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Workshop: Workshop on robustness of zero/few-shot learning in foundation models (R0-FoMo)

Investigating Hiring Bias in Large Language Models

Akshaj Kumar Veldanda · Fabian Grob · Shailja Thakur · Hammond Pearce · Benjamin Tan · Ramesh Karri · Siddharth Garg


Large Language Models (LLMs) such as GPT-3.5, Bard, and Claude exhibit applicability across numerous tasks. One domain of interest is their use in algorithmic hiring, specifically in matching resumes with job categories. Yet, this introduces issues of bias on protected attributes like gender, race and maternity status. The seminal work of Bertrand and Mullainathan (2003) set the gold-standard for identifying hiring bias via field experiments where the response rate for identical resumes that differ only in protected attributes, e.g., racially suggestive names such as Emily or Lakisha, is compared. We replicate this experiment on state-of-art LLMs to evaluate bias (or lack thereof) on gender, race, maternity status, pregnancy status, and political affiliation. We evaluate LLMs on two tasks: (1) matching resumes to job categories; and (2) summarizing resumes with employment relevant information. Overall, LLMs are robust across race and gender. They differ in their performance on pregnancy status and political affiliation. We use contrastive input decoding on open-source LLMs to uncover potential sources of bias.

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