You’ve advertised the vacancy, you’ve checked the responses and you’ve got some possible recruits, what do you do next? Of course you want to meet the ‘possibles’, but how best to capitalise on the time you see them?
A robust assessment centre draws out, assesses, compares and observes behaviours in action and examines the overall results together with all the other candidate information such as a self-assessed personal profile, structured interview and CV/application. By offering your candidates the opportunity to be assessed formally, you are not only gaining a deeper understanding of them but giving them the chance to really understand your business, the culture and the exact role requirements. You make sure that the candidates get a good insight into what it’s like working in your organisation and whether or not they have the ability to demonstrate that they have the skills you need for the role. With a variety of practical exercises, the candidates have more than one chance to show you their worth and capture the essence of what’s required.
More than 90% of employees who used assessment centres believe that they are a very [48%] effective means of recruiting staff to fill vacancies according to research by Employment Review. The survey of over 90 HR Practitioners also found that more than half believe the financial costs of the assessment centre are justified.
Psychometric testing, group exercises and role play may be components of the assessment centre in which the candidates participate individually or in a group.
The value of an effective and rigorous assessment centre is typically around £250 per candidate and, if this is compared to the potential cost of recruitment errors [which could be between £5,000 and £50,000 depending on the position and risk of business mistakes], it is certainly a worthwhile investment.
Interviews are still the one element that both employers and candidates expect, but they only have face validity and cannot be used to predict potential performance. [“A traditional interview has a reliability factor of between 5% and 19%” Source: British Psychological Society].
However, using a range of assessments it is possible to identify the behaviour, skills and capabilities of people before you invest in them.
There is a better than 95% correlation between the way participants behave in a series of experiential activities that have been matched to your competency and capability expectations and their behaviour in the workplace. Under pressure, interacting with a group of peers in differing activities, normal behaviour bubbles to the surface where it can be observed and objectively noted.
Assessment Centres are ideal for all kinds of recruitment where selection of the candidate that matches your competencies, capabilities and culture is important enough not to risk the trial and error approach. You can save resources, in time, money and energy on candidates that just make themselves look good on paper or have personality traits unsuited to the role. Combined with a logically structured interview, with an assessment centre you have the most powerful and proven recruitment technique available.
Scrupulous preparation of the assessment centre is essential to recognise present and possible future job requirements and competence. Feedback to all candidates and a development plan to the successful applicant are also recommended outcomes to ensure that you become an employer of choice.
The best predictor of future behaviour is past and present behaviour – so if you want to recruit effectively hold an Assessment Centre.