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Why Cognitive Ability Makes a Difference

February 11, 2013

Cognitive ability testing measures a person’s ability to understand instructions, learn, adapt, solve problems and handle the mental demands of a specific job. Different from a skills test, cognitive ability tests are the #1 predictor of success.

This means some key questions are answered through cognitive ability testing… Will he change his strategy as the situation changes? Will she anticipate obstacles before they arise? Can he see multiple solutions to complicated problems?

By assessing cognitive ability, you’re not just looking at whether a candidate can merely do the job, but whether they can excel in the job.

There are several benefits to adding cognitive measures to your candidate assessment.

  • You can make better decisions. When looking at a pool of similar applicants, there may be only a few areas that show differences. Cognitive ability, especially if it’s required for senior roles, should be the deciding factor when all else is equal.
  • You build a long-term talent pool. Your most successful employees are people who have the capability of growing with the needs of the company, no matter their role. This long-term approach to hiring means you are selecting talent that will have the skills to serve the company in the future.
  • You have agile talent where you need it. Adaptability can make or break a company. If talent can’t change, or can’t foresee change, then your organization could be on its way to shutting its doors. Innovating and keeping ahead of the competition requires employees who have the ability to adapt, and the right people to manage the changes— especially if you’re in a fluctuating industry.
  • You know when candidates might need guidance. Cognitive capacity is not all or nothing. Instead, the results of a cognitive assessment will place a score on a scale. That score will help you determine if additional training or support might be needed.

Employee selection is not easy, especially when it appears there are several excellent candidates. Instead of going with your gut, try going with science!

For more information on cognitive ability testing, check out this white paper.

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