Thoughts of Employment Testing and Liability

Recently, Yaron Brook published interesting commentary about the Aunt Becky college admissions scandal.  He shared an anecdote about a conversation with company executives about why they don’t test job candidates in order to qualify them for employment.

Here is Brook’s video clip:

I think that his observations missed an important issue related to liability for equal employment practices.

Qualification testing for employment had previously been common, but it was destroyed by federal employment law in that a test created a burden upon the employer to demonstrate that it was racially neutral. Thus a requirement of a college degree became a racially neutral standard for protecting hiring practices from lawsuits. Subsequent court rulings have weakened that federal bias against employment tests, but HR departments that are more about legal compliance are not adapting to new opportunities.

Where are we today? Companies want third-party certification to qualify candidates for employment. This has been growing in IT and with the PMP. More is needed but employers still need to be hands-off about the development of these certifications to avoid potential liability.

In my experience, these third-party certifications are flawed in that there are still people without the ability that accumulate credentials and people with ability who are too busy working to accumulate credentials.

Federal laws and regulations related to equal employment policy need to be modernized [segregration ended more than 50 years ago] in order to allow HR compliance departments to become the leads in identifying the talent that is needed by today’s companies.

This entry was posted in Congress, Economics, Political Discussions, The Courts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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