Are job applicants receptive to being assessed by AI? 

AI-enabled tools may seem to create impartiality for the recruitment process, but do job applicants trust AI assessment when it comes to hiring?
By: | January 30, 2024

Many employees are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to help boost the hiring process, as AI-enabled tools can collect large amounts of organisational data to search, identify, evaluate, rank, and select job candidates. AI-tools can also assemble information on hiring needs across teams, generate advertisements with model candidate traits, and highlight potential candidates from a range of digital platforms.

Many would tout AI-enabled tools as an efficient way to process and select candidates in an unbiased way, but researchers Maria Figueroa-Armijos, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, EDHEC Business School and Serge da Motta Veiga, Professor of Human Resources Management,  Neoma Business School have created a study on the ethical perceptions of organisations using AI-enabled tools in the hiring process. “Most scholarly research on the topic focused on the fairness of the practice or trust in the technology — for example, chatbots — rather than trust in the organisations themselves,” said both professors.

The researchers looked at how the use of AI in hiring might impact job seekers’ or recently hired individuals’ trust in the organisation and found that the higher the applicant’s approval of AI was, the higher the attraction of the organisation doing the hiring.  From the initial study that the researchers found in 2022, candidates who perceive AI in the hiring process as highly effective, from a performance standpoint, were 64% more likely to trust the organisations that use it.

The researchers then followed up with a March 2023 study on a related subject, which found that  the higher an individual’s ethical perceptions of using AI in hiring, the more attractive he or she finds the organisation. Candidates that perceived it ethical for an organisation to use AI to analyse their personal social media content or analyse an audio interview for voice cues are 25% more likely to perceive that organisation as attractive.

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“Human-resources managers face an increasingly complex ethical environment, where AI involves a fast-growing set of applications,” wrote both authors in The Conversation. “Organisations that are determined to keep the “human” in HR will need to carefully balance both in the hiring process, while taking consideration factors such as transparency and financial expectations.”