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Leveraging AI in Human Resources

Subject matter experts agree that we’re currently amid an Artificial Intelligence boom due to its recent generative form (Reuters). That’s why, in May, Colorado made national news as the first state to pass extensive legislation regarding AI employment decision making (Seyfarth). Although Colorado isn’t the first state government to set their sights on the technology, the Centennial State is the first to enact regulations this broad. According to HR Dive, previous adopters of AI employment regulations include Illinois, Maryland, and New York City, focusing their efforts on video interview evaluations, facial recognition, and yearly audits, respectively.

With states like Connecticut, New York, Washington, and more drafting regulations of their own, it’s a good time to consider how your organization can prepare to get ahead of the game. Read on for our suggestions on how to go from AI novice to pro in no time.

Start With Understanding

The best way to start is by understanding the laws that are being enacted by discussing them with your legal counsel. Employers may also consider closely monitoring the topic of AI and “be prepared to rapidly retool their practices and protocols,” notes Ravin Jesuthasan, Senior Partner at Mercer, in an interview with UNLEASH. After understanding the legislation at play and the reasons they’re necessary, you can begin to combat one of the most persistent narratives we’ve heard in recent years: AI will replace all our jobs.

These technologies will certainly replace aspects of our day-to-day, but the focus of Human-Centered AI is to use Human Intelligence (HI) to either reduce the amount of time tedious tasks take or remove them from your team’s plates entirely. In a SHRM webcast, AI+ Executive-in-Residence Nichol Bradford spoke of a Gucci case study in which their customer support staff were supported by AI in this manner. The result was a more relaxed team with the capacity for genuine conversations with passionate customers. Of course, Gucci is a global enterprise, but smaller organizations may notice more of an impact when it feels like each team member has several assistants. Once you realize that your team can flourish given the appropriate support, the economic value of these systems becomes clearer.

The Value of AI Maturity

DoorDash is another prominent example of a business that recognized such value. According to a case study from Replicant, a generative AI development company, DoorDash reached out to them for help developing a solution targeting pain points of their end-to-end ordering experience as polled from staff and customers. They identified outbound food ordering calls as inefficient and costly and within six weeks of replacing the call center that was performing them, Replicant’s voice AI achieved a 94% success rate.

Both Gucci and DoorDash were lucky to have AI+HI Catalysts—staff members who facilitate AI adoption while utilizing HI to consider the impact on employees—on board. The fashion label gained a 30% increase in revenue while the food delivery giant significantly reduced cost per order and increased both customer satisfaction and profitability. In both cases, they examined their priorities, investigated the root causes, and applied tailored solutions. To achieve similar objectives in your organization, consider following their examples and remember to keep fairness, transparency, and privacy in mind when working with vendors.

So, if you’re looking to leverage AI in your organization, consider these three phases:

  1. Recognize the benefits AI offers and keep your staff at the forefront of adoption discussions.
  2. Understand the regulations in place, as well as those that may come.
  3. Be mature and responsible in AI deployment.

As AI models rapidly learn and improve and further constraints are legislated, you can be certain that One Source is keeping our eyes and ears open for any changes in compliance regulations. In the meantime, if you need other ways to streamline your background screening process like ongoing monitoring, integrations, or eSign capabilities, get in touch.

 

Ban the Box Updates: What Employers Need to Know

This article was originally published in June 2022. Updated November 2023.

By now, most HR professionals and hiring managers have heard of Ban the Box and the legislation that’s sweeping the nation. So, what are you doing to prepare for these changes? Are you confident that your onboarding process is up to date and compliant with the laws in place? Here we will help guide you in the direction to make sure your team is prepared for what is to come.

What are Ban the Box Laws?

In simplest terms, Ban the Box means that employers cannot ask on a job application or in certain parts of the hiring process about criminal history. For example, blanket statements like, “have you ever been convicted of a crime.”

These laws aim to put employers’ focus on applicants’ qualifications first, without blanket no-hire policies due to past criminal activity. In most cases, employers must wait until a conditional offer of employment is extended before asking about criminal history or conducting a background check.

On December 20, 2021, Congress enacted the Fair Chance Act. The purpose of the act is to give previous offenders a chance to find work in the United States Federal Government. The Fair Chance Act will “Ban the Box” asking about arrest and conviction history on job applicants for most Federal agencies and contractors. These questions and the background check cannot be started until the conditional job offer has been extended.

What steps can you take to be compliant?

Navigating Ban the Box laws can be confusing. We recommend, as a first step, consulting with your legal counsel. They’ll be able to look at your company profile, industry, and location to see what Ban the Box laws apply to you.

You’ll want to take that information and then review your job descriptions and applications. You’ll also want to be sure your hiring managers only ask about the criminal history during the correct time in the hiring process.

Whether these laws will apply to your organization depends on several factors:

  • Company size
  • Location(s) you hire in (city, county, and state)
  • Industry (different regulations can apply to education, childcare, health care, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Public vs private employer

Currently, 37 states and over 150 cities and counties have adopted similar laws.

While public employers appear to be moving to Ban the Box quicker than private employers, the lists continue to grow.

Currently, 15 states have Ban the Box laws in place for private employers. These include:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Furthermore, over 20 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws in place for private employers. Some of these include:

Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; DeSoto, TX; District of Columbia; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Montgomery County, MD; New York­, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Prince George’s County, MD; Rochester, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Spokane, WA; St. Louis, MO; Suffolk County, NY; Waterloo, IA; and Westchester County, NY.

Check out the National Employment Law Project’s (NELP) detailed chart to see whether your city, county, or state has a policy or law.

What’s next?

It’s important to remember that background checks are still a crucial part of the hiring process. Not even the Federal Government, which has adopted Ban the Box entirely, is removing background screening from their hiring process. The safety of your employees, customers, and your organization’s reputation is still essential.

As these laws continue to sweep the country, it’s always best practice to ensure that your background check process is updated. Then, when it’s time to run the background check after a conditional job offer, you can keep things moving quickly.

One Source always recommends reviewing these five areas:

  • Background Check Policy
  • Disclosure
  • Authorization
  • Quality of Data
  • Adverse Action

Reach out to our team if you have any questions on ways you can follow compliance laws and regulations. Or you can learn more about how to stay compliant through our blog, Blueprint to a Compliant Background Check Process.