Go Beyond IQ Test Scores for Long-Term Success

Is IQ testing the best way to assess employees? There’s a time and a place to look beyond IQ testing to effectively asses your employees. An article from the Chief Learning Officer website suggests that high test scores may not point to the best, highest performing candidates. Author Ladan Nikravan notes that although there is a link between high IQ scores and job performance, it’s not the only signifier.

Using IQ test scores to identify the best candidate for a job creates an even wider gap between high- and low-scoring students. These scores do not necessarily identify top-performing candidates. There are numerous other indicators that an employee can have long-term success within an organization. What’s the missing link here?

The link between IQ and high performance might be explained by the greater range of developmental resources and thus career prospects given to those with high scores, according to “Why Do IQ Scores Predict Job Performance?”, a study published by the Netherlands’ Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

The study provides information that supports the notion that IQ testing for employees outside of the United States and Western Europe may not be the most useful predictors of job performance. When taking into account the resources that are available to candidates, there’s a wide array of resources that aren’t taken into consideration outside the Western world.

Research linking IQ to high performance is more prominent in North America and Western Europe. In these areas, intelligence and access to resources are tied. In Eastern and Middle Eastern Asian countries, those resources Western countries have deemed critical for success are often nonexistent.

In some countries, children are IQ-tested at early ages. If they score well, they are set on a college-preparatory course and will have access to universities and masters programs. However, scoring poorly means that the child’s life is set on a different path that does not offer access to the same resources. In some Asian countries, IQ tests are not associated with long-term job performance. “We think these results can be explained by recognizing that the association between IQ and performance is something that societies help create by how they allocate opportunities,” Will Felps, co-author of the study noted.

The real question here is to what extent is the performance of high-IQ individuals a result of cognitive ability and to what extent is it a result of the resources available to them? Darleen DeRosa, a managing partner of OnPoint Consulting and author of Virtual Team Success, says that smart hiring and promoting goes beyond static test scores.

“A best practice method to hiring is using multiple pieces of data when selecting employees. You must interview the person, use personality tests and check their references,” DeRosa said. “Using multiple pieces of data rather than simply IQ test results will give a company much better confidence and validity in terms of predicting performance and future potential.”

IQ test scores cannot provide evidence that a candidate will have the personal background that your organization needs. Nor can these scores guarantee that a candidate will match your organization’s culture. These things are crucial to the overall success of not only the employee, but the organization as well. There are many other things to look for when considering a candidate than just test scores. To learn more about how to effectively utilize test scores when hiring a new employee, click here for the full article.

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