Nathaniel Glasser Discusses How AI Hiring Tools Pose Risks to Workforce Equality in Podcast: “Playing the Job Market”

MIT Technology Review

Nathaniel M. Glasser, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was a featured guest on the MIT Technology Review podcast, “Playing the Job Market,” hosted by Jennifer Strong. Adam S. Forman, Member of the Firm, also contributed to this podcast interview.

Following is an excerpt:

Jennifer:… in this third episode of our series on AI and hiring, we look at the role of games in the hiring process. …

Nathaniel Glasser: I think the underlying question was do these tools work? And I think the answer is ... in some circumstances they do. And in some circumstances they don't, a lot of it is, it is both vendor slash tool dependent and, also employer dependent and, and how they're being put to work. And then practically, what's the tool doing? And to the extent that we see problems and more specifically an adverse impact on a particular group, what are the solutions for addressing those issues? …

Nathaniel Glasser: So monitor, monitor, monitor, and if we see something wrong, let's make sure that we have a plan of attack to address that. And that might be changing the algorithm in some sense, changing the inputs or if it doesn't work, just making that decision to say, actually this tool is not right for us. It's unfortunate that you know, we spent a little bit of money on it, but in the long run, it's going to cause more problems than it's worth. And so let's cut ties now and move forward. And I've been involved in that situation before.

Jennifer: And he recalls a specific incident involving a startup vendor of AI-games.

Nathaniel Glasser: And unfortunately after multiple rounds in beta prior to going live, the tool demonstrated adverse impact against the female applicants and no matter the tweaks to the inputs and the traits and, and, and the algorithm itself, they couldn't get confident that it wouldn't continue to create this adverse impact. And they ultimately had to part ways and they went out to the market and they found something else that worked for them. Now that initial vendor, that was a startup five years ago, has continued to learn and grow and do quite well in the market. And, and I'm very confident, you know, that they learned from their mistakes and in working with other companies have figured it out.