Ep 185 – Making Artificial Intelligence Inclusive for Hiring and HR

It seems like in the news we are bombarded with the fear of how technologies like artificial intelligence are eliminating jobs and putting us out of work. It’s because of that I’ve been on a mission to learn more about AI and the different ways it can be used to humanize the hiring and workplace.

In my continued quest to find resources on the topic of artificial intelligence and how this tech is being used to create a more inclusive workplace.

In 2018, only four out of ten people with disabilities are reported to be employed. As part of my continued partnership with PEAT, as part of our future of work series, we are shining a spotlight on making the workplace, jobs, and employment more accessible. Today we are talking about how technologies like machine learning, AI, and blockchain are making it easier for people with disabilities to connect with employers and for employers to hire people with disabilities.

A special thank you to our podcast sponsor is ClearCompany

Episode 185: Making Artificial Intelligence Inclusive for Hiring and HR with Daniel Nichols (@DanielNichols)

In this episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our Future of Work series powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. Today, I’m joined by Daniel Nichols. He is the President and Chief Technology Officer at Candidit. Daniel has had an eclectic career as a military veteran and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, a former Chief Product Officer at Viqtory, and the Founder of STEM Jobs.

There is so much happening on the artificial intelligence front right now in the HR technology space. Much of the focus has been on things like chatbots, sourcing technology, and video interviewing. However, there is so much more out there in the nooks and crannies of our HR space. Dan’s company, Candidit is doing some really exciting things in the areas of AI, matching, and employing people with disabilities.

Dan says one of the most terrible horrific things you have happen to you in life is really finding a job. He says that process of knowing if you qualify not knowing if you qualify has its landed students and trillion dollars worth of debt frankly. So it’s a terrible process because you don’t when you apply for a job you may never hear back in if you do hear back you don’t know if you actually qualify. You might think you qualify and you don’t have any feedback or guidance from the employer.

Using AI to Match Talent to Jobs

It’s that guidance and feedback that is critical, and Dan’s company has found a way to do that. Dan says the Department of Labor has a general taxonomy for occupations. There are 800+  different occupations with descriptions of knowledge, skills, activities, and requirements. These occupation templates allow Dan’s company, Candidit uses artificial intelligence technology to research and organize the job data from the DOL. This information then provides employers a better way to determine if a candidate has the skills, abilities, and experience to fit these roles and conversely, the job candidate can better understand where they need to improve by providing areas of opportunity and suggestions for additional training. Where this helps people with disabilities, is that these employers can understand if a candidate with disabilities can do the job and more importantly, I think, the job seeker gets feedback and insights on what they need to improve upon.

The taxonomies are organized into what Dan calls competencies.  Their main approach in creating this taxonomy is to design a set group of competencies to help identify and focus the feedback and skill matching. Dan’s technology also identifies for employers the type of technology and additional resources they need like screen reader and other accessibility technologies and tools to ensure that their employees are successful and are able to thrive in their job role.

How do we take advantage of the uniqueness of individuals and offer them a certain level of independence but also make that work in the community? - Dan Nichols #podcast #hiring Click To Tweet

Dan believes that artificial intelligence can help us leverage the uniqueness the incredible complexity of human beings and there in our individuality. AI tends to focus on patterns and creates opportunities for discrimination particularly for those people who don’t fit the pattern. This is why Dan’s interview and the work his team is doing is so important. Unfortunately, these type of AI technologies (Dan’s company excluded) is wielded by the same hands that desire just the average out of people. Candidit’s work is so exciting and is the kind of AI that I think can really make a difference.

Conclusion

I love the work that Daniel is doing and how he is helping to create opportunities for job candidates to get feedback on how they can improve their skills, abilities, and experiences to find work. I also think it’s great how Candidit is thinking creatively in how they are leveraging this different technology to create new opportunities to put talent in front of employers. I also think it’s important for us as HR leaders to take time to understand and be exposed to how technologies like blockchain and machine learning are being used and developed in our space. We will include some great links and resources in the transcript of this podcast.

The future of work series in partnership with PEAT is one of my favorites. Thank you to PEAT as well as our podcast sponsor ClearCompany.

Connect with Daniel Nichols

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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