Does artificial intelligence promise more ethical hiring?

Betty at HubSpot hasn’t scoured resumes the old-fashioned way for a year. She uses artificial intelligence and loves it.*

Very soon, it appears, your next job will come to you via a machine that searched the Internet on a talent treasure hunt for best fit candidates.  Your social media profiles, skills, recommendations, politics, beliefs, travel and trouble logs, drunken party pictures, work history, friendships, and blog posts will have been compared to a behavioral image of the company’s job description and their desired culture.  Cover letters and job hunting will go the way of high-button shoes and driving your own car. Such arcane formalities will be left only to those who attempt to keep their privacy, and they’ll likely be ignored.  In the near future, your company will really know you.

Creepy? Or cool? Which is better: to job hunt or to be job-hunted?

Artificial intelligence will transform hiring sooner than later. HR recruiters at growing companies will no longer be eye-deep in a muddy pool of resumes. They’ll finally have time to actually think about the top candidates that machine selected for consideration.

Tell me, job seeker, do you think this a good thing? Do you look forward to a day when you’re chosen (or not) by an algorithm instead of passed over by a human because your CV is boring or because it hit the recruiter’s desk when they were tired, anxious to get home, or hungover?

Questions for The Ethics Award

  1. What ethical jams come to your mind with machines choosing job candidates?
  2. How to your questions change for a candidate change when you believe they’re already top 10?
  3. What does AI in hiring say about the desire for privacy?
  4. What does it say about all those old assessments we used to rely on?
  5. What will be the new role of human interaction in hiring?
  6. How do job requests and job descriptions change if a machine is hunting candidates?
  7. How does this affect discrimination in hiring?

*Wall Street Journal, 13 March 2017.