better.
As White explained: “There is a moral obligation to increasing diversity in the workplace, but it also simply makes good business sense.”
Despite positive moves to increase female representation at board level and drive the number of people from black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds into key leadership roles, the numbers remain frustratingly low.
Cranfield School of Management states that the proportion of women holding directors’ seats in boardrooms of FTSE 100 organisations is now at 27.7 per cent, compared with just 11 per cent in 2007 and when the number of female chief executives was at just 7 per cent.
By comparison, the figures for BAME fare poorly. According to Race in the Workplace, just 6 per cent of management jobs are held by ethnic minorities yet this group represents 13 per cent of the UK population. This has been estimated to cost the UK economy £24 billion every year.
“Progress has certainly been made, but the pace of change needs to quicken, and it needs to be tackled at all levels simultaneously,” said White.
“Succession planning doesn’t start the moment a member of the C-suite announces their departure, it’s a process that comes into effect at the point when the decision is taken to undergo the next graduate recruitment drive.”
He concluded: “Employers need to start getting cleverer about fair and useful screening at entry levels. Until that happens, we are unlikely to ever see equitable representation at management levels.
“During the initial research and development process, Mapped undertook extensive research with candidates to see how they felt about using traditional numerical reasoning tests. They found that 94 per cent of surveyed candidates had a negative experience.
“Candidates felt they were impersonal, repetitive, poorly designed and overwhelmingly the consensus was that the tests did not bear any relevance to the roles they were applying for.”