When you’re looking for candidates, you’re often hit with a wave of information on every bit of their background. You’ll get everything from their work history and skill set to their volunteer experience and GPA. It can be difficult to suss out what really makes a candidate the right fit for a role. Whether you realize it or not, strong math skills are a piece of that qualification puzzle.

Flashback to your freshman math class. While learning the quadratic formula and how to graph linear equations, you can’t seem to the help that nagging thought.. When am I going to use this in the real world? While you aren’t likely to ever use the Unit Circle during a board meeting, strong math skills are important in the workplace. And not just for accountants and engineers.

Workplace numeracy is about more than just being able to figure out what time two trains will meet when traveling at different speeds. There are three key hidden abilities that strong math skills can predict. So that’s at least three key reasons why you should evaluate a candidate’s mathematical capabilities before hiring them.

1. Problem-Solving Abilities

Solving a math problem uses skills far beyond math itself. To correctly answer the question, you first need to understand the goal of the question. Then you have to correctly apply information to solve the problem. Having strong math skills means that at a fundamental level, a candidate can find solutions to problems in the workplace.

2. Data Digestion

In a world shaped by the rise of Big Data, employees are more valuable when they can interpret and apply data to improve performance. At an even more basic level, employees with more robust math skills will be better equipped to understand company goals and metrics. Candidates who have stronger math skills will be able to both understand your business objectives and understand what it will take to stay on target.

3. Critical Thinking Skills

There are five main pieces that make up critical thinking, and first and foremost of these is analytical ability. Candidates with strong analytical tendencies will be able to examine and apply new information to solve problems, while also understanding the impact these solutions have. One of the best ways to gain insight into a candidate’s analytical skills (and overall critical thinking abilities) is to test their math skills. We developed JobFlare to accurately assess the main components of a candidate’s cognitive aptitude (the strongest predictor of job success) in a fast and fun way. We created Weigh Station, a game that puts a candidate’s mental math skills to the test.

To build a strong workforce, you’re going to want your staff to have these three key skills. Regardless of their role or you industry, strong math skills form a solid foundation for high-level thinking. They’re also indicative of a person’s overall cognitive ability. Don’t overlook your next hire’s mathematical prowess. Evaluate their skills with a cognitive assessment and build a dream team of great thinkers and problem solvers.