Spotting AI Champions: Finding Your Team’s Hidden Gems

In the fast-changing world of AI, you need ‘champions’ in your team to take the lead in bringing AI into your work. Sometimes these AI champions are easy to find – if you know where to look.

I was speaking recently at an event for senior leaders, discussing the impact of AI in their teams. One of the participants shared her experience of hiring someone for a new role. She wrote her job advertisement, and in the responses, she noticed a few people had obviously used ChatGPT to help craft their responses. She asked how to deal with this sort of candidate.

This is a common question, and when I ask people for their responses, they have different responses. Some flat out say it’s laziness, and they would never hire someone who had not put in enough effort in their response.

I completely understand that attitude. But let me give you three different perspectives …

First, as a hiring manager, what if YOU had used ChatGPT to write the ad? It’s pretty good at doing that – you give it a list of selection criteria and ask it to draft the first version of the ad, and then you edit it. Would that be acceptable, or would that be considered cheating? For most leaders and managers, they would say, “That’s OK, we use all the resources available to us”.

Second, on that topic of using available resources:

  • What if a candidate had used Google to find out more about what you do? In most cases, that’s expected now!
  • What if they also looked on LinkedIn to see what other employees are posting about current projects? As a manager, you might find that quite impressive.
  • What if they also talked to a career coach about their application, and how they could demonstrate the value they could add? Again, you might find that interesting (and rare).

If all of that is “allowed”, why isn’t the use of ChatGPT?

Third – and I think most important – if you see a candidate has used AI in their application, do you reject them because you think they’re cheating, or do you see them as someone who’s interested in technology, who’s taken the initiative, who’s excited about AI? They might be a bit rough around the edges, but they might also be an AI champion in your team. That might not be the only reason to hire them, but it certainly shouldn’t be a reason to reject them.

More and more, AI will play an important role in our lives. We’re still early in the AI journey, and you’ll spot many examples of tools like ChatGPT used imperfectly. But don’t expect perfection! Look at the opportunity, and look for the people who are actively using it. to see it in use in the real world. How can we do it better? So, think about that, especially when you see people using AI. Even if they’re not using it perfectly, they might be your AI champions in the future.

We need AI champions, and we need leaders who can support them. Download my worksheet about AI champions to find out more.



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