Two major flaws using AI in recruitment discovered

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Use of AI widespread in recruitment but a third say tools have made wrong hiring decision

Adoption of artificial intelligence among recruitment departments is widespread, with nine in 10 HR managers claiming to use AI tools in their departments, but a third have said that AI tools have made wrong hiring decisions.

Of the 1,700 HR managers in Ireland, the UK and Germany questioned for a survey by workplace technology company Greenhouse, 44% believe that AI will make hiring decisions for humans in future.

Two-thirds (65%) think that the greatest benefit of AI in the hiring process is efficiency, according Greenhouse’s EMEA HR Manager AI & Bias Pulse Report.

Respondents also cited benefits such as most suitable and skilled candidates (47%), better candidate matching (44%), reducing the effect of bias (43%), and automating repetitive tasks (42%)

However, 40% expressed concerned that AI is introducing further bias against historically underrepresented groups, with 34% believing that AI will introduce more bias in all areas of recruitment.

Some 47% are worried about over-relying on AI without human oversight, and 35% said it has already made wrong hiring decisions.

“It’s no surprise that resource-strapped HR departments are excited about the benefits of AI,” said Henry Tsai, chief product officer at Greenhouse.

“Our findings show that many believe AI will replace humans in decision-making, yet 35% say AI has made wrong hiring decisions. There is no evidence to believe that AI is capable of making end-to-end hiring decisions without human intervention.

“Efficiency should not come at the expense of fairness. There’s just no good business or moral reason to hand the wheel to AI when we are aware of its existing flaws and risks. AI in hiring is an assistant, not a replacement.”

Seven in every ten respondents admitted to prejudice towards candidates’ educational backgrounds.

Close to one in every five (17%) say that they only hire from the most prestigious universities in the region, and just 12% say educational background has no bearing on whether a candidate has the skills and capabilities to be successful in a role.

Furthermore, 56% of respondents would be more inclined to hire a candidate with a similar background to their own.

While many are concerned about the risks of AI introducing bias, HR Managers have failed to recognise their own biases that are plaguing the hiring process,” said Colm O’Cuinneain, GM of EMEA at Greenhouse.

“Candidates should be judged on their skills and capabilities, rather than the privilege of having access to prestigious university educations and degrees that have no indication of whether a candidate will be successful in the role.”

The main AI tools HR managers have adopted in their hiring processes include; generative AI (59%), digital admin software (49%), resume filters (48%), digital one-way screening interviews (43%), candidate filtering (43%), and AI screening tools (40%).

When deciding between two candidates, 53% of HR Managers would favour the candidate with the higher degree, but 63% have noticed increased internal mobility in their organisations.

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