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EEOC Compliant Pre employment Testing

Pre-employment assessment test is a great way for employers to surface the top applicants for a particular job opening. Smart employers ensure that their hiring practices are not just data-driven, but also valid and legally defensible.

But first, let make you understand what is EEOC and the guidelines to implement EEOC compliant assessment.

What is EEOC?

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, also known as EEOC, is a US-based federal agency that investigates all forms of workplace discrimination. Setup in 1965, the EEOC acts as a watchdog to prevent intentional and accidental bias in the workplace. In other words, the main objective of the EEOC is to ensure that employment selection practices remain effective. Specifically, to ensure that there is no discrimination in hiring decisions.

EEOC compliance is a must for all private and federal employers based out of the USA with over 15 employees.

EEOC Fact Sheet and Best Practices For Employers

The EEOC issued a comprehensive factsheet in 2007 on guidelines for employers while implementing the Pre-employment assessment test. We’ve listed down the best practices highlighted by EEOC.

EEOC Fact sheet for Pre-employment Assessment Tests
  • Firstly, employers should administer tests without considering the applicant’s race, gender, nationality, religion, age (40 or older), or disability.
  • Secondly, there should be clear alignment between the Pre-employment assessment tests and the job positions. In other words, the test or selection procedure must be job-related. Results must be appropriate for the employer’s purpose. 
  • The employer is responsible for ensuring that its tests are valid under the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures under Title VII.
  • If a selection procedure screens out a protected group, the employer should determine whether there is an equally effective alternative selection procedure that has a less adverse impact and, if so, should adopt the alternative procedure.
  • Employers must keep abreast of changes in job requirements. They should update the test specifications or selection procedures accordingly.

    To gain an in-depth understanding, check out the detailed EEOC guidelines for employment tests.

Designing Compliant Pre-employment Assessment Test?

The EEOC federal agency is cognizant of the fact that organizations may be using online assessment tests as part of the selection process. These may include :

EEOC Complaint Pre-employment Assessment tests

The EEOC federal agency is cognizant of the fact that organizations may be using different types of pre-employment tests as part of the selection process. However, the EEOC mandates that every organization implementing a screening test must follow the best practices. 

The employer must address 2 aspects – disparate impact and disparate treatment. Let’s understand both these terms in detail.

Disparate treatment refers to discriminating against applicants on the basis of race, color, gender, nationality, or age. Let us look at 2 actions that can be considered disparate treatment :
1. Companies using different screening tests for different individuals.
2. Companies using different cut-offs for different groups of individuals applying for the same role.

Disparate Impact is more complex in nature. Disparate Impact typically occurs while using non-job-specific tests. A test is said to have a disparate impact if a disproportionate number of individuals belonging to a particular class are screened out. 

For example – certain employers use personality tests. They prefer to select applicants matching a personality type. In such a case, if a disproportionate number of minorities get screened out, it is labeled disparate impact.

However, it often requires deep statistical analysis to gain a true understanding

How to Implementing EEOC Compliant Pre-employment Assessment?

In order to stay EEOC compliant, both the Pre-employment assessment test and the organization administering it must work together. Staying compliant involves ensuring a bias-free recruitment process which starts from test creation to shortlisting and interviewing.

Test Creation

As a rule, a pre-hire assessment or a job test must reflect the skills needed on the job. The test must avoid topics or skills that are unrelated to the job role. To understand this in detail, let’s take the case of a Junior Accountant. The Pre-employment assessment testing questionnaire can include topics such as MS Excel and the use of accounting software like QuickBooks. However, this test must not include topics such as marketing or supply chain operations which are unrelated to an accountant’s job.

Test Usage

Optimal test usage is critical. Companies must use pre-hire tests on each and every candidate. Simply put, selectively usage of tests is a big NO. Only then can it be in order for the test to be bias-free. There must not be selective usage of the test based on age, race, gender, or nationality.

Shortlisting Criteria

EEOC mandates that the shortlisting process is bias-free. Recruiters must have clear parameters to shortlist and screen out applicants.

The company need not hire the applicant with the highest score. If the recruiters shortlist an applicant with a score of X, they must also shortlist all other applicants with a score that is equal to or greater than X.

Similarly, if recruiters reject a candidate scoring greater than X, it must be backed by strong reasons.

Book your walkthrough of the EEOC Compliant Pre-employment Assessment Tool

In conclusion, we’d like to say that Pre-employment assessment testing is an effective tool for employee selection. After all, by using validated tests, employers like you can reduce any legal risk. More specifically, the risk arising under the disparate impact theory.

Book a walkthrough with Xobin to understand more about setting up EEOC compliant pre-employment tests.