- A vast body of research shows that the hiring process is biased and unfair.
- Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in who companies hire.
- Artificial intelligence can be used to defeat unconscious bias during the hiring process and increase diversity in the workforce of all types.
Science says that we can be biased without even realizing it. Our minds make decisions intuitively before we’re even aware of it, which is not necessarily a good thing.
We’re not immune to implicit bias. The fact is that there’s unconscious activity going on inside our brains that affects our judgements and decisions – and this includes hiring decisions.
A vast body of research shows that the hiring process is biased and unfair. Unconscious racism, ageism, and sexism play a big role in who companies hire, but this can be changed with the help of artificial intelligence that eliminates human bias.
Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture or their name could influence hiring manager’s opinions more than they might think. Unconscious bias influences decisions – whether positively or negatively – using criteria irrelevant to the job.
This startup is using AI to level the playing field
Knockri is an HR tech startup that’s using artificial intelligence to create interview assessment tools to help companies eliminate all hiring bias in the workplace.
Jahanzaib Ansari, CEO of Knockri, created this software because he himself experienced racism during the hiring process.
When Jahanzaib was broke and applying for jobs, he wasn’t hearing back from employers despite his stellar resume. His friend and Knockri co-founder, Maaz Rana, encouraged him to anglicize his name to “Jason” or “Jacob.”
When he did this, responses came flooding in.
This inspired Maaz and Jahanzaib to conduct market research and consider a better solution that ensures that each and every single candidate that applies for a job is assessed in a fair and just manner.
Soon after, Jahanzaib and Maaz officially co-founded Knockri, an interview assessment tool, with an aim to defeat unconscious bias during the hiring process and increase diversity in the workforce of all types.
Knockri uses Ethical AI technology to score candidates based on their answers, excluding their appearance or name. This has resulted in an average increase of racial and gender diversity by 25% and increase in quality of hire by 22% for their clients.
Jahanzaib wants to create more awareness that bias in hiring exists.
“We can deliver a measurable solution that helps companies take action to not only eliminate bias at the top of the funnel but also avoid tokenism as well by leveling the entire playing field,” Jahanzaib told Allwork.Space.
Who is utilizing this AI?
Large organizations that are in the tech or pharma sector, and large government agencies are currently utilizing Knockri to screen thousands of candidates.
Some of Knockri’s clients include pharmaceutical company Novartis and computer hardware company IBM. The startup is also partnered with software company SAP and Deloitte.
How is anti-bias AI used for hiring?
Jahanzaib made the point that Amazon had to scrap their experimental hiring AI after it was uncovered that it was poorly scoring qualified female candidates due to biased data.
“The approach that we’re taking is very different. We are an open box, and we are based on industrial organizational psychology. Our AI is reading each interview like a transcript; it identifies the skills and competencies that are scientifically correlated to success on the job role,” Jahanzaib told Allwork.Space.
The technology converts the speech into text and analyzes the transcript for the required skills and then it quantifies that.
Jahanzaib believes that until more vendors rebuild their solutions with bias awareness, bias in AI is not going to go away.
How is anti-bias AI different from anti-bias virtual reality?
AI is just for efficiency in order to make the hiring process extremely quick.
For one of Knockri’s clients – a large government agency in Canada – Knockri’s technology analyzed 232 hours of interviews in a single weekend, which otherwise would have taken about eight weeks and cost about $100,000 without the AI.
“I think the adoption of AI, at least in talent acquisition, is still not as mature,” Jahanzaib told Allwork.Space.
Knockri is not only helping with diversity and inclusion efforts, but it’s also removing any bias in the hiring process for candidates with disabilities and ageism concerns.
The technology is not designed to help companies meet their diversity quota; it’s meant to bring them the best candidates with the layer of initial bias removed that might come with the first interview or the first resume that comes to the desk.
Jahanzaib believes in a future where we will no longer be judged on something as irrelevant as our names, race, gender, age, ethnicity, or sexuality.