With so many articles being posted and many differing opinions about the pros and cons of AI/ChatGPT and the recruitment industry, I decided to delve into the system and give it a go myself. Yes, this genuinely is the first time I have logged onto the system, so please forgive any first-timer ignorance.
(For the record, this article is 100% human-written, other than where I am showcasing examples of the results from ChatGPT – in purple italics, for ease of reference).
Oh, how I did chuckle briefly when registering for my ChatGPT account as I was asked to verify (more than once) that I am a human – the irony!
I asked ChatGPT to ‘Generate a blog explaining the pros and cons of ChatGPT in recruitment and talent acquisition’.
The speed at which the app wrote was truly impressive – I hadn’t even had time to sip my coffee before the entire blog was written. Wow!
But, reading through the article, it was immediately apparent to me that it was computer-generated. And the grammar? It hurt my copywriter’s eyeballs – Oxford commas everywhere and American spellings to boot.
Yet, in a split second the system had ascertained the key points and made somewhat compelling arguments for and against the technology – it even had a pretty good blog title.
Title: Navigating the Pros and Cons of ChatGPT in Recruitment and Talent Acquisition: A Game-Changer or a Double-Edged Sword?
Recruitment and talent acquisition are critical processes for any organization to attract and hire the best-fit candidates for their workforce. With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, ChatGPT, powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 architecture, has emerged as a potential game-changer in the recruitment industry. ChatGPT offers new possibilities for automating and enhancing various aspects of the recruitment process. However, as with any technology, there are pros and cons to consider. In this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using ChatGPT in recruitment and talent acquisition.
The article listed pros for the technology in the recruitment sector, which I found interesting but was immediately defensive about. Examples of which I have counter-arguments for below.
Time and Cost Efficiency: ChatGPT can automate repetitive tasks in the recruitment process, such as screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and answering frequently asked questions.
Automate repetitive tasks? These are crucial elements of a recruiter’s role – screening CVs is actually an art form; it may often be a repetitive task, but certainly not one that should be left to algorithms or AI to do.
A genuinely good recruiter isn’t looking for keywords that match the job spec, they’re reading the CV, taking note of the individual’s experience, analysing the layout and formatting, checking the spelling and grammar, noting the personal attributes and skills that are listed, and most definitely noticing the things that aren’t listed but potentially could be, if the candidate knew to add them on.
A good recruiter looks beyond the keywords in a CV – and an exceptional recruiter can often do it in seconds.
Enhanced Candidate Experience: ChatGPT can provide personalized and interactive experiences to candidates, making the recruitment process more engaging and convenient. It can
engage with candidates in real-time, provide instant feedback, and answer their questions, leading to a positive candidate experience. This can help create a favorable impression of the organization and improve the overall employer brand.
Hmmm, I’ve no doubt that AI could engage with candidates, but do candidates really want to be engaging with a computer? Do they want technology to be providing them with feedback and answering their questions. Personally, I get infuriated with online ‘chatbots’ when I’m trying to get Customer Service support from companies – I don’t want computers telling me standard answers to my queries, I want to liaise with a real person and get a truly personalised answer.
At Carousel, we don’t wish for our candidates to be given feedback, advise or answers to their questions from anyone other than their consultants and definitely not from a computer generated programme.
ChatGPT even lists this in the potential cons, highlighting the issues that relying on the technology to build a positive candidate experience can have:
Limitations in Complex Interactions: While ChatGPTs are capable of handling basic queries and interactions, they may struggle with more complex and nuanced conversations. ChatGPTs may misinterpret queries or provide inaccurate responses, leading to miscommunication or misunderstandings with candidates. This could potentially result in a poor candidate experience and impact the recruitment outcomes.
‘Lack of Human Touch’ was another con that was listed:
Lack of Human Touch: Despite their advanced capabilities, ChatGPTs are still machines and lack the human touch that is often valued in recruitment processes. Candidates may feel disconnected and miss the personalized touch of human interaction, which could impact their overall experience and perception of the organization.
Human interaction is an absolute necessity in talent acquisition, not just in creating a personalised experience for the candidate, but to recruit successfully. ChatGPT explains further:
This (reliance on technology) could lead to a lack of human judgment, intuition, and emotional intelligence in the recruitment process, which are crucial for assessing cultural fit and soft skills of candidates.
For those that argue that recruiters use AI, algorithms and technology to assess candidates and therefore candidates should be able to use similar technology too, Carousel’s response is – we don’t.
We use no more technology to search for candidates, than a candidate would use to search for a job. Every other step of our recruitment process is done by highly experienced human beings – we don’t use technology to screen candidates for us or to assess our candidate’s suitability for a role or a client; our consultants (with decades of experience) do it.
The one thing that is evident is that AI is being used by some candidates in the recruitment process. Elements of CVs are being written by AI, cover letters are being drafted by AI and suitable answers or presentations are being created by AI in advance of an interview. Companies and recruiters are not being blindsided, we are fully aware; several companies, including Monzo Bank, are already warning candidates not to use AI in the recruitment process, and rightly so.
We recently received a CV that blatantly had a different style and tone of writing in the personal profile as to the rest of the document, an immediate red flag that it had been written by someone or something else.
There is a difference between asking a friend to take a look at your CV and offer any advice on improvements and using a computer programme to write it for you. There is also a distinct difference between undertaking online (or offline) research and writing down some notes to help you with potential interview questions and asking a ChatBot to write the perfect answers for you.
There is no doubt that AI is highly intelligent (and will only get more and more ‘intelligent’ the more it is used) and that the benefits of using it in many aspects of life are limitless, but we must always remember that it is artificial.
Nothing should be more genuine or more authentic than a CV. And candidates should be 100% genuine and authentic in interviews. Those that aren’t, rarely get the job and if they do, rarely work out.
As talent specialists, the fundamental element of our job has always been to fully assess candidates’ suitability for our clients’ roles – perhaps now we will be even more in demand?
If more and more individuals turn to AI to assist with their job applications, then more and more candidates could be deemed suitable ‘on paper’ (or by algorithms) for each role; the in-depth screening of candidates by experienced recruiters will likely be needed by HR departments and hiring managers for a long time to come.
Footnote: this took more than a couple of hours to write, proof, amend, write again, take a break for another coffee and then check again, but is a genuine, authentic piece of writing!
Footnote 2: Is a footnote (as above) going to be required at the end of every blog/article/CV/cover letter/dissertation/report created from now on?