Insight /

How AI Reduces Hiring Biases And Why Is It Important?

Note: The opinions in this article are the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Shortlister! 

Have you ever walked into an interview room and got the feeling that something is not quite right? There is a way some panel members are looking at you that makes you uncomfortable. 

During the session, the feeling gets worse because of the type of questions they are asking. They seem to be focusing on your race, religion or gender, more than your qualifications. When you leave the room, you are almost sure you will not hear back from them again. And, after some time, your gut feeling plays out. The interviewers never get in touch with you again.

What you may have experienced is some type of bias. Did you know that there are over 10 hiring biases? It gets difficult to deal with them because some are conscious while others are not. But, as long as there is a human element in the recruiting process, bias will continue to exist. Some good news is there is a solution with AI recruitment platforms

What are AI Recruitment Technologies?

AI recruitment technology leverages artificial intelligence to automate some of the hiring processes. The technologies include machine learning, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis.

HR can use such tools for finding and screening potential hires. It helps with better matching of candidates to jobs. Such technologies increase efficiency and can save the company a lot of money. 

Money that would go into the different steps that define a typical hiring process. These include posting job advertisements in different media. There is also the time and resource-heavy interviewing process. 

HR can talk to many candidates, and fail to find someone who is a good fit. AI generates insights on the recruit’s suitability from data, thus more reliability. And, it removes the element of bias which we will explore further.

Bias in Hiring and How AI Recruiting Can Help

Hiring bias, as we have stated, is prevalent and hard to remove. It could be about race, color, sex, or age. Sexual orientation, disability, and religion are other areas of concern. Sometimes, HR may be aware they are showing bias. In such a case, it is possible for the team to find a way around it. 

The challenge comes with unconscious bias. They are mental barriers or shortcuts the individuals use to make decisions. AI recruiting software does not suffer from such human fallibilities.

But, at the end of the day, the technology relies on clean data. If the HR inputs data with elements of bias, it will impact the reliability of the platform. Great care must go into ensuring the quality of information the HR feeds into the program. It should be ethical, fair, inclusive, and allows for diversity.

So, how can AI recruiting platforms help remove bias from the hiring process?

1. Using Data Insights for Candidate Sourcing and Screening

AI recruiting platforms use algorithms to sift through large amounts of data. It eliminates any bias that may arise due to subjective interpretation of data by the HR teams. The variables should assist the algorithms to learn and improve the predictive accuracy. 

AI analyzes potential candidates based on the requirements of the job. It should not matter what gender, race, or school the candidates attended.

When it comes to sourcing, even the type of language in the job postings may contain bias. Some companies may use fun copies like superhero, ninja, or rockstar. It could result in women not clicking on the post. 

AI technologies, through sentiment analysis, will identify and remove such terminology. It helps ensure inclusivity in the hiring process.

2. AI Tool Testing For Better Screening of Candidates

The ability to test and validate results is another advantage of AI recruiting. It will help avoid ugly scenarios like in the case of Amazon. Their AI hiring tool discriminated against female candidates for software development positions. 

The error was something simple. The data availed to the software focused on vetting candidates over a 10 year period. Yet, it is a fact that for a long time the tech industry was male-dominated. 

So, it was obvious that the machines would pick males over females. And that’s not all, candidates from two all-women’s colleges did not make the cut. 

Continuous testing improves the hiring process. The teams make relevant changes to match qualifications requirements to the job.

3. Using AI to Analyze Cognitive Behavior

Bias does not only come from the HR team. Even the candidates may have some. It could compromise their ability to fit into the organization. Take the example of a candidate who may have an issue working with specific races. 

AI algorithms can build psychological profiles. It helps in the assessment of behavior and emotions. AI will analyze sounds and expressions to get insights into cognitive behavior. The teams can then assess whether the recruit’s beliefs or attitudes match those of the company.

4. Better Assessment of Candidates

Many people will apply for positions when there is a job opening. The HR department may feel the pressure to fill the position as soon as possible. That means they have to find a way to narrow down a list of potentials as fast as possible. 

Going through all the resumes can be time-consuming and tedious. So the HR may depend on one or two factors that they feel are important. They may, for instance, focus on those who attended specific schools. 

The probability of missing good candidates rises due to this bias. AI ensures fairness by combining several factors in getting the best talent. The ability to go through tons of resumes in a short time enhances the talent pool available to the company.

Final Thoughts

AI recruiting platforms can help remove bias in the hiring process. We have looked at how in our article. The use of data insights improves the quality of the candidates. This would not be the case if the teams were using subjective opinions. 

But, it is important to understand that humans still control the process. If the teams are not careful with the type of data they input, it could make the bias worse. Proper judgment is necessary to ensure the software provides value to the HR teams.

Knowing the risks, it’s up to your company to decide how much your employees’ mental wellness matters. In this impossible hiring market, along with the everyday challenges of promoting remote employee engagement, supporting mental health is the least you can do to become a good employer.