AI – Should Robots Be in Control of the Hiring Process?

As the AI hype increases and the dawn of technology fast approaches – should we be relying on AI technology to assist in the hiring process?

Amazon, a data-rich company, jumped at the possibility of using AI systems to hire people. In 2014 they built a recruiting engine that analysed candidates that had submitted their applications over a decade and identified patterns. The intelligence behind this idea was to help identify candidates that would meet the business needs and be worth recruiting. Sounds like a great way to ensure you’re getting the best candidate to fit the role, right?

Wrong. This is not what happened; the data collected was predominately from male applicants, therefore resulting in the AI engine teaching itself to prefer the male candidate. This led the machine to reject applicants that refer to “women’s” clubs, or graduates from all-women’s colleges. The scheme was demoted and eventually scrapped. Amazon claim to not have used the AI initiative to evaluate applicants.

Taking into consideration that research has shown that diverse teams are better for innovation, and that the law has illuminated the importance of diversity and equality. Race, background and gender are factors that need to be considered in the hiring process. The AI scheme has failed in assessing candidates to meet this criterion.

What can be learnt from Amazon’s ambitions endeavour is that we shouldn’t be sending robots to scour through candidate’s CV’s, instead we should stick to good old fashion human interaction to help assess the candidates – after all, finding the right recruit isn’t just about finding someone that’s good on paper. It is also about company fit too, right?