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What is candidate aptitude and ability testing?

Frequenty Asked Questions

What is candidate aptitude and ability testing?

The purpose of testing as a selection tool is to get an accurate picture of candidate levels of aptitude and ability in certain areas.

Selection tests may include:

  1. General ability tests which measure verbal, numerical, speed, spatial strength, coordination and perceptual skills.
  2. Specific aptitude tests (or work sample) such as technical accounting and finance specific knowledge and skills – these tests may relate to tasks, equipment, tools or technology specific to the role or organisation.
  3. Personality tests (also known as psychological profiles) which are designed to assess personality characteristics. These tests are often used in executive or leadership roles or those requiring personality traits suited to sales, negotiation, influencing etc.

As with interview questions it is important that the recruiter ensure the tests used are relevant to the role and will assist in identifying the right candidate for the role.

Employers must be careful in their use of such tests and in some cases, it may be appropriate for the tests to be formulated and administered with the assistance of HR and psychological science professionals skilled in this field. Issues associated with the reliability and validity of tests used need to be thoroughly explored to ensure they do not directly or indirectly discriminate against candidates.

The major advantage of using tests is that they may provide information that is not obtainable through any other selection technique, but the test should not be used as the only selection technique and it should complement other selection techniques used.

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