Canadian HR Reporter

December 2018 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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PM40065782 RO9496 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT December 2018 IS AI BIASED IN RECRUITMENT? page 25 Cannabis testing still hazy Experts cite pros, cons of urinalysis, oral- uid testing page 2 #MeToo 1 year later Preference for anonymity, fewer get-togethers present challenges page 3 Building an exceptional team Individual contributor culture, unaligned visions can hold people back page 12 Amazon's misstep highlights challenges for employers BY SARAH DOBSON Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits beside Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, at a roundtable discussion with women business leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 13, 2017. Credit: Kevin Lamarque (Reuters) 5 items at risk while travelling How to combat data breach vulnerabilities when employees are on the road LEGISLATION PAYROLL NEWS, AND TIPS Credit: Thilo Schmuelgen (Reuters) Employees process products at the Amazon logistic centre in Dortmund, Germany, on Nov. 14, 2017. The company recently announced it was stepping back from AI recruitment. W hen faced with piles of resumés, the idea of using software to fi nd the best candidates is understandably appealing. But while the effi ciencies and speed of applicant tracking systems have been promoted far and wide, news that Amazon has abandoned a recruitment tool that turned out to be biased against women has re- newed concerns around the potential for bias in arti- fi cial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. e computer program had issues around gen- der, along with too many unqualifi ed candidates. It screened applicants by looking at patterns in resumés submitted to Amazon over 10 years, but most came from men so, essentially, the system taught itself that male candidates were preferable, according to Reuters. AI is not yet perfect, said Lisa Stam, founder of Spring Law in Toronto. "Amazon was just pulling what it thought was neu- tral information from existing resumés, but the exist- ing data is not really part of the new paradigm that we're looking to get to," she said. "We just need to be more forgiving along the way as we fi gure it out." "It's a very powerful tool; it's going to compute things way better than humans most of the time, but we also need to put that upfront work into the machine in the fi rst place. It doesn't replace human judgment." ere's a race towards trying to develop and use these new technologies, but at what cost? said Petra Molnar, research associate in the International Hu- man Rights Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in Cambridge, U.K. " ere's defi nitely more questions than answers still, and when it comes to really complex, nuanced areas, like hiring, where we already know that dis- crimination and biases exist, it's troubling that we are moving toward the use of these new technologies before we really think about what that's going to look like," she said. "Really, these technologies have pro- found ramifi cations on people's basic rights, and… implementing these technologies without thinking about the impact and an accountability framework is really a bad idea." What's the problem? With AI and machine learning, it's like anything com- puter-wide, it has to be trained, said Marilynn Kalman, YOU'RE > pg. 8 Gender diversity research reveals 'major disconnect' Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women cites lack of accurate data BY MARCEL VANDER WIER DESPITE a commitment to ad- vancing women, many employers in Canada and the United States are lacking the clear goals, mea- surements and accountability needed to drive progress, accord- ing to a new report. e Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entre- preneurs and Business Leaders released its fi fth and fi nal pillar report in October. Too few North American com- panies are capitalizing on the op- portunities presented by gender diversity, according to Advancing Women as Leaders in the Private Sector. "We see a major disconnect be- tween commitment and action," said Julie Sweet, CEO of Accen- ture North America, co-chair of the council and co-author of the report. " e time to act is now." e report aims to enact sys- tematic change on behalf of work- ing women, said Tina Lee, CEO of T&T Supermarkets in Toronto, and co-author of the report. "We know the important role women can play in today's work- force, but also that there needs to be a business objective and plan to support their growth," she said. " ere's a long way to go… I still feel like there is room to get better." "Gender diversity is clearly as- sociated with better fi nancial per- formance, and what's interesting is companies still don't have the SUPPORT > pg. 14

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