t seems like not a day goes by without ChatGPT appearing in a news headline. From fears of it replacing workers to raves about its productivity benefits, the generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool may be the biggest technological advancement since the invention of the personal computer several decades ago.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates called AI “revolutionary” in a recent blog post. “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone,” he wrote. “It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other. Entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.”
Some companies are already getting started: Morgan Stanley, PwC and Stripe are testing AI chatbots to make work processes more efficient. Meanwhile, employees are using ChatGPT with or without their boss’s knowledge.
And according to a recent Resume Builder study, “9 in 10 business leaders say it’s beneficial for job applicants to have ChatGPT experience.”
Whether you’ve resisted using ChatGPT or have already eagerly experimented with it in your HR role, here’s an in-depth look at how it can expedite repetitive tasks—and what risks you may run if you rely on it too heavily.
What Is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot built from large language models (LLMs). These models “are a type of artificial intelligence (AI) system that’s been trained on large amounts of text data. They can understand natural language and produce human-like responses to inputs,” Anthony Lancaster, chief robotics officer at Professional Robots, explained in a Forbes article.
Since late November, ChatGPT has dominated headlines, but it’s not the only AI chatbot using LLMs. ChatGPT alternatives include Jasper and YouChat, as well as Google’s Bard, which launched in mid-March.
“I think everyone is astounded the first time they see ChatGPT because what it writes feels very human, but in some ways, the technology is actually quite simple,” said Howard Ting, CEO of Cyberhaven, a data security firm based in Palo Alto, Calif. “It predicts which word will come next in a sentence based on the word order it saw across its training data, about 300 billion words worth of content from books, the Web, and the interactions it has with people in its chat window.”
Signing up for ChatGPT is simple and only requires an e-mail address. Basic access is free, and users can sign up for “ChatGPT Plus” to access updated versions.
ChatGPT’s HR Capabilities
Writing job descriptions is one of the most-discussed uses for ChatGPT in HR. For example, LinkedIn plans to launch a feature supporting AI-written job posts. However, the range of uses is rapidly growing. Google revealed it is incorporating an AI chatbot into Gmail and Docs, and Microsoft is providing technology similar to ChatGPT for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Here are examples of HR tasks ChatGPT can potentially perform:
- Crafting job descriptions.
- Composing employee handbook materials and policy manuals and updating them.
- Drafting e-mails to job candidates, including offer letters.
- Checking HR laws and regulations.
- Summarizing research and reports.
- Generating employee surveys and sentiment analyses.
- Streamlining administrative tasks, such as reminders about events and holidays.
- Developing personalized career development plans.
- Preparing performance reviews.
- Scanning and screening resumes.
- Compiling interview questions.
- Conducting market research on compensation.
- Providing employee self-service.
ChatGPT’s output can be surprisingly detailed, but there are limitations that must be acknowledged and accounted for. First, ChatGPT is trained on information available before 2021. Second, there have been multiple reports of erroneous responses. Third, source citations are not automatically provided.
In one example, when asked to find statistics for the number of employees struggling with mental health, ChatGPT gave five data points from what appear to be reputable organizations. However, there are no direct links to the sources of the information provided.