How recruiting software company Harver is adjusting to the NYC AI law

The company is providing impact ratio data and working with multiple vendors.
article cover

Hirun/Getty Images

· 3 min read

With a new New York City law coming that will require employers that use automated recruiting tools to publicly disclose bias audit data on an annual basis, recruiting software providers are making some adjustments.

New vendors and processes. Recruiting platform Harver told HR Brew that it will be providing the impact ratio tables for its soft skills assessment offerings. Not all of the company’s products fall under the reach of this law, and because the ones that do are mostly configured by Harver, Chief Data Science Officer Frida Polli said they are taking care of the regulatory responsibility on behalf of their clients.

Once it received the final language of the law, Harver identified which products the regulations applied to. “We have a video interview product that has no analytics behind it. However, we have multiple assessment products…that meet the criteria,” Polli said. “Even though they’re built differently, they all need to be verified.”

Harver expanded a relationship with vendor TruEra to do an internal audit of its reporting data before it is sent to the Babel Group, a consultancy that Harver chose to conduct the legally required external audit, Polli said. She also pointed out that Harver published its data last year.

“What the TruEra solution is doing is essentially ensuring that all of the numbers coming out of the system are verifiable before they get sent to the third-party auditor,” Polli said. “It’s kind of like an extra layer of compliance.”

The future. Polli said that in some cases, HR software platforms may not provide the impact ratio data to clients, leaving them on their own to manage compliance with the new laws. This may be because the company’s tools and services are so customizable that as vendors they aren’t able to provide an accurate assessment of their potential for bias to their clients.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.

“We approached all of our employers and said, ‘Because we do most of the configuration, we’re happy to take on the burden of doing this vendor-level audit,’” Polli said. “I think it makes sense for a tool where the employer is heavily relying on the vendor to do all of the parameterization. So it would make less sense if we just handed them a tool, and they then did a lot of that stuff themselves. I think, in that case, it’s more appropriate for the employer to really be taking [it] upon themselves.”

In terms of her opinions of the law itself, Polli referred to it as a “really nice first step,” adding that more actions are needed to quantify bias in the currently used systems.

“I think we need a period of observation where people are just disclosing these numbers,” she said. “Hopefully, this makes employers more cognizant of the fact that they should be [auditing] on a regular basis.”

Down the road, more laws are likely on the way, Polli added.

“I don’t think this is the last law that will come down like this, probably the first of many,” she said. “There’s lots of employers who have been pretty proactive on this. So I think that’s great. I think for those that have maybe been a bit slow, hopefully it kind of spurs people into action.”—AK

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.