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De-mystifying Pre-hiring Assessments: Part 2- Cognitive Assessments

Published: December 26, 2018 In: HR Tech & AI

Looking for the right candidate goes beyond just skill-hunting. The ideal candidate is not just adept with the required skills but is committed to updating himself every day. Cognitive assessment deals with the branch of science that is focused on analyzing the behavioral patterns of the human mind to understand why we do the things we do. Cognitive assessments essentially measure the extent to which the candidate can learn.

Technology disruption, though highly advantageous, also comes with the binding deal to stay updated with each passing day. Studies say that a baffling 40 percent of the employers worldwide delineated confronting talent shortage.

Cognitive assessments are especially useful for recruiters looking to hire talent in technical fields. It is no surprise that recruiters can be skeptical about taking the risk of choosing the right candidate, especially in mass hires. Cognitive assessments help employers determine the possibility of whether the candidate will be proactive and well-suited for the role in the long run as well.

So what are cognitive assessments?

Cognitive Assessments appertains a candidate’s ability to learn, process and implement new information as they come. Cognition is the part of the brain that curates our abilities to process data that we see and apply it effectively as and when required.

Cognition consists of a horde of smaller modules of the brain that form the big picture. This includes abilities that incorporate observation, consideration, memory, visual and spatial processing, and a huge number of other cerebral capacities like mental flexibility, critical thinking, and decision making.

While hiring an employee for your organization, it is important that the candidate possesses the intellectual prowess to make decisions that are favorable to the company. Cognitive assessments are the ultimate gauge to determine the quality of hire.

Why are cognitive assessments important?

Cognitive assessments have the ability to check for elements that are disregarded during general assessments. This helps us take a deeper look at the nuances and functionalities of the brain and help the recruiter determine the following aspects of the candidate, which is essential while looking for quality talent.

A model of the human brain 

  • Ability to perform tasks effectively, with attention to detail

  • Ability make calm, collected decisions even under pressure

  • Dexterity in reasoning and application

  • Problem-solving capabilities

  • Prowess in reacting to new or complex situations

What is the idea behind cognitive assessments?

Cognitive assessments are based on Spearman’s Theory of General Intelligence. Spearman stated that the intelligence possessed by the human brain can be broadly categorized into 2 types:

Fluid Intelligence

 An idea!

Fluid intelligence refers to that part of the brain that adapts to learning and implementing new things and ideas. Fluid intelligence delves into the problem-solving and reasoning abilities of the brain. These abilities exhibit a major role in the actions we do and the decisions we take every day. Fluid intelligence peaks at adolescence and begins to decline around the age of forty.

Crystallized Intelligence

Crystallized intelligence is the knowledge that the brain perceives as a result of your past experiences. Crystallized intelligence is developed at childhood and continues to grow throughout your life. Crystallized intelligence measures the ability of a person to ascertain the problems around him and proactively think up of a solution.

The above sections include multiple functionalities of the brain that are quantitatively measured by Cognitive Assessments. Cognitive assessments are objective in nature and are required to be completed within a set time frame; this additionally helps the recruiter get an insight into the candidate’s time management skills.

What is the pattern of a cognitive assessment?

Cognitive assessments consist of a series of tests of various patterns to test the abilities of the candidate in various competencies. These assessments are generally used to check the aptitude, vocabulary and numerical reasoning of the candidate. The different types of tests conducted fall into the following sections of intelligence:

Fluid Intelligence:

  • Spatial reasoning

  • Numerical abilities

  • Data Interpretation

Crystallized Intelligence:

  • Critical reasoning

  • Logical thinking and deductive reasoning

  • Decision-making

Candidates will be presented with questions asked in Multiple Choice (MCQ) formats where skill-wise scores will be given at the end of the test. If the candidate passes the cut-off score required (which is set by the employer), he/she is deemed the right fit for the job.

What do Cognitive assessments test?

Multiple functionalities of the brain are quantitatively measured by Cognitive Assessments. Cognitive tests are objective in nature and are required to be completed within a set time frame; this additionally helps the recruiter get an insight into the candidate’s time management skills. The main skills measured via cognitive tests are:

  1. Analytical abilities

  2. Reasoning

  3. Time-management

  4. Data Interpretation

What are the steps followed during a cognitive assessment?

Step 1: Formulate your test module for all the role-specific needs you are looking for

Step 2: Access the shareable link to the test module and send it over to the candidate

Step 3: The candidate completes the test and reports the status of completion

Step 4: The results of the test taken are compiled and sent to you by the software

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cognitive assessments?

Cognitive assessments are an important pre-hiring tool that is considered to have great potential in the recruitment industry. However, they do come with their list of advantages and limitations:

Advantages of Cognitive assessments:

  1. Accurate analytics: Talview’s test suite delivers comprehensive, secure results on the performance of your candidate

  2. Customizable: Curating a custom test for the roles you require has never been easier

  3. Easy to administer: Stay on top of your game with high-end features that are accessible with a single click.

  4. Proctoring: Proctor-enabled assessments for thorough, reliable and bias-free evaluations

  5. The results of cognitive assessments have been highly successful in predicting future job performances

Limitations of Cognitive assessments:

  1. Extrinsic factors like age, education can affect the results of the assessment.

  2. While hiring for higher roles, the recruiter needs to look for skills beyond cognition. Hence the results of cognitive assessments cannot be used as a sole determinant.

That ends the second instalment of our analysis on pre-hiring assessments incorporated to test human skills. If that interested you, make sure to let us know <here>!

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Stay tuned to this space as we break down the functionalities behind cutting-edge recruitment tools. Happy holidays, everyone!

Tags: HR Tech & AI, Online Exams & Proctoring, Recruitment Best Practices

Written by: Abenaya Gunasekaran

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