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MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

Concerned About use of AI for Hiring? Here's What Experts Have to Say

Schellmann, an accomplished investigative reporter and faculty member at New York University, sheds light on the expanding use of AI in workplace processes.
PUBLISHED APR 14, 2024
Cover Image Source: AI in hiring processes (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by ThisIsEngineering
Cover Image Source: AI in hiring processes (representative image) | Pexels | Photo by ThisIsEngineering

The rise of AI has triggered anxiety about humans losing jobs to tech, and experts are trying to gauge how the situation will take shape in the near future. Among them is NYU Professor Hilke Schellmann, who is exploring the growing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various stages of employment, from recruitment to termination. Schellmann, an accomplished investigative reporter and faculty member at New York University, sheds light on the expanding use of AI in workplace processes.

Unsplash | Photo by Cytonn Photography
Hiring processes were handled by humans till recently (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Cytonn Photography

The trend of firms integrating AI into hiring processes has become increasingly prevalent in both large corporations and smaller businesses, and raises important questions about the potential biases in automated decision-making systems. To explore this issue, ABC News Live welcomed Emmy-winning investigative reporter and NYU journalism professor, Hilke Schellmann, author of "The Algorithm: How AI Decides Who Gets Hired, Monitored, Promoted and Fired [And Why We Need to Fight Back Now]."

Schellmann pointed out, "Many Fortune 500 companies integrate AI into their hiring processes," and added, "often employing resume screeners to sift through applications and utilizing one-way video interviews as well as job-related video games to assess candidates' capabilities and personalities." These tools, she explained, became particularly prominent during the pandemic due to the surge in job applications. However, despite their widespread use, concerns persist regarding AI's potential for discriminatory practices despite efforts by employment lawyers to address these issues.

Unsplash | Photo by Possessed Photography
AI is taking over hiring processes (representative image) | Unsplash | Photo by Possessed Photography

"In one experiment," she recounted, "I tested a tool by speaking German while reading a passage on psychometrics." Despite the language barrier, the tool provided a job qualification rating, exposing a glaring flaw in its assessment process. This, Schellmann emphasized, underscores the pressing need to critically assess the reliability of such tools, especially when they are used in making high-stakes decisions like hiring.

As the conversation turned toward potential solutions, Schellmann proposed measures to ensure responsible AI implementation in the realm of HR. "Skepticism toward developers is crucial," she asserted, "demanding transparency and explainability in their algorithms." Currently, many AI models operate without oversight, posing serious ethical concerns. Establishing clear guidelines and accountability mechanisms, she argued, is imperative to prevent discriminatory outcomes.

According to the survey data, 36% of Hispanic and 34% of Black job seekers reported using AI when applying for positions whereas only 17% of White applicants reported the same. These discrepancies highlight the complex interplay between technology adoption and demographic factors in employment practices. In a recent announcement, BlackRock Inc. revealed plans to terminate approximately 600 employees. CEO Larry Fink and President Rob Kapito attributed this decision to significant industry changes, emphasizing the transformative impact of emerging technologies on various sectors, including their own. Fink has previously expressed optimism regarding the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance productivity but the memo sent to staff did not explicitly link the layoffs to the adoption of new technologies. Despite the workforce reduction, BlackRock anticipates overall growth in staffing levels by the end of the year, particularly in specific areas of business expansion, as outlined in the memo.

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