Hiring remote workers requires a different approach. Working without in-person supervision is different than working in a physical office. It is important to recognize valuable skills in candidates before hiring them for remote positions. Measuring candidates’ cognitive skills is essential to predict how well a potential employee will follow instructions, navigate training, communicate with coworkers, and solve complex problems independently.

The many advantages of including cognitive skills tests when evaluating candidates for remote positions far outweigh any drawbacks. Here is a look at the top five reasons employers should use cognitive skills tests before hiring remote workers.

  1. Cognitive Skills are the Top Predictor of Job Performance

The number one reason employers should use cognitive skills tests before hiring remote workers is simple: Over three decades of research has shown time and time again that cognitive aptitude is the single best predictor of overall job performance. It only makes sense that organizations that want to select highly-qualified remote employees would choose to rely on data-driven factors to make well-informed decisions.

  1. Verbal Reasoning is the Key to Success in Remote Positions

Although important in any situation, communication is a key factor to consider when hiring for remote roles. Taking this one step further, remote employees must have excellent verbal reasoning skills. These skills go beyond basic rote memory skills or simple thought processes. Verbal reasoning involves the ability to analyze information for details, form a possible theory, and explain or evaluate the outcome.

Simply put, remote employees need to be able to take high-level instructions and fill in any missing or incomplete information to understand and complete tasks on their own. Additionally, they must be able to communicate their work to others, act on communications and reports, and interpret textual data independently.

An individual’s level of verbal intelligence is predictive of the individual’s ability to solve ‘insight problems.’ Insight problems require individuals to view problems in a novel way to solve a problem. Those capable of solving insightful problems can solve complex problems quickly and effectively.

eSkill’s Verbal Reasoning Skills Tests assess how well candidates can think critically about a set of information, compare different written texts to each other, come to logical conclusions, and articulate relevant details and information to clients and colleagues.

  1. Cognitive Skills Enable Complex Problem Solving

Cognitive ability directly impacts what employees do, how they do it, and their ability to adapt to workplace changes. These skills are particularly important when employees are presented with new or difficult tasks, as cognitive skills help individuals create well-informed yet unique solutions on the fly.

A remote worker needs to be able to make informed and well-thought-out decisions about their work without conferring with colleagues. When issues arise, remote workers need to be able to research and develop solutions and implement them on their own. Advanced problem-solving skills are directly related to an individual’s ability to apply logic and reasoning.

Logic and reasoning skills increase cognitive capacity and expand individuals’ capability to find solutions to complex issues. Those with proficient logic and reasoning skills can understand complex instructions and excel in working independently because they do not need much guidance to complete tasks and projects assigned to them. The ability to figure things out by themselves is one of the most valuable traits in remote workers.

  1. Evaluate Attention to Detail, A Key Driver of Successful Remote Work

For most remote positions, attention to detail ranks very high on the scale of importance. Employees that exhibit exceptional attention to detail typically have very few mistakes in their work, as they are not satisfied with sub-par work. This level of attentiveness is particularly important for remote workers since they are not as accessible as the rest of the workforce and, therefore, not closely supervised. In general, the quality of the work attentive employees complete is much higher than employees who lack basic attention to detail.

At the most general level, attentive employees exhibit goal-oriented behavior in the face of multiple, competing distractions. The ideal candidates for remote work can manage distractions and remain focused on their work, as distractions are often a major pitfall for remote workers. This is the ability to sustain information-processing activities over time and in the face of distractions as a means of maintaining goal-directedness. The ability to maintain attention to a task despite processing multiple simultaneous targets enables individuals with a high level of attentiveness to complete projects without supervision.

Attention is important for many activities, including perception, voluntary recall, and the development of skill. An attentive person continuously works on improving their processes and workflow. They aim to be quicker, more efficient, and produce a higher quality of work. This is of special importance for remote workers, who oftentimes do not have established standard operating procedures and workflows.

  1. Cognitive Skills are Predictive of Training Performance

The role of cognitive skills tests is also pivotal in creating onboarding and training strategies. These skills tests address the loopholes that employers face in identifying training needs, high potential individuals, and fast learners. The results of numerous studies indicate that cognitive skills tests predict training proficiency with accuracy. Results of the research indicate that knowledge gained in training is significantly related to verbal comprehension ability, and general reasoning ability. With more knowledgeable and capable employees onboard, companies can enhance the overall productivity of the workplace. 

eSkill offers a variety of cognitive skills tests that are designed to simulate real, on-the-job tasks across a range of industries. These tests can easily be combined with any other skills test or administered as stand-alone tests. eSkill’s suite of cognitive skills tests includes the General Reasoning Ability Skills Test, Logical Thinking Skills Test, Numerical Reasoning Skills Test, Spatial Reasoning Skills Test, Verbal Reasoning Skills Test, and Attention to Detail Skills Test. The results of these tests are assigned a global percentile.

Years of research indicate that cognitive skills tests are the single best predictor of job performance and training success. eSkill’s user-friendly testing platform makes administering cognitive skills tests as stand-alone tests or in combination with comprehensive job-specific skills tests simple and effective.

Interested in Using Cognitive Skills Tests to Hire Remote Workers?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s cognitive skills tests, job-based skills tests, and single-subject technical knowledge tests to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

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