It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way businesses operate, evolve, and even recruit. But organizations are not alone in feeling the shift. Prospective candidates are employing AI tools in their job search, altering the recruitment landscape in the process. Businesses and CHROs must understand the rising trend—or risk losing out on top talent. 

The Pros: How AI Benefits Job-Hunters 

No one has a crystal ball, but we can be certain of one thing: the artificial intelligence era is here. And we don't need to wait to see how it will affect businesses, as AI is already modifying traditional recruitment processes. In fact, Korn Ferry named the use of AI by candidates as a key talent acquisition trend of 2024.  

 “We’re seeing candidates utilizing AI in ways that I wouldn’t have imagined,” says Susan De La Vega, Korn Ferry’s VP for Global Client Experience. “This is happening in multiple countries, across all kinds of roles.” In fact, jobseekers are already seeing many benefits from its use. We outline some of the pros for candidates below. 

Polished Resumés 

When it comes to artificial intelligence and job-hunting, you might think of it as using AI to write a résumé or ChatGPT for cover letters. And that is, certainly, a useful application for candidates—especially those working outside of their native language—as such tools sharpen these critical documents to an eye-catching standard.  

And job-hunters don’t even have to use ChatGPT directly. “For individuals who aren’t comfortable using AI themselves,” notes De La Vega, “countless organizations out there are now offering AI résumé help.” 

Capacity to Apply

Spending all day drafting three different versions of a cover letter? It’s a thing of the past. Beyond simple spelling and grammar checks, AI allows candidates to speedily tailor résumés and other documents to diverse roles—writing multiple, entirely unique applications within minutes.  

AI is also streamlining the application process itself. One-click functions on AI-powered job boards and employer portals broaden a candidate’s application capacity significantly. Rather than sending in just two or three applications per day as before, they can now submit dozens. If they effectively automate job applications, candidates can cast the net wider and find roles sooner. 


Whereas strong contacts with a good recruiter were once crucial, AI has made it easier than ever for candidates to find out directly what vacancies are available. Chatbot tools on job boards and employer websites improve visibility of listed roles. “A chatbot can immediately recognize where you are, ask some questions and serve up jobs that are appropriate. It means no more scrolling through 50 pages of a website to find a relevant role that might have been posted weeks ago,” says De La Vega. 

What’s more, AI is improving transparency once a candidate has applied. Chatbots may be able to answer common questions or give feedback about an application. “Many candidates are disheartened by not hearing back but they might not know that a role received 1,000 applications,” says De La Vega. “AI can ensure candidates are notified if they are no longer in the process or moved forward swiftly if they are.” 

When used as an information aggregator, AI can also help applicants research whether the salary band, benefits, job title, and other elements of an employment posting are benchmarked accordingly. While not perfect—conclusions are only as good as data readily available online—this can at least provide a starting point when considering if a role is suitable. 


One of the more tiring aspects of the recruitment process is being accelerated by AI: the scheduling of pre-screenings and interviews. “For a baseline screening it can be hard to catch a working candidate who, say, can’t take a 2pm phone call with a recruiter,” says De La Vega. “AI will give them a chance to be assessed at a time that suits them—even on a weekend—then provide an automatic response when they have an interview. The whole process might now be wrapped up in a couple of days.”

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The Cons: Risks of Using AI to Job-Search 

 “Candidates are using AI more than organizations at the moment, mostly because they don’t have any security parameters they’re trying to work through. There are no concerns from a candidate’s perspective,” says Susan De La Vega. 

Or at least, that’s the perception from job-seekers—that using AI is win-win. But in fact, the picture is more nuanced. 

Data Theft 

With a proliferation of new job boards, a myriad of postings, and quick-apply solutions, it can be difficult for candidates to know which listings are genuine. “There have been cases where fake job postings have led to the stealing of personal data,” says De La Vega. Candidates must ensure they do diligence on a website before submitting their résumé and cover letter. When in doubt, applying directly through the employer’s portal is often safest. 

The Character Gap 

De La Vega says that, in her opinion, using a tool like ChatGPT to check spelling and grammar on a résumé isn’t a deal-breaker. We’re all human and help here and there can be beneficial to candidates who, for whatever reason, are struggling to get their applications noticed. 

Yet she simultaneously notes that a common problem with AI-worked résumés is that they don’t accurately reflect the applicant. “You may end up screening the person and they may not be as articulate as their résumé. Or the tone of voice on the résumé doesn’t fit. It should be consistent with the type of language they use in person.” 

Serious Misrepresentation  

In extreme cases, candidates risk entirely misrepresenting their skill sets and experience, to the detriment of their job hunt. “One of our clients was doing a series of back-to-back interviews and they suddenly realized that most people they were interviewing were giving the same response to a certain question,” says De La Vega. “It transpired that candidates were using an AI tool to generate a response to an interview question on the spot.” 

In such a situation, a candidate has, at best, wasted everyone’s time—including their own. At worst, it could lead to an organization or recruiter writing a candidate off entirely as dishonest, even if they otherwise might have been a great fit for the role. 

Maximizing Recruitment Opportunities with AI 

The world of recruitment is changing rapidly with AI, and real benefits can be seen for the job-hunter—so long as they use the tools wisely. Meanwhile, organizations must shape a long-term talent strategy that works in this changing market and learn to evolve their recruitment methods

Korn Ferry is an expert in talent acquisition with experience working with the world’s leading companies. Schedule a consultation today and discover how to shape your business’s recruitment strategy for the future.

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