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Applicants use of AI

There seems to be an abundance of articles praising the use of AI within recruitment, which I can appreciate. However, I have not seen anyone discussing how to quantify what is acceptable (or not) from a candidate's application, if they have used an AI tool as part of their submission.

Our organisation continually strives for industry best practice and have not really seen any comments on if this should be questioned / raised / monitored. I thought the question below, may be a good starting point for discussion:

Should we be asking a candidate to specify that they have used AI in their application, similar to how a student would be asked to identify this in a piece of academic work?

I would appreciate as many points of view on this as possible!

Thanks

1015 views
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    29 May, 2024 16:37

    Hi,

    Good question. The CIPD's weekly Update newsletter signposted some guidance just today, actually.

    Welcome to our Community!

    Any thoughts, ?

  • An simple answer is called for.
    1. Did you ask if candidates used calculators of some kind or the internet to research or find out information?
    Well, maybe, but we've moved on. Whats the difference between asking a computer a complex maths/calculation etc., etc., of some kind and verbally asking the computer some other question?
    2. Are PCs in your organisation not allowed to make life easy for humans?

    Tempus Fugit.
  • I think in the current job market it's fair to presume that the majority of applicants are using some element of AI in their application.
    After reading enough, you will start to recognise the nuances of an AI aided application especially if the candidate has been lazy enough to just cut and paste the generated response.

    There is still skill being evidenced in taking an AI response and tweaking it to better showcase your individual strengths to demonstrate why you are the best candidate on paper, and after all, isn't that what an application is supposed to be for? 

    Every candidate has the opportunity to utilise this technology so I see it as an evolution of the process rather than cheating the system.

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Having the tick box declaring the candidate hasn't used an AI assistant won't differentiate between those who answered truthfully or not, especially if the application was done in the candidate's own time without any supervision. It just helps clarify your company's position on using AI for job applications, e.g. that candidates might be marked down or disqualified. I'm with Graham on this one - that it's fair to assume candidates might have had AI assistance (or a friend to review their application!)

    I suggest reviewing whether the assessment and selection processes for the role are still fit for purpose given it's easy to ask an AI assistant (AI chatbot) for answers, e.g.:

    • Do you need to tweak your interview questions to probe more into the examples they've given from their experiences?
    • Is it essential that they don't use any AI assistance for certain tasks in the role? If yes, then make sure to test this under supervised conditions with no access to an AI assistant.
    • On the flipside, should the candidate be given credit for taking the initiative to polish their application with AI assistance? In the same way we might reward candidates for taking the initiative to reference a wide range of relevant resources they'd found through google, or for using a calculator so they can finish their sums quickly and accurately.

    What's right would depend on your company culture and policies and the role that's being advertised.

    There's research to suggest that candidates that have used AI assistance tools like Grammarly have a better chance of being hired because they were able to explain their knowledge, skills and abilities more clearly. See this Bitesize Research summary: www.cipd.org/.../

  • It seems that almost everyone I know is using AI to help with their job applications although I'd like to think that they're all sensible enough not to overly embellish or outright lie. Equally, many are using AI to support writing employment / character references for others.

    I'm going to also assume that they are all using the spell-check, thesaurus and other editing facilities that are already built into word processing applications such as MS Word. If not, they really should be.

    It may be simpler to assume that all applications are likely AI enhanced and look to adapt your recruitment processes accordingly. I appreciate that's probably easier said than done but it feels like the AI dam is starting to burst and HR will need to navigate the resulting choppy waters.
  • In reply to Gavin:

    It will be interesting to see if AI recruitment systems prefers AI applications
  • In reply to Steven :

    I suspect they very well might.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    31 May, 2024 15:12

    In reply to Steven :

    Robot

  • I imagine if a company wants to use AI power, you cannot expect candidates not to use something to power their response. The balance of power in the recruitment process is very firmly with the employer, almost all of the time, so candidates will seek to get an advantage.

    I make it clear when I am writing posts for Linked In that I don't use AI to generate my content, as I want to show I'm different and it's my own original work but does that make me any better or worse, less or more tech enabled than any other poster. Isn't it funny how we can introduce bias even on this topic?

    I do think there is a fine line between enhancing and assisting and crossing the line to put forward work that's not your own. As AI becomes better and more established, we will perhaps see more challenges, ethical debates and perhaps some unintended consequences and problems, as well as opportunities and unexpected delights of more wide spread usage. It's certainly interesting times.

    I'd expect that those who over use will get found out if they are claiming work as there own which isn't there own, it just might take the employer some time to rumble it.
  • The use of AI in an application shows initiative in my view, but this also depends on the role they are applying for...is it appropriate? this needs to be assessed on an individual role basis. Id also like to assume, th AI support is with the initial application...getting the applicant past the first stage and into interview...unless we start seeing cyborgs presenting themselves at interview! I think any self respecting interviewing panel will soon filter out those who have clearly exaggerated their credentials using AI during this interview stage
  • The use of AI in an application shows initiative in my view, but this also depends on the role they are applying for...is it appropriate? this needs to be assessed on an individual role basis. Id also like to assume, th AI support is with the initial application...getting the applicant past the first stage and into interview...unless we start seeing cyborgs presenting themselves at interview! I think any self respecting interviewing panel will soon filter out those who have clearly exaggerated their credentials using AI during this interview stage
  • In reply to Gavin:

    I'm going to also assume that they are all using the spell-check, thesaurus and other editing facilities that are already built into word processing applications such as MS Word. If not, they really should be.

    I'm amazed at the number of applicants who do not! And if they can't spell the name of my organisation correctly, TBH I would challenge their attention to detail.....

  • Echoing many here, I feel that if a candidate can effectively use AI in a way that presents a good application for a role then that shouldn't go against them. Using AI is a skill in itself because you need to edit and add a "personal touch" to make it not feel impersonal and obviously machine-generated. If individuals, for example, can use AI to create effective reports in a short space of time that they then edit to match your brand and feel....why would that be a bad thing? To me, that's equal to someone who spends the same amount of time doing it themselves to the same standard without AI assistance.

    There are plenty of people who struggle to express themselves through writing, but are great verbally, in meetings, 1-1 or in groups/public speaking. If AI is a tool that can help them overcome the writing obstacles, to get through to the 1-1 stages of a recruitment process, it's likely a tool they can use when doing the actual job effectively also!