Can AI help HR professionals overcome bias in recruitment?

By Melissa Norman, Founder and Managing Director of Aisling Group

In today’s dynamic and diverse work environments, the pursuit of a fair and inclusive workplace is a top priority for Human Resources (HR) professionals as diversity and inclusivity is crucial to business survival. And technology is quickly emerging as an invaluable partner in overcoming traditional challenges in recruitment. 

Biases in recruitment 

Recruitment biases can wreak havoc on organisations and individuals alike. When biases infiltrate the recruitment process, they unjustly exclude highly qualified candidates solely because of their gender, race, age, or socioeconomic background. These biases not only hinder diversity but also restrict access to opportunities for underrepresented groups. 

Organisations that fail to address bias not only miss out on diverse talent but also suffer from a lack of varied perspectives and ideas. The presence of bias poses a significant obstacle to innovation and hampers the capacity for effective problem-solving. On the flip side, organisations that actively prioritise the reduction of bias and the promotion of equality reap numerous benefits, including heightened levels of employee engagement, improved retention rates, and a reputation as an inclusive employer.

HR Professionals and AI

In the HR space, professionals are increasingly adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance various aspects of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to learning and development. The Conference Board Confidence Index found that 65 percent of Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) expect AI to have a positive impact on the HR function over the next two years.

Tech tools, such as AI and machine learning, can identify the most relevant qualifications and skills, disregarding irrelevant factors such as demographics by analysing large datasets and 

identifying patterns. Additionally, these tools can anonymise applicant data, thus allowing recruiters to focus solely on merit and potential.

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Artificial Intelligence Technology To Reduce Biasness

Here are some of the ways that AI tools can help HR professionals improve the hiring process and enhance the employee lifecycle:

  1. Enhanced Candidate Matching: Generative AI systems go beyond simple keyword matching. They can analyse a candidate’s entire profile, including skills, experience, and personality traits, to match them with the most suitable positions. This leads to better-fit candidates being selected for interviews.
  • Predictive Analytics for Hiring: Generative AI leverages predictive analytics and machine learning to assess a candidate’s potential success in a role. By analysing historical data and comparing it to the candidate’s profile, AI can make informed predictions about their performance, making the hiring decision more data-driven.
  • Efficiency in Resume Screening: Traditional resume screening processes are often time-consuming and prone to human bias. Generative AI can automate this task by analysing resumes, cover letters, and other candidate documents more efficiently. This saves HR professionals valuable time and ensures a more comprehensive evaluation of applicants.

Working with AI towards Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

While AI can support better decision making and reduced hiring bias, it comes equipped with the same discriminations as the people who created it. Therefore, HR professionals need to be aware of potential biases and train employees to identify and tackle bias. 

AI can be a powerful tool for HR professionals to overcome bias in recruitment towards a fair and inclusive workplace. But it must be tempered with human intelligence and empathy as well. By combining the power of technology with individual and organisational commitment, a fair and inclusive workplace can be achieved, paving the way for a brighter future for all.

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