HR professionals using AI-enabled tools must ensure their assessment methodologies are ethical and accurately measure potential in candidates. Even after a technology has been vetted and procured, the way it’s used can affect how inclusive it is in practice. To ensure a level playing field, everyone involved in the recruiting process should understand and follow these ongoing actions.

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Ensure the Team Understands the Process

Algorithms from a third-party vendor use data collected from multiple sources, and likely haven’t been built with your organization’s own talent pool data. If they do use your data, it may be drawn from old databases and legacy systems and lack sufficient representation from people with disabilities. Be sure the team understands how the algorithm works, and what steps have been taken to mitigate potential harms.

Recommended best practice:
Provide training to all staff involved in the HR process in understanding and using AI-enabled tools in an equitable and inclusive way. This should include related legal responsibilities, such as how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may apply.

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Be Transparent and Proactive with Candidate

Communications to candidates should always proactively offer an invitation for accommodation requests at each stage of the interview process. In order to do so, candidates must receive a clear breakdown of how the assessment process works, and how to opt-out if desired.

Recommended best practice:
Before engaging with an AI-enabled tool, provide candidates with explanation in simple, plain language for for:

  1. what the testing process entails,
  2. what you expect to measure and accomplish, and
  3. an offer for candidates to request alternative methods/accommodations.

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Plan Equivalent Alternative Methods

Ensure you have a plan in place for reasonable accommodations for candidates with a wide range of abilities to demonstrate their skills. You must ensure that any alternative testing process will be given equal weight and are directly measurable against other testing methods.

Recommended best practice:
To avoid stigmatization, the CDT suggests a policy of diverting a certain percentage of all job candidates into the track using alternative methods.

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Invite Discussions of Reasonable Accommodation

A tool may assess that an applicant’s disability prevents them from being able to do the job. You’ll want to confirm that the system hasn’t made a faulty assumption – especially to ensure that you don’t violate any ADA requirements. In such cases, you must be prepared to disclose to the applicant how the tool produced these results.

Recommended best practice:
Disclose such findings to the applicant with a proactive invitation to explain whether they could perform the job with reasonable accommodation. Ensure you have a process to confirm that responses are read in time to keep the candidate in consideration for the open position.

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Create Mechanisms to Gather Feedback

Employers can’t use statistical auditing effectively to know if they are discriminating against people with disabilities. Given this, it is important to gather this data from candidates themselves – and to ensure this data is tracked and meaningfully used–to continually improve the process.

Recommended best practice:
Offer an anonymous and easy process for all candidates to submit feedback on the hiring process, including questions related to accessibility and inclusion. Set up a formal process to retain and use this data to inform all related organizational processes and mechanisms of monitoring tools in use. Find recommended monitoring questions to implement in section 5.3 of the Algorithm Watch report “People Analytics must benefit the people” (p. 48-49).

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