Artificial Intelligence (AI) might be the most popular phrase of the year, but it is undoubtedly here to stay. We are seeing companies experiment with using AI in the workplace, which often raises questions like, How can employers use AI? Should hiring managers use AI? What are the legal parameters around AI in the workplace?
A few key areas concerning AI for HR include recruiting, employee monitoring and data privacy.
Tools like resume scanners, chatbots, video interviewing software and testing software are often used during the recruiting or hiring process. While you might not think about these as artificial intelligence since they have been around for a while, they use different aspects of AI. These tools also save time and make the job of the recruiter or hiring manager easier.
Employee monitoring software became a hot-button issue during the pandemic when it started being used to monitor employee productivity, particularly with remote workers. Software like this can monitor productivity based on several factors, like keystrokes or active time on a computer. There are certainly issues that come with this since the idea of all-the-time monitoring doesn't sit well with people. More fundamentally, it raises ethical considerations, general HR issues and legal issues with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The EEOC released a Technical Assistance Document regarding the EEOC's interpretation of using AI in the workplace and maintaining equal employment opportunity status for everyone. The big takeaway is that there's nothing inherently wrong with using AI for employment-based practices, but ultimately, the employer is responsible for what the AI does.
While using AI tools in your workplaces can save time and make the hiring or recruiting process easier for managers, it is important to consider any legal implications before getting started. An employer cannot blame discriminatory practices and effects on AI that they use. Remember, as the employer, you are held responsible for the process and the results of any AI software you use.