During the first decade of this century, while working with a US Federal Government agency, Dr. Dawson developed a new approach to assessing the complexity and skill requirements of workplace roles and calibrating them to Lectica's developmental scale (the Lectical Scale). Today, we offer a suite of services that provide useful information about the complexity demands of roles within organizations. This information is used primarily to improve recruitment prediction, identify talent, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of change initiatives and leader development.
A number of factors contribute to the complexity level of a workplace role. One of them, illustrated below, is the number and nature of the stakeholders and stakeholder groups affected by the decisions made in a particular role.
Workforce planning: We can help you identify future requirements with a General Analysis (GRCA) of the complexity demands of proposed levels of work, or a Precise Analysis (PRCA) of a new position.
Recruitment: We can help you refine hiring decisions with a General Analysiss (GRCA) of your organizational hierarchy, a Precise Analysis (PRCA of the position to be filled, and a Lectical Assessment of each candidates' skills.
Onboarding: We can help you close gaps in a new hire's skills with a General Analysiss (GRCA) of your organizational hierarchy, the Precise Analysis (PRCA of the specific position, and a development plan based on the results of Lectical Assessments.
Learning and development: We aim to put an end to one-size-fits-all development programs by providing you with the information you need to customize learning—beginning with a General Analysiss (GRCA) of organizational roles and the diagnostics from Lectical Assessments.
Succession planning: We can help you identify and develop talent with a General Analysiss (GRCA) of organizational roles, comparisons of role complexity with employee performance on Lectical Assessments, and customized development plans based on the diagnostics from Lectical Assessments.
This table illustrates how role complexity ranges for successive layers in an idealized organization would change from layer to layer. It also serves as a definition for Lectica’s Work Levels. We do not mean to suggest that these ranges would be ideal in the real world, in which boundaries between layers are necessarily much fuzzier. Think of this as a simple way to represent a complex reality—and a way to show you how Lectica's work levels relate to complexity ranges.
|Lectica’s work levels||Lectical range||Role levels|
|L3 E6||1115–1135||upper level, highly skilled professional|
|L2 E5||1095–1115||mid-level, skilled professional|
|L1 E4||1075–1095||supervisory, professional|
|E3||1055–1075||highly skilled labor|
This table illustrates how role complexity ranges for successive layers in a real organization might look. Notice that the ranges are wider than in the idealized example, and the overlap from layer to layer is significant.
|Lectica’s work levels||Lectical range||Role levels|
|L3 E6||1120-1165||upper level, highly skilled professional|
|L2 E5||1100-1145||mid-level, skilled professional|
|L1 E4||1080-1125||supervisory, professional|
|E3||1060-1105||highly skilled labor|
The Precise Role Complexity Analysis range for most roles is around 15 points. This is the most common range we identify for individual roles. To interpret what this range means in practical terms, it helps to understand that it would take 4 to 6 years for an exceptionally effective learner performing in the 1150–1175 range and working in an organization that actively supports learning, to develop through 15 points on the Lectical Scale. At the other extreme, an individual who is not an effective learner and works in an organization that is not supportive of learning might not continue developing at all.
PRCA results are used to calculate role fit scores. A PRCA fit score of 90 or above is an indication of excellent role fit. The logical coherence of an individual's thinking, as demonstrated in their assessment responses, is an indication of growth potential. Scores of 90 and above indicate a strong likelihood of relatively rapid future growth. This can be especially important when rapid growth is desirable.
For a new hire, the “sweet spot” in a role-range is usually in the lower end. This is because:
Of course, exceptions can occur. For example, when an individual with a high score but low experience has been selected for fast-tracking, it may make sense for them to spend time in one or more lower-level roles before taking on a higher-level role.
Lectical Level is an indicator of mental skill as applied in workplace decision-making. Mental ability is by far the strongest predictor of hire success, with predictive validities of .29 to .49, depending on the analytical method employed.* (See the figure below).
Role Fit scores should add to this predictive power by ensuring that people are placed in roles that are just challenging enough to ensure high engagement. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using Lectical Scores and fit scores in recruitment.
First, single assessments are associated with measurement error. Someone can do well because they have cheated, or do badly because they are having a bad day. There is a risk that we will miss a great candidate or fail to identify a case of cheating.
Second, an assessment of mental ability should be used as a necessary but not sufficient criterion for making a hiring decision. You will still need to know about an individual’s experience, domain knowledge, specific job skills, etc. You will also need to get a sense of how well a candidate will fit in. If you think of good role fit as a precondition for consideration, you’ll be on the right track.
Third, a PRCA tells us how well the complexity of a candidate’s reasoning fits the complexity demands of a given role. It does not tell us anything about how well their skills will fit a particular team unless the mental skills of other team members and the team leader have also been assessed. It can be particularly important to know about the complexity level of a team leader’s mental skills. A mismatch between the complexity level of a leader’s skills and those of a direct report can have serious consequences.
*Schmidt, F. L., Oh, I.-S., & Shaffer, J. A. (2016). Working paper: The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 100 years of research findings. Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124(2), 262-274.