Choosing the right employee from thousands of potentials can be one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of running a big business — but that, too, may soon change with the development of hiring algorithms. These programs can help companies sort through intimidating pile of resumes to find the perfect applicant, every time.
The power of depersonalization. Start-ups like Gild, Entelo, Textio, Doxa and GapJumpers are looking for ways to increase the level of automation in corporate hiring. Not only would predictive algorithms help speed up the hiring process, but they could also begin to eliminate the biases inherent to human decision-making.
No matter how open and welcoming interviewers are toward the applicant pool, it’s impossible for them to avoid every sort of bias. For some companies, that bias may be toward a particular school or internship, for others it could be something as simple as subtle similarities in dress or mannerisms. Managers are often guilty of hunting for younger versions of themselves, which may leave perfectly qualified minorities, women and older employees out in the cold.
How it works. When companies begin to automate processes that were always assumed to belong to the human domain, people understandably have lots of questions about the process. Headhunters may argue that taking the human out of the equation is akin to removing the social compass that they use to choose employees, but algorithm advocates would say that there’s a lot more than gut instinct behind finding the right employee.
Big Data is big business these days, and advocates of hiring algorithms know it. They go well beyond a simple resume analysis of potential hires and ask questions about work style, values and skills to find the ideal employee for any given opportunity. Employers can use these tools for simple screenings or go all the way and use them to replace lengthy interview processes.
Another way employment algorithms may be used in the future to create more diverse workplaces is by finding and eliminating buzzwords that may catch the attention of one group over another. Hiring managers in these algorithm-intensive companies would likely transfer their skills from scanning resumes and hiring employees to ensuring that the software was fed the right information to create a more heterogeneous pool from which to draw.