Hired Conducts AI Audit to Ensure Bias-Free Hiring

Hired Conducts AI Audit to Ensure Bias-Free Hiring

The recent passing of a new law around AI regulation reinforces the need to consistently evaluate processes and algorithms to prevent AI-related discrimination. As a talent marketplace committed to making hiring more equitable, Hired is working to ensure its AI-driven service maintains transparency and is bias-free. Hired regularly conducts an AI audit and reviews its platform technology to maximize and support DEI goals and practices.  

AI legislation to combat bias in the hiring process

The recent explosion of generative AI (GenAI) has prompted questions about the ethics of it all, especially in the hiring process. 

Starting July 5, 2023, New York City’s Automated Employment Decision Tool law requires New York-based employers to conduct a bias audit on automated tools before using them to evaluate job candidates. 

According to this law, employers are banned from using automated employment decision tools to screen job candidates, unless the technology has been subject to a “bias audit” conducted a year before the use of the tool.

Companies are also required to notify employees or candidates if the tool was used to make job decisions. 

New York takes the lead as the first state requiring audits for AI hiring solutions. Other states and municipalities such as New Jersey and Washington D.C. will likely follow and are considering similar laws to prevent AI discrimination in hiring. 

Why transparency around AI is important

Transparent AI means open algorithms, clear data sourcing, and an ongoing dialogue about the ethical implications of AI-driven decisions. Without clear insights into how AI systems rank and select candidates, organizations run the risk of perpetuating biases, overlooking qualified individuals, and fostering a lack of trust among jobseekers. 

It’s more than just leveraging advanced technology to fill vacancies; it’s about ensuring AI solutions are effective while keeping the hiring process fair, just, and understandable for all involved.

Hired proactively audits performance to ensure unbiased AI

Hired has taken specific precautions to ensure its algorithms remain free of bias and qualified candidates have fair opportunities in the hiring process. Each year, Hired partners with Holistic AI, to perform a bias audit, which is a technical assessment of the organization’s methods to prevent, detect, and correct algorithmic bias.

Hired CTO Dave Walters says, “As a leading company in diversity recruiting and hiring, we partnered with Holistic AI to conduct a platform audit to ensure our algorithms are unbiased. While New York’s AI Bias law 2021/144 went into effect earlier this month, we proactively supported this legislation to combat bias and promote equal opportunities in hiring. We anticipate that this law, similar to wage transparency legislation, will inspire other states to adopt inclusive hiring practices.”

Hired features maximize diversity recruiting

In addition to regularly running an AI audit, Hired’s platform actively works to mitigate bias. Hired trained AI models to look out for potential biases and continuously improve them. Hired’s ML systems use oversampling techniques to ensure a candidate’s race, gender, or age does not impact the algorithm’s decision.

Dave says, “Every employer is benefiting from the overall training of our models. Even if there were a small subset of our employer population with underlying bias in their searches, the overall model is trained across everybody’s data, which prevents significant shifts.”

This addresses one of the public’s main concerns with AI-based hiring tools, that they’re “trained” on old or biased data.

Providing recourse

Dave points to a more specific example of the need to explain and understand the predictions of machine learning algorithms. He says, “To increase chances of candidate approval and success on the platform, Hired needs recourse to provide insight to candidates not approved on the marketplace and how they could improve their profile. 

Those suggestions need to be attainable within a reasonable amount of time and exclude drastic changes, such as passing additional degrees or developing an unlikely combination of skills. 

Because existing methods for recourse for machine learning lack speed and actionability or fail to reliably find changes to flip the decision of the system, we developed our own method for machine learning systems at Hired.

Employers benefit from this system as well. Our scoring system could have overlooked valuable candidates if it didn’t provide this actionable feedback to candidates. That would lead recruiters to miss out on great candidates.”

Related: Learn more about how Hired supports tech and sales candidates in Meet Hired’s Candidate Experience Team: Supporting Jobseekers Every Step of the Way.

DEI features on the Hired platform

Hired platform features also offer DEI and anti-bias tools to help companies surface underrepresented talent without removing relevant matching candidates. 

  • With DEI discoverability toggled on, interview requests to underrepresented candidates reached 52% compared to 23% with it turned off
  • Bias reduction mode hides candidates’ demographic details to reduce employers’ unconscious bias
  • Salary bias alerts foster transparent compensation by letting employers and candidates know if they receive or request a salary significantly above or below the average for their position and level of experience
  • Skills assessments standardize the evaluation process and promote skills-based hiring

AI in the future of the workplace

Dave Walters makes it clear, “We do not envision teams widely adopting generative AI as a replacement for qualified talent. We regard it as an asset for their teams to drive efficiencies, automate time-consuming processes, and plug productivity gaps. 

As we are in the very early stages of generative AI adoption, there is an opportunity for executive leadership teams to take inventory of the areas they are experiencing the most significant productivity hurdles and determine how internal teams can best collaborate with generative AI technologies to streamline their workflows.” 

Related: How to Use AI in Recruitment: Insights from Activision Blizzard’s Talent Sourcing Director

If used correctly, Hired sees more opportunities than threats when integrating AI into the workplace. Recruiting and talent acquisition teams know time is scarce. There is an opportunity to use AI to reduce time-consuming, redundant tasks and shift focus to what really matters – the human-centric aspects that maximize impact. 

Related: Early Career Hiring, Using AI in Recruitment, & More: Talk Talent to Me June ’23 Recap

Hired’s vision is to make all hiring equitable, efficient, and transparent. Proactively participating in ongoing AI audits is part of reinforcing the importance of that vision.

Ready to build an inclusive pipeline of top talent? Get a customized demo for your unique needs.

Looking for your next tech or sales role? Complete your free profile today.