Digital solutions to help recruiters, especially in the pre-selection and sourcing of candidates, are abundant at the moment. But is the use of conversational agents really ethical?

Two questions then arise. First of all, with regard to the candidate, it is logical to think that chatbots will cause a certain dehumanization of the recruitment process. Then, on the employees’ side, it is normal to fear job losses caused by these new technologies.

Does a chatbot dehumanize the recruitment process?

In my opinion, the first question is whether the pre-screening stage is really a stage that is currently human. As can be seen in many large companies, a number of applications, whether unsolicited or not, remain unanswered. And for the negative answers, we can’t say that receiving a generic and impersonal email telling us that “unfortunately we can’t follow up on your application” is a very rewarding experience socially speaking.

In this sense, the chatbot allows on the contrary to humanize a minimum this step. If it is well designed, well humanized with the use of smileys and GIFs for example, it will provide a more pleasant experience for the candidate than simply writing a CV and a cover letter for a recipient who will surely only read them diagonally.

It is also important to remember that the recruiter is always involved in the recruitment process. Only the pre-selection will be automated. A chatbot alone cannot evaluate the perfect match between the candidate and the position.

Moreover, in some aspects, the chatbot pre-selects more fairly and efficiently than a human. Indeed, a fair recruitment is a recruitment based on fixed factors, previously defined. However, it often happens that recruiters dwell on other factors, are in a bad mood, have a bad intuition… Whereas the chatbot is based on answers to questions that are identical or almost identical for everyone. There is a homogeneity of information processing.

The chatbot will not take into account skin color, gender or appearance. At a certain stage of the recruitment process, it is important to assess the candidate’s personality, if only to know whether the company culture will be a good fit. That’s why a human being remains indispensable no matter what.

Will a chatbot eliminate jobs?

Broadly speaking, it can be assumed that, like many new technologies, automation will indeed eliminate jobs, but create others.

To be honest, this will not necessarily be true, let alone demonstrable. To explain this, economist Gregory Clark drew a parallel between humans and horses. You have to imagine a horse looking at a car in 1900. He is saddened by the unemployment caused by the latter. But he reassures himself by saying that his ancestors were also entitled to unemployment when the steam engines arrived, where trains replaced the stagecoaches. However, they were then able to convert to carrying a lighter team in town.

At this point, the horse figures that if their “job” is eliminated today, there will always be new jobs not yet imagined that will be created. The latter never arrived in the end. The “useless” horses were slaughtered and not replaced. In the United States, the horse population dropped from 26 million in 1915 to 3 million in 1960.

In the same way, we cannot be sure that new jobs (which by definition remain to be imagined) will be able to compensate for all or part of the loss of jobs caused by automation.

But it’s all about playing down the situation. For the moment, a chatbot is unable to fully replace a human, even less in the human resources sector, where human relationships are so essential.

The chatbot, which does the repetitive and non-value added work, will allow employees to refocus on the tasks that really matter. For example, in human resources, the chatbot allows the recruiter to spend less time on the pre-selection stage and more time on the relationship with the candidate.

On top of that, the chatbot will have already taken care of creating the candidate files and prioritizing them. The recruiter will have all the relevant information grouped and organized, rather than getting lost in a pile of resumes and cover letters.


It is not the technology itself that is dangerous, it is what we do with it. In the case of a rh chatbot, it must be used properly. The latter should not be seen as an automatic terminal by the candidate, nor as a competitor by the employees.

You can also find this article in pdf here .

Leave a comment

You seem to like what you read...

Why not subscribe to our newsletter?

Receive this type of content and many others (tools, news, testimonials, podcasts…) every week directly to the mailbox of your choice. Unsubscribe at any time.