Automated hiring and firing
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Automated hiring and firing
AI can screen your job application – but should it also be allowed to scan your social media, analyse your facial expressions and even fire you?

Talent-spotting tools are increasingly helping companies find the right person for the right job, and the role artificial intelligence plays may extend much further than most candidates realise.

AI-powered sourcing tools filter applications, but they can also scour social media platforms and professional profiles to cherry-pick possible candidates. Screening has become more complex too; algorithms can analyse CVs and writing samples, or even track facial expressions in video interviews to judge if a candidate is telling the truth. And if you’re unhappy with your job, a recruiter might know before you do. One tool aimed at helping identify potential hires tracks behaviour patterns in employed workers to figure out when they might be ready to quit.

If algorithms can hire you, it appears they can also fire you. Automated systems already track worker productivity at major companies like Amazon, and a recent investigation into practices at the e-commerce giant’s warehouses found that warnings over missed targets and even terminations were generated automatically.

But the idea that AI could have such control over our livelihoods has raised questions. Algorithms could omit good candidates because they’ve missed specific keywords. Workers may also have no idea how their online footprint might be used by recruiters. Automatic firing, meanwhile, could marginalise mitigating circumstances (Amazon says managers may intervene in dismissals). When it comes to human resources, many of us like the idea of a human somewhere in the mix.

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Image credit: Piero Zagami and Michela Nicchiotti.

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