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Fairness Comes When You Replace Humans With Machines 

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In an earlier blog, we talked about HR’s role in managing business risk. Today we turn our focus on one risk area that occupies CHRO’s, CEOs and Boards- the risk presented by bias and how to maximise fairness by removing bias. 

Despite all the attention generated by International Women’s Day year a few months back and year on year, and myriad other initiatives, Boards, CEO’s and CHRO’s know that bias goes beyond gender and fixing it requires more than a training session or two. 

Humans are full of bias and none of us like admitting that.

Most of us would not even know when are being biased…

‘I just had a feeling he wasn’t going to be any good’

‘he just wasn’t a good culture fit’

‘she just doesn’t have the requisite experience’ 

‘we had such an awesome interview, we could have chatted forever we had so much in common ‘

Bias in recruitment is even less measured and reported on than quality of hire.

It starts with having the data. The data revolution has been happening for decades in every other function but where is the data around recruitment?

  • Do you know if there is bias in screening? hiring? promotion?
  • Do the leaders and Board know those stats?
  • When you run your 5000 graduate applicants through a personality assessment do you probe HR on what the success profile is that is defining screening criteria?
  • Is that profile preferring a certain type (eg over-indexed to qualities like drive, initiative, agility) or does it balance out hiring to include some of those all-important cultural traits like empathy and humility? 
  • Is your hiring profile going to give you more ‘Satya’s’ or more ‘Travis’s’? 

More on bias measurement later…

How can bias be removed from people decisions?

Daniel Kahneman, Psychologist & Nobel Laureate, has this to say about managing bias in human decision-making. 

“When making decisions, think of options as if they were candidates. Break them up into dimensions and evaluate each dimension separately. Then – delay forming an intuition too quickly. Instead, focus on the separate points, and when you have the full profile, then you can develop your intuition.”  

Regarded as the father of behavioural economics, after 5 decades of research he has concluded that the research is unequivocal: When it comes to decision-making, algorithms are superior to people


For further reading on how AI can remove bias in recruitment, download our whitepaper here.

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If the answer is “Yes” then watch the video to see how introducing AI into your hiring will make it 90x  faster and deliver you brilliant results.

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