Why Numerical Reasoning Tests are Valuable in Any Hiring Process

Vicki Mann

Posted 08/08/2022
by Vicki Mann

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Why Numerical Reasoning Tests are Valuable in Any Hiring Process

Aptitude tests are an effective way of assessing a candidate's competency and ability to solve different types of problems. They are very valuable assessments, as they can be great indicators for how a particular individual may perform in a particular role. There are different types of reasoning tests available, for example, verbal reasoning tests, which test a candidate's ability to understand and interpret written information. However, today we're going to cover numerical reasoning tests, taking a look at why this type of aptitude test is valuable in any hiring process, and not just data based jobs.

Numerical reasoning is one of the most valuable skills that someone can have in today's job market. Whilst this may first appear as a test that is only necessary if you're applying for a data related position, this is far from the case. Numerical reasoning tests can display a lot more, and should be included in every hiring process.

What is a numerical reasoning test?

A numerical reasoning test is an assessment that measures an individual's ability to interpret and solve mathematical problems. These tests are commonly used in the selection process for occupations that require strong mathematical skills, such as finance and engineering.

The tests usually take the form of a multiple-choice question format, and may cover topics such as basic arithmetic, data interpretation, and statistical analysis. The assessment can consist of a series of questions, each of which presents a table or graph with accompanying data. Numerical reasoning tests are designed to assess an individual's capacity for logical reasoning and problem solving, as well as their ability to understand basic to more complex numerical concepts.

While the tests can be challenging, they provide employers with a valuable tool for assessing candidates for positions that require strong numeracy skills. For a more detailed breakdown, read our blog that describes in detail what a numerical reasoning test is.

What does numerical reasoning assess?

These assessments look at a candidate's understanding and competency with numerical concepts. The whole point of this type of aptitude test is to assess a candidate's numeracy skills, which are likely to be very important for the role that they are applying to. 

Numerical reasoning tests measure a person's ability to interpret graphs, tables and other forms of data. These numerical tests also assess a candidate's arithmetic skills. Knowing how to perform different calculations is a very important skill, and it is important to see if applicants are able to apply this knowledge. An employer wants to see if a candidate is able to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and to what level. As well as this, other arithmetic skills that are assessed with numerical reasoning tests are the ability to figure out percentages and ratios, and these are often applied in a business sense. 

Problem solving skills are an essential aspect to many jobs, and these aptitude assessments help employers to see how well each candidate can work under pressure and figure out a solution to a numerical issue. This is often overlooked when it comes to numerical reasoning tests as employers believe these tests only assess a candidate's numerical ability. However, the reasoning questions can provide excellent insight into their problem solving abilities.

What are the benefits of using numerical reasoning tests?

Numerical reasoning tests are commonly-used assessment tools in the hiring process, but their use is often limited to certain types of roles that require use of numerical data. They provide a way to measure a candidate's ability to understand and interpret numerical data, including graphs, percentages and different types of calculations. However, they also have a range of benefits outside of these jobs too:

Accurate insight into a candidate's skillset

One of the main benefits of numerical reasoning assessments is that they can help employers to identify candidates who have the potential to be successful in roles, and even predict job performance. In addition, numerical reasoning tests can also be used to assess a candidate's problem-solving skills by requiring candidates to solve problems using numerical data.

Produce data-driven results

Numerical reasoning tests are another great asset to add to a company that is dedicated to producing data-driven decisions and eliminating guesswork. This reasoning assessment provides accurate and proven insight into how effective candidates will be at a specific job.

Remove unconscious bias

Whether we like it or not, unconscious bias can be prevalent in all of us. As much as we try to remove that, there's still a chance that it can persist, and this is why aptitude tests such as the numerical ability test prove useful. Skills-based tests remove unconscious bias because now candidates are being initially assessed on their direct capability to perform a specific role and nothing else. 

A more efficient use of time

Applying aptitude testing during the hiring process allows employers to learn early on which candidates are best suited for specific roles. This can save time for hiring managers and recruiters as they are not spending unnecessary time on the hiring process with unsuitable candidates. 

How to use a numerical reasoning test to assess applicants

There are a number of different ways to administer a numerical aptitude test, but the most common approach is to present candidates with a series of problems to solve. This numerical test often becomes more difficult as the test progresses, and the total time allotted for the test is typically relatively short. This means that candidates must be able to work quickly and accurately under pressure in order to perform well.

The numerical tests, such as the arithmetic section, require candidates to complete the test without the use of a calculator in order to determine how effectively they can carry out data interpretation from common numerical occurrences such as graphs. 

Numerical tests can also be applied out at different stages of the hiring process, depending on the role and what exactly you are looking to identify. It is most common for psychometric tests to be carried out during the hiring process as they provide an excellent and effective way of shortlisting applicants, and the numerical reasoning test is no different. 

Who are numerical reasoning aptitude tests best for?

In short, the answer is everyone! Numerical reasoning ability is a very sought after skill because many different roles in a variety of industries require employees to be able to solve an array of problems.

Areas in which numerical reasoning is commonly used include accountancy, finance, marketing and engineering. However, as we've mentioned throughout this blog, numerical reasoning is an important factor for any hiring process and this can include jobs such as healthcare, administration, education, construction, and many more.

By administering a numerical reasoning test, you can gain an insight into how well a candidate thinks numerically and their ability to reason through mathematical problems. This information is invaluable in making the right decision about who to bring on board.

If you’re interested in administering a numerical reasoning test as part of your hiring process, or if you would like more information about our wide range of psychometric tests, be sure to contact us today.

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