by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz / © 2018, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The last time Chuck Blatt searched for a job, about 10 years ago, he relied on a thoughtful cover letter, a résumé printed on nice paper and good rapport during a face-to-face interview.
Now, he said, “that is all out the window.”
Blatt, who is seeking a marketing position, says technology makes it easier to apply for more jobs. But other parts of the high-tech hiring process leave him uneasy.
“I have been turned down for positions that I thought I would be perfect for,” Blatt said, and it is often impossible to know why. “There is no feedback because there is no one to talk to.”
Technology is transforming hiring, as employers inundated with applications turn to sophisticated tools to recruit and screen job candidates. Many companies save time with video interviews or résumé filters that scan for keywords, and those at the leading edge are using artificial intelligence in a variety of ways: chatbots that schedule interviews and answer applicant questions and algorithms that analyze existing employee data to predict an applicant’s future success.
Advocates of AI-enhanced hiring claim it reduces turnover by bringing on candidates who are a better fit. They also say a data-driven approach removes bias inherent in human decision-makers who, for example, might favor candidates who graduated from their alma mater.
But critics warn of the opposite effect: that some applicants could be unfairly weeded out.
The scoring is invisible, so even human resources departments don’t know why an applicant might have been rejected, making it difficult for anyone to challenge the process, [Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician and author of the 2016 book Weapons of Math Destruction], said.
There is also concern that algorithms and filters could quietly screen older people out, although that’s a concern with human recruiters as well.
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