As generative AI takes the world by storm, people analytics firm Visier conducted a global survey of over 3,000 respondents based in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany to better understand the current state of training and AI skills. The majority of employees (86%) said their employer should take at least some role in reskilling to ensure they aren’t easily replaced by AI tools, with 63% saying it’s entirely the employer’s responsibility to do so. An additional 68% of respondents said it was important to start building their AI skills to further their career growth.
There is also a call to equip job seekers with the information they need to incorporate emerging tech into their job search and interviews. The rise in AI technology is leading to the enactment of new laws and changes in hiring practices. New York City passed The New York City Bias Audit Law requiring companies that use AI software in hiring and promotion decisions to notify candidates. But even when job seekers are informed and most employees view AI as an asset, there are other things they need to know about how employers are using AI for hiring and how they can navigate the interview process in this new tech landscape.
The Role Of AI In Hiring Practices
The affirmative action ruling by the Supreme Court holds significant implications for the workforce and the role of AI in hiring practices across industries, according to Ben Porr, global vice president of people science at Harver. “Considering this development, the use of AI solutions to objectively assess candidates will become paramount to ensuring unbiased hiring,” he told me through email. “Employers can establish skill benchmarks for top performers, providing a scientific basis to inform AI-assisted candidate evaluation. Benefits include mitigated biases and a data-driven recruitment process that also reduces time to hire. These talent strategies are vital now, more than ever. Companies that prioritize skills-based hiring today will play an important role in forging a workforce that proactively combats bias and inequality in the hiring process.”
I also spoke with Will Rose, chief technology officer at Talent Select AI. He gave me an inside perspective on how employers are using AI recruitment tools, what job seekers need to understand about the technology being used and how it might impact their chances of landing a job. I asked him about the benefits and threats of AI in the hiring process.
“AI-powered hiring tools can provide employers with a consistent and reliable way to assess a large number of job candidates,” Rose told me by email.” It can also allow recruiters and hiring managers to spend more of their time on the important human aspects of recruiting and courting top talent instead of being bogged down by the more tedious aspects of the hiring process. For example, AI-assisted applicant screening, which could focus on the early stages of the hiring process, like resume screening or first-round interviews, may allow hiring managers to spend more time evaluating and communicating with the most qualified candidates. It can also assist in later-stage evaluations by providing automated assessments, including psychometric evaluations. Traditional psychometric assessments, which have been used for decades by many large employers, add a significant extra step in the hiring process requiring candidates to take a lengthy assessment. Talent Select AI, for example, is able to analyze the job interview transcript using natural language processing (NLP) to provide reliable psychometric insights without that extra step.”
In terms of threats, he says that with any AI system, critical steps must be taken to ensure the technology is not introducing bias into the hiring process. He cites well-known examples in the past of AI systems teaching themselves to be biased against certain groups, including a case in 2018 where an Amazon AI recruiting tool was shown to be biased against women. “There are very clear methods and frameworks available today to audit AI systems for bias,” he notes. “The new NYC Bias Audit Law, which went into effect this month, requires AI systems used in hiring to go through regular third-party bias audits and to make those audits publicly available. With systems that provide automated candidate assessments, like Talent Select AI, there are existing, well-established frameworks that guide the testing and validity of employment assessments, including from the EEOC.” He concludes that AI systems used in hiring should clearly show evidence that the tool accurately measures candidates across subgroups and is absence of bias or adverse impact.
How Job Seekers Can Prepare For AI Interviews
I asked Rose what job seekers can do to prepare for interviews that utilize AI. He offered four strategies:
- Study job descriptions and be prepared to speak to specific skills and experiences employers are looking for the same as you would for a traditional job interview.
- Be prepared to speak in detail about previous work or academic experiences and provide robust answers to questions. The goal is to highlight why you shine as a candidate. For most AI interviewing technologies, the analysis is focused on the content of the interview answers. The AI may be looking for certain keywords or topics. For Talent Select AI, specifically, we are analyzing words and phrases used by the candidate in the interview to measure several key traits and attributes about the candidate—traits that are predictive of job performance. This includes personality and motivational traits, as well as job-related skills and competencies like leadership skills and analytical thinking.
- Provide comprehensive responses to interview questions, including real-life examples or detailed anecdotes is another good strategy to take.
- Don’t be afraid to ask hiring managers if AI is being used in their selection process and how they are being assessed. If the employer is using a heavily validated and safe AI-based assessment tool, there’s no reason for them to be non-transparent about how they use the technology. Exercise your right to learn what data is being collected and analyzed. The New York City Bias Audit Law requires transparency on how AI is used in the hiring process, and it has national implications. Plus, the law requires that companies use independent auditors to check the technology for bias before making that audit publicly available.