Understanding the Berke Demographic Survey

By Caroline Roberson on June 23, 2022

HighMatch has a long commitment to developing valid tests for assessing job-related abilities, skills, and traits. To ensure that our research approach adheres to the standards outlined in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP; EEOC, 1978), we constantly conduct assessment development and validation research which requires the collection of demographic data. The team collected and analyzed demographic data earlier in the test development process. Now that we are conducting another round of assessment development and updating work, we invite all test takers to voluntarily report their gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, and primary language.

screenshot of the demographic survey

All candidates are asked the questions shown above. Candidates can answer all, some, or none of the questions. Participation is not required and is not used by HighMatch for scoring or reporting.

Why is HighMatch collecting this data?

HighMatch collects this information to ensure the assessment is in compliance with non-discrimination laws and does not have an adverse impact on any particular race/ethnicity or gender. This data may also be used for academic research purposes to continually improve our assessment services. This information will remain confidential and will not be used for any purposes other than those stated above. All information collected is restricted to viewing by members of our Assessment Team at HighMatch.

To meet the standards outlined in the UGESP, it is essential to determine if the test is eliminating protected class members at a higher rate than candidates who are not members of a protected class. To measure this impact, it is necessary to collect information on candidates’ demographics at the time of application or testing. When done with this goal in mind, and when voluntary for the applicant, collecting these data points pre-hire is permissible.

What is HighMatch doing with the information?

The data collected are used to help determine if unlawful employment practices are being committed. Our Assessment Team will analyze the data to ensure that protected groups are not adversely impacted by our questions or scoring. The data collected will be used only as statistical summaries, and not to identify the person or business whose details were recorded in the questionnaire. Therefore, only the aggregate, non-identifiable information summarizing all applicants will be used by the research team. No individual employee information will be utilized.

Details on how/where we use such data or information (in accordance with the EEOC guidelines) can be obtained at the following URL: Section 4B, Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedure (1978); 43 FR 38295(August 25, 1978). Retrieved from http://uniformguidelines.com/uniformguidelines.html#16

  • Representativeness of the sample. Validation studies require that sample subjects should be representative of the candidates normally available in the relevant labor market for the job, including the race, sex, and ethnic composition. That is, the similarity of important applicant pool or sample characteristics needs to be investigated.
  • Sample description. In any validation study report, a detailed description of how the research sample was identified and selected should be included (essential in the Uniform Guidelines). The race, sex, and ethnic composition of the sample should be described (also essential in the Uniform Guidelines). Descriptions of educational levels, length of service, and age are also desirable.
  • Fairness evidence as part of the validation process. Validation studies often include a study of test fairness for each race, sex, and ethnic group, which requires that the statistical results need to be organized and presented by the total group and the relevant race, sex, and ethnic groups. When members of one race, sex, or ethnic group characteristically obtain lower scores on a selection procedure than members of another group, and the differences in scores are not reflected in differences in a measure of job performance, use of the selection procedure may unfairly deny opportunities to members of the group that obtains the lower scores.

How does it work?

This demographic information will be collected after the assessment and will be voluntary for the test takers. At the conclusion of the Berke assessment, candidates will be asked to provide their gender, age, education, ethnicity, and primary language. All questions are optional, and answers are diverse and inclusive. The candidates will be assured that answers they provide will not affect scoring in any way and collection and analysis of this data is done in accordance with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP; EEOC, 1978).

How will this affect my assessment process?

The demographics data will not be available for the employer to see. All procedures and reports will remain the same. Our preliminary analysis shows that the demographics questions add less than one minute to the assessment time. There will be no impact on an employee’s assessment if they choose not to answer any of these questions. The data collected do not affect scoring in any way.

Can my business opt out?

Yes. Please contact our Success team at support@highmatch.com to disable this feature.

Topics: using highmatch

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