An assessment centre is a recruitment tool that can be used to assess a person(s) for a particular role or roles. We are seeing an increase in employers using this method for recruitment in particular for graduate training programmes and senior management roles; however it can be used for more junior roles within the organisation.
Running an assessment centre can allow employers to assess an individual over a longer period of time completing a number of exercises; normally assessment centres will last between 1 and 2 days. Generally exercises will be developed to assess individual working and team working. Running an assessment centre is a big investment for any employer so it is critical to ensure that the exercises set are suitable for the role.
There isn’t any fixed location this can either be held at the place of work, the benefit for this is it allows the candidates to get a feel for their potential work environment and also would allow you to show case your brand and hopefully engage the candidates. However if you don’t have the space to accommodate this then hiring a venue for the day would be perfectly acceptable. Please remember if you decide to use an alternative location, this choice of location is a reflection of the organisation and the recruitment process should be a two way process so the candidate will be assessing you as the potential employer. Also you need to think about refreshments for the day, if you have candidates, how are you going to look after them?
So who needs to be involved and who should be involved? What message do you want to send? If you want to ensure that you demonstrate that potentially everyone can have an involvement in the process, would it be nice to have a senior person do a presentation in the morning? Involve your team; how nice would it be to give candidates the opportunity to meet the team they could be working with , they don’t have to be involved in the formal process, maybe networking at lunch time gives a more informal approach. Remember what is important is that you have enough people to support the assessment centre and everyone knows what their role is.
Check out next week’s blog for the “do’s and don’ts” of running an assessment centre!