The promise of algorithms and AI has always been simple at its core. Workers can automate manual and laborious tasks, to free up their time for more complex or meaningful activities.
This comes under scrutiny in some fields more than others. For example, the use of algorithmic processing in HR and hiring has had some very public horror stories in the past few years.
While one could theoretically use the perfect algorithm to quickly pick the best hires out of a stack of applications according to their relevant qualifications, in practice algorithms can entrench existing biases in the data on which they were trained or expose candidates to digital discrimination.
In this episode, Jane and Rory speak to Tom Cornell, senior I/O psychology consultant at HireVue to explore the dos and don’ts of hiring algorithms and question whether an algorithm can ever be truly objective.
“Most customers will be using it as part of the decision-making process rather than automatically rejecting someone if they fail to meet a certain score. And remember, this is how psychometrics worked before, you might have a personality test, and companies might make quick decisions based off that.”
“The cookie-cutter approach is okay when there are the non-negotiables. So you might want a cookie-cutter approach if say, they’ve got to work well in a team, or if it's a very technical role and they've got to have experience or certificate in this qualification.”
“I definitely don't think we're going to see the human go away anytime soon. I can't envision a situation that is deemed satisfactory to both job seekers. and employer, whereby a decision is made on people without a human error being part of the process.”
- What is an algorithm?
- How ableist algorithms dominate digital spaces
- Hired by machines: Exploring recruitment's machine-driven future
- What is ethical AI?
- Workday hit with claims its AI hiring systems are discriminatory
- What are the pros and cons of AI?
- How biased is your app?
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Rory Bathgate is Features and Multimedia Editor at ITPro, overseeing all in-depth content and case studies. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.
In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, following four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at email@example.com or on LinkedIn.