The iMocha Guide to Cognitive Ability Assessment

Over the last couple of months, we studied 1300+ IT services organizations all over the globe and learned one fact: the biggest issue companies face with new hires is that they fail to perform.

So, in order to objectively gauge how candidates will perform at their jobs, talent professionals are relying on cognitive ability assessments. Candidates who perform better in a cognitive ability test are likely to perform better than their peers who don’t, and that’s a fact.

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Cognitive ability assessments are increasingly gaining value in the recruiting process while assessing job applicants, and rightly so. Highly technical and complex job roles, such as those in Information Technology, automation, etc., require employees to be highly intelligent. This means, they must understand complex concepts and learn the job requirements they possess quickly and make swift decisions.

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Different types of tests are available for recruiters to assess the various facets of cognitive ability. So, we have put together this practical guide for talent professionals to understand how and why they can use cognitive abilities assessment to find high potential candidates. Recruiters can use this guide as a blueprint while using cognitive abilities tests to assess job applicants.

Using this guide, recruiters can hire ideal candidates for their job roles, witness greater performance levels, and save significantly on employee turnover and recurring recruitment.

What is Cognitive Ability?

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Getting in-depth with Cognitive Ability, and how is it linked to intelligence?

Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. Cognitive ability is the set of mental skills that we need to perform any task—simple or complex. Contrary to actually knowing something, it dictates how we learn, memorize, solve problems, and pay attention. The degree of cognitive ability any two individuals possess may vary. The difference may be witnessed in their general well-being, the level of education they pursue, and how they perform in their respective careers.

What is cognitive science and how it is linked to intelligence

While cognitive abilities and intelligence are quite commonly used interchangeably, they are not quite the same. It is safe to say that intelligence is not a unitary ability or attribute but rather a global construct encompassing different cognitive abilities. Therefore, cognitive ability can be thought of as a constituent of intelligence. American Psychological Association describes intelligence as a person’s ability to understand complex ideas, adapt to the environment, learn from experience, reason, and make decisions in new and familiar situations. Moreover, unlike cognitive ability, which deals with how we process and apply knowledge, intelligence extends itself to how we acquire knowledge.

To learn more about what science says about the correlation between cognitive abilities tests and job performance,
visit here.

IQ vs. Intelligence

The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is based on the theory of general intelligence. An individual takes different intelligence tests, and the cumulative score of all the tests is presented as the IQ. While intelligence is a global construct, IQ is a mathematical approach to measure intelligence. IQ must not be considered the ultimate value of intelligence as it does not factor in all types of intelligence. Moreover, it is not an absolute value; IQ presents an individual’s intelligence relative to a population of similar age groups.

What is a cognitive ability test?

That is because they don’t measure what candidates know; they measure how they think. They are designed to test whether the candidate can apply mental processes to solve problems at the workplace and acquire new job-related knowledge.

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That is because they don’t measure what candidates know; they measure how they think. They are designed to test whether the candidate can apply mental processes to solve problems at the workplace and acquire new job-related knowledge.

Essentially, cognitive ability tests assess mental skills such as:

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  • Verbal comprehension and word fluency: The ability to define, understand, and produce words quickly
  • Spatial visualization: The ability to visualize relationships among objects in space
  • Associative memory: The ability to connect, memorize, and recall
  • Data interpretation and quantitative aptitude: The ability to solve arithmetic problems
  • Perceptual speed: The ability to see similarities and differences between objects
  • Reasoning: The ability to find rules and apply logic

Cognitive ability tests are a great way to understand whether a candidate is a quick learner, whether they can think abstractly, adapt to change, etc. Today, an increasing number of recruiters use cognitive ability tests to save high costs in hiring suitable candidates, higher employee productivity, and reduced turnover.

Recruiters use the test to estimate the candidate’s likelihood of succeeding at their job. For senior positions, they measure whether a candidate can think quickly, analyze all the variables involved, and make high-stakes decisions. On the other hand, in junior roles, they try to identify quick learners and intelligent professionals.

To know more about what cognitive tests are and how you can use them using recruitment,
visit here.