Back in December when I first heard about ChatGPT, from my gen Y son of course, I used it to help me write cards. “Write a Holiday card for an elderly person in 5 lines”. The result was instantaneous and perfectly correct. However it didn’t sound anything like me, so in the end I only used a small part of Chat GPT’s proposal in my mother in law’s card.
Since then I’ve used ChatGpt on a personal level, New Year’s wishes, recipes, as a search engine for various topics…. and professionally; annual reports, developing various strategic subjects, exam questions etc. I am always impressed with the speed of reply, the language proficiency and the possibility to ask questions in order to narrow down what precisely I need to receive. Have I ever been able to copy paste a reply? Never. Always there’s something missing, be it in the content or the style and I wind up editing and rephrasing, a little like when working with a junior staff member.
There are a number of posts out there indicating in which areas Chat GPT or other AI tools can be used in HR and I am all in favor of using them, cautiously. Why?
Personally I’ve never enjoyed writing policies and procedures, inputting data repetitiously, answering the same questions over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, all of the above are extremely important, just not what you want to be spending too much time on because in HR we’re all about the people; sourcing, integrating, relationships, skills development, career development, remuneration, health and safety and so much more. We do this with and for people. So why not delegate the tedious, repetitious parts of our work to AI, knowing that the result will never be perfect. We’re here as humans to then make it as perfect as possible, by for example adapting a standard policy to the specificities of our organization, using words that are part of our company culture and making sure that Chat GPT is not accessing any of our confidential information. This is where my word of caution comes in: Using open AI means NO sharing of confidential information or data. Using AI also means being transparent about it. Noone needs to be ashamed of using and asking for help, human or machine based. Haven’t we been doing that with the google search function already?
In particular, open AI can be helpful to Human Resources professionals in small or middle sized organizations and associations who do not have access to experts internally and need to be all-rounders; one day a new policy, the next a learning and development strategy etc. Chat GPT or other open AI tools can provide rough drafts that you can improve or that an external expert; legal or other can review.
Has ChatGPT made my life easier and saved me time? A little yes, not dramatically. Perhaps it will though when I use it better and it gets better. Is it going to kill off our HR jobs? I honestly don’t think so. So long as we get out from behind our screens and are engaging with people as a significant part of our work, understanding the business and making sure that our machines are doing their job in the background HR is an essential part of any organization.
Jessica Silberman Dunant