E-Handbook: AI-enabled recruitment management systems seek out bias

Recruitment management technology aims for diversity

Employers are increasingly using recruitment management systems as a way to recognize unconscious bias and improve hiring diversity. In the process, they're changing their own HR hiring practices.

One of the goals is to hire based on cognitive diversity, which encompasses people with different perspectives and problem-solving abilities. The approach is different from diversifying workforces based on gender, ethnic background and age and might include hiring based on neurodiversity or interviewing those who are on the autism spectrum. Hiring for cognitive diversity is a way to avoid knee-jerk types of hiring practices, such as favoring graduates of certain universities. It can also mean using the software to root out certain words in help wanted ads that might, for example, discourage women from applying.

In any event, employers are seeking to mitigate unconscious bias in hiring, and vendors are developing recruitment management systems to accomplish that goal. It could actually mean keeping humans out of the initial screenings. Artificial intelligence tools can discover patterns in résumés that may provide telling clues, such as evidence of a candidate's creativity and self-motivation. The end result would be a list of better-qualified interview candidates.

Recruitment management systems might also help study an employer's incumbent workforce and seek to answer questions like what are the characteristics of the best employees? Or what type of people are most likely to succeed?

Recruitment management software has been around for years, but AI capabilities are bringing about rapid changes. The market is attracting startups as well as investments from established vendors. But it might take a while for these AI-enabled analytics capabilities to prove themselves. Improving all types of diversity is a major challenge. This handbook examines the increasingly important role recruitment management systems will play in HR's recruiting, hiring and retention practices.