Experts warn that algorithms companies use to advise who should fire the company in a round of layoffs sometimes result in incorrect advice due to limited or incorrect data.
Almost all companies in a survey of 300 US companies say they use algorithms to lay off workers, He writes for The Washington Post. However, by no means all of these companies rely on these recommendations, because 41 percent of large companies trust that there is sufficient and good data. For smaller companies, that percentage is 25 percent.
For example, companies may include the risk that an employee may want to leave in the near future as a factor in the algorithm. If black employees leave, on average, more times because of discrimination problems and the algorithm doesn’t recognize that reason, it might recommend firing more black employees.
Furthermore, there is a risk of using incomplete data, as a result of which the algorithms make decisions with wrong inputs, which then leads to wrong conclusions. According to the newspaper, many human resources departments are using algorithms to reduce their workload.
A senior executive at a company that makes HR software tells the paper that companies should be transparent about the use of algorithms and the factors that play a role in making decisions. The use of algorithms in many places has been a topic of debate for years, because incomplete or incorrect data, or by weighting certain factors more or not at all, can lead to incorrect decisions. It is often not clear why the algorithm arrives at a particular result.
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