As soon as AI came into the hiring conversation, I feel like I heard a boom from recruiters that echoed, “The ATS isn’t rejecting your resume, a warm body is… and that body is me.”

Every recruiter I have spoken with, from the small contractor that reminds me of home, to the large contractor or even the government, the theme is the same across the board: they don’t employ AI in the hiring process or through their Applicant Tracking System (ATS). So, why is this such a common thread?

Because companies within other spaces outside national security certainly do employ AI under their hiring apparatus to save time for other strategic endeavors. But not without a cost. In 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit claiming that three English-language tutoring companies instilled parameters within their ATS’ to automatically filter out applicants above a specified age. Now while this isn’t AI that is that sophisticated, it is discrimination against older populations. These organizations disqualified 200+ job seekers based on age, rejecting all women above the age of 55 and all men above the age of 60.

Many of our readers are in the cleared space, dealing with things like OFCCP compliance (audits are a thing, and actively employing discriminatory practices…yikes) and low candidate pools. It’s worrisome that any AI in the hiring process would potentially reject candidates that are either qualified for the role they applied for or something else the recruiter reading resumes is working on- especially when application rates are so low in this candidate driven market.

Advantages to Some AI in Recruiting

However, there is some AI that recruiters can use for good, and to their own advantage. Saving them valuable time while being ethical in their hiring practices. While ChatGPT may not be able to write a decent job description from a vague statement of work (that is probably very bleak on the unclassified level), here are a few ways to use ChatGPT to your advantage, while avoiding a discrimination lawsuit:

  1. Use it to write code or spruce up your careers page
  2. Use it for copywriting / content creation on social or across your recruitment marketing communications software
  3. Use it for candidate support on your website
  4. Use it to create summaries of interviews or notes on candidates
  5. Use it to draft interview questions if you’re feeling writer’s block
  6. Use it to respond to applicants – whether that be to move them to the next stage or disqualify them
  7. Use it to *try* to format resumes before sending to your hiring manager / the government (I have not done this so I have no idea if the output would be quality or not)

While our industry is niche, the tech is there to make your life easier. And you can use this type of AI in a capacity that won’t hurt your reputation.

P.S. Maybe don’t use the full on iRobot AI, but DO USE those knockout questions. You’re not liable if a candidate rejects themselves.

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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸