In 1998, Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter found that cognitive ability accounts for about 50% of job performance. Their research publication was titled: The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology: Practical and Theoretical Implications of 85 Years of Research Findings. Their research article presents the validity of 19 selection procedures for predicting job performance and training performance. Overall, the 3 combinations with the highest validity and utility for job performance were:
Cognitive ability assessments identify the candidates with the right abilities and potential to succeed in the role. Cognitive ability is effective at predicting job performance because it reliably predicts how much learning ability a candidate has when navigating an ever-changing work environment. Job performance is determined by how quickly you can learn on the job rather than what you already know. The higher an employee’s cognitive abilities, the faster they will learn, the quicker they will adapt to change, and the more effective they will be in developing solutions to new problems. Cognitive ability assessments can accurately predict the likelihood of success in almost every job – from entry-level to executive. While cognitive ability is important at all levels, research has shown that the higher the job level, the more important cognitive ability becomes.
Cognitive ability’s relationship with job performance is rapid knowledge acquisition. Schmidt and Hunter’s research showed that cognitive ability predicts training performance. And, after the formal training is completed, people with higher cognitive ability outperform others because they can quickly absorb all of the incoming information and knowledge. In other words, they acquire new skills rapidly which translates into larger performance gains. Cognitive skills can be leveraged across the workforce to build a learning organization. The total learning ability of your entire workforce can be a real competitive advantage. Cognitive ability assessment needs to be part of your Talent Assessment Strategy USA.
They measure the ability to solve complex problems and the ability to use logic, analysis and reasoning in critical thinking. In other words, the ability to make correct or good decisions. These are some of the most critical competencies needed by today’s workforce:
Schmidt and Hunter’s 1998 research also showed that cognitive ability assessments were the most cost-effective method of hiring great employees. Pre-screening applicants based on cognitive ability helps you avoid interviewing unqualified candidates, saving you time and money.
Many employers are unintentionally biased in their hiring. It can be challenging to prove that your hiring process is objective. Data-driven hiring decisions can change all of that. You will have more objective data and information on your candidates to base your hiring decisions on. You can take much of the subjectivity out of the hiring process by using cognitive ability assessments.
One of the top reasons for using a cognitive ability assessment in your hiring process is that you will make better decisions. The cost of a bad hiring decision can be as much as a third of the salary of the position. The data you obtain from the cognitive ability assessment of your candidates is very powerful. It will empower you to hire not only for the open position now, but for the talent you will need in the future. Hire people based not only on what they can do, but on their potential to learn, and you can set your company up for future success. Hire people with high learning potential who can lead your business into the future.
Contact us if you would like to learn more details about Schmidt and Hunter’s research and how to integrate it in your Talent Assessment Strategy USA.