SHEDDING LIGHT ON
Cognitive Ability Assessment
As today world becomes more and more complex and cognitively demanding, there is higher demand for employees who have inner resources necessary for successfully dealing with this constantly growing complexity. Results of cognitive measurements are still one of the best predictors in employee selection. The high level correlation with the quality and level of performance indicates that a definite decision can be made about the following skills of an individual: thinking, reasoning, logic, problem-solving and learning ability. These constructs (that are often called ‘g-factor’) give a long-term and stable description of the person and are mainly measured in non-verbal ways.
Cognitive ability, or general mental ability (GMA) is best used together with a personality assessment in order to have an accurate prediction of the job fit and potential of the employee. There are different types of cognitive assessments that can be used in employee selection, and the choice of assessment is based on the type of question the hiring manager is looking to answer about the candidates, and the requirements of the position the organization is looking to fill. Therefore, cognitive assessments might assess general mental ability, logical reasoning, analytical skills, abstract reasoning, numerical abilities, verbal abilities, visualization abilities, decision making and judgment, processing speed, learning speed and ability, etc.
The key organizational benefit of using such assessments are reduced costs due to hiring employees who have the necessary cognitive abilities and skills to excel at their jobs. That is why cognitive assessments are usually used in selection processes as a screening method, or as another measure which gives additional information about the candidate’s characteristics.
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Measuring cognitive abilities in the context of HR usually means measuring general mental ability (GMA) and to find relationships and patterns in verbal, numerical and abstract/figural information.
GMA involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. Assessment Systems recommends using a cognitive measurement tool that ranks candidates with exceptional general mental ability in order to avoid the so called “ceiling effect”, a limitation of several cognitive measurement tools for managerial and expert job positions.