Ira Wolfe is well versed in the challenges of collecting data and using it ethically. At SHRM19 in Las Vegas, he will talk about the challenges HR is facing in collecting data and properly using that data. Wolfe is the author of
Recruiting in the Age of Googlization: When The SHIFT Hits Your Plan and I have interviewed him in the past in Future Friday: Redefining how we see this crazy world. His message and the warnings he gives, as well as the advice he offers, is today more important than ever. As more and more companies move forward with the use of artificial intelligence and collection of applicant data we are facing problems that may cause us problems that may result in ethical issues.
Technology is running away from HR
HR and technology are rapidly changing. Unfortunately technology is changing much faster than HR can keep up. The impact of technology on HR is far reaching according to Wolfe. The impact includes:
- A new definition of work
- A new organization of work
- New/emerging data sources
- New ways to analyze data
- Democratization of data
- Ethics, privacy & trust
The problem is that we don’t ask enough questions about the data we collect, such as:
- What employee data do we collect?
- What employee data should we collect?
- What data should be off limits?
- Who should collect the data?
- When should we collect the data?
- How should we collect the data?
Data has biases
There have been several reports about the bias inherent in data, causing great embarrassment for Google. If a company as data sophisticated as Google gets it wrong who says smaller HR departments can’t. In an article author Ben Dattner says “… used the wrong way, people analytics can be just as blind and biased as human beings have always been.”
Ira’s message is just that and many HR departments are totally unaware that they are making this mistake. He talks in his session about how we can use technology to keep the HUMAN in HR and what the future role of HR technology will be.
There will be many speakers and vendors talking about artificial intelligence (AI) at the conference. I would suggest you start off listening to Ira Wolfe so you will be in a better position to evaluate what you hear everyone else saying.
Ira’s session is at 7:15 am on Monday in LVCC N201-204. DON’T MISS IT. I will be there.