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In an interview, Bill Gates said “The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” The strategy, he expounded in the same interview, was one of picking ‘elite’ talent; talent that had the intelligence to take on challenges and understanding what needs to be done.

The idea behind that strategy, and perhaps of all hiring-related decisions remain the same: smart people make better employees.

But how does one pick out the said ‘elite’ or intelligent talent from the pool of candidates? The science says cognitive tests are the answer!

More and more studies have shown the correlation between cognitive and job performance, Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, Industrial and Organizational Psychology being some. So, the best way to do that is by adding a layer of cognitive tests to your pre-employment assessment strategy.

Cognitive tests add a layer of efficiency to the recruitment process. Organizations use these tests to increase retention rates, decrease the use of company resources, save costs, and a number of other reasons. While a CV discusses what a candidate has accomplished, employing cognitive testing as part of the hiring process evaluates a candidate’s ability to think on their feet.

We have put together an A-Z of cognitive tests when it comes to recruiting better employees, and why they have quickly become very popular in the hiring process.

So what exactly are cognitive ability tests?

A study shows that over 75% of organizations use at least one form of pre-employment skills tests while hiring external candidates for a job role. Cognitive ability tests have quickly become a part of the body of Cognitive and IT skills assessment tests used to easily navigate the process of recruitment. As the name suggests, these tests are used to measure an individual’s cognitive skills.


Why should Cognitive tests be used?

The principal factor measured in cognitive ability tests is how an individual thinks, not just their knowledge. They are generally used to measure a candidate’s problem-solving skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, reading comprehension, solution generation, and decision-making skills.

These tests filter out candidates who are unable to process information effectively and retain newly learned information.

What are the different types of Cognitive tests?

Cognitive skills are usually tested through multiple-choice questions, logic and mathematical puzzles, and reading comprehension questions. These online skills assessment tests can either test one of the mentioned aspects or can present the candidate with a challenge testing a combination of all skills.

At iMocha, we offer over a hundred cognitive tests, cognitive ability skills tests being a popular choice. From Abstract Reasoning Tests to Critical Thinking Tests, iMocha provides tests for specific roles as well as to test general intelligence levels.

These tests meticulously test a candidate’s reasoning, quantitative, and verbal skills, which help you discover the thinking pattern and logical ability. 

Hiring the best tech talent using Cognitive tests

  • Choose the right cognitive skills tests: Based on the role you’re hiring for, it is important to choose the right kind of test to assess the skills required. For example, if the job role demands a substantial amount of processing information from different sources, administering the Reading Comprehension test would give you the best results.
  • Create a benchmark to compare new scores: Test the already existing employees in the organization and set the highest performers’ scores as a benchmark. With this for reference, you can shortlist candidates who meet the set requirements.
  • Test your potential employees: By using cognitive ability tests with role-specific assessments, a suitable candidate can be identified. This speeds up the whole recruitment process.
  • Evaluation and Interview: Evaluate the performance of candidates whose scores are close to the benchmark you have set. Once the candidates have met the requirements set for the job, invite them for an interview. 

During the interview process, discuss the individual’s test—their weak and strong points—and how they plan to work with these abilities in their job role. You can check their previous work experience and crosscheck with their references.


Making cognitive tests a part of the recruitment

In a study discussing the relationship between cognitive ability and job performance, it was determined that cognitive tests were the perfect way to save company resources. By pre-screening candidates, the recruiter saves time and money by interviewing only those who have performed satisfactorily on the cognitive skills tests.

A splendid benefit of cognitive skills testing is how these tests predict an individual’s job performance. This works because the cognitive ability tests evaluate a candidate’s immediate and constantly evolving environment. They are used to track how quickly a candidate picks up new information and processes it to make quick decisions.

While in senior candidates, these tests can determine how they adapt to changes in the environment; with younger individuals, the tests identify their potential abilities, especially since they do not have a lot of experience for the job role. Therefore, by hiring the right candidates, the retention rates of the organization increase as well.


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Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma is a Content Strategist at iMocha. A seasoned marketer and branding consultant, she likes sewing stories together to help brands find their true and unique voice. A perfection enthusiast, she believes each and every word should serve a purpose while writing. When she’s not writing for work, she is writing fan fictions and theories, and volunteering at local animal shelters.
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Topics: Tech Recruitment, Skills Assessment

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