Unilever saves $1m in recruitment annually using AI

Artificial intelligence analysis of interviews pays its way though British public still sceptical

Unilever is saving $1m (£0.78m, €0.9m) in recruitment costs by using artificial intelligence to analyse video interviews.

According to The Guardian the consumer goods giant saved 100,000 hours of recruitment time by using software to analyse video interviews at the early stage of the recruitment process.

The algorithms assess potential recruits using facial and linguistic information compiled from previous interviews with successful candidates.

“It is helping to save 100,000 hours of interviewing time and roughly $1m in recruitment costs each year for us globally,” said a Unilever spokeswoman.

The software was developed by US-company HireVue. The company is a market leader in the video interviewing industry and last month received a major investment from the Carlyle Group.

However, despite the success of AI interviews and the financial benefits to business, the British public remain suspicious of the technology. The UK’s Royal Society of Arts warned that employers will face a backlash against “tech creep” unless they commit to a role for citizens in designing and deploying AI.

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The RSA and YouGov also carried out a survey on public attitudes to AI and automated decision systems (ADS). They found 60% of the public oppose the use of AI in recruitment and criminal justice.

Asheem Singh, director of economics and head of tech and society at the RSA, said: “As our research suggests, this is a source of anxiety for the general public but they don’t even know the half of it. AI must not be introduced solely as a means to cut costs or garner headlines.

“We need an open conversation about AI and other forms of decision making.”

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