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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Preparing for AI in Microsoft 365

Your recruitment career

This is a guest blog by Ben Tomlinson, Marketing Manager at Atlas Cloud.

A major update is coming to the Microsoft 365 portfolio of office applications soon.  

We don’t know for sure yet, but it’s likely to be very useful – or, dare we say, disruptive – for the recruitment and staffing sector. It’s currently being tested with a few selected clients, and Microsoft hasn’t yet committed to a full release date, but they say it’s likely to be before the end of this calendar year.  

Either way, soon you might think very differently about the likes of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest.  

Generative AI 

Developments in generative AI – a form of machine learning that is able to produce text, video, images and other content – right now are bursting at the seams. First, it was ChatGPT for text-based prompts, then Dall-E for images and Google’s Bard or Microsoft’s Bing Chat for web searches.  

You may already know but OpenAI, the company that makes ChatGPT, is owned in part by Microsoft. As part of the deal, ChatGPT technology powers Bing Chat. But that’s not all. 

Microsoft Copilot 

Soon, ChatGPT capabilities are coming to the Microsoft 365 suite. They’re calling it Microsoft Copilot

It’s significant for two reasons: data and context. 

On its own, ChatGPT analyses publicly available information and presents this based on a prompt and its own learning. However, when built into the Microsoft portfolio, it can have access to your agency’s data. Candidate interviews over Teams, candidate CVs sent over email, client information saved in OneDrive – and, away from recruitment operations – agency financial information, marketing blog posts, HR exit interviews.  

Combined with real-time context of your agency and its operations – interviews conducted today, brand guidelines, employee tone of voice, etc. – this could become incredibly powerful. 

It’s not difficult to imagine detailed candidate summaries for clients presented beautifully, on brand, in seconds based on the transcripts of the Teams-based qualifying calls. All from a quick prompt. Who knows what else! 

What you need to know 

Microsoft Copilot is coming soon. We’re not sure when but before the end of the year. It’s priced in the US at $30 per user, per month and requires Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business Standard or Business Premium customers. We’re expecting UK pricing soon. 

Adopting AI in the corporate world does come with risks and it is important for agency leaders to be aware of this. It mainly comes from the data that the AI will have access to, making it incredibly important that Copilot is set up in the right way, with what we call “zero-trust” policies.  

Preparing for Microsoft Copilot 

First, you need to prepare your data. 

If you want AI to review historic work and help consultants or non-billing employees create polished documents from small prompts quickly, you need to make sure Copilot has access to the right information and knows where to find it.  

That means you need all your work data in the same Microsoft tenant, not spread disparately across different Microsoft locations – or even completely separate web apps. 

Second, and most importantly, permissions must be flawlessly enabled. 

Microsoft has built Copilot from the ground up with compliance built in. When employees are asking AI for all kinds of requests, you need to make sure role-based permissions are correct, with a zero-trust strategy. Otherwise, you run the risk of sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. 

Get started today 

Microsoft Copilot might not be available now, but it will take firms time to jump through the hurdles discussed above to be able to adopt it. If you prepare now, you can put your agency in pole position to benefit from these transformational capabilities the moment Copilot drops, giving your consultants the competitive edge and your brand a reputational boost. 

Atlas Cloud is offering REC members free ‘Prepare for Copilot’ consultations to help you gain that competitive advantage with ease. Schedule your consultation with us, today.