Increasingly, large, global corporations are using automated resume-screening technology (AST) to shift through the large amount of employment applications they receive. These digital tools use sophisticated algorithms to parse resumes in search of terms that would suggest a favorable, neutral, or unfavorable fit between the applicant and a company’s mission, values, processes, requirements, and the like. They also allow employers to create “screener questions” that help the application accept and reject applications.
Recently, some large companies have taken this a step further and have begun to use Automated Hiring Systems (AHSs). These systems record live, personal interviews with potential candidates. Then, the systems use a response-analysis algorithm to determine which candidates are most suited to the job. These systems replace the traditional live interview process because the candidate does not interact with personnel from the company.
What is your response to these trends? Does the use of these digital screening tools present any ethical predicaments for the company and the applicant? For instance, if an employer includes as a filter for the application to accept only applicants with only three-seven years of experience in the field, would that mean either knowingly or unknowingly engaging in age discrimination? Similarly, if an employer not only said that a college degree was required, but also that a person must identify the year that an applicant received a degree, could that lead to age discrimination?
From an applicant’s perspective, how would one predict the key words that such a tool is looking for? Where might an applicant find information that would help her tailor a resume to a company in such an environment? Would such software applications entice applicants to adjust information on their resumes, even to the point of falsifying information, just to get past the “automated screening” round of the process? Of course, please raise other concerns–I’ve just suggested a few. Again, as with other discussion prompts, please try to look beyond the basic fact that these applications are in use and are popular. Please think more reflectively and critically than that.