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2023. július 3. Dr. Papp Gábor

The role of PractiWork®'s unbiased methodology in ensuring equal opportunity in workforce selection


The principle of equal opportunity often induces social debates. The principle itself is simple: every person should start in life and society with equal chances, meaning no one should be disadvantaged or discriminated against based on their origin, gender, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristic. This principle plays an important role in the selection of the workforce as well because the ultimate goal for an organization is to find and employ the workforce capable of delivering the best performance, regardless of other irrelevant factors related to the job.


Equal opportunity in selection.
How can equal opportunity be ensured in the selection process? Among the various existing methods, one such approach is the openness and advertisement of job positions. In the spirit of equal opportunity, employers should strive to make job opportunities accessible to as many people as possible. This may include publicly advertised positions, providing relevant information and requirements, and ensuring equal opportunities for applicants.
However, job openness alone is not sufficient, as there can still be distortions at various stages of the process. Therefore, it is particularly critical to ensure the objectivity of the employee selection process. Bias-free, transparent, and fair procedures help ensure that the most suitable applicants are selected. To ensure objectivity in the selection process, tools are needed that focus on the characteristics that have the strongest impact on performance.
A poorly defined measurement system can cause serious problems in terms of equality. When the measurement system is not appropriately designed or includes biased elements, it can negatively affect people's chances and result in discrimination. If the measurement tools do not reflect reality or do not measure areas that are actually relevant in the selection process, equal opportunity can be severely compromised.

Test for equal opportunities
The most obvious method for examining individual characteristics is testing. In psychological terms, a test is a standardized procedure aimed at obtaining a behavioral pattern from a specific area. The test refers to a process in which a sample is taken from an individual's optimal performance (e.g., through performance tests) or typical behavior (e.g., questionnaires that inquire about the individual's characteristic feelings, attitudes, interests, and reactions to situations).
It is crucial to examine the factors that determine performance during the selection process, which can be possessed by anyone regardless of demographic characteristics and can be specified for each job. Therefore, PractiWork® allows the measurement of more than 50 individual abilities, providing the opportunity for participants to showcase their potential.
During the development of the PractiWork® methodology, great emphasis was placed on its functioning as a standardized procedure. In a standardized procedure, everyone should be provided with equal conditions to the best of their abilities during data collection. Everything should be the same: the instructions, the environment, the response time, and the formulation of individual tasks, as any changes to these elements would influence test completion. A standardized procedure is an effective tool for ensuring equal opportunity.
The PractiWork® system not only presents tasks in a standardized manner but also has an evaluation algorithm to assess how the test taker can be characterized in a specific area. The standardization of the evaluation criteria is as important as standardizing the questions or test conditions because it ensures that a given response can always be interpreted in the same way and can be assigned the same value in terms of a particular ability, skill, or knowledge.
The methodology of PractiWork is based on both theoretical and practical foundations, ensuring that the system can objectively and effectively determine the most important characteristics of the test taker. Consequently, it provides a solution for ensuring equal opportunity in workforce selection. The applied standardized technology promotes objective decision-making, minimizes the possibility of discrimination, and contributes to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

Crocker, L., Algina, J. (2008). Introduction to classical and modern test theory. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Papp, G., Horváth, P.Á., Sinka, R. (2022). Training Disadvantaged People with the Support of Digital Measuring Tools. In: Väljataga, T., Laanpere, M. (eds) Shaping the Digital Transformation of the Education Ecosystem in Europe. EDEN 2022. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1639. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-20518-7_12
Schneider, W. J., & Newman, D. A. (2015). Intelligence is multidimensional: Theoretical review and implications of specific cognitive abilities. Human Resource Management Review, 25(1), 12-27.