Mobile-first assessment methods for volume screening

A candidate-centric recruitment process involves communicating clearly with candidates and providing them with feedback. But you should also aim to ‘meet candidates where they are’. And, increasingly, they’re on-the-go. Mobile devices are how they interact with the world. 56% of job seekers want to be able to apply for their next role via a mobile device.

When nearly everyone has a smartphone or a tablet, it makes sense not only to promote your jobs online but to allow candidates to apply via mobile devices. This offers the benefits of speed and convenience, because candidates don’t have to switch devices to sit the tests. They’re in control of when and where they participate. In other words, they can interact with you at a time and place that suits them”

-Source: cut-e Whitepaper, 2017

Increasingly, employers who want to source the best talent, especially in high-volume screening exercises, are realising that traditional laptop or desktop assessment solutions simply won’t do.

As per the quotation above, IO Professionals will have to find candidates where they are, rather than where it will be convenient for the employer. In fact, if there is one overarching trend in contemporary talent sourcing, it is to move from being employer-centric to being candidate-centric. In a contested talent landscape, employers have to stand out from competitors, and that means offering the most effective and candidate-centric recruitment process possible.

Mobile-first vs. Mobile-enabled assessments

Mobile assessments can go a long way in addressing the shortfalls of more traditional approaches. By being where the candidates are, they can significantly increase efficiency in screening out large volumes of unsuitable applicants.

But it’s important to distinguish between mobile-enabled and mobile-first assessments.

Mobile-enabled assessments are traditional online assessments developed for large monitors and assume candidate interactions will take place via keyboard and mouse. These assessments are simply adapted to be displayed on mobile devices.

Unfortunately, there are more than a few pitfalls to this approach, not least of which is the difficulty of translating interfaces properly (i.e from keyboard and mouse to touch screens).

In contrast, mobile-first assessments take into account how tests will display on a small screen as well as how mobile devices allow for different modes of interaction (e.g. touch and gestures). Mobile-first assessments also undergo validity and reliability trials across different devices to ensure equanimity of results.

Candidate-centric selection

While it is vitally important that employers’ recruitment practices align with business goals and budgets, IO Practitioners can no longer ignore the candidate experience.

Here’s a useful thought experiment to consider: How many applicants have your organisation rejected in the last year? If, for instance, you recruited 300 candidates in the past 12 months, it might mean that you’ve rejected a few thousand candidates.

The problem is, if your selection processes seem outdated, unfair, or just unappealing, there are currently thousands of potentially bad messages about your company being released in social networks across the country and world.

In fact, recent studies show that:

  • 64% of candidates share information about their recruitment experience on social media.
  • 88% of candidates say they are more likely to buy from a company that offered them a positive recruitment experience.

Given the potential negative impact of less-than-ideal candidate experiences, mobile assessments show significant promise in safeguarding your organisation against needless negative public messaging.

Mobile assessments and high-volume screening

High volume screening can become a costly exercise in both time and money when not done effectively. Mobile assessments offer a substantial benefit in this regard since candidates can easily access assessments. In addition, job-preview tests can give immediate feedback to candidates about their likely “fit” to the culture of the company before more expensive assessments are undertaken.

Mobile-first assessments offer the following benefits to high volume (and general) screening:

  • They tend to be shorter, to allow candidates to undertake the process quickly.
  • Shorter tests have the advantage of reduced drop-out because candidates are more likely to complete them.
  • Many candidates now prefer the anonymity of applying from their mobile device rather than their company computer.
  • Mobile devices can also speed up the process of video interviewing. As a result, you can now start to incorporate assessments and video interviews into your selection process at an earlier stage.

Final thoughts

In this and preceding articles, we’ve examined the pitfalls and benefits of mobile assessment technologies. Candidate-centric mobile assessments promise a more engaged, more motivated pool of first hires. New developments like video interviewing will open up large talent pools to high-volume screening that have been resistant to such sophisticated selection methods in the past.

For IO Practitioners, it is imperative to use well-developed, mobile-first assessments rather than cut-and-paste mobile-enabled assessments. Very much like computer-based assessments that offered an exciting new paradigm for assessment professionals decades ago, mobile-first assessments may well be the next progression in testing technology.

Fortunately, TTS has partnered with one of the leading test developers in the mobile-first and game-based assessment space, cut-e. If you would like to know more about the promise of mobile-first assessments, video interviewing, or other innovations, why not drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit us at