Have you ever suspected an interviewer or future employer was biased against you because of your gender, your sexual orientation, race, physical appearance… or even simply because you might end up being better at the job than your interviewer? This Reddit thread recounts an incredible story of an interviewee who was rejected by the marketing manager... simply because the manager was jealous of her qualifications!
If you’re thinking that story sounds like a preposterous one-off, sadly, it isn’t. Interviewer bias permeates the entire hiring process from beginning to end.
From this Redditor’s scenario of an interviewer who was jealous of her friend, to countless candidates who can recount stories of employers shutting the door in their faces because of racial bias, gender bias, sexual orientation bias, age bias or a myriad of other characteristics, bias in the hiring process is simply ubiquitous. How can a job seeker even think about how to conduct a job interview or get the job he or she truly deserves when faced with wall-to-wall bias by recruiters, interviewers and employers?
Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is improving the objectivity of the hiring process. Here are five ways it does so.
AI can reduce bias in job postings
Employers may not realize their job postings are biased, yet many job postings are rife with biased terminology. Gender bias is often present in job postings, for example, by including words more commonly associated with men, such as “ambitious,” “logical,” or “driven”, in a job description may prevent some female applicants from applying.
The Undercover Recruiter explains, “Software that uses AI can ‘de-bias’ a job posting by conducting sentiment analysis to identify exclusionary language and suggest alternatives that appeal to a more diverse talent pool.”
AI can reduce bias in resume screening.
Resumes and cover letters can generate all kinds of bias, by giving away information on gender, race or age, or even hinting at the applicant’s socioeconomic status by revealing names of schools attended.
Fast Company notes, “If you’re a black woman and state-school graduate from the Midwest, you’ll have a harder time finding work than a single white Ivy League male–even if your application materials are identical.” Employers can avoid these types of gender bias and racial bias (and all other forms of bias) by using algorithms to select candidates, instead of requiring an all-too-often biased human being to sort through the resumes.
AI can reduce bias in the interview process.
Obviously, a candidate’s gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or other characteristics are immediately obvious during an in-person interview. AI can eliminate gender bias, racial bias and other biases by evaluating candidates’ interview responses impartially.
Forbes mentions the possibility of taking a candidate’s interview response in the form of video, audio or text, and using “natural language processing (NLP) to evaluate the content of the response against the key competencies required for success on the job...the AI is completely blind to the person’s name, what they look like or even what they sound like.”
AI can match candidates with the jobs that best suit their skills.
The HR Director notes, “AI can quickly match a job seeker to a relevant job without the frustration of sorting through each individual job posting, whether through an AI-powered search or access to a chat bot 24/7.
One up-and-coming company that harnesses AI to match users according to their skills is GeekBidz, which utilizes AI to rank and match candidates with jobs according to their skill sets. It then lets candidates whose skills match with a job move straight to an on-the-job evaluation. Not only does GeekBidz match qualified candidates with the jobs best-suited to their skills, but it also uses AI to avoid the resume and interview process, thus sidestepping all the potential sources of bias. Why not try AI-based hiring solutions like this one if you’re concerned about racial bias, gender bias and the other many potential sources of bias in the traditional hiring process?
AI can help the organization find skilled internal talent
Increasingly, organizations are looking within the organization to find talent rather than simply pursuing external opportunities. Companies such as Google and UnitedHealth are already using AI to discover internal talent, rather than thinking first about how to conduct a job interview with an external candidate, according to ATAP. AI offers hope for qualified internal candidates to be considered for their skills and abilities, rather than simply whether or not they’ve curried favour with their employer.
Bias is Everywhere in the Hiring Process, But AI Offers Hope
Bias abounds in the hiring process, but thanks to Artificial Intelligence, there is hope that racial bias, gender bias, sexual orientation bias and other biases can be eliminated at every stage of the journey, from job postings to resume screenings, interviews, skill-matching and internal hiring.
Why not research and try hiring solutions that use AI to bolster your chances of getting a job that truly fits your skills, without having to navigate the choppy waters of biased recruiters and interviewers?