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Artificial Intelligence

Deloitte is Using AI to Reduce Layoffs—And Your Business Can Too

You don't need a billion dollars to reallocate employees. You just need ChatGPT and a bit of time.

By Suzanne Lucas, Inc. (TNS)

Can AI help you reallocate your employees in order to avoid a layoff? Deloitte thinks so: The accounting and consulting giant recently announced that it is looking into using AI technology to move employees around so that the company can properly utilize existing staff and hopefully avoid layoffs.

This may sound like a cutting-edge, high-tech solution—and using AI technology to do so definitely is certainly new. But reallocating your workforce is standard practice in a reduction. (People tried to popularize the term “quiet cutting” to describe this process, but it didn’t really catch on.)

But while Deloitte has the money—with a market cap of $4.87 billion—to create custom AI tools to do what they need to do, your business probably needs to use existing tools.

Can you use ChatGPT to help you find avoid layoffs? Absolutely. Let me walk you through some ideas.

Gather the necessary data

The first thing you need to do is identify which positions you need filled, and the people whose positions you want to eliminate. The more information you have, the better your match will be.

ChatGPT does have limits in the amount of text it will take—you can’t put in hundreds of pages of data and get results. But you can put in the basic information.

You’ll need to know the skills your current employees have and the skills needed for the jobs you have available. The latter is probably easier than the former. You have copies of resumes from when people applied, but do you have an up-to-date list of their skills? It would be wise to gather this information before you begin this process, especially as people may have skills you don’t know about.

Anonymize personal data

You don’t want to be swayed by personal relationships, or by unconscious bias. ChatGPT definitely has bias issues, so leaving out data like names, race, age, and sex will help make your responses less biased.

You can, of course, include additional information such as performance levels, projects worked on, and the like. For a general example, I’ve just listed skills.

In your business, you’ll want to ask employees about their skills, but make sure to also ask their managers. People have skills their managers don’t know about, and managers can identify whether a skill is real or imagined. Plus, managers can often see things in people they don’t see in themselves.

In my example, I took skills directly from five people’s LinkedIn profiles. I don’t know any of these people, nor am I connected with them.

This is what I told ChatGPT: “I have five candidates for three job positions. Can you recommend which three candidates I place in these positions?”

I also included the below skills info:

Candidate A skills: SAP HR Employee Rewards Programs Employee Engagement Talent Management Human Resources (HR) HR Policies HR Consulting HR Management HR Strategy Recruiting HR Project Management HR Operations HR Analytics HR Metrics Project Management Public Relations

Candidate B skills: Human Resources (HR) Global Talent Acquisition Project Management

Candidate C skills: Talent management, strategy, organizational design, project management, employee engagement, performance management, talent acquisition, human resources, succession planning, organizational development, change management, coaching

Candidate D skills: Labor relations, personnel management, recruiting, payroll, strategic HR, employment training, union, human resources, employee benefits, talent management.

Candidate E skills: Diversity & Inclusion, onboarding, project management, data analytics, executive search, recruiting, coaching, training, interviews, team leadership, process improvement, sourcing, talent management.

Add the job descriptions

Make sure the job descriptions for your open positions are up to date. When you are reorganizing your company, it’s especially important to update each job description. Otherwise, you find people for jobs that may no longer exist. I selected these job descriptions by asking LinkedIn for jobs in New York with the key word “supply chain.”

I put these three job descriptions in ChatGPT:

Position 1: Training and operations manager with the following info:

Increase sales success and assurance by exemplifying internal systems and practices and training entry-level representatives on sales and marketing strategies to use with consumers directly

Develop numerous representatives within our sales and consulting departments to drive consumer engagement through active listening, negotiation tactics, sales strategies, and relationship-building

Attend meetings with fellow Training and Operations Managers regarding sales targets, team performance, and expansion opportunities

Maintain individual sales and communication responsibilities, including weekly performance metrics with individual and the larger team’s weekly sales

Interact directly with consumers to assist and educate them on the products and services we provide, leading to sales success for our Fortune 500 clients

Position 2: Entity operations Analyst with the following requirements:


  • Intermediate proficiency with Excel/Google Sheet
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in handling large data sets
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Very strong analytical and quantitative problem-solving skills
  • Excellent attention to detail, highly organized and process oriented
  • Ability to work independently with clear direction but minimal support, and communicate progress/blockers
  • Self-motivated and ability to work in fast-paced environment
  • Some experience conducting online research to answer questions/validate information
  • English language proficiency must be strong—especially reading/writing
  • Eagerness to learn, patience, and ability to adapt to changing processes

Position 3: Operations Director with the following description:

Lead a 2-3 person team to ensure key operational outcomes by creating a culture of high expectations, candid feedback, and continuous improvement

Develop systems for ensuring a world-class facility that meets Zeta’s high expectations

Create a safe and welcoming school environment for all students, staff, and families

Continually strengthen relationships with Zeta community members, while proactively creating and disseminating essential school communications with a people-first mindset

Uphold your team’s compliance with Zeta’s financial expectations, Department of Education expectations, and any alternative compliance expectations across the school

Engage in short-term and long-term thinking on best operational systems, using data to shape every aspect of our school systems

Analyze the results

ChatGPT promptly returned a pretty good analysis with only one major flaw: It put Candidate E into two positions.

“Based on the skills and qualifications of the candidates and the job descriptions for the three positions, here are my recommendations for which candidates to place in these positions,” it told me.

Position 1: Training and Operations Manager

“This position seems to require a combination of sales, training, and management skills. Candidate E stands out as a potential fit due to their skills in coaching, training, team leadership, and talent management. They also have experience in project management, which can be valuable in training and improving the performance of entry-level representatives. Candidate A also has relevant skills in HR, HR Project Management, and HR Operations, but Candidate E’s combination of skills aligns better with the position’s requirements.”

Recommendation: Candidate E

Position 2: Entity Operations Analyst

“This position primarily focuses on data analysis, attention to detail, and strong analytical skills. Candidate B has skills in HR, Global Talent Acquisition, and Project Management, but these skills may not align directly with the requirements of this role. On the other hand, Candidate D, with skills in payroll, strategic HR, and talent management, may not be the best fit either. Candidate E has skills in data analytics and process improvement, which are more directly related to the job’s requirements.”

Recommendation: Candidate E

Position 3: Operations Director

“For the role of Operations Director, which involves leadership and management of a team, as well as creating operational systems and ensuring compliance, Candidate C appears to be the most suitable choice. They have skills in talent management, organizational development, change management, and coaching, which align well with the responsibilities of leading a team and creating effective operational systems. Candidate A also has some relevant HR skills, but Candidate C’s skills align more closely with the position’s requirements.”

Recommendation: Candidate C

To summarize:

Position 1: Candidate E

Position 2: Candidate E

Position 3: Candidate C

So, I asked it to redo the analysis and only place each candidate in one position. That turned into a bit of struggle, as it eliminated Candidate E altogether when I asked it to do this, but eventually returned reasonable results. You can read the whole saga with ChatGPT by following the link, but here is the final analysis:

“I apologize for any confusion in my previous responses. Based on the candidates’ qualifications and the job descriptions, here’s my recommendation for the three positions,” it said.

Position 1: Training and Operations Manager

“Candidate E appears to be the best fit for this position. They have skills in coaching, training, team leadership, and process improvement, which align well with the responsibilities of training entry-level representatives and improving sales strategies.”

Recommendation: Candidate E

Position 2: Entity Operations Analyst

“Candidate B, with skills in project management and an interest in handling large data sets, is the most suitable choice for this role among the candidates provided.”

Recommendation: Candidate B

Position 3: Operations Director

“For the Operations Director role, Candidate C is the best choice due to their skills in talent management, organizational design, change management, and coaching, which align with the leadership and management responsibilities of this position.”

Recommendation: Candidate C

To summarize:

Position 1: Candidate E

Position 2: Candidate B

Position 3: Candidate C

Do your own analysis

As you can see, ChatGPT isn’t perfect. But it does give you some logical reasons for placing people in specific positions. If I had included more information, the matches would have been even better.

You may not have the resources Deloitte has, but you can use available tools to help you match people to roles in creative ways.


Suzanne Lucas is a freelance writer who spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.


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