How do most internal recruitment processes run?

First, recruiters and managers either manually sift through or use algorithms to review CVs. Then, they move on to phone or face-to-face interviews with the most experienced and qualified candidates. After this, they may draw on some off the shelf pre-employment tests. They use psychometric, aptitude or a cognitive test to determine which applicants are the best fit. Then they make an offer and barter on salary.

The standard recruitment regimen is backward, inefficient and ineffective.

Most companies use a cognitive test at the end of the process to select between 2-3 candidates. This is the wrong way around. Why waste your time and the candidates’ time only assessing them for fit at the end of the process when you could do it at the start?

Why risk disengaging applicants with an irrelevant cognitive test at all? You could be using an appropriate cognitive analysis that screens and informs candidates about the challenges ahead and the commercial skills they need to succeed in the role. This makes things easier for everyone.

Advantages of using the right cognitive test for essential selection decisions

Our research and consulting work shows that a multi-trait cognitive framework is a much better way of helping companies, including B2B industrial, building materials, fuels & gas, transportation reduce costs and screen applications.

High performing pricing people have several different attributes contributing to high performance, each with its unique capacity. This means pricing people may likely be good at financial reasoning because they like numbers. They are just as likely to be bad at strategic influencing, strategic thinking, and scenario analysis (because they each have their unique capacity).

Our multi-trait cognitive testing process assesses teams and individuals across many essential attributes, not just IQ or financial reasoning.  We find a sophisticated cognitive test is also a much fairer and robust way of filtering out the least-suitable applicants.  It can help you filter applications based on individual capability in a niche area.  It can leave you with a much smaller, higher quality candidate pool to undergo the more costly customised aspects of the process.

In cases when applicants don’t want to take a cognitive test, they are non-committal about the job or nervous about taking the test.

Excellent instructions and guidelines from the test supplier and recruiter can help nervous candidates. Either way, you are qualifying effectively using a cognitive test.

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Disadvantages of psychometrics

Psychometrics, on the other hand, test broad traits and capabilities. They leave recruiters with a bigger, lower quality pool of candidates.

Psychometric testing is a comprehensive brush approach to understanding the specific traits and skills of very complex human beings. The company one should work in, rather than what career they should follow seems to be the basis for career decisions. I know of no psychometric test in the world that can discriminate between one company and another.

Standard psychometrics seem to have no logical connection with the job or the person’s ability. If people are going to take tests, they want them to be relevant. Thus a focus on relevant skills and competencies, grounded in domain-specific experiences they can relate to.

Disadvantages of standard IQ testing

IQ tests are not the only way to measure future job performance in pricing  – it is a fallacy to believe otherwise.

It seems odd that we call the human brain the most complex known object in the universe. Many business and HR leaders are still prepared to accept they can measure brain function and predict future job performance in niche areas by doing some abstract IQ tests.

IQ tests are fundamentally flawed. They do not take into account the complex nature of the human intellect and its different components.

A single measure of intelligence, such as IQ, is not enough to capture all of the differences in cognitive ability that we see between people in pricing teams.


In most businesses, the conventional sequence of events does not make much sense in recruitment and is very inefficient.

Screen and measure people using the right recruiting tools. Don’t make candidates walk through broken glass. This happens with unrelated long online job applications, standard tests and old school psychometrics.

It’s a waste of time and money.  Candidates don’t like doing them. Hiring managers don’t value them. Standard recruiting drags candidates through a sequence that is neither efficient nor effective.

To learn more about new ways to understand team mix and measure individual pricing capability, download our complimentary white paper  on “How to improve your pricing capability” 

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