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ChatGPT in HR and recruitment

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The use of chatbots is common. Many organisations use chatbots on their websites to answer simple questions or direct queries to the correct staff or department. Most chatbots simply relay predefined answers based on keyword prompts. While they may help answer basic questions, chatbots are typically very limited.

Using chatbots in HR to answer basic enquiries isn’t a new concept, but ChatGPT isn’t just a chatbot. 

You’ve probably seen ChatGPT mentioned in the news or seen stories about it shared on social media. There is a lot of hype around ChatGPT, and the reason for that is simple. ChatGPT is an extremely exciting advance in language processing. It is a bot that can generate its own responses to questions or requests and respond like a person.

Although not capable of human-like problem-solving or creativity, ChatGPT is very adept at answering technical questions. Google recently tested several AI chatbots for potential integration into the site. During this testing, ChatGPT successfully interviewed and was hired for a coding position at Google.

ChatGPT has so much potential that a competing technology has already been announced before it has passed testing. Bard, developed by Google, is a rival AI chatbot capable of generating realistic responses. With a tech giant like Google invested in the potential of AI chatbot technology, it’s hard not to be excited about the possibilities. 

The ability of ChatGPT and other language processing platforms to tailor responses based on input has the potential to be of great benefit to HR and recruiters. Read on to find out how. 

What is ChatGPT?

Developed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) research laboratory, OpenAI, ChatGPT may be a chatbot, but it’s not like anything else currently in use. Common chatbots are used to answer frequently asked questions, whereas ChatGPT is a language model trained on a large dataset to generate text.

What does that mean? At its core, ChatGPT can answer questions in naturalistic ways. The AI uses a vast amount of data to generate answers to any user queries. ChatGPT will also tailor responses to reflect how the question was asked or in ways prompted by the user.

ChatGPT is a language tool capable of generating text based on the way a user asks a question or makes a request.

The current version of ChatGPT has no access to the Internet, so all answers given are based on its training data. As a result, the AI only has knowledge of events up to 2021. 

As with all AI, ChatGPT can be trained with new information, so when it is released, organisations should be able to train it on data specific to their needs. In the case of HR, this data may include successful job applications, resumes and job postings.  

What makes ChatGPT different from other chatbots?

Instead of using pre-scripted responses like regular chatbots, ChatGPT creates new text. The AI platform can also answer follow-up questions, challenge incorrect information, reject inappropriate requests and even admit to mistakes.

The best way to illustrate how ChatGPT tailors language to user input is by using responses from Chat GPT.

Input: What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT response:

“ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model, which is trained on a large dataset of text and is able to generate human-like text in response to prompts. ChatGPT is specifically designed to be used in natural language processing tasks such as language generation, dialogue systems, and conversational AI.”

In this first example, the answer is as straightforward as the question. ChatGPT explains what it is from a technical standpoint. What happens if the question is asked differently?

Input: Explain ChatGPT to me like I know nothing

ChatGPT response:

“Sure! So, ChatGPT is like a robot that can understand and respond to human language. It's been taught how to understand and generate text, just like a human would. Think of it like a computer program that can hold a conversation with you. It can answer your questions, make small talk, and even tell you a joke or two! It's a way for computers to understand and respond to our language, making it easier for us to communicate with them.”

The difference between the two responses is plain to see. The first is a straightforward information dump with no nuance. The second answer, on the other hand, takes a much more basic approach to explaining ChatGPT, taking into account that the input states they know nothing.

This ability to naturalistically generate text in response to prompts is why ChatGPT has the potential to have a massive impact on how HR and recruitment professionals approach some of their tasks.

Pros and Cons of ChatGPT

Pros and cons of ChatGPT

As an AI language model, ChatGPT has several pros and cons to consider before using it in any HR situation:


  • Ability to generate human-like text: ChatGPT has been trained on a massive amount of text data, making it capable of generating human-like text.
  • Versatility: ChatGPT has the potential to be used in a variety of HR applications, such as a conversational AI chatbot, initial interviews, job description creation, and more.
  • Speed and efficiency: ChatGPT can process and generate responses to a large volume of requests in a relatively short time, making it well-suited for applications where quick responses are important, such as answering common HR queries or candidate questions.


  • Limitations in understanding: While ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of text data, it does not completely understand the world and may generate inaccurate or inappropriate responses.
  • Bias in training data: As with all AI models trained on large data sets, ChatGPT is vulnerable to inheriting biases in the training data. This training model can lead to the generation of biased or stereotypical responses.
  • Lack of emotional intelligence: ChatGPT cannot understand or express emotions, making it less suitable for applications that require emotional intelligence.
  • Knowledge cutoff: ChatGPT only has knowledge of events up to 2021, so it may be missing information vital to a number of tasks.

Later releases of ChatGPT or a related AI that allows users to train the AI with new data may rectify or reduce some of the current problems, such as limitations in understanding and the knowledge cutoff. 

ChatGPT as an HR chatbot

Like other chatbots, ChatGPT can be used to automate repetitive tasks that may otherwise monopolise the time of HR professionals. The ability of ChatGPT to generate text in response to prompts makes the number of applications it can be used for far more comprehensive than traditional chatbots.

At the most basic level, if ChatGPT is trained with an organisation’s HR policies the AI can answer employee questions. The ability of ChatGPT to generate text based on its dataset means that any answers given will be specific to the input rather than the typical general responses that chatbots deliver.

As ChatGPT is a conversational bot, all responses are tailored to the input. Information can be condensed or simplified to avoid confusion.

ChatGPT can also draw conclusions from data. Using it as a general HR chatbot could allow the AI to analyse the organisation for pain points while answering questions. 

With each input, ChatGPT could add new information to its database, collating questions and sorting them in stacks due to similarity. With this information, ChatGPT could identify frequently asked questions to pinpoint critical issues staff may have.

For example, ChatGPT may often be queried about taking time off. The AI could identify the leave process as a pain point for staff and inform the HR department of this.

Answering questions may be the most apparent function of ChatGPT, but it’s far from the only way it may be used in HR and recruitment.

Quote describing the HR potential of ChatGPT

ChatGPT as a recruitment tool

The use of ChatGPT as a chatbot isn’t limited to employees. HR professionals could use the AI to quickly and effectively respond to queries from job applicants. The ability of ChatGPT to generate naturalistic text can make responses feel personalised rather than a simple chatbot response.

Answering candidate questions is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the recruiting potential of ChatGPT. 

By training the AI with multiple examples of successful job advertisements, recruiters could quickly use ChatGPT to generate job descriptions, job ads and other recruitment material. Creating these assets would still require assistance from an HR professional in the form of prompts and input to specify the parameters of the text.

Although ChatGPT hasn’t explicitly been trained with recruitment metrics, the current version is capable of showcasing the ability to quickly create job descriptions, as the following example shows:

Input: Create a job description for a mid-level manager in an automotive plant. Duties include payroll, OHS supervision and general team leadership. 

ChatGPT response

“Mid-Level Manager, Automotive Plant
We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced Mid-Level Manager to join our team at our automotive manufacturing plant. The successful candidate will be responsible for overseeing the payroll and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) functions, as well as leading a team of production employees to meet and exceed production goals.
Key Responsibilities:
1. Manage payroll and benefits administration for all plant employees
2. Oversee and ensure compliance with OHS regulations and policies
3. Lead and motivate a team of production employees to meet and exceed production goals
4. Develop and implement strategies to improve efficiency and productivity
5. Monitor and analyse production metrics to identify areas for improvement
6. Collaborate with other departments to ensure smooth operation of the plant
7. Provide training and development opportunities for team members
8. Address and resolve any employee relations issues that may arise”

In addition to the description and responsibilities, the job description created by ChatGPT also included a list of qualifications and a call to action for the candidate. 

Any job description generated in this manner would still need to be audited and edited by human eyes. Still, developing the text takes a fraction of the time it would typically take to write the same content. Using AI to generate job ads has the potential to save HR professionals a great deal of time.

ChatGPT for hiring 

Once a job description has been created, the potential uses of ChatGPT in the recruitment process don’t end. One of the most obvious uses of ChatGPT in HR is automating parts of the recruitment process. 

ChatGPT can be used to screen resumes when they are submitted. The AI could be used to analyse submitted resumes and provide a summary of the most relevant information, such as the candidate's skills, qualifications, and experience.

To get the most out of resume screening, ChatGPT would have to be trained with a dataset of resumes and job descriptions. It would then be able to match the resumes with the job requirements and identify the most qualified candidates.

Once all resumes have been analysed, ChatGPT will be able to present them in a structured format, making it easy for HR staff to review and compare.

Once a shortlist of candidates has been compiled, ChatGPT can be used to conduct initial interviews. The AI can be programmed to ask specific questions and evaluate the candidate's responses. 

ChatGPT can then provide a summary of the candidate's qualifications, experience, and suitability for the role. These summaries can reduce the number of candidates that need to be interviewed in person and make the recruitment process more efficient.

ChatGPT for onboarding

Once a successful candidate has been hired, ChatGPT can assist with the onboarding process as well. The AI can provide new hires with information on company policies, benefits, and other essential details and answer any questions they may have. 

This automation can make the onboarding process more efficient and less overwhelming for new hires. By centralising important information, ChatGPT allows new hires to ask questions at their own speed rather than trying to memorise onboarding documentation or deluge HR staff with questions.

The human touch provided by HR professionals will always be needed in the hiring and onboarding process. Automating some time consuming and repetitive tasks using ChatGPT has the potential to allow HR professionals to concentrate more on people and less on data entry.

Training ChatGPT for HR tasks

As with any AI or Machine Learning application, ChatGPT will require specific training to be of maximum use to HR professionals. 

To train ChatGPT for human resources, users will need to provide the model with a large dataset of HR-related questions and answers. This data should cover topics encompassing commonly performed tasks, including but not limited to: 

  • Recruitment 
  • Onboarding 
  • Benefits 
  • Performance management 
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Employee relations

When creating the dataset, it will be essential to consider ethical and legal considerations, such as data privacy and confidentiality. HR professionals supervising the training and fine-tuning of ChatGPT may need to implement constraints to prevent the model from providing sensitive information. 

Without explicitly telling ChatGPT that certain information should not be shared, any information it is trained on can be shared with anyone who interacts with the AI. 

In addition to data privacy and confidentiality issues, some other legal and ethical issues must be considered when using ChatGPT. ChatGPT crafts content from a vast amount of text data such as books, articles, blog posts and studies, many of which are copyrighted. As such, there is the potential for intellectual property infringement.

Another significant problem that all machine learning and AI built for specific tasks share is bias. The current version of ChatGPT has been trained on 570GB of data, around 300 billion words, harvested from the Internet. This data is uncurated, meaning it likely contains erroneous and biased information drawn from unreliable sources that could be used in responses.

Bias could be highly detrimental when using ChatGPT during the hiring process. Unless the data used to train the AI to sort resumes is balanced, it may develop a bias toward one sort of candidate. A prime example of this problem is Amazon and its AI, AMZN.O. 

Amazon was forced to scrap AMZN.O, an AI recruitment tool they had created because it was biased against female candidates. The AI was trained using ten years of successful candidate resumes. Because the US tech sector is 73% male, the AI concluded that men are more suited to tech sector jobs and downgraded women's resumes.

Training ChatGPT with curated data may be a way of avoiding bias. For example, using an equal number of successful male and female candidate resumes could help eliminate gender bias. 

Removing gendered language from AI training data may also help to avoid one gender group being favoured over another.

The training process won’t end with feeding ChatGPT data. After being provided with the data, HR professionals will have to fine-tune the instance of ChatGPT, adjusting the model's parameters so it can accurately generate responses based on the data on which it has been trained.

HR staff using ChatGPT

Can ChatGPT replace HR professionals?

New technologies and advancements can be intimidating. People have been scaremongering about AI taking over jobs for years, but the prophesied mass unemployment due to intelligent machines still hasn’t happened. According to research, AI is unlikely to cause mass unemployment but will change how we work.

Due to ChatGPT's ability to create human-like responses to user input, the AI could perform some HR tasks perfectly. Still, it lacks something vital in human relations - human judgement and decision-making abilities.

ChatGPT can appear to make human-like decisions in how it generates responses or sorts information, but it is not. Rather than making decisions, the AI analyses large amounts of data to bring insights.

Insights, such as pain points that ChatGPT may have identified through analysing frequently asked HR questions, serve as a helpful tool for HR professionals rather than as their replacement. 

If employees frequently ask about how to take leave, ChatGPT may identify the leave process as a pain point that needs to be addressed. Similarly, frequent questions regarding career planning or pay structure may lead ChatGPT to identify these as areas that need addressing.

When it is released, ChatGPT has the potential to streamline some HR processes, but that doesn’t mean it can replace actual HR staff. Until an AI can think for itself, tools such as ChatGPT can be valuable support tools, not human replacements.

Key takeaways for HR professionals

ChatGPT has incredible potential for use in the HR sector, but it is essential to remember that it is just that - potential. The current version of ChatGPT has been trained with unrestricted data drawn from the Internet, so even though it can respond to users in a human-like way, it can’t accurately perform HR tasks.

When we have the ability to train ChatGPT with industry-specific data, the AI may be used to automate many repetitive HR tasks, such as:

  • Answering common HR queries: As a conversational chatbot, ChatGPT can answer employee HR queries, such as leave policies or benefits. The AI can also analyse the questions asked to identify potential pain points.
  • Creating job descriptions: By training ChatGPT with successful job descriptions, HR professionals could use the AI to generate job descriptions quickly to streamline recruiting.
  • Analysing resumes: ChatGPT could be used to analyse submitted resumes and provide a summary of the most relevant information, such as the candidate's skills, qualifications, and experience. If trained with position-relevant data, ChatGPT could also match resumes with the job requirements to identify the most qualified candidates.
  • Conducting initial interviews: ChatGPT can be programmed to ask specific questions and evaluate candidate responses for initial candidate interviews. ChatGPT can then provide a summary of the candidate's qualifications, experience, and suitability for the role, limiting the number of candidates that need to be interviewed.

When ChatGPT is made available for training, it has the potential to automate or streamline many HR processes. There have yet to be any announcements about an official release.

Closing thoughts

ChatGPT is a fascinating technology, so it’s easy to get carried away thinking about all its potential uses. ChatGPT is a powerful tool, but it's not perfect and should be used as an aid to the recruitment process, not as a replacement for the human touch. 

ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise the HR industry by automating routine tasks and providing quick and accurate answers to common HR-related questions. However, it is crucial to approach ChatGPT in HR with caution and carefully consider ethical and legal considerations, such as data privacy and confidentiality. 

Proper training of the model with a comprehensive HR dataset and implementation of specific functionality and constraints can ensure that the model aligns with HR best practices and regulations. 

ChatGPT holds great promise for transforming the HR industry and improving employee engagement and experience, but it will never be able to replace the human touch provided by HR professionals.   

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