Automated Hiring Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Eliminate Bias Will Remain a Work in Progress in 2020

ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends
ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Employers using automated hiring platforms powered by artificial intelligence or (AI) in the belief that they are less biased and discriminatory than humans will discover using such technology in background screening will remain a work in progress in 2020, according to the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2020 compiled by leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

A labor and employment law expert wrote in a paper that employers using AI to avoid human bias were misguided: “A received wisdom is that automated decision-making serves as an anti-bias intervention. The conceit is that removing humans from the decision-making process will also eliminate human bias. The paradox, however, is that in some instances, automated decision-making has served to replicate and amplify bias.”

Dr. Ifeoma Ajunwa also explained in a New York Times opinion piece how automated hiring creates a closed loop system – where automated evaluations of hires loop back to establish criteria for future selections – that “operates with no transparency or accountability built in to check that the criteria are fair to all job applicants.” She also wrote that automated hiring has “enabled discrimination against job applicants.”

The influence AI is not going away as LinkedIn named Artificial Intelligence Specialist the fastest-growing job in the U.S. in 2020 with an annual growth of 74 percent. Laws are trying to catch up with the use of AI in background screening. The Illinois “Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act” – which took effect on January 1, 2020 – provides rights to job applicants if AI will be used to analyze their video interviews for a position.

“AI has potential with screening, but is unlikely to be used as quickly as predicted. Between the myriad of federal, state, and local laws regulating screening, as well as discrimination and privacy concerns, the reality is going to be much different than many people predict from a purely technological viewpoint,” explained Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

“Background checks impact the highly regulated area of employment that requires accuracy specific to the individual. Technology helps to some degree, but each individual is entitled to an ‘individualized assessment,’ and the law and court cases weigh heavily against the mass processing and categorizing of people for employment,” said Rosen, the author of “The Safe Hiring Manual,” a comprehensive guide to background checks.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which Rosen founded in the San Francisco, California area in 1997 – offers the award winning ESR Assured Compliance® system for real time compliance that offers automated notices, disclosures, and consents. ESR was named a top background screening firm for enterprise-sized organizations based on the HRO Today Magazine’s Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings.

Since 2008, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) has selected influential and emerging background check trends that have impacted the background screening industry. Each trend for 2020 will be announced via the ESR News Blog and listed on the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” web page available at www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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