Business owners are human beings, and as human beings we’re all far from perfect. This becomes evident when we hire. We try to make our hiring decisions as objectively and independently as possible. But we all sometimes let our own biases seep into our decision making. I know I do.
Is it possible to push all these influences aside so that business managers can just choose the best candidate for the job using just logic and facts? Maybe. According to this recent report in the New York Times, two start-ups have created applications that, they claim, take the bias out of hiring. How? By using artificial intelligence and special algorithms which will essentially match the best candidate for the job without letting these biases get in the way.
Kate Glazebrook, who owns a company called Applied, told the Times her software is the first hiring platform that’s “designed entirely around the psychology of decision-making that helps firms make recruitment decisions smart (more predictive of performance), fair (less biased) and easy.” Frida Polli’s company, Pymetrics, gamifies both neuroscience and artificial intelligence so that candidates are better matched to their roles based on algorithms that take gender, race, and ethnic backgrounds out of the equation.
The entrepreneurs have designed processes that takes both a candidate’s résumé and responses to a bunch of neutral and anonymous questions and turns it all into a non-biased evaluation of the person’s worthiness for the job. “We anonymize applications, chunk them up into batches to allow for better comparative assessment, randomize candidates to avoid ordering effects, and allow multiple evaluators to contribute their scores independently to harness the wisdom of the crowd,” Glazebrook told the Times.
The algorithms created by both companies are already being used by large firms like Accenture and Unilever to reduce their, gender, ethnic and socioeconomic bias and better match candidates to a job
Sure, technology like this could be ignoring things like sincerity, trustworthiness and that gut feeling about a potential candidate that a machine could never evaluate. But, considering all the wrong hiring decisions I’ve made in the past – let alone my many biases that negatively affect my judgment – it’s very enticing to just let a software program make those decisions for me in the future. I’m sure other business owners would agree.