In 1950, Alan Turing devised a test called the ‘Imitation Game, popularly known as the Turing Test: could a computer program ever convince a human interlocutor that he was talking to another human, rather than to a machine?
Almost seven decades later one of the world’s leading AI labs, OpenAI released ChatGPT. A step-change chatbot, which has impressed users with its writing ability and proficiency at complex tasks from writing computer codes to generating hip-hop lyrics.
In fact, one viral tweet shows how it convincingly delivers a biblical verse explaining ‘how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR’.
Meanwhile, our industry is wondering what its impact will be on Recruitment and Hiring. So, here is our take on the use cases and the impact of ChatGPT in recruitment and hiring in the near future.
So, What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT, also known as the Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is an advanced natural language processing (NLP) model developed by OpenAI. It has been hailed as the most powerful language model ever built, with approximately 175 billion parameters. This makes Microsoft’s Turing NLG, the second most powerful language model which has roughly 17 billion parameters.
ChatGPT is a ‘Text In-Text Out’ programthat requires some programming, either through structured examples or by learning from human feedback.
Next, our burning question is how ChatGPT can be used to augment, automate, and transform the hiring process.
How Could ChatGPT Impact Recruitment?
While these are early days, and ChatGPT has not been developed with a recruitment use case in mind, but considering its semantic abilities, applications are bound to develop to leverage it for Job search and hiring.
We see broadly 2 primary & impactful use cases for candidates and 4 for recruiters in the next few months:
Impact For Candidates
1. Better Cover Letters and Resumes
Candidates often get screened out thought they are fit for a job, because their resume is not up-to the mark. Simple grammatical, or formatting errors costs them the opportunity. Also, while it is recommended, it’s exhausting for a candidate to write a personalized resume and cover letter for every job application. And thus, many times potential candidates lose out on the opportunity because of the same.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply write one copy for every job. But with ChatGPT, candidates can make sure that their resume is up to the mark and customize each resume for each job posting in just a few seconds.
Hence, we expect candidates to share better-quality resumes, with customized cover letters suitable for each job opening.
2. Generating Suggested Interview Questions
ChatGPT can help candidates prepare for job interview questions by feeding the job requirement, title, description, experience, etc.
Impact: Equalization of opportunity for candidates as fewer candidates will get screened out on the quality of their resume/ language, and will have a better chance to show their fitment, relevant experience and skill sets.
I overheard this accurate analysis of ChatGPT's impact on your career:— Thomas Chua (@SteadyCompound) January 26, 2023
Person A: Will ChatGPT replace our jobs?
Person B: No. Because your boss can't blame ChatGPT if things go wrong.
Impact on Recruiters
Better Job Descriptions
With its impressive writing skills ChatGPT can help in writing clear, effective JDs which will communicate clear, compelling, and inclusive job descriptions accurately.
Also, you can repurpose complex, ambiguous, and vague job descriptions.
Image Source: Glan Cathey
Impact: Again, this will improve the quality of job applications, and also, the JDs may reach a wider audience due to their readability and relevance.
Better Search Strings including Boolean & X-ray
Recruiters can get exact search strings without mistakes, which will save them a lot of time. They should also be able to improvise candidate search by asking it for job title variations on any role.
Many candidates try to outwit the AI tool while applying to jobs that they may not be extremely qualified for by inserting all the critical keywords at the bottom of the resume (and, when we say all, we mean it).
I believe candidates deceive the machine with the hope that once their resume is in front of a human they’ll get a chance to impress & prove themselves.
Here GPT-3 can turn the tables for recruiters.
For example, with ChatPT recruiters should be able to type in data science and candidates with experience in OpenAI, or python or any of the other skills and experiences mentioned will be highlighted, instead of just prompting candidates with the words data science on their resume.
Candidates can also be screened for basic criteria like Demographics (Age, Qualification, IC vs TL, location, etc) and Qualitative (skills, relevant experience, and achievement), etc.
Automated Follow-up, Scheduling and Operations
Candidates can be followed up for updated resumes, profile queries, interest levels, etc. Also, scheduling and coordination can be done automated without frequent human intervention.
Client follow-up, especially for feedback can be done automatically and also shared directly with the candidate.
This can reduce the hiring cost of a recruitment intern,especially for budget constraint start-ups.
More Specialists and Fewer Generalist
Recruiters will need to gain more specific knowledge of the client/industry/role they are hiring for, instead of the usual general keywords and demographics. They will need to be able to understand why a candidate fits, what is the possible career path for them if they take that role, and why should the organization hire that particular candidate vs any other.
ChatGPT’s ability to create high-quality copy templates for specific parts of the hiring value chain will eliminate/minimize manual HR writing tasks and increase efficiency.
It will also reduce real-time communication time and can ease various pain points across the whole process of recruitment from candidate experience to administrative tas.
Other Secondary Uses for Recruiters
- Conducting precise hiring market research
- Generating interview questions with minimum search
Limitations of ChatGPT in Recruitment
While it seems ChatGPT’s ascent is imminent, Sam Altman himself in a tweet said that ChatGPT is “incredibly limited” and “it’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now.”
ChatGPT is incredibly limited, but good enough at some things to create a misleading impression of greatness.— Sam Altman (@sama) December 11, 2022
it's a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. it’s a preview of progress; we have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.
It is a raw opensource product till now which is still in the beta stage and comes with its own challenges for recruiters.
Some of them are discussed below:
Potential for Bias
AI-powered apps developed by the likes of Microsoft (Tay) and Google (image recognition technology) are an example of two AI-powered apps that have been shown to exhibit racial bias.
Given that ChatGPT was trained on human-produced content, including a crawl of most of the open web, it is assumed that it would suffer from similar biases.
Lack of Human Interaction & Connection
While ChatGPT may be able to identify the most qualified candidates based on their resumes, it may not be able to assess their fit for a given job opening or company culture as effectively as a human recruiter.
Also, it’s the human interaction which makes connect between candidates and the organization. If there is no human time involved, the connect will not be there and good candidates will be left feeling cold.
The costs for running ChatGPT are prohibitive, and the computational power available is severely constrained. On top of that, it may need costly integrations to fully automate the candidate experience.
While we assume the costs will finally become manageable like any new technology, it may still be a few years away from commercial viability.
Garbage In-Garbage Out
“If we train our AI to write vacancy texts and we base it on the historical data we have — then there will only be even more bad vacancy texts”, says Chad Sowash – Co-Founder & Co-Host – LinkedIN.
Since ChatGPT uses Transformation-based learning (TBL), with which it analyses the user’s input and then tries to predict the next words, there is a possibility of putting critical recruitment processes at risk by inserting misinformation and inappropriate evaluation criteria.
The Big Question - Will ChatGPT Replace Humans in Recruitment?
Well, with its ability to assist in small content/idea-generating tasks, you can think of ChatGPT as an entry level intern!
ChatGPT has surely amazed us with its ability to generate sentences that exhibit language fluency and basic contextual understanding. While it has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency of the recruitment process, it is unlikely to replace human recruiters entirely.
Ultimately, ChatGPT is just a tool – its impact will depend on how it is used, which only future will tell us.