AI can reduce unconscious bias in two ways.
1. AI makes sourcing and screening decisions based on data points:
Recruiting AI sources and screens candidates by using large quantities of data. It combines these data points using algorithms to make predictions about who will be the best candidates. The human brain just can’t compete when processing information on this massive scale.
AI assesses these data points objectively – free from the assumptions, biases, and mental fatigue that humans are susceptible to.
A major advantage AI has over humans is its results can be tested and validated. An ideal candidate profile usually contains a list of skills, traits, and qualifications that people believe make up a successful employee. But oftentimes, those qualifications are never tested to see if they correlate with on-the-job performance.
AI can create a profile based on the actual qualifications of successful employees, which provides hard data that either validates or disconfirms beliefs about what to look for in candidates.
2. AI can be programmed to ignore demographic information about candidates:
Recruiting AI can be programmed to ignore demographic information about candidates such as gender, race, and age that have been shown to bias human decision making.
It can even be programmed to ignore details such as the names of schools attended and zip codes that can correlate with demographic-related information such as race and socioeconomic status.
This is how AI software in the financial services industry is used. Banks are required to ensure that their algorithms are not producing outcomes based on data correlated with protected demographic variables such as race and gender.
AI still requires a human touch to stop unconscious bias:
AI is trained to find patterns in previous behavior. That means that any human bias that may already be in your recruiting process – even if it’s unconscious – can be learned by AI.
Human oversight is still necessary to ensure the AI isn’t replicating existing biases or introducing new ones based on the data we give it.
Recruiting AI software can be tested for bias by using it to rank and grade candidates, and then assessing the demographic breakdown of those candidates.
The great thing is if AI does expose a bias in your recruiting, this gives you an opportunity to act on it. Aided by AI, we can use our human judgment and expertise to decide how to address any biases and improve our processes.