When it Comes to Compliance, AI Should Enhance Equality

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Welcome to The New Talent Code, a podcast dedicated to empowering change agents in HR to push the envelope in their talent functions. Hosts Ligia and Jason bring you the best thought leaders in the talent space. They share stories about how they are designing the future workforce, transforming processes, and using cutting-edge technology to solve today’s pressing talent issues.

Today’s episode features Craig Leen, an attorney by trade and partner at K&L Gates. Before this, he served as the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) at the US Department of Labor. He is a leading expert on workforce compliance, equal opportunity, and anti-discrimination. 

To begin, Craig shares his passion and commitment to protecting companies against bias and representing the interests of people with disabilities. When he started advocating for his daughter, who has autism, he noticed a severe lack of resources. The commission supported his idea for a disability and inclusion program, leading the city to adopt its principles of inclusion. 

Craig highlights a few surprising situations flagged as non-compliant with the OFCCP. The OFCCP focuses on systemic discrimination, including hiring, promotion, and compensation. Given that most companies will have at least one area of disparity, explaining the gap is essential.

Shifting gears, Craig identifies how AI can help unpack some of this work around determining the required skills for a job. First, it can sort through a broader applicant pool to diversify the workforce and increase the diversity of the applicant pool for federal contractors. Finally, AI enables organizations to audit trends in real-time. 

HR leaders should ensure their AI provider is serious about prioritizing equal employment opportunities and assessing the roles for bias. For example, when the company chooses candidates to interview, profile masking helps hiring managers and recruiters avoid making decisions based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc. The OFCCP expects companies to audit their selection procedures yearly. 

Finally, he summarizes what the new laws and regulations in different states mean for vendors and buyers. In closing, Craig reveals his other hidden passions.


  • Learn more about Craig Leen.
  • Eightfold AI is committed to high compliance standards, security, and accessibility for our systems. Learn more about Eightfold AI’s actions of governance.

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