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Is Your Hiring Process Mobile Friendly for Candidates? [New Research]

October 6, 2016

mobile-device.jpgSnapchat, Facebook, and games like Pokémon Go! are popular activities that people (although some may deny) do on their mobile devices. But, did you know that many people are also searching and applying for jobs on their smartphones and tablets?

Well, applying for jobs is probably not as popular as Facebook, but the rise in candidates who complete hiring assessments on mobile devices is increasing at a dramatic rate. Select International tracks and analyzes mobile device completions of our assessments, and recently found some interesting data.

We have seen the percentage of candidates using mobile devices triple from 2012 to 2015, topping out at over 23% (Lawrence & Kinney, 2016), so far. It seems that the frequency of candidates using their mobile devices to complete assessments is only going to continue to increase.

Did you know…

  • Candidates prefer to engage with your selection process using the technology they are most comfortable with. Kinney, Lawrence, and Petor (2016) found that candidates react positively to assessments, regardless of the device they use, when they are not restricted from using a device of their choosing.

  • Companies that allow candidates to complete assessments using phones and tablets tend to have more diversity in their applicant pool. McClure-Johnson and Boyce (2015) found that women, racial minorities, particularly African-American as well as Hispanic, and younger candidates are more likely to be represented in the applicant pool when mobile devices are allowed for assessment completion (McClure-Johnson & Boyce, 2015).

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the user context when people take assessments on mobile devices. Because the devices themselves are mobile, organizations often assume that the job candidates themselves are ‘mobile’ while taking the assessment (e.g., on the bus, in a car, or taking a walk).

As it turns out, while ‘being mobile’ is possible with these devices, candidates rarely take assessments in such distracting environments. Recent research by Select International suggests that candidates do their best to take assessments in a non-distracting environment. We also found other important points when comparing mobile vs non-mobile unproctored internet test environment (Lawrence, Petor, & Kinney; 2016).

What did we find out about candidates who take assessments with mobile devices?

  • Applicants complete assessments at home and try their very best to create a controlled and quiet testing environment – even when they choose to use smartphones and tablets to complete assessments.

  • Candidates using mobile devices do experience significantly more distractions than non-mobile device users.

  • Candidates using mobile devices experience technical issues at a higher rate than non-mobile device users.

  • Candidates using mobile devices do report that they are less satisfied with the smaller screen sizes common to most mobile devices.

  • Despite an increase in distractions and technical issues and dissatisfaction with the screen size, candidates report appreciation for the flexibility to complete assessments using the technology of their choosing. In general, candidates report a positive reaction when they are allowed to use mobile devices in the assessment process.

So what does all this mean?

Testing on mobile devices is here to stay and the number of users will continue to grow. Candidates like using their smartphones and tablets to take assessments and appear to understand the importance of controlling their environment.

There are pros and cons to using a mobile platform and it is important to make sure your assessment process was designed carefully with mobile deployment in mind. Mobile testing can increase the diversity, applicant reactions, and is convenient for candidates.

But, be aware that candidates may experience an increase in technical issues and other distractions in the assessment process when there are no restrictions placed on device usage. Just like any emerging technology, mobile testing will continue to evolve and keeping informed on the latest research findings is important to get the most return from your selection process.

Select international is a key contributor with focused expertise in mobile device research. If you want to learn more about the implications of mobile devices in your unproctored internet assessment program, take a look at the newest white paper, Mobile Assessments: What We Know and Where Are We Going by Dr. Amie Lawrence and Dr. Ted Kinney.

This whitepaper outlines:

  • The background of mobile devices in recruitment.

  • Considerations when choosing what assessments should be administered on mobile devices.

  • How you can make sure selection processes are mobile friendly.

  • The next steps and future of mobile devices.

Download the whitepaper by clicking the button below:

Mobile Assessments What We Know and Where We’re Going

Jessica Petor Jessica Petor is a Research Analyst located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a Master of Science degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Northern Kentucky University.