[Athen] AI job applicant screening software

foreigntype at gmail.com foreigntype at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 08:59:04 PST 2021

Hi all,

An article from the BBC came across my desk today about a couple of AI
screening softwares.

One is a screening software by Pymetrics based in NY and the other is
HireVue based in Utah.

Pymetrics’ AI software puts a potential job hire through a series of online
“games” which include counting the number of dots in a pair of boxes,
filling a balloon with air before it bursts open, and matching facial
expressions with emotions.

This software is used by a number of multi-national companies such as
McDonalds, JP Morgan, PWC accountancy firms, and Heinz to screen (out)
applicants for their potential success on the job. If they “pass” the
screen test, they (may) get a face-to-face interview.

According to the founder of Pymetrics, “Everyone wants the right job, and
to hire the right person. It doesn't benefit anyone for the match to be
off. Trying to use these AI systems in smart ways is to everyone's

The second software, HireVue, uses the applicant’s video and audio to
record their answers to preliminary interview questions, creates a written
transcript and then screens the transcript for specific vocabulary usage (I
vs. we, for example). “The recruiting company can then choose to let
HireVue's system reject candidates without having a human double-check, or
have the candidate moved on for a video interview with an actual recruiter.”

Both of these raise red flags for me both in terms of screening out people
with certain types of disabilities, and the software from Pymetrics
particularly appears to prevent applicants with visual and visual
perception disabilities from using the preliminary screening process at all.

Have any of you seen, evaluated, used either of these AI recruitment
screening technologies for accessibility and/or hiring bias?

I’m not going anywhere with this. I am curious and concerned.

Here’s a link to the article from BBC news: The computers rejecting your
job application https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55932977

Thanks in advance for any input any of you might have.

Wink Harner

Wink Harner Assistive Technology Consulting and Training Alternative Text
Production Portland OR. foreigntype at gmail.com 480-984-0034
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