Human-centered AI design for HR executives

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For HR professionals, AI is already a “machine employee.” An AI is the first experience that many prospective employees have with a company. Resume screening and automated interview processes serve an important purpose but are they as human-centered as they could be? There are many articles and videos devoted to “getting past the robots” of automated resume screening. They all offer similar tips; get rid of any kind of non-standard formats and language, pepper acronyms and keywords that are relevant to the job and don’t say much about yourself.

An automated tool has an embedded set point that trades off precision and recall. Precision is about selecting for the exact profile that the recruiter is looking for and not cluttering up the process with people who don’t fit. The problem is that this doesn’t account for all the people who are of interest but don’t exactly fit the defined profile. Recall is the ability of a model to find all the relevant cases within a dataset. In an AI-enabled resume screening system, this line is constantly moving because applicants are constantly refining how they anticipate or game the algorithm.

This is a delicate balancing act. Applicants aim to fit the “type” so as to be selected for human review but not so algorithmically adjusted as to be unappealing to a human once they get past the robot, while HR professionals and recruiters may be thirsting for people who think differently, have an unusually creative background or are simply “different.”

Human-centered AI design makes it possible to bring in deciders—HR professionals and managers—so that they can experiment and tune the system as often as required, ultimately always having control over configuring the AI to find people in ways that truly reflect the diversity of human performance but still offering the efficiencies required.

As the AI learns and responds to the human interaction, users of the system have the transparency and tools to make best use of the AI as an intelligent agent in the relationship, finding the right balance between a wide search and an efficient one.


At Sonder Scheme, we help companies make better AI, faster. We offer offer services, training and tools to help you lead in the age of AI using the best human-centered design techniques combined with the unique requirements of AI.

At Sonder Scheme, we help humans win in the age of AI, with practical services, training and tools. We combine deep expertise in AI with decades of experience working with leading organizations including Adobe, Apple, Cisco, Fonterra, Google, Morgan Stanley, National Headstart Association, the New York Times, Quartz, Transpower NZ, US Department of Energy and the World Green Building Council.

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