The new year started with a new technology bursting onto the scene: ChatGPT. The AI chatbot has caused businesses to wonder how to use it to improve day-to-day functions, and it’s caused Google, the website where around 90% of online search happens, to go all-hands-on-deck with getting its own version of ChatGPT ready for users.
So, how could this new tech help managers in the recruitment process? Before we dig into how it may help in one area—job descriptions—let’s quickly talk about what ChatGPT (and other software like it) are.
What are ChatGPT and Other AI Search Software?
ChatGPT is a bot that “interacts in a conversational way,” according to the technology’s website. It was created by a company called OpenAI, and it’s meant to offer conversational responses in natural language to your queries. It runs off “generative pre-trained transformer” (that’s the GPT part) language models.
So, rather than type something into Google like “software developer skills” and it give you a bunch of links, featured snippets, and FAQs that may answer your query, you could type a full sentence into ChatGPT like “what are the top software developer skills,” and the bot would produce a human-like response to your question.
I typed that exact question in, and it gave me about 500 words with an introduction and conclusion. Think of it as very basic essay answer—with the answer sourced by an algorithm.
Here’s the response:
As a software developer, there are several key skills you need to have to be successful. These skills can be grouped into three main categories: technical skills, problem-solving skills, and soft skills.
- Database management: Knowledge of relational databases (such as MySQL, Oracle, or SQL Server) and NoSQL databases (such as MongoDB or Cassandra)
- Mobile app development: Familiarity with programming languages and frameworks used to develop mobile apps, such as Swift for iOS and Kotlin or Java for Android
- DevOps: Knowledge of automation and deployment tools like Docker, Ansible, Jenkins, etc.
- Algorithm design: Ability to design algorithms to solve complex problems
- Debugging: Skill in identifying and fixing errors in code
- Critical thinking: Ability to approach a problem from multiple angles and think creatively to find the best solution
- Attention to detail: Ability to thoroughly test code to ensure it works as expected and identify edge cases
- Communication: Ability to effectively communicate with team members, stakeholders, and clients
- Collaboration: Ability to work effectively in a team environment and share knowledge with others
- Adaptability: Ability to learn new technologies and programming languages quickly and effectively
- Time management: Ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively to meet deadlines
- Continuous learning: Strong desire to continually learn and stay up-to-date with industry advancements and new technologies.
Having a combination of these skills can make you a valuable asset to any software development team.
There are millions of other potential uses businesses have identified with ChatGPT—such as finding problems with code, assisting with language translation, providing accounting formulas, and more—but the conversational outputs are the core of ChatGPT.
Google (theirs is called Bard), Microsoft, and many more companies are all trying to produce conversational, informational chatbots to change how people search for and find information.
Problems with AI Chat Software
This software isn’t without problems, though.
When I asked ChatGPT for top software developer skills, it didn’t provide any source to tell me who says those skills matter or why they matter. If you were researching a topic blindly—say, the Trojan War—and knew nothing about it, ChatGPT doesn’t provide a set of sources to tell you where the bot got that information from. With all of our queries in ChatGPT, we don’t know how informed the chatbot is. In fact, some people have started to challenge this to ask absurd questions like “tell me about the history of Elvis landing on the moon.” You get the idea: if you put in absurd or nonsensical queries, you’ll get absurd or nonsensical answers back. Sometimes answers can absurd or nonsensical all on their own. Let’s dig into that.
ChatGPT admits it has flaws.
On its website, ChatGPT is open about the limitations the software has. They explain:
- It “sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.”
- It is sensitive to how the prompt is phrased (like when you use adjectives and how you structure the sentence of your prompt). Google, on the other hand, has worked out to find out what a person is really trying to search with high accuracy.
- Ideally, OpenAI says, “the model would ask clarifying questions when the user provided an ambiguous query. Instead, our current models usually guess what the user intended.” Sometimes it will try to correct itself, other time it may give you completely wrong information based on a typo.
- The platform saves all inputs and queries, so ChatGPT advises its users to not input any personal or sensitive information (like company plans, revenue, etc.).
As AI technology has been developed over years, researchers have also found that it can sometimes produce outputs that can be biased, or even racist, sexist, ableist, or including other problematic issues.
While OpenAI is actively working against ChatGPT producing harmful responses, Davey Alba, a tech reporter for Bloomberg, wrote about a time a professor “got the bot to write code to say only White or Asian men would make good scientists.” ChatGPT later updated its bot to respond to say it is “not appropriate to use a person’s race or gender as a determinant of whether they would be a good scientist,” but be wary of potential harmful outputs, and take replies with a grain of salt.
Let’s Try to Get ChatGPT to Write a Good Job Description
So, back to the primary question: can this technology be used for hiring managers in their recruitment process? Short answer: maybe. Job descriptions might be one way. However, can it write a good one tailored to the needs of your position and to the specifics of your company? Let’s find out.
First, I asked the bot to write a job description for a software developer with this prompt:
“Write a job description for a software developer at a mid-sized telecommunications company under 600 words. Include that candidate must have experience with Java, have three years of software developer experience, and have a portfolio of work.”
Here’s what it produced:
Position: Software Developer
Company: Mid-sized Telecommunications Company
Location: [Insert Company Location]
We are a leading telecommunications company in the industry and we are seeking a talented and experienced software developer to join our growing team. As a software developer at our company, you will be responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining software systems that support our business.
- Design, develop, and maintain software applications to meet business requirements
- Write clean, maintainable, and scalable code
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams to understand user requirements and provide technical solutions
- Participate in code reviews to ensure high-quality software development
- Troubleshoot and debug software issues
- Keep up to date with emerging technologies and trends in software development
- Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or related field 3 years of experience as a software developer
- Proficiency in Java programming language
- Knowledge of software development life cycle and Agile methodologies
- Strong understanding of data structures, algorithms, and design patterns
- Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to think creatively
- Good verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to work well in a team environment
- Experience with software development for telecom or networking industry
- Familiarity with cloud computing technologies (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
- Portfolio of work showcasing previous projects and experience
We offer a competitive salary, benefits package, and opportunities for growth and development within the company. If you are passionate about software development and have a strong desire to work with a dynamic and innovative team, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity.
To apply, please submit your resume and a cover letter along with a portfolio of your work. We look forward to hearing from you!
Equal Opportunity Employer: Our company is an equal opportunity employer and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
That’s not bad to start. It even added an EEOC disclaimer! But there are a few grammatical errors and other issues in there that you’d have to sort out yourself.
Then, I asked Chat GPT to make the job description “energetic and exciting.” It added a bunch of buzzwords and cliches like:
- “tech wizard”
- “chance to work on cutting-edge projects that will push the boundaries of what’s possible”
- “provide tech solutions that will blow their minds”
There were also way too many exclamation points. So, let’s forget the “energetic and exciting” description.
How About a Company Summary?
Another crucial component of a job description is your company’s description. Job seekers need to know what the company they’re applying to is all about.
So, I asked Chat GPT to “write a summary of Insight Global.” Here’s what it said:
Insight Global is a staffing and managed services company that specializes in providing information technology (IT), accounting and finance, engineering, government, and other professional staffing services to businesses of all sizes across various industries.
The company was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with offices throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Insight Global is known for its innovative and client-focused approach to staffing and recruiting, which involves taking the time to understand the unique needs of each client and leveraging their extensive network of industry professionals to find the best fit for each role.
The company also places a strong emphasis on providing a positive experience for both clients and candidates, with a focus on timely and effective communication, personalized attention, and a commitment to delivering results. In addition to staffing and recruiting services, Insight Global also offers a range of managed services, including IT consulting, application development, infrastructure management, and project management. With a focus on quality and efficiency, the company has built a reputation for delivering top-notch services and solutions to businesses of all types and sizes.
Okay, not bad, either. However, Insight Global doesn’t have any offices in the Asia-Pacific region. It also missed out on describing our services like culture consulting, executive search, DEI consulting, and more. Also, if your company isn’t as big as Insight Global’s and doesn’t have as much of a presence on the internet, it might not be able to produce even a semi-factual summary at all.
So now we have a job description—a pretty generic one, but a job description nonetheless—and a company summary. They even tossed in the equal opportunity employment disclaimer, though you should consult with a lawyer for a proper disclaimer if your company doesn’t have one yet.
If the job description we’re trying to create was presented like it is above, it doesn’t really feel like a compelling one. So, what’s it missing?
What Didn’t ChatGPT Include in My Job Description?
Once the job description was produced in ChatGPT, there was still plenty of editing to do. Many of these AI search and chat software aren’t seen as producing better content than humans. Could it help with ideation, and provide some insights you might not have thought of before? Sure.
But part of the due diligence in creating a job description is knowing what you want out of the role before you write it. Even if ChatGPT is part of the process, there may still be a lot of work for you to do when it comes to writing the final job description.
Some things ChatGPT didn’t automatically include in the job description (unless otherwise specifically prompted beforehand) are:
- Benefits offered for the role
- A fully accurate company description
- Job duties specific to the position at your company (it gave broad duties associated with a role)
- Your company’s shared values/vision/mission
- Salary range for the job
You will still need to spell out:
- What are the specific job duties and responsibilities?
- What qualifications and certifications do you require?
- How much impact will this role have on your business and bottom line?
- What’s the compensation package?
- Is it a remote position, hybrid, or full-time in office?
- What’s your vision or mission statement for the company, and how will the role help bring that vision to life?
Part of creating a job description is writing it for candidates and search engines, making it unique, and advertising it so people apply to your company over others. If everyone just used a generic job description—produced by AI or from previous iterations of your own job descriptions—then none would really stand out. The war for talent is very real across the job market, so your job description needs to be compelling and accurate to attract candidates.
ChatGPT might help you get from a blank page to baseline description and help add buzzwords for search engines (think Google, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, etc.), but it won’t be unique. More importantly, it won’t let your vision for the position or your company culture shine through.
Therefore, if you want to use AI to build a simple job description, it’s not a bad place to start. If it saves you an hour, take advantage of the time the technology gives you back.
But be aware that the process isn’t perfect, and you’ll need to go over what any AI produces with a fine-toothed comb. Be sure to remove any implicit bias or wording that violates labor laws in your area. Take time to add in what makes this role, your company, and your culture special. AI won’t know how to do that.
ChatGPT also can’t help you access thousands of talented professionals or schedule interviews when you’re ready to go from job description to interviewing and hiring. But, as someone in a hiring role, you already know you can put technology to work to make the process easier. ChatGPT might be one place to start.
Need Help With The Hiring Process?
We can help with writing job descriptions, sourcing candidates, interviewing, and much more. Let us know your need below!