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Fluent IQ tests overcome bias in job recruitment - - 20 November 2017

Sales director Andy McLeod said studies have shown that an applicant with a foreign sounding name will be three times less successful getting a job interview than someone with the same qualifications but a more local name.

This unconscious bias limits individuals' job opportunitIes and businesses miss out on employing the skilled people they are after.

Fluent IQ has created an automated English communication test that overcomes subjective prejudice in recruitment.

It provides ways to quickly and accurately assess a candidate's English language communication with built in anti-fraud protection. 

The online, one-hour test costing $25 for applicants assesses the four key competencies of speaking, listening, writing and reading and provides an overall score of combined abilities. 

FluentIQ was founded in 2015 with online technology developed by the University of Canterbury and commercialised with the help of shareholding investment by Powerhouse Ventures and grants from Callaghan Innovation.

The company is based in the Innovation Precinct in central Christchurch. 

It makes money by selling licences to use the technology and has recently scored successes in partnering with job recruitment agencies.

McLeod said Fluent IQ has surpassed its goals by partnering with five recruitment agencies, and was preparing to go to the next level with a capital raising to expand the business.

A recent one was Greenhouse based in New York and San Francisco.

Another recent partnership was with Australian and US-based JobAdder for its recruitment process.

"It's incredible to be able to bring technology. Coming from a background in talent sourcing myself, I quickly saw the growing need for such a tool.

"Our customers can now easily include our test in key hiring decisions," McLeod said.