What are Assessment Centers

What are Assessment Centers?

Selection processes represent a critical moment in HR, as they are the basis of talent management, the point where it all begins. A bad hire can cost a company a lot of time and money, which is why selection techniques are constantly evolving. The “Assessment Center” method, among others, responds to this need for innovation and precision in personnel selection. We have already mentioned it previously among the 5 trends in selection processesbut now we analyze it in depth:

What is an assessment center?

“Assessment Center” refers to a personnel selection method that aims to measure, through a series of tests, all those “soft skills” and abilities that a candidate must have to fill a specific vacancy. In this sense, it should be noted that everything related to the technical and specific knowledge required by the vacancy, in the case of Assessment Centers, remains in the background. In order to do so, we give full prominence and priority to analyzing the behavior of each of the candidates, so that they are able to predict their behavior once they are working in the company.

What types are there?

Assessment centers can have different formats depending on the needs, budget or time available to the contracting company. Thus, we can speak of assessment center…
  • Classic. This is the most common, in which recruiters ask the group of candidates to take a series of tests, which can be individual or group tests, with which they will be evaluated.
  • Individual. The same process is followed as in the classic assessment center, but the difference is that, in this case, the process is executed individually for each candidate, thus avoiding possible biases in comparisons or competitive frictions during the process.
  • Online. It is the most modern way of conducting an assessment center, as well as the cheapest and the one that allows eliminating recruitment boundaries. However, recruiters often value, above all else, being able to see candidates in person.
Although it may sound strange, we can also carry out an internal assessment center, which will help us to analyze and evaluate our own employees.
  • Development. Although this is not a personnel selection method, it is important to consider it as well. It consists of an internal evaluation of workers to detect competencies that need improvement (development) for possible training plans.
  • Management. Just like the development assessment center, the management assessment center consists of detecting areas for improvement in the company’s own employees, but in this case in team management positions.

Steps to execute an Assessment Center

  • Analyze the position to be filled. To begin to outline the profile of the candidate we need, we must take into account all the characteristics of the position, as well as those of the company itself and the workers surrounding the position.
  • Establish the required competencies. To fill the position we have just discussed, what skills will be required? In this case, we must consider both technical and specific skills (“hard skills”) and the aforementioned “soft skills“.
  • Establish the activities that will assess these competencies. In this process we must choose the type of assessment center we will carry out and the activities we will use to test the candidates.

Once all this is defined, we can carry out the Assessment Center, analyze the data obtained with the entire selection team and choose the best candidate.

What activities are performed?

  • Solve cases in groups. In this way, the teamwork skills of each candidate can be analyzed, since in this case they are not competing with each other, but must cooperate to reach a conclusion.
  • Resolution of labor problems. In this test, a conflict in the workplace is simulated and the candidates, also in groups, must investigate the issue in order to reconcile the situation. In this way, research, analysis and problem-solving skills will be assessed.
  • Presentations. A presentation on a topic related to the process itself will allow us to evaluate the candidate’s public speaking ability, the confidence with which he/she expresses him/herself…
  • Roleplay. Each candidate plays a role under the context that the recruiters have established, and they must interact with each other to get to the desired point. In this case, skills such as persuasion, negotiation and conflict management are evaluated.
  • Psycho-technical tests. Candidates must pass a series of tests in a set time frame, which will assess their numerical, verbal and spatial skills.

Pros and cons of the Assessment Center

And you, have you ever performed or participated in an Assessment Center? How was your experience? Do you think you get good results? We are listening!

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