Diversity is a hot topic in the HR industry today, with many professionals working to find ways to recruit strong employees of all races, sexual orientations, religions, ages, and abilities. Talent comes in all forms — but we often miss it, thanks to personal biases.
Whether unconscious or not, biases can often damage a human recruiter’s ability to choose the best employee for the job at hand. However, artificial intelligence (AI) doesn’t have the same hang-ups — meaning it can be a critical aid when it comes to making hiring decisions based purely on merit.
Wondering what AI can do for your diversity recruiting initiative? Here four ways it can help:
1. Removing Biased Language From Job Descriptions
Bias is often present from the very beginning of the hiring process — and it even manifests itself in job ads! Multiple studies have shown that certain words are subconsciously coded masculine or feminine in job ads. Words such as “dominant” and “competitive” are often viewed as masculine, and thus can deter woman applicants when used in job ads.
Removing bias from job descriptions can prove rather tedious for a human copywriter, if not outright impossible. After all, bias sneaks in because the human writers didn’t even notice it in the first place! The good news is there do exist AI applications that can scan job ads, identify gendered language, and make suggestions for more neutral alternatives.
2. Removing Bias From the Screening Process
Some AI applications can be used to remove applicants’ demographic information from consideration, even going so far as to hide it from human recruiters. This allows the AI and the human recruiting team to work together to come to a more informed, less biased decision about each candidate’s suitability.
That said, AI can also learn to include some of your human recruiters’ biases. If, for example, you have a history of hiring candidates from a specific university, the AI may end up more heavily weighing candidates from that university. Because of this, it is important to keep human recruiters in the equation, as they can spot these biases and remove them from the AI’s decisions.
3. Validating Qualifications
AI’s strongest advantage over human recruiting efforts is its use of data, which is especially effective in validating candidate qualifications. Recruiters must often rely on the alignment between the words on a candidate’s resume and the words in a job description to determine fit, but AI can crunch the numbers and make more informed decisions about how a candidate’s performance really stacks up.
4. Collecting Candidate Data
Chatbots can help combat bias by subbing in for human recruiters during early screening conversations. Chatbots can gather information from candidates, building out candidates’ profiles beyond their resumes. Because the chatbot is not subject to bias, none of the demographic information it collects — if it collects any at all — will be used against the candidate when the chatbot assesses their initial fitness.
A version of this article originally appeared on the XOR.ai blog.
Aida Fazylova is CEO and founder of XOR.ai.