Modern Hire Hosts Third Annual SIOP Machine Learning Competition, Showcases Innovation in HR and People Analytics with a Focus on Solving for Bias and Fairness in Hiring

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Competition is now open through March 2021; Modern Hire and SIOP repurposed bags designed for now-cancelled conference to create masks for personal protective equipment in COVID-19 crisis

A mask created from the bags that Modern Hire and SIOP donated to MakeIt Labs to help in the fight against COVID-19. (Photo by MakeIt Labs, Nashua, NH)

"With a positive reframing of the global hardship, we hope that by extending the competition the best and brightest will have all the more opportunity to join and contribute, resulting in even better endpoint solutions,” said Isaac Thompson, Ph.D., Principal Data Scientist at Modern Hire

Modern Hire, the all-in-one enterprise hiring platform that enables organizations to continuously improve hiring experiences and outcomes with trusted science and technology, today announces that the third annual Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Machine Learning Competition will remain open through March 2021. Modern Hire and SIOP also donated 5,000 bags created for SIOP’s now-cancelled annual conference in Austin, Texas to create masks for personal protective equipment in the COVID-19 crisis.

“This year’s SIOP Machine Learning competition is a remarkable first for the field of AI, especially in employee selection. We have open-sourced hiring data from a Fortune 100 company with demographics, which many thought was impossible. This data will serve as a foundation for a community of innovation to strive together to make AI applied to hiring fairer,” said Isaac Thompson, Ph.D., Principal Data Scientist at Modern Hire and organizer of the SIOP Machine Learning Competition. “With a positive reframing of the global hardship, we hope that by extending the competition the best and brightest from across the world will have all the more opportunity to join and contribute, resulting in even better endpoint solutions. Similarly, I am proud that Modern Hire and our SIOP community repurposed conference bags that would have gone unused into protective equipment.”

Engineered and designed by Thompson and his Modern Hire colleague, Nick Koenig, Ph.D. – two of the industry-leading data scientists and researchers in artificial intelligence – the goal of the competition is to infuse the latest and most powerful methods in computer science, data science and artificial intelligence into the field of people analytics. Each year, participants are presented with a problem to solve within the HR industry. This year’s challenge is one of the most common HR and company leaders face: reducing bias to make fair and accurate hiring decisions.

Using a massive open data set from a Fortune 100 company – which includes assessment, performance and retention data from nearly 50,000 employees – participants are tasked with creating an algorithm that determines who to hire, while balancing fairness against the multiple criteria already collected from candidates. Since the algorithms will be written in open source language, any company will be able to leverage the algorithms created to make more fair and accurate hiring decisions. Winners will be chosen based on how well their algorithms perform against a hidden data set.

To date, over 140 analytics teams have entered the competition. Teams have joined from companies such as Atlassian, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Uber and the USAA, along with research institutions such as Bowling Green State University, Duke University, Michigan State University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Alabama. The competition website will maintain a live, public leaderboard running top team scores, and each team will receive an additional 50 submissions so that they can continue to innovate and ideate on the data until the March 2021 deadline. The final test data set, which will determine the winners, will be released one to two months before the competition’s deadline. Participants will only be granted a few submissions on this data set, with more details and information to come as the March 2021 deadline approaches.

With the 35th Annual SIOP Conference now transitioned to a virtual event, Modern Hire has donated the 5,000 SIOP conference bags that it had sponsored to Nashua, New Hampshire-based MakeIt Labs, which Modern Hire and SIOP were connected to through MakerMask.org. MakeIt Labs is working with a vast community of individuals and groups who are creating more than 100 million masks across the U.S. MakeIt Labs divided up the bags from Modern Hire and SIOP – which were made of non-woven polypropylene, the material of choice for commercial, medical-grade masks – among those in its community who requested materials to make masks. Once complete, the masks will be donated to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“Though our 2020 conference was cancelled, we knew it was the best decision for the SIOP community. We’re excited that we were able to turn bags designed for the in-person event into masks that will be used by those that need them the most during the fight against COVID-19,” said Scott Tonidandel, Ph.D., SIOP 2020 Conference Chair. “We’re also pleased that, with Modern Hire’s help, we were able to extend the deadline for our Machine Learning Competition to give more participants the chance to submit their ideas and innovations through next year. We're looking forward to the 2020 SIOP virtual conference in June and meeting again to connect with our community in person at the 2021 annual conference once it's safe to do so.”

For more information and to register for the third annual SIOP Machine Learning Competition, please visit: https://forms.gle/F5fAs8HLV1E3ZdVE6. To learn more about SIOP’s annual conference, visit https://www.siop.org/Annual-Conference.

About Modern Hire
Modern Hire is the all-in-one enterprise hiring platform that enables organizations to continuously improve hiring results through more personalized, data-driven experiences for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers. The Modern Hire platform merges trusted science with proven SaaS technology to predict performance, ensure fairness, and automate workflow—enterprise-wide. It combines AI, predictive analytics, workflow automation, assessment, and interviewing technology in a single SaaS solution that integrates with leading HCM systems. Trusted by 47 of the Fortune 100, Modern Hire transforms each step of the hiring process, from post-apply to hire and beyond. To learn more about Modern Hire's vision for making hiring personal, visit: http://www.modernhire.com.

About SIOP
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is the premier membership organization for those practicing and teaching I-O psychology. While an independent organization with its own governance, SIOP also represents Division 14 of the American Psychological Association and is an organizational affiliate of the Association for Psychological Science. SIOP’s mission is to enhance human well-being and performance in organizational and work settings by promoting the science, practice, and teaching of industrial-organizational psychology. To learn more about SIOP and industrial-organizational psychology, visit: http://www.siop.org.

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