Predictive validity tools are increasingly used within the workplace as a measure to hedge against candidate suitability risks and also to identify the underlying potential of existing employees for future promotion and leadership opportunities.

These tools include a garden variety of assessments such as psychometrics, personality tests, cognitive ability scoring, job competence questionnaires and demographic analysis to name but a few.

The validity ladder of workplace performance prediction shows cognitive assessment scoring rating as the highest indicator of performance forecasting, yet many organisations still opt for one-dimensional personality testing results as their primary “proving metric” of employee potential and competence.

The reason for this is rooted in our need for instant, cheap testing tools offering results that can be applied NOW to hiring decisions, instead of sustainable, reliable scoring instruments that may be slightly more expensive and sometimes more complex to administer in the short term, but offering inherent long-term value.

Pay Now, Benefit Later

The holistic approach to assessments will always be the best route to take in predicting workplace performance as opposed to relying solely on personality testing which may present many downsides for the business later on.

If one can only choose one tool due to time and budget constraints, cognitive assessments provide the best “bang for your buck” these days (not that they are cheap though, you may still need to do some begging in the office of the financial powers that be!)

To assist you in motivating your case for approval during your talent selection process and counteract the financial manager’s rebuttal to “just using personality tests”, herewith a fewbenefits to consider:

·      Avoid bad hiring decisions

Cognitive assessments minimise hiring mistakes significantly by amplifying competence levels in the areas of numericalverbal and reasoning ability, which are basic foundational skills in the world of work today. A candidate lacking in any of these areas may create problematic scenarios in either performance quality or with culture fit and team dynamics.

·      Information substitute for insufficient referencing

Oh those business reference conversations!!!!! They either tell you what you want to hear, or you find yourself in a situation of pulling teeth just trying to get full sentences from these contacts. In these types of cases, cognitive assessments are almost like your cross checks to validate information about aptitude, and potential or can be used to fill in the gaps.

·      Highlights capacity for learning

“Quick off the bat” and “hitting the ground running”, are ideally what we would like to see from new employees joining the team. Also, the potential for cross-functional deployment of the employee later down the line. Cognitive assessments results reiterate prospective candidates or employees’ learning agility.

·      Wide job range reliability

If you decide to bite the bullet and spend the money, at least have a tool that can be utilised across a wide range of existing job types within the company. Cognitive assessments offer versatility combined with standardisation of screening methods that can be applied to numerous job categories.

·      Employee development tool

Cognitive assessment practices add great value to employee development and training plans for both the company, manager and respective worker by aligning company objectives with employee objectives, which result in company responsiveness, employee productivity and job satisfaction levels.

From Cognitive to Comprehensive

The value of cognitive assessments is somewhat overshadowed by “shiny new” assessment kids on the block like EQ (emotional intelligence), CQ (cultural intelligence) and AQ(adaptive intelligence) tools receiving the majority of online stage time nowadays.

Fair enough, a mind shift is necessary in our outlook towards assessments, evolving from only testing brainpower to measuring creativity, adaptability and emotional maturity. However, the trick to the assessment sweet spot is one of broadened scope, following a holistic approach to assessment strategies by implementing a comprehensive range of assessments and testing practices instead of a singular focus on just one or two assessment types.