Technology has long been a driver of change in the world of people assessment. It was only a few decades ago that psychometric testing for recruitment and development was a paper and pencil exercise. As internet use began to explode, test providers like Cubiks kept pace and brought in IT expertise to transfer assessments into the online environment.
Recent massive growth in mobile data connectivity is the next big technological phenomenon catalysing change in how businesses assess their candidates and employees. According to a 2015 report from Ericsson; 70% of the world’s population will be using smartphones by 2020, and 90% of those devices will be covered by mobile broadband networks.
In addition, mobile data connections are getting faster. Cisco research states that mobile network speeds grew 20% in 2015, leading to a 43% increase in smartphone data usage in the same year. People, and in particular the younger generation, now increasingly rely on their mobile devices to carry out tasks that until now would have only been possible using a computer with a static broadband connection.
“When I was younger, having a computer in your home was expected. Nowadays, people have mobile phones. Smart devices allow people to access everything, anywhere. The desktop computer may not die out just yet, but we must acknowledge that mobile phone use will only increase over time. Therefore, the demand for products and services through handheld devices will increase too.
Limiting factors like bandwidth and screen size may evolve shorter, simpler interactions - changing the way we relate to users.”
Neil Smith, User Experience Designer at Cubiks.
The impact on how test providers approach assessing candidates is of course going to be huge. In a recent article, video recruitment provider, Sonru, highlighted that around 9 in 10 job seekers used their phone to explore vacancies last year. All the evidence points toward the inevitability that before long, those seeking to apply for new roles will come to expect their selection assessments to be available on the go. This means that for employers, making the move into mobile assessment will be key if they want to attract applicants from the widest possible pool of talent.
“The pull for online assessments has started and is only going to get stronger. The smaller format and range of screen sizes together with the fact that with mobile devices assessments can be taken literally anywhere is presenting interesting challenges to the business psychology community – a community that has always advocated a completely consistent experience for the sake of fairness and accuracy. Cubiks is undertaking extensive research into these issues and is working on innovative assessments built first and foremost for mobile devices.”
David Lawton, Cubiks Partner & Chief Technology Officer.