Aptitude tests can be an effective way to help ensure you are hiring the right people for the right position. Increasingly they are being used in the hiring process and can have a significant impact in making sure you find those top performers. 

What are Aptitude tests? 

Aptitude as defined by Dictionary.com is, capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent. Aptitude tests are assessments that measure a person’s capabilities or ability to perform specific functions. They come in many different variations that all measure specific abilities and talent differently. Below are some of the more common aptitude test measurements.  

Common Aptitude Test Areas of Measurement

1. Cognitive ability

This type of test measures overall intelligence of the applicant. 

2. Critical thinking

This test measures a candidate’s ability to analyze data and their ability to reason. 

3. Inductive reasoning

This measures the candidate’s ability to analyze data in stressful situations. 

4. Situational judgement

One of the more valid methods of aptitude test, this test puts an applicant in a similar job situation they might find themselves in and measures their ability to solve the problems presented. 

5. Verbal reasoning

This relates to the applicant’s overall ability to logically deduct meaning from passages of text. 

6. Logical reasoning 

This measures the candidate’s ability to use logic in understanding shapes, patterns, sequences, and the like. 

How are aptitude tests used in the hiring process? 

As with any type of valid assessment, an aptitude test is used once the candidate is past the first pre-screener or hurdle in the process. This could be a first interview or perhaps a recruiter’s shortlist but normally some kind of screening has taken place. The last thing you want to do in the hiring process is to waste anyone’s time and normally aptitude tests can take some time to complete and review, so they are best utilized when the candidate has at minimum made it through the first screen. Of course, much of the timing of when they are administered depends on the job being filled. 

For high-volume hiring, aptitude tests should be specific to the job function being filled. For instance, if your company is hiring 300 call center representatives a month, you want a test that is easy to administer and will provide valid data to the hiring manager. Situational judgement aptitude tests may be a good fit for this type of position. They can be easy to administer and will provide valuable information on the candidate’s ability to handle difficult customer service scenarios.  

Inductive reasoning tests may be a better fit for companies looking to hire software engineers for a high-growth business or even mechanics who work in a race car pit. Both jobs require great ability to perform under pressure and the inductive reasoning test could provide the hiring manager specific data points that will help them in their decisionmaking process. 

Top 3 benefits of using aptitude tests in the hiring process: 

1. Predictability of on-the-job performance

If you could read a report that gives you a prediction of how well a candidate will perform once hired do not you think that would increase your hit rate on hiring better candidates? Of course, it would and when using the correct test for the correct position, Aptitude tests can do just that. 

2. Good data translates into better hires.

Even if you cannot predict their potential performance once hired, you can collect more and better data points. Aptitude tests can provide detailed information about a candidate and many times give you that extra information that helps you make the best hire possible. 

3. Better fit candidates equate to lower turnover and happier employees.

The most important asset in a business is its people. If you have the right people in the right positions, you have significantly lower turnover as well as people who are happy to be there. Lower turnover means saving money in hiring/onboarding costs and happy employees means better productivity. 

Best in class hiring processes use aptitude tests whenever possible. The key is to make sure you use the correct test for the correct position. Aptitude tests have been around a long time and come in a lot of different formats. Be sure whatever tests you choose to incorporate into your hiring process are validated, easily accessible, easily interpreted and legally defensible. Take your time and pick the best possible solution for your specific needsIn our experience the best aptitude tests utilize video versus text only, are directly tied to the behaviors required on the job and provide both selection and development information providing for the most ROI. 

Related Resource: Pre-employment Assessments – Everything you need to know 

Related Blog Post: What does a Pre-employment Assessment Measure? 

Related AlignMark Product: AccuVision