November 04, 2021

Can AI Be used to Eliminate Hiring Bias

Sam Caucci

two men shaking hands

Diversity and inclusion have become an increasingly important issue, especially when it comes to the workplace. Companies everywhere struggle to eliminate bias from their hiring processes as they address issues of diversity within their workforce. Both conscious and unconscious biases exist, and some technology has been used in order to help eliminate these biases, even artificial intelligence.

How does bias make hiring unfair?

As individuals, we form our own biases to help make navigating the world easier on us. Think about biases like mental shortcuts that can help us make decisions easily and quickly. These biases are based on patterns that we pick up from our immediate environment. They can be very useful in the right situations. 

However, bias can have a dark side to it as well. Unchecked biases can lead to prejudice which causes us to see one person as “good” and another as “bad”, or to favor certain groups of people over others, usually in ways that are unfair. 

When it comes to recruitment, this is where bias can become a monster rearing its ugly head. Research shows that hiring decisions can be entirely made through biases, which then results in bad business outcomes and perpetuates systemic racism, sexism, and more. 

On the other hand, research has also shown that having diverse teams in the workplace contributes to business success. These days, diversity has become a huge priority for many modern companies across the globe, especially given the events of our times. Yet, many companies struggle with hiring members from disenfranchised groups. In particular, the technology industry has struggled with their lack of diversity, and despite their best efforts, the industry has remained predominantly white and male. 

Can traditional hiring tools be biased?

Recruiters are increasingly using  AI to eliminate bias from the hiring process and  to help them streamline and expedite this process, especially for higher hiring volumes. It’s becoming more common for candidate applications to be in the hands of an algorithm rather than human hands. For example, corporate giants like Ika, Amazon and Pepsi all use algorithms to help them figure out who to hire, and this list keeps on growing across all industries.

Many advocates for AI have stated that the key to hiring is eradicating human bias and discrimination. But critics have warned that AI-based hiring tools can be just as biased as those who program them. Many strong AI tools are used to weed out poor candidates, rather than decide who will get the job. These tools can look through hundreds of resumes, evaluate candidate answers to written questions and interactive games, and help conduct video interviews. 

If AI technologies and tools are not programmed carefully, then it can lead to a lot of problems in the future. AI is trained by humans, therefore it can be prone to human biases and mistakes. AI hiring tools could work to automatically discriminate against job applicants with certain backgrounds. Thus, picking up on human biases that then leads AI to have unintentional discrimination. 

What happens is that developers can work on and build an AI tool that reflects the characteristics of their current non-diverse workforce, or it might begin to reflect the fact that hiring managers prefer to hire male candidates over women. This shows that AI tools have a potential for bias, even if the developer’s intentions were good.

How can AI help eliminate unconscious human bias?

Supporters of using AI in the hiring process have the opposite view. They believe that with the use of technology and AI, biases can be significantly reduced or even erased. Companies can use the right science and technology to do this, through proven, ethical AI. This type of AI is able to focus on what should matter the most during the hiring process using only job relevant data to make the foundation of its decision. 

Using a science-backed hiring strategy, recruiters and hiring managers are able to eliminate unconscious biases that they might have when it comes to the hiring process. This begins with a base understanding of what makes a candidate successful in a job, and then using that to construct systems to help identify these characteristics in potential candidates. 

AI can be applied to this logic to create models which optimize the prediction of success while at the same time increasing the diversity within a candidate pool. When AI is used in a correct and ethical way, then it will provide us with information on how the data is collected and used. 

Recruiters can then look at this data to understand and explain how their AI reduces or eliminates bias and discrimination. These models can be watched carefully and changed over time to make sure that the hiring process is creating a highly diverse pool of qualified candidates. 

It is quite nearly impossible to correct human bias in people, but it can be possible to identify and correct any bias that shows up in our AI. If we closely monitor and take careful steps to address these big concerns, we can use technology to help streamline and diversify our workplaces across the globe. 

At 1Huddle, we offer cloud-based employee gamification software that can easily adapt to any employee training or gamification strategy you want to implement at your workplace. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime and at the push of a button. You can use our gamification platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 

Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your workforce? Start your free trial of 1Huddle today.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

See Our Policy Plan

Check out our plan that outlines a position that we at 1Huddle fight for everyday; for every worker. 


RAISE Every Worker