AI Recruitment—Will it Lead to More Discrimination in the Hiring Process?

By Thomas McKinney

Many businesses are implementing the use of AI in their recruiting process. Will this create more bias in the process, or eliminate it? Many are worried about how AI can impact discrimination as a whole. This blog will be an opportunity to explain AI bias, and can also introduce New Jersey’s bill currently targeting it.

What Is AI Bias, and Will It Affect Hiring?

In recent years, AI recruitment tools have gained widespread popularity. With promises of streamlining the hiring process and helping companies identify the best candidates efficiently, they seem like the answer to some arduous hiring process problems. There are, however, some looming concerns that AI recruitment tools may perpetuate discrimination in the hiring process. This concern has led to a number of other developments, including legislative initiatives such as New Jersey Assembly Bill 4909 (NJ AB 4909), which highlights the need to regulate AI recruitment technologies to minimize discrimination in employment.

NJ AB 4909 attempts to address some of the challenges AI recruitment tools potentially pose by making it unlawful to sell or offer automated employment decision tools in the state unless they have undergone a bias audit within one year prior to being offered for sale. It is legislation that recognizes the potential bias posed by AI recruitment tools and aims to hold companies accountable for their ethical implementation.

But can AI recruitment tools actually lead to more discrimination in the hiring process? The truth is, that, yes, the potential for this problem is there. AI recruitment tools may inherit biases from the data they are trained on. For instance, if historical hiring data contains gender, racial, or other biases, AI algorithms can learn and perpetuate these preferences, resulting in discrimination hiring.

Furthermore, AI algorithms can inadvertently discriminate against candidates with unconventional backgrounds or experiences. This is due to the fact that the algorithms used by the AI tools often prioritize candidates that have resumes closely matching those of historical hires. As such, the potential for fresh perspectives and diverse talent can be neglected all too easily.

Because of the potential for discrimination in the hiring process when AI recruitment tools are used, more legislation such as NJ AB 4909 may be popping up in coming years. Still, companies may find it challenging to keep up with the evolution of AI technology and the nuances of addressing potential bias that arises as a result of these tools’ uses. Companies should be prepared to invest in robust AI ethics and diversity training for their teams to help prevent these problems from arising. It is also expected that the tech industry will strive to conduct further research and development of more fair and transparent AI recruitment tools.

New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys

If you have experienced discrimination in the hiring process, whether or not a prospective employer used AI tools, talk to the team at Castronovo & McKinney about your options for seeking legal recourse. Contact us today.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.