Automated resume-scanning software is contributing to a “broken” hiring system in the US, says a new report from Harvard Business School. Such software is used by employers to filter job applicants, but is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable candidates, say the study’s authors. It’s contributing to the problem of “hidden workers” — individuals who are able and willing to work, but remain locked out of jobs by structural problems in the labor market.
The study’s authors identify a number of factors blocking people from employment, but say automated hiring software is one of the biggest. These programs are used by 75 percent of US employers (rising to 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies), and were adopted in response to a rise in digital job applications from the ‘90s onwards. Technology has made it easier for people to apply for jobs, but also easier for companies to reject them.