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  • FAQ

Clients often ask how the length of an assessment will impact their candidate experience and drop-off rates. The screening process can be daunting, and many companies worry that an assessment will be a barrier to their candidate funnel.

Also, companies want to be sure they’re providing a positive experience because candidates are often customers.

It’s a reasonable concern, and just like anything, the trade-offs should be considered. Any kind of pre-hire insight, whether it comes from a screening call or an assessment or an interview, is an advantage for the employer, but it requires effort from the candidate. So the question is, how much effort are most candidates willing to put in?

Let’s look at sample of hourly candidates across industries:

Assessment LengthNumber of QuestionsAverage Completion
Short (under 10 minutes)40-10094%
Average (about 10-15 minutes)101-12093%
Long (about 15-20 minutes)121-14094%
Very Long (20 minutes or more)141-20091%

As you can see, assessment length has just a slight impact on the average completion rate, which falls by only 3 percentage points when the assessment exceeds 140 questions.

The value of an assessment comes from its ability to measure work-related traits and predict how successful someone will be on the job. Too few questions, and the assessment becomes less reliable, meaning it may not be measuring what it’s supposed to be measuring.

And keep in mind—some drop off is a good thing. If a candidate realizes part-way through the screening process that he or she isn’t the right fit, either for the position or for your company, then you’ll be able to concentrate on other, more serious candidates.

If you’re still concerned about drop-off rates, here are a few other things to consider:

  • The candidate experience from beginning to end. What’s the very first interaction candidates have with your hiring process? Social media? Your career page? If the experience doesn’t start well, you’ll likely lose candidates before they even begin.
  • The length of your entire application process. Assessments are just one step in the process. It’s good to know what your average drop-off rate is, but look closer at each step and you’ll be able to pinpoint where the highest drop off is happening.
  • Where the assessment falls within your process. Is the assessment part of the online application, or does it come after the initial screening call? Either way, make sure you communicate the purpose and the time requirement before candidates begin.
  • Mobile support. 86% of candidates use their smartphone to begin a job search, and 70% want to be able to apply using their phone, according to talent expert Tim Sackett. If your goal is to cast a wide net for candidates, make sure you’re meeting their needs.

This post is part of our FAQs series, where you can learn about the inner-workings of our assessments, as well as best practices to help improve your hiring process.