Leader Newsflash - Mandate for AI in Hiring

Leader Newsflash: “Mandate for AI in Hiring!” Not So Fast…

Meghan Biro, founder of TalentCulture recently wrote, “When it comes to recruiting, bias is the brain’s subconscious way of labeling a candidate a ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘maybe.’ It’s based on our subjective feelings about observable human characteristics.” She also wrote, “Subconscious bias can lead to unfair assessments. And bias can show up in almost every step of the hiring process. But AI can help remove bias throughout every stage of the HR life cycle.”

If a leader doesn’t want to be left behind in improving hiring practices, they could feel compelled to jump on board with AI by implementing a solution from among the hundreds of them currently available.

One of the most comprehensive and frequently cited studies about AI in hiring was conducted by Harvard Business School and Accenture. It was entitled “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent – How leaders can improve hiring practices to uncover missed talent pools, close skills gaps, and improve diversity.” It concluded that—99% of Fortune 500 companies and 75% of all U.S. companies (with over 50 employees) are using AI technology in the hiring process, and globally, about 45% of companies use AI to improve recruitment and human resources.[1]

Before jumping on the bandwagon, though, leaders should consider these cautionary notes:

First, developments in AI for HR solutions are accelerating month-by-month, so it is worth noting that the research underlying the study was conducted in May-June 2020, during the heart of early COVID. Given the subsequent workplace upheaval, in hindsight it might now be considered the Stone Age in AI terms. Secondly, “using” is different than “effectively” using. Thirdly, reduction in hiring bias IS happening as a result of employing AI solutions. But leaders who don’t fully understand the good and bad of “hiring algorithms,” “artificial intelligence,” and “machine learning” can be led down a solution path that doesn’t take the organization to the promised land of hiring without bias.

Remember also, the old adage, “Garbage-in, garbage-out.” Decades ago, TV news was trusted. “If it’s on the news, how could it be biased?” Later, if the computer spit it out, it must be true.” Later yet, “If it’s on the internet, it has to be true.” Today, “If AI says it is so, it must be so! After all it’s ‘intelligent.'”

Among others, leaders need to explore and understand the implications of “AI solution bias” in pursuit of eliminating “hiring bias.” In a recent (2022) study, the highly regarded National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) concluded, “Bias in AI systems is often seen as a technical problem, but the NIST report acknowledges that a great deal of AI bias stems from human biases and systemic, institutional biases as well.” The attached graphic suggests we shouldn’t swallow the “…but it’s AI” pill, whole. Not saying the tools won’t reduce bias, but leaders (as always) need to ask some questions about why, how, when and how well, to validate the “how much.”.

In the Cold War of the last century, President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Doveryay, no proveryay,” in the context of nuclear disarmament discussions with the then-Soviet Union. It translates to “Trust but verify.” The same should be the mantra for leaders being asked to consider and approve deployment of recruitment AI solutions for reducing hiring bias.

~William Keiper. co-author with Steve Chandler of The Leader and The Coach: The Art of Humanity in Leadership https://tinyurl.com/bdfzffmr

All blogs https://theleaderandthecoach.com/ 

#hiringbias #leadership #leadershipcoaching #businesscoach #coachingleaders #leadershipdevelopment #executivecoaching #leaderascoach

The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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