You want to make offers to the strongest possible candidates every time you have a job opening. Yet how can you make sure your recruitment processes are legally defensible? One way is by adhering to the Federal Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, particularly when it comes to your pre-employment assessments.
Unlike many government documents, the Uniform Guidelines are fairly easy to understand and are designed with the human resources practitioner in mind. Developed in the late 1970s, they provide the framework to ensure that your hiring practices are fair, unbiased, and able to stand up to legal scrutiny. In other words, they help you avoid a costly discrimination lawsuit by laying out a road map to successful recruitment that doesn’t put your organization in legal peril.
How serious can a violation of the Uniform Guidelines be? Ask one nationally known manufacturing company that ran afoul of fair hiring practices. A court ruled that the company had discriminated against BIPOC workers during pre-employment testing. In response, the employer was obligated to pay more than half a million dollars to the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit.
Another example of discriminatory testing happened at a sausage plant. Female candidates kept failing a strength test. After review, the courts decided the test was biased and unfair. The plaintiffs were awarded collective damages of $3.3 million.
In other words, it’s in your best interest to pay attention to the Uniform Guidelines. It’s equally important to remember some key points about the way they work, especially as they pertain to the development of pre-employment assessments.
1. You do not need technical knowledge to understand the Uniform Guidelines.
The Uniform Guidelines are straightforward. You don’t have to be a legal expert to apply them. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from getting assistance, particularly if you’ve been using a test that you developed in-house or found on the internet.
Working with a partner can be a huge asset when it comes to ensuring you’ve met all hiring compliance expectations under the Uniform Guidelines. Plus, you can put a second pair of eyes on any assessments you’re currently leveraging.
2. The Uniform Guidelines are inclusive, not exclusionary.
As you begin to look over the Uniform Guidelines, you’ll notice that they identify the traits that make up valid, legally defensible tests. They do not, however, tell you exactly how to put your tests together. In that way, they aren’t meant to tie your hands. Instead, think of them as parameters to keep your hiring practices compliant.
Ultimately, you are free to come up with the unique assessments you need based on your job analysis findings. Again, it’s incredibly helpful to work with a provider like Biddle Consulting Group to assist you in understanding how to measure test validity within the Uniform Guidelines.
3. The Uniform Guidelines are evergreen.
Although the Uniform Guidelines were written more than 40 years ago, they remain as intact and relevant as ever. You can feel comfortable that they’re just as suitable for your organization today as when your legacy enterprise started decades ago.
In other words, the Uniform Guidelines mean what they say and say what they mean. Don’t lose sight of the fact that if your pre-employment tests are challenged in court, the court will interpret the Uniform Guidelines verbatim. Consequently, you’ll put yourself in a better position if you do likewise.
You want your hiring process to go as quickly and efficiently as it can. Pre-employment testing is an excellent way to move the strongest candidates through your pipeline — but they need to stand up against the Uniform Guidelines to prevent you from paying the price(s) of noncompliance. Get in touch with us today to talk more about test validity and compliant employee selection procedures.