A new survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of international talent and outsourcing company Yoh, reveals that the majority of Americans are uncomfortable with artificial intelligence (AI) playing a role in certain hiring tasks.

With reports emerging that some companies employ AI-driven bots capable of conducting job interviews, 69% of the over 2,000 Yoh survey respondents have expressed discomfort over AI’s influence on hiring decisions and tasks. Chief among the respondents' concerns, according to the survey:

  • 42% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI making final hiring decisions
  • 32% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI conducting virtual job interviews
  • 30% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI determining if a candidate is honest about their experience and qualifications
  • 26% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI delivering rejections to candidates not chosen for the position
  • 22% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI screening resumes
  • 19% of respondents were uncomfortable with AI assisting with the onboarding (for example: benefits sign-up, and email registration) of new hires

While many companies are attempting to incorporate AI into their human resource (HR) tasks, including IBM, who is reportedly making employee flight predictions using AI, the results for some companies have not been so successful. For instance, an algorithm that was once used as a recruitment tool by Amazon has now been abandoned by the online retail juggernaut after claims surfaced that the algorithm was sexist. Still, that reportedly hasn’t stopped companies from attempting to harness the power of AI in the workplace.

“Despite a majority of Americans’ skepticism of it, AI technology has been helping companies make better and more informed hiring decisions for years, both for the company and the candidates,” said Emmett McGrath, president of Yoh. “However, AI technology should be used only to augment and enhance, not replace, the recruitment function. In order for it to be fully effective, this technology must be used in conjunction with the experience, skill and intuition of human recruiters and hiring managers.”

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com