3 Keys to Designing a Mobile-First Talent Assessment

November 15, 2019 Alina Siemsen

First published on LinkedIn

Our phones have become central to our lifestyles, which means mobile delivery has become a must-have for talent assessments, particularly in high-volume recruitment.

However, recruiters must ensure that their assessments have been purpose-built for mobile and rigorously tested across different devices. A test might run on a smartphone, for example, but if it is not optimized for that format, it may penalize candidates compared to those that took the assessment on a laptop or desktop computer.

On the other hand, a mobile-first test will consistently predict job performance – regardless of whether candidates complete them on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone – because the same test experience is provided on every device. By optimizing for mobile’s strict design limitations, you create an application that works as designed on the widest range of devices; this is far less less likely if you design for desktop or even tablets.

Here are three ways to take mobile-first delivery into account when designing talent assessments.

Limit Content to the True Essentials

The drive to mobile assessment will force traditional talent questionnaires, which involve a list of set statements, to become more candidate-centric. You can’t expect candidates to undertake a 25-minute assessment on their phone. Instead, interactive situational judgement simulations will assess the specific talent traits that are required in each role.

These may be supplemented with data-driven video assessments that provide a customised interview experience focusing on the requirements of the role.

 Focus on Intuitive Design

There are many variables, such as different sizes of screen, choices of orientation that affect the display of text and different ways to navigate and swipe the screen. Smartphones are also developing rapidly, so it’s pivotal to stay on top of those trends.

It’s easy to lose your train of thought when scrolling through social media or other common mobile applications, and the same applies here. Keep that in mind when delivering mobile talent assessments. Mobile-first talent assessment tools should be intuitively designed for utilization on smart phones. Avoid long-form web pages, as excessive scrolling is inconvenient and tedious on small devices.

Instead, design for a smaller scale, and especially for screen ratios. Consider streamlining materials on a horizontal rather than a vertical access, allowing users to swipe to the left or right. By aiming for a mobile-first design, you ensure that your material is optimized across devices, from mobile phones to laptops. It is much easier and more effective to scale content up than it is to scale down.

Embrace Accessibility

Recruiting and managing a global workforce requires striking the right balance between consistency and flexibility, and that applies to mobile design.

This consideration can include making sure that an assessment is accessible to a broad swath of the population, including those with challenges such as color blindness or dyslexia. Mobile-first designs that rely on high contrast and avoid problematic color palettes can level the playing field for those candidates.

Beyond that, great assessment design avoids presenting any information in a way that’s dissociative or distracting, paying close attention to proximity and clear guidance on next steps. It relies on natural transitions and animations that are not on top of the assessments, but rather embedded in the flow and the flow of the actual tasks. That way, they don’t feel like a second layer and therefore distracting, but rather they help the candidates to move through the actual tasks in a pleasant, efficient manner.

Optimizing content for mobile increases the candidate experience across devices, and eases the entire talent assessment process.

Read more about how design thinking is transforming the future of talent assessment in this white paper.

About the Author

Alina Siemsen

Alina Siemsen is a product development consultant in the research team at Aon's Assessment Solutions. Alina completed her Master's degree in Business Psychology at the Nordakademie in Hamburg. She is interested in how gaming elements can be applied to assessments. Aon's Assessment Solutions undertake 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Alina Siemsen
Previous Article
Set Skills Aside: Find the Behaviors You Need to Succeed
Set Skills Aside: Find the Behaviors You Need to Succeed

We all face disruption from technology that’s transforming our work landscape. But work as we know it isn’t...

Design Trends in Talent Assessment
Design Trends in Talent Assessment

“Design thinking” is a concept that’s often tossed around but it’s not always understood or implemented wel...

Subscribe to our talentNews