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How Employers Can Use Tech to Become More Inclusive

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 13, 2018 3:44 PM

When it comes to the future promised by artificial intelligence, one of the great prospects is an inclusive world free from invidious, arbitrary discrimination. Although, at this time, this may be a lofty goal, there may be ways that you can utilize the technology of today to promote inclusivity and the hiring of a diverse workforce.

The big problem with letting AI take over is that data does as data is. And the current subset of data is inherently discriminatory, if not due to intentional discrimination, than due to implicit bias. However, the right software programs can help employers remove the potential for unconscious bias when screening candidates for new hires, or promotions.

Avoid Discretion, Avoid Risk

When a decision is clearly based on objective criteria, an employer has much less exposure to the risk of that decision being tainted by unconscious bias and viewed, or felt, as discriminatory. Fortunately, the technology of today can already help eliminate some of this risk.

For example, by using something as simple as online web-forms for new applicants, an employer can construct a form that screens out all applicants that don't meet certain job-based (reasonable) criteria. From there, the candidates that do make it through screening can be coded so that the decision makers don't actually see names, or personally identifying information. That way, selection for interviews, at least, does not suffer from unconscious bias. Perhaps in the near future, AI programs may be able to do the interviewing, and select the most qualified candidates.

Furthermore, using software programs to automatically assess objective, measurable, metrics, can be used to ensure that career advancement opportunities are provided fairly. However, the metrics selected should regularly be audited to ensure that unforeseen biases aren't influencing the measurables.

In the end, when all workers are AI robots, inclusivity and diversity in the workplace will be a moot point. But until that dystopian future is upon us, harnessing tech to promote equal employment opportunity is simply smart business.

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