AI hiring: Does it help, or is there danger of bias?

Using AI to help with the hiring process could cause issues of bias, but if used correctly and ethically it could be more inclusive
With newer technologies being introduced to help the hiring process, will businesses ensure that these measures are being implemented in an ethical way?

To attract applicants, many employers use algorithmic ad platforms and job boards to reach the most ‘relevant’ job seekers. They can even use AI to sift through applications. However, these efforts to streamline the hiring process could cause bias and instead target, or overlook, certain groups of potential candidates.

Using AI to help with the hiring process could cause issues of bias, but if used correctly and ethically it could be more inclusive. In particular, LinkedIn is beginning to pilot Recruiter 2024 as a new AI-assisted recruiting experience that aims to make hiring easier and more efficient. Tools like this could revolutionise digital hiring processes.

Generative AI has potential to reduce discrimination, but businesses need to invest

In recent years, AI-enabled recruiting has caused some debate over bias. In 2022 a survey of Australian public sector agencies found at least a quarter had used AI-assisted tech in recruitment that year, according to The Guardian. Similarly, the publication also reported that Amazon scrapped an experimental candidate-ranking tool in 2017 that had been trained on CVs, effectively teaching itself that male candidates were preferable and systematically downgraded women’s CVs.

As AI systems learn from data, systems can inherit and perpetuate biases, which can result in discriminatory outcomes in education, the job market and even criminal justice, according to a Stanford University study.

With these situations emerging more frequently as algorithms are developed, it is essential for businesses to consider acceptable use of AI, machine learning and GPT models in various contexts in a wide variety of settings.

AI is able to sort through hundreds of job applications and select certain applicants to interview based on predictive analysis and machine learning. Based on applications, Forbes reported that global generative AI in the HR market is led by the recruiting and hiring segment, capturing 28% of the market share. Generative AI is ultimately used to automate and streamline different facets of the recruitment process, from applicant sourcing to candidate matching.

It also means that employees need to be more aware of the digital systems used and fine-tune their applications accordingly.

With this in mind, organisations would do well to remain aware of the potential ethical implications that AI systems could have on hiring practices. In addition, there is an argument that businesses should also be more transparent about the AI use, specifically when it comes to the application process.

LinkedIn AI tools aim to ease hiring process

To further assist employers with job advertisements, LinkedIn recently announced new AI-powered products aimed at transforming recruitment and employee training. It is designed so that leaders can focus on the most strategic, people-centric work for their jobs.

Working with Siemens, the platform will enable talent leaders to use natural language and put their hiring goal into their own words. With generative AI combined with LinkedIn insights, the platform can infer the type of candidate that the employer is looking for and provide higher-quality recommendations from a wider pool of candidates.

Expansion and influence of AI could contribute to wider discrimination and bias in the hiring process, causing the impact of AI and generative AI as a whole. Therefore, it is paramount that organisations using these tools to hire staff must consider historical biases (ie. racial, gender) as part of this process.

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