Around 40 percent of organizations in the U.S. currently use artificial intelligence (AI) to screen and evaluate job candidates.

AI in hiring can complement an organization’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs, and mitigate the likelihood for unconscious bias in recruitment processes and improve the candidate experience. It can also enable businesses to better compete for talent and embed human-centric practices into the hiring process to create a more diverse workforce and organizational culture.  

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Diversity Empowers Businesses

One of the most important business initiatives today is establishing a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. Studies have proven that organizations who champion diversity are more successful across the board. 

  • Diverse organizations have employees who perform 12 percent better compared to businesses without inclusivity agendas. 
  • Organizations in the highest gender diversity brackets are 25 percent more financially lucrative than their peers in the lower quartiles. This percentage increases to 36 percent when both ethnic and cultural diversity is emphasized. 
  • Over 76 percent of individuals seeking jobs indicate that a diverse workforce is a determining factor in assessing prospective companies for employment, making diversity a crucial component in talent acquisition. 

However, there’s also studies that indicate that the hiring process is often influenced by either conscious or unconscious bias. Research shows that hiring managers are often less likely to return calls to job applicants with names that are ethnic-sounding or gender-neutral. Furthermore, job applications who have traditionally male-sounding names are 40 percent more likely to be contacted for interviews than those with female-sounding names. Age bias is another issue, with 38 percent of surveyed HR managers, business administrators, or supervisors revealing that they have assessed a resume with age bias due to concerns over the candidate’s potential lack of tech skills or upcoming retirement. 

How AI Helps in Mitigating Bias

AI and machine learning are useful tools in helping organizations implement more efficient, unbiased and effective hiring processes. AI can free human recruiters (who often spend 40 percent of their time sorting resumes) to do more high value tasks, like building relationships with candidates, and streamline and automate interview scheduling, candidate screening, and measure specific recruitment KPIs. 

A few ways AI in hiring via next-generation HR technology can eliminate bias:

  • Pinpoints troublesome language and gender-coding in job descriptions so organizations can leverage inclusive, gender-neutral language.
  • Focuses on specific skills and excludes identifiers like gender, names, titles, and education
  • Expands the recruiting process to a broader pool of candidates who might be outside-of-the-box, but bring a unique, fresh perspective to a role. 
  • Assesses professional achievements and skills beyond those required per unique role to provide a more dynamic perspective of what’s possible in a role.
  • Allows organizations to target a candidate’s potential over their experience. 

Critically, AI algorithms used in the hiring process must be trained on diverse historical data representative of real-world populations to ensure that bias is not being perpetuated. Incorporating input and perspectives from various teams and individuals within the company, such as recruiters, data scientists, subject matter experts, and managers, is key to developing algorithms that aren’t governed by partiality. AI models should also undergo rigorous testing prior to production, and be continuously evaluated and retrained over time. Most importantly, AI should only augment HR teams and hiring processes, not act as a replacement for human judgment or decision-making.  

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Aside from the ethical considerations for promoting responsible AI-driven HR solutions, organizations must be mindful of shifting regulatory requirements. The U.S. government is beginning to assume a more active role in AI for the talent acquisition process. For example, New York will enact fines upwards of $1,500 per violation for biased or undisclosed AI use in hiring processes starting in 2023, which may set a precedent for AI in hiring. 

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Responsible AI Fosters Long-term Success

DEIB initiatives are powerful harbingers of business success and workforce empowerment. As organizations focus on building the workforce of the future, using AI responsibly to augment their talent acquisition processes can help foster a sustainable culture of innovation, collaboration and learning that sets the tone for long-term success. 

If you are looking to advance your career in this exciting field and learn more about applications of artificial intelligence, check out our Post Graduate Program in AI and Machine Learning. Visit Simplilearn to learn more about more opportunities and developments in AI, including proven educational and career resources. 

About the Author

Ronald Van LoonRonald Van Loon

Named by Onalytica as the world's #1 influencer in Data and Analytics, Automation, and the Future Economy (Tech), Ronald is the CEO of Intelligent World and one of the top thought leaders in Data Science and Digital Transformation.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors