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Adina Sterling: How will artificial intelligence change hiring?

New technologies help bring increased efficiency to the hiring process, but also pose significant challenges.

Several people standing in line

How will companies manage the positive and negative impacts of artificial intelligence in the hiring process? | Reuters/Mike Segar

The next job search you conduct will likely be shaped by artificial intelligence. In the age of LinkedIn and Monster.com, job hunters can count on their resumes being screened by non-human intelligence. So what does this mean for the future of hiring?

At a recent live taping of the Stanford School of Engineering podcast “The Future of Everything,” Adina Sterling, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business who studies labor markets, said that roughly three-quarters of the job applications received by major companies will be touched in some way by artificial intelligence. Because these hiring bots look for very specific criteria, qualified applicants may be screened out early in the process if their resumes don’t contain “the right buzzwords to get through the filters. It’s just as likely today as it was 20 years ago that a diamond in the rough will be overlooked,” she said.

While the use of artificial intelligence allows for gains in efficiency for both job seekers and potential employees, there is the danger that AI algorithms will embody and perpetuate existing bias. Sterling noted that she has been encouraged to see that companies are moving with a lot of caution in the area of AI and hiring. There is a recognition that machines can’t do this work on their own and that, at a minimum, a supervised AI hiring process is necessary.

You can listen to “The Future of Everything” on Sirius XM Insight Channel 121iTunesSoundCloud and Stanford Engineering Magazine.