Employers aren’t the only ones tapping into Generative AI to aid their hiring processes. Job seekers are also turning to this new technology, particularly when it comes to enhancing their job applications. With its capacity to craft polished resumes and compose compelling cover letters, Generative AI has made it easier than ever for candidates to present themselves in the best possible light.
However, this approach comes with an unintended consequence. As Dr. Charles Handler explains, it produces a 'sea of sameness' among applicants. As AI tools help candidates to enhance their qualifications and achievements, the result is that all candidates start to look the same, making it difficult for employers to pick out the differences that make every applicant unique.
Dr. Dan Cummings and I have worked together for a long time. And over the years we’ve engaged in many robust conversations, and while we still can’t agree on music or beer, a topic we’ve very much aligned on is the impact of Generative AI.
Both Dan and I spend our working days immersed in the realm of psychometric assessments – designing, reviewing, and evaluating them. And we remain acutely aware of the rapidly evolving technological landscape in the hiring domain. Assessments have consistently served as a valuable tool for accurately evaluating candidates for their skills and abilities. And in the current landscape, their significance has grown even more pronounced.
Assessments provide a means to break through the AI-driven uniformity, allowing employers to pinpoint candidates who possess the crucial skills and capabilities necessary to thrive in today’s dynamic job market.
Let’s delve into a few crucial aspects which we believe employers should keep in mind as Generative AI continues to integrate itself further into the recruitment process.
Candidates are harnessing the power of Generative AI for job applications
Candidates are turning to Generative AI to craft compelling resumes and cover letters tailored to specific jobs, with the hopes of capturing the attention of automated resume screening and applicant tracking systems. Job seekers are also leveraging this technology for interview preparation. Generative AI (such as Google’s interview warmup tool) helps candidates prepare for common interview questions and provides sample answers, enabling them to craft well-thought-out responses. It can even simulate interview scenarios, allowing candidates to practice their answers and refine their communication skills.
Generative AI tools can be beneficial for candidates to showcase their skills and experience, as long as they are transparent and truthful. However, the challenge arises when these tools generate cookie-cutter resumes and interview answers based on best-performing examples. This can make it difficult for employers to differentiate between applicants and identify the most suitable candidate for the job.
Assessments provide a vital counterbalance
To counter this, assessments offer a valuable solution by providing objective and data-driven insights into a candidate’s qualifications. Unlike Generative AI, assessments provide unique information about a candidate’s abilities and potential, enabling employers to make informed hiring decisions.
Assessments can address critical questions that go beyond superficial factors, like how quickly candidates can learn new skills, how productive they are likely to be, what motivates them to perform at their best, and how their values align with the organization's. They also provide valuable insights into a candidate's soft skills, like emotional intelligence or problem-solving, which may not be apparent from their resume alone.
Assessments also offer the unique advantage in being "immune" to the impact of Generative AI, at least to some extent. As Dr. Handler highlights, there are two key factors that contribute to this immunity. Firstly, assessments that involve candidates in dynamic, real-time problem-solving scenarios, like game-based assessments, cannot be completed by Generative AI. These assessments require real-time genuine human engagement and critical thinking skills, making them resistant to the automated nature of AI. Secondly, assessments can focus on elements of personality or behavioral style where there are no objectively right or wrong answers. Instead, what's desired is a fit to the unique profile required by the job. In these ways, assessments ensure a fair evaluation of candidate's suitability, safe from Generative AI's influence.
Additionally, assessments offer a means to break away from the mental image of the "ideal" candidate and foster diversity and inclusion. By highlighting qualities that may not be readily apparent from polished resumes, assessments help employers identify high-potential candidates who may get overlooked based on surface-level factors. This leads to a more diverse candidate pool with a range of backgrounds and perspectives, ultimately enhancing the overall quality and inclusivity of the workforce.
Generative AI is undoubtedly an exciting development, enabling candidates to put their best foot forward by generating polished resumes and interview answers. However, the use of Generative AI also highlights the value of established selection methods like pre-employment assessments.
Assessments offer objective and data-driven insights into a candidate's potential, escaping the cookie-cutter responses of Generative AI. This makes assessments even more valuable in ensuring informed hiring decisions based on a candidate’s true potential and abilities as the usage of AI tools becomes more commonplace.
As we contemplated the impact of Generative AI, Dan leaned back in his chair, thoughtfully puffing on his pipe, a cloud of smoke momentarily veiling his face. "You know what, Matt," he mused, "Generative AI might just revolutionize talent assessment."
“It might indeed, Dan," I replied, taking a sip of my drink, "It just might."
Matt and Dan’s Top Tips for Employers
1. Stay Informed about AI Tools
Familiarize yourself with the AI tools that candidates may be using and understand how they are applying them. This knowledge will help you detect AI-generated content and assess its relevance.
2. Emphasize “Must-Have” Skills in Job Descriptions
Clearly outline the essential skills and qualifications (if any) in your job descriptions. By focusing on candidates’ skills and achievements rather than the format or language of their resume, you can ensure a fairer evaluation process.
3. Assess Problem-Solving Abilities
Evaluate a candidate’s ability to think critically and apply their skills by assessing their problem-solving abilities. This will give you insights into their potential to handle challenges in the role.
4. Evaluate Soft Skills
Soft skills like emotional intelligence and communication are more challenging to fake with AI tools. Assessing for these abilities will allow you to identify individuals more likely to excel in areas like effective communication, teamwork, and stress reduction.
5. Conduct Structured Interviews
Ensure a fair and consistent evaluation process by conducting structured interviews. Well-structured interview questions will require candidates to provide specific and often verifiable answers, allowing you to gauge their authenticity and suitability for the position.