More organizations use AI in the hiring process than ever before, yet the perceived ethicality of such processes seems to be mixed. With such variation in our views of AI in hiring, we need to understand how these perceptions impact the organizations that use it. In two studies, we investigate how ethical perceptions of using AI in hiring are related to perceptions of organizational attractiveness and innovativeness. Our findings indicate that ethical perceptions of using AI in hiring are positively related to perceptions of organizational attractiveness, both directly and indirectly via perceptions of organizational innovativeness, with variations depending on the type of hiring method used. For instance, we find that individuals who consider it ethical for organizations to use AI in ways often considered to be intrusive to privacy, such as analyzing social media content for traits and characteristics, view such organizations as both more innovative and attractive. Our findings trigger a timely discussion about the critical role of ethical perceptions of AI in hiring on organizational attractiveness and innovativeness.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
For a review see John-Matthews et al. (2022).
Shilton et al. (2013) provides a framework for “Values in Design” (VID) which can be found in emerging technologies, including “privacy, trust, security, safety, community, freedom from bias, autonomy, freedom of expression, identity, dignity, calmness, compassion, and respect” (p. 5).
Since we collected data from both job seekers and employed individuals with hiring experience, we ran additional analyses to examine whether and how the hypothesized structural model varied depending on whether respondents were job seekers or not. We found that the results were equivalent for both types of participants.
While we cannot completely rule out reverse causality, we tested an alternative model, in which organizational attractiveness would influence ethical perceptions of using AI in hiring both directly and indirectly via organizational innovativeness. We found that organizational attractiveness was positively related to these ethical perceptions, but only directly. The indirect relationship via organizational innovativeness was not significant, neither was the relationship between innovativeness and ethical perceptions of using AI in hiring. These findings provide further support to our theory-driven model.
As for Study 1, we ran additional analyses to examine whether the hypothesized structural model varied depending on whether respondents were job seekers or not. We found that the results were equivalent for both types of participants.
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da Motta Veiga, S.P., Figueroa-Armijos, M. & Clark, B.B. Seeming Ethical Makes You Attractive: Unraveling How Ethical Perceptions of AI in Hiring Impacts Organizational Innovativeness and Attractiveness. J Bus Ethics 186, 199–216 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-023-05380-6