Why do Employers use Aptitude Tests?

Aptitude tests are gaining in popularity, as employers try to differentiate between candidates with similar education levels, workplace experiences, and skill sets. According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately 76% of companies with over 100 employees use aptitude tests as part of their recruitment procedure, making preparing for an aptitude test a crucial part of any job-seekers interview preparation.

What is an aptitude test?

An aptitude test is any kind of assessment which measures your potential. These tests can include numerical aptitude, verbal aptitude, cognitive aptitude, abstract reasoning, critical thinking, diagrammatic reasoning, or spatial reasoning. Read more about what an aptitude test is, here.

Every stage of the recruitment process

A single job advertisement can potentially receive thousands of applications, all from suitably-qualified candidates who could reasonably do the job. Unfortunately, in-house recruiters and recruitment agencies don’t have the time or resources to sift through these applications by hand. An aptitude test at the pre-employment screening stage helps cut down this number, as they can simply reject those who fail to meet the standard expected in the specific area most relevant to the job. While that may sound off-putting, knowing this gives you an advantage. You can prepare for aptitude tests, so with a little preparation on your side, you will be able to jump through the first hurdle and into the interview process.

Candidate selection

Once you’ve made it through the necessary rounds of interviews, you may be required to sit a final aptitude test. Employers use this technique when they have a number of candidates who would be perfect, but they only have one role to fill. With employers being forced to be more objective in the hiring process, it makes sense for them to use standardized outsourced tests which give every applicant a fair chance at being the lucky new employee. In addition to helping you gain a job, they prove valuable to employers in many unseen ways.

Aptitude predicts role competence

Hiring is an expensive task, which is why employers prefer to obtain proof of competence before offering an employment contract. If employers get it wrong, they’ll then need to figure out how to deal with an employee who simply can’t do their job. These days, you have to follow the legal processes set which can mean it takes a while to legally fire someone due to incompetence. Aptitude tests are known to predict future job performance better than any other type of assessment, including references and interviews. Here is how each type of test can be a useful indicator of performance in the workplace:  

  • Cognitive aptitude

    Cognitive aptitude tests usually test a cross-section of the candidate’s potential. A high score in this test shows the potential employee is a well-rounded intelligent individual with the capacity to learn as well as perform regardless of the task. The cognitive aptitude test is one of the most commonly used assessment tests today.
  • Numerical aptitude

    A high numerical aptitude score confirms that the candidate can handle data with accuracy. This includes making sure calculations are correct, payments are processed accurately, and all inputs are sound. This reduces the cost of future mistakes and ensures your employee will be trusted to spot errors as well as avoid them.
  • Verbal aptitude

    This test confirms the candidate can understand complex verbal information, communications, and apply that accurately in their working life. A high verbal aptitude confirms the potential employee can be trusted to represent the company intelligently and with professionalism.
  • Abstract reasoning

    The abstract reasoning test is a good indicator of an employee’s ability to identify patterns as well as apply their thinking skills to solve a problem or determine the best response in a given situation. This skill is relevant in roles which require employees to continually deal with new tasks, such as auditing, compliance, assessment, or any other role which requires quick accurate thinking.
  • Critical thinking

    This aptitude test determines the candidate’s ability to think through a complex task logically and analytically. It is an essential test for industries which require employees to assess case by case situations or businesses which require employees to know and apply company policy in a strict and logical manner.
  • Diagrammatic reasoning

    High performers in the diagrammatic reasoning test are able to apply logical rules and distinguish patterns in diagrams or images. This shows employers that the candidate is able to think quickly with excellent insight as well as solve problems regardless of the background information available to them.
  • Spatial reasoning

    This aptitude test requires candidates to visualize objects in their mind and then from this, provide a solution to a problem or given question. These types of tests are great in roles which require employees to visualize, such as engineering or design. In non-construction roles, high scores tell employers they are able to provide accurate solutions from limited input, so they’ll be able to work well regardless of preparation.

Avoiding the problems associated with wrong hires

The wrong hire can create problems, especially if they choose to linger in a role they cannot do. This can mean work not being up to standard, or even expensive errors entering the system, which could potentially cost the employer millions to fix. If you consider it from the employer’s point of view, just one data entry mistake or a simple calculation error could represent a significant company expense.

Towards better results

If you have an aptitude test coming up, the best thing you can do is prepare. Take our free test today to discover how you can improve your score in time for your upcoming job interview.