What impact will ChatGPT and other AI models have on recruitment in technology in the coming years?
By David Gettins, Managing Director at Lorien
Since the emergence of ChatGPT in late 2022, and the numerous other models that have cropped up in the ensuing months, we’ve heard from a variety of sources that everything is set to change and that millions of people – particularly in technology and its associated industries – will be cast aside and made redundant with their roles replaced by artificial intelligence programmes. Multiple industries and the organisations within them have already adopted these platforms and utilise them in a variety of ways, with some reports suggesting that many companies and individuals have been able to effectively outsource up to 80% of their roles to AI models. However, despite the overwhelmingly negative headlines, could ChatGPT and other forms of AI actually have a positive impact on the tech sector and future skills requirements?
The job destroyer
ChatGPT was labelled as a ‘job destroyer’ almost from the moment it became known to the wider world and there’s little doubt that it already has, and will surely continue, to influence the technology industry and other fields as we know them. In the words of the model itself, what sets it apart from similar programmes is “its ability to understand context and generate responses that are relevant to the conversation in a human-like way.” It can create new content and ideas, and even write essays, scripts and poems. You may have seen that, in the past few months, some of the leading names in tech penned an open letter calling for a six month pause on AI experiments arguing that “contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks”. The idea of it therefore being utilised by businesses to reduce headcounts and increase financial efficiencies is hardly surprising, after all, if an AI model could provide a one-size-fits-all solution to business needs – and didn’t create added costs from salaries, insurance, benefits and so on – it would likely be adopted at a rapid rate, as cynical as that may sound.
It’s fair to say that the working world is in a state of flux, however not all of these ongoing changes will necessarily have a negative impact, and the tech sector could reap the rewards from the growth of AI platforms without seeing the kinds of job losses projected from more negative corners of the media. In fact, we would argue that, within the technology sector at least, it’s highly likely that AI will have a broadly positive impact on hiring and will create numerous benefits, as well as new opportunities, for specialists and employers to take advantage of.
Impact on technology recruitment
For businesses looking to recruit, in particular, these benefits include aspects such as being able to spend more time with candidates and increase efficiency, as models like ChatGPT will be able to automate areas of the hiring process, therefore saving time, money and additional resources. They could also be utilised to improve the wider candidate experience through the delivery of personalised, real-time responses to candidate requests, enquiries and other engagements. And while humans, even the best of us, have our faults and inherent biases, AI supposedly does not, and could reduce unconscious biases throughout the recruitment journey. It could also lead to businesses – and, subsequently, individuals – benefitting from larger talent pools, as the models source candidates that may once have been overlooked through a more traditional recruitment process.
As well as boosting aspects of hiring, it’s also likely – despite the headlines – that the emergence of AI models will actually create new skills requirements which in turn could lead to the development of new roles for technology specialists to take advantage of. These will most likely be centred around fields such as machine learning, natural language processing and data management, where the possibility of leveraging ChatGPT will create numerous opportunities for specialists. Professionals with these skills are likely to become increasingly in demand over the coming years and, as the true potential of AI models becomes clearer over time, other new areas will also likely emerge, creating even more opportunities for technologists to take advantage of.
Some of the more manual and process-driven roles within the technology space could be eaten up by these models, but in reality, it’s unlikely that businesses will be willing (or able) to rely solely on AI for a significant period of time, and the vast majority will recognise that the human touch is far more valuable to them then AI can be at the moment. More abstractly, the requirements for upskilling and reskilling will be so broad in the coming years that organisations that specialise in training and technology education will also benefit during this time.
We’ve already seen the emergence of these trends within the technology markets that we specialise in and broader sentiments around AI models are much more positive than most external sources would have you believe. On the whole, technologists are feeling secure in their roles and recognise that the major skills shortages impacting this space and its associated industries will mean that opportunities will continue to be accessible for the foreseeable future. In fact, the majority of our networks see ChatGPT and other AI models as an opportunity to gain further expertise as new roles and capabilities appear in line with the new technologies.
Ultimately, the technology is only as good as the humans behind it – and particularly in this case, the humans using it too. AI draws its data from sources produced by people, which naturally means it’s as flawed as the creators of that content. In many cases, and as those who have used these models have found, it might be misinformed and it requires human intervention to lead it in the right direction.
Consequently, while the world has certainly shifted, and will continue to do so, we appear to be safe from the rise of the robots for the time being. And, while recruitment within technology is likely to remain challenging due to ongoing skills shortages and a dearth of specialised talent, particularly in niche fields, it’s likely that candidates, rather than AI models, stand to capitalise for the foreseeable future.