Job Seekers See AI As More Biased than People


A significant number of employed job seekers believe AI recruiting tools are more biased than their human counterparts, according to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the American Staffing Association. The level of distrust is particularly high among those actively seeking new roles.

Among those actively seeking new roles, some 43% believe that AI recruiting tools exhibit more bias than do humans. In contrast, only 29% of those with no immediate plans for a job change shared the sentiment. Either way, the research showed that 39% of current job seekers have used AI tools to assist in applying for a job.

All of this is important because HR technology plays a significant role in helping companies scale their DEI initiatives, according to RedThread Research. In fact, the market for DEI technology grew by 87% between 2019 and 2021.

Use Isn’t Trust

“Job seekers may feel comfortable using artificial intelligence tools in their job search, but that does not equate to trusting AI to make fair hiring decisions,” said ASA CEO Richard Wahlquist.

This distrust is not without reason. A number of experts and organizations have raised concerns about the potential for AI to introduce bias and discrimination into the hiring process. Earlier this year, the EEOC released its Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2023-2027, which detailed the possible unfair practices that AI recruiting tools could perpetuate, ultimately risking unlawful discrimination against certain groups including women, people of color and individuals with disabilities. The Commission has also included guidance on how to implement AI while adhering to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act.

“As AI tools become more widely deployed, it’s critical that hiring managers work to increase transparency and accountability in their hiring processes and use tools that meet current and emerging anti-bias standards,” Wahlquist said. “It’s also critically important that policymakers and technologists thoughtfully consider measures intended to lower bias in AI hiring systems.”

Image: iStock

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