Miranda Bogen: The Unconscious Bias of Hiring Algorithms

Employers have long used digital technology – such as certain types of job boards or particular sourcing tools – to find their candidates. Now many are turning to new AI-driven predictive hiring tools to inform each step of their hiring process – but can these tools really lower or eliminate bias? Miranda Bogen of Upturn will talk about the promise and reality of these hiring tools at Jobg8’s Summit in Denver (June 25-26).

“The top of the hiring funnel – the sourcing – is very important. It’s where potential candidates become aware of hiring opportunities. The catch is that if a candidate doesn’t know about a job, how can they apply?”

Miranda Bogen, Upturn

It has become easier to ‘hyper personalize’ in sourcing candidates, but Bogen has discovered that there are risks as well. “When I hear the word ‘personalize’, I think ‘stereotype’,” Bogen notes.

“AIgorithms can have their own inherent biases. We can’t rely on software to guide the hiring process entirely.”

In fact, even if an employer isn’t using any particular targeting, their job ads can still end up being distributed in a discriminatory way, based on how their job distribution services and software behave. Another risk emerges with sourcing tools that are removing ‘sensitive characteristics’ that are believed to trigger hiring bias, but this may end up backfiring in some cases.

As Bogen noted in a recent Washington Post panel appearance, candidate data is collected at multiple points during the sourcing and hiring process, and at each point both human and algorithmic actions can affect what happens. This deep dive into the world of predictive analytics, hiring bias, and its implications for recruiting sites and job boards should be fascinating – and an excellent reason to join us at the Jobg8 Summit in Denver, June 25-26.

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