How To Overcome Challenges In Your Sifting Process

Preselection during the recruitment process has become more sophisticated. We've identified 3 major sifting challenges and explain how to tackle them, helping your business save time & money.

12th January 2017

Laura Parrack

What is sifting?

Recruiters often don’t have time to meet with every single candidate who applies for a role – especially when they have high volumes of applicants. Many overcome this problem by deploying online sifting (or preselection) processes. Using assessments such as ability tests and Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs), these screen applications and reduce the number of candidates who progress to the next stage. This first step filters out a proportion of people who don’t meet the basic criteria for the role.


3 Key preselection problems and how to tackle them

1. How can we relieve the strain on our recruiters and budgets?

A lot of today’s HR departments are running on reduced budgets or with fewer staff. It’s not uncommon to hear that HR teams are being asked to ‘do more with less’.

Solution: Use efficient preselection to free up resources for focused selection

Effective online sifting dramatically increases the efficiency of the entire selection process. By automating the first stage, HR can cut down the financial and time investment required for recruiting, especially in high volume campaigns. This means recruiters can immediately focus on the most suitable candidates, significantly improving the chances of finding the right people.

Combining this enhanced focus with the knowledge gained from rigorous assessments, HR will have the best opportunities to select individuals who really fit the role requirements. As a consequence, the organisation cuts down the cost of making poor decisions as well as minimising the negative impact this can have on morale.

2. How can we make a good impression when screening candidates?

Every organisation wants its early interaction with candidates to count. But in some quarters, sifting doesn’t have the best reputation. Sometimes rejected candidates are left with the impression that it is unfair for an automated process to make decisions about their application.

Solution: Intelligent design

The key to success with online recruitment processes is in the design. Data-driven assessments and intelligent algorithms have a big part to play.

An expertly designed sifting process can bring major benefits, both for employers and those taking part. Recruiters save time by deploying robust assessments that put forward only the best-matched applicants. At the same time, there is no reason for the process to leave candidates with a bad impression. If they’ve participated in tests that are relevant, fair and challenging, they are likely to stay motivated and see the effort they’ve invested as being worthwhile.

When it comes to unsuccessful candidates, a simple way to have a positive impact is providing them with personalised feedback on why they were rejected. This doesn’t need to be labour intensive, as it’s possible for test providers to automatically email feedback to candidates based on their results.

3. How can we keep candidates engaged?

Lengthy application processes can result in significant drop-out rates. Recruitment teams need to be confident that their sifting approach isn’t putting off the talent they need.

Solution: Deliver challenging assessments that show off what you can offer

With the wealth of innovations in recruitment technology available today, there are a multitude of options that will add excitement to your online assessments. These range from integrating videos through to including interactive gaming elements in the process. In addition, by taking advantage of the growing closeness between marketing and HR, you can incorporate your employer brand and values in your assessments to make them really unique. And by integrating all of this seamlessly into your organisation’s website, you’ll be able to really showcase what you can offer potential new employees.

Get a great return on investment

At Cubiks, we work with some of the world’s leading brands to help them deploy cutting-edge assessments and find the very best talent.

Here are some of the results these clients have achieved:

  • Up to £1m cost saving per year
  • Time to hire reduced by up to 50%
  • Success at interview increased
  • Significant increase in the diversity of applicants
  • Candidate drop-out rates reduced by up to 30%
  • Industry recognition from a range of awarding bodies.

If you’d like to know how your organisation can benefit from an intelligent sifting process, email or get in touch with your local Cubiks team.

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