Goretzko, D., & Finja Israel, L. (2021). Pitfalls of machine learning-based personnel selection: Fairness, transparency, and data quality. Journal of Personnel Psychology, Advance Online Publication, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1027/1866-5888/a000287. [Paywall].
In recent years, machine learning (ML) modeling (often referred to as artificial intelligence) has become increasingly popular for personnel selection purposes. Numerous organizations use ML-based procedures for screening large candidate pools, while some companies try to automate the hiring process as far as possible. Since ML models can handle large sets of predictor variables and are therefore able to incorporate many different data sources (often more than common procedures can consider), they promise a higher predictive accuracy and objectivity in selecting the best candidate than traditional personal selection processes. However, there are some pitfalls and challenges that have to be taken into account when using ML for a sensitive issue as personnel selection. In this paper, we address these major challenges—namely the definition of a valid criterion, transparency regarding collected data and decision mechanisms, algorithmic fairness, changing data conditions, and adequate performance evaluation—and discuss some recommendations for implementing fair, transparent, and accurate ML-based selection algorithms.