About Talent Q
Talent Q is a psychometric test publishing company that was founded by Roger Holdsworth in 2006. Holdsworth is also the co-founder of SHL, another psychometric test company, and wanted to take a new approach to psychometric testing that could be used for a wider range of professions than the ones currently on offer.
In 2014, Talent Q was acquired by the HayGroup and the tests have since then been administered by Korn Ferry, a global consultancy company. It is particularly popular in the aviation industry, where the unique structure of the tests has been proven to reduce recruitment costs by assessing more skills and therefore, more accurately predicting high performers. Other companies that use Talent Q are: RBS, Citi Group, Volkswagen, and AstraZeneca.
How Are Talent Q Assessments Different?
When developing the Talent Q tests, they wanted to innovate psychometric testing by making it more insightful and suitable for a wider range of candidates. Their Dynamic Assessment Technology does this by making the tests adaptive - they respond to your ability level, increasing or decreasing the difficulty according to your answers. An adaptive test has many advantages over set question tests. It allows every candidate to find their maximum performance level, which gives employers a much more nuanced insight into their potential.
The Talent Q assessments are also "blended" assessments, which means that they test a mixture of skills on one assessment. This reduces the amount of time needed to assess someone as you only need to take one test, but more importantly, has been shown to improve the performance of candidates compared to separate ability tests.
Talent Q Assessment Categories
Talent Q consists of a range of assessments, which test personality, cognitive abilities, competencies, situational judgement, and motivations. They are broken down into different suites, which are designed to test different aspects of your skill set.
- Situational Judgement
The Aspects suite contains three kinds of ability tests: verbal, numerical, and checking. They are quick assessments, usually around 8-10 minutes long that are used as a screening tool to sift through early stages of recruitment.
This assessment measures your ability to quickly read and understand passages of text, and use this verbal information to come to the right conclusion. The verbal test includes 12 multiple choice questions which are all individually timed, so it is essential that you become familiar with working under timed conditions.
The numerical test will present you with data in the form of tables and will require you to accurately analyse and draw conclusions from this numerical information. The assessment consists of 12 multiple choice questions, which are individually timed.
A checking test is also known as an error checking test. These are designed to gauge how quickly and accurately you are able to identify errors in sets of data. The questions are often structured as two tables of information and you have to check them against each other and answer whether you think they match or not. In this test, there will be eight different tables of information, each containing five or six rows of data.
An Aspects Styles questionnaire is a type of behavioural test that quickly gauges how well you match the requirements of the job. Again, these are much quicker than the in-depth personality tests, and are often used during high volume hiring.
The Elements Suite is very similar to the Aspects, in that it tests verbal, numerical, and logical thinking abilities in shorter assessments. However, it is more often used for higher level recruitment such as managerial, executive, and graduate. There is a maximum of 15 minutes given for each assessment.
This is a verbal reasoning test, which is designed to determine your skills when it comes to processing written information. Typically, you will be presented with a passage of text and then a series of questions about the information. This shows how well you process and interpret information to reach the correct conclusion.
The numerical reasoning assessment is to test how well you analyse and understand numerical data. Usually, this will be in the form of graphs, charts, and diagrams, showing that you can identify key information and apply basic mathematical concepts.
Logical thinking is also known as abstract reasoning, which assesses your ability to process and analyse abstract information, making logical inferences to reach the answer. You will be asked to look at an incomplete set of shapes and symbols, then choose the missing image from the sequence. This shows your ability to extrapolate from incomplete data, follow logical thinking, and problem solve under pressure, which are all important skills for high level work.
A motivations test is an in-depth look at what drives you when it comes to your professional life, it shows what you value and what ignites your passion. This kind of test is becoming more popular with employers as they recognise employees that are properly motivated and stimulated by the work are much more productive.
The questionnaire is structured as statements about motivations around work and you are asked to rank each according to how important it is to you personally. The statements are blocked into groups of four and you should try to avoid giving multiple statements in each group the same rating - if you do, you will be asked to rank these against each other at the end. It takes about 30 minutes to complete this assessment.
The Dimensions test is a thorough personality test that takes around 25 minutes to complete and is usually encountered during the later stages of recruitment or as part of an employee development programme. There are three main categories of questions: People and Relationships, Drives and Emotions, and Projects and Tasks.
Like the Motivations assessment, the statements on the Dimensions questionnaire are structured as blocks of four statements, which you have to rank. The scale for this assessment asks you to rate each statement as 'completely untrue' to 'completely true' as to how it corresponds to your own behaviour. Once you have completed a block, you will not be able to return to it, however, there is no time limit for this questionnaire so you can take your time to consider each block carefully.
There are a number of reports that are generated by the Dimensions assessment:
- Trait profile - An overall report on your prominent personality traits.
- Behaviour at work profile - How you typically like to work.
- Team profile - How you work within a team setting.
- Sales profile - Your aptitude for sales related tasks.
- Role match profile - How well your Dimensions report matches to the desired qualities for specific roles.
- Derailment report - This report shows your potential stressors and what may cause you to not perform optimally.
- Potential report - An assessment of your potential for leadership roles.
Talent Q Situational Judgement Test
Situational judgement tests are designed to measure a range of aspects that are needed in order to be successful in a particular role. Employers like to use them as they can be closely matched to the company's values and role requirements, so they provide an accurate insight into whether someone will be a good cultural fit.
The test presents you with a number of work-place related situations and different responses to choose from. You have to choose which of these responses you think is the most effective for the situation, showing your organisational values, attitude, and preferred behavioural style. While it is important to be honest on these tests, as they are designed to help you find the right role for you, you should remember to keep the requirements of the role in mind.
Which Airlines Use Talent Q?
Talent Q Tests are particularly popular within aviation recruitment and they are used by some major airlines:
- Virgin Atlantic
They are primarily used in pilot recruitment as they cover a wide range of competencies that may not always be thought of as indicative of a successful pilot. Blended and adaptive tests can give a deeper look into someone's strengths and behaviour styles, but also pinpoint potential causes of stress and how they might respond to that stress. This is all very important for a high-responsibility job like a pilot and can help make sure that someone is in the right environment for them to thrive.
Top 5 Tips To Pass The Talent Q Assessment
1. Develop your skills
If you are taking an ability test then the most important thing to do is to practice as much as possible. There are some free practice assessments on the Korn Ferry website, which will help you understand the test format and expectations. Practice is especially important for the Talent Q Tests as they rely on both speed and accuracy, so developing both your technical abilities and how quickly you answer is vital.
2. Prepare your space
When it comes to taking your test(s), it is essential to make sure that you have an appropriate workspace to do so. Ensure that you are able to be uninterrupted for the full time needed for your assessments and remove any distractions. Also make sure that any equipment like your internet connection and calculator are working beforehand.
3. Respond honestly
Remember that personality tests have no right or wrong answers, so the best course of action is to consider each question carefully and answer as honestly as you can. They are designed to discover where you best fit and therefore, it is in your interest not to pretend to be someone else.
4. Pay attention to details
While you are under time pressure, it is still important to pay attention to the questions and read all of the instructions carefully to make sure that you have fully understood how to answer correctly.
Taking a test can be very nerve-wracking, and while some anxiety may give you an adrenaline boost that can help your performance, it is easy to become too nervous. Try to rest well, eat a good meal beforehand, and stay hydrated before and during.