ChatGPT & HR: Friends or Enemies
If you haven’t heard of Chat GPT, it’s time to come out from under the rock you’ve been hiding under. Here’s the long and somewhat short of it: ChatGPT is a text-based tool that produces human-like responses to user requests. It’s programmed to understand human language and generate responses based on the vast amounts of data it is trained on.
To many, it’s just the next step in the evolution of automation. To others, it’s a leap toward the “rise of the machines.” For HR professionals, it could be the beginning of the end of the “human” in human resources.
It’s not that different than what we’ve been doing…
Automation has been on the rise for years, “freeing up human resource professionals to manage the most critical part of an organization- its people,” says Forbes contributor Bernard Marr.
One of the first iterations of automation was the implementation of the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Tracking an applicant’s progress and providing responses through the hiring process allowed HR to focus on the face-to-face pieces: phone screenings, in-person interviews, onboarding processes, and ongoing employee management. ChatGPT is simply the next iteration.
That doesn’t seem so bad…
And it isn’t. HR departments can leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to make their processes more efficient, perform repetitive tasks, provide real-time employee support, and enhance the overall employee experience. It can streamline recruiting operations, improve candidate experience by providing real-time support and answering frequently asked questions about the company and the application process, and even identify potential candidates. It can aid in onboarding, training, and employment management. It can create personalized employee training plans based on their specific needs and skill sets. It can also assist in performance management by providing managers with guidance on conducting performance evaluations and answering employee questions about performance metrics or feedback.
Like anything created to “make life easier,” there is the potential for misuse, and it’s too early to identify all the long-term repercussions. Aside from limitations created by inaccurate or outdated information, its dark side has presented itself in education as students use it to write essays for them, prompting world-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky to label ChatGPT as “high-tech plagiarism.” The impact on the workforce is another drawback of AI. Companies like BuzzFeed are catching on the chin for implementing ChatGPT on the heels of laying off 12% of its workforce. And in Human Resources, emphasis on human, the personal has the potential to decrease as the race to automate increases. Candidates lose the opportunity to stand out, and diverse talent can slip through the cracks. A unique personality, skill, or experience shared in a personal way that matches critical business needs or the culture profile of the company may be missed. The employee-employer relationship weakens as the thread of personal connection thins. Where do empathy and organic engagement fit into the AI equation? Can we teach a computer to see potential or identify the “spark” in a candidate?
So, what do we do?
Like most things in life, success in Human Resources is found in the balance of technology and human engagement. Recognizing the weaknesses in each and implementing the other to fill those gaps might be the recipe for greatness.