5.11.2022 – algorithmic tools

algorithmic tools
efficiency, saving costs
it is not foolproof

Adapted from this paragraph:

Yet it is not foolproof. One of the most consequential findings comes from Harvard Business School professor Joe Fuller, whose team surveyed more than 2,250 business leaders in the US, UK and Germany. Their motives for using algorithmic tools were efficiency and saving costs. Yet 88% of executives said that they know their tools reject qualified candidates.

In the article, Finding it hard to get a new job? Robot recruiters might be to blame by by Hilke Schellmann in todays Guardian.

Ms. Schellmann, a journalism professor at New York University and a freelance reporter covering artificial intelligence, writes that:

Martin Burch had been working for the Wall Street Journal and its parent company Dow Jones for a few years and was looking for new opportunities. One Sunday in May 2021, he applied for a data analyst position at Bloomberg in London that looked like the perfect fit. He received an immediate response, asking him to take a digital assessment.

It was strange. The assessment showed him different shapes and asked him to figure out the pattern. He started feeling incredulous. “Shouldn’t we be testing my abilities on the job?” he asked himself.

The next day, a Monday, which happened to be a public holiday in the UK, he got a rejection email. He decided to email a recruiter at Bloomberg. Maybe the company made a mistake?

What Burch discovered offers insight into a larger phenomenon that is baffling experts: while there are record level job openings in both the UK and in the US, why do many people still have to apply to sometimes hundreds of jobs, even in sought-after fields like software development, while many companies complain they can’t find the right talent?

A recruiter at Bloomberg replied: “I can see that your application was rejected due to not meeting our benchmark in the Plum assessment that you completed. Unfortunately on that basis we are not able to take your application any further.” Burch felt stunned that he had indeed been rejected by a piece of code.

Ms. Schellmann stated that, “Some experts argue that algorithms and artificial intelligence now used extensively in hiring are playing a role. This is a huge shift, because until relatively recently, most hiring managers would handle applications and resumes themselves. Yet recent findings have shown that some of these new tools discriminate against women and use criteria unrelated to work to “predict” job success.”

Burch felt stunned.

He had indeed been rejected by a piece of code.

Much like baseball, you now get hired by the numbers, not whether or not you can hit the curve.

Yet it is not foolproof. 

Gee, what a surprise.

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