Spotting Authenticity: Recognizing Genuine Candidate Expressions


    Spotting Authenticity: Recognizing Genuine Candidate Expressions

    In the age of generative AI, distinguishing authentic candidate qualities from AI-influenced applications is crucial. We've gathered insights from CEOs and founders, who share their strategies from assessing authenticity through specificity to implementing the 'Why Us?' test. Here are six expert takes on identifying genuine expressions in the hiring process.

    • Assess Authenticity Through Specificity
    • Spot Sincerity in Personal Experiences
    • Understand AI's Recruitment Limitations
    • Focus on Nuances in Personal Stories
    • Examine Depth in Candidate Responses
    • Implement the 'Why Us?' Test

    Assess Authenticity Through Specificity

    Differentiating between genuinely expressed candidate qualities and those potentially influenced by generative AI in applications requires a nuanced approach, focusing on authenticity and depth of responses. One effective strategy is to incorporate open-ended questions that encourage candidates to share specific experiences or challenges they've faced. Genuine responses typically include detailed narratives that reflect personal growth, problem-solving abilities, and real-world applications of skills. These responses often contain unique insights, emotions, and personal reflections that are difficult for generative AI to replicate accurately. For example, a candidate might describe a complex project they led, detailing the obstacles they overcame, their strategies, and the impact of their work on the organization. This specificity and personal investment in the answer can signal genuine experiences.

    Another method to discern authenticity involves observing inconsistencies or overly polished narratives that might suggest AI assistance. During interviews, asking candidates to elaborate on experiences or skills listed in their applications can provide further clarity. Genuine candidates can usually dive deeper into their experiences, offering additional details and demonstrating a coherent understanding of their journey and achievements. For instance, if a candidate's application boasts a remarkable achievement but they struggle to discuss it fluently or provide further details during an interview, it might indicate the embellishment or influence of generative AI in their application. This distinction is crucial for identifying candidates who possess the required skills and experience and demonstrate the authenticity and integrity essential for thriving in a professional setting.

    Vaibhav Kakkar
    Vaibhav KakkarCEO, Digital Web Solutions

    Spot Sincerity in Personal Experiences

    It can be difficult, but distinguishing between candidate attributes that are truly expressed and those that are influenced by generative AI in apps is crucial for reliable evaluations. In-depth, open-ended interviews that delve into candidates' personal experiences and examples are one method of spotting sincerity. Sincere answers often provide context, introspective thoughts, and nuanced information, whereas content produced by AI may seem shallow and more generic.

    An applicant who is passionate about a project, for example, might honestly share the specific challenges they overcame, the lessons they learned, and their unique contributions. Conversely, comments from AI-generated content could sound too polished or lack the human touch that comes from real-world experiences, making it easier for recruiters to spot possible cases of artificial influence during the application process. Being up-to-date on AI developments and interviewing practices can help you be better equipped to discern this important difference when evaluating candidates.

    Jeremy Bogdanowicz
    Jeremy BogdanowiczFounder & CEO, JTB Studios

    Understand AI's Recruitment Limitations

    Distinguishing authentic candidate qualities from those shaped by generative AI in applications can be achieved by comprehending the constraints of AI technology. While AI can assist in screening candidates and even suggest potential matches, it may not always accurately reflect a person's true capabilities or suitability for a role.

    For example, let's say an organization uses AI software to screen resumes for a marketing position. The AI technology may prioritize candidates with certain keywords or experience, but it may not take into account soft skills such as creativity and communication, which are important qualities for a successful marketer.

    In this scenario, a candidate who has genuine qualities of creativity and excellent communication skills may be overlooked by the AI screening process. However, in an interview or through a portfolio review, these qualities would be evident and could be a deciding factor in the candidate's success in the role. Therefore, it is important for organizations to not solely rely on AI technology when evaluating candidates. Human involvement in the hiring process is still crucial in order to accurately assess a person's abilities and potential fit within the company culture.

    Organizations should regularly review and update their AI algorithms to ensure they are not perpetuating any biases and are effectively capturing the most relevant qualities for a specific role. Overall, while AI can greatly aid in the recruitment process, it is important to understand its limitations and use it as a tool rather than solely relying on it.

    Justin Carpenter
    Justin CarpenterFounder & CEO, Modern Maids

    Focus on Nuances in Personal Stories

    Distinguishing between genuine candidate qualities and those polished by generative AI can be tricky, but the only method that's proven effective so far for me is focusing on the nuances of personal experiences.

    For example, during an interview, I asked a candidate to elaborate on a project listed in their resume. Genuine expressions came to light when they shared specific challenges, emotions, and learnings from the experience, something AI-generated responses lack.

    The candidate's vivid recounting of overcoming obstacles and their passion for the project was convincing and also resonated with our company values. It highlighted the importance of a personal touch and authenticity, which AI, at its current stage, cannot replicate.

    Swena Kalra
    Swena KalraChief Marketing Officer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.

    Examine Depth in Candidate Responses

    Discern authenticity by examining the depth and specificity of responses. Genuine qualities often come with personal anecdotes that reflect the candidate's unique experiences and perspectives. On the other hand, AI-generated responses may lack depth and coherence, appearing more generic. For instance, a candidate sharing a personal story about overcoming a significant challenge demonstrates authenticity, whereas a response filled with buzzwords and clichés could indicate AI influence.

    An example illustrating this distinction could involve assessing a candidate's problem-solving skills. A genuinely expressed quality might entail recounting a specific instance where the candidate devised a creative solution to a complex issue, complete with details on their thought process and the outcomes achieved. In contrast, an AI-influenced response may present a vague or overly polished description of problem-solving abilities, lacking the depth and authenticity characteristic of genuine experiences.

    Here's a way forward I can suggest: Incorporate industry-specific screening exercises tailored to the job requirements. These exercises should simulate real-world scenarios relevant to the industry, providing candidates with an opportunity to showcase their problem-solving skills and industry knowledge. Following the assessments, engaging candidates in face-to-face or online discussions allows for a deeper understanding of their approaches and decision-making processes.

    Michael Hurwitz
    Michael HurwitzCEO and Co-Founder, Careers in Government

    Implement the 'Why Us?' Test

    The technique that we use to filter out glittery candidates from the true, passionate, and golden candidates is:

    One way we differentiate between genuinely expressed qualities and AI-influenced fluff is by asking candidates to explain why they want to work at Toggl. It’s a simple question, but the responses can be incredibly telling. Genuine answers often weave in personal stories, specific aspects of our culture or products that resonate with them, and a clear understanding of how they envision contributing to our team. AI-generated responses, while polished, often lack this depth and personal touch.

    We once received an application that detailed a candidate's admiration for Toggl's approach to transparency and remote work, connecting it with their own journey of self-discovery during the pandemic. This personalized description stood out starkly against more generic applications that, while competent, read like they were assembled by pulling the top results from a 'Why work at a tech company?' query.

    Alari Aho
    Alari AhoCEO and Founder, Toggl Inc