Monzo has warned candidates against using ChatGPT when applying for jobs with the firm, amid concerns that the AI platform will give some candidates an unfair advantage.
The Telegraph reports that the challenger bank added a disclaimer to its job advertisements in recent weeks, stating: “You should submit your own application without help from other sources e.g Others/ChatGPT any applications whereby external support has been provided will be disqualified.”
The publication reportedly spoke to a Monzo source who explained that the warning was a pre-emptive measure, and that no job candidates had been caught using the generative AI platform to finesse their applications.
‘Just be yourself... don’t take the risk’
It’s completely understandable why some may be tempted to use ChatGPT or a similar generative AI system to improve their job prospects, but with firms quickly catching on to this trend, is it worth the risk?, Chris Parsons, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer at Lollipop, a shopping assistant app, recently wrote on LinkedIn: “A lot of answers we get to job application questions are obviously generated by ChatGPT. We can tell when a candidate pastes in a ChatGPT response. Don't take the risk.
“We CAN'T tell when ChatGPT is used to inspire a thoughtful and accurate answer - and that's just fine.
“If you don't know what to write in a job application question, just say so. Don't use ChatGPT to make up an answer for you.
“Just be yourself when answering questions. It's going to save everyone time.
“We find the limit of people's knowledge at interview anyway.
“We all have limits to our knowledge, so no-one needs to pretend they don't have them!”
How ChatGPT could change recruitment
Let’s say a candidate ignores Parsons’ warnings about using ChatGPT when applying for jobs. Can it really help set you apart from the competition? Not quite yet, argues Áine Fanning, Managing Director of Cpl’s Talent Evolution Group, who explained: “The promise of ChatGPT is to automate tasks that we used to think were the exclusive domain of humans. Whether it changes the world of recruitment ultimately comes down to whether it delivers on that promise.
“If it does, the impact will be huge. ChatGPT touches anything that involves language: CVs, cover letters, emails – perhaps even scripts for telephone and in-person interviews. But the big question is competence. Can ChatGPT truly match human efforts?
“For now, at least, the answer appears to be “No”. The outputs ChatGPT generates, though often passable, tend to be generic. It lacks the unique spark that distinguishes exceptional candidates. There are also big issues with its depth of understanding. Ask ChatGPT to share genuine expertise on a niche topic and it will often get its facts wrong. Neither of these weaknesses bodes well for a job application.
“With that said, a little human help goes a long way. A human editing ChatGPT’s output could produce a better result than either one acting alone. As the technology improves, it’s even possible that the human element could fade away entirely.”
So, what consequences may candidates face, if using ChatGPT inappropriately when applying for job roles?
Fanning went on: “This will vary depending on the recruiter they are working with and the company they are applying to. However, all applicants should be conscious that several tools exist for checking whether a given piece of text was generate by ChatGPT.
“Though none are 100% accurate, they could nevertheless be used to justify a hiring manager’s suspicions if they suspect a CV or cover letter displays ChatGPT’s hallmarks. The decision on whether to use such tools ultimately sits with the decision makers, but their very existence should give applicants pause if they’re considering using ChatGPT.
“Having said that, enforceability is an issue. Savvy candidates may edit ChatGPT’s responses into their own words, or even use tailored prompts to encourage ChatGPT to depart from its default tone of voice.”
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Impacts on the future of work
Fanning also elaborated on the possibility that restrictions could be placed on the use of ChatGPT in recruitment.
“We’re conscious of a few news stories where big companies have banned the use of ChatGPT. A notable case was the financial services company JPMorgan Chase. But they didn’t specify a reason for banning ChatGPT beyond their existing guidelines about the use of third-party software. So, on the surface at least, their reasons for the ban don’t seem related to any security threat from AI technology,” said Fanning.
“It all comes back to the same question of enforcement. If ChatGPT can do a job effectively, employees who use it are going to benefit. And when the tool is public, can you really stop people using it?”
Fanning concluded: “A more likely future is one where ChatGPT usage becomes accepted as a part of normal working life. Recruitment professionals – just like workers in all other domains – will come to understand its benefits and limitations. They’ll use it when it helps them do their job more effectively and stick to more traditional methods where ChatGPT is of no help.”