According to the Greenhouse AI and DEIB Report, an extensive survey encompassing 2,700 job applicants and 100 human resources (HR) professionals, artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be a game-changer in hiring practices. The study divulges that a staggering 80 percent of HR personnel and 48 percent of candidates are either utilizing or contemplating the use of generative AI in recruitment processes.

While the usage of AI in HR seems promising, the report also highlights the undercurrents of apprehension about the technology among both job seekers and HR experts.

A significant 84 percent of HR professionals expressed the necessity for increased training and education about AI tools at the workplace. Alongside this, 62 percent underscored the need for stringent laws to regulate AI tools and inhibit potential biases in the recruitment process. However, opinions are divided on whether AI will lead to more or less bias in hiring, casting a shadow of uncertainty on AI’s role in equitable recruitment.

AI and DEIB: The Intersecting Paths of Recruitment’s Future

The overwhelming majority of HR professionals view AI as a vital instrument in securing the best candidates. However, this belief is accompanied by a growing demand for the ethical implementation of AI in hiring. According to the report, approximately 50 percent of the surveyed companies aren’t tracking the performance of their AI tools, exacerbating the concerns of job seekers.

Candidates are equally skeptical, with 27 percent believing that AI increases bias in hiring. HR professionals are also split, with 37 percent doubting that AI will curb bias, and 28 percent thinking the opposite. Adding to the complexity, 33 percent of HR professionals believe that AI will help meet their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) objectives, but a nearly equal percentage, 31 percent, disagree.

Screen In, Screen Out: The AI Dilemma

The use of AI to screen job applications sparks varied responses. Almost half of the HR respondents (48%) are in favor, while 33% are against. The sentiment among job applicants is equally split, with 35 percent objecting to AI’s involvement in application screenings.

HR professionals are increasingly demanding transparency around AI usage from their companies and job applicants. Over 38 percent opine that candidates should disclose their AI usage during the application and hiring process. Nearly half believe that companies should follow suit.

Henry Tsai, VP of Product and Design at Greenhouse, emphasised that while AI could be harnessed for efficiency, it should not be relied upon for human-centric decisions like hiring. Transparency in AI usage, along with the ability to review and identify biased hiring outcomes, is critical.

Reflecting on AI’s capabilities and limitations, Melissa Waters, CMO at Upwork, highlights that although AI can facilitate automation and data-driven decision making, it lacks the human element of emotional intelligence and intuition.

Echoing similar thoughts, Lani Phillips, Vice President of Channel Sales at Microsoft, points to the need for AI training and education, particularly on ethical considerations such as privacy, transparency, and bias, emphasising the necessity of responsible and ethical AI.