Artificial intelligence promises to make hiring an unbiased utopia.
There's certainly plenty of room for improvement. Employee referrals, a process that tends to leave underrepresented groups out, still make up a bulk of companies' hires. Recruiters and hiring managers also bring their own biases to the process, studies have found.
"Identifying high-potential candidates is very subjective," says Alan Todd, CEO of CorpU, a technology platform for leadership development. "People pick who they like based on unconscious biases."
AI advocates argue the technology can eliminate some of these biases. Companies such as Entelo and Stella.ai use machine learning to detect the skills needed for certain jobs. The AI then matches candidates who have those skills with open positions.
AI is also being used to help develop internal talent. CorpU has formed a partnership with the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business to build a 20-week online course that uses machine learning to identify high-potential employees. Those ranked highest aren't usually the individuals who were already on the promotion track, Todd said, and often exhibit qualities such as introversion that are overlooked during the recruitment process.
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