Using Artificial Intelligence to Select Job Candidates

Automated hiring platforms use complex mathematical formulas and artificial intelligence to choose candidates from a pool of job applicants. Reliance on these algorithmic tools in the hiring process makes them among the most visible and consequential forms of artificial intelligence.

With this CAREER award, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Labor Relations, Law, and History, aims to understand the social and ethical dimensions of automated hiring platforms. Research has demonstrated that the platforms can be biased against particular social groups. This systemic bias is difficult to challenge and address, however, because the platforms’ design and factors used to inform their decisions are not open to public scrutiny.

To improve understanding of the human-computer interactions involved in the platforms’ design and implementation, Ajunwa is interviewing designers and developers, observing the design process, surveying companies on how they use the platforms, and interviewing human resource professionals and job applicants.

The project advances recent research on the social and ethical implications of artificial intelligence for human-computer interaction, social stratification, and the future of work. Research findings will provide a basis for educating the public and organizations about the technical capabilities, limitations, and ethical issues arising from algorithmic hiring tools. The project will also result in the creation of ethical codes of conduct for designers, developers, and consumers of algorithmic hiring tools.

Cornell Researchers

Funding Received

$527 Thousand spanning 5 years