Do Pre-Employment Tests Increase Your Exposure to Potential Lawsuits?

Kristen Harcourt Sep 30, 2014 6:30:00 AM

When you’re considering a behavioral assessment tool to improve your recruiting and employee retention results, one of the key areas you need to be aware of is ensuring the pre-employment test isn’t screening for gender or ethnicity just by the nature of its questions.

If it is, that could leave you open to potential law suits that could end up costing you millions of dollars.Pre-employment_Test_Lawsuit

This is particularly true in the US, where the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws prohibiting employment discrimination. An employer can be held liable even if the pre-employment test they use inadvertently exclude protected groups.

As an example, Ford Motor Company was the target of a class-action lawsuit in the US that claimed its pre-employment test discriminated against African-American applicants. The court agreed and it cost Ford $8.5 million.

One of the key questions you should ask when evaluating solutions is: “Is the assessment tool fair?”

Your talent assessment tool should provide an equal opportunity for all test-takers to demonstrate their potential fit for the vacant position. It shouldn’t screen out disproportionate numbers of a group of people by gender or ethnicity.

The assessment provider should have supporting documentation that states this explicitly in writing.

Be sure to ask for evidence that your potential assessment tool has been tested against bias in this area. The McQuaig System Technical Manual provides five pages of references to independent studies validating the system against this type of discrimination.

This is just one of the questions to ask when considering a talent assessment tool. You can read more in our eBook, 6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Talent Assessment Tool.

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at

Choosing a Behavioral Assessment Tool

Topics: Recruitment, Job Search

Kristen Harcourt

Written by Kristen Harcourt

Kristen Harcourt is a highly trusted, creative and collaborative advisor who is passionate about people. She really enjoys helping companies make the right people decisions to achieve long term productivity.