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Our Working Future: Ethical Assessments

A large majority of organizations (85%) say the future of work raises ethical challenges, according to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2020 Survey. One of the key drivers? The rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the workplace. AI may be the most transformative technology ever created to date, and it is being woven into nearly every aspect of modern life, like it or not. Rigorous federal oversight of the ethical use of AI lags behind the pace of its proliferation, though legislative initiatives by the European Commission may be the first to become law in 2021.

In the context of hiring, when AI is used in ethical pre-employment assessments, it has the potential to benefit candidates and organizations in many significant ways, including:

  • Control of bias: AI-powered pre-employment assessments can concentrate assessment on job-related competencies and, at the same time, eliminate many types of human bias. In addition, all candidates take the same exact assessment in the same way, which makes the hiring process fairer.
  • Better job fit and satisfaction: Modern Hire pre-employment assessments predict candidates’ future success in the role and give candidates a chance to try job simulations and see an honest job preview. As a result, candidates and recruiters gain deeper insight into fit for the job and make a more informed decision.
  • Process consolidation and shortening: Modern Hire’s ethical assessments are integrated with on-demand interviews, allowing candidates to complete these hiring phases all at once in the same hiring platform. Modern Hire AI technology can accurately auto-score open-ended assessment and interview questions at scale, saving recruiting teams significant time and reducing delays for candidates waiting to move forward in the process.

These are just some of the benefits of AI in hiring. However, like most technologies, AI can cause damage when misapplied. The promotion and subsequent pullback of AI-based facial recognition technologies in hiring and law enforcement is just one example. It is up to organizations creating and deploying AI technologies to ensure their ethical application and practice at this moment in time. We can see growing recognition of this responsibility in the number of new business roles – and expanded roles – related to AI ethics governance in organizations.

In 2019 Modern Hire was a pioneer in creating and adopting standards for the ethical application of AI in hiring. We believe AI must be deployed according to scientific principles and standards to ensure its ethical application. These standards guide all aspects of the development and use of AI in our enterprise hiring platform, including our ethical assessments:

  1. Benefit the individual. AI hiring technologies must take into account the impact on the individual as well as the organization. As mentioned above, some of the ways AI can benefit individual candidates including eliminating bias and enabling superior job matches.
  2. Operate transparently. Modern Hire employs a “glass box” approach with AI technologies, meaning how Modern Hire AI works and the results it produces are explainable to recruiting teams and candidates. This is a direct response to the “black box” approach typical of some hiring platform companies in which the way technology works is not transparent or explainable. We believe our clients should be able to understand what data is collected by our pre-employment assessments, how it is analyzed, and how it relates to bottom-line business goals.
  3. Verify the outcomes. Modern Hire’s glass box approach means the business results our platform delivers are created by scientifically validated processes and backed by data.   
  4. Publish findings. Modern Hire researchers share their findings in published works to provide transparency into the research and development processes. Publishing research findings also contributes to the advancement of ethical AI in hiring.

Read our white paper on standards for the ethical application of AI.

Modern Hire continues to advance the ethical use of AI in hiring with first-of-its-kind research into candidate consent about the use of AI in hiring. Modern Hire’s AI Consent Language Research Study suggests that providing more information to candidates upfront can build their trust and support of the use of AI in hiring decisions. Learn more about the results of the Modern Hire study.