Can employee success be predicted with aptitude tests?

This is a question that is asked mostly by entrepreneurs, recruiters and hiring managers across the globe. It has been a standard practice across various sectors to use knowledge and aptitude tests for screening the potential job applicants. Hence, these tools have become an integral and important part of the recruitment process, something that cannot be neglected or done away with.

With competition increasing in the job market, any job vacancy that is declared in the open market is likely to attract potential candidates in huge numbers. Through pre-screening methods, the applicant numbers can be reduced to just a handful or of more manageable size. This way, the recruiters can go on ahead with their further selection process, until they have narrowed on the candidates to finally select for the job applied for. The final phase is likely to be the more rigorous screening part of the recruitment process.


To achieve the best results and to ensure selecting the very best candidates, it is of utmost importance to use different types of tests. But great care should be taken to ensure that the test is designed to exclusively help the recruiters to find out candidates who can fit perfectly the job they are assigned to and understand the business very well. Mismatch will only create problems and will not allow the candidate to perform well in their jobs.

Using general aptitude test

By conducting such type of tests, the organizations are able to derive an opportunity to carry out more informed hiring decisions. Since huge number of applicants will be expected to apply for the same position, it is necessary to make proper comparisons between them, which should not be underestimated at any point of time. Through the tests, the recruiters will be able to evaluate several factors that are crucial with regards to selecting the perfect candidates for the job. They are also in a position to evaluate the overall ability of the applicant and his/her mental strength to solve problems, reason, get along with colleagues, vendors and clients alike as well as write coherently.

Combined with the interview process, the test is sure to offer accurate image of the potentiality of the candidate to be successful at the position, he/she is recruited for. There are present different types of aptitude tests that can help measure important qualities. Hence, such tests do offer the interviewers with valuable information, something not identified only from holding interview process. But to achieve sure success and to get hold of the best candidate for the specific job, it will be of utmost importance to design the tests with kind of vacancy in mind. This will ensure the tested knowledge and skills are relevant to the offered position. Otherwise, chances are very high of the results being completely inaccurate.

But to get accurate results of the candidates’ actual potentiality, the tests are to be given correctly. They can act as representative performance measure that is quite similar to that of placing the person in the said profile.

Application and types

It is necessary to take into careful consideration the content of the aptitude test including the way how it is delivered. The test is not only to be considered from time and cost view point, but also with regard to the appropriateness of the offered job.

Some common test types

  • Knowledge tests: They have been designed to test the amount of knowledge that the candidate is aware of, with regards to a particular job aspect. The test is generally based on a specific topic, relevant to the vacant job. This will ensure that the candidate has the necessary knowledge level to perform his assigned duties, much to the satisfaction of his seniors and peers.
  • Skill tests: Generally, these comprise of easy tasks that are related to important job functions like typing speeds, keyboard skills, data entry, etc.
  • Personality tests: There are different types of personality tests that exist. however, the commonly used one to screen candidates tends to measure five personality factors like:
    • Extroversion
    • Openness to experience
    • Conscientiousness
    • Agreeableness
    • Emotional stability
  • Ability tests: These tests are typically used for measuring mental or cognitive ability of the individual. Such tests are more performance level related and based upon presenting candidates with real-like workplace scenarios. It asks them to explain their opinion of what is to be done in any given situation.

Aptitude tests generally are delivered within time controlled environment. It is designed, administered and conducted by any third party testing centre or at the premises of the employer. The method can either be the traditional pen and paper format or delivered through PC. These days, employers prefer to conduct online hiring tests, as it comes with numerous benefits, like the following:

  • It provides the employers with the opportunity to test candidates in huge numbers simultaneously.
  • Convenience for candidates: The test can now be even taken from the home by the candidates, thus not requiring them to travel to far away test centres.
  • It offers faster result submission and real time reporting. This means, the screening process is much faster and accurate.

Benefits of conducting aptitude tests

Besides the interview, administering aptitude tests does come with numerous advantages, some of which are given below:

  • Overall, these tests are found to be quite accurate to predict the candidate’s potentiality to achieve success. It also is found to be useful to identify the best candidates suited to the profile to be filled up, be it a promotion of an existing candidate or hiring a new one.
  • Also, the tests are found to offer accurate results and are good enough to evaluate the candidate’s weaknesses and strengths. Only conducting interviews will not help ascertain in-depth analysis of the candidate, which is crucial for his/her success in the given profile.
  • The candidates are also benefitted by giving these tests. They do get an opportunity to evaluate the kind of skills they possess. It is important for the job applicant to feel that they can fit perfectly the position they are applying for and will do justice to their selection.

With plenty of benefits to derive, organizations can go ahead with such tests.