Rethinking Cognitive Skills Testing for New Hires and Promotions
Hiring managers need to make accurate assessments about the
cognitive capabilities of potential new hires and those up for
promotion (e.g. handling complex information, identifying priorities,
and making effective decisions). A hundred years of IQ testing has,
however, distorted the image of cognitive assessment to the point where
it has largely gone out of favor. No single score can reflect the
complex interaction of cognitive, motivational, psychological and
contextual factors that impact on thinking. Thus, cognitive assessment
should accommodate for far more than the linear, logical-analytical
thinking measured by IQ tests. Another “elephant in the room” with I.Q.
testing is cross-cultural validity. The vast majority of I.Q. tests are
written for and by people from Western European and American cultures.
An alternative approach to traditional I.Q. testing is the Cognitive
Process Profile (CPP). The CPP was developed to address the above
issues and this assessment uses a number of techniques intended to
reduce the impact of cross-cultural factors, for example:
- “Thinking processes” as opposed to “verbal and non-verbal reasoning” outcomes are measured
- Instead of requiring only logical-analytical thinking, the CPP allows for different cultural backgrounds and personality dispositions by accommodating for 15 different cognitive orientations, or styles
- Provision is made for the individual to capitalize on auditory, visual and to some extent, kinesthetic modalities
- Educational background influences are limited via the design of the methodology
- Language requirements are low with no special credits given to grammar, vocabulary, etc.
- Rater subjectivity is limited
- Although computerized, the test is devised for people who are not computer literate