Ethical Concerns over Using Candidate Sourcing Tools

[Banner] Ethical Concerns over Using Candidate Sourcing Tools

HR managers and recruiters use sourcing tools to search for potential candidates and create talent pools from which they can choose their ideal candidate. In this digital age, candidate sourcing tools are changing the ways of recruitment making even the process of hiring completely digital through the use of AI systems, algorithms, etc.

With the advancement of technology in this field, one issue that still lies is whether most of the practices being used in recruiting are ethical. Many candidates are falling victim to unethical recruiting practices that are causing obstructions on their path to employment. Note that unethical doesn’t mean illegal in this context, which is why these practices are still in play. 

Ethical concerns currently faced by candidates

  • Discrimination against candidates
    A candidate may have everything that the job requires: the right qualifications, skills, and experience, and yet does not get selected for the job. Why? Because their age/ gender/ caste, etc. might not be what is ‘expected’. Both the candidate and the company suffer as the candidate doesn’t get the job, and the company loses out on someone who would have been a good fit for the role.  
  • Misleading job descriptions
    Some job profiles might be more demanding but at the cost of the position being vacant, the job description may be altered to make it look more appealing to the candidate. The candidate is unaware of this and when they join the company they could get overwhelmed as this is not what they signed up for.  
  • Posting vacancies for jobs that don’t exist
    There may not be an opening for a job at that moment, but companies still post job ads for that particular role. Candidates in turn end up applying for a job that doesn’t exist. This seems unfair towards the candidates, but companies do this to collect resumes for further job openings, build talent pipelines, etc.
  • Editing resumes of the candidates
    Recruiters may go to any extent to get candidates selected for a job because they need to get their commission. One of these unfair practices is altering the resumes of the candidates to be in favor of what is required by the company. This editing of resumes is done unbeknownst to that particular candidate, and they could end up getting selected for a job, with a certain designation that they may not have. 
  • Discrediting the current employer
    If and when a recruiter has their eye on a certain candidate and wants them to migrate from company A to company B, they may call up said candidate and spread false information about their current employer for them to make the job change. This could cause the candidate to panic and make the job change in the fear of losing out on employment.

The ethics of using AI in hiring

Currently, AI can (and does) keep track of everything a person does. Consumer-grade AI tools silently and constantly collect all data about individuals (such as what they like, what they don’t like, which places they often visit, etc.) and build candidate profiles, solely for advertising purposes (source).

This data is now also finding its place in the process of recruiting. Candidate sourcing tools use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recommend candidates based on your search parameters. AI sends the information about candidates to the company with regards to what was required by said company in the search for their ideal candidate.

AI is constantly evaluating data to be able to provide better results. When AI uses a certain algorithm to suggest a particular candidate to a company, and the company hires that individual, the AI systems would then use that particular algorithm for future references since the first one was successful. 

Though unintentional, this could lead to a biased recruiting process as the AI systems could filter candidates based on the previous candidates’ qualities to get a better succession rate. An inclusive solution for this issue is for companies to be more diverse in their recruiting methods, and to include candidates with different traits so that the AI systems can widen their searches and recommend candidates accordingly.

Still, using AI in terms of hiring is not considered unethical as ultimately AI is just doing what it’s been told to do. Finally, the control is in the hand of those commanding the software to work in a certain way. If used correctly, AI can prove to be greatly useful in the hiring process. Sourcing tools come with their own set of benefits that make them an imperative addition to any recruitment process.

Sourcing tools can accomplish in a few minutes what it can take human days to do. Searching for relevant candidates, checking if the candidate’s profile matches the job description, deciding on whether or not the candidate would make a suitable addition to the company – all of these are time-consuming chores. Although these practices were once popular, they have lost their need in today’s environment. Why rely on outdated methods when there exist competitively viable tools that have been designed to simplify this process?

And if you’re happy with the interface (which we’re sure you will be!), scale up your sourcing needs and increase its overall versatility using Webbtree ATS, a one-stop, AI-powered enterprise solution for candidate sourcing that gets you from sourcing to nurturing candidates in 15 seconds! Contact us today to know more.

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