Thinking of using A.I. in hiring? Not so fast—you might lose out on candidates

Robot picking employee illustration
Americans don't fully trust A.I. in the hiring process.
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There’s been much chatter about the potential uses of A.I. in hiring, from helping to eradicate biases to extinguishing rote tasks. But what does the rest of America think about employers integrating A.I. in hiring? It turns out that most would prefer leaders leave A.I. at the door.

In a recent Pew Research survey, 66% of respondents said they would not want to apply for a job where A.I. was used to make hiring decisions. Seventy-one percent said they would be totally opposed to the technology making a final hiring decision, and 41% were against it being used to review job applications. 

“The most common reason among these people saying no was that they thought it would lack the human touch and wouldn’t be able to pick up on intangibles,” says Colleen McClain, a research associate at Pew. “It wouldn’t be able to judge things like personality, and it wouldn’t have the human connection that hiring needs.”

Despite theories that A.I. could extinguish some human biases in the future, the overall data speaks to a bubbling skepticism among the U.S. workforce. This sense of doubt was particularly apparent among Black survey respondents. “Some 20% of Black adults who see racial bias and unfair treatment in hiring as a problem say A.I. would make things worse, compared with about one in ten Hispanic, Asian and White adults,” wrote another Pew researcher in a blog post on the topic.

The findings suggest that it will take several more years and much education on HR’s part before employees—and prospective employees—get comfortable with the idea of A.I. greenlighting their offer letters.

Amber Burton

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