Your Top 6 Questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment™ Answered

As The Predictive Index® continues to offer new and exciting tools like The PI Cognitive Assessment™, we receive a lot of questions about them, and how they fit into leadership development and people management. So, ADVISA is bringing our top 6 most-asked questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment™ here to share the power it brings to your leadership development initiatives.

What is The PI Cognitive Assessment™?

The PI Cognitive Assessment™ measures an individual’s capacity to learn, adapt, and grasp new concepts in the workplace. Although there are similarities, The PI Cognitive Assessment™ is different from IQ. Whereas IQ tests can be used to tell us information about someone’s actual intelligence, The PI Cognitive Assessment™ focuses on things like learning speed, ability to apply information to new situations, and problem-solving. The PI Cognitive Assessment™ is a 12-minute, multiple-choice, timed test including a mix of numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning questions.

How is this different from The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment™?

The PI Cognitive Assessment™ gives us totally unique information about job candidates from the PI Behavioral Assessment™, as well as many other typical hiring tools. Using resumes, interviews, and job samples, we can learn about someone’s experience, knowledge, and skills. With the PI Behavioral Assessment™, we can understand drives, what motivates people, and whether someone is likely a fit for a job. Using The PI Cognitive Assessment™, we can measure the likelihood that someone will be capable of learning the job, independently figuring things out, and demonstrating necessary problem-solving skills.

Why should I use The PI Cognitive Assessment™?

Cognitive ability assessments like The PI Cognitive Assessment™ can significantly boost your ability to select the best candidates during talent acquisition. In fact, research shows that, universally, cognitive ability is among the most powerful single predictors of job performance. When considering your average pre-employment screening – a combination of resumes, unstructured interviews, and reference checks – employers only stand about a 14% chance of making a strong hire. Adding a behavioral assessment to your hiring tools, like the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment™, raises that chances to 38%. But adding a cognitive measure like The PI Cognitive Assessment™ to this mix raises your chances to 54%!

If these odds of making a strong hire seem low to you, it’s important to remember that during the hiring process, we’re attempting to measure one of the most unpredictable forces in science: human behavior. In fact, researchers of human behavior are often thrilled to account for between 4% and 25% of behaviors in their studies, so 54% is very high—making cognitive ability assessments one of the most predictable HR tools that exists in talent acquisition.

Give me an example of how this PREDICTS JOB PERFORMANCE.

Recently, one of our clients, a large, North-American research institution, conducted a study to measure the relationship between cognitive ability and job performance for research technicians. The research technician job is a high-turnover position filled by folks who often have less than a 4-year degree, often doing repetitive and tedious, but incredibly precise work.

To measure the impact of cognitive ability on job performance, the company administered The PI Cognitive Assessment™ to 70+ job incumbents, and simultaneously collected research-specific performance data about each employee’s problem-solving skill, independence, and performance in job tasks. The results showed that, in fact, The PI Cognitive Assessment™ significantly predicted performance in areas like demonstrating good judgment, problem-solving skills, quickly and independently figuring things out, following protocol, executing procedures accurately, thorough documentation, developing new skills, and suggesting process improvements. Further, the data allowed the company to set target scores that have a 61% likelihood of identifying a candidate who will receive a performance rating of at least 4 on a 5-point scale. In other words, The PI Cognitive Assessment™ became a powerful predictor of job performance.

How do I score The PI Cognitive Assessment™?

One of the most important decisions you will make when using The PI Cognitive Assessment™ is choosing a target score: the score that’s most likely to identify candidates with the required amount of cognitive ability for the job. The Predictive Index® provides a target scoring guide that can be used to identify different target scores for different types of jobs. This guide recommends creating a scoring band around your target score rather than using your target scores as a cut score or a minimum threshold. Putting some wiggle room around your target score is critical. This allows you to distinguish between candidates who are or are not likely to be high performers without removing strong candidates from your pool without reason or introducing unfairness into your process.

Distribution of Cognitive Ability

How can I learn more and start using The PI Cognitive Assessment™?

The PI Cognitive Assessment™ is built right into the Predictive Index platform and provides a seamless user and candidate experience as well as a scientifically validated measure of general cognitive ability that can be benchmarked against your own target score.

To learn more about how to implement The PI Cognitive Assessment™ into your assessment program, reach out to your Leadership Consultant today, or if you’re new to PI, get in touch here.


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