Using tools such as ChatGPT for job applications gives rise to complex ethical concerns, such as the possibility of candidates presenting themselves falsely to prospective employers. Nevertheless, candidates view it as an essential measure to gain an advantage in a labour market in which talent selection is ridden by unfairness, discrimination and inefficiencies.
ChatGPT is already used by 46%* of job seekers for writing their CVs and motivation letters. And the results are truly shocking:
- 7 in 10 users report a higher response rate from companies.
- 78% land interviews using ChatGPT-generated materials.
- 59% are successfully hired with ChatGPT applications.
As hiring processes are becoming increasingly lengthy and more companies are using software as means of screening out employees – finding a job is beginning to feel like a twisted episode of Black Mirror. When using ChatGPT, candidates finally feel like they are fighting a more equal battle – bot against a bot.
This leaves one question unanswered: to what extent does this impact you – the person in whose hands is the decision-making power in terms of whom to hire?
Here’s how ChatGPT will impact your job as a recruiter
With its ability to access vast amounts of information and generate customised content, ChatGPT is set to revolutionise the way you approach the traditional components of the recruitment process, such as CVs and motivation letters.
A sign that it’s time to let go of motivation letters
When individuals generate a motivation letter using ChatGPT, they typically provide information from their CV, as well as the job description and requirements for an open role. However, not all is as innocent and harmless as it may come across on a surface level.
When ChatGPT is given information from the candidate such as their name, it can make assumptions about gender based on commonly associated names. Similarly, by mentioning the city or university graduation year, it may infer the person’s age. These inferences can lead to biases, as ChatGPT’s training data may contain societal prejudices and stereotypes. For instance, if ChatGPT assumes the candidate is a man or woman based on their name, it might generate content that aligns with gender norms or expectations. Similarly, if it assumes the candidate’s age, it may inadvertently incorporate age-related biases into the cover letter.
The impact of biases in ChatGPT generated motivation letters has significant implications for you:
- It can lead to misjudgments and flawed decision-making, affecting your assessment of candidate suitability.
- It also undermines efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, potentially excluding qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.
- If a candidate relies solely on ChatGPT to generate their motivation letter and successfully lands the job, there is a possibility that they may feel disconnected from the tasks, culture, or overall purpose of the position, which can negatively impact their job satisfaction and overall career trajectory.
Motivation letters have not been the most effective requirement in hiring with a large majority of them being generic already before GPT. On top of that, hiring managers admit to not even reading motivation letters. Perhaps the emergence of ChatGPT is the sign to leave motivation letters in the past that we’ve all been waiting for…
From improving efficiency to getting you in legal troubles
While initially, AI-generated CVs may seem convenient at first glance (for candidates and for recruiters – as one would assume the more standardised they are, the easier to compare candidates), they introduce a new layer of complexity and potential bias into the hiring process. Over 98.8% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS that screens through very common application materials such as CVs. On top of that, approximately 75% CVs are read and evaluated solely by algorithms. All with great intention – make your job easier and shortlist which candidates you should reach out to first.
Yet, it is important to consider what happens when ChatGPT-generated CVs and AI CV screening tools intertwine:
- When a ChatGPT-generated CV is uploaded into an ATS that relies on keyword matching, it often leads to discrimination as the model may inadvertently generate biased content for the CV based on the data it was trained on. Sadly, ChatGPT provides a biased picture of what are considered good traits or skills for any given role, so you don’t only have to deal with candidates presenting themselves in a socially desirable way, but also with the reinforcement of stereotypes and bias. This results in qualified candidates being overlooked and talented individuals from underrepresented groups being unfairly excluded from consideration.
If you use an ATS, it might be time to reconsider using the CV as the first step in the candidate screening process as the usage of ChatGPT by candidates to generate CVs will only continue to rise in the years to come.
At the end of the day – it is AI against AI and the responsibility of the decisions made still falls on you. Thus, failing to explain the reasoning behind a particular decision can have serious legal consequences.
What can you do as a recruiter?
Consider this scenario: When evaluating candidates, which is more reliable and insightful? Reading their self-proclaimed proficiency in problem-solving skills in a ChatGPT-generated motivation letter or in their skills/competency section on their CV, or observing their actual problem-solving abilities firsthand?
It’s time to place a greater emphasis on assessing candidates in a more holistic way – by focusing on assessing their suitability in terms of skills and potential objectively, without the interference of AI or bias.
Here is how assessments can help:
- Assessments help counter reliance on gut instinct, minimising the impact of personal biases. Instead of hastily judging applications based on a glance, instead assessments allow you to focus on objective criteria, allowing a more holistic assessment of candidates’ suitability, skills, and potential.
- Implementing assessments ensures a fair and inclusive evaluation process. By shifting away from keyword scanning and solely relying on often AI-generated CVs & cover letters, you can prevent unintentional discrimination.
- By utilising standardised evaluation criteria, assessments facilitate efficient comparisons between candidates and generate comprehensive reports tailored to their unique strengths and weaknesses. This approach saves you valuable time and effort while allowing to make more informed hiring decisions based on a nuanced understanding of each candidate’s abilities and suitability for the role.