Should Job Applicants be Permitted to Use Artificial Intelligence?

Every other email I receive seems to have the term artificial intelligence (AI) in the subject line. Although some resist the urge to use AI, many others appear to be jumping on the “band wagon.” With the promise of making everything better, faster, etc., AI is finding its way into nearly every facet of life. However, using AI tools is not new to human resource professionals. For quite some time we’ve either used it ourselves or know of libraries/organizations that have. The use of AI in hiring offers hope that resume screening or AI-assisted interview processes will help increase productivity while reducing individual recruiter or hiring managers’ bias. There is also a belief that the use of AI in the hiring process will streamline procedures and reduce the time to hire. 

The use of AI tools for job seekers lies on the other side of the coin. In the past, job applicants were a bit skeptical of AI tools. Being warned by job search gurus of tracking systems being employed to weed-out individuals, candidates often tried a variety of resume changes using various key words to bypass possible AI resume screening. The belief that AI screening tools results in individuals not getting calls, persists. A simple online search of “AI resume tricks” yields plenty of articles and speculation that job seekers are being unfairly screened out. But candidates have flipped the script and decided to use AI tools to their advantage. 

An increasing number of job candidates are now using AI to draft and review resumes, cover letters and writing samples, to complete job applications, and even to help them prepare for and participate in job interviews. How does this use impact the hiring process? Can employers determine if job search materials were created by AI tools? Do they even care? If they do, how can they stop applicants from using it? This article asks if job applicants should be permitted to use AI. The authors state that “It is critical that employers understand the ways in which candidates can use AI… and learn how to effectively navigate potential issues that might arise without negatively impacting the pool of talented applicants or running afoul of employment laws.” The article suggests several employment laws that employers need to consider and offers recommendations to address job applicants’ use of AI.