In the Era of AI, Learn About the Real Candidate Behind the Resume

By Brandy Walker posted 05-03-2024 09:30 AM


Job seekers are increasingly using generative artificial intelligence (AI) when writing their resumes. A survey by graphic design company Canva reveals that 45% of those seeking jobs have enhanced their resumes with AI tools, according to a recent Forbes article.

Benefits of using AI for a resume may include the optimization of formatting and wording that increases appeal and alignment with the job posting, as well as decreased spelling or grammatical errors. Research conducted by an MIT Sloan School of Management Ph.D. student found that “job seekers with AI-assisted resumes are 8% more likely to be hired, receive 7.8% more job offers, and earn 8.4% higher wages.”

However, for employers, there are downsides to dealing with resumes that use generative AI, including the following:

  • Exaggerated candidate experience and qualifications or even outright falsehoods.

  • Missed opportunities for a candidate to differentiate themself among other candidates due to the absence of individual tailoring.

  • A lack of opportunity for employers to assess soft skills.

With these concerns in mind, here are some steps employers can take to avoid being deceived by AI-assisted resumes and help increase the likelihood of a great hire:

  • Utilize behavioral interview questions. Developing appropriate questions that require a candidate to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities can significantly increase your ability to make a qualified hire. Also, check out Employers Council’s Training Catalog for information about classes that can assist in creating an effective interview process, such as Unbiased Interviewing: Helping Candidates Feel Welcome and Interviewing and Hiring On Demand

  • Consider pre-employment screening. Appropriate skills assessments can assist employers in determining a candidate’s proficiency in technical skill, knowledge, and ability. Some employers also use behavioral assessments which can evaluate work styles, preferences, and cultural alignment. Other forms of pre-employment screening might include background and reference checks. For assistance, Employers Council offers pre-employment screening services.

  • Be direct. Consider asking candidates directly if they used AI when creating their resume. Using tools to enhance any work product can be a great way to be efficient and innovative. We all use tools to accomplish tasks, why should resume writing be any different? However, using AI to generate the content may be taking it a step too far, and may indicate a lack of skill, misaligned values, or even potential ethical concerns. 

The bottom line is that bad hires are costly. They can negatively impact productivity, morale, and culture and, at times, increase legal risk. It is imperative that employers take appropriate steps to look beyond the resume alone, which is a marketing tool, and further rely on sound business practices developed through effective processes that utilize best practices. If you need assistance with or have any questions about the recruiting and hiring process, contact Employers Council at Members can also access resources with guidance on the use of AI in the workplace, including this employers guide and this sample handbook policy.

Brandy Walker is a human resources consultant for Employers Council.