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Adverse impact

Address Adverse Impact Effectively, Navigate Challenges and Optimize Outcomes.

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What is Adverse Impact?

Adverse impact refers to the unintended and discriminatory effects of a business policy or practice that disproportionately affects a protected group. In the context of Professional Service Automation (PSA), it can manifest in various forms, such as biased hiring practices, unfair resource allocation, or unequal opportunities for advancement.

This concept is crucial in human resource management, especially in hiring, promotions, and terminations, where it’s essential to ensure fair and unbiased decisions.

Importance of Understanding Adverse Impact

Understanding adverse impact is crucial for businesses, especially in the realm of PSA. It ensures compliance with legal standards, promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace, and enhances the overall efficiency and morale of the organization.

In PSA, where projects and resources are managed digitally, being aware of adverse impact helps in creating fair and unbiased systems.

Importance of Understanding Adverse Impact

Calculating Adverse Impact

To calculate the adverse impact, organizations use the Four-Fifths Rule, which states that the selection rate for any group (ethnic, gender, etc.) should not be less than 80% of the highest group’s rate.

For instance, if 50% of male applicants are hired and only 30% of female applicants, the impact ratio is 30/50 = 0.6. Since 0.6 is less than 0.8 (80%), it indicates a potential adverse impact against female applicants.


Selection Rate of Protected Group / Selection Rate of Highest Group < 0.80


If 50 out of 100 male applicants and 30 out of 100 female applicants are hired, the selection rates are 50% for males and 30% for females. The adverse impact ratio is 30/50 = 0.60, which is less than 0.80, indicating an adverse impact against female applicants.

Adverse Impact vs Other Related Concepts

Adverse impact is often confused with discrimination, but they are not the same. It differs from direct discrimination, which is a conscious decision to favor one group over another

Discrimination is intentional bias, while adverse impact is often unintentional. It’s also different from concepts like Project Cost Variance or Project Efficiency, which are more about project performance metrics in PSA.

Metric Definition Importance to PSA
Adverse Impact Measure of negative effects on operations Critical – Reflects system flaws
Utilization Rate Ratio of billable hours to total work hours Important – Indicates efficiency
Project Profitability Net profit from a project Significant – Direct financial impact
Customer Satisfaction Client contentment with services Vital – Affects retention & growth

Application of Adverse Impact in Professional Services

In PSA, adverse impact can be seen in various processes like hiring, project assignments, and promotions. For instance, a PSA tool might inadvertently favor certain employee profiles for project assignments, leading to unequal opportunities. Recognizing and addressing these issues is crucial for fair and efficient operations.

Tools like employee 360 software help monitor and manage these aspects to reduce unintentional biases.

Ready to Minimize Your Adverse Impact?

KEBS, a leading PSA software, offers tools and features that help organizations minimize adverse impact. Through unbiased resource management, transparent project management, and equitable employee performance evaluations, KEBS ensures a level playing field for all employees.

Additionally, features like timesheet management and employee exit management are designed to be fair and objective, further reducing the risk of adverse impact. For a more in-depth understanding of PSA and its impact on project management, KEBS offers a comprehensive eBook on the subject.

KEBS HR Dashboard

And for a deeper understanding of how KEBS can help manage adverse impact in your organization, contact us for more information or request a demo to see the software in action.

Key metrics.

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