Assessment centers: what are these and how do they work? What are the advantages?

Assessment Centre

An assessment center, as you have already noted, is a comprehensive facility that is used mostly for employee selection purposes. But it is even used for training. People for selection or training are taken to a center for concentrated ‘real-life’ tests and interviews for a couple of days at a stretch that gage and simulate actual job conditions and issues.

Assessment centers are made use of by seasoned managers or trained personnel mainly to evaluate every candidate’s response to these realistic situations and conditions. There have been myriad of benefits of assessment centers for recruitment if you dig deeper. Perhaps, it is the reason more and more organizations are tending towards making the most of these centers.

These are the centers that usually get used in large organizations like selecting middle and top-level managers, as the performance dimensions for higher level managers are not always straightforward. Thus such centers pursue to measure such management skills as leadership, decision making, communication, initiatives and motivation, creativity, delegation and even that of inter-individual (or inter-per­sonal) relations.

What types of Assessment Center Exercises: can be there?

There can be different types of exercises and a few of the types and categories are mentioned below:

 In-basket Exercises:

An assessment center gages the ability to perform job-related tasks via different simulation techniques. One, the ‘in basket’, lands the candidate in the role of manager of an imaginary organization who has a limited time or hours to decide how to respond to several types of letters, memorandums and information. During this period the candidate has to make decision, communicate with subordinates in writing, delegate authority, make arrangements of the meeting, and assign priorities and so on. On numerous occasions following the in-basket simulation, candidates are asked to defend their actions.

 Group Discussions without any leaders 

Another method is a leaderless simulated organization meeting. In this meeting, applicants have to take part in group discussions about a job problem, like that of promotion, group management skills or promotion. People are evaluated on such characteristics as verbal ability, persuasiveness and that of inter-personal skills.

Games related to managing 

These measure technical skills include manufacturing, finance, or even that of personnel. More often than not these include computer simulations.   In this way there would be games wherein the candidates have to perform in a way that things get managed in the best light. The way they manage the things would say a lot about their overall performance and affectivity.

Individual presentations

Individuals are asked to make a presentation on a prearranged topic or idea and their communication skills, persuasiveness and composure are measured therefrom. The way an individual give his presentation; make it and present it would say a lot about their overall working style and behavior. After all, in real life working scenarios it is not just about making the presentation but also about conducting it and executing it with confidence. No matter how good a presentation is or how many relevant points it has; if it has not been delivered in a powerful and impactful manner; it might leave even less than half impact it could make.  On the other hand if the presentation is not so good, has clumsy points in it but it have been presented in a powerful manner; then too it would be considered as half cooked? There has to be a proper balance between the formation and execution of the presentation. Hence, it is important that individuals who have a role in presentations do possess the necessary skills.

Other assessment methods 

Other assessment center techniques are like that of making oral presentation to groups, intelligence and psychological tests, role playing,  interviews and written comma­ all designed around particular job dimensions.

Following the above-given exercises assessment center personnel summarize the evaluations and reach to conclusions about the candidate’s performance. Managers having progressive outlook often hand over a summary report to the candidate who might also be briefed on his (her) overall performance.

Advantages of assessment centers 

It is true that assessment centers can be beneficial for screening multiple candidates, as well as in individual interview instances. These can assist in the vital task of removing any unsuitable candidates, or they can be employed to select the most suitable from a group of potentials. One of the advantages of assessment centers is that, the tests made use of provide a detailed insight into the ability, alignment of values, psychology, and motives of candidates. Assessment centers are held either in-house or also through an independent company. And not to forget the assessment center also tell about the attention to detail aspect of candidates too.

The data that is collected by the assessment center helps the recruiters to recruit the right candidates for the right position; by this process the dependability and validity of the selection decision is enhanced. The assessment centers that are designed well provide evidence of the most valid technique of predicting a candidate’s performance in a job. The way in which the assessment center gathers data is the most fair and objective to take the recruitment decision.

Furthermore it is also undeniable that assessment center improves planning and administration. Now a day’s various organization choose assessment center for recruiting huge number of candidates because to evade manipulating interviews and managing the recruitment procedure.  Assessment centers apply these for recruitment like that of graduate recruitment and training scheme intakes.

Moreover the nature of the assessment center also permits the organizations to get nearer to the selection process by observing how applicants perform the kind of tasks actually found in the role for which they are getting assessed. These sorts of ‘real life’ exercises can get a good indicator of a candidate’s likely future performance. Certainly the procedure of these assessment centers can be longer like of a few days but it is worth it. By the end of the procedure you get the best options to choose from for your organization.

Conclusion 

Thus, if you want quality recruitment in your organization then these assessment centers have to be used in your recruitment drive.

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