Beware the AI candidate.

That’s the stark warning from SaaS recruitment tech provider Talos360 after they commissioned Censuswide to carry out some ground-breaking research on their behalf.

The results of ‘The Future of Talent’ report will be revealed at an exclusive panel discussion on April 30th in the Manchester offices of KPMG.

For employees, the biggest concern (44 per cent) they have is around how companies use AI to help them hire and how reliable the technology is.

Although three in five hiring managers think it’s acceptable for candidates to use AI software to apply for jobs at their company only 28 per cent were happy with AI helping candidates write CVs and 27 per cent thought it was ok to use the tech to write application letters.

Dean McGlone, chief revenue officer at LDC-backed Talos360, said hiring managers have to beware of AI-generated CVs and application letters which might bear no resemblance to the applicant’s ability.

“This is going to creep up on businesses very quickly, specifically the ‘AI candidate’,” he said.

“This is a concept of somebody who is very different to what their CV might look like and the reason they’re so different is because it’s an AI engine that has generated that CV.

“Imagine what you can do with ChatGPT today. I can literally throw in my LinkedIn profile and the job description and say to ChatGPT ‘please write me an amazing cover letter and CV specifically for this role’.

The Future of Talent

“What ChatGPT will do in seconds is create something absolutely epic that you can tweak and send across to a prospective employer.

“The employer gets that and goes ‘wow, this candidate sounds perfect for the role’ but it’s actually not the candidate, it’s ChatGPT and the AI engine.

“You’re also going to end up in a situation where, before long, the vast majority of CVs going through are going to be as brilliant as one another because more and more candidates are going to start using this technology.

“As more candidates adopt it, it’s going to become really hard to differentiate the good from the bad and I think we’re going to see more skills-based hiring for organisations.

“They’re going to have to move down that route. What we mean by ‘skills-based hiring’ is doing aptitude tests quite early on in a recruitment journey and almost get rid of a CV completely.

“There are some businesses out there that are doing that already. They’re getting rid of CVs and don’t use them at all and I feel the world is going to get to that point fairly soon because CVs are going to be so samey.”

As part of the ‘The Future of Talent’ report, Censuswide quizzed  two separate sample groups.

Sample one comprised 1,019 employees working in organisations in the UK with 10+ employees, who had been looking for work within the previous 12 months. Sample two comprised 251 hiring managers at UK companies with over 100+ employees.

96 per cent of hiring managers said that their business is currently facing people challenges with the biggest one being employee retention.

McGlone said the research also found candidates were concerned that that their applications could be filtered out by companies using AI and that created its own challenges.

Private equity backing for HR tech firm Talos360

A total of 37 per cent of them raised concerns that AI might mean their application is overlooked and AI might not do as good a job as a human being.

“I think businesses need to really careful of this, especially with diversion and inclusion being such a big topic,” explained McGlone.

“There are legal occasions if you filter out candidates based in on discriminatory factors. There are well known cases of AI being discriminatory because the way AI works is it uses a data set that already exists so the bias is already built-in.

“There was a good example where Amazon (in 2018) switched on an AI engine to do filtering of applicants.

“They didn’t do any checks and balances in what they were allowing that AI engine to do and what it determined was all the successful applicants, all the successful workforce, were men.

“Men were the ones who’d become successful in the warehouses, the drivers etc. Therefore it effectively filtered out all the women.

“They very quickly had to switch off that filtering algorithm. Things have come on a little bit since then but there are definitely biases already embedded into AI engines.

“We have to ensure that as we’re building out AI we’re building out ethical AI, AI that has certain boundaries of what it’s able to filter out and ensure that all candidates get a fair crack.

“That’s why I believe that skills-based hiring will become such a big thing because AI can’t fool certain test types. It’s based on the aptitude and ability of the candidate at that point.”

McGlone will be speaking at ‘The Future of Talent’ event on April 30th alongside Janette Martin, CEO of Talos360, Adam Ward, CEO of Airtime Rewards and Joy Parkinson, chair of Miniml.

They’ll be joined by Senda Kavindele, director, ESG / inclusion / diversity / equity / office senior partner, KPMG; Simon Swan, founder of Hiring Hub and Simon Gomez, founder and director, GMZ Talent.

The event is free to attend but spaces are limited. Register here