Does your organization use artificial intelligence (AI) in your hiring process? If your organization uses tools to automate tasks, such as sorting through lists of skills on resumes or for something more complex such as tracking eye gaze during virtual interviews, then the tools are likely powered by AI. If you use AI in any stage of the hiring process, you need to make sure the technology increases inclusion and reduces bias against all candidates, including those with disabilities.

To learn more about inclusive AI, you can read PEAT’s Disability-Led Innovation Report, which includes a checklist that you can use to procure and implement inclusive AI-enabled hiring technologies. Your organization can increase opportunities to tap into a large pool of skilled applicants with disabilities who are ready to work by using the strategies in this report. Keep reading this article to discover why it’s critical for employers to focus on reducing bias and being more inclusive when using AI hiring tools.

How Does AI Impact Applicants?

How AI impacts applicants depends on how you use the technology. For some, AI-enabled hiring technologies can lead to bias and possible unfair elimination of qualified applicants. For others, AI can help remove barriers and make the process of getting a job more manageable.

To better understand these two paths, it is helpful to put yourself in the mindset of someone applying for a job. For example, imagine that you have limited hand dexterity and are expected to fill out dozens of online applications. In this scenario, AI can either be an aid or an obstacle to a potential applicant.   Here are two ways this process could play out.

Example of AI Bias in Hiring Platforms

As you fill out the application form, you complete your employment history. You may need to take breaks from typing due to the length of the form and the amount of content required in each question. There is a six-month gap in your resume when you were getting medical care for your disability. The AI program automatically rejects your application because you do not have a continuous employment history, and the employer misses out on a qualified applicant.

Example of Inclusive Design in AI Hiring Platforms

You open the application form to find an accessible chatbot that allows you to speak your skills instead of typing them. This innovative approach enables you to focus on the application’s content rather than dealing with the process of typing. Because this inclusive system does not automatically reject applicants who have a gap on their resume, you can choose when and how to address this information. You are evaluated based on your skills, not the health-related gap in employment, and you move to the interview round.

How Can You Increase Inclusion?

The scenarios above outline different outcomes that emerge from using AI. The results are very different depending on how the technology is used. Taking a small step in the process, such as including humans-in-the-loop (HITL) to inspect, validate, and make changes to the algorithms used in AI, can lead to better and more inclusive hiring outcomes. In short, your organization will hire more skilled employees instead of unfairly rejecting qualified candidates for non-work-related reasons.