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Career coach suggests using AI to your advantage as more companies use AI when hiring

Experts raise concerns about AI adding bias to hiring process
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Companies are always looking to add to and improve their workforce, but hiring looks a little different than it did 20 years ago.

Artificial intelligence is also changing the hiring process for many businesses; they are now using it to weed out applicants, but it’s not always a perfect system.

Gone are the days of paper resumes. If you're looking for a job, nine times out of 10, you're filling out your work history online.

And while many employers have been using automation in their hiring process for years, artificial intelligence is becoming more prevalent.

“It's very widespread and overwhelmingly used by Fortune 500 companies,” said Anna Helhoski, a personal finance expert with NerdWallet.

She said many are adopting the new technology, using Automatic Employment Decision Tools, or AEDTs.

These programs scan for keywords on applications with the aim of finding the best fit for the role.

But it's not always a perfect science.

According to a 2022 study by the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, one of the primary concerns raised by nearly all the firms interviewed for the report is that "greater adoption of AI-driven algorithms could potentially introduce bias across nearly every stage of the hiring process."

“AI software can only put out what humans are putting into it, since humans are inherently biased, and on some level, AI still has the potential to perpetuate those biases," Helhoski said.

Career services coach Ben Morrison works with job seekers in Cuyahoga County from ages 17 to 70. He believes AI could be a double-edged sword.

“Now that's like another barrier you have to go through,” Morrison said.

He said his clients haven't run into issues with AI just yet, but it's something he keeps them aware of — especially those discouraged about their shot at landing the perfect position.

“They're always looking for the perfect candidate,” Morrison said. “But not everybody who matches everything is the perfect candidate.”

Morrison’s advice is to use AI to your advantage. He said chatbots like Google Bard and ChatGPT can be great resources when writing resumes and cover letters, but, he warns — don't just plug and play.

“It's more important to tailor and humanize your story, to showcase your transferable skills, your ability, the interest in your knowledge to show that you can do the job,” Morrison said.

Federal regulations on AI are basically non-existent right now when it comes to hiring.

Late last year, the White House published the US AI Bill of Rights, and this May, the White House announced an independent commitment from some of the top leaders in AI to have their systems evaluated to determine whether they are aligning with that bill of rights.

On the state and city level, a law just went into effect in New York City requiring a bias audit of any AEDTs. Other major cities like Washington DC are also considering similar legislation.

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