5 Reasons You Should Incorporate Assessment Centre Into Your Hiring Process

In the past, assessment centre methodology was barely acknowledged as a tool for use in the recruitment process. Hiring managers were content with merely conducting candidate interviews before making hiring decisions. In many instances, organisations would simply have job seekers take a generic, non-function-specific test before going through an interview process to determine who passed or failed.

Even though Assessment Centres first came on the recruitment scene in 1930 during World War II, when it was used by a German psychologist to select and assess military officers for promotion. It wasn’t until 1950 before businesses started using the assessment centre as an influential tool in the hiring of staff.

However, as the business environment evolved and the demand for employee excellence increased, there rose a clamouring call for the need to establish a more thorough recruitment process – one that could ensure that only talents who were equipped to tackle the challenges of the business successfully were hired.

Asides from the high cost of hiring wrongly the brand/reputation/culture-damaging impact of having the wrong employees and having to recruit over and over again for the same role further intensified the need for a better approach to hiring. 

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So What is an Assessment Centre?

An assessment centre is neither a place/location as the name seems to suggest; nor is it a single process.

Instead, an assessment centre refers to a series of exercises designed to help an organisation objectively identify and evaluate a wide range of competencies to support a variety of employment decisions, e.g., employee selection, professional development, promotion, outplacement, succession planning etc. 

Employee life cycle

In essence, an assessment centre is an impartial method of gauging an individual’s capability to perform a job function. 

By gathering and evaluating relevant information under standardised conditions, assessment centre exercises allow organisations to assess aptitude, performance, and development potential via a combination of objective selection techniques.

Not only are assessment centres the most potent and valid approach for selecting and recruiting the right employees; they are also the most effective and efficient method for on-going employee management and development.

Types of Assessment Centres

In selecting the assessment exercise that is most relevant to what you want to assess, it is advisable that you have answers to the following questions;

  • What competencies will be measured? 
  • How will the identified competencies be measured?
  • What level/cadre would be assessed?
  • What industry/organisation/function-specific setting will be addressed?

At Workforce Group, our assessment exercises cover a wide range of realistic business scenarios across a variety of industry sectors and business functions. We clearly understand the importance and benefits of having assessment exercises that closely reflect your organization-specific challenges and environment, and can further customise our off-the-shelf exercises for your particular business context.

For an assessment centre exercise to help the organisation achieve its purpose of having the right people in the right roles, then three key elements must be present – the “Assessment -Ables”.

These are: 

  • Predictability – An assessment centre exercise should help an organisation predict which candidates will excel in the respective roles for which they are being/have been selected.
  • Repeatability – It should be standardised and reusable over and over again with accurate results
  • Scalability – It should leverage technology which enables the deployment of solutions for multiple candidates – up to thousands at a time.

our assessment centre solutions

Types of Assessment Centres

The assessment centre solution is made up of varied techniques, tools, methodologies and frameworks but amidst all these variations, assessment centres can be categorised into two distinct entities based on the level/cadre of the Talent being assessed;

Graduate Assessment Centre

This is used by many leading organisations that are looking to build their human capital strength through the graduate trainee programmes. The candidates here are usually entry-level and have little to no prior work experience.

Because these are the potential future workforce of the organisation, more emphasis is placed on the identification and evaluation of the unique skills, personalities, intelligence level and competencies of the various candidates. So that at the end of the recruitment process exercise, only the best Top Talents will successfully join the graduate trainee programme. 

Management Assessment Centre

The management assessment centre has a far more diverse role to play in the employee lifecycle. From evaluating experienced hires who are looking to take up advanced roles in an organisation, to helping an organisation determine its bench strength and ensuring the right people get promoted to assume more responsibilities.

Here, the assessment centre tests focus on more strategic skills – leadership, decision making, problem-solving, among others. The primary aim of the management assessment centre is to identify and ensure that the critical competencies needed for success in the new roles are effectively and efficiently demonstrated by the assessed candidate/s.

5 Benefits of Incorporating Assessment Centre in Your Hiring Process

Identify the Best Candidate for Each Role

Assessment centre involves a wide variety of tests and exercises that provide insight into the knowledge, skills, and behaviour of potential hire or current employee and how you can match these attributes with the qualities and competencies required for the job function. Depending on interviews alone wouldn’t give an objective and thorough evaluation of a candidate’s suitability for a role.

Reduce Employee Turnover

Data from Harvard Business Review reveals that wrong hiring decisions cause 80 % of high employee turnover. Simply put, the higher the number of erroneous hiring decisions made, the greater the employee turnover rate and the more the loss recorded in terms of revenue, opportunity and institutional knowledge.

When an employer makes hiring mistakes, they either have to fire the wrong hire due to incompetence or the employee leaves because he is dissatisfied. This compels organisations to keep hiring for the role, especially when it is a critical role until they have the right candidate on board. 

This process is not only expensive and time-consuming but also significantly reduces productivity. All of these affect the overall ability of the organisation to achieve its goals and objectives, and assessment centres are just the right solution to this problem. 

When the right talents are identified and recruited for a job, the incidence of high employee turnover becomes a thing of the past.

It Enhances Employer Brand

Having a reputable employer brand is beneficial to any organisation because it helps you attract and retain the right candidates. As an organisation, you boost your employer brand when you can hire the right people and avoid high staff turnover. Candidates who participate in assessment centres which genuinely reflect the job and the organisation are often impressed by that company.

With the right talent occupying roles that tailored to their specific competencies, there’s a higher chance that these talents stay long on their jobs, thereby increasing employee retention. Over time, having the right people occupying the right roles and doing the right things at the right time will translate to improved productivity, profitability and customer share in the marketplace.

Identifies Employees’ Developmental Needs

Given that the assessment centre utilises a broad range of tests to determine the suitability of candidates, the results of these tests can provide insight into knowledge and skill gaps among the candidates even before they resume.

The results of the assessment centre exercise further equip hiring managers with the information needed to design a developmental programme aimed at closing the skills and competencies gap identified in each employee to enable them to perform at optimum capacity.

It Eliminates Bias in the Hiring Process

Unconscious biases, in many cases, can interfere with the hiring process and invariably lead to wrong hiring decisions. Adopting assessment centres in the recruitment process will make it more objective because candidates will only be evaluated based on their skills, competencies and personality. Candidates and the organisation as a whole can be sure that the hiring process is fair and that people are selected based on merit alone.

Assessment Centres are beneficial to both candidates and employers. On the candidate’s part, they can come to terms with their strengths and weaknesses and can choose their career path based on their strengths while working to improve on their weak areas.

The organisation, on the other hand, uses the report from the assessment centre to determine where best the candidate can help it achieve its goals while their weaknesses are worked on at the development centre.

Click here to learn more about the unconscious biases that can influence your hiring decisions and how to avoid them. 

Hiring right book

At Workforce Group, we think differently and believe that when deployed properly and effectively, assessments can do much more than helping to select the right employees; they can also support the competency development and ongoing career management of employees.

Over the course of the last 15 years, we have successfully helped our clients achieve their human-capital enabled business objectives by deploying contextual and custom-built solutions to meet their end-to-end assessment needs through our predictable, reliable and scalable assessment centre solutions.

Overcome the frustration of having the wrong people in your organisation by using our assessment centre solutions to assess your top entry-level, experienced and executive professionals. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you win and achieve all your set business goals.

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