What Are Aptitude Tests? How Are They Used in Recruitment?

Apr 15, 2020 | assessment, Recruiting | 0 comments

What Are Aptitude Tests?

Aptitude tests are a way of determining the abilities of the recipient. They are tests that measure specific skills, attributes and abilities.

They are not like exams which test your knowledge. Instead, they test your talent at a particular competency.

There is not just one type of aptitude test. Far from it, in fact. They can be abstract reasoning tests, personality tests, or numerical reasoning tests. They often consist of problem-solving, written answers, and more.

You may be wondering what are aptitude tests and how are they different from psychometric tests? Psychometric tests come in many forms. One of these is aptitude testing. So, aptitude tests fall under the wider umbrella of psychometric testing.

They tend to focus more on one work-related task or ability. For example, a candidate’s aptitude for logical reasoning.

As opposed to other kinds of tests (such as personality tests), each question in these has only one correct answer. The tests are timed. This time limit is intentionally short. That’s so that only 1-5% of people could ever complete it accurately in time.

Are you still wondering what aptitude tests are? Read on to find out more and how you can use them in your recruitment processes.


Types of Aptitude Tests

There are numerous types of tests that can be done to measure aptitude. Here are some examples of what are aptitude tests.

1. Numerical Reasoning Tests

 The questions in these assessments are often based on charts and statistics. They assess whether the person is quick and accurate with understanding numbers.

2. Abstract Reasoning Tests

Also known as Inductive Reasoning Tests, these identify how well the applicant understands logic. These come in the form of patterns and shapes rather than text or numbers.

3. Verbal Reasoning Tests

These feature questions written to determine how quickly a person comprehends information. They are often in the format of a large chunk of text followed by questions.

4. In-Tray and E-Tray

These are often used in administration type of roles. They measure the candidate’s ability to manage conflicting schedules and deadlines, as it is important for these roles to prioritize and manage their time.


How Aptitude Tests Can Aid Recruitment

There are many jobs which require very specific skills. For example, a data analyst must have excellent numerical reasoning skills. Using aptitude tests can be a great way of weeding out unsuitable candidates.

By asking people to complete an aptitude test, you can compare candidates according to specific relevant skills. Choose some skills which are critical to the position in question. This can help you make your hiring decisions. You may have two fantastic candidates, and one got much higher test results than the other. This makes your decision between the two much easier.

You can access tests that are developed by industry. For example, if you are recruiting a computer programmer, you may want to find a test that was created by computer programming industry experts such as Codility. There are many tests like this out there to choose from for every industry imaginable.

Industries That Often Use Aptitude Tests

Many industries routinely use aptitude tests for recruitment. These tend to be industries with highly specific skill requirements. They are often high pressure or complex roles that need to be filled by the right person. Here are some examples of what aptitude tests are good for:

  • Computer programming
  • Air traffic control
  • Manufacturing
  • Banking
  • Accounting

Tips for Aptitude Tests

If you’re considering putting aptitude tests in your recruitment processes, it’s a good idea to take some yourself. This will familiarize you with the process, so you know what the candidates have been asked to do.

Here are some test tips:

  • Do some practice questions beforehand to figure out the style of questions in the test
  • Don’t take too long on any one question – the time limit is strict
  • Don’t guess – the score is made up of speed but also accuracy
  • Don’t be hasty, read all questions in full and this will improve your performance

How to Implement Aptitude Tests in Recruitment

Aptitude tests can be used to filter out unsuitable candidates. For this reason, they are often used before the interview process begins. Why interview someone if it turns out they cannot display the skills the role requires?

These tests are often used when there are too many applicants to interview. It adds in an extra step before the interview process. This ensures however that you only end up interviewing the best candidates.

Once applications close, create a longer shortlist than you usually would. Perhaps up to 10 candidates rather than the usual 4 for interviews. Then invite these 10 people to complete one or more aptitude tests related to the tasks of the role. You can use these results to filter down to your final 4 to interview.

Alternatively, you can look for talent assessments that combine the measurement of cognitive skills and personality traits that offer unlimited testing. This will enable you to assess your whole candidate pool and ensure that you will discover any hidden talent and shortlist the best.

Regardless of the industry you are recruiting for, there is sure to be the perfect aptitude test to suit. Now that you know the answer to ‘what are aptitude tests’, are you ready to implement them as part of your recruitment process?

They will help you find out which candidates are unsuited to the role and assist you in making good hiring decisions.


Do you wonder what hiring would be like if your team had hiring superpowers?
Find out for yourself with Bryq's free 14-day trial!