Can AI Help You Get A New Job?
17th July 2023
Whether you love or loathe the idea of artificial intelligence (AI), it is here to stay. Ranked second by the World Economic Forum in the top ten emerging technologies of 2023, AI is rapidly advancing across the business world and savvy job seekers are using it to their advantage.
AI is not new to recruitment
AI has been used to streamline recruitment processes for many years, particularly in high-volume recruitment where CVs are scanned and selected based on keyword analysis. Suppose you’ve ever been invited to participate in an interview application, answering set questions over video. You may not realise that your responses will most likely be reviewed by a machine, scanning for key phrases that it has been programmed to recognise as a potential good match.
AI is redressing the balance for job seekers
Until recently it was used almost exclusively by the hirer to save time and costs by minimising human input. Now though, it has been suggested that using one of the new breeds of AI chatbots is one way for job seekers to redress the balance.
For example, if you are applying for a new job and want to prep for an upcoming interview you could do worse than ask an AI tool, such as ChatGPT, for help.
A few strokes of the keyboard later, you can have a set of practice interview questions in front of you, and prompt the chatbot to improve your answers to these questions too.
You could argue that this is just a more sophisticated form of interview prep.
People are using AI to write their cover letter or to complete answers on an application form, and pass the work off as their own. The question here is whether this is disingenuous because the employer has no way of knowing if the content is authentic unless you copy and paste the text “generated by Chat GPT” in error. This happens – believe me.
Personalise your AI application
It’s interesting too from the employer's perspective. Perhaps you’d value the initiative someone had by turning to these tools. Conversely, if you assume the content is machine-generated it could turn you off the applicant immediately.
When we asked on Linkedin "If you suspected that a job application had been written with the assistance of AI would it deter you from short-listing the candidate?" 43% replied yes, a further 27% weren't sure, while only 30% said no, it wouldn't deter them.
Although this poll had a surprisingly low number of votes it does infer that job seekers are gambling with their application success by blatantly using AI without subsequent effort to improve and personalise the outputs.
I can see why the time savings are appealing to applicants, and the tools are brilliant for providing a framework to get you going if you’re struggling to compose a response, but it is so important to finesse what is produced or to craft your own application because a scraped, ubiquitous mashup of content from the web could never truly represent you, convey your personality and uniqueness.
You also must be adept at prompting the AI tools effectively – a poor prompt will produce a poor response which could undermine your application.
The AI hiring process isn’t helping candidates present themselves in the strongest or most human way. CVs stuffed with keywords or cliched language can render them bland rather than bold and interesting.
....a scraped, ubiquitous mashup of content from the web could never truly represent you.
Job seekers seem to feel differently though. Research by CV Library indicates that 42.7% of job seekers intend to use ChatGPT to bolster their next job search and 71% aren’t worried that ChatGPT might overstate their abilities and 63% don’t feel that using the tool would be misleading to potential employers.
As it becomes harder for employers to know if the content in applications is authentic I wonder, in response to this, if task-based assessments will become more commonplace during the selection process.
Be Bias Aware
The recruitment industry spends a lot of time and energy trying to minimise bias. It should be possible for AI to reduce bias, but the software is only going to be as unbiased as the information that it is based upon, and therein lies the potential pitfall.
Technology, no matter how good, is fallible. In terms of the use of AI in recruitment, mistakes in application screening could lead to good candidates being excluded.
Removing the human factor from too much of the recruitment process depersonalises the experience and there’s less and less opportunity to form a connection and rapport between the candidate and the potential employer, which I think will undermine quality hiring.
AI is an effective tool. Sometimes scarily so. But one that does offer benefits to the parties on both sides of the recruitment process. The trickiest part is going to be making sure the controls are in place to make sure the integrity of the process is not compromised.