DCA Releases Guidelines to Reduce Bias in AI Recruitment

Inclusive AI at work in recruitment: how organisations can use AI to help not harm diversity. DCA, Monash University and Hudson RPO logos.

A new report from Diversity Council Australia has warned that AI-powered recruitment can negatively impact workplace diversity unless it is deployed with an inclusive approach.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way organisations hire for better or for worse.

In Australia, the use of AI in recruitment has nearly doubled over the past year, and spending on AI systems is set to grow to $3.6 billion by 2025 – an increase of 24% since 2020.

Used correctly, this technology can reduce costs, save time, and create fairer outcomes for minority groups. However, a three-year project undertaken by DCA, Hudson RPO and Monash University has revealed that without the right approach, AI has the potential to mirror society’s inequalities and bake in bias.  

To counter this, DCA has released Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment: How organisations can use AI to help rather than harm diversity as the third and final stage of its groundbreaking Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment project.

Released today, the report centres on lived experiences and features a set of guidelines developed in consultation with an expert panel of stakeholders representing marginalised job seekers, employers with experience using AI, academics and tech experts.

The Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment Employer Guidelines include:

  • a 5-step process called T.R.E.A.D. (Team Up, Reflect, Educate, Acquire, Decide) that encourages employers to tread carefully through the process of deploying AI recruitment, and
  • a reflective assessment checklist that enables employers to make an informed decision about how they can best proceed with deploying an AI recruitment tool, so it helps rather than harms workforce diversity.

Quotes attributable to DCA CEO Lisa Annese:

“We know that unless AI is deployed with a focus on diversity and inclusion it has the potential to mirror society’s inequalities and bake in systemic biases. Conversely, if it’s used with D&I front of mind, the benefits can be astounding.

“As the third and final stage of DCA’s Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment project, the Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment Employer Guidelines is the accumulation of three years of trailblazing research, distilled into practical steps for crucial reflection and action.

“These guidelines will help provide employers with the tools they need to take advantage of this incredible technology in a way that reduces bias and helps foster a more inclusive and diverse Australian workforce.”

Quotes attributable to Hudson RPO CEO, Kimberley Hubble:

“While AI offers us immense opportunities in recruitment and many areas of HR, we need to use it purposefully and carefully to ensure we improve not hinder diversity outcomes in the workplace.

“As a global leader in Recruitment Process Outsourcing and Talent Advisory services, being at the forefront of technological advances that impact recruitment and, subsequently people is a priority.

“DCA’s three-year research program found that AI-powered recruitment can be a double-edged sword regarding workforce diversity.

“If used appropriately, it can pave the way for superior experiences and job opportunities for diverse candidates, but conversely, if used without the necessary understanding, it can reinforce systemic bias and discrimination.

“We are proud to support DCA”s research into using AI in recruitment and believe their evidence-based guidelines will give employers practical advice for using AI inclusively during recruitment and selection to maximise diversity outcomes for their business.”


You can also access stage one and stage two of DCA’s Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment project, released in March 2022 and January 2023 respectively.

Media Contact: Ali Coulton | media@dca.org.au

About DCA: Diversity Council Australia is the independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide unique research, inspiring events and programs, curated resources and expert advice across all diversity dimensions to a community of over 1,300 member organisations. Our member organisations are estimated to employ nearly two million Australians, representing more than 20% of the workforce.