SelectionLink conducted an Adverse Impact Case Study which included over 42,000 Pre-Employment Assessment Interviews conducted on applicants from a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to executive level. 

The results are astounding!

SelectionLink’s focus on candidate’s Natural Strengths/Talents has paid dividends in comparison to other companies who focus their pre-employment screening through using assessments such as skills or cognitive ability only. 

What Is Adverse Impact?

According to SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management), Adverse Impact occurs when a decision, practice or policy has a disproportionately negative effect on a protected group, even though the adverse impact may be unintentional. The EEOC guidelines and the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures define adverse impact as “a substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion or other employment decision which works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex or ethnic group. When adverse impact exists, an organization may be vulnerable to charges of discrimination.”

The agencies have adopted a rule under which they will generally consider any group’s selection rate that is less than four-fifths or 80 percent of the selection rate for the group with the highest selection rate as a substantially different rate of selection. This “4/5ths” or “80 percent” guideline is not intended as a legal definition but is a practical means of keeping the attention of the enforcement agencies on serious discrepancies in rates of hiring, promotion, and other selection decisions. 

Why is it important?

A few recent examples include: Ford Motor Company, Target Corporation, and Dollar General who had to pay $8.55 Million, $2.8 Million, and $6.0 Million respectively when the EEOC determined their pre-employment assessments were discriminating against a protected class. 

When you choose an assessment vendor, make sure they conduct annual Adverse Impact Studies! 

What did SelectionLink find?

Based upon the EEOC uniform guidelines, SelectionLink’s Pro-Select (conducted verbally) and Self-Select (conducted online) Assessments do not reveal any significant violations of the 4/5’s rule.  In most cases, SelectionLink’s Strength Based Assessments scored in the 90% to 100% range.  As seen in the data below, there was only one study in which SelectionLink’s Assessments were close to the 80% Ratio.  This was the case for “AGE” in their Self-Select (conducted online) Assessment which passed the guideline with an overall ratio of 80.2%. (see case study data below)

The Data – SelectionLink Adverse Impact Case Study

Pro-Select (verbal strengths based) Assessment Interview


Pro-Select ClassificationMale (n=173)Female (n=891)RatioPass/Fail
Not Recommended50.8%43.0%84.6%Pass
Conditional Recommended32.4%38.5%118.8%Pass
Mean Total Score36.0537.23103.3 %PASS


Pro-Select ClassificationNon-Minority (n=476)Minority (n=626)RatioPass/Fail
Not Recommended41.6%45.0%108.2%Pass
Conditional Recommended40.5%35.5%87.7%Pass
Mean Total Score37.2137.0699.6%PASS


Pro-Select ClassificationUnder 40 (n=850)Over 40 (n=242)RatioPass/Fail
Not Recommended43.3%45.0%103.9%Pass
Conditional Recommended37.5%37.6%100.3%Pass
Mean Total Score37.0937.11100.1%PASS

Self-Select (online strengths based) Assessment Interview


Self-Select Percentile ScoreMale (n=5,007)Female (n=35,517)RatioPass/Fail
50th or higher52.0%47.0%90.4%PASS


Self-Select Percentile ScoreNon-Minority (n=14,565)Minority (n=23,956)RatioPass/Fail
50th or higher46.4%48.9%105.4%PASS


Self-Select Percentile ScoreUnder 40 (n=25,000)Over 40 (n=6,006)RatioPass/Fail
50th or higher50.9%40.8%80.2%PASS


EEOC.GOV. Dollar General to Settle EEOC Class Race Discrimination Suit. November 18, 2019

SHRM.ORG. Avoiding Adverse Impact IN Employment Practices. June 18, 2020