Fairness in Hiring: Is Your Process Biased?

By Admin  |  

2.5 min read

In an ideal world, algorithms could always be used by businesses to help make hiring decisions free from societal bias. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Even our technology replicates the bias often found in the real world by pulling data from real-life situations. Therefore, the only data developers have to build algorithms for hiring modules is “shaped by the very bias they are fighting.” Tobias Baer, Behavioural Science

For example, Baer, an artificial intelligence expert, found in a study conducted in 2014 that Google’s algorithms for ranking job ads in search engine results had a preference for showing lower-paying jobs to female users. With an example like this, we can see how in some situations, algorithms are not only failing to correct the bias that is ingrained in our society and technology but establishing it within the first step of the hiring process.

The good news is that we can fix it over time – by utilizing algorithms in a way that helps us to make better business decisions and build teams with diverse skill sets who are addressing your company’s pain points and bringing in expertise that you otherwise would be gambling on.

Free from human error, algorithms make an ideal tool for data-driven results. In the hiring process, algorithms can help companies to make decisions “at a scale that individuals can’t” Tobias Baer, Behavioural Science. Baer notes ways that we as a society can work toward debiasing algorithms to ensure that senior leadership follow through on equitable decision making, create the diverse and inclusive workspaces they promise to and work hard to foster an environment where voices are heard, and action is taken.

With talent optimization software like The Predictive Index (PI), companies can work toward making informed, bias-free decisions on hiring the right people. David Lahey, CEO of Predictive Success writes in his book, From Hire to Inspire: How to Become the Best Boss, that “talent optimization is the link between a company’s business strategy…it is the magic in the middle of these points, and it begins with taking an intentional and data-driven approach to getting the people part right.” So, where do talent optimization and debiasing algorithms overlap?

Predictive Index software can help your company take an analytic approach to hire, onboard, and coach your employees as Lahey puts it, “all from their world, not the one the boss lives in.” By using behavioral and cognitive assessments to build the best possible team of individuals pulled by analytics from their own world, businesses will be better prepared to create workplaces free from bias and use the data on their teams’ diverse strengths to leverage the company’s success.

If you are interested in learning more about how PI can help your business build better teams, contact us here.

Baer, Tobias. (2020, September). How Algorithms Can Fight Bias Instead of Entrench It. Behavioral Science. Retrieved from https://behavioralscientist.org/how-algorithms-can-fight-bias-instead-of-entrench-it/
Lahey, D. (2020). From Hire to Inspire: How to become the best boss. ECW Press.

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