An Assessment Centre consists of a standardized evaluation of behavior based on multiple evaluations and it seeks to reveal the managerial capacity of assessed candidates. A group of subject matter experts will assess each candidate on specific dimensions. An assessment centre measures one’s ability to perform performance related exercises that are similar to work situations and activities. The candidate’s behaviour elicited by the assessment centre exercises is observed by assessors who have been trained to interpret these behaviours in terms of job dimensions.
What are the benefits of assessment Centres?
- They improve the quality of candidates selected
- They reduce the chances of selection bias since multiple raters are used
- Improves the buy-in from managers who are often trained and used as assessors
- They provide an insight into the competencies possessed by each candidate
What are the characteristics of Assessment Centres?
- Multiple participants are assessed
- Multiple competencies are assessed
- Use of multiple exercises
- Responses to the assessments are evaluated by multiple assessors
What competencies can be measured during assessment centre exercises?
Some of the generic competencies that will be measured during assessment centre exercises include among other things:
- Decision making
- Business Acumen
- Strategic Orientation
What are the exercises done during assessment centres?
- Leaderless Group Discussion
It is a type of assessment centre exercise where a group of applicants meets as a group to discuss an actual job-related problem. As the discussion unfolds the behaviour of the candidates is observed to see how they interact and what competencies each person possesses. The competencies that will be measured depend on the position for which the candidates are considered.
- Role Play
It is a type of assessment centre exercise where the candidate imitates the role of the incumbent of the position and deals with another person in a job- related situation. A trained role player is used and responds in character to the actions of the candidate. The performance of the candidate is assessed by observing raters.
During the presentation, the applicants are given a topic related to their job and requested to make a presentation that gives a highlight of the major points related to their respective area and it should be finished during the stipulated time.
- Work-Related Simulations
These are employment tests that ask candidates to perform tasks that they would perform on the job. The prospective applicants complete tasks that are similar to tasks they are supposed to complete when actually working in the position. Through job simulations, employers can assess whether the applicant can do the job, rather than guess based on interview answers. For example for an IT Manager, the simulation can involve a programming task.
Against this background, any progressive organisation is encouraged to use assessment centres prior to the successful placement of any candidate and before taking their employees for supervisory and management development programme. Any organisation that does not make use of assessment centres is doomed in all its endeavors that seek to capacitate its employees.
Newturn Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.
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