Lectica First

We're disrupting recruitment.

Take a look at the recruitment process below. Although it has several familiar elements, it's likely to fundamentally differ from the process you're using today.

example of a recruitment process

About Lectica First

Lectica First rationalizes the recruitment process while developing the workforce.

It serves recruitment as a pre-screening toolkit for front-line to senior-level roles by measuring the strongest predictors of workplace performance. No other recruitment tools offer the predictive power of Lectica First and no other pre-screening tools even try.

It serves the workforce by providing every job applicant with information, resources, and activities to help them build critical workplace skills by learning optimally from everyday workplace experience.

Why mental skills?

There is no doubt about it. Research repeatedly shows that the best predictor of recruitment success is mental ability. This is true even though the tests traditionally used to measure mental ability are archaic multiple-choice tests with items that have little to do with the knowledge and skills required in the workplace. Alone, mental ability accounts for up to 42% of the variance in recruitment success, as shown in the following figure. Lectica First combines an assessment of real-world mental skills with Precise Role Fit, a measure of Logical Coherence, and a metric we don't advertise. Together, they knock conventional recruitment assessments out of the ballpark.

Lectica First metrics

Lectica First prerequisites include a General Role Complexity Analysis (usually not required for Lectica First Cut) and a Precise Role Complexity Analysis. These are required to determine Precise Role Fit, which is one of the metrics that makes Lectica First the most accurate, fair, and versatile recruitment toolkit in the world.

As shown in the table below, Lectica First assessments measure much more than conventional mental ability assessments. They measure four different dimensions of mental ability:

  • real-world mental complexity—Lectical Score,
  • the fit between Lectical Scores and the complexity level of the target role—Precise Role Fit Score,
  • the logical coherence of assessment responses—Logical Coherence Score, and
  • one additional ability that we do not advertise.

Lectical Assessments vs. aptitude tests

Dimension Lectica First Aptitude
Accuracy Statistical reliabilities in the .95–. 97 range make Lectical Scores accurate enough for high-stakes decision-­making. (Interpreting reliability statistics) Varies greatly. The best aptitude tests have levels of reliability in the .95 range. Many recruitment tests have much lower levels.
Time investment Lectical Assessments are not timed. They usually take from 45-90 minutes, depending on the individual test-taker. Varies greatly. For acceptable accuracy, tests must have many items and may take hours to administer.
Objectivity Lectical Scores are entirely objective. They are awarded by an electronic scoring system that is indifferent to the particular content present in performances. There are an infinite number of ways to earn a particular Lectical Score. Scores on multiple-choice tests are objective in the sense that responses are either right or wrong.
Fairness Our electronic scoring system, CLAS, does not discriminate by gender, ethnicity/race, or location. Also, because our assessments are delivered at the beginning of the recruitment process, every individual whose mental skills are a good match for the targeted role has a fair chance to move to the next level in the recruitment process. Today, the most sophisticated multiple-choice tests are designed to be fair. But many used in recruitment are not well-designed and are therefore more likely to be unfair to certain groups.
Role fit: complexity Lectica employs sophisticated developmental tools and technologies to efficiently determine the relationship between the complexity of role requirements and the mental skills required to meet those requirements. Lectica's approach is not directly comparable to other available approaches.
Role fit: relevance Role fit is a direct measure of what's most important—whether or not candidates' actual workplace mental skills are a good fit for a particular job. Aptitude tests measure people's ability to select correct answers to abstract problems. It is hoped that these answers will predict how good a candidate's workplace reasoning skills are likely to be.
Predictive validity Lectical Scores, on their own, predict workplace success (uncorrected R = .53**, R2 = .28), National Leadership Study. Lectica First adds Logical Coherence, Role Fit, and one additional unadvertised measure, each adding to Lectica First's predictive validity. The aptitude (IQ) tests used in published research predict advancement
(uncorrected R = .45 to .54, R2 = .20 to .29)
Cheating The written response format, combined with our proctoring tools, makes most cheating easy to spot. AI-generated responses are easily identified. Cheating is relatively easy, and rates can be quite high.
Formative value High. Lectica First assessments can be upgraded with reports, then used to support onboarding and inform employee development plans. All individuals who take a Lectical Assessment as part of a job application receive a report designed to support the development of their mental skills. None. Aptitude is seen as a fixed attribute, so there is no room for growth.
Continuous improvement Our assessments are developed with a 21st-century learning technology that allows us to continuously improve the predictive validity of Lectica First assessments. Conventional aptitude tests are built with a 20th-century technology that does not easily lend itself to continuous improvement.


Lectica First…

  • can be readily customized to fit an organization's sector and the level of the role to be filled,
  • allows employers to choose the number of candidates they'd like us to deliver,
  • can turn around results in as little as 48 hours, and
  • provides easily interpreted results.

As a non-profit focused on human development, we believe all applicants deserve an opportunity to develop the skills required for a meaningful and satisfying work life. That's why all individuals who apply for a role and produce scorable responses receive a free report designed to help them learn more effectively from everyday experience.


A certified Lectical Representative will support you throughout the recruitment process.


  1. We conduct a one-time General Role Complexity Analysis for your organization (usually not required for Lectica First Cut).
  2. With information you provide, we determine the Precise Role Complexity range and sweet-spot for that role.
  3. You tell us how many candidates you want us to deliver (minimum of 5).
  4. You provide custom images and text for our applicant information/landing page.
  5. You publicize the vacancy and ask potential applicants to submit their resumes for consideration.
  6. You then invite applicants to take the Lectica First assessment using our special URL.
  7. Once the application period ends, we score the responses to identify and deliver the most promising candidates.
  8. You undertake the next steps in your recruitment process.


  • Before beginning work, we must conduct a one-time General Role Complexity Analysis (usually not required for Lectica First Cut).
  • For each role, we also need to conduct a Precise Role Complexity Analysis. Once an analysis has been completed for a given role, there is no need to conduct that analysis again unless the role changes appreciably.
  • Sweet-spot analysis. Each time a role is filled, Lectica determines the ideal complexity level for the particular recruitment event. To determine this value, we examine several variables, such as company size, room for advancement, current team configuration, and onboarding requirements.
  • ESL candidates should have good English skills.


Using any assessment in selection involves high stakes—for individuals and institutions. It is essential to ensure that the assessments used in selection are appropriate for making high-stakes decisions. Lectica First products are designed to ensure valid and fair use. In addition to a Lectical Assessment, they involve: (1) a General Complexity Analysis (usually not required for Lectica First Cut), (2) a Precise Complexity Analysis, and (3) a Sweet-spot calculation. It is not acceptable to use Lectical Assessments in selection processes without these components, and only Lectica is authorized to offer these analyses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average per-candidate cost of a Lectica First assessment?

Lectica First assessments are used to test a pool of unscreened (outside of legal or non-negotiable screenings) applicants. Employers typically ask us to deliver the 5 highest-fitting candidates at an average per-candidate rate of $511.

When comparing our rates to your current recruitment costs, keep in mind that on the very first step of the Lectica First recruitment process, you will receive a small number of final candidates who have already been vetted for (1) mental complexity, (2) the relation between mental complexity and role requirements, (3) logical coherence, and (4) the mysterious unadvertised trait we mentioned above.

There are also knock-on benefits to consider. Lectical Assessment reports, available with an upgrade, can be used to identify candidates who are likely to learn more quickly than others. This is helpful in recruitment, workforce planning, and talent development or succession-planning contexts. Moreover, the reports from upgraded assessments are designed to help employees build skills for learning more efficiently from everyday workplace experiences. Skilled real-time learners are more engaged, need less formal training, and are more adaptable than people without this skill. You can't build a learning culture without them.

Finally, the General and Precise Role Complexity Analyses required for Lectica First provide a valuable scaffold for workforce planning.

Unlike conventional recruitment assessments, Lectical Assessments are designed to perform functions at every step in the human capital value chain. When you opt for Lectica First, you get far more than a recruitment assessment.

What is the average per-candidate cost of a Lectica First assessment?

It generally takes 45–90 minutes to complete a Lectical Assessment.

Are applicants willing to put in the time to complete a Lectical Assessment?

Our research suggests that 1/2 to 2/3 of the job seekers who initially apply for a role also begin a Lectical Assessment. On average, 72 out of 100 applicants who begin an assessment also complete that assessment.

Reluctance to take a Lectica First assessment clearly eliminates some applicants from consideration, but it may be an advantage for the employer. Less motivated applicants are less likely to make good employees.

What do applicants get out of the process?

There are several benefits for applicants.

  • Lectical Assessments are fair. They do not discriminate based on sex, ethnicity, or even first language.
  • Lectical Assessments give non-traditional candidates who might otherwise be overlooked a fair chance to compete with more conventional candidates.
  • Once an assessment has been taken, the applicant can use it to apply for other roles.
  • Lectica provides a complimentary formative report to all applicants who complete a scorable assessment.

What if we don't want to hire any of the delivered candidates?

If other high-quality applicants are available, Lectica will deliver additional candidates from the current batch at 50% of the original rate.

Can you handle high-volume recruitment?

Lectica First Cut (LFC) is a version of Lectica First that is used in high-volume recruitment.

LFC involves a 3-step process. First, we test a large pool of unscreened (outside of legal screenings) applicants, identifying the ten best-fitting candidates. At this step, we measure (1) mental complexity and (2) the relation between mental complexity and role requirements.

In the second step, the employer examines the resumes and references of these candidates, eliminates the less qualified candidates, then upgrades the Lectical Assessments of the remaining candidates. The upgrade provides scores for (3) logical coherence and (4) the mysterious additional score we don’t advertise.

An alternate, more sophisticated upgrade with an in-depth report is also available. It is principally used for higher-level roles or after a candidate has been hired.

What is the per-candidate rate for Lectica First Cut?

In step 1, the per-candidate rate averages $320. The average rate for the step 3 upgrade is $145 per final candidate. Rates vary by company size, work sector, and role.

What have you learned about the mental skills of Lectica First applicants?

We have found that, on average...

  • Twelve percent of applicants demonstrate mental skills that are in the Precise Role-Fit sweet-spot range.
  • Seven percent not only write responses that are in the sweet-spot range, but also receive a Logical Coherence score of 85 or above. This is our minimum standard.
  • Five percent of applicants score in the sweet-spot range and receive a logical coherence score of 90 or above. This is our gold standard.

What percentage of the candidates delivered by Lectica First and First Cut tend to be hired?

Lectica First Cut and Lectica First are designed to deliver enough high-fitting candidates to fill a single seat with confidence, but clients often decide to hire more than one candidate. There are even instances in which as many as 4 out of 5 Lectica First candidates have been hired.

What about cheating?

Lectica First assessments are taken online in secure sessions. Cheating is difficult for a number of reasons:

  • We employ a proctoring system and other tools for detectig plagiarism.
  • The assessments of all final candidates are reviewed by humans trained to detect plagiarism, open-book responses, and AI-written responses.
  • Test takers have no way of knowing what kind of performance would be appropriate for a given role.
  • Test takers do not know which scenarios they will be responding to.
  • We encourge employers to retest final candidates under observation prior to making a hire.

Additional readings

If you would like to know more about our approach to recruitment assessment, here are some articles you may find interesting.

Selected funders

IES (US Department of Education)

The Spencer Foundation


Dr. Sharon Solloway

The Simpson Foundation

The Leopold Foundation

Donor list

Selected clients

Glastonbury School District, CT

The Ross School

Rainbow Community School

The Study School

Long Trail School

The US Naval Academy

The City of Edmonton, Alberta

The US Federal Government

Advisory Board

Antonio Battro, MD, Ph.D., One Laptop Per Child

Marc Schwartz, Ph.D. and former high school teacher, University of Texas at Arlington

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., University of Southern California

Willis Overton, Ph.D., Temple University, Emeritus