Four fundamentals for inclusive assessment

Aug 12, 2021 | Selection & assessment

Amberjack shares advice on how to design an inclusive assessment and selection process.

Amberjack has always focused heavily on inclusivity and the optimisation of diversity, but has felt an increasing level of responsibility and accountability for supporting student employers in raising the bar further to confront what are very complex but hugely important issues. It’s evident why we should do it, but ‘how’ is sometimes what’s missing.

Here are four key fundamentals to designing inclusive assessment:


1. Design a selection process free from direct discrimination

Before you start to design your selection process, challenge the criteria of the role and understand where that’s coming from. Is it because you have the analysis to show what’s very predictive of successful performance or it is because that’s the way it’s always been done?

If you want to create change, it’s likely you’re going to have to change the criteria by which you’re bringing people into the business. We recommend thorough job analysis to understand the requirements of success in the role and to test against legitimate criteria.


2. Design selection tools that will not advantage one group over another

If you are basing design on your high achievers and it’s based on one demographic, it’s unlikely you’re going to get diversity of thought through your job analysis.

It’s critical to ask the business for the right representation. You may not necessarily need to speak directly to individuals in under-represented groups, but you can ask stakeholders if there are other ways to achieve the outcome. You can also work with a consultancy, such as Amberjack.

In terms of piloting or testing selection tools, if you have introduced a new exercise it important to test it on the different demographics you are hoping to bring in. You can use this data to see if adverse impact is present. If it is, then further analysis will be required to see whether this is from the whole tool or a particular question or criterion and determine what needs to change and when.


3. Monitor effectiveness

Even if you follow steps 1 and 2 perfectly, you will need to monitor the rates of selection for all groups to ensure that your process is selecting minority groups at the same rate as majority groups.

It is important to look at the whole process. Often people focus on final outcomes, but we need to look at who is getting those job offers as well as whether each stage (and each element of each stage) is selecting all candidates at an equivalent rate. This is referred to as adverse impact analysis and an area where support from specialists like Amberjack can really help. True inclusivity is usually the result of continual improvement and careful monitoring.


4. Raise the bar

Look at the selection rates for each minority group (Black applicants) rather than grouping them together (BAME) as different groups experience different outcomes and the selection rate of one can mask issues with another. Also, when using automated assessments, don’t use adjusted benchmarks to achieve equal selection rates, but look at each individual question to ensure that the selection rate is fair.

Download Optimising Diversity in Future Talent Recruitment at

This is an excerpt from the ISE Complete Guide to Student Recruitment and Development


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