Learning & Development, Recruiting, Technology

Do AI ChatBots Make it Easier for Employees to Secretly Hold Multiple Jobs?

Outsourcing and improved technology have long been used by employers to cut costs and boost productivity. But employers have also gotten into the act in recent years, albeit often without the consent or even knowledge of their employers.

Moonlighting on the Sly

For example, in 2013 a U.S. software developer in his 40s was terminated after his employer discovered the developer had been paying a Chinese consulting firm roughly 20 percent of his salary to do his work for him. It was suspected he had a similar arrangement going with multiple other local businesses as well.

“In a survey by the job site Monster earlier this year, 37% of respondents said they had more than one full-time job,” writes Steve Mollman in an article for Fortune. “Being ‘overemployed’ by choice became easier when the pandemic normalized remote work.” Moreover, the advent of artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT and others have given employees a powerful new tool with the potential to facilitate overemployment.

“Over the last few months, the exploding popularity of ChatGPT and similar products has led to growing concerns about AI’s potential effects on the international job market—specifically, the percentage of jobs that could be automated away, replaced by a well-oiled army of chatbots,” according to a report by Vice. “But for a small cohort of fast-thinking and occasionally devious go-getters, AI technology has turned into an opportunity not to be feared but exploited, with their employers apparently none the wiser.”

Employers Beware

So, what does this mean for employers? It’s a mixed bag to be sure. On the one hand, employers may be grateful for the increased productivity, even if they have to share that increase with multiple other employers. And long-term, employers might find that instead of hiring someone who might use an AI chatbot for most of their work, they can simply use such tools themselves, saving considerable labor costs, not to mention the headache of finding workers in the current labor market.

At the same time, employers should have a few concerns about employees using AI chatbots for their work. For one, employers want their workers to be engaged in their work, and that becomes harder when an employee is juggling multiple full-time jobs. Additionally, there are legitimate concerns about data privacy and security when workers are inputting internal company information into a third-party platform.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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