October 26, 2017

AI and Hiring: How to Keep Things in Check

In 1997, IBM’s computer “Deep Blue” defeated Grandmaster and world champion Garry Kasparov in a best of six chess series. It was one of the most impressive early demonstrations of the power of machine intelligence and while the best computer in the world can still beat the best human in chess, the best “chess player” is actually a computer-human team.

The most successful computer-human teams have not necessarily been those with the best chess players, but rather those where the human player deeply understands the strengths and weaknesses of the computer counterpart. The need for this understanding in computer-human teams becomes even more important when the decision isn’t about moving a knight but about whether an individual poses risk to your organization.

Currently, no AI solution is a silver bullet, but these solutions can be very effective at identifying patterns and helping deliver insight that would have been very difficult to uncover otherwise. However, business decisions are always made in a specific context. An AI solution may help isolate you’re highest performing hiring channel but it won’t tell you how to change your resource allocation given your budget, hiring volume, open roles, etc.

“AI offers exciting possibilities” said Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner, “but unfortunately, most vendors are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than first identifying needs, potential uses and the business value to customers.” AI companies must prioritize actionability by explaining to users how to incorporate insights into a fuller decision-making process. The best solutions provide the minimum amount of raw data to enable the most informed decisions and enough analysis to improve efficiency and pattern recognition. Striking this balance is not easy.

When considering an AI solution, you should focus on how just how specific you can get with the data. In other words, is it a generic solution or is it highly customizable to match your unique business context? Keep in mind that there will always be variables that the solution will not be able to account for.

That is why when you consider your companies approach to hiring it is important to recognize that it’s impossible to look at all of your candidates in the same way. Every position carries a separate set of responsibilities and therefore requires a varying level of scrutiny. That is why, at Fama, we are taking a big step in the right direction by now allowing users to customize adjudication and interpretation criteria by department, seniority, or even on a role by role basis. Users will only see information that matters for that particular candidate as it applies to a specific role. This not only promotes more informed decision-making but also helps to train recruiters and hiring managers to become better at identifying the relevant indicators of job performance.

To learn more about Fama’s automated approach to social media screening, please feel free to reach out to Fama’s Head of Business Development at [email protected]

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