Artificial intelligence recruitment tools hold great potential and can significantly benefit recruiters, but leaning too heavily on machine learning alone can produce biased hiring decisions.
LOS ANGELES—February 1, 2022—Enspira, a boutique HR consulting firm fueled by collective, global and cross-industry experience, today published a white paper, “Human Led, AI Assisted: Uniting Artificial and Human Intelligence to Combat Hiring Bias.” The publication closely follows the launch of a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) initiative to ensure that artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging tools used in hiring and other employment decisions comply with federal civil rights laws that the agency enforces.
“Human Led, AI Assisted” is a research collaboration between Enspira and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. It is a response to the emergence of AI as a key tool that companies are using to enhance their recruiting efforts and the recent legal scrutiny around bias in data. The research cited in the white paper is based on hours of primary interviews with HR leaders representing Fortune 500 and start-up companies and extensive analysis of technology trends over the past year. Topics include the rise of recruitment AI, using AI to mitigate bias, uncovering the potential for bias, the future of AI recruitment, and recommendations.
The most important findings are that AI recruitment tools hold great potential and can significantly benefit recruiters, but leaning too heavily on machine learning alone can produce biased hiring decisions. In addition to leveraging the power of AI-based tools, Enspira advises that companies apply a humanistic, critical lens throughout each step of the recruitment process.
“As companies work to recover from the workplace effects of COVID-19 and the ‘Great Resignation,’ new AI technologies can help streamline the hiring process and reduce costs. Additionally, there is much potential for AI to promote and support diversity and inclusion initiatives. While AI has many advantages, understanding it as a tool that should not be used on its own is key to ethical use. AI technology must be paired with a humanistic lens,” said Kurt Landon, Enspira founder and CEO.
Enspira proposes in the white paper a five-step recruitment process using AI as a supplemental tool to reduce bias and improve diversity hiring:
— Step one: Review the job description. Research shows that biased language patterns can impact how job seekers react to job listings, ultimately leading to decreased diversity within the workplace.
— Step two: Assemble a DEIB-trained hiring team. Assembling a team that is ready to approach diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives and hiring practices with an open mind is a critical component to successful talent acquisition.
— Step three: Cast a wide net. In this digital age, companies can no longer use the lack of diverse applicants as a reason for their lack of diverse hiring. Employers can expand their reach through utilizing targeted ads and job boards.
— Step four: Assemble diverse candidate slates. Companies can use AI talent sourcing platforms featuring games and assessments to measure potential. Through identifying soft skills, which are innate tendencies and behaviors that measure potential, AI assessments can help employers make unbiased hiring decisions.
— Step five: Standardize the interview process. A standardized interview process yields consistent interview experiences for candidates, better communication within hiring teams, and reduced bias overall.
Enspira also offers in the white paper the following suggestions to companies currently using or considering AI recruitment tools:
— Understand the technology. AI-powered recruitment tools hold great potential; however, there are downsides. Employers who understand how unconscious bias can present itself within algorithmic codes will be fully equipped to embrace AI technology and use it to produce positive hiring outcomes.
— Focus on diversity and inclusion. Diverse teams have been proven to produce successful business outcomes. Employers can be intentional in their diversity and inclusion efforts through leveraging AI recruitment tools to assist in finding and hiring diverse candidates.
— Be proactive. Laws and regulations surrounding artificial intelligence are expected to be passed by 2023. Companies working proactively to establish policies and best practices regarding AI technology will be ready for future regulations. It will be best to follow the laws and plan for platform audits, should they be required in the not-so-distant future.
The white paper concludes that the use of artificial intelligence for talent acquisition presents both promise and risk. Employers using AI technology to source and hire talent should take the necessary steps to ensure it is being used ethically. As such, it is important that companies understand how AI tools work and be equipped to identify potential areas of bias. Through uniting artificial and human intelligence, companies can work toward creating an equitable and bias-free hiring process.
Founded in 2018, Enspira started with the simple philosophy in mind: deliver fit-for-purpose, client-focused HR solutions that help people and organizations grow and thrive together. Today, Enspira is an innovative, LGBTQ-owned HR services, search and technology firm headquartered in Southern California, working to reimagine and revolutionize the human-work experience. By presenting the best and brightest and intentionally listening to the human heartbeat of organizations, Enspira is putting the power of company purpose in the hands of the people. For more information, visit enspirahr.com.
For Enspira: Aileen Baxter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 773.209.9583
For Bospar: Torie Clancy, email@example.com, 646.326.7502
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