Embracing Generative AI in Talent Acquisition


Generative AI (GAI), is a type of artificial intelligence that can generate text, video, or image content autonomously, based on prompts a user has input.

GAI can spit out text, video, or picture content in seconds. Think chatGPT, Bard, or DALL-E. Talent Acquisition (TA), especially in start-ups and the tech world, it’s been making waves. We’re seeing new use cases for GAI weekly, everything from images of Elon Musk in Iron Man's suit to entire blogs on the future of TA written using only a few prompts. Let’s call this group the ‘early adopters’. 

But there are also sceptics - the "late adopters" - who worry about job losses, deskilling, and a shift away from good old human-centric TA.

Breaking Misconceptions: Why Talent Pros Should Embrace Generative AI

GAI is our generation's email. Remember when CVs used to be sent by fax, or even posted? Me neither, but just go with me here, it used to be a thing.

Email changed the game for TA. Suddenly, we could reach hiring managers, candidates, and colleagues in seconds and it saved loads of time and supercharged productivity. Think of GAI in the same way in that it won't obliterate TA or make us irrelevant. It's a tool that lets us move faster, get results quicker, and work smarter, not harder.

Just like I used to rinse advice from industry experts in my early career, I've tapped into GAI like chatGPT. It's a trusty sidekick, proof-reader, copywriter, industry expert, and more. Sure, I still chat with my human colleagues and share ideas, experiences, and all that. But GAI? It cuts out the noise, saves time, and frees us up to tackle strategic tasks—rethinking workflows, shaping hiring strategies, boosting candidate experience, and promoting diversity initiatives. Ever wish you had more hours in the day? GAI can give you some of that precious time back—if you use it right.

Unlocking Opportunities & Enhancing Efficiency: How Generative AI Supercharges Talent Acquisition

Early adopters will already know how to leverage GAI. Sometimes we aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel, just make things more efficient: but what does efficiency look like in TA? It will depend on who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, or even the position you play in your current business.

If you are heavily focused on sourcing or headhunting you can use GIA to:

  • Generate boolean strings + x ray searches
  • Personalise communication and engagement (yes, there are chrome plugins for that!)
  • Screen candidates, or act as your scribe so you don’t miss anything
  • Make punchier and more engaging emails, and job adverts
  • Map new industries, skills, geographies, and competitors
  • Understand new technologies, skills, or industries

Even if your role involves more strategy, management, and operations you can use GAI to:

  • Generate training content for SLTs and colleagues
  • Pull insights and analysis to make data-driven decisions
  • Proofread blogs, articles and thought-leadership pieces
  • Improve onboarding through chatbots and self-service
  • Create content that highlights the business’s values or culture
  • Pull together engaging content for a specific audience

The above isn’t by any means exhaustive - but it does give you a flavour of what you can do or areas you can be more efficient.

Amplifying Human Expertise: TA and GAI Tag Team

Whilst GAI can enhance TA professionals skills, it’s also important to remember that the core of what we do is person-centric, and this element of human to human interaction. Empathy, understanding, and relationship building cannot, and will not be replaced by GAI. No line of code can replicate that.

A lot of what we do as TA professionals is to draw on our experiences. Each company, individual, and role has its own nuances, and we mere mortals will always be the best judge of these greyer areas. So, let's view GAI as another string to our bow - boosting our skills, not replacing us. We bring the human touch, and that's something no machine can match.

Ethical Considerations: Playing Fair and Fighting Bias

Like too much of anything, a full reliance on technology can pave the way for biases and discrimination to creep in. GAI is like makeup, it enhances our natural abilities but it can’t replace our unique selves. Us early adopters have dipped a toe in the water, experimented with the pros and the cons. It isn’t a one size fits all solution . It's an enhancement, a tool in our belt. So, if you're a big shot leading the charge or setting the strategy, do some serious testing when rolling out new initiatives.

Some strategies and guidelines that TA professionals can use:

Bias Audits: Review and assess the outputs from GAI to spot any potential biases. Analyse the content produced and make sure it aligns with your culture and values, ensuring fairness & improving EDI.

Diverse Training Data: Check that the data used to train the GAI models is diverse and includes all demographics, backgrounds, and experiences. Plugging a wide range of perspectives helps mitigate biases and promote fairness.

Continuous Monitoring: Continuously monitor the performance of GAI and assess its impact across the full TA lifecycle. Track metrics on candidate engagement, hiring outcomes, and diversity to identify any issues so they can be addressed.

Ethical Guidelines: Agree to a clear ethical guideline for the use of GAI in the business. These should emphasise fairness, transparency, and accountability. Train your teams on the ethical impact and responsible use of GAI. .

Human Review and Intervention: Ensure that TA teams can review and modify the content generated to align with culture and values and spot any unintended biases.

Test and Iterate: Don’t drop the ball. Keep testing and iteration in mind when using GAI in candidate outreach or communication. A/B test GAI-generated messages against regular messages to evaluate their effectiveness and impact. Analyse response rates and engagement levels to make data driven decisions and use GAI-enhanced approaches to your benefit.

Embracing Change: Gear up for the Future of TA

Just as the music industry has evolved over time, so will the role of GAI in TA. The music industry has seen shifts in technology and trends, from vinyl records to cassette tapes, CDs, and now streaming. In the same way, GAI is transforming talent acquisition, reshaping the tools we use to source candidates, engage with them, and streamline processes. By recognising and adapting to these changes, we can stay in tune with the latest advancements and leverage GAI to enhance our TA strategies. World in class TA functions don’t exist within a vacuum - and if we don’t continue to grow, develop, and implement new ideas, we risk falling behind.

Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So, how can we as individuals, teams, or a society continue to learn, grow and develop if we don’t welcome positive change with open arms?

You know what's so awesome about the TA world? We're always evolving, sharing knowledge, and leading the way. So let's embrace the culture of development, thought leadership, and sharing. That's how we'll stay on top and contribute to shaping the future of TA.

Unleashing the Power of GAI in TA.

In a world where GAI is turning TA on its head, innovative talent professionals are seizing the opportunity to unlock their potential, boost efficiency, and take their expertise to new heights. GAI isn't here to obliterate us; it's our email revolution. Just as early adopters thrived with email, embracing GAI empowers us to work faster, achieve more, and outsmart the competition.

Sure, GAI can generate punchier emails and ads, source talent like a pro, and even create captivating content, but let's not forget the irreplaceable human touch we bring to the table. Our person-centric skills, empathy, and knack for building relationships can't be replicated by lines of code. GAI is our trusty makeup, enhancing our natural abilities, not replacing our uniqueness.

GAI also comes with its ethical considerations, and we need to stay vigilant against biases and discrimination. Testing, tweaking, and using data to guide us is key. If GAI falls short, we'll learn, adapt, and find new strategies to tailor our approach.

So, TA professionals, let's embrace this change.

Just as streaming evolved the music industry, our use of GAI will transform TA. To be at the top of our game, we have to keep learning, evolving, and implement new ideas. Let's build a culture of development, thought leadership, and shared knowledge. Together, talent pros and GAI create an unstoppable team! Let’s amp up our skills and shape the future of talent acquisition.