For Employers

Computer Based Hiring and its Impact on Employers and Employment Law in BC

Why technology in the hiring process can help employers reduce their expenses at both the beginning and end of employment.

Last month, NPR published an interesting story that caught my attention – the story was about the increased use of computerized hiring practices around the world.

While it is by no means the norm, increasingly, employers are using computer software to decide who they hire. I thought it would be interesting to explore the impact this will have on employment law.

With a computerized hiring process, employers use computers to generate questions to gauge whether a potential employee is likely to be a successful additional to the business. Employers, and thus the computers and software they use, know whether an employee is more likely to be successful based upon particular characteristics of current and past employees who have been successful within their organization. By hiring employees with these same characteristics, employers are better able to successfully place employees and, in turn, reduce their turnover rate and the related training costs.

Although a system as described above does not guarantee that every hire will work out, it does increase the likelihood that an employee will be a good fit within the organization.

This trend is likely to have a far reaching impact on employment law, especially as the technology develops and becomes more common place.

The first impact that this trend is likely to have on employment law is that its use may reduce bias in the hiring process.  Not only does software-based hiring process have the potential to chip away at the age-old notion of it’s not what you know, but who you know, it also has the potential to reduce the number of human rights complaints (allegations of discrimination based on age, sex, race, sexual orientation, among others) related to hiring practices.

Secondly, as computerized hiring becomes more common and as the software and process is tweaked and fine-tuned, it is likely that more employees will be placed in positions that suit them. While this will by no means eliminate wrongful dismissals from occurring, such hiring could potentially reduce the number of wrongful dismissal claims as employees are more likely to be suitable for and successful in their positions.

Lastly, as software is used more frequently in the hiring process, it is more likely that such software will remind, or even require, employers to sign written employment contracts with their employees. This means more certainty for all parties involved, and it also means that employers can reduce their expenses upon terminating an employee (See my earlier post on severance entitlements when employees are let go).

In all likelihood, it means that there will be fewer employment disputes upon an employee’s employment coming to an end.

In the coming years, it will be interesting to see how this emerging technology and process affects employment law. Overall, it stands to benefit employers.

Should you have questions regarding a hiring process, severance, employment contracts or other employment law related matters, please contact us today.

This blog is produced by Waterstone Law Group LLP. This blog is intended for information purposes only and is not offered as legal advice for a specific claim. Subscription to or use of this site does not establish a solicitor – client relationship between the user and Waterstone Law Group LLP or any of the individual contributors. For advice relating to your employment law claim, please contact us to arrange for a consultation.

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