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Computers Aren’t Ready to Take Over Hiring
Posted By Dr. Charles Handler On October 11, 2012 @ 5:28 am In Advice and How-Tos | 12 Comments
If you are into the use of technology to support the hiring process, read the recent Wall Street Journal article about algorithmic hiring .
It offers a very real glimpse into the future of hiring. To those companies who are looking for ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process, the value returned by the newest wave of advanced technology can be significant.
But it would be wrong to blindly accept that computers are poised to take over the hiring process from human hands.
As a traditionalist who also embraces change and loves technology, I straddle two sides of this issue. I believe in the value of algorithms and data to help optimize and automate decision-making. However, the role of humans in the hiring process cannot and should not be replaced.
The last book I read, The Physics of the Future  by Michio Kaku, provided me with some really good perspective on this issue. This is a fantastic book in which the author, a physicist, uses factual scientific information to predict what we can expect in the near future.
The author discusses the future of the workforce and suggests that by midcentury (2030-2070) almost all lower-level jobs will be automated. He goes on to suggest that the types of jobs that will not be automated will be those that require “the one commodity that robots cannot deliver: common sense.”
The inability of machines to think creatively and to have intuition creates a limitation to their use and value. So, while the wealth of information available to us will be staggering, it will still take a human brain to digest it, evaluate it, and make decisions that cannot be programmed or made using algorithms.
I could not agree more with Kaku and when it comes to machines and hiring, we need to keep a sense of realism about what we can expect machines to do. More than anything we need to see them as a helpful tool to make experts better, not as a substitute for human intelligence.
Know this about hiring by algorithm:
Change is not always easy, but it is always inevitable. With progress comes the need for change and the need to reshape our conceptions. We as a society are going to face many interesting battles that will test our boundaries in the near future. Hiring is but one of these battles. As with all of them the key will be to know how best to use technology while not losing sight of the value that the human mind brings to the table.
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URL to article: http://www.ere.net/2012/10/11/computers-arent-ready-to-take-over-hiring/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Xerox_Researcher_Frederique_Segond_TextMining_Technology-prv.jpg
 the recent Wall Street Journal article about algorithmic hiring: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443890304578006252019616768.html
 The Physics of the Future: http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Future-Science-Shape-Destiny/dp/0385530803
 I/O psychologists: http://www.ere.net/2007/05/22/getting-to-know-io-psychologists/
 government hiring regulations: http://www.uniformguidelines.com/uniformguidelines.html
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