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ChatGPT 101 for HR Pros

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In "Making HR Tech Easy," work tech expert Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, makes complex HR technology understandable for all HR professionals, because having a high competency in HR technology is critical to moving your HR career forward.

It's been really hard not to hear about Open.AI's ChatGPT over the past couple of months. It seems like everyone has been talking about it since its recent release in 2022. But if you're just now encountering it, ChatGPT is a conversational software-as-a-service artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that understands the intent of complex, specific questions and has the potential to produce human-quality responses. Yes, really human!

I say "potential" because it's still learning. Although it's already pretty good, and it gets better every minute as millions of people use it.

Why should you care about an AI chatbot that can answer questions like a human? Because it will most likely change work in both significant and minor ways in the near future, similar to what we saw during the first Industrial Revolution.

Are chatbots going to take our jobs? Well, if I'm honest, some jobs will be lost for sure, at least initially. But it will also create new jobs, many of which don't exist yet. Again, similar to the first Industrial Revolution.

Will ChatGPT Take HR Jobs?

ChatGPT can take work from every single job segment in which things are created. From art and music to policy creation, advertising, strategy, disease diagnosis, legal advice and so on.

Should you be worried? If your sole reason for living is to do basic HR tasks, yes, you should be worried. HR technology products will quickly be created that will do and produce basic task-level HR work. In the near future, no human will write an HR policy. No human will write a job description. Instead, we'll tell ChatGPT what we want, it will craft a draft instantly, and then we'll ask ChatGPT to make revisions until we think it's perfect. What might take two or three HR professionals now will be handled by one HR professional and an AI assistant—a version of ChatGPT named something like "Mary from Payroll," perhaps.

How ChatGPT Could Make HR Better

Honestly, the sky is the limit of our imagination, but here are some ideas:

  • ChatGPT can develop your entire recruiting strategy with very specific examples of inputs and outputs and can give you a step-by-step guide to follow.
  • ChatGPT can walk you through the H-1B process.
  • ChapGPT can write HR policies for you.
  • ChapGPT can write job descriptions for you.

Let's get a little more creative:

  • Imagine you want to change something in your HRIS system. All you will have to do is tell the AI what you want to change, and you will instantly see the change. The AI will inform you if there are down-channel issues that were created by those changes and how to resolve them.
  • Imagine an AI that analyzes in real time every single conversation happening in your organization in e-mail, Slack, Teams, etc.; connects the dots; and ensures all parties are on the same page and no one is left out who shouldn't be.
  • Imagine an AI that writes all of your policies in real time and will adjust each one as rules and laws change. Or an AI that allows you to make instant changes to policies, immediately update them across all systems, and then sends them out.
  • Imagine an AI that can ensure that pay inequity never happens, and if someone tries to do something that is inequitable, immediately alerts the powers that be to address it.
  • Imagine an AI that can produce data performance measures and constantly measure performance against deliverables for all workers regardless of their work environment (remote or hybrid).
  • Imagine an AI that can alert a manager about an employee who might be going through a mental health issue before the issue becomes bigger than it should and then helps the manager deal with the issue.

I could go on all day. If you can think it up, ChatGPT and the advanced AI that is being developed will be able to assist you in making this stuff happen.

But here's the differentiation between ChatGPT and HR professionals: While you will no longer be needed as the creator of a work product, HR professionals will still be needed to narrate to ChatGPT what they want to create. We will still need smart, sharp, driven HR professionals who know what they're doing. You just won't be the one doing the creating—which will allow you, individually, to do much more. Gone will be the days of the "Queen of Spreadsheets." ChatGPT will make those spreadsheets; you will just tell it what you want. But you will still have to know what you want.

Of course, this is my best guess. Every technologist and futurist has an opinion about ChatGPT. Some don't believe it will have that much of an impact. Others, like me, believe we are in the early stages of an amazing new world where AI like ChatGPT will transform work as we know it.

Interestingly enough, we won't notice this evolution take place. Like during the first Industrial Revolution, we'll see small, cool things happen incrementally until one day we will wake up and our world of work will be completely different. The first iPhone was produced 16 years ago. Twenty years ago, none of us could have imagined a day when we would be tethered to our mobile devices constantly. It happened little by little, then all at once.

ChatGPT can be found at Open.AI, and it's free (for now) for anyone to try. It's worth some playing around. Test it out and see if you can write a better job description faster than ChatGPT can. I bet you can't, because ChatGPT will give it to you in under two seconds.

Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, is the CEO of, the author of The Talent Fix (SHRM, 2018) and a popular speaker at HR conferences. You can read his daily newsletter at


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