Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway suggested recruiters should avoid face-to-face interviews. He said they should hire candidates based only on past achievements. He felt that once you meet someone, your unconscious biases make it impossible to be impartial when choosing a candidate.
While employers are not permitted to discriminate in recruitment, they still do. That is why some companies are turning to Artificial intelligence (AI) to do their recruiting for them.
Workplace discrimination can be conscious or subconscious
Some employers dislike, or like less, certain groups of people. Some will admit this in public, some in private, and some are unaware of their subconscious biases. Even when companies take elaborate measures to avoid discrimination, people’s personal preferences can get in the way. Humans are incapable of acting with complete subjectivity. Here are some reasons why:
- Similarity bias: We like people who are like us. That disadvantages people who are not like us.
- Attractiveness bias: Experiments have shown teachers favor better-looking pupils. The same holds true in adult life. Remember that there are cultural as well as personal variations in what we find attractive. Attractiveness bias suggests a recruiter will be more inclined to hire someone who fits their definition of beauty. That may mean they discriminate against someone of another race or nationality. However beautiful or not, that person may be considered in their own culture.
AI recruiting may help reduce workplace discrimination. Yet, at present, humans are still making most of the decisions. If you feel an employer has discriminated against you, it is crucial to understand the legal options available. AI can help avoid discrimination. Holding people to account for their actions can help stop it.