Blog article 5

On how quality and transparency can go hand in hand

Evidence-based work and scientific communication

Sophie Degrauwe

Our tests and tools are always based on scientific research. We keep our finger on the pulse by adopting an evidence-based approach. To this end, we have our own research group, which, on the basis of scientific analyses, makes professional judgments about the quality of the tests, gives advice on the measurement of job-relevant competencies or conducts studies on specific research questions from clients. In their actions, they apply the CEBMa (Center for Evidence-Based Management) model in practice:

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Figure. CEBMa’s model, decisions based on four sources.

  1. The insights and information we provide rely on years of expertise and experience. In doing so, the research department also enters into structural partnerships with universities, colleges and other research institutions. These collaborations revolve around numerous topics such as incorporating new intelligence tests (such as COVAT3), assessing language quality, keeping/​making the testing platform accessible. We also offer some of our tests for assessment by the Commissie Testaangelegenheden Nederland (COTAN) and are in the process of setting up a Belgian counterpart to that independent assessment committee.
  2. In addition, we actively consider the values and interests of our stakeholders, our customers. We try to communicate openly and honestly about our research, for example by publishing the test manuals and distribution statistics on those tests freely on the test platform. In addition, we are a reliable interlocutor when customers have substantive questions or needs, where we formulate concrete customized advice.
  3. To make this possible, we need authentic data. We get this from a our research database of anonymized results from our clients. We also engage directly with clients in developing concrete validity studies or answering concrete research questions, such as Is it possible to calculate norms specific to a particular job? In what way can we link personality traits at hiring to the probability of dropout or turnover after hiring, What do the score distributions of candidates for my company on the test battery used look like?
  4. Finally, we always base our research work on the scientific literature and (our own) empirical research results. Our researchers are up to date with the latest theoretical and technical developments within the field of Labor and Organization. We also regularly communicate about our research at scientific conferences at home and abroad. At these conferences, we not only focus on informing and learning about the state of the art in the scientific world, but we also actively seek feedback on our own operation and test instruments. An example of this is our almost annual attendance at the congress of the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences (BAPS). In 2022, we presented these three projects at the BAPS congress:

Our research psychologist discussed the use of adaptive intelligence tests within recruitment and selection. This test is taken from home by candidates of a large government organization in the Netherlands and consists of three parts: Letter Patterns, Word Relationships and Number Patterns. Research indicates that the test has good reliability and validity. Several precautions were also taken in the test to prevent fraud by candidates (when taking the test from home).

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Research psychologist Sophie elaborated on the development of the COVAT Space OL, a test around visual information processing. This test was developed in collaboration with Thomas More’s Psychodiagnostic Center (PDC). The test consists of two parts: Visualization (box folding part) and Rapid Rotation (twisted figures part). It is a reasoning test that can be used for home testing in a selection process.

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Research psychologist Evalyne talked about the development process followed in developing a new Situational Judgment Task (SJT) specifically aimed at a large Belgian government organization. In this SJT, the concepts of proactive personality” and personal sense of initiative” are measured to better estimate a person’s employability. To this end, our research department talked to a large number of experts within the organization itself and conducted an extensive validity study on a sample of more than 300 candidates from the test’s target group.

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