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Generative AI revolutionizing early career recruitment

A groundbreaking research report by Arctic Shores, a task-based psychometric assessment provider, has unveiled a significant surge in the adoption of Generative AI, particularly ChatGPT, among early career professionals. The report, based on a comprehensive survey conducted in collaboration with research agency Opinium, presents a compelling narrative of the changing landscape of job applications and assessments.

According to the report, a staggering 70% of respondents expressed their anticipation of using ChatGPT within the next 12 months while completing job applications or assessments, with an impressive 17% already having incorporated it into their application process.

The study surveyed 2,000 students and individuals in the early stages of their careers to gauge their attitudes towards Generative AI's role in job applications and assessments. The findings reveal that 72% of students and candidates regularly use some form of Generative AI, marking a remarkable 50% increase within a mere four months. This surge in adoption holds profound implications for employers and talent acquisition leaders.

Employers that fail to embrace Generative AI may find themselves at a disadvantage in attracting candidates. A striking 32% of students expressed reluctance to work for employers who prohibited the use of Generative AI in the application process, while an additional 30% perceived such employers as lacking in progressiveness.

Beyond enhancing CVs and cover letters, Generative AI's influence extends to pre-employment testing, where it has proven its mettle. Collaborating with UCL postgraduate student researchers, Arctic Shores conducted a comprehensive study on ChatGPT's ability to complete traditional psychometric assessments commonly employed by graduate employers. The results speak volumes:

  • ChatGPT-4 surpasses 98.8% of human candidates in verbal reasoning tests, a staple in aptitude assessments.
  • It excels in Situational Judgement tests, performing at a level that places it within the top 70 percentile of candidates—typically the threshold for progressing through the recruitment process.
  • Both the free (ChatGPT-3.5) and paid-for (ChatGPT-4) versions can adeptly tackle question-based Personality Assessments, offering tailored high-matching answers based on job descriptions.
  • While both versions outperform the average candidate, ChatGPT-4 (paid) exhibits notably superior and more consistent performance.
  • Notably, neither version can tackle interactive, task-based personality or aptitude assessments.
  • The rapid uptake of Generative AI by students and graduates, combined with its demonstrated capabilities and ongoing advancements, will inevitably reshape traditional recruitment processes.

Robert Newry, co-founder and CEO of Arctic Shores, emphasized, "Generative AI is no longer a peripheral tool for students and graduates; it's integral to their approach to job applications and future careers. Companies and talent acquisition leaders must acknowledge that Generative AI extends beyond CVs and cover letters, as it excels in various assessments. Our research with UCL underscores how this technology can surpass human candidates in specific tests, often without specialized training. Given its rapid adoption, the key is not to deter or detect AI usage but to integrate Chat-GPT-proof assessments into hiring strategies to unveil candidates' true abilities."

Interestingly, students are already devoting an average of 1 hour and 14 minutes per week to ChatGPT. Notably, those with neurodiversity conditions tend to use it for longer periods, averaging 12 minutes more per week.

Additionally, when dissecting the demographics, the report highlights that black and mixed-heritage students are more inclined to leverage ChatGPT for job applications compared to other ethnic groups, with both groups representing 23%.

Newry concluded, "Talent acquisition leaders must thoughtfully consider which stages of the selection process should encourage Generative AI usage, aiming to create an equitable playing field for all candidates. While permitting usage can level the playing field in some aspects, it may provide an unfair advantage to those who can afford ChatGPT-4's premium features. Failing to address these issues and merely discouraging Generative AI usage in the application process could potentially reverse the progress made by employers in enhancing social mobility."

In a rapidly evolving job market, Generative AI is no longer on the periphery but firmly entrenched as an indispensable tool for the early career population. Employers and recruiters would do well to adapt and embrace this transformative shift in the recruitment landscape.

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