Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
I’d like to think that most, if not all, of us would answer the question “Is it okay for job seekers to get help with their job search?” with the answer “yes”.
We encourage job seekers to reach out to their networks when they’re looking for new opportunities. We encourage them to speak with mentors and coaches about how to share their strengths during interviews. And if necessary, we encourage job seekers to talk with career coaches and professional resume writers to get their job seeking tools like social media profiles and resumes in order to help land a job.
Here’s my question: Should that change when the help or support an applicant is using is an artificial intelligence tool like ChatGPT?
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I recently overhead a conversation where someone was wondering if someone’s resume and cover letter had been written by ChatGPT. And whether they needed to consider that when evaluating the applicant. It made me pause for a moment.
We really don’t know who or what writes any candidate’s resume. Yes, we can speculate that a resume, article, etc. was written by a bot. This happens frequently in today’s business world. But I haven’t seen the same conversation when someone’s resume is written by a resume writer or outplacement firm. So, the question becomes, does it matter? Regardless of who or what wrote it, a badly written resume is bad, and a well written resume is good.
Typically, we don’t ask who prepared a candidate’s resume. I understand there are jobs that require good written communication skills. But I’ve not seen situations where the resume is considered a test of sorts when it comes to confirming those skills. Organizations need to ask themselves if who or what prepares a candidate’s resume matters. And more specifically why does it matter.
Also, just as a reminder, if you’re using pre-employment tests or assessments, it’s important for those to be valid, reliable, and aligned with the purpose you’re using them for. There could be a time when you have to defend your decisions. It might be valuable to direct any questions to your friendly neighborhood employment attorney.
HR needs to make sure that hiring managers are a part of this conversation. Human resources and talent acquisition professionals might be completely on board with the “It doesn’t matter who or what writes the resume” conversation. But it’s equally important that hiring managers are as well. They might have questions – legal and nonlegal – that should be answered. The last thing any organization wants is to send conflicting messages to candidates.
As technology tools like artificial intelligence become more mainstream, people and organizations are going to want to check them out. And that’s fine. Organizations and individuals need to figure out what they will use technology for and the best way to use it. Both organizations and individuals will want to make sure that they are using technology responsibly. (FYI – If you haven’t read it, you might want to check out President Biden’s executive order on safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence.)
The goal of an interview is to determine if the candidate truly has the skills and abilities represented on their resume. If they do, does it matter who or what wrote that resume? Ultimately, the organization is hiring the person, and they need to have a well thought out talent acquisition process to do that.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Jacksonville, FL54