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AI Killed the Resume. What Now?

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

In recent years, there has been a discussion about the place of resumes in hiring processes. With the introduction of ChatGPT and AI-based writing tools, resumes are losing their relevance as a tool for locating and screening employees. So what should be done in order to stand out?

This article was translated from the original Calcalist article by Yam Regev, published June 25, 2023


Text-based screening tools are losing relevance, as AI tools can be used for a lot of the steps in the recruiting process: many candidates copy the job post into ChatGPT and ask to adjust their resumes or write new resumes which will make them top candidates. Applicants submit home assignments written by ChatGPT or designed by other AI-based tools. Even the current communication with a candidate is processed by text editing tools based on artificial intelligence - emails, text messages, and answers to questionnaires, all professionally worded and powered by the knowledge and ability of AI. Increasingly, it is difficult to distinguish between professionals who are intelligently using AI tools to enhance their proven abilities and relevant experience, and those who appear promising during the screening phase with ChatGPT's assistance but will not be able to deliver in the end.

According to Efrat Dagan, former Global Recruiting Manager of Google, and currently CEO of Workaround, a strategic recruiting consulting service, "The reliance on resumes alone in the Israeli job market is currently between 4-10% of all recruitments. However, the trust in this traditional tool has been significantly damaged, so its use becomes marginal. While a resume is a means for candidates to differentiate themselves and showcase their skills in a competitive recruitment process, the rise of AI-powered resume optimization tools has led to a flattening effect. The differences between the strong and weak candidates blur and we lose the ability to receive a real signal about candidate abilities and the differences between them. Consequently, recruiters turn to other places to find relevant candidates and reliable information about them."

Roni Eylon, director of recruitment at Darrow, also highlights the advantages of using AI tools: "The reality created by ChatGPT is complex. On the one hand, it is more difficult to screen candidates. Everyone's resumes are upgraded today. It is difficult to know what is true and what are additions and embellishments made by AI. The same applies to the assignments given during the recruitment process, as a substantial amount of content is written by or with the aid of ChatGPT. On the other hand, those who do not know how to use these tools today to upgrade any assignment they have will find themselves behind. I want and need the candidates I'm reviewing to be AI wizards and use every tool that can give them and me as their employer an advantage. The challenge is to know when I have a professional in my hands who knows how to manipulate tools with high skill but lacks a comprehensive understanding of the task at hand or their assigned work. This is where the diagnostic skills of a good recruiter, who comprehends the job requirements and works in close collaboration with the hiring manager, become paramount.”

Aside from the obvious threat to the dominance of the resume, the use of AI in recruitment processes raises additional concerns throughout the process, as reflected in the growing discourse in the human resources community. There is concern about the data that feeds the algorithms and the biased information they provide. Another concern is that AI-powered tools may not be able to accurately assess human traits such as emotional intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking, which are important for many roles.

According to Forbes, artificial intelligence will revolutionize the way companies screen resumes and candidates in their databases. This will level the playing field, forcing candidates and companies to fundamentally change the way they recruit and retain employees. In order to stand out, candidates can no longer rely on cleverly worded resumes. Dagan joins in and adds: "If we compare the division between sources of recruitment today and the year 2001, you will find that the world has drastically changed. Locating candidates on the Internet is becoming a very significant source of recruitment, and recruitment through communities and recruitment programs is developing. To find a job today, you have to conduct yourself in a completely different way. Yes, there will be resumes in the last act, but relying on them to do the hard work for you will make the process much harder." Building and maintaining authentic and professional relationships will do the trick and help people stand out and land the interview. And as automation advances and leverages highly relevant analytics, employers and candidates will increasingly focus on what matters most, a mutual fit.

Since the written word alone can no longer be trusted, we need to go back to testing the candidates in real-time, asking difficult questions and observing their ability to respond, solve problems, improvise, and behave as we would expect from the candidate we are asking to add to our team. Such a move has a price that we all know from the times when hiring was done in this way - loss of significant time of valuable personnel in the company.

But as technology progressed, new options emerged based on virtual simulations. Instead of asking the hiring manager or recruiters to take more time to deeply examine the abilities and suitability of each candidate individually, the conditions of the job can be recreated and real scenes from everyday life on the job can be staged, through virtual simulations. In today's market, there are already companies such as the Israeli TaTiO and the Australian Vervoe offering such a solution. Candidates are required to play some sort of computer game that simulates the work environment in which they will be asked to work, as well as introduce complex situations to determine their suitability. The simulations examine the candidate's performance in real-time and at the end of each simulation the recruiters receive a score that rates their performance in the simulation as well as their suitability for the position in question, and for other positions based on their performance. This is an automated process that saves time on the recruiter's side while also providing important insights about the role to those interested in it.

We seem to have two choices: either we take a step back and return to how we sorted employees before the automated process, or we take a step forward and deepen the assimilation of the recruitment processes in the digital space, leading to new methods of recruiting, sorting and evaluating employees. Regardless of the choice, the present situation needs to change significantly in order to avoid being left behind.

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