Adverse impact and test validation: Understanding risks and value
Employment tests and other selection procedures used to make employment decisions are often a controversial issue. On the one hand, tests and other selection procedures that are professionally developed and supported by research can affect organizational performance, and are usually legally defensible. On the other hand, tests that are not professionally developed or not supported by research and have adverse impact against members of protected groups can be mechanisms for systemic discrimination. When adverse impact is identified, the test user may be required to conduct validation research showing that the test is job-related.
Validation research is critical component to understanding the value and risk of selection procedures like tests, interviews, resume screens, and background checks. In addition to legal considerations, validation research can help inform on how confident organizations are that their selection decisions are good ones. For this reason it is a best practice for organizations to proactively validate their selection systems regardless of EEO context. In this session Dr. Paul White and Dr. Eric Dunleavy will blend expertise from Labor Economics and Industrial/Organizational Psychology to discuss the following:
- Contemporary best practices for selecting, using and validating various selection procedures, including employment tests;
- Approaches to measuring adverse impact;
- Strategies for considering reasonable alternatives; and
- Common EEO enforcement agency challenges to validation research.