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Your Top 6 Questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment Answered

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The Predictive Index® offers leaders helpful tools like The PI Cognitive Assessment™. We field many questions on this tool specifically, so we wanted to summarize the assessment and share some helpful facts. Below, you’ll find our six most-asked questions about the Cognitive Assessment. And we’ll dig into how it can make an impact on your leadership development and talent initiatives.

What is the 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 Cognitive Assessment is different from IQ which tells us about someone’s actual intelligence. The PI Cognitive Assessment focuses on learning speed, ability to apply knowledge to new situations, and problem-solving. In all, it is a 12-minute, multiple choice test that includes a mix of numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning questions.

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

By using resumes, interviews and job samples, we can learn about someone’s experience, knowledge and skills. With the Behavioral Assessment, we understand drives, what motivates people and whether someone is likely a fit for a job. The PI Cognitive Assessment gives us unique information about job candidates. It measures the likelihood someone will be capable of learning the job, independently figuring things out, and demonstrating problem-solving skills.

Why would you use the Cognitive Assessment?

Cognitive assessments can significantly boost your ability to select the best candidates during talent acquisition. 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 PI Behavioral Assessment, raises those odds to 38%. But adding a cognitive measure like The PI Cognitive Assessment increases your chances to 54%!

If these statistics seem low, it’s important to remember we’re measuring one of the most unpredictable forces in science: human behavior. At 54%, cognitive ability assessments are one the most predictable HR tools that exist in talent acquisition.

How does this assessment predict job performance?

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 faces high-turnover and is filled by folks who often have less than a four-year degree. They conduct repetitive and tedious, but incredibly precise work.

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

How is the Cognitive Assessment scored?

One of the most important decisions you will make when using The PI Cognitive Assessment is choosing a target score. The target score will help identify candidates with the required amount of cognitive ability for the job and distinguish those who are and are not likely to be high performers. The Predictive Index provides a target scoring guide to help you identify target scores for different types of jobs. It also recommends creating a scoring band around your target score rather than using your target as a cut score. Putting wiggle room around your target score adds fairness to your process and also leaves room for strong candidates.

Distribution of Cognitive Ability

How can I learn more and start using the Cognitive Assessment?

The PI Cognitive Assessment is built into the Predictive Index platform and provides a seamless user and candidate experience. Most importantly, it provides a scientifically validated measure of general cognitive ability that you can benchmark against your target score.

To learn how to implement The PI Cognitive Assessment into your talent program, reach out to your Leadership Consultant today. If you’re new to PI, get in touch here.