Readers Write: Humans are no longer hiring

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Readers Write: Humans are no longer hiring

Technology is everywhere, so it is no surprise that the process of hiring new employees has become automated. For example, New York Times’ columnist Phyllis Korkki reported that almost every company now screens their resumes using software that searches for certain keywords before an actual person looks at it.

By using an algorithm to select candidates and even conduct interviews, the recruiting process has undoubtedly become more efficient for employers. For potential employees though, this new process is hurting their chances at landing the job.

With this new procedure, according to Adam Vaccaro from Inc.com, applicants’ resumes are ranked based off of the presence of certain keywords. In order to beat the algorithm, their resume must out-match the resumes of other candidates.

Although this method may seem ideal, as it can be beneficial when certain skills are required for a job, it has changed the way employees must market themselves while also dehumanizing the candidates along the way.

Liz Ryan, a writer for Forbes, states that automated recruiting is an “outright failure” since searching for keywords is now useless. Terms that applicants think will be searched for are thrown into resumes just in hopes of beating the algorithms.

Vaccaro agrees, adding that this new technique is better at choosing individuals who are good at using the right keywords than at choosing individuals who would be good for the job.

Since there is no human interpretation in resume reviews, automated recruiting can miss out on the brightest prospects if they did not throw in enough keywords to make their resume pass the screening.

When it comes to entry-level positions and internships, oftentimes certain skills can only be obtained through real experience, and machines cannot interpret whether or not a candidate is genuine or not. Instead of a candidate’s overall resume being considered, a candidate becomes just another piece of paper, and only the specific details of their resume are looked at.

In order to come up with the keywords to look for, it is not uncommon for organizations to use the resumes of their current employees. This initially seems like a good idea, since a company knows that their current employees meet their standards, however, this can lead to biased decisions and discrimination.

When Amazon decided to use their automated recruiting process for their software engineer job posting, they created their algorithm based off of their current employees. Since software engineering jobs are notorious for being male dominant – and at Amazon all of their employees in this position were males — their algorithms deprioritized the females who applied. There was no intent to discriminate, but the computer system that scanned the resumes only looked for things that matched the current male employees.

It neglected applications containing the word “woman” as in “women’s soccer team member” and prioritized those containing the word “man,” an aspect of the application that in no way reflects job abilities.

Although technology has altered the way we perform numerous tasks, we cannot always place all of our trust in computers. With tasks that require looking at the overall picture, and determining a person’s abilities and authentication, like recruiting, sometimes humans can do a better job than computers.

Kayla Pollock

Adelphi University Undergraduate Student

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