Navigating AI disruption in selection processes

Jun 17, 2024 | Home Featured, Opinion, Selection & assessment

AI is disrupting selection. Robert Newry, CEO at Arctic Shores, advocates the only option now is to embrace it.

Ten years ago, when I introduced gamification into the early career sector as a means of assessing candidates, the traditionalists were quick to declare it a gimmick. The same was true when OpenAI ChatGPT was launched and candidates started using it to help with the application process.

Then Jamie Betts at stood up at last year’s ISE Student Recruitment Conference and delivered a punchy presentation on the capabilities of ChatGPT and how it could ace traditional assessments, particularly language-based ones like SJTs.

You could literally hear the gasps and the shockwaves reverberate around the room. It was partly that so few people realised how powerful and capable GenAI models were but also why were early career talent teams not being told about the potential dangers by their selection providers?

Twelve months on and the pace of GenAI development has continued to accelerate yet early career recruitment processes haven’t collapsed as predicted.

While the hype around the level of change and disruption hasn’t materialised, the rumblings of something significant changing have still been felt by many.

Bill Gates wrote in 1996 that “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”


I am starting to hear on a more regular basis from heads of early careers that there is a rise in volumes and increasingly those turning up at assessment centres or interviews are different from what they expected from the application.

There are also more and more stories of asynchronous video interviews where significant numbers of candidates are reading responses directly from ChatGPT. There are more and more signs that the AI enabled candidate is starting to disrupt the selection process.

I have long maintained that GenAI tools are increasingly like a calculator, easy to use and ubiquitous. However, banning its use in the process is disingenuous when it’s use is encouraged once someone joins an organisation. Furthermore, our research showed diverse groups were higher users in the application process because they believe it levels the playing field.

Action is key

So, the days of hoping that this will go away and that you won’t have to make a major change to your selection process are long gone.

As a minimum, career pages need to be urgently updated to give advice on what good use of AI looks like and what bad looks like.

It’s simply not fair to leave candidates uncertain about whether using AI is acceptable, let alone what you consider to be good use versus bad use. Shoosmiths is one of the organisations leading the way on this and we too have helped others with a free guide which includes templates on our website.

Data and inspiration

Doing nothing is clearly no longer an option. In my ISE Student Recruitment Conference session at 10.30am on 25 June I will share our latest research on candidate usage of AI as well as what some of the pioneers are doing and what they have learnt. I will also delve into why the implications of GenAI go beyond the robustness of assessment tools and we need to rethink what we measure as much as how we measure it.

In line with our general thought leadership approach, the session will be thought-provoking, evidence based, measured and above all practical!

You may also be interested in…

GenAI in job applications: To Ban or Not to Ban?

Employers reveal how AI is changing early careers recruitment

How are early talent adapting to the age of AI?




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