The Definitive Guide To Assessing Cognitive Abilities Of Candidates


Traits of a potential employee like how well can they follow instructions, navigate training, and communicate with their co-workers are essential to predict during the recruitment process. Research has revealed time and again that general cognitive ability is the best indicator of success across a wide range of job types, levels, and industries. 


Today, at least 80% of the Fortune 500 companies globally use a cognitive ability test as a hiring tool to improve the quality of their hiring process.  The organizational landscape is constantly evolving and brands need their driving force – the people – to be aligned to their requirements, goals, and values. Aligning those you hire with the competencies for each role will help you build efficient teams that strive for the mutual success of the self and the company. 


Cognitive ability assessment is a form of pre-employment testing used to measure a candidate’s cognitive skills. These tests can help you evaluate how well applicants use a wide range of mental processes, such as reading comprehension, working with numbers, finding solutions to problems, abstract thinking, and most importantly the ability to learn and apply new information within the system. If implemented and administered correctly, a cognitive skill assessment is an effective method to predict growth and success.

Like any tool that can be used during the pre-employment test, cognitive ability tests can be the trump card in your hiring process. 



  • PREDICTIVE OF PERFORMANCE: Employers using cognitive ability assessment tests are 24% more likely to have a higher number of employees that exceed performance expectations.


  • PRECISE AND RELIABLE: With cognitive ability tests in your recruitment strategy, you will assess the candidates precisely and make your hiring process more reliable.


  • EASY TO ADMINISTER ONLINE: Digital cognitive ability tests make it easy for recruiters to administer the test online, simplifying the selection process for the candidates. 



Cognitive ability assessment is a reliable and valuable source of information in the recruitment process, but only when it is done right. Here are some of the best practices to inculcate during the assessment. 


  • UNIVERSAL ASSESSMENT: Ensure that you’re using an assessment that can tell you if a candidate is someone who can problem-solve, and has a short learning curve instead of just looking at their ability to do specific tasks. The right candidate is someone who can adapt to different situations and requirements.


  • TRANSPARENCY WITH CANDIDATES: Let the applicants know why you’re using cognitive ability assessments, what data you’re collecting, and most importantly, the impact of their test scores in the selection process. 


  • SCORE AS A GUIDANCE: An outstanding score on the cognitive ability assessment test isn’t a guarantee that it is the most suitable candidate. These scores should be used as guidance to make a fully informed decision when hiring. 


  • MAKE THE ASSESSMENT FUN: Providing an excellent candidate experience throughout the cognitive ability assessment will help enhance the applicants’ overall outlook on your company.


To get the most out of cognitive ability testing at your organization, be mindful of the kind of tests you choose and whether or not they’re the best way to hire top performers. Raven’sTM Advanced Progressive Matrices is a gold standard, highly trusted cognitive ability assessment tool by TalentLens. It allows assessors to easily administer this online cognitive assessment test to any number of test takers for remote completion.