In the second of a two part series, Marketing Moves CEO Mel Day examines whether tech-based recruitment will eliminate subjectivity alone, or take personal freedom with it.
Future Recruitment Technology
In my first article, I discussed how the behaviours which increase a candidate’s chances of getting a job at interview demonstrate that the process is not objective.
Similarly, applicants who exaggerate their achievements or have the best social skills and powers of persuasion are more likely to get the job.
In summary, something needs to change. And technology might just be the answer.
Last month I described the benefits of four different technology-based elements:
- Social Media Personality Profiling
- AI Skill Scoring
- Virtual Reality Interviewing
- Health Data
So this month I’ll be looking at the drawbacks of each if taken to the limit – a bit like a grizzly episode of Black Mirror!
And where better to start than lawsuits.
Ethics & Fairness
The use of technology in recruitment has raised concerns about ethics and fairness, and experts predict they will prompt legal challenges. In 2019 a complaint was filed against HireVue, a US company that builds artificial-intelligence-based hiring tools, over concerns that its technology is not transparent and lacks accountability. HireVue responded that its technology “has less bias than traditional screening processes.” Until the outcome, the US state of Illinois has forced companies to notify job candidates when they use AI-based video interview tools. Legislation that mandates recruitment companies to inspect their algorithms for bias is also under consideration in US Congress.
Personality Profiling from Social Media
Last month we discussed how companies such as Humantic are using AI to create personality profiles from candidates’ social-media profiles – we looked at the benefits of analysing an applicant’s LinkedIn account and other text posted online, as well as the words they use in virtual-reality simulations and video submissions.
On the downside this month, some experts are questioning whether these algorithms are as accurate as traditional methods. AI-based tools could also find language in a candidate’s social-media profiles indicating that they have a medical condition, such as depression. Organisational psychologists argue that it would be unfair and possibly illegal for employers to use this information to make hiring decisions.
If this type of personality profiling does become more prevalent, a market for algorithms that assist applicants in editing their social-media accounts and other online platforms could also spring up. To the point that they could tell someone what to do to conform to a specific personality profile.
AI Skill Scoring
In part one we looked at how AI can analyse the text in our CVs and emails to determine how talented we are – or checking a developer’s code for mistakes on GitHub.
Whilst this process would remove a candidate’s ability to exaggerate such qualities, there is a big problem potentially – and one that might last a whole lifetime. Typically, people from wealthy backgrounds have access to better education and are therefore more literate. So this type of tech would automatically rate a privileged grad higher.
They then get the better job, get paid more, have better training and exposure to more complex activities, so that by the time they apply for their second job, they are still ahead of their less-wealthy counterpart. And so this goes on through life, restricting social mobility at a time when we need it most and diversity is now the big thing on every company’s recruitment list.
Virtual Reality Interviewing
In my first article I discussed how VR can be used to recreate workplace situations, analysing an applicant’s responses to external stimuli such as angry people for a customer service employee.
It’s clearly going to be a big market. ActiView offers VR assessments for hiring, particularly for recent graduates with shorter CVs. And in 2018 they raised $6.5 million in a Series A financing round.
But other makers of VR assessment tools are hesitant to use them for hiring decisions because some applicants experience vertigo or motion sickness while wearing headsets.
ActiView says it uses advanced headsets and conducts stationary VR tests, reducing vertigo. If job candidates still have problems, they can request an alternative test.
Finally, we’re looking at the flip-side of giving up our health data for a healthy raise – whether it be heart rate, blood pressure, BMI, blood oxygen level and so on.
Wearable health technology will soon be able to measure eye movements and skin conductivity, or how well skin transfers electricity, to predict arousal and anxiety. These technologies could help companies assess job seekers’ stress and engagement levels and self-regulation skills during VR simulations.
The systems might even be able to monitor brain waves to figure out whether someone has the optimal brain for a job based on the brain structures of employees who are successful in the role.
But it’s difficult to correctly interpret biometric data. Even if you can detect brain waves, it’s unclear whether they are for stress or are they more deep thinking.
Biometric information could also reveal medical issues, such as heart conditions, mental illnesses or disabilities – which could be illegal.
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