In the United States, automated resume-scanning software has been reported to be “broken”

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Image courtesy: CNET

Some systems, for example, automatically reject candidates with gaps in their job history of more than six months, without ever questioning the reason for this absence. It may be because of a pregnancy, because they were caring for a sick family member, or simply because it was difficult to find work during a recession. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, one of the study’s authors, Joseph Miller, mentioned hospitals that only accepted candidates with experience in “computer programming” on their CVs, although all they required were staff to enter patient data into a computer.

The study’s authors identified a variety of barriers to employment, but automated hiring software is one of the most significant. These programmes, which are utilised by 75 percent of US businesses (and 99 percent of Fortune 500 corporations), were developed in response to an increase in digital job applications beginning in the 1990s. Technology has made it simpler for people to apply for employment, but it has also made it easier for employers to turn them down.

The precise mechanics of how automated software incorrectly rejects candidates vary, but they always arise from the adoption of excessively simple criteria to differentiate between “good” and “bad” applications.

Some systems, for example, automatically reject candidates with gaps in their job history of more than six months without ever questioning the reason for this absence. It may be because of a pregnancy, because they were caring for a sick family member, or simply because it is difficult to obtain work during a recession. More specific instances mentioned by one of the study’s authors, Joseph Miller, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal were hospitals that only accepted candidates with experience in “computer programming” on their CV, although all they required were staff to enter patient data into a computer.

The usage of this software has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry in its own right. “In the intervening years, automation has come to infiltrate nearly every step in the recruitment process: application tracking systems, candidate relationship management, scheduling, background checks, sourcing candidates, and assessments,” according to the research. By 2017, the worldwide recruiting technology market had risen to $1.75 billion, and it is anticipated to nearly double to $3.1 billion by 2025.”

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