Generative AI and Talent Operations:  The Next Frontier

What I learned at the IAMPHENOM Conference blog post series

This is part four of a series of posts based on what I learned at the IAMPHENOM conference.

I had been planning to write this post about Generative AI for a few weeks now.  but with such a hot topic there has been a steady stream of opinions, information, and predictions being published, I wanted to avoid regurgitating much of the same.  Well, I have waited long enough, here is my take:

Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, there has been a groundswell of concern over the potential risks and negative impacts of AI.  Let’s put aside the doomsday prognostications that an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) could destroy civilization as we know it. I want to focus on the applications of AI in the Talent Operations arena.

Having been in HR for more than 30 years I can attest to the fact that whenever there is a breakthrough in technology it does not take long for the compliance hawks to show up.  

AI in recruiting has been emerging for the last 10 years and much of the compliance concerns are focused on whether it will create more or perpetuate bias (remember this story about Amazon?).  Will an AI algorithm that generates a Fit Score disproportionately rule out candidates of a protected class?  All of this has led to the first legislation in New York City that requires employers who utilize AI (or Automated Employment Decision Tools) in hiring to inform candidates and provide them with the ability to opt out of the AI process.  Of course, there is an assumption here that employers will nefariously use this technology to make their hiring decisions for them.  I will save my opinion on this compliance focus for another post, but I will just say that if anyone is thinking they will replace the human decision regarding who gets hired, whether it is with AI or good old-fashioned keyword search rankings, you are begging for a lawsuit.

Here is what I am excited about. During the IAMPHENOM conference, the product launch announcements made clear what Generative AI will mean for next-generation Talent Operations.  That is, forget about AI making decisions for you and think about how it will make you 5X more productive.

Here are two quick examples of how Phenom has incorporated Generative AI into their product which I believe will be a boon for their user base.

1. Email Correspondence – A long time ago I had a saying.  “All I need to be a good recruiter is a pad of paper, a pencil, and a telephone.”  These days I am not sure how often recruiters use phones; it seems that most of our communications are by email.  I would bet the average recruiter or sourcer could be sending a few hundred emails in a week.  With the Phenom X+ co-pilot, you can type in a few words describing the email you want to send, and the AI will draft you a great start in a few seconds.  Then you can modify it by clicking a few buttons to make it more casual, professional, shorter, longer, etc.  And check out this example.  I simply pasted the link to a local Grace Hopper event into Phenom’s AI and clicked Generate:

Here is the version after clicking on the Casual button:

My mind is blown, and I am just scratching the surface!

2. Interview Questions – Through all my experiences implementing recruiting technology, there are always a few business requirements that end up getting deferred because it requires too much time for a company to develop the content.  Developing questions for Interview Guides is one of those nagging projects that is often put on the shelf.  With the Phenom X+ Generative AI co-pilot, you can crank out a solid interview guide in a few seconds.  Here is a good example:

After entering this short description and clicking on Generate, this is my result:

I think these two examples make it evident that the opportunity for AI will be much more about productivity enhancements than it will be about making decisions for us.

Now, I am certain that even for these types of productivity enhancement applications of AI there will be Companies whose legal counsel will pump the breaks and not allow any type of AI in the Hiring Process until there is more consensus on compliance implications.  If you find yourself in that category, you can always entertain yourself with one of those AI image generators – like me in the picture above channeling my inner Viking (generated with

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