Legal Issues of AI in Recruiting
Thu, January 27, 2022

Legal Issues of AI in Recruiting

HR professionals need to ensure that algorithms or data the AI is employing are not biased / Photo Credit: Daniil Peshkov via 123RF


Artificial intelligence is making hiring inroads in several fields, particularly in the recruiting space. While this is great news for employers and recruiters, many experts are being cautious about it. For instance, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office recently released guidance for organizations about transparency in AI decision-making. However, US legal experts believe that there’s a long way to go for regulatory and legal initiatives around the potential privacy and other data-related complications within HR. 

Legal experts have also warned employers to make hiring decisions carefully. Catherine Barbieri, a partner in the labor and employment practice at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia, stated that HR professionals need to ensure that algorithms or data the AI is employing are not biased and to make sure that they are not creating a new issue by favoring certain characteristics.

“HR professionals should ensure that they understand fully, and approve of, the factors and characteristics that are being taken into consideration by AI in the hiring process. HR also needs to treat any hiring data gathered by AI like it does any other confidential company data, and explicitly include it in its confidentiality and data-breach policies and procedures,” Barbieri said. 

Last year, the state of Illinois passed the Transparency, Consent, and Data Destruction Duties Central to AI Video Interview Act. According to Human Resource Executive, the premier publication focused on strategic issues in HR, this is the first state law regulating the use of AI in hiring. Some of the things the law requires employers include explaining to the applicant “how the [AI] works, notifying the applicant that the organization is using the technology to analyze video interviews in advance, and obtaining the applicant’s consent to use the technology. 

Nonetheless, many recruiters are still eager to use AI. Barbieri stated that AI can eliminate bias in the hiring process. “AI is being used to screen resumes, interview candidates, and ensure more diverse candidate pools, and to answer candidates’ questions about the hiring process,” she said.