HR-GPT Arriving Now. Beamery Starts The Generative AI Revolution in HR.
Well, ready or not, GPT and Generative AI are arriving fast. And among the many places it appears, HR technology may be one of the first. As Bill Gates describes in his recent post, ChatGPT and its Generative AI cousins are going to totally change the way we use technology (bigger than Windows). And in HR, where we use tools and systems for almost everything, the impact will be felt everywhere.
This week Beamery, one of the pioneers in AI-powered recruiting, introduced TalentGPT, an entirely new interface to its highly successful talent agility platform. I’ve seen prototypes and demos from Eightfold, Seekout, Phenom, CoRise, Workday, iCims, and a pretty snazzy prototype called CourseAI (courseai.co), each of which more or less redefine what various HR systems do.
Remember that most of the tools we use in HR are based on search, indexing, and skills inference in some way. If you look at what applicant tracking systems do (score and rank candidates), what pre-hire assessments do (assess skills and capabilities and experiences), what learning platforms do (search content, create content outlines, detail learning paths, serve as teaching assistants), and all the administrative systems (writing job descriptions, job requirements, learning plans) – every one of these things can be aided or reinvented with GPT.
As I talked with Sultan Saidov, the President and Co-Founder of Beamery, he described the massive changes we can expect in user interfaces. Imagine you’re searching for a software engineer and you ask TalentGPT (Beamery’s name) to help you find an engineer with a certain set of skills. The system would then ask you questions to refine your request, and then show you a series of screens, each displayed below the chat interface, to help you refine your search.
Once you refine the search further, the back-end system (using Beamery AI models) can show you the candidates you’ve refined, and then help you select the right one. (Note: Beamery’s AI models are bias-adjusted, GPT out of the box is not. You, as a recruiting organization, can be held responsible for AI-induced bias, so vendors are being careful.)
It can find you internal candidates automatically (no need to go into the Talent Marketplace per-se), help you refine the job title, and even give you instant insights on pay, benefits, location, and other important criteria.
As you can see, this “conversational experience” (we can call it an Assistant or CoPilot) is far more productive and useful than “search and re-search.” As I discuss in my most recent podcast, this is why Bing Search could truly disrupt Google for consumer internet search. We, as humans, more naturally think about iterative discovery – and that’s what ChatGPT is designed to do.
And there’s much more to come.
Let me mention a few other vendors briefly (I don’t want to pre-announce any products). Eightfold, Seekout, Phenom, and LinkedIn are each working on tools to radically improve the process of writing job requisitions, refining candidate pools, and finding excellent candidates. That functionality will help reinvent job postings and search advertisements but also completely change the process of internal hiring.
Then think about the candidate experience. Paradox.ai, a pioneer in this space, has effectively replaced the need for an Applicant Tracking System with their agent Olivia. Companies like McDonald’s and even General Motors have proven that candidates don’t need to fill out forms at all to find good jobs. ChatGPT is going to make this even more powerful, as I’ll talk more about in a future article.
Now think, for a minute, about the energy going into internal talent marketplaces and tools for career development. Why wouldn’t an employee or hiring manager just go into HR-GPT and ask “what is a good next-job for me?” Then let the system ask the employee about his or her interests, the skills they do and don’t want to use, and search the job catalog (and detailed work information) to recommend positions? I hate to tell you but this is pretty much what Generative AI is designed to do. (And GPT can identify your skills and the skills of company positions just as well as any skills engine on the market.)
Does this means Talent Marketplace systems and career portals are going away? Not at all, but you can see how disruptive these new GPT systems could be. We could see many of the systems you like the most (Workday, Gloat, Cornerstone, and others) slowly move into the background and a whole new set of GPT-designed front ends (Assistants) take their place. And these are not just “chatbots” – they are highly intelligent front-end platforms (CoPilots, in Microsoft’s language), that search, index, and discover what’s going on in all these back end applications.
As I talked this over with Sultan I came to another interesting realization. The vendors who build these intelligent front-ends may or may not be the incumbents we know today. Companies like Salesforce and Workday, for example, are so wedded to their existing user interfaces they are often “afraid” to disrupt their own systems. After all, if we had a Salesforce.com GPT front end, we could just as easily attach it to Hubspot, couldn’t we? So there could be new vendors who build these new systems, accessing the APIs and data from the platforms we love. And the Generative AI “stack” of tools is getting deeper by the day.
Ideally, I think savvy HR Tech companies will design these Generative AI interfaces right into their applications. And that’s the approach that Beamery is taking. This is a whole new world of HR Technology ahead, and one I believe will dramatically improve our experience.
Despite the success of most big HCM platforms, most companies are frustrated by their user interfaces. This is not because vendors don’t work hard to build systems that are easy to use. It’s just that the “page, scroll, and click” paradigm is limited, and it never exposes all the functionality we need. Once a GPT-intelligent system is embedded or front-ended into these systems, they’re going to be far more useful than ever before.
PS: Do not let the histrionics you read in the NYT get to you. Generative AI is essentially a productivity tool. You’ll see, I discuss in this week’s podcast. And based on Friday’s queries, there are already more than 1200 jobs posted on LinkedIn that are looking for ChatGPT and Generative AI skills. Say what you want, this is going to be big.
Stay tuned for more.
What Is A Large Language Model (LLM) Anyway? (good overview)