Legal Trends: Employment Selection Systems – How Risky is Yours?

With a doctorate in I-O psychology, one side of me is a trained ‘talent selection system designer’. A big part of what we learn in grad school, and then apply in the real world, is the legal compliance side of testing.¬†There are a raft of regulations to consider (i.e. the EEOC¬†Uniform Guidelines and OFCCP compliance) to help companies avoid discrimination through testing. And I’ll tell you from experience, most companies are very concerned about keeping their legal risks low (they’d love them to be ‘nil’, which is difficult if not impossible) when planning a selection process or system to implement.

There are all kinds of things to take into consideration, and you can read up on prohibited practices if you are interested, but in the end the likelihood that you will get sued as an employer increases based on some predictable factors. To help you get an overview of whether or not your organization might be at higher risk, there is a new online calculator available.

Development Dimensions International (DDI) has developed a simple online ‘Instant Risk Profiler‘ to give you an idea of the factors that might impact your likelihood of experiencing a legal challenge to your selection system. The Profiler asks a series of questions, then assigns a score to each answer – gathering a cumulative total that appears on a ‘heat map’ graph ranging from low-risk green through yellow to high-risk red. It is designed to measure ‘situational risk’ in relationship to job analysis and validation rigor – all terms familiar to us I-Os.

As DDI states, “All selection systems involve legal risk, but some situations are riskier than others. The Profiler uses information about litigation and regulatory trends to forecast the legal risk for a particular organization and job type, and provides examples of the job analysis and validation activities needed to offset this risk.”

While the results are not a definitive legal opinion, you can use this calculator t0 get a quick overview – which might get you thinking about your selection processes and whether you have the right stuff in place.


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