How to utilize the Cognitive Ability test for hiring and employment?

Despite the numerous benefits of cognitive aptitude tests, many organizations struggle to integrate them effectively into their hiring process. To address this issue, a step-by-step approach is presented below to provide clarity and guidance.

To effectively implement cognitive ability test for hiring process, one should:

Emphasize Accurate Assessments

To administer a cognitive test effectively, the initial step is to select an assessment that emphasizes the competencies most sought after by employers. A suitable test can be chosen based on the position that needs to be filled. For instance, if the role involves activities that require a high degree of mental manipulation and visualization of objects (as is the case in technical engineering and industrial design domains), it is more appropriate to administer a spatial reasoning test rather than a verbal comprehension test.

Establish a Baseline and Benchmark to Ensure Realistic Expectations

By comparing candidates’ cognitive aptitude test scores against a baseline, recruiters can identify candidates that meet their criteria. For instance, benchmarking against the test scores of high-performing employees can help evaluate the job fit of potential candidates.

Use Pre-Employment Assessment Software to Automate the Hiring Process

An online assessment platform offers numerous benefits, including a significant acceleration of the screening process. Assessments delivered through such platforms are location-independent and can be taken at any time from anywhere. Additionally, using an online platform saves the hiring manager time and effort in creating and administering cognitive skills tests. The software also provides the flexibility to conduct cognitive assessments at scale and pair them with other domain or technical assessments, which helps create a comprehensive profile of a candidate being considered for a specific role.

Examine the Results of the Tests

After administering the cognitive test to all candidates, it is possible to compare their scores with predetermined benchmarks. If a test taker’s score falls significantly below the benchmark, it is advisable to exclude the candidate from consideration. However, if the candidate’s score meets the benchmark, it is recommended to invite them for an interview.

Request Attendance of Shortlisted Candidates for Interviews

This step involves conducting interviews with the candidates who have made it through the selection process. Interviewers can maximize the value of this session by exploring the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement based on their test scores.

Arrive at the appropriate conclusion

By combining the results of the cognitive test scores with other assessments and interview feedback, making a well-informed hiring decision becomes easier.

What factors should be taken into account when choosing a cognitive aptitude test?

Here are some of the aspects considered when administering cognitive ability tests:


Cognitive ability tests are dependable instruments for forecasting job performance and training success across all occupations. These tests are believed to possess a high degree of criterion-related validity, with better results obtained for jobs/training with greater complexity. A mental ability test tailored to the specific intricacies of the job being considered confirms the correlation between the assessment scores and significant job outcomes.

Subgroup differences in cognitive skill tests

While cognitive tests aim to promote fair hiring practices, systemic bias can be embedded in the assessment. Some cognitive tests may reveal subgroup differences, such as racial or ethnic disparities, that are more apparent than other reliable predictors of job performance, such as structured interviews, resumes, or personality tests. To increase objectivity and reduce potential adverse effects, cognitive aptitude tests should be used in conjunction with other assessment methods. Test creators must be cautious to ensure that their tests do not favor one subgroup over another.

Administration and development costs

Creating a customized mental ability test can be more expensive than purchasing a pre-existing test. However, administering cognitive ability tests is generally a cost-effective process that requires fewer resources for administration, and can be efficiently conducted using online assessment software.

Optimal Approaches: Tips for Testing Cognitive Skills

To achieve the best results from cognitive assessments, it is crucial to implement them carefully in the hiring process. While these tests offer important insights, it is equally important to effectively utilize the data gathered from them. Here are some tips to fully leverage the potential of cognitive ability tests:

Build Confidence and Trust among Test-Takers

To promote accountability and transparency in the assessment process, it is important to provide candidates with a clear understanding of why they are being assessed, what data is being collected, and how it will be used to inform the decision-making process. It is also important to create an environment where candidates feel comfortable voicing their concerns or asking questions about the assessment. Additionally, candidates should be informed of how their assessment results may be utilized beyond the hiring process, such as for performance evaluation and career development.

Evaluate wisely

Utilizing cognitive ability assessments in talent evaluation is a crucial step. However, it is important to use the appropriate assessment that directly evaluates the specific positions and their related tasks.

Utilize the test results as a reference

While cognitive testing scores are an important tool in the hiring process, they should not be the only factor used to make hiring decisions. Other factors, such as the candidate’s experience, education, work ethic, and personality, should also be taken into consideration. A holistic approach that considers multiple factors will help to identify the most qualified and suitable candidate for the job.

Minimize Negative Consequences

Adverse impact is a crucial consideration when using cognitive ability tests in the hiring process. Adverse impact occurs when a selection process has a disproportionately negative effect on a particular group of candidates, such as those belonging to a particular race, gender, or ethnicity. To avoid adverse impact, it is crucial to select tests that have been validated to ensure that they are unbiased and that they measure the skills that are essential for the job in question. Recruiters should also ensure that they are following all legal requirements and ethical standards to prevent discrimination in the hiring process.

Consider the expenses involved

Organizations have the option of buying off-the-shelf assessment tests or building their own. The cost involved in either method varies. Buying a test is a convenient option as the vendor takes care of hosting, maintaining, and updating the tests. Building a test can provide complete customization, but it can be more costly.