This test assesses the ability to solve mathematical problems using simple operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication), by manipulating tens.
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When you begin filling an open position with your company, you take several steps to ensure that you choose the right person. You form a detailed job listing so that the right people will apply.
You carefully look over resumes to ensure that the applicants meet your minimum requirements. You interview your top candidates and ask them questions designed to reveal whether they are qualified for the position and whether they will be a good fit in your company’s culture.
But are you assessing your candidates’ basic skills with cognitive tests such as a basic mathematics test for hiring? These tests are designed to give you solid data about which candidates are the best fit for your position and eliminate the subjectivity of resumes and interviews.
Research shows that 78% of resumes have statements interspersed just to make the candidates appear perfect for the position. And interview answers are often practiced and polished to give the best impression possible.
An applicant can look fabulous on paper and talk a good game but not possess the basic skills needed for the job. On the other hand, an exemplary candidate can let nerves get to them and botch an interview, causing you to pass on the employee who could have brought your company to new levels.
Take the risk and guesswork out of the hiring process by implementing pre-employment cognitive testing, including a basic mathematics test.
Pre-employment assessments are typically multiple-choice tests that take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete. While they are usually not overly challenging, they give employers a feel for the abilities of a potential candidate.
Resumes and interviews don’t give an employer an in-depth look into the skills of future employees. They depend on the applicant's honesty and the ability to assess their skills realistically.
Education and employment history can give a little bit deeper look into a candidate’s qualifications, but even training and a history of working in a field don’t necessarily mean that the candidate excelled or that they would excel in your specific position.
If you need to make sure your new hire possesses a certain degree of math skills, a basic mathematics test for hiring may be the best way to gain an accurate picture of the candidate’s skills.
Frank L. Schmidt’s 2002 study demonstrated that cognitive ability testing was the most accurate predictor of job performance when used in connection with other techniques.
Schmidt’s study also showed cognitive testing as the most cost-effective way to hire employees. These tests weed out the unqualified applicants before you put the time and effort into interviewing them.
A basic mathematics test for hiring allows you to assess a prospective candidate’s actual math skills, whether with simple operations like addition and subtraction or more advanced like spatial reasoning.
Pre-employment math aptitude tests are just one type of cognitive ability test that can be delivered to candidates during the screening phase of the recruitment process as part of a comprehensive skills assessment.
These tests streamline the hiring process by bringing the candidates with the most potential for your position to the forefront. You’ll spend less time interviewing candidates only to find out that they’re not an ideal fit. Furthermore, you’ll reduce the risk of hiring and training employees only to find out that their math skills aren’t advanced enough for their position.
Pre-employment tests raise your chance of hiring a highly productive candidate who is a good fit for your company. Employees who fit well in your business are more likely to stay, reducing your turnover and training costs.
While a great variety of positions require basic math skills, several positions emphasize mathematical abilities. These roles include:
A basic mathematics test for hiring gives you the raw information on prospective employees’ skills. You can use that information in many different ways in the hiring process.
Once your prospective employees have taken their basic mathematics tests and you have the results, it’s up to you how you use the information.
You can look specifically at the applicants whose resumes you were impressed with and see how they rank against each other, choosing the more highly skilled candidates to invite for interviews.
Or you can look at the scores before the resumes and use those scores to determine which candidates’ resumes to look at. You can look more closely at the top percentage of applicants or all those who scored over a certain level. Either way saves you the time you’d otherwise spend reading over resumes for candidates who don’t have the necessary mathematical skills for the position.
Maybe you’ve got a brand new graduate among your applicant pool, and while your position could be a good fit for a first job out of college, without an employment history, you don’t have any way to assess their abilities truly.
That’s where the pre-employment tests come in. If that new graduate scores exceptionally high on the assessment, you may have just discovered a brand-new talent you could otherwise have overlooked. Getting that kind of potential into your company can be hugely beneficial, but it’s difficult to discover from resumes and interviews alone.
The specific math skills required for a job will be as unique as the position itself. A basic mathematics test for hiring can be as simple as addition and subtraction if the position only requires basic math skills. When the job requires more advanced math, the test can also reflect that.
A mathematics test should be customized to the level of math skills required for the individual position.
A basic mathematics test may test the candidate’s ability to do simple calculations, such as adding, subtracting, calculating time, or counting change. This level of the test may be given for positions such as cashiers or sales representatives, who must be able to perform simple calculations in their heads quickly.
A slightly higher level test can assess a candidate’s skill with solving math problems involving decimals, percentages, fractions, and ratios. Successfully solving these problems demonstrates that the candidate understands how to manipulate numbers to reach a solution.
These skills are handy for more advanced problem-solving, such as determining return on investment, projecting growth, and calculating salaries, and may be necessary for roles that require decision-making based on facts and figures.
Actual problems featured in basic tests may include such multiple-choice questions as:
Although the basic mathematics tests may not be challenging, the time limits on the test push candidates to problem-solve quickly, just as they may need to in an on-the-job scenario.
Some positions may require a higher degree of math skills, and there are tests for those also. These types of tests are ideal for STEM-related careers.
Maybe your company or position would be better served with a spatial reasoning test to evaluate a candidate’s reasoning and understanding of the spatial relationships between objects and space. Such tests may include manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects in their minds, including mental folding, rotation, and spatial visualization.
Or maybe a numerical reasoning test is the best fit for your company. This test assesses a candidate’s ability to use and interpret numbers in various applications, including arithmetic operations, manipulation of data, and interpretations of numerical patterns, charts, and tables.
The best part of setting up a pre-employment test with Maki is that the tests are completely customizable to your company. Whatever math level your position requires, you can choose the tests that will give you the confidence you need that your future employee possesses those skills.
If you’re in charge of deciding between two candidates with similar employment histories, how do you make that choice? All things being equal, what is the factor that influences the decision?
It’s likely unconscious bias – how much you connect with one candidate versus the other. And while this isn’t wrong, it’s not always the best way to choose a future employee.
One of the greatest benefits of pre-employment tests is removing any bias from the decision-making process.
You may believe that you and your hiring team are not biased against any specific group or demographic, and you may be correct in that belief. That does not, however, eliminate unconscious bias.
It is natural for humans to be drawn to people who are like them, and those people may be looked on more favorably during the hiring process, even if they aren’t the most qualified individuals for the position.
These unconscious biases can be from something as small as sharing a name to something as significant as having worked at the same company in the past.
As beneficial and natural as it is for humans to connect with each other in the workplace, you don’t want a less favorable candidate to be hired just because they grew up in the same city or graduated from the same college as a member of your hiring team.
Furthermore, research shows that women experience more exclusion from STEM roles. A basic mathematics test for hiring will fairly evaluate your candidates, regardless of gender, race, or education and employment history, whether this is a conscious or unconscious bias.
While math skills are crucial for your company, be sure to consider other skills that will make your new employee shine as a valuable part of your company. Your customized pre-employment assessment can also discover your candidates’ leadership and teamwork abilities, ambition, analytic thinking, stress resilience, attention to detail, and more.
If the position you are recruiting for requires math skill, it is likely to be highly affected by errors.
At the most basic level, errors can cost your company money if employees are giving out the wrong change. At more critical levels, accounting errors can mean your taxes are submitted incorrectly, or you don’t have funding budgeted for a crucial need, or a construction project is not engineered correctly and must be redesigned.
These errors cost you money and time, and the fewer of them made, the more efficiently your business can run.
Minimizing these costly errors begins at the most basic level – the mathematical abilities of the people you hire.
If you’re ready to make your hiring decisions based on skills rather than schooling and demonstrated abilities rather than personal connections, setting up a basic mathematics test for hiring may be the way to go. With Maki, you can do more than just a mathematics test; you can create a custom assessment from more than 150 tests.
Setting up your custom assessment with Maki only takes minutes. You define the job you are recruiting for, select the tests, and customize the questions. Add the test link to your job description or send invitations to candidates through relevant channels.
Review applicants’ test results compared to each other and the entire Maki database to get the best idea of your prospective employees’ actual math skills. Make hiring the right people easy.