Jun 27, 2017

Unilever is using algorithms to make key hiring decisions

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Unilever is handing over an important part of its hiring process to a computer program in an attempt to increase diversity, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Research shows that humans possess biases that both make us pretty poor judges of a job applicant's capabilities, and also reinforce workplace diversity problems. Companies like Unilever are betting that by removing human judgement from part of the hiring process, they can both attract better and more diverse workers.

What it's doing: The maker of Lipton tea and Dove soap is placing ads on social media and job sites to find candidates for early-career positions, expanding its reach far beyond the roughly eight schools from which it typically recruits. Candidates who click on the ads are directed to a career site, where more than 250,000 candidates have applied for jobs and internships.

How it works: An algorithm weeds out roughly half of the respondents, with the other half asked to play a series of 12 online games that test skills like concentration under pressure and short-term memory. The top third scorers are then asked to submit a video interview where they answer questions about how they would respond to various on-the-job challenges.

Only after this third step is a culled list of candidates handed over to the human resources department, which brings in candidates for a final interview. Andy McAllister, a Unilever director of supply chain, told the Journal that despite his initial skepticism of the plan, his recent batch of interns was as strong or stronger than those he handpicked the year before.

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In photos: George Floyd's North Carolina memorial service

The remains of George Floyd are brought into Cape Fear Conference B Church. Photo: Ed Clemente/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds gathered in Raeford, North Carolina to honor George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis nearly two weeks ago has sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

The state of play: This is the second memorial for Floyd. A number of his family members remain in Raeford, including his sister. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, The News and Observer reports.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,800,604 — Total deaths: 396,591 — Total recoveries — 2,785,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.