The questions ask candidates to identify patterns and relationships in order to determine the correct answers. The questions are designed to estimate applicants’ potential in using mental processes required to solve work-related problems or to acquire new job knowledge.
Research has shown that high scores on these tests:
- Predict how successful candidates are in training.
- Effectiveness in making decisions on the job.
- Predict performance across jobs and organizations and have lower turnover as a result (Schmidt & Hunter, 1981).
- An indication of "fluid intelligence" which are most related to pattern recognition and deductive reasoning.
Further, the relationship between scores on tests that require problem solving and job performance is stable over time (Murphy, 1998) and predicts job success beyond other prerequisites, such as work experience and employment interviews (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998).
Our Plum Problem Solving Test is similar to other advanced testing methods in that they measure fluid abilities and do not require language or much by way of acquired knowledge to solve the problems on the test. The most comprehensive review of the validity of this type of employment test was conducted by Postlethwaite (2011) based on the results of dozens of studies and thousands of job candidates. This review showed that scores have a stronger statistical relationship to job performance than the typical job interview at a fraction of the cost. The questions Plum Problem Solving Test was developed by examining the tests used in these studies and constructing similar items.