Can AI-powered recruiting tools transform your workforce? While only 25% of organizations use artificial intelligence for HR-related activities, mainly to save time and money, this revolutionary technology can serve an even greater purpose—beyond generating job descriptions and streamlining workflows. 

AI has the power to diversify your candidate base and drive unbiased decision-making throughout the hiring process. And by improving diversity, AI effectively positions your business to outperform competitors in profitability. 

As an early adopter of AI for recruitment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, ATR International has experienced the power of artificial intelligence as a force for organizational change. Our recruiting experts identified four ways AI can foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in recruitment—with real-life examples for inspiration—and why experienced recruiters still play a critical role. 

Analyzing Recruitment Materials for Biased Language 

When it comes to elevating diversity in recruitment, language matters. Even subtle differences in word choice, including those that are hard to detect from a human perspective, can deter certain candidates from applying to roles. 

A LinkedIn study found 44% of women are discouraged when job descriptions use the word “aggressive”—for instance, when a role requires an employee to drive “aggressive growth.” Terms like “powerful” and “confident,” on the other hand, appeal to candidates of all genders. 

AI tools—which are masters at pattern recognition—can analyze job ads, job listings, and other recruiting materials to identify words that improve or hinder diversity in recruitment. As a result, companies can tweak their content to attract a wider range of candidates. For example, when Cisco leveraged Textio to score its job descriptions, it effectively reduced jargon and improve gender neutrality, consistently achieving a 10% increase in female candidates. Similar successes can help combat the gender imbalance in tech—which is greater than it was 35 years ago. 

Over time, artificial intelligence can elevate your entire employer brand and attract candidates who fully represent the greater workforce.  

Attracting Diverse Talent with AI-Powered Candidate Sourcing 

AI can further support your DEI efforts by greatly expanding your search. While manual recruitment is limited by time constraints, AI algorithms have the capacity to broaden your reach to thousands more platforms. Many tools can use your ideal candidate profile to customize where your job listings appear, optimizing your ability to reach underrepresented groups. 

ATR has helped countless organizations meet diversity hiring goals with artificial intelligence support. Our staffing experts have successfully integrated Pandologic, an AI-powered recruitment tool, into our certified TruRecruit process to effectively source best-fit candidates from thousands of platforms (all while optimizing our ad spend). This technology has enabled our recruiters to make hiring diverse professionals, along with veterans and military spouses, a priority. 

In this powerful use case, AI is empowering ATR International to make headway in achieving one of our core diversity and inclusion missions: To ensure fairness, equity, and diversity in attracting, hiring, compensating, motivating, and promoting a top-performing workforce. 

Reducing Implicit Bias with Automated Resume Screenings 

Once your company receives applications, AI can continue to drive DEI by reducing the risk of biased decision-making. Humans naturally carry implicit biases—and even with active efforts to eliminate those judgements, some candidates may be overlooked or underestimated before the interview process simply due to their gender, alma mater, or last name. 

Artificial intelligence can help remove this unconscious bias by bringing greater objectivity to resume screenings. AI tools scan resumes for keywords, skills, and experiences directly related to the position, helping companies shift toward skills-based hiring. At Amazon, the implementation of AI and machine learning in the screening process has not only improved the diversity of candidates who are invited to interviews. It has also increased the number of diverse hires in the organization by empowering all qualified candidates to speak on their professional experiences—beyond what’s on paper. 

Strengthening Decision-Making Throughout the Interview Process 

The interview process has historically exposed businesses and candidates to subjectivity. Speaking face-to-face with potential hires, employers may be influenced by appearances, behavior, and other factors that may not affect a candidate’s success in the organization or role. Artificial intelligence offers a wide range of solutions—from tools that transcribe, analyze, and score interviews according to predetermined criteria to video software that conducts interviews and generates insights on your behalf. 

Many of these AI tools are only as effective as the people who use them—poor training data, when left unchecked, can actually lead to discrimination. And an over-emphasis on behaviors, like facial expressions and body language, can mistakenly weed out high-performing workers. 

However, there are examples of successful implementation—including one from Unilever. After implementing HireVue to analyze video interviews, the company achieved a more ethnically diverse and gender-diverse workforce. However, the company also enabled candidates to disallow automated decision-making and request time with a talent advisor, acknowledging the potential pitfalls of fully AI-led recruitment processes. When implementing AI, your hiring team must similarly act with caution. 

Is AI Totally Bias-Free? The Short Answer Is No. 

AI is powerful—and that means it can hinder diversity in recruitment as much as it supports DEI. Why? AI ultimately learns from humans, and it can adopt their biases and mistakes. 

Take video interviewing for example. If taught to prioritize candidates who smile, display open body language, and speak with perfect grammar, AI systems may prevent highly qualified applicants from more reserved cultures and non-English-speaking nationalities from moving forward. Human oversight is key to ensuring artificial intelligence actually promotes inclusive hiring. 

HR professionals must regularly consider who is and isn’t being served by AI-powered processes—taking the initiative to re-train algorithms and reject recommendations as needed. Employers must also stay attuned to ethical and legal considerations, and continuously assess their own systems for adherence to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) standards. At ATR, our inclusive hiring and employment law expertise ensures companies can mitigate risk while reaping the benefits of AI in recruitment. 

The Power of the Human Touch 

Recruiters aren’t just valuable for the oversight they provide. Human interaction is essential for fully understanding and aligning hiring efforts to your business goals. The strong relationships we personally develop with candidates also enable unmatched engagement throughout the recruiting process. 

As ATR International continues to leverage leading-edge recruitment technology—as we have since our founding in 1988—our team is committed to optimizing both AI and recruiter-driven processes for DEI success. 

Achieve your diversity hiring goals with efficiency. Reach out to ATR about your staffing needs. 

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