Inclusive AI at Work in Recruitment: From Cautious to Converted

The DCA Inclusive AI research banner depicts an image of a brain, made up of many multicoloured circles. It also contains the text, "Inclusive AI at work in recruitment: from cautious to converted"

New research out today from Diversity Council Australia and Monash University, titled Inclusive Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Work in Recruitment, has found that people fall very clearly into one of two camps when it comes to the use of AI tools in recruitment in Australia – the converted or the cautious.

This report is the second stage in a 3-phase industry research project being undertaken by Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and Monash University with the support of Hudson RPO.

The researchers conducted two surveys in mid-2022, which found that:

  • Employer implementation of AI is in early stages, with 1 in 3 Australian organisations reporting that they used it recently.
  • Getting a sense of how often applicants have experienced AI in recruitment is difficult, as applicants are often not aware that AI is being used.

The research also found that experiences with, and attitudes about, AI-supported recruitment fell very clearly into one of two camps, the converted or the cautious.

  • The cautious were less likely to have experienced AI in recruitment and more likely to have no or only poor knowledge in the area. They believed AI tools: focus on efficiency at the expense of effectiveness; lack nuance in decision making, depersonalise the candidate experience; have a negative impact on diversity and inclusion; are often inaccessible; and can amplify bias.
  • The converted were more likely to have experienced AI in recruitment and to have great or good knowledge in the area. They believed AI tools: provide flexibility for all parties; help cast a wider sourcing net; could eliminate bias in recruitment; and can be more objective, consistent, and predictable than people.
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants and white job applicants are more likely to be cautious, while Asian and Black job applicants are more likely to be converted.

DCA CEO, Lisa Annese said:

“This project comes amidst the unprecedented level of global activity and investment in AI occurring within Australia and globally.

“AI is reshaping all our business activities, and talent acquisition is no exception.

“The divide between the cautious and converted in this report shows that we need to do more to educate employers about the promises and pitfalls of AI-based recruitment and selection technologies for workplace diversity and inclusion.”

Monash University Professor Andreas Leibbrandt said:

“Some employers are cautious about the use of AI in recruitment and some are converted and enthusiastic. All employers need to consider what they are using, why they are using it and measure the impacts.”

Hudson RPO CEO, Kimberely Hubble said:

“The use of AI Technologies in Recruitment and Selection are here to stay. This report reinforces the need to choose AI tools carefully, to have a clear purpose, to pilot the tools before roll out and to regularly measure their impact on all recruitment outcomes, including quality of hire, candidate experience, diversity and inclusion. Users of AI tools must be well trained and they must clearly explain their use to candidates. AI tools are designed to assist not replace human judgement and even the very best AI tools can lead to adverse outcomes if put into the wrong hands”.



Download this release here: dca_media_release_ai_recruitment_from_cautious_to_converted.pdf