Visual Encyclopedia

Employment

Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on a contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other is the employee. Employees work in return for payment, which may be in the form of an hourly wage, by piecework or an annual salary, depending on the type of work an employee does or which sector she or he is working in. Employees in some fields or sectors may receive gratuities, bonus payment or stock options. In some types of employment, employees may receive benefits in addition to payment. Benefits can include health insurance, housing, disability insurance or use of a gym. Employment is typically governed by employment laws, regulations or legal contracts.

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Can an algorithm hire better than a human?

This NY Times article argues that an algorithm eliminates human biases. Human employers naturally hire someone they like to hang out with--maybe even disregard credentials in favor for "compatibility". But the problem with the proposed solution of using algorithms is they only discern discrete things ie. age, degrees etc. It's like binary in some ways: there are only 1s or 0s, no in-betweens. But humans don't live in absolutisms. Rarely can anyone answer a question with a simple "yes" or "no" (using the binary metaphor, a 1 or 0). If you ask "Do you enjoy life?", the response will obviously depend on multiple circumstances. Humans aren't digital. Interviews are still necessary and algorithms should complement, not substitute people.

Contributed by Lucy Zhang

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