Is it me, or is it ChatGPT?

In February of 2022, the U.S. achieved an all-time high of 5 million more job openings than unemployed people. 1 The data suggest a better time to find a job has never existed. Still, those conditions have also contributed to a significant volume of resignations and job instability. In the first few months of 2023, the news has focused on substantial layoffs, particularly in the technology sector, so what’s the real story? 2 Good job market? Shrinking opportunities? Some have called it weird, 3 others challenging, 4 with a consensus that it merits watching what is happening. What is intriguing about the chaotic employment market is that both employers and job seekers are taking advantage of emerging capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI).5

The ability to sort through hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes in hours offers an attractive alternative to spending days and weeks reviewing and comparing candidates. This searching and sorting is a similar requirement for adept employment seekers. AI provides job seekers a tool to guide search efforts, craft cover letters, tailor resumes, and respond to qualifying questions.

With potential benefits for both employers and prospects, what liabilities must also be considered?

The following content below promotes an understanding of AI’s value AND detriments in recruiting (Company focused) and selection (Employee focused). This article is unique because AI has been used to generate the positions stated!

Admittedly a little guidance was necessary on what to include in this discussion, but AI generated a significant volume of the content for this article. What is potentially disturbing about this commentary is the viability of this writing as novel thought. Great efforts have been made in this article to clearly define what content was generated by AI (ChatGPT in this case 6). The concept of having AI itself debate the relative merits of AI in recruiting and selecting potential employees was intriguing at first and, during the process, a little unnerving based on the quality of the response. It was impossible not to consider the ongoing repercussions to original thought or human intelligence, but I will leave that to another date and time. Great effort has been expended to identify content that ChatGPT has generated, so the differentiation between author sources should be easily distinguished. (ChatGPT generated all text written in red based on questions posed by the author.) 6

The ratio of available jobs to employees can vary depending on the specific job market and industry. In some cases, there may be more job openings than qualified candidates to fill them, while in other cases, there may be more job seekers than available positions. For example, during economic growth and low unemployment periods, there may be more job openings than job seekers, leading to a tight labor market where employers struggle to find qualified candidates. Conversely, during periods of economic recession or high unemployment, there may be more job seekers than job openings, leading to a surplus of available workers and increased competition for limited job opportunities.

These traditional markers for the job market have been challenging to follow since economic growth is prolonged. However, there still appear to be many more jobs than applicants, so using AI as a tool for corporations and individuals will remain a viable tool, with more than 70 percent of companies increasing spending on AI.7

Arguably it is easier for people to quit their present employment when attractive options appear plentiful, which may impact what looks like relatively high unemployment numbers. However, those leaving their current work have only decreased modestly despite a significant number of layoffs in the technology industry, demonstrating that available jobs still far exceed the response from the workforce despite most people continuing to look at employment alternatives. With the plethora of potential applicants, the luxury that most companies afford is having volume and interest working in their favor. At issue in this process is the potential to trust artificial intelligence to short-list aspirants with various factors that may result in inferior interviewees.

Today’s work environment complicates the selection process for most companies. The overall volume of people searching for their next job is higher than ever, but the challenge for any company is to sort through the masses and find candidates who ideally fit the requirements. The same technology that supports companies in identifying best-fit prospects equips job seekers with the tools to tweak resumes or even create resumes and cover letters!

The following is the first AI-generated response:

AI can bring several benefits to companies in the recruiting process. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Efficiency: AI can help automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks in the recruitment process, such as resume screening, candidate sourcing, and scheduling interviews. This can help recruiters save time and focus on more high-value tasks, such as conducting interviews and building relationships with candidates. Improved candidate matching: AI-powered tools can help analyze candidate profiles and job requirements to identify the best match, reducing the chances of hiring the wrong candidate.
  2. Reduced bias: AI-powered recruitment tools can help eliminate unconscious biases in the recruitment process by removing personal identifiers such as name, age, and gender from candidate profiles, thereby providing an equal opportunity for all candidates.
  3. Improved candidate experience: AI can help improve the candidate experience by providing real-time feedback, scheduling interviews, and answering candidate queries through chatbots, which can help increase candidate engagement and reduce drop-out rates.
  4. Cost savings: By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining the recruitment process, AI can help reduce the overall cost of recruitment, including advertising, sourcing, and hiring.

Overall, AI can bring significant benefits to companies in the recruitment process, from increased efficiency and cost savings to improved candidate matching and a better candidate experience.

I am unsure about your reaction to that last paragraph. Still, I was impressed by the content depth in this response and the validity of the stated benefits supported by other published content on this topic. I have cited specific articles that mention the same benefits cited by ChatGPT. 5,8,9

Let’s move forward with this analysis of AI and its potential value for job seekers. Initially, the value in this area was something that I overlooked, but after additional research, the AI value for people looking for their next job is just as impressive.  10, 11

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can offer a variety of benefits for candidates looking for a job, including:

  1. Improved matching: AI can analyze candidates’ skills, experience, and qualifications and match them with job openings that best fit their profile. This means that candidates can quickly and easily find relevant job opportunities without spending hours searching through job postings.
  2. Streamlined application process: AI-powered recruitment tools can automate many aspects of the application process, including resume screening and initial candidate assessments. This means that candidates can apply for jobs more efficiently and receive faster feedback on their applications.
  3. Personalized job recommendations: AI can use a candidate’s job history, skills, and interests to provide personalized job recommendations, which can help candidates find jobs that they may not have considered otherwise.
  4. Objective evaluations: AI can objectively evaluate a candidate’s skills and qualifications, reducing the risk of bias in the recruitment process. This means that candidates are assessed on their merits rather than on factors such as race, gender, or age.
  5. Increased efficiency: AI can automate many time-consuming tasks in the recruitment process, such as scheduling interviews and sending follow-up emails. This can save both candidates’ and recruiters’ time and effort.

Overall, AI can help candidates find jobs more efficiently, streamline the application process, and reduce the risk of bias in the recruitment process. 10

The case for AI is strong, and adoption has increased dramatically in 2-3 years. However, most recent statistics suggest that at least 28% 11 of companies use AI in some aspect of their recruiting process, and even that number probably needs to be updated based on the reticence of some companies to admit AI utilization of any form.12 Artificial intelligence (AI) in recruiting and candidate selection has become increasingly popular in recent years. While AI can provide significant benefits in terms of efficiency and objectivity, there are also potential risks and challenges that organizations should consider. Here are some of the most significant risks associated with using AI in recruiting and candidate selection:

  1. Bias: One of the most significant risks of using AI in recruiting is the potential for bias. AI systems are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on, and if the data used to train the AI contains bias, then the AI will also be biased. This can lead to discriminatory hiring practices and a need for more diversity in the workplace.
  2. Lack of transparency: Another risk of using AI in recruiting is the need for more transparency. AI algorithms can be complex, and it can be challenging to understand how they make decisions. This lack of transparency can make it difficult for candidates to understand why they were rejected and can erode trust in the hiring process.
  3. Legal compliance: Using AI in recruiting can create legal compliance issues. Organizations must ensure their AI systems comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as those related to equal employment opportunity and data privacy.
  4. Technical issues: AI systems can also be susceptible to technical issues like software glitches and algorithmic errors. These issues can lead to incorrect or unfair hiring decisions, significantly affecting candidates and organizations.
  5. Lack of human interaction: Using AI in recruiting can lead to a lack of human interaction in the hiring process. While AI can be efficient, it must maintain the value of human judgment and intuition. As a result, candidates may also feel that the hiring process is impersonal and dehumanizing.

In summary, while AI can provide many benefits in recruiting and candidate selection, organizations must also be aware of the potential risks and challenges. Therefore, they must take steps to ensure that their AI systems are unbiased, transparent, legally compliant, technically sound, and incorporate the value of human judgment.

This is an interesting summary when you consider that AI is generating a response on the disadvantages of AI itself. This provides some insight into the capabilities of AI to be objective, even when it comes to assessing the viability of its existence.

Fortunately, the merit and risks of AI are relatively discernable at this point in the evolution of this enabling technology. Speed, mass processing, and objectivity are easy benefits. Yet, simultaneously, the risks of reliance on technology for what many see as a deeply personal process are also evident, so how does it all stack up?

The use of AI in candidate recruiting has both advantages and disadvantages. The extent to which the benefits outweigh the disadvantages depends on the specific application of AI in the recruiting process and the organization’s goals. Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Advantages:

  1. Increased Efficiency: AI can automate repetitive tasks such as sorting resumes, scheduling interviews, and sending follow-up emails. This saves time and resources for recruiters, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
  2. Objective Decision Making: AI algorithms can make unbiased decisions based on specific criteria, reducing the risk of human biases and discrimination.
  3. Enhanced Candidate Experience: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide quick and personalized responses to candidates, enhancing their experience throughout the recruiting process.
  4. Data-Driven Insights: AI can analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends, providing valuable insights into the recruiting process’s effectiveness and potential improvement areas.

Disadvantages:

  1. Lack of Human Touch: AI algorithms may need more personal touch and emotional intelligence than human recruiters possess, leading to a less personalized and engaging candidate experience.
  2. Limited Contextual Understanding: AI may need help understanding the nuances of human behavior and context, leading to inaccurate assessments and decisions.
  3. Potential for Bias: AI algorithms may reflect the biases and assumptions of their creators and training data, leading to unintended discrimination against certain candidates.
  4. Risk of Technical Failure: AI systems may be vulnerable to technical glitches, leading to errors and inaccuracies in the recruiting process.

In summary, the advantages and disadvantages of using AI in candidate recruiting should be carefully considered before implementing such technology. While AI can improve efficiency, objectivity, and data-driven decision-making, it may also need more human touch and contextual understanding and may introduce unintended biases or technical errors. Ultimately, organizations should evaluate their specific needs and goals to determine whether the benefits of using AI in recruiting outweigh the potential drawbacks.13

Consider again how much we already rely on Artificial Intelligence in all aspects of our life. The fact that a significant part of this article was “written” by AI is a little troubling to me, given how easy it was to generate what appears to be a scholarly review of the merits of AI in recruiting. Merits and flaws in many cases are so evident that it makes sense that AI could generate these observations, but the challenge presented by AI at the end of this article must NOT be overlooked. It is stated that organizations “should” evaluate their specific needs and goals to determine whether the benefits outweigh the potential “drawbacks.” Better said, organizations MUST assess their needs and goals and look closely at the potential disadvantages. Many algorithms behind AI are precisely that, behind, and lack personal review and consensus on factors that promote or eliminate candidates. The reality of technology bias and fundamental operational gaps that still exist in this technology and the legislation to ensure that adequate review protocols are in place is lagging far behind AI deployment itself. In short, we are designing laws and procedures to address what is already happening. Essentially the same as “Locking the door after the robbery?” Probably an extreme analogy, but the merit of developing guidelines for all aspects of AI recruiting is compelling!

*Author’s Note – Significant research was conducted to validate the assertions stated by ChatGPT.   Additional References have been cited to support statements made independently by ChatGPT.

 Endnotes

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job openings levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t08.htm

2 Layoffs are up nearly fivefold so far this year with tech companies leading the way, Jeff Cox CNBC, April 6, 2023, (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/06/layoffs-are-up-nearly-fivefold-so-far-this-year-with-tech-companies-leading-the-way.html

3 Recruitment is Weird Right Now: a Focus on the Positive, AIHR, Suzanne Lucas, August 6, 2020, https://www.aihr.com/blog/recruitment-focus/

4 The Current Recruitment Landscape… and what does the future hold? LinkedIn Pulse, James Bowesman, September 12, 2021, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/current-recruitment-landscape-what-does-future-hold-james-bowesman/

5 AI’s impact on recruitment, August 12, 2022, in Artificial Intelligence, https://dataconomy.com/2022/08/how-is-artificial-intelligence-changing-the-recruiting-process/

6 ChatGPT, April 13, 2023, https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt

7 Exploring the Ways in Which AI Can Facilitate the Discovery of Potential Hires, Course Monster Website, Marbenz Antonio, March 8, 2023, https://blog.coursemonster.com/exploring-the-ways-in-which-ai-can-facilitate-the-discovery-of-potential-hires/

8 How AI is giving a boost to recruiting for the jobs that are toughest to fill, Venture Beat, Sean Michael Kerner, January 18, 2023, https://venturebeat.com/ai/how-ai-is-giving-a-boost-to-recruiting-for-the-jobs-that-are-toughest-to-fill/

9 The impact of AI on recruitment, AIHR, Ethan Lee, May 21, 2018, (https://www.aihr.com/blog/impact-ai-recruitment/

10 How Can AI Help Job Seekers? 5 AI Tools to Use in Your Next Job Search, KickResume Blog, Klara Cervenanska, January 3, 2023, https://blog.kickresume.com/how-can-ai-help-job-seekers/

11  AI in Recruitment Statistics for 2023, Patryk Miszczak, February 19, 2023, https://businessolution.org/ai-in-recruitment-statistics/

12 AI Recruitment Statistics: What Is the Future of Hiring? Tidio, Beata Stefanowicz, January 5, 2023, https://www.tidio.com/blog/ai-recruitment/

13 Pros and Cons of Using AI in Recruiting, Alyssa Harmon, April 4, 2023, https://www.recruiter.com/recruiting/pros-and-cons-of-using-ai-in-recruiting/

References

14 6 Best AI Tools For Your Jobs Search and Recruitment, Artificial Intelligence in Plain English, https://bit.ly/40zW2Ap  

15 In a slowing hiring market, will AI finally revolutionize recruiting?, Human Resource Executive, Steve Boese, November 29, 2022, https://bit.ly/43ZZ6ZA

16 AI Won’t Replace Recruiters, But It Will Make Them Better,  Cornerstone Blog Post, undated, Ji-A Min, https://bit.ly/3HdOEny

17 Is AI The Answer To Recruiting Effectiveness? Forbes, David Windley, June 16, 2021, https://bit.ly/3AtATgE

18 7 Effective uses of AI in recruitment, Unleash, Melanie Johnson, March 30, 2022,  https://bit.ly/3oKL2CV

19 AI For Recruiting: A Definitive Guide For HR Professionals,Ideal.com, undated, https://ideal.com/ai-recruiting/

20 The Pitfalls And Potential Of Using AI In Recruitment, PC Recruiter, undated, https://bit.ly/3Nfy2Qg

21 How To Leverage AI And Use ChatGPT In Your Job Search, According To Résumé Writers And Career Coaches, Forbes, Jack Kelly, April 3, 2023, https://bit.ly/3N8p9YB

22 Ways to Use ChatGPT & AI for Your Resume & Job Search, Teal, March 7, 2023, https://bit.ly/3n0I1OB

23 The Top 11 Best AI Recruiting Tools – 2023, Select Software Reviews, Phil Strazzulla, March 21, 2023, https://bit.ly/3AM1lCB

Dan Vander Hey
Associate Director of Enterprise Process Consultingat| + posts

Dan Vander Hey, Associate Director in Enterprise Process Consulting at Cognizant. Vander Hey is a nationally recognized HR transformation, strategic sourcing, and human capital technology expert. He’s an author, speaker, and consultant to Fortune 1000 Companies in areas focused on human capital management, best-fit process optimization, and innovative people practices. For more than two decades, he has designed and deployed a wide variety of enterprise systems, including PeopleSoft/Oracle, SAP, ADP, Workday, Ceridian, and UKG. He holds an M.A. in psychology from Humboldt State University and a B.A. in psychology from Biola University. He can be reached at[email protected].

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