The promise of mobile assessments

The future is a mobile one. When you speak to futurists, technologists, and folks who are interested in the progression of invention, they inevitably mention how mobile technologies will change the way we live.

But what do they really mean?

By mobile, they mean more than just smart phones and tablets that we are so familiar with. Mobile also encompasses smaller, wearable devices that monitor our movements and vital signs (e.g. Fitbits) as well as virtual displays that either augment our reality (e.g. Google glass) or even replace it (e.g Oculus Rift). In the near future, we will even begin to take the “wearable” concept once step further—to inside our bodies.

Nano-machines that reside in our blood will be able to use mobile connectivity to warn us (and health professionals) of impending problems such as heart attacks or cancer. In a fundamental sense, mobile technologies will revolutionize multiple fields, from gaming to medicine, and yes, even IO Psychology.

Mobile Assessments

Given the current and future ubiquity of mobile technologies, it’s not surprising that IO Psychology, and especially the discipline of assessment, will be affected. In a recent article on assessment trends, Howard Grosvenor, a senior assessment specialist from our product partner, cut-e, discussed a number of key elements that future IOs will have to address. Let’s look at how mobile assessment technologies will play a role in some of the important themes he identified:

  • The candidate experience. It is no longer enough to just ensure fair and unbiased assessments for potential hires. Increasingly, companies are using assessment technology as a first look at their organizational culture and value proposition. Mobile assessments contribute significantly to engaging candidates by using game-based and gamified solutions, something that is difficult to achieve in conventional assessment paradigms.
  • Pre-application assessments. Companies are realizing extensive benefits from screening (often in large volumes) potential applicants in regard to their potential interest in the specific culture and career paths available. Mobile technologies are ideally positioned for this use.
  • Time-to-hire as KPI. Talent scarcity and increasing globalization of the job market means that employers will have to minimize the time spent between sourcing and hiring employees. By putting potential employees in control of their own assessments and allowing them to choose their level of engagement with assessment, mobile technologies can substantially speed up the recruitment cycle.
  • Video interviewing. Video interviews are no fad. More companies are leveraging the benefits of using pre-recorded interviews as part of their candidate screening. Mobile technologies give access to video recording that is inexpensive and widely accessible, thus allowing a wider recruitment base to start from.
  • Gamification. Apart from the already-mentioned experiential advantages of game-based and gamified assessments, these “new kids on the block” also offer real functional benefits that are not available through more traditional assessments. For instance, they may increase organizational attractiveness for potential applicants over competing methods, especially in technology industries.

Future Developments

Looking at future trends in assessments, it is difficult not to conclude that mobile technologies will impact IO Psychology in many ways. It’s a question of “when,” not “if.” As more and more millennials enter the world of work, concomitant pressures on companies to offer more progressive and innovative selection processes will increase. Mobile assessments are at least one viable and currently available route to alleviating these pressures.

At TTS, we are cautiously optimistic about the promise of mobile assessments. Alongside our product partners we are working to bring mobile assessments to our world-wide client base in ways that help them make better talent decisions while maintaining the highest standards of IO Psychology best practice.

In the near future, we look forward to showcasing research currently underway on mobile assessments in South Africa—so watch this space!

If you’re interested in how TTS can help you innovate your talent and selection processes, why not drop us a line at or visit us at