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Assessment Centre Solutions For Employers

Assessment centre solutions for employers
Do you use assessment centres to vet candidates? Many employers consider assessment centres the fairest and most reliable way to interview prospective recruits.

At Eden Scott, our specialist team regularly develops assessment centre solutions for our clients. Learn more about the value of assessment centres to your business.

 

What is an assessment centre?


An assessment centre is a long-form interview process where multiple candidates are invited to participate in tasks over a set period - usually a half or full day.

Assessment centres are suitable for candidates of any level - from graduates to directors.

Usually, around five to ten candidates are present, but this can be higher or lower, depending on the hiring company’s preference.

Throughout the day, candidates participate in a series of interviews, tasks and exercises so that recruitment consultants can gauge their suitability for the role.

Usually, the assessment centre is the final stage of an interview process - candidates are generally vetted with at least one interview before being invited to the assessment centre.

 

Why use assessment centres?


Assessment centres are a much more in-depth way to understand candidates’ strengths and personalities than a conventional interview. It gives candidates more opportunities to demonstrate their full skillsets and helps interviewers to understand whether candidates’ claims about their capabilities stand up when put to the test.

Assessment centres also provide greater consistency when getting to know multiple candidates and provide more reliable results.

Companies seeking fairer and more transparent interview processes often opt for outsourced assessment centres, as the results are much more objective. Without pre-conceived ideas of the candidates, only the best-performing interviewees make it through to the offer stage.

 

Assessment centre method examples


On the day, candidates are asked to undertake a series of tasks and exercises - these vary, depending on the hiring company’s requirements, but can range from conventional interview methods to practical tests.

Each element of the assessment centre is designed to examine candidates’ traits and behaviours; assessors will look for evidence that interviewees have suitable characteristics for the role.

 

Competency-based interviews


In a competency-based interview, candidates are asked to demonstrate their strengths by referring to previous experiences.

For example, rather than asking, “What are your communication skills like?” candidates would instead be asked a question like, “Describe a time when you needed to have a difficult conversation with a colleague. What considerations did you make, and what was the result?”

Usually, each requirement listed in the role’s description has an associated competency-based question.

Other competency-based interview questions propose a scenario and ask the candidate to reflect on how they would respond. For example, “How would you react if you were asked to give a presentation to the board at the last minute?”

This helps interviewers to understand a candidate’s approach to problem-solving; getting a glimpse into their thought process helps to form a better picture of the candidate’s ability to meet the requirements of the role.

 

Presentations


Presentations are designed to test candidates’ communication skills, self-reliance, and technical knowledge.

Candidates can be asked to prepare for a presentation in advance. However, we find that it’s generally preferable to task candidates with compiling a presentation on the day. Usually, they are provided with a short brief detailing the information to include and the desired length, and given roughly 30 minutes to prepare.

Presentations are usually directly related to the role the candidates are applying for or the industry in which the hiring company operates.

During the presentation, candidates are graded on content and presentation skills. Recruitment consultants will be looking for people who can give a presentation with substance and inspire confidence in their viewpoints.

 

Assessment Centre Group Exercises


Usually, assessment centre group exercises also involve a form of presentation. Teams are briefed with a topic to discuss within a given time constraint - assessors monitor this discussion, and teams will be asked to present their findings as a group.

During the group exercise, assessors will look out for people who contribute to the discussion - and those who don’t.

This exercise grades interviewees on their teamwork capabilities. Those who acknowledge others’ contributions, invite others into the conversation, and respectfully but effectively put their views across, even if it contrasts with others’ opinions, will score highest in this exercise.

Conversely, those who dominate the discussion, show little interest in others’ points of view, or sit quietly without contributing will score the lowest.

 

Scenario assessment


Scenario assessments recreate tasks that candidates will likely encounter in their roles if successful. Usually, a degree of role-playing is involved.

For example, a marketing executive candidate might be asked to create a report to a tight deadline based on numbers from a spreadsheet. During the task, the candidate receives a phone call from a chatty ‘colleague’. The candidate is assessed on how they navigate this stumbling block, as well as the quality of their report.

 

Psychometric testing


Not as scary as it sounds, psychometric testing is simply a series of questions designed to better understand a candidate’s personality. Companies who want to ensure that the candidate is a solid cultural fit usually use psychometric testing.

Usually, questions are multiple-choice, and there is little indication of the ‘right’ answer.

For example:

I am the sort of person who:

A. Enjoys being in a large group
B. Enjoys one-on-one interactions

I am the sort of person who:

A. Prefers organising people
B. Prefers to receive direction

Other forms of psychometric testing include numerical, logical and verbal reasoning. The type of psychometric tests will depend on the requirements of the role.

 

Who runs our assessment centres?


At Eden Scott, we have a team of specialists who regularly plan, organise and conduct assessment centres for a wide range of companies.

Our assessment centre team includes:
 
  • Michelle Lownie, CEO
  • Lindsey Boxall, Director
 

Final thoughts


If you want to ensure you’re hiring only the best candidates, assessment centres are highly recommended. By going through this fair and intensive process, companies stand to make better candidate decisions and reduce costly employee churn.

 

Next steps


Would you like support to run your next assessment centre? Contact the team at Eden Scott.
 

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