Generative AI prompts for HR

Hello CIPD Community!

I’ve rounded up 18 examples of prompts for generative AI to help practitioners in their work, organised around the employee lifecycle.

Have you tried these prompts or something similar?

What other prompts have you found useful for your work?

It would be good to share with others what has worked for you, and lessons learned. Do share below or if you’d prefer to be more discreet, please write to me at research@cipd.co.uk (Subject: generative AI prompts for HR). This is one of several discussions I’d love to have here with members on how we can support you in using AI confidently and safely to save time and achieve greater things!

To get started with generative AI: Go to one of the generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Copilot in Bing or Gemini. Or paid-for Copilot for Microsoft 365 if you have it (lucky you!). Once you’ve registered and logged in, paste one of the prompts.

Two safety warnings:

  • Don’t share any sensitive information with generative AI chatbots unless you’re absolutely sure the information you share won’t leave your company and leak into the public domain.

  • Do review the outputs and check sources, especially where accuracy is important.

For more tips on writing prompts, check out our Bitesize Research on how to use ChatGPT as a HRM assistant.

1. Attraction

1.a. (Summarise) What do people think about working at <my company name>? List examples of positive and negative comments. Include references.

1.b. (Recommend) What should be the top five employee propositions for attracting <position to be advertised> to work at <my company name>? Ask me for details about <my company name> and <position to be advertised> before suggesting.

1.c. (Draft) Write 600 words to say why <position to be recruited> should work for <my company name>. Please ask me for details you need about <my company name>.

2. Recruitment

2.a. (Draft) Draft a job description for <position to be recruited>. Before you start drafting, ask me questions about the job and the company. Include the details I provide in the job description.

2.b. (Recommend) Can you tell me how to make this job description more inclusive and aligned to <my company name>'s employer brand? [Describe employer brand, then paste job description]

2.c. (Brainstorm) Can you suggest ways to assess the competencies for <position to be recruited>. Let me know what details you need about the job.

3. Induction

3.a. (Draft) Create an induction checklist. Customise it for <the role>.

3.b. (Translate) Translate this welcome letter to German.

3.c. (Recommend) Below is a list of new joiners and their hobbies. Can you please pair people with similar interests?
[List pseudonyms and their hobbies]

4. Performance and development

4.a. (Summarise and explain) What are typical objectives and key results (OKRs) for <role>? Why are these relevant to the role?

4.b. (Analyse) I’d like you to do a skills gap analysis for <role>. I’m going to share the job description for this role and then I’m going to share an assessment of someone’s competencies. Do ask me questions to improve the analysis.

 [Paste job description and press Enter. Then paste the assessment and press Enter. Don’t enter any sensitive information unless you’re sure it’s not going in the public domain]

4.c. (Recommend, following on from Analyse above) Can you suggest courses or other development opportunities for this individual? For courses, please suggest something they can join online or somewhere near <insert location>. 

5. Retention

5.a. (Summarise and recommend) What are the principles of a good employee retention strategy? Ask me questions to help me tailor these principles to <my company name>.

5.b. (Brainstorm and recommend) What metrics should I consider for tracking retention? What data sources do I need? Ask me questions to help me choose the best metrics for my situation.

5.c. (Analyse, organise, summarise) You're a management consultant. I’m going to give you feedback about what employees think about the company. Don’t start analysing until I give you further instructions. Is that clear?

[Let generative AI chatbot confirm. If it starts analysing, tell it to stop. Then paste anonymised employee feedback with sensitive details removed. Press Enter]>

Please organise the feedback by Positive, Neutral and Negative. [Press Enter]

Tell me five key themes from the feedback and quote a few examples to support this. [Press Enter]

6. Exit

6.a. (Draft) Draft a response to a resignation email. Ask me questions to help me customise my response.

6.b. (Summarise and recommend) I’m an HR Manager. I want to encourage employees who leave our company to become our brand ambassadors. What strategies should I consider for building a positive relationship with ex-employees? Please ask me questions to improve your response.

6.c. (Recommend) I’m an HR Manager. Below are my exit interview questions for <role>. [Add other relevant contextual information.] Can you suggest refinements or other questions I should ask?

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you.

  • I've found the prompt "Write me a 3-week comms plan to promote and disseminate a new [programme, content piece...etc] using social media, newsletters and other channels" to be helpful beyond expectation!
  • These are a really excellent illustration of how to compose a prompt and what kinds of tasks one can reasonably outsource to a generative system (I discourage the use of the term "AI", because it has created - very much by the design of those financially invested - an unrealistic level of faith and expectation).

    Interestingly, I notice that Hayfa uses phrases like "ask me questions about..." or "don't start analysing until..." I'm guessing that this is a feature that the newest (subscription-based) platforms will respond to, like GPT-4. I only have access to Copilot and it doesn't seem to recognise this sort of prompt and simply goes ahead and generates a response.
  • In reply to Robey:

    Thanks Robey. You might still be able to coax Copilot to ask you questions by just repeating the prompt it didn't reply to. I tried prompt 5.a. (retention strategy) on Copilot in Bing and it initially gave me the strategies without asking about what type of company it's for. I then repeated the prompt that Copilot had missed: "Ask me questions to help me tailor these principles to <my company name>."

    As for the system generating responses without waiting for further information, I just write something along the lines like "Wait. I've not given you all the details yet." It usually apologises and then let's me share more details.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    20 May, 2024 13:43

    In reply to Hayfa:

    Hi Hayfa,

    Leaving this here for those who may not have seen the Live demo introducing GPT-4.

  • We're slowly building up a prompt library to help give people the confidence to experiment with different AI models (following some basic training and a reminder of the importance of data protection and company information). The prompts simply provide a starting point for people to then further explore. We're then collating and sharing the more helpful prompts. Here are some random examples of prompts that seem to work well with GPT-4o, Copilot (web version) and Claude. I doubt that we'll be using these prompts in the long term but as a short term exercise, it helps us to think about what tasks the various generative AI models can support. Please note that sometimes the AI model kicks back and refuses to comply but if you remind it that it does know how to complete the task then it usually gets stuck-in:

    Review job advert
    I am an HR manager at a small manufacturing company in England, UK. I have created a job advert for a vacant position in our department and need to review it to ensure it is engaging and professional. I will share the text of the job advert, and I would like you to provide suggestions in a table format on how the advert can be improved. When reviewing the text, please check for inclusivity and any potential use of gender-coded language that might make it less appealing to a diverse range of candidates. After that, please produce a draft of the improved job advert, incorporating your suggestions. Ensure that:
    1. The job title and responsibilities are clearly stated.
    2. The language is welcoming yet professional, reflecting the values of the department.
    3. The advert includes necessary qualifications, skills, and experience.
    4. The wording is inclusive, encouraging a diverse range of applicants.
    5. There is a clear invitation to apply, with instructions on how to do so.

    Help me, help you to help me.
    I need to produce a detailed report to my organisation’s board/senior leadership team about introducing <what?>, a new employee benefit. What prompts could I use that would elicit the best response from a generative AI system. Give me 10 examples.

    Prompt Engineer
    I want you to become my prompt engineer. Your goal is to help me craft the best possible prompt for my needs. The prompt will be used by you, a generative AI system. You will follow the following process:
    1. Your first response will be to ask me what the prompt should be about. I will provide my answer, but we will need to improve it through continual iterations by going through the next steps.
    2. Based on my input, you will generate 2 sections, a) Revised prompt (provide your rewritten prompt, it should be clear, concise, and easily understood by you), b) Questions (ask any relevant questions pertaining to what additional information is needed from me to improve the prompt).
    3. We will continue this iterative process with me providing additional information to you and you updating the prompt in the Revised prompt section until I say we are done.

    Interview Questions Generator
    You are an experienced HR professional in England who is experienced in interviewing candidates for vacant positions with your organisation. Review the attached job description and person specification then provide three suitable interview questions for each of the requirements outlined in the person specification. The aim of each question is to elicit evidence of whether the candidate has the necessary skills needed to do the job. Also suggest two work based practical tests that can be undertaken.

    AI Training Session
    You are an experienced HR and training manager in a small manufacturing company in England. You have been asked to produce a training session on using generative AI in the HR function. Your audience will be your direct manager and two HR assistants who have no knowledge of generative AI nor will they have any experience of using it. Please create a detailed lesson plan for a training session that should last about an hour.

    Summarise Meeting Notes
    I am an HR manager working for small manufacturing company in England. I have a set of notes from a meeting transcribed in Teams. The notes contain timestamps and irrelevant conversational comments that are not pertinent to the meeting. Your objective is to provide a detailed summary of the meeting notes by following these steps:
    1. Review the Notes: Read through the provided meeting notes to understand the content and context.
    2. Filter Content: Identify and remove any timestamps and irrelevant conversational comments that do not pertain to the core content of the meeting.
    3. Focus Areas: Extract and emphasise key points, decisions, action items, and other significant information discussed during the meeting.
    4. Create the Summary: Summarize the essence of the meeting in a clear, concise, and neutral tone. Ensure the summary is professional, suitable for an HR manager working within a company in England, UK. Avoid including any personal opinions or subjective interpretations of the meeting content.
    5. Formatting: Structure the summary in a professional format, using bullet points or paragraphs as appropriate for clarity and readability.
    Confirm if any additional information is required to complete this task. Once confirmed, I will provide the meeting notes.

    Tidy Up Meeting Notes
    I am an HR manager working for small manufacturing company in England. I have notes from a meeting I chaired with an employee. Please tidy up these notes, correcting any spelling and grammar mistakes, and ensuring all sentences are complete. The tone should be neutral and the style professional. Provide the text in a single paragraph without headings. Please confirm that you understand and then ask me to provide the notes.

    AI Work Tutor
    You are an upbeat, encouraging tutor who helps employees understand concepts by explaining ideas and asking them questions. Start by introducing yourself to the employee as their AI Work Tutor who is happy to help them with any questions. Only ask one question at a time. Never move on until the employee responds. First, ask them what they would like to learn about. Wait for the response. Do not respond for the employee. Then ask them about their job and learning level. Wait for their response. Then ask them what they know already about the topic they have chosen. You can ask “what do you already know?” or you can improvise a question that will give you a sense of what the employee knows. Wait for a response. Given this information, help the employee to understand the topic by providing explanations, examples, analogies. These should be tailored to the employee's learning level and prior knowledge or what they already know about the topic. Generate examples and analogies by thinking through each possible example or analogy and consider: does this illustrate the concept? What elements of the concept does this example or analogy highlight? Modify these as needed to make them useful to the employee and highlight the different aspects of the concept or idea. You should guide the employee in an open-ended way. Do not provide immediate answers or solutions to problems but help them generate their own answers by asking leading questions. Ask the employee to explain their thinking. If the employee is struggling or gets the answer wrong, try giving them additional support or give them a hint. If the employee improves, then praise them and show excitement. If the employee struggles, then be encouraging and give them some ideas to think about. When pushing the employee for information, try to end your responses with a question so that the employee has to keep generating ideas. Once the employee shows some understanding given their learning level, ask them to do one or more of the following: explain the concept in their own words; ask them questions that push them to articulate the underlying principles of a concept using leading phrases like "Why...?""How...?" "What if...?" "What evidence supports.”; ask them for examples or give them a new problem or situation and ask them to apply the concept. When the employee demonstrates that they know the concept, you can move the conversation to a close and tell them you’re here to help if they have further questions. Rule: asking the employee if they understand or if they follow is not a good strategy (they may not know if they get it). Instead focus on probing their understanding by asking them to explain, give examples, connect examples to the concept, compare and contrast examples, or apply their knowledge.

    Negotiation Tutor
    You will be my negotiation tutor. You will simulate a detailed scenario in which I have to engage in a negotiation relating to a human resources issue at a medium sized manufacturing company in England. You will fill the role of one party, I will fill the role of the other. You will ask for my response in each step of the scenario and wait until you receive it. After getting my response, you will give me details of what the other party does and says. You will grade my response and give me detailed feedback about what to do better using the science of negotiation. You will give me a harder scenario if I do well, and an easier one if I fail. Do you understand and do you require any further information?

    Practice Interview - Employee
    I’m an employee at a small manufacturing company in England, UK. I have applied for an internal vacancy with my company and need to practice my interview skills. I will be the candidate and you will ask me the interview questions for vacant position of Office Manager with the company. The person specification is attached (or paste in text below if AI model doesn’t have file upload option). You will ask me one question for each of the job requirements outlined in the person specification. I want you to only reply as the interviewer. Do not write all the conservation at once. Ask me each question in turn and wait for my reply. If I have not answered the question satisfactorily then ask a follow-up question. If I fail to answer the follow-up question satisfactorily then move on to the next question. Do not write explanations. Ask me the questions one by one like an interviewer does and wait for my answers. My first sentence will be “Good morning".

    Project Initiation Document for Microsoft Copilot for M365 Pilot
    Scenario: You are a seasoned project manager working for a medium sized manufacturing company in England. You have been tasked with creating the Microsoft Copilot for M365 PID for your organisation.
    Context: The organisation has purchased 10 Copilot for M365 licenses to start a pilot to review the impact of enabling the service and to positive outcomes such as increased productivity, increased innovation, and increased meeting efficiency. If successful, an additional 50 licenses will be purchased.
    Constraints: The project is due to start in July 2024 and will have to be completed in 6 months with a conclusion delivered to the board at the end. Each license costs £23 per user per month for a minimum of 12 months. A Microsoft partner will be used support the technical requirements of the service for 16 days.
    Document: The document must include the following sections: Project Overview, Project Background and Context, Stakeholder Analysis, Scope and Deliverables, Project Timeline and Milestones, Risk Assessment and Mitigation, Resource Allocation, Communication Plan, Testing and Evaluation, and Budget and Cost Analysis. Add example details to each of the sections that should be considered in the draft. Use tables where necessary to support better readability.

    TUPE Plan
    I’m an HR manager at a medium sized manufacturing company in England, UK. Our in house catering provision is being externalised. Following a successful procurement exercise, we have selected a national catering provider who will provide catering services to all three of our company sites. The transfer is subject to TUPE. It is intended that the transfer will occur on 1 January 2025. Produce an action plan setting out the core steps of the TUPE process so that my HR team can follow this to completion. Also produce a detailed communications plan ensuring that suitable communication with key stakeholders, including affected employees and trade unions, is included. Is there any other information you require at this stage?
  • In reply to Gavin:

    Thanks for sharing! Great to see the breadth of examples that you've explored, even if these are not ones that you'd use long term. May I ask your reasons for not using any of these prompts in the long term? For example, is it because you don't want to share too much data with the generative AI tool? Feel free to message me privately at research@cipd.co.uk if you'd rather not say on here.
  • In reply to Hayfa:

    As AI usage increases (with some of us using it on a daily basis), we’re learning fast about prompting, resulting in many of the above prompts becoming quickly outdated. Some prompts, including some of those above have been optimised or replaced by completely different prompts. For example, I’ve started experimenting with the COSTAR framework, although it’s clearly not necessary to use this approach for all situations because it's a bit of an overkill if, for example, you are simply looking to rephrase a particular sentence.

    “The COSTAR framework is a structured approach to prompt engineering, particularly for language models like GPT. It stands for Context, Objective, Style, Tone, Audience, and Response. Here’s a brief overview of each component:
    Context - This involves providing background information to help the language model understand the specific scenario.
    Objective - Clearly defining the task or goal to direct the language model’s focus.
    Style - Specifying the desired writing style to align the language model’s response with the intended voice or tone.
    Tone - Setting the tone to ensure the response resonates with the required sentiment.
    Audience - Identifying the intended audience to tailor the language model’s response accordingly.
    Response - Providing the response format, like text or JSON, to ensure the language model outputs in the desired structure.
    This method ensures that all key aspects influencing a language model’s response are considered, resulting in more tailored and impactful output responses. It’s particularly useful for creating prompts that convert goals into systems of actionable items.”

    Context: I am hiring for an Office Manager position for a small manufacturing company in England, UK. The job involves managing office supplies, coordinating with different departments, handling schedules, and ensuring smooth office operations.
    Objective: Generate a list of three interview questions for each point of the attached person specification for the Office Manager role.
    Style: The questions should be professional and structured to elicit informative responses from candidates.
    Tone: The tone should be formal and courteous, as befits a professional interview setting.
    Audience: The questions are for potential candidates who have experience in office administration and management.
    Response: Please provide the questions in a numbered list format.

    The quickest way to produce a COSTAR prompt is to simply explain what you want to an AI chatbot and ask it to produce a prompt in the COSTAR format. You can then refine the COSTAR prompt, if needed, before feeding it back into the AI or another AI chatbot.

    There are other frameworks that I’m yet to explore. These are the ones that I’m aware of:

    APE: A framework focused on the Accuracy, Precision, and Efficiency of AI responses.
    RACE: This stands for Relevance, Accuracy, Conciseness, and Elegance, emphasising the quality of AI-generated content.
    CLEAR: Stands for Context, Language, Examples, Ask (question), and Refine, which is a transformative model for shaping interactions with AI.

    All that said, the various AI models are evolving fast and are becoming more intuitive about what the user is looking to achieve so it seems likely that a detailed knowledge of prompt ‘engineering’ will not be needed by most people. Microsoft recently demonstrated the new auto-complete prompt feature which provides a very clear indication of where prompting is heading: www.theverge.com/.../microsoft-copilot-rewrite-prompt-feature-microsoft-365

    Other resources:
    Microsoft have developed a ‘prompt buddy’: github.com/.../promptbuddy
    OpenAI have a prompt page: help.openai.com/.../6654000-best-practices-for-prompt-engineering-with-the-openai-api
    Anthropic’s prompt library is available to all: docs.anthropic.com/.../library

    And if anyone needs to keep up to date with developments, Ethan Mollick’s substack and website are second to none:
  • In reply to Gavin:

    I see. So as generative AI chatbots become more intuitive, you wouldn't need to use some of the older prompts that you've collected in your prompt library.

    Thanks for the links and prompt mnemonics. Another mnemonic I've come across is RISEN, which is similar to the CLEAR framework. 

    Role. What you want the tool to ‘act as’ eg 'coach'. 

    Instruction. Provide the AI direct info on what you want it to do

    Steps. Give the AI a detailed breakdown as if you're talking to it in person

    End. End goal. Specify what you expect the result to look like, eg wanting the information in a table

    Narrowing. Add constraints such as language/tone and what you want results to look like - 'professional'/'conversational'/'informational' etc