Why AI-Enabled Hiring Tools Matter

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Companies use AI-enabled tools to screen candidates, determine qualifications, and analyze how candidates might fit into the organization’s culture. These tools aim to help recruiters and Human Resource (HR) managers streamline the hiring process as they sift through countless digital resumes. However, many of these AI-enabled tools can result in unfair hiring outcomes for people with disabilities and members of other underrepresented groups.

A recent Microsoft blog post states, “It is estimated that over 50 percent of companies will deploy some form of AI-assisted or AI-automated hiring tools in the next decade. These tools use past hiring data to filter applicants by optimizing the characteristics of previous successes, but does that approach help build a diverse and inclusive workforce?” If your company’s history is not diverse and inclusive, when you use AI that is trained on past data sets, your future will likely not be inclusive either. Further confirming this concern, members of the Inclusive Design Research Centre within OCAD University in Canada noticed that AI hiring tools were filtering out highly qualified candidates with disabilities.

Unintentional bias in AI can cause companies to lose access to a skilled and largely untapped talent pool, including people with disabilities. According to a 2018 report from Accenture, employers who hire individuals with disabilities earn 28 percent higher revenue than their peers. Given this finding, now is the ideal time to make sure you are using AI to attract these qualified candidates instead of excluding them.

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