The importance of measuring cognitive ability

Research suggests that cognitive ability is one of the strongest predictors of future job performance. Valid and well-established cognitive skills assessments have been found to accurately predict important life outcomes, behaviors, learning agility and job performance.

While cognitive ability is one unified construct, it is composed of individual aptitudes or skills. The Bryq Assessment uses a series of questions to determine the cognitive ability of the candidates in 4 cognitive skills, in order to optimally predict candidates future job performance which leads to better hiring decisions.

The 4 cognitive skills are:

  • Attention-to-Detail: Attention-to-Detail assesses whether an individual has the patience, focus, and willingness to be thorough in their work, so it does apply to all jobs. It measures an individual’s ability to quickly grasp errors with speed and accuracy in answering a question.

  • Logical Reasoning: Logical reasoning questions measure a person’s ability to logically and rationally solve problems based on observed patterns.

  • Numerical reasoning: Numerical reasoning is the ability to understand, comprehend, and draw logical conclusions from numerical data.

  • Verbal Reasoning: Verbal reasoning is the ability to understand, comprehend, and critically evaluate written information.

How to set the weight of each cognitive skill

Each cognitive skill is assessed individually for the candidates. However, job requirements may dictate that some skills are more important than others. By adjusting the weight of each of the skills it is possible to predict future performance within a given role. Many candidates are strongest in two of the four skills, therefore it’s important to consider the profile of the skills and scores as opposed to simply considering the total cognitive score.

The degree to which a skill contributes to the final cognitive score can be set according to your requirements. Job profiles that have no specific skill requirements (e.g. customer care representative) can use an equal weight of 25% for each skill so that all skills are equally important. For example, a position in accounting requires higher numerical reasoning skills, whereas a position in software development requires higher logical reasoning (problem-solving) skills.

The sum of the skill's weight is 100%. As you move a bar, the other bars will be adjusted to ensure that the sum remains 100%. As a best practice, start setting your weight requirements from top to bottom.

References

Schmidt, F. L., Oh, I. S., & Shaffer, J. A. (2016). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 100 years. Fox School of Business Research Paper, 1-74.

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