4 ways to handle candidate use of AI in assessment and selection

Jul 10, 2024 | Home Featured, Selection & assessment, Webinars | 0 comments

With a rise in candidates using AI in job applications, Claudia Nuttgens at AMS offers advice for employers.

We know that the power of generative AI to perform complex ‘thinking’ tasks in multiple formats is evolving all the time.

Candidates are already using generative AI (GenAI e.g., ChatGPT) to increase their chances of success in selection processes; creating compelling CVs, completing application forms and preparing for interviews.

Surveys from multiple sources seem to suggest that candidates’ intention to use it is increasing rapidly, with actual use trailing behind but increasing at a similar rate.

Managing risk

Assessment and selection professionals and providers are rightly concerned about the potential impact of widespread candidate use of GenAI on the efficiency and fairness of their solutions.

Vendors that have looked into the risks, have found that ChatGPT can produce good performance on certain types of assessments, especially those that are text based or are designed around simple concepts, for example; standardised on-demand interviews, basic verbal reasoning assessments and simple situational judgement tests.

The more progressive assessment vendors are tackling these issues head on and creating new forms of assessments, proctoring technology to discover and deter use of GenAI, and using data analysis tools to support clients to manage the risks.

But there is much you can do to manage candidate use of AI without developing or paying for expensive new solutions or stripping assessments out of your processes.

Despite alarming predictions online and a fair bit of scaremongering of solutions that claim to be able to manage the risks of GenAI, it is important not to panic!

A thoughtful and multi-pronged approach will allow you to adapt and respond as the technology continues to develop and its use expands. Here are four things you can do.

4 ways to handle candidate use AI in assessment and selection

1. Take the time to be clear on your strategy

Work with experts and colleagues in legal, TA, data protection and others. Define your organisations’ approach to the use of GenAI and keep having these conversations, flexing your response along the way.

If you are happy that people use ChatGPT for work, then maybe it’s ok for candidates to use it in the recruitment process. If your organisation is adopting a more cautious approach, then mirror this in your approach to assessment.

2. Be open and honest with candidates

Clear communications that explain what you expect from candidates, and why, in respect of GenAI can head off the risk early.

Tell them the benefits of responding without using GenAI, explain the consequences if they do use it. Perhaps ask them to sign a ‘contract’ promising not to use it. Integrate and repeat your messages in your recruitment and assessment communications and reinforce them across the process.

3. Review your assessment tools

It has always been important to ensure that the assessments you use are truly role relevant, fair and effective. The proliferation of AI makes this even more important.

Take the time to review your assessments and find where you have the most risk. For instance, consider stripping out more traditional simple ability tests or situational judgement tests. Or refresh your digital interview questions so that they provoke the candidate to share what is unique about them and their motivations. Perhaps you could consider how you can reduce reliance on CV screening at the top of the funnel etc.

4. Inform and train your recruiters and hiring managers

People working on the front line have an important role in spotting and managing the use of GenAI.

Educate your teams on what GenAI use will look like in the response of candidates and the data collected. Give them permission to escalate any concerns and work with colleagues to agree a proportionate response. Supply scripts and guidance on how to talk to candidates about using GenAI as part of your process.

Ultimately there is no silver bullet for tackling candidate use of GenAI in assessment. It takes a multi-pronged, joined up, thoughtful, but responsive and agile approach to ensure that you embrace new technology.

The trick is to find the right balance between managing the risk with leveraging the opportunity to innovate in assessment all the while considering the impacts on the inclusivity and experience of your assessment process.

Watch ISE and AMS webinar on generative AI in assessment and selection.

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