ProjectBlog: Cognitive bias: How to use AI as a way of managing the issue

Blog: Cognitive bias: How to use AI as a way of managing the issue

Surely I’m not biased

Extensive research shows the average hiring process is biased and unfair. When you’re a hiring manager, your background and personal experiences, as well as societal stereotypes and cultural context, have an impact on your decisions and actions without you realising. This is called unconscious bias and, if not checked, it can play a role in who gets hired, and who gets overlooked.

Cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments that people make. Often related to memory, a cognitive bias is a type of error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. These often affect how we remember an event, which can lead to biased thinking and decision-making.

Biases “cause us to make decisions in favour of one person or group to the detriment of others,” explains Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School. In the workplace, this can “stymie diversity, recruiting, promotion and retention efforts.”

But a way of confronting the issue of cognitive and unconscious bias is fast emerging: Artificial Intelligence.

Wait, bias-fighting robots?

A recent Deloitte report found that 33% of respondents already use some form of AI in their hiring processes in an attempt to save time and reduce human bias.

Indeed, machine intelligence is advancing quickly. So much so that the next time you interview for your dream job, you may not have your first interviews with a human.

According to research by Swedish recruitment agency TNG Group AB, a whopping 73% of job-seekers in Sweden felt they had been discriminated against during the job application process.

As such, since late last year, TNG uses an AI robot head called Tengai to conduct test interviews. And in May of this year, Tengai will begin to interview candidates. The goal of Tengai: eliminating the biases human recruiters bring to the hiring process.

Furhat, the conversational AI and social robotics start-up behind Tengai, designed the robot head to be placed on a table, resting at around the eye level of the job candidate. It then asks the candidate a series of questions. Its voice is designed to mimic human inflection and its face to replicate human expression. Unlike a human recruiter, who might shelter unconscious biases, from gender to ethnicity, Tengai asks every question in the same order, and in the same way.

Following the conversation, a transcript of the candidate’s answers is given to a human recruiter who then makes a decision about whether to progress with that person. It is hoped the robot will soon be able to make its own decisions about which candidates should progress to the next round of interviews.

How can AI-driven recruitment technology help me now?

Gather’s unique web conferencing service enables recruiters to enjoy the bias-busting benefits of AI, while retaining a human touch. We provide a high-definition solution that features extensive, AI-led data collection.

With Gather, your vetted team can have access to a library of past recruitment meetings, each with an audio or video recording, contextual records and analytics such as keywords and duration analysis. Gather is a game-changer for recruitment.

Access to the CeDR (complete digital record) of a video call is secure and allows permissioned users to quickly and easily watch an interview again. This enables them to compare skills and experience discussed by each candidate via automatic transcriptions and tags. You can search each transcript for mentions of your key competencies and even find out how much time a candidate spent talking.

The team at Gather are pleased to celebrate our users’ success. Matthew Whalley, Director at global marketing and communications agency Ilex Content Strategies, has been using Gather for recruitment for several months and says it has brought a new level of transparency and efficiency to the company.

“We have a lot of success using Gather in our hiring process,” he points out.

“The Auto Summary and transcription function enable us to capture and share interviews across our organisation and ensures everyone is participating and involved. It has helped us to accelerate our decision making and brings new transparency to our HR function.

“Small business, large corporates and recruiters will see real value in it.”

Interested in taking your interview process to the next level?

If you’d like to see how Gather can enhance your recruitment process and want to try Gather’s helpful features for yourself, why not sign up for a free account?

We are excited to launch Gather and invite you to explore our new website, where you can check out Gather’s unique features, register for a free account and learn more about our launch and upcoming promotions. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

We’d love to hear your feedback on our web conferencing service as we continue to improve it for recruiters, so please get in touch at

Good things happen when we Gather…

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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