Loving ChatCPT for HR? Early adopters should move with caution 

AI and ChatGPT tools are emerging for a variety of HR use cases, but it is important to proceed caution and ensure legal hurdles are met.
By: | April 10, 2023

Artificial intelligence chatbot tools such as ChatGPT are getting more and more mentions in today’s news cycles. However, a recent survey from global organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry indicates that as HR adoption picks up, organisations are just beginning to consider whether they should be regulating or providing guidelines around the se of chatbot tools and related technologies.  

Just 21% of 312 professionals surveyed work at organisations that are discouraging the use of ChatGPT in the workplace. It is a number that could—and perhaps should—rise in coming months, according to experts. HR and employers should trend carefully when it comes to general HR processes, especially talent management neds, according to Brad Frank, a Senior Client partner in Korn Ferry’s technology practice.  

“ChatGPT is a useful tool, but it shouldn’t replace the personalised approach people bring to their daily work or even job searches,” Frank said. “ChatGPT can streamline the process but should always be checked for both accuracy and the nuances that make a candidate or employee stand out.”  

Steve Scott, President and COO at Engage PEO, a professional employer organisation providing HR outsourcing solutions to small- and mid-sized businesses, said that organisations primarily have bee using AI technology to automate and optimise non-HR processes. He cited examples including research, ideation, customer service, content creation, writing and improving code, and translation, among others.  

“The intended impact is to save time and money and deploy resources towards revenue-generating activities,” said Scott, adding that as with any new technology, when customer service started using chatbots, there was some pushback and slow adoption. Today, he noted, many customers actually prefer this as a way to get quick answers to common questions.  

READ: South Korean firms develop ChatGPT misuse prevention guidelines

HR is fertile territory for AI and ChatGPT 

As the role HR can play in using ChatGPT internally  in the months and years ahead, even with being new territory HR is a fertile area were AI and ChatGPT can improve people-facing processes and HR performance. With that, Scott is not surprised by the Korn Ferry finding that a vast majority of organisations are not discouraging the use of ChatGPT and similar tools.  

“Human resources has not typically played a role in determining whether an organisation should use AI in various business processes, but HR has been using it to evaluate resumes and job performance, and in some cases, to evaluate candidates in virtual interview via facial analysis,” he said.  

As an emerging application of AI technology, Scott explained that ChatGPT is still in the experimental phase for many HR uses. With that, some employers and their HR staff will choose to experiment with it, while others will wait for it to develop further.  

“HR can play a role in evaluating and recommending whether specific employees can use it in their work, and when they can use it, and then create policies for this usage,” he said. “There are legal risks to consider, mostly around accuracy, bias, confidentiality, privacy and compliance.”  

He added that early HR adopters of ChatGPT must fact-check the results carefully before using them, noting that critics warn that users of ChatGPT risk publishing inaccurate information, a risk potentially significant enough to steer clear of it.  

“As for a legal risk, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) is looking into the employment discrimination risks, and employers must keep track of laws restricting its use,” Scott said.

About the author: Tom Starner is a freelance writer. This article was first published on Human Resource Executive