Being a HR practitioner, you have to make several critical decisions daily though the main decision appears to be identification of talent along in harmony with capability gaps. A focused approach for training and development is needed you improve your execution capability and ensure optimum use of resources available at your end. A virtual assessment centre is a trustworthy guide that can help you achieve this task. The candidates might be asked to respond to various types of information that is presented in graphs, visuals, voicemails, and chart forms.
The manner by which candidates respond to the tasks or exercises would enable you to make quality decisions on the success they are likely to attain on a given job. An assessment centre is basically a substitute for recruiting. As per figures available nearly 1/3 of the companies are already using assessment centres to find an able employee from an even increasing pool of candidates.
The concept of assessment centres
By an assessment centre you mean a range of activities or tasks carefully scripted to figure out the skills or competencies needed in a given job under pre- set conditions. In a way it can be termed as personality test for the candidates you consider for a specific role.
Though the reliability of hiring as one of the steps of hiring is around 15%, but the accuracy of an assessment centre is as high as 60%. It is a fair process of selection providing equal opportunity to all the candidates. This also provides vital insights on how a candidate would react to various scenarios that is vital for a job.
The reasons for you to opt for an assessment centre
The main reason why you need to opt for an assessment centre is for hiring and development purposes.
- Savings in terms of time, cost and effort- the exercises can be administered and the results can be obtained online. This can take away the manual need for interventions.
- Assessment centres work out to be fair- this seems to be a fair bet irrespective of the age, gender or religion of a candidate. This is complete contrast to other selection mechanisms where the above factors have a role.
- The assessment centres provide a great learning opportunity- For employees it ceases to be a management train tool for someone who acts as assessors. They go on to improve their observational skills and they can even evaluate their performance.
- To improve performance data can be useful- by the help of an assessment centre, an organization can figure out the grey areas in the employees of an organization. To address the weak areas an organization can go on to devise training programs. This is going to benefit the various departments in an organization and eventually the entire performance of an organization shoots up.
- Fair opportunity provided- research is of the opinion that candidates need to be given a fair opportunity. This is directed towards a target job and not based on the traditional module of paper and pen exam. The job related behaviours are measured in combination with generic characteristics that might not be relevant in a given job.
- Enabling quality HR decisions- By feedback a verbal review of the findings, and recommendation is provided as far as appraisal is concerned. After that the participants go on to receive a written report of the assessment results. Though the feedback is not given in details, it sets for the process of decision making and how candidates performed in a given criteria. The candidates are not only keen to obtain feedback on their performance, but how they can perform better on the job.
The type of activities that take place in an assessment centre
Most assessment centres have a task of role playing where candidates have to don a role that is part of the candidate briefing. This role is related to the position they have gone on to apply. The candidate is going to interact with a role player and they might have to generate behaviour that showcases the given competencies. The task involves the ability to organize, negotiation, communication and customer orientation. They are most related to the job profile and hence accepted by the candidates.
A wide range of personality tests are part of an assessment centre that could work on various personality modules. In this exercise candidates are normally asked about their individual preferences and the ways of behaving that might depict their work style. Once these exercises are not part of a formal environment you do not time the exercises. And the candidate can work through these exams without any pressure. But still the test provider gives an average time for completion of an exam.
In order to figure out that the scores are meaningful, it is compared with the results of the chosen group. They then reveal on how others have performed in this exercise. Since the nature of such tests is fairly expensive they are advocated for senior positions. Organizations often adopt this test with other recruitment procedures to give a new dimension to the selection procedures.
Cognitive and aptitude tests
Here the numerical and reasoning ability of a candidate are gauged by a series of tests. One of the main benefits is that it is a standard test, and employees are able to compare candidates. You can compare them with the score of the general reference groups.
The employees go on to resort to such tests as part of the selection process, and it is all the more useful when they are a number of candidates for a given job role. Here the maximum levels of performance of a candidate under given pressure are illustrated. A typical performance is outlined by temperament and by structured interviews and personality assessment tests they can be found out. In order to predict performance on a given job personality tests may be performed in conjunction with other tests.
These are some of the major benefits of an assessment test centre.
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