The ethical approach to recruitment chatbots?
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The ethical approach to recruitment chatbots?

The ethical approach to recruitment chatbots?

Posted on 21st January 2019

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AI is all the rage.  It offers many possible ways in which our lives can be made easier, more efficient and productive.  To that end, Be-IT is, naturally, investigating how we can make more use of AI in our own business, but that’s not to say we are not aware of the potential downsides. For example…

I read an optimistic blog on AI and recruitment the other day.  It contained the following paragraphs:

Another development of AI in recruitment is elimination of bias from the recruitment process. Bias is a huge, ethical theme in the field of recruitment. Undeniably, everyone can be biased to some degree – but when it comes to recruiting the best possible candidate, it’s important to ensure that judgement doesn’t cloud the choice that’s made. 

“Data and predictive analytics produced by AI can make predictions on an applicant’s likelihood to succeed in the job they are applying for. Recruiting candidates will be based on criteria that is (sic) specific to the job and a company’s cultural requirements; AI and algorithms will be able to calculate a matching score for every candidate, eliminating bias.”

I have only one question m’lud.  Who defines the criteria that are “specific to the job and a company’s cultural requirements?”  Let me guess… it’s one of those pesky humans, filled with their conscious and unconscious biases…  

Suppose, as will undoubtedly happen in the litigious and virtue-signalling age in which we currently live and work, a disgruntled candidate happens to take issue with the chatbot’s “tone,” the questions it asks and any perceived bias?  In a society where some people go out of their way to see fault and discrimination everywhere, it’s only too easy to see how a chatbot, even one programmed to be as nice as ninepence, could offend some people.  

AI will make a huge and important contribution to recruitment in the years ahead. However, it’s important to realise that it’s never going to solve all our problems.  A world without problems would be wonderful (unless you are a lawyer), but it’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we should not strive to make the ethics of AI the number one item on any discussion on its future use in recruitment.

Nikola Kelly, MD, Be-IT

Posted in Opinion, Recruitment News


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