Are employers telling candidates AI is evaluating them?

There’s a stand out line from a recent INC article on how AI is changing the hiring process. In the post, AI Is Now Analyzing Candidates’ Facial Expressions During Video Job Interviewsthe journalist asks:

“Are job candidates told that their facial expressions will be analyzed by algorithm?”

It’s a basic question that needs more examining as new technologies that use AI to screen candidates become more mainstream in the hiring process. The product in question here is Hirevue, a video interview platform that uses machine learning to make predictive assessments about a candidate’s future performance. It’s received over $93 million in funding and is used by a variety of organizations like Unilever, Goldman Sachs, Atlanta Public Schools, and BYU.

HireVue is one of the most high profile technologies in the HR Tech space. They’re using technology that enables recruiters to hire more efficiently. But the technology fundamentally changes the way candidates interact with employers and how they are evaluated. A journalist over at Business Insider tried the software and describes the process:

HireVue uses a combination of proprietary voice recognition software and licensed facial recognition software in tandem with a ranking algorithm to determine which candidates most resemble the ideal candidate. The ideal candidate is a composite of traits triggered by body language, tone, and key words gathered from analyses of the existing best members of a particular role.

After the algorithm lets the recruiter know which candidates are at the top of the heap, the recruiter can then choose to spend more time going through the answers of these particular applicants and determine who should move onto the next round, usually for an in-person interview.

The journalist also reported how awkward the experience is. You’re not interacting with anyone during the experience. Instead you’re staring at your own face. And it’s not just journalists who feel this way. For a good chuckle, take a look at the feedback on a HireVue experience on Reddit:

Hirevue interviews are awkward as well. from jobs

Should I send a thank you letter after a Hirevue interview? from jobs

Was Goldman Sach’s HireVue interview really awkward, or is it just me? from cscareerquestions

Interestingly none of these posts talk about being evaluated by AI. A quick look through company tutorials on how to use HireVue doesn’t say anything about AI making judgements about your microexpressions and voice.

Obviously this isn’t a representative sample. But companies have a responsibility to tell candidates how they’re being evaluated. And candidates need to ask tougher questions about the evaluation process so they can prepare and adapt accordingly.

And for job seekers who are navigating this impersonal world of HR Tech, here’s some handy advice from the INC article:

“For job candidates, knowing your emotions will be read, it’s a good reason not to apply for any job or to any company you’re not genuinely enthusiastic about. Or it may be a good reason to brush up on your acting skills.”

If you’re curious, here’s how HireVue works:

 

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