Artificial Intelligence

Is AI less biased than human recruiters? 56% of job applicants think so

Of applicants who have experienced discrimination, nearly half believe AI will give them a better chance of getting hired, according to a Montage report.

When it comes to the conversation of artificial intelligence (AI) and jobs, most professionals are concerned about losing their position to a robot. However, AI is increasingly being used to recruit human employees for new roles, and it could even help reduce bias in hiring.

According to a recent Montage Research report on the state of AI in talent acquisition, some 44% of jobs candidates said they had experienced discrimination in the hiring process. Among those who said they had experienced discrimination, though, 56% said they believe AI could be less biased than human recruiters, the report said.

Nearly half of those surveyed who had experienced discrimination said they also believe AI might improve their chances of getting hired due to less bias in its approach.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

AI is currently used in hiring, but the technology is still nascent. A little more than a third of the talent acquisition (TA) professionals surveyed said their firm was using AI for tasks such as "selecting, interviewing, and onboarding candidates," while it was more typically used in selecting, screening, and scheduling candidates.

Additionally, 93% of those TA professionals using AI said that it helps them in their job. Some 87% said it improves the candidate experience. Still, the report said, it will be years before AI is mainstream in hiring.

Of those TAs who use AI, 38% said they're using it to eliminate bias, and 35% said they are using the technology to meet diversity goals. Among those who do not use AI, some 57% said they're unsure if their company will even implement it within the next five years.

One major aspect of AI use in recruiting is chatbots, but that technology received mixed responses based on the generation of the candidate. Of the candidates surveyed, 35% of millennials said they'd be comfortable going through the hiring process with a chatbot, while only 19% of baby boomers said the same, the report noted.

Despite its advances, AI is far from perfect, the report said, and some AI systems reflect the bias of their creators. TA professionals should use it as part of their strategy, but must examine their entire recruiting process to find any problems that may be there. Candidates are getting more comfortable with AI, the report noted, but a human elements must always remain in the hiring process.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 56% of job applicants who have experienced bias in hiring believe AI will help reduce bias in the process. — Montage, 2018
  • 92% of talent acquisition professionals said that AI technology helps them do their job, but very small amount are using it regularly. — Montage, 2018

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Image: iStockphoto/AndreyPopov

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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