AI brings brand new experience in recruiting, while data poses challenges

Yixuan Xie
Medill Reports

Hiring the right people is crucial to an organization’s success and companies are turning to artificial intelligence to optimize that process.

AI, which uses computer science to make machines imitate human intelligence and behavior, is revolutionizing numerous industries. It is the technology behind Amazon Inc.’s cashier-less stores, Tesla Inc.’s self-driving vehicles and Apple Inc.’s Siri voice assistant. It is also lending a helping hand to the recruiting industry to find the right people for the right jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent for July, which is near a five-decade low. Despite being good news for job seekers, the rate has some employers desperate to find talented workers when so many people are already employed.

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AI for candidate screening: eliminating or reinforcing bias

Yixuan Xie
Medill Reports

While job applicants hope they are evaluated based upon their capabilities and skills when applying for a job, hiring decisions can be full of biases, ranging from dismissing a candidate simply for a name to focusing recruiting efforts on elite schools.

With multiple studies revealing discrimination in recruitment, artificial intelligence is being embraced as a way to level the playing filed. AI removes human interaction from some parts of resume and video screening, helping to address conscious and unconscious hiring bias. But despite creating a more consistent and fairer way to evaluate applicants, it has the potential to be problematic.

Resume Screening

A 2016 study by Cornell University showed that resumes reveal candidates’ personal identifiable information and may introduce bias into the screening process, especially at the initial stages. It found that candidates with Caucasian-sounding names had 50 percent higher call back rates for interviews than those candidates with African American-sounding names. Research by PayScale, a salary trend analysis website, revealed this year that women face barriers to being hired at tech companies, with females being just 29 percent of the industry.

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Veggie co-op in North Lawndale brings fresh produce to residents with dietary restrictions

By Trina Ryan
Medill Reports

On a breezy Saturday afternoon, Reynaldo Engram arrives at work early to sift through boxes of carrots. He performs this task with painstaking precision, holding each carrot up to the light, rubbing his thumb slowly over its dirt-speckled orange skin. As hub assistant at Farm on Ogden, a spacious agriculture facility on the West Side of Chicago, Engram’s responsibilities include anything from watering plants to sweeping floors to cleaning bathrooms. “I do what I’m asked,” says the 59-year-old, smiling. But today he has an important job, one he takes seriously: inspecting produce for defects. He wants to make sure the most attractive-looking vegetables go out to his neighbors of North Lawndale.

“I want everyone to feel as strong and healthy as I do,” he says. “Not too many folks around here can say they feel that way at my age.”

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Chicago News Report – August 22

By Nicole Croteau, Max Goodman, Tim Hackett, Shannon Longworth and Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

On the final episode of Chicago News Report…

The CEO of the Chicago Housing Association abruptly resigns, an organization helping local women “dress for success” for job interviews, a sex scandal affecting an Evanston school and we put the burning question that’s making the rounds on the internet to a taste test; who makes it better – Popeye’s or Chick-fil-A?

Photo at top: Dress for Success suits women up to impress at job interviews. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)

Athletes with disabilities in it to win it

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

Rohan Murphy lost his legs at birth and grew up thinking that he wouldn’t ever be able to play sports.

However, in eighth grade his physical education teacher introduced him to wrestling and he started to become fully involved with the team in ninth grade. He later went on to wrestle at the collegiate level at Penn State.

Murphy says going through life with his disability is much different than competing in wrestling with his disability.

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Chicago News Report- August 20

By Nicole Croteau, Max Goodman, Tim Hackett, Shannon Longworth and Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

On this episode of Chicago News Report…

A woman is on the run in Skokie after two robberies, the city passes a plan for new construction in River North, a CTA ride promotion for the first day of school, drones are sweeping the lakefront for cracks in the sidewalk and a former Northwestern football player is now “Uplifting Athletes.”

Photo at top: Students of all ages will receive free rides on the CTA for the first day of school. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)

Chicago News Report – August 15

By Nicole Croteau, Max Goodman, Tim Hackett, Shannon Longworth and Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

On this edition of Chicago News Report:

Are recreational marijuana shops opening on Michigan Avenue, a fatal fire on the South Side and a new project is popping up in Lawndale.

Photo at top: Future container museum in Lawndale. (Nicole Croteau/MEDILL)

Close-knit Ohio State alumni squad overcomes obstacles to win first TBT championship

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

A week prior to the start of The Basketball Tournament, Carmen’s Crew, the Ohio State alumni team, wasn’t even sure whether or not they would play in the tournament this year. The team only had six players confirmed to participate.

“We were really looking at it saying: ‘I don’t know if this is going to be our year,’” said guard Aaron Craft. “I think the guys just seemed ready. Obviously, we’re extremely excited that we pulled it together in that last week. But it was tough that last week. We thought we were going to have to play zone for three games in a row for three days. Found a way.”

Now, the team is the TBT champion and $2 million richer, defeating the Golden Eagles, a Marquette alumni team, 66-60 on Tuesday night at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena.

“There’s no other group of guys I’d rather do this with, like Evan [Turner] said after the game, we’re family,” said guard Jon Diebler. “Winning the tournament is amazing, winning the money is amazing, but to compete again in an actual game with these guys, because during the year we all go our separate ways, it’s a thing that we’ll cherish forever.”

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Chicago News Report – August 6

Nicole Croteau, Max Goodman, Tim Hackett, Shannon Longworth and Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Today on Chicago News Report.

Seven people were killed and nearly 50 others wounded on the city’s most violent weekend of the year. Tim Hackett went to the West Side to investigate three different shootings.

Are you ready for back-to-school shopping? An organization in Auburn Gresham is working hard to make sure supplies are available for Chicago public school students.

And after 14 years, Krispy Kreme is opening a downtown location. Find out where you can get your glazed goodies in the Windy City.

Photo at top: Cabinets galore at the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange (Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)

TBT poised for continued growth with player-caliber higher than ever

By Neel Madhavan
Medill Reports

The roots of the The Basketball Tournament can be traced back to a group text message thread from a Sunday afternoon in 2010 between some like-minded friends.

On their day off from work, TBT CEO and co-founder Jon Mugar and his friends went back-and-forth about the feasibility of having an open call for a single elimination tournament for a large sum of money.

“Who would enter?” Mugar asked. “Would LeBron put a team in? Would the NBA players play? Would college alumni teams play? Would international players play? It kind of became an obsession over the course of maybe four or five months.”

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