The impact of AI on hiring and employment practices
The increasing use of generative AI tools, hiring algorithms, and productivity tracking software, among other AI applications, is transforming the employment landscape and creating new challenges for HR teams. Federal, state, and local regulators are struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth of AI, particularly in relation to its use in hiring decisions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has expressed concerns about the potential for discrimination arising from the use of AI in recruitment. In response, New York City has enacted some of the most restrictive AI-in-hiring laws in the country, requiring local employers to audit and notify job candidates about the use of automated employment decision tools.
According to a survey by Pew, many job seekers are wary of employers that use AI to assist with hiring decisions, with two-thirds of respondents saying they would not apply for such positions. The reasons cited included concerns about the need for specific keywords on applications and the inability of AI to capture nonverbal information from candidates. However, among the remaining respondents, some felt that AI could be less prejudiced and more objective than human recruiters.
Pew’s survey also found that respondent sentiment about AI varied based on factors such as income level, gender, race, and ethnicity. Higher-income respondents were more likely to favor the use of AI in reviewing applications, while men were more likely than women to see both benefits and downsides to AI usage in the workplace. White and Asian adults were also more likely to see potential downsides for AI used to monitor workers.
Employers must carefully consider whether and how to integrate AI into their processes. Some experts suggest that employers should allow employee needs to drive the use of AI and automation in the workplace. However, a survey of information technology managers and workers found that most respondents had witnessed negative impacts from employers using surveillance technology. As public opinion about AI in the workplace continues to evolve, many people remain unsure of their positions on the issue.