Tackling the Hiring Bias Challenge, via AI in Recruiting

The standard recruitment process involves several stages – resume filtering, preliminary interviews, group discussions, tests and final interviews until the right candidate is selected for the job requisition. But this rather traditional and tedious process of shortlisting and selecting candidates is wrought with several human biases. These biases, often arising out of prejudices and perceptions, lead to hiring decisions that may harm the growth of the organisation on one hand, while lowering the morale of a prospective employee on the other hand. Let’s take a look:

  • Most companies and executives involved in the recruitment process overlook the findings of the empirical studies that are conducted periodically to reveal industrial and organisational psychology. Such studies provide the organisations with the best methods of screening candidates but executives give an upper hand to their instincts instead of the well-tested methods.
  • As 65-year-old research indicates, first impressions in the first four minutes of an interview have a major role in shaping the interviewer’s final decision. The first impression so created can hamper the free exchange of thoughts, because of the already grazed opinion in the mind of the interviewer, leading to a failure of the subsequent interviewer-interviewee interactions. One unfavourable impression is followed by rejection 90 percent of the time, making an interview more about the search for negative information. 
  • Often, body language and other non-verbal attributes such as direct eye contact, attentive posture and others determine first impressions. Recruiters tend to make judgments based on their first impressions about the candidate in the first 10 seconds and try to confirm them for the remainder of the interview.
  • Racial and gender prejudice is real and all-pervasive in the corporate world. Male and female stereotypes are still widespread while the racial gap is equally prevalent in the industry. An American Economic Review study found that job seekers with resumes that had so-called white-sounding names received 50 percent more callbacks for interviews.
  • Besides the interview, the bias is often seen where resumes with female or neutral names face greater chances of rejection. A study conducted depicted how most female and neutral-sounding named resumes were rejected despite the fact that it was the same resume with different names and email addresses.

As businesses evolve, recruitment and hiring processes are quickly gaining recognition as the most challenging yet rewarding tasks for executives and organizations. Executed correctly, an enterprise can set itself up with top talent, hired at the lowest costs, with the least efforts. How can it go about doing this?

The Solution: Artificial Intelligence in Recruiting

AI-enabled recruitment

The current times have proved the precariousness of human involvement in terms of bias and decision making in the recruitment process, with 40% of the employers worried about talent shortages and 72% of the CEO scratching their minds over the availability of key skills. Executives cite the failure to pull the right and best kind of talent as their biggest concern. Unsurprisingly, challenging economic landscapes, coupled with technological disruptions and cut-throat competition, have made recruiting tasks increasingly perilous. The cost of hiring talent continues to be on the rise in terms of time, money and efforts.

Employers and executives are now turning to AI for assistance in the hiring process. With AI finding its way into nearly every major corporate function, talent management, and recruitment are not missing out. AI tools seek to solve some fairly basic problems faced by employers around the world, like:

  • Talent shortages, and matching key-skills with the candidates’ profile
  • The cumbersome and time-consuming process of cross-checking and collecting information
  • Discrimination and bias
  • Humongous costs of the recruitment process

AI solutions, with convenient plugins, integrations, and one-click solutions, allow sourcing of high-quality candidates fast, manage global recruiting teams, assure high candidate experience and ensure a seamless digital onboarding process. There are several incentives for organizations to pick AI wins over traditional methods of recruitment. Let’s dive deeper into how AI can help:

Reduction in unconscious bias

AI-enabled platforms allow for a focus on local job models to cater to the specific requirements of a particular organization, rather than going in for a universal model. Candidates can be ranked and positioned accurately as per their key talents, without overlooking any other prospective candidate’s profile. This is generally achieved by synthesizing databases that pool candidate profiles from several job portals and platforms. This significantly reduces the time spent in assessing individual profiles from scratch and matching them with the job specifications.

Boosts diversity in the workforce

Every global and forward-thinking organization has a focus on inclusion and diversity. Human bias can often function against this imperative, making the role of AI a significant need. Although not without its limitations, AI recruitment software can work as a neutral eye to sort and filter resume and shortlist candidates based on a series of tests with limited human involvement. A study indicated that minority applicants who “whitened” their resumes were more than twice as likely to receive calls for interviews, and it did not matter whether the organization claimed to value diversity or not.  Organizations should take into consideration three things while choosing their AI programs:

  • The nature of diversity in an organization,
  • AI’s success rate in overcoming a specific problem and
  • Vendor proficiency in deploying such AI platforms effectively.

Other add-on services offered by AI

Besides automating the recruitment process, an AI-enabled platform, such as that from Oorwin, elevates the quality of the recruitment process by offering the following:

  • A database from multiple sources
  • Enterprise-grade tools and plugins
  • Effective management of accounts and contacts
  • Tracking and engaging with prospective candidates
  • An intelligent and automatic ranking system
  • Real-time sending and racking of bulk mails and text messages
  • Publishing jobs in various job boards with a single click
  • Provision of extensive dashboards and real-time reports and insights

And a lot of other automated features to reduce human bias and its deficiency at all levels in the hiring process.

Sure, AI processes can face their own set of biases and challenges they’re not tuned well or examined and validated properly. A famous case where Amazon’s algorithms replicated human prejudices since they drew from older recruitment data is a good example( Amazon’s machine learning models were found to favor male-dominated sets of CVs).

But unlike humans, AI tech boasts of a far superior rate of learning and improvement – a characteristic that is rendered obvious as they are increasingly used and adopted in the recruitment process to neutralize any kind of deficiencies that may crop up. There’s a fair amount of scope and information to make decisions that best favor the organization in the long run. Costs are slashed significantly, and a lot of time saved via machine learning tools and algorithms. Artificial intelligence in recruiting isn’t a new concept, but a slowly brewing paradigm that insists on taking over the recruitment process to make it supremely efficient. AI and its technologies hold superior opportunities for HR processes that will impact organizations all around the world.


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