Swedish Startup proves unbiased recruitment is possible

Sqore has just released a white paper that demonstrates the effectiveness of skill-based assessment in bias-free recruitment. This finding holds potential for organizations looking to find the best of the best in today’s global economy.

The white paper utilized data collected by Sqore from a carefully selected number of their online recruitment competitions. In the analysis, answers (in the form of overall scores) from over 1,300 users were examined in light of each user’s gender, age, level of education and the amount of time they spent answering the questions. In all, over 10,000 answers to questions in business, engineering and English language competitions were looked at. What that data revealed is that skill-based assessment makes it possible to rid the recruitment process of gender, age and, in some cases, formal education bias. Some of the findings include:
– gender does not predict who performs well or not
– no significance between participants’ ages and their scores
–  a significant negative correlation between the time it took participants to answer most types of questions* and their performance

“Unbiased recruitment sounds like something from a distant utopia, but we already see a positive trend in certain industries. Our most innovative clients don’t even want to know applicants’ backgrounds, names, genders, or countries of origin. Imagine the change in the recruitment landscape when none of that matters to any employer,” says Niklas Jungegård, Sqore’s CEO.

Removing Bias Benefits Employers

The effects of the ability to recruit without bias are manyfold; the skills mismatch reported by companies across the globe decreases, hiring becomes a less labor intensive and more accurate process, and a way to help diversify offices, among other benefits.

Sqore uses their own “unique” brand of recruitment themselves, about which Karin Bergström, their HR & Talent Manager, says  “Removing the bias from our own recruitment at Sqore has allowed us to create true dream teams, where everyone’s skills complement each other in a way that gives each team a ‘super skill’.”

Millennials are keen to opt-in to opportunities in this format—they know that the employment landscape is changing and are aware of the image of them as an entitled, self-indulgent generation held of them by many employers. Because of that, skill-based recruitment competitions allow them to demonstrate to potential employers that they are capable, knowledgeable, and perhaps most importantly, a driven and committed generation.

The true nature of this generation is made obvious in the advice from one of Sqore’s competition winners, Maria Julia Martins, who recommends “always be persistent, set your goals and stick to them, think positive and do good things for yourself and for the people around you.”

Read the white paper in its entirety here.



Sqore was founded in 2010 and has its HQ in Stockholm, Sweden. Sqore specializes in recruitment competitions that allow organizations to recruit the best people, regardless of background. Their recruitment platform connects and engages global talent to opportunity through skills-based competitions, giving companies and universities the necessary data to pick top performers regardless of formal education. The currently have over 550,000 users, and hundreds of partners and clients; some notable clients include Credit Suisse, IBM, IKEA, HEC, Autodesk, ABB, London Business School The Economist Group, H&M Conscious Foundation, and Spotify.

The name Sqore can be broken down into two parts: ‘Sq’, standing for sentience quotient–a measure of the total processing capacity of the brain; and ‘ore’, a type of rock from which valuable elements can be extracted through a refining process. The word Sqore also implies values such as academic merit, competition, talent and results, as well as drive and motivation—all attributes the platform helps to identify.

Read stories of our winners’ experience with skills-based challenges at blog.sqore.com/stories


Download theEliminating-Bias-White-Paper-press-release as a PDF