What is an assessment centre?
If you have ever had to go somewhere to participate in an assessment centre, you may understandably think the term “assessment centre” refers to a physical location. Actually, it doesn’t. An assessment centre is a collection of tests and exercises (typically including personality, aptitude, work sample, and possibly a competency based interview) designed and used together to gain insight into your abilities or development potential.
Increasingly used to assess people either as part of the recruitment process or for internal development and promotion, assessment centres are designed to simulate different aspects of the work environment to observe how closely your behaviours match those required for the role.
The assessment centres conducted through HRMC are virtual and internet based. Depending on the level of work you are being assessed for, the assessment centre can last between 2 and 7 hours.
The value and purpose of an assessment center
- Informed Decision Making
Many people approach the assessment centre with alarm and apprehension, but there is really nothing to lose with the process because whether you get the job you are being assessed for or not, the feedback you get from the assessment centre is a very valuable indicator of your strengths and development areas, so you know immediately what areas you need to build on to improve your delivery.
For the employer, the feedback gives you an appraisal of the level and quality of competencies your candidates have, which enables you to develop targeted remedial interventions that would boost productivity.
Thanks to the variety and rigor of the activities involved, an assessment centre enhances the objectivity of the decision making process, particularly when compared to the other selection methods used.
- Performance in action
Because different scenarios typical to the role are simulated to see how the candidate interacts, influences, communicates, negotiates, problem solves and works effectively with others, assessment centres enable decision makers to see how a candidate would probably perform in a real life situation.
- Cost advantages
There is a perception that assessment centres are costly, but going this route is often more cost effective when compared to a disparate and drawn out recruitment process, and more importantly, the higher costs that an employer could potentially bear due to poor recruitment decisions and errors made without the benefit of an assessment centre. The specialized support from the consultants attending will ensure that the quality of the assessment feedback enables you as the employer to make informed decisions that suit your requirements.
The assessment centre is fair because measurement evidence and evaluation is thorough, normed against a broad curve of candidates, and recorded. This is more robust than with a single interview, where notes may be more subjective, and, if indeed, they are fully recorded.
- Reciprocal experience
The assessment centre experience is thorough, transparent and it also gives the candidates a true insight into the requirements of the job.