Recruitment is a resource and time-intensive process that is often fraught with challenges. Unconscious bias being one of them. A big one.
As a hiring manager, your ultimate goals are to hire the best and most diverse talent to give your organization a broad range of perspectives and skills. The problem is that your team’s biases, or your own personal biases, could stand in the way of getting those candidates. In this article, we’ll explore some ways you can look to heavily reduce the opportunity for human bias to enter your recruitment processes and how AI is helping objective recruitment.
First, let’s look at how AI hiring tools work
AI is a technology that simulates human intelligence by implementing algorithms that mimic how the human brain works. It refers to a broad category of technologies that includes machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), predictive analytics and robotic process automation. These technologies use data to make decisions and learn from interactions with users, allowing them to continuously improve and perform complex tasks.
But what does all this mean in the context of recruitment? At its core, AI allows recruiters to automate certain aspects of the recruitment process and use the power of data to make better decisions. For example, you can instruct an AI-powered language model, like ChatGPT, to carry out various recruiting tasks by using a combination of pre-defined templates and machine learning algorithms. It can be used to efficiently prepare a list of role-specific interview questions, evaluate candidate fit for a job, and create candidate outreach messages, among others.
There are several AI-based recruiting tools available in the market, each with its own unique features and capabilities. For example, some tools may focus on maximizing marketing efforts and connecting with candidates in real-time, while others may have an AI chatbot that interacts with candidates to determine the best role fit and show them how to apply. These tools offer a wide range of benefits to recruiters, including faster candidate sourcing, improved accuracy and efficiency, and better collaboration with their team.
AI recruitment software and bias
A machine learning algorithm is only as good as the quality of the information that goes into it. So, the big question here is, what data is your AI trained on?
In order to train a resume scanner, companies gather up current employees' resumes and compare those with performance data like sales numbers and annual reviews. AI recruiters use these data sets to identify resumes that are most like the top performers in a company. This approach has some limitations, unfortunately. This method is likely going to produce candidates who look just like your existing workforce and who hold the same or similar biases.
AI vendors overcome unconscious bias with workarounds. Almost all vendors design their algorithms to comply with legal principles that require candidates from any one demographic group to be selected at least 80% more often than those from any other group. For example, an AI recruitment tool can recommend equal numbers of male and female candidates.
How using AI can reduce hiring bias
AI technology analyzes massive amounts of data and using algorithms and machine learning can determine who would be the best and most qualified candidates based on the available data. With each new data point, the AI gets better at processing and recognizing stellar candidates. This type of large-scale processing is beyond the scope of what the human brain is capable of. Best of all, the AI assesses this data without being burdened with assumptions and biases.
You can also program AI technology to only look at specific information. For example, it is entirely possible to create an AI system that is “blind” to demographic data such as race and gender. This prevents the AI from looking at anything beyond skills and experience, so it judges candidates based on those criteria alone. While human hiring managers may never be able to separate a person from their resume, AI can do it with ease, achieving a more diverse workforce.
Use AI to write unbiased job descriptions
Before you can even start reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, you need to attract a diverse pool of applicants to your job opening. One way to do this is by using AI to eliminate bias in your job descriptions. AI tools can scan your job descriptions and flag any language or phrasing that might discourage certain groups of candidates. For example, gendered language or overly technical jargon might be off-putting to some candidates, causing them to opt out of the application process.
By using AI to review and suggest changes to your job descriptions, you can ensure you write them in a way that is inclusive and appealing to a wide range of candidates.
Use AI to screen resumes without bias
One of the most time-consuming aspects of recruiting is screening resumes. Depending on the size of your applicant pool, you could sift through hundreds or even thousands of resumes. This is where AI can be super helpful. AI-powered resume screening tools can quickly review and rank resumes based on relevant experience, education, and skills. This helps to eliminate bias in the screening process, as the AI is only looking at objective qualifications, rather than subjective factors like name, address, or educational background.
By using AI to screen resumes, you can also ensure that you give all candidates a fair chance. Traditional resume screening methods can sometimes result in candidates being overlooked or rejected based on arbitrary factors, such as the font they used or the format of their resume. With AI, you can evaluate every resume objectively.
Use AI to conduct unbiased initial interviews
Another way to reduce bias in the recruiting process is by using AI to conduct initial interviews. This can be helpful for high-volume hiring roles, where you might interview dozens or even hundreds of candidates. AI-powered interview tools can ask a standardized set of questions to all candidates, ensuring that you evaluate each candidate on the same criteria.
By using AI for initial interviews, you can also help to eliminate bias in the interviewing process. Traditional interviewing methods can sometimes lead to bias based on factors like age, gender, or race. With AI, you can ask every candidate the same questions, in the same way, ensuring that you evaluate everyone fairly.
Use AI to analyze candidate responses
Once you've conducted initial interviews, it's time to evaluate your candidate's responses. This is another area where AI can be helpful. AI-powered analysis tools can review candidate responses for patterns or trends, helping you to identify which candidates are the best fit for the role.
By using AI to analyze candidate responses, you can also reduce bias in the decision-making process. Traditional methods of evaluating candidate responses can sometimes lead to bias based on factors like the tone of voice or things like non-verbal cues. AI evaluates every response objectively. This ensures you select the best candidate based on their qualifications and skills, not subjective factors.
Use AI to monitor and improve your hiring process
Technology may not always be perfect, but it’s easier to reprogram an AI than it is a human brain. You can use AI to continuously monitor and improve your hiring process. By tracking key metrics, such as time-to-hire, diversity of applicants, and retention rates, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your recruiting strategies accordingly.
Tengai is an AI recruitment software free from bias
As a recruitment methodology, you need to emphasize the skills and competencies of candidates rather than their backgrounds or appearances. It has been proven that collecting "the right" candidate data is not only fair to applicants, but also allows for a more effective recruitment process.
With Tengai, recruiters get an AI assistant developed to objectively screen candidates and deliver structured data, which makes it possible for you to identify candidates with the right competencies to invite for the first interview. Inviting the right applicant, with the right competencies to the initial interview, will help HR professionals save countless hours and create a higher-quality hiring outcome.
To ensure that Tengai’s' framework is 100% unbiased, we’ve asked psychometric experts to test the interview and validate our assessment. The results show that Tengai can conduct objective interviews, assess work performance, and contribute to a more unbiased interview process.
To learn more about how Tengai can help you create a more unbiased interview process, book a demo.