A Discussion With ChatGPT About the Future of Recruiting

What does a conversation with AI reveal about the nature of AI and its relationship to talent aquisition?

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Mar 14, 2024

I will gladly admit that I have a crush on ChatGPT. In my 30-year career, I have seen so much hype around tech that, while important and interesting, is ultimately not the seismic game-changer it is made out to be (i.e., assessment games, automated interview scoring, blockchain, the metaverse). Don’t get me wrong. All these things have their place in incremental change, but this GPT thing? It is otherworldly.

We can all relate to its immediate impact on saving us time and improving our work. The recruiting game is an interesting use case because it involves a two-way dialogue in which both parties seek an advantage. From the recruiter side, it is now possible to identify relevant skills, create interview questions, write and automate communications, and more.

But AI is a paradox requiring us to take the good and the bad.

For job seekers, the stakes are high, and getting noticed can be really hard…and moving forward in the hiring process even harder.

While ChatGPT can definitely help job seekers in benign ways and even help level the playing field, it has also opened the door to many flavors of duplicity and cheating. The long-term ramifications for recruiters are still unknown, but the technology has created a sense of uneasiness for now.

With so much awe-inspiring potential and mystery, conversational AI and ChatGPT have created so many existential and tactical questions.

  • How on earth does ChatGPT work?
  • It often hallucinates. Can we trust the information it gives us?
  • How can it take on personas and develop your chosen personality?
  • How well can it do my job?
  • Most importantly: How can we harness the good and mitigate the bad, and for gosh sakes, what the hell comes next for our industry?

My Conversation With ChatGPT: The Takeaways

I am naturally curious, and enthralled by the possibilities of generative AI, while at the same time maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism about the long-term motives of AI. So, I decided to invite ChatGPT to be a guest on my podcast Science 4-Hire. You can listen to the episode here. In the episode, I attempt to gain clarity on all of the questions I mentioned above. The result is quality edutainment that is both profound and hilarious.

Our amazing conversation delved into the fascinating world of AI and its burgeoning role in the hiring process and AI hiring software. Specifically, ChatGPT shared with me insights on how AI is transforming the future of work, focusing on AI recruitment, AI in the hiring process and talent assessment, addressing bias, and the nuances of corporate AI policies.

Finally, I put ChatGPT through its paces as a talent assessment expert by asking it to design an assessment process for an interesting and unique job. Here are my takeaways from the conversation:

  • When prompted correctly, ChatGPT can have a personality that makes it feel like a real person you can trust.
  • ChatGPT believes in itself while remaining realistic about what it can and cannot do. It even admits that it makes up answers to questions because it is designed to please. This shows the paradox of AI: Its strengths are amazing, but they come at a cost.
  • While ChatGPT admits that organizations must create AI governance policies to manage its use by employees, it feels confident that it makes a positive contribution when used by workers to do their jobs better and more efficiently, promoting feelings of psychological safety in the process. For instance, it suggests that workers who use it to make their jobs easier are ready to be given more challenging work instead of being chastised.
  • ChatGPT is a firm believer in the role of humans in creating the future of the workplace, seeing itself as only an aid to the process. Or at least it is telling us what we want to hear while it secretly plans to make us all irrelevant. AI for HR certainly will continue to grow as the centerpiece of HR technology.
  • While ChatGPT feels that it can massively benefit the efficiency and accuracy of hiring processes when prompted, it will admit that, as it grows more complex, the potential for bias is very real and will be difficult to manage. AI ethics demand that we continue to mitigate AI bias.
  • ChatGPT feels it can understand an organization’s unique culture and use this knowledge to screen applicants effectively for culture fit and other desired attributes. But it believes that humans should always be the ones making the final hiring decision.
  • ChatGTP recognizes the potential for applicants to use it to cheat in the hiring process and puts the onus back on humans to figure out how to manage this issue. ChatGTP cheating is an arms race with no specific outcomes besides continued one-upmanship.
  • ChatGPT is a pretty good IO psychologist. Given the task of designing a selection system for almost any job, ChatGTP can crank out a very credible hiring process and solution set that includes analyzing the job and choosing talent assessments and interview content to evaluate job applicants accurately.

My Conversation With ChatGPT: The Highlights

The excerpts from our conversation below summarize some of our mindshare about the future of hiring:

Dr. Charles Handler: What do you feel the future holds for the role of generative AIs like yourself or AI in general? Gosh. There could be other forms of AI that are going to blow our minds. In fact, I’m sure there will be. They may even be your distant relatives. Or your very close relatives, who knows? But I mean, our AI is like, you’re going to create seismic changes in how we hire.

ChatGPT: You know, when I think about the future of generative AI and hiring, it’s like envisioning a bustling city that’s always awake, always evolving. The streets are lined with avenues of enhanced efficiency. Imagine walking into an HR department where the once-tedious tasks of screening resumes and arranging preliminary interviews happen in the blink of an eye. It’s not that humans are super fast, but the underlying AI is doing the heavy lifting, freeing up humans for the more nuanced aspects of hiring. Then, there’s this exciting district where richer data insights drive.

It’s not just about glancing over a candidate’s skills or work experience. It’s like having an X-ray vision to truly understand the essence of a candidate, how they might fit within a company culture, or the potential they have to grow. As you stroll further, you encounter personalized experiences crafted just for you. Imagine getting a letter crafted not by a generic template but by something tailored to your interests and aspirations. That’s the beauty of AI.

It has this knack for weaving communication that feels personal like it’s speaking just to you. Of course, every city has its challenges. The rapid evolution means there are ethical considerations to navigate. It’s akin to balancing the conveniences of modern life with environmental and social considerations. There’s always a need to ensure that the insights and processes driven by AI are transparent and free from bias.

Do I see AI reshaping the landscape in the grand scheme of things? Oh, definitely. But it’s more of a harmonious dance with humans than a takeover. After all, hiring isn’t just about data and efficiency. It’s about human connections, intuition, and those indescribable moments of insight. AI can play the tunes, but humans bring the dance to life. So, while the future might be dazzling with tech, the heart and soul of hiring will always be undeniably human.

Dr. Charles Handler: So you don’t think AI will ever completely take over the hiring process. Finding applicants, evaluating them, and deciding whom to hire—even fifty years from now, you think humans will still be involved.

ChatGPT: Well, I can’t predict the future with absolute certainty. I’m insightful but not psychic. But let’s unpack this a bit. Hiring is both a science and an art. The science part? Sure. AI can do a lot there. Crunching numbers, analyzing patterns, and making initial screenings based on defined criteria. That’s within the realm of AI’s strong suit. However, the art side, human intuition, the understanding of context, and the ability to read between the lines are a sense of potential in someone beyond what’s on paper.

That’s inherently human. Moreover, the essence of a workplace isn’t just productivity and efficiency. Its culture, interpersonal dynamics, shared values, and many subtle factors are deeply human-centric. So, while AI might become a dominant force in streamlining, optimizing, and making certain hiring decisions, I believe there will always be a space reserved for human touch, judgment, and intuition. Humans bring a unique blend of empathy, cultural understanding, and real-world context that’s hard, if not impossible, to replicate in an algorithm.

Maybe in fifty years, the hiring process will be a seamless blend where AI does much of the groundwork, but humans have the final say. Or perhaps new job roles might emerge just to oversee and interpret AI’s recommendations in hiring. It’s an exciting horizon, and I’m all in for the adventure with humans at the helm.

A Brave New World

According to ChatGPT, humans will always remain at the center of hiring decisions. But is it just telling us what we want to hear? The rules are being rewritten at warp speed. It is easy to feel like one is barely hanging on, and we are balancing AI FOMO with many psychological and ethical concerns.

Welcome to the brave new world where seemingly anything can happen. Whether the good outweighs the bad is yet to be determined. But there is no turning back now. The die has been cast, the bar of the roller coaster has come down, and we are locked into our future.

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