Gaining one million users in its first five days of life, ChatGPT is officially the fastest growing app in history.
So what is it? Why is it attracting so much attention?
And what does it mean for HR leaders and their organisations?
Here’s what we cover in this article:
What is ChatGPT?
Launched in November 2022 by OpenAI, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot is based on GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language that uses deep learning to create human-like responses to text inputs.
What does that mean in non-tech speak?
Well, it’s like a mash-up of Google and Alexa – your own virtual guru, if you will – that you can ask questions and train to produce an array of written content – from essays and scripts, to jokes, songs and even music.
ChatGPT: Why the hype?
The reason it’s receiving so much attention is because it’s open for anyone to use.
Rather than keeping it behind closed doors while its developers continue to test and refine it, OpenAI has made the chatbot available to the public, free of charge.
This means anyone can dabble and play around to see what the chatbot can do.
Your employees are using ChatGPT right now
With an estimated 25 million users a day logging on to the site, it’s likely a few of your employees are using it right now.
In fact, more than 40% of professionals have used the AI chatbot in some capacity at work, including for things such as writing CVs and cover letters, coding, and drafting sales and marketing emails.
However, 68% admit they’re using it without their boss’s knowledge. This suggests a level of uncertainty around how companies might perceive the use of such technology within the workplace.
It opens up the question as to whether HR leaders might need to consider drafting AI chatbot policies that outline governance within your organisation about what is and isn’t acceptable use.
What does ChatGPT mean for HR?
If we park how employees may or may not be using the tech for now and focus on the potential this new AI brings to the table for HR leaders and their teams, there are numerous use cases for the technology to support HR teams and free up some valuable time.
From supporting HR with employee queries to helping write job specs, the AI chatbot has the ability to aid HR leaders with many time-consuming HR admin and manual tasks.
However, it has some limitations.
For example, ChatGPT can only scour the internet for information as far back as 2021. It also can’t determine what might be fake news or inaccurate data and stats, so any content it produces does need to be thoroughly sense-checked by a human mind.
ChatGPT is also not the only language-generation chatbot on the block.
There are others in various stages of development and usability – from small startups such as Anthropic with Claude, to the big players such as Microsoft and Google with their respective chatbots Bing and Bard.
What’s for certain though is this technology is not going to go away.
It will keep evolving and like all machine-learning technology, it will grow to produce better and more accurate quality of information.
ChatGPT to elevate – not replace – HR
While virtual assistants might seem like they’re in their infancy, more than half (51%) of HR leaders are already using some form at work today, our Sage research found.
There’s no doubt that tech, such as ChatGPT, is shaping up to disrupt the working world – but no matter how good the technology is, it’s no replacement for people.
Just like we continue to see with powerful HR and People systems, great technology is fundamental for HR teams to speed up processes, cut admin time and make people’s working lives easier, so they can focus on where they can really add value.
ChatGPT: Its own response
It would be amiss not to ask ChatGPT how it can help HR, so we tested out ChatGPT for ourselves and asked: “Is ChatGPT good or bad for HR leaders? Provide your answer in one sentence.”
It responded: “ChatGPT can be beneficial for HR leaders as it can streamline processes, improve communication, and enhance the employee experience, but it should be used in conjunction with human expertise and judgment.”
How can HR use ChatGPT?
Currently, HR leaders should be in discovery mode, dipping their toe in and having a play with how ChatGPT works to discover how it might support them with certain aspects of their role.
ChatGPT is certainly not going to replace or replicate a lot of the valuable work HR does – even ChatGPT says so.
There’s still a human level required to sense check and work out the best way to use the information that ChatGPT churns out – but it could become a vital resource in an HR leader’s toolbox.
Here are five ways HR leaders can test out using ChatGPT:
1. Speeding up recruitment admin
65% of HR professionals report that it takes them two hours or more to write a job description from scratch and an average of seven days to screen candidates’ applications and CVs. ChatGPT can ease some of this burden.
You can provide the required competencies for a certain role into ChatGPT, and you can even ask it for a list of keywords to put in a job advert for maximum results.
It can also list out specific questions to ask in the interview stage for a particular role, enabling to you put significant time back into other strategic initiatives.
Starting with the right HR and People system and using it alongside software such as ChatGPT, you can make your recruitment process seamless from end-to-end.
2. Supporting employee engagement
Before the pandemic, engagement and wellbeing were rising globally for nearly a decade. But now they’re stagnant, according to the latest Gallup State of the global workplace report.
With only 21% of employees reportedly being engaged at work and just a third thriving in their overall wellbeing, checking in with your employees regularly remains critical.
ChatGPT can be used to help HR leaders devise the right questions to ask employees through pulse surveys and employee feedback that you can then lift and shift into your HR and People system to publish the survey and gain actionable insights.
3. Creating and updating policies
Creating policies is a lengthy and intensive task. ChatGPT can help HR leaders save time in this area by giving example policies that you can then tailor to your organisation.
Some experts suggest you could tell ChatGPT to ‘write a hybrid work policy’ for your organisation but it won’t have the depth of knowledge of your specific business or the relevant resources to draw upon that an HR leader within the business would.
However, it could create a good basic template of a hybrid working policy, which you could then flesh out and tailor to meet the requirements of your specific organisation.
And that would cut down on the time it would have taken if you’d had to create a whole policy from scratch.
4. Helping with diversity and inclusion
In our recent research, 22% of HR leaders said diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) was their top priority. So it could be beneficial to test out how ChatGPT can assist with DEI strategies.
If you break down your DEI policies and initiatives into digestible chunks of copy, you can easily feed this content into ChatGPT so that it can be a second pair of eyes and make sure that your copy is as inclusive as possible.
You can also feed through other content such as job specifications to make sure they’re in good shape, too.
However, technology is only as good as the information it’s been fed with, so it’s something to be mindful of if you’re considering using it for this purpose.
DEI always needs the human touch, so read through any answers you get back from ChatGPT carefully and tailor any answers, so they reflect what you want to say as an organisation.
5. Answering simple employee queries
ChatGPT is perfectly geared towards being a ‘virtual HR assistant’, as it can signpost to any publicly available information quickly and accurately.
The AI chatbot can be trained to provide answers to standard HR queries from employees, which you can collate and group in topics, so that you can respond with the relevant information and avoid duplication of effort by answering the same question multiple times.
If you find these questions come up time and time again, you could create a frequently asked questions section on your HR and People system to share this information with your people easily.
Try ChatGPT for yourself
95% of HR leaders told us that HR is too much work, and nearly three-quarters (73%) say their HR team is primarily focused on process, our research found.
So, the best way to get ahead with ChatGPT is to jump in and give it a go, to figure out how it can help you and your HR team save time.
While the answers coming from ChatGPT might need some work to tailor them to your organisation, if you can lean more on technology such as AI chatbots to do the heavy lifting, HR can continue to free up time to focus on more strategic initiatives.