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Beyond Grey Pinstripes
The effect of adverse impact in selection practices on organizational diversity: a field study
Based on a sample of 154 organizations across Canada, we examined the influence of the use of different employee selection methods on workplace minority representation rates. Results indicated that usage of cognitive ability and personality testing significantly influences minority representation after controlling for other diversity management practices. In particular, cognitive ability testing appears to be associated with lower levels of minority group representation in organizations as a whole and in their management ranks; personality testing is associated with higher levels of minority representation in organizations. To advance our understanding of the organizational factors that influence minority group representation and the use of different selection practices, we also examined HR manager perceptions of test bias and the effects of employment equity (EEA) legislation on selection test usage. Results indicated that firms covered under employment equity legislation were less likely to use cognitive ability tests. Interestingly, HR managers reported that personality tests may be more biased against minorities than cognitive ability tests. Implications for research and practice are discussed.