Are Applicants More Likely to Quit Longer Effect of Assessment Length on Applicant Attrition Behavior


This study examines how pre-employment assessment length affects the rate at which job applicants opt out of the assessment phase. To evaluate the tradeoff between reliability and attrition, the authors used data from 69 selection systems and over 220,000 job seekers. 

They found that contrary to popular belief, longer assessments don’t seem to cause people to drop out of the process. In fact, even after controlling for the actual assessment length and various job characteristics, they observed that systems providing longer estimates of assessment length produced lower overall attrition rates.

Key Points:

  • In their study, the majority of applicants who quit assessments did so within the first 20 minutes of the assessment phase.
  • Overall assessment length did not have an observable effect on attrition rates.
  • Conservative time estimates reduce attrition: Systems with a 5 minute overestimate in assessment length showed attrition rates that were 27% lower than systems with a 5 minute underestimate in assessment length.


When creating and implementing a job assessment, the reliability and validity of the assessment scores should determine how long it is—not concerns about applicant attrition rates.

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