June 24, 2018

Jobseekers: Sign In | Sign Up Recruiters
  InFocus Newsletter Newsletter archives

Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Prescreening Jobseekers Online

Prescreening continues to be the focus of much discussion. While not a new concept, the active examination of prescreening’s advantages and tools presuppose three basic tenets.

  1. Automated prescreening occurs through the Careers section of the corporate website. Therefore, this discussion acknowledges that the corporate website can and should be the center for recruiting and candidate data-gathering activities.

  2. Prescreening automated through the corporate Careers website can supplant an inefficient traditional recruiting process with a more efficient, effective practice enabled by the power of new technologies.

  3. Effectively utilizing prescreening requires significant front-end features intrinsically integrated with robust back-end data processing functionality.

Yet, even with well-elucidated coverage of prescreening’s potential, there are still skeptics among us. Reservations about adoption stem from a variety of concerns including a lingering, generalized discomfort with technology, a poor understanding of the applicability and advantages of automated prescreening in a recruiting process, and a lack of confidence in jobseeker acceptance of a recruiter-driven, question-based process.

Perception of Jobseeker Behavior

To date, conversation has revolved around the corporate recruiter’s practices. Implementation issues such as configuration have dominated. Indeed, the recruiter’s platform must be understood and education around it is both needed and welcome. But still, commentary has not covered the issues around jobseeker behavior that are equally significant. After all, the jobseekers are the first users and their buy-in is essential in order for automated prescreening to succeed.

Let’s take a look at the jobseeker’s side of this. A common inquiry is “Will jobseekers answer skills-based questions?” In fact, this is often posed with a negative perception already in place. The expectation seems to be that jobseekers will not be participants in their share of the automated prescreening equation. This perception has caused hesitation among some who are considering automated prescreening. It has also provided an excuse for those who are not enthusiastic about automated prescreening practices either because of deficiency in their technology tools, or limited vision.

Survey Says...

This perception is a mis-perception! In a survey of more than 1,500 visitors to the Careers websites of four Fortune 500 companies, iLogos Research found that the reality is a large majority—88 percent—of jobseekers are willing to answer questions and provide information about their skills. Jobseekers, it seems, welcome the opportunity to embrace the expanded functionality of Internet recruiting technology to improve communication with corporate recruiters. They want to utilize self-service Internet resources to hasten the process of matching themselves with the right job opportunity.

Time to Apply

A frequent corollary to the issue of whether jobseekers will answer questions is “How much time will candidates spend to apply online?” The implied concern here is that the Web is a “click-and-go on” medium and Careers website visitors will be repelled when applications call for detailed and lengthy responses. Here again, the survey data is unequivocal. According to the iLogos Research study Perception vs. Reality: Jobseeker Behavior Online, 92 percent of candidates are willing to spend more than six minutes applying online to a job of high interest. Sixty percent of candidates are willing to spend more than 15 minutes applying online to a job of high interest! (Perhaps those who are deterred are not serious candidates to begin with?)

Know the Reality

To fully understand and make decisions about the use of recruiting technologies, it is imperative to be educated about the realities that impact implementation and application viability. In the case of automated prescreening through the corporate Careers website, both the practices of the corporate recruiter and the jobseeker must be considered. Decisions should be based in realities considering primary data, high-quality information and a clear view of all aspects.

The reality of survey data cited here provides a strong case for not underestimating corporate Careers website jobseekers. Their willingness to engage in a prescreening process, in conjunction with the advantages of automated prescreening for the corporation, should encourage all corporate recruiters to closely examine the application of prescreening to their recruiting process. Make sure the corporate Careers website is optimized to use Internet recruiting technology to achieve the most efficient and effective recruiting…based on reality, not on perception.

-Alice snell

Alice Snell ( is vice president of iLogos Research (, the leading provider of staffing management analytics. Ms. Snell consults on staffing management processes and metrics with large and global organizations.

Ms. Snell is frequently called upon to provide expert commentary on staffing management issues and is quoted in leading media including The Boston Globe, Chief Executive, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune,, and Investor’s Business Daily. As a leading industry analyst, Ms. Snell has authored numerous articles and reports analyzing staffing management technology and processes.

iLogos is the strategic staffing research and metrics consulting division of Taleo. Taleo ( provides staffing management solutions for large companies.