What Happens When AI Gets Complacent in Talent Strategy?

June 4, 2024

Matt Gainsford

Matt Gainsford

Have you ever thought to yourself, could AI get lazy; would AI get lazy? We're thinking about it, we're already seeing it, and we're ready to talk about it. Dive into our latest blog for strategies to mitigate AI complacency.

ai complacency in talent strategy

From ChatGPT to Canva, AI is becoming increasingly used to automate whatever can be automated. We’ve already seen it disrupt the workplace and it’s (arguably) making life easier, but at what cost? In this blog, we’re assessing the evolving role of AI in the most human of industries, HR and People Strategy.  

A recent study by McKinsey found that 60% of organizations leverage AI in some aspect of their recruitment process. From streamlining processes to identifying top candidates, AI has revolutionized the hiring landscape. However, amidst its myriad benefits, there lurks a hidden danger: the prospect of AI growing complacent, or “lazy,” in its role. 

The adage “you are what you eat” takes on a new meaning, especially in the case of artificial intelligence (AI). For AI to function it must be fed, and what you feed it will determine what it learns and regurgitates.  

Like us, AI too can fall into habits, sometimes even getting lazy. But in the high-stakes game of talent acquisition, where every hire can shape the future of a business, the consequences of AI complacency are far-reaching and potentially disastrous. Let’s unravel the mysteries of what happens when AI starts making mistakes and explore strategies to keep it sharp and effective. 

Navigating AI Complacency: Challenges and Consequences

Here are some of the challenges we are likely to face if AI develops in a more human-centric way: 

Decline in Candidate Quality: When AI becomes complacent, it may rely solely on surface-level data or keywords to shortlist candidates, overlooking nuanced qualities that make an individual a perfect fit for the role. Consequently, the pool of potential hires may lack diversity, innovation, or critical skills necessary for driving the company forward. 

Biased Decision-Making: AI algorithms learn from historical data, and if left unchecked, they may perpetuate biases present in past hiring decisions. When AI gets lazy, it may reinforce these biases, leading to discrimination against certain demographics or perpetuating existing inequalities within the workforce. 

Loss of Human Touch: While AI excels in processing large volumes of data at lightning speed, it lacks the empathetic and intuitive understanding that human recruiters bring to the table. Overreliance on AI can lead to a disconnect with candidates, causing talented individuals to feel undervalued or overlooked in the recruitment process. According to Dale Carnegie, “Remember that person’s name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” That quote may have to be amended for our current bot-laden times. “Almost any language” or “Any language except digitally infused character knowledge-sharing or DICKs, as it is affectionately known”. 

Increased Turnover Rates: Hiring the wrong candidates due to AI’s complacency can result in higher turnover rates. Employees who are ill-suited for their roles are more likely to become disengaged or seek opportunities elsewhere, leading to increased recruitment costs and productivity losses for the organization. This can cost organizations upwards of 30% of that candidate’s salary. 

Damage to Employer Brand: A flawed recruitment process can tarnish the employer brand, deterring top talent from applying to the organization in the future. Negative experiences, such as being wrongly rejected or feeling misunderstood by AI-driven assessments, can spread quickly through word-of-mouth or online reviews, impacting the company’s reputation.  

Strategies for Mitigating AI Complacency in Talent Strategy

To counteract the pitfalls of AI complacency in hiring, business leaders and hiring managers must take proactive measures that include: 

Regular Algorithm Audits: Conduct periodic audits of AI algorithms to identify and rectify biases or inefficiencies. Ensure that AI systems are continually learning and adapting to evolving hiring trends and best practices. 

Human Oversight and Intervention: Maintain a balance between AI automation and human intervention in the recruitment process. Human recruiters can provide valuable insights, intuition, and empathy that AI may lack, especially when assessing soft skills or cultural fit. Simple rules to adhere to include, if you’ve personally spoken to a candidate then they deserve a phone call vs an email or automated message. 

Diverse Data Sources: Expand the scope of data used by AI algorithms to mitigate biases and ensure a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates. Incorporate diverse sources of information, such as skills assessments, behavioral interviews, and performance metrics, to paint a holistic picture of each candidate. At Titus Talent, we use The Predictive Index as a key assessment tool as part of our Hire4Performance ™ offering.  

Candidate-Centric Approach: Prioritize the candidate experience by offering transparency, feedback, and personalized interactions throughout the recruitment journey. Humanize the process by fostering genuine connections and demonstrating respect for each candidate’s unique background and abilities.  

Continuous Learning and Improvement: Invest in ongoing training and development for both AI systems and human recruiters. Encourage a culture of learning and innovation within the talent acquisition team to stay ahead of emerging trends and technologies in recruitment. 

The Importance of Human Relationships in Hiring 

Beyond the technical aspects of recruitment, human relationships are fundamental to finding the right fit. According to a report by SHRM, 82% of recruiters consider employee referrals to be a valuable source of high-quality candidates. This highlights the power of genuine connections and the ability to build rapport with potential hires. Having a team that cares about the candidate experience and actively seeks out the best talent, rather than relying solely on AI, can make a significant difference in attracting and retaining top performers. 

As business leaders, hiring managers, and people leaders, it’s imperative to understand and address the potential consequences of AI’s complacency in the hiring process.

The Wrap-Up

While AI has undoubtedly revolutionized the hiring process, its efficacy hinges on diligent oversight and continuous improvement. By remaining vigilant against the dangers of AI complacency and embracing a human-centered approach to recruitment, businesses can harness the full potential of AI while safeguarding against its pitfalls. After all, the future of talent acquisition lies at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and human expertise. Automation and AI are only going to grow, and what can be automated, will be automated. By using the insights above, and by using the time you’ve freed up to cultivate relationships, you’ll be in a strong place to adapt, grow, and succeed. 

At Titus Talent Strategies, we understand the power of human connection. We believe that building genuine relationships is paramount in the talent acquisition process. Our commitment to being relentlessly relational goes beyond transactions; it’s about fostering trust and understanding with both candidates and clients. We invest time in getting to know your unique needs and the specific qualities that make a candidate a perfect fit for your company culture. This focus on people ensures we deliver high-caliber talent who will make a lasting impact on your organization. 

Let's Start a Conversation


Refreshing perspectives and practical expertise from the Titus team.

Talent Strategies

Committed To Radical Generosity

Our dedication to radical generosity keeps us focused on what matters most, and it allows us to make a trusted and lasting impact on the world around us. It’s the foundation of our culture and our partnerships.

Read More