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Why 2021 Will See New Levels of Human-Centric AI in Hiring

Erin Iafelice

The use of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled hiring platforms and tools have caught on like crazy in the post-pandemic world, yet it’s unusual to see technology vendors explain the specifics of how AI techniques are being used or were developed. That should be a cause for concern.

Without transparency, it’s easier for AI to be misapplied. Think Microsoft’s Tay chatbot, which repeated racist and hurtful messages it had learned from its users. Or facial recognition technologies that claim to distinguish high achievers in a talent pool or to detect dangerous or violent individuals before they can commit a crime. If these AI-powered applications aren’t 100% accurate, they can cause more harm than good. 

However, when AI tools are developed with a human-centric approach, AI can enhance the hiring process and talent management decisions through advantages such as bias control, real-time candidate feedback, hiring process consolidation, and support for better job fit and satisfaction.

What is human-centric AI?

In the context of hiring, human-centric AI means starting every research question and every new product or product update to apply AI to benefit individuals and corporations. AI technologies should consider the impact on the person, groups, and organizations. Using only human-centric AI in hiring may not be easy to accomplish, but it is clear as a goal.

How do we get there?

A movement toward more human-centric AI is already happening, and we expect it will accelerate this year. Here are some of the strategies TA practitioners and organizations can take to make progress:

  • Develop internal policies around your organization’s approach to human-centered AI in hiring. The process of defining these policies will increase conversation and, hopefully, align leadership commitment to the goal.
  • Work with hiring technology partners that have a documented and demonstrated commitment to human-centered AI. Modern Hire has adopted open standards for AI’s ethical use in hiring. We believe that in addition to benefiting the individual, AI technologies should be developed in a transparent, verifiable, reproducible, and publishable way. Read Modern Hire’s Standards for the Ethical Application of AI in Hiring.
  • Pursue research like Modern Hire’s AI Consent Language study to understand better and inform a human-first approach to AI technology development and use. This groundbreaking project explored candidates’ reactions to different consent statements about using AI to score job interviews. In a nutshell, the study found that the amount of information candidates received about the use of AI in hiring influenced their perception of making an informed consent decision. It also impacted their view of AI as a fair, ethical and bias-free evaluation approach for vetting job candidates. The research suggests that providing more information upfront can be valuable to candidates. Recruiting teams that do this could potentially increase the percentage of candidates who opt-in to AI evaluation in their hiring process.

Formal policies and regulation of AI in the business environment will likely expand in the coming months and years, encouraging the strategies outlined above. Forward-thinking TA practitioners can get ahead of the curve by putting their internal policies in place and by selecting technology partners who are themselves aligned with those policies. AI will continue to evolve and expand into daily professional and personal life, committing to human-centric AI technologies a sound investment.

2021 Hiring Trends

Prioritizing human-first AI technologies is just one of the trends on the radar for TA practitioners this year. Expect to see an increased emphasis on controlling bias in hiring and building hiring processes immune to shock. We’ve compiled a summary of these trends based on industry data and our research and client experiences in our 2021 Hiring Trends ReportDownload and share the report today.