Tips for Preparation of Assessment Centers for Organizations

Tips for Preparation of Assessment Centers for Organizations

Preparation of assessment and analysis of an individual’s potential to perform in an organizational capacity is an important concern for those responsible for the recruitment and selection of new employees. Present methods of evaluating the development of candidates for various job positions have not changed significantly in several decades, while most organizations are now adopting what is called the assessment center approach.

In order to make an effective assessment, more detailed information is needed than that obtained through traditional methods such as interviews. The qualifications needed for management responsibilities differ from those needed for non-management responsibilities. Exposures to simulated, as well as real, management environment, tasks, and administrative experiences, help establish an individual’s capabilities and skills, as well as his/her like or dislike for management responsibilities.

An assessment center is simply a means of gathering relevant information, under standardized conditions in a systematic and organized manner, about an individual’s capabilities to perform a particular organizational position. In essence, an assessment center puts candidates through a series of group and individual tasks, situations, or exercises designed to simulate the conditions of a given job which determines if they have the skills and abilities necessary to perform the particular job. Since recruiting good employees who contribute significantly to the organization is important, assessment centers should be prepared well.

Thus in this article, we are going to discuss tips for the preparation of assessment centers.

Tips for Preparation of Assessment Centres for Organizations

Assessment centers are useful, both for the candidate and the organization. For the organization, particularly because assessment centers help evaluate candidates on situations and tasks that are similar to the real business environment. The tasks, activities, and problem scenarios a candidate will face should all mimic real work settings; and the ability to work through these activities gives interviewers an in-depth look at whether a candidate is right for the given role. Assessment centers are also useful for screening groups of potential candidates, all at one time rather than one for one assessment.

The tips for preparation of assessment centers involve the following steps –

  1. Analyze strengths and weaknesses – Think carefully about what the organization is looking for, as well as how the qualities it needs can be demonstrated the most. An analysis can be conducted to find out the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and what kind of candidates are required for the job.
  2. Focus on group exercises – Group exercises are common at assessment centers, but, in many cases, the purpose is not to make candidates compete with the other candidates for a particular role. The aim of group activities is to assess how candidates perform together, how they communicate and make decisions collectively, considering everyone’s opinions while doing what is best for the organization.
  3. Strengthen interview skills – Most assessment centers involve standard interviews too, so it’s important to brush up on interview skills . Research about the candidate, and be prepared with several good questions to ask the interviewees about the company, the role, and their contribution to the organization.
  4. Strengthen comprehension skills – During your assessment, numerous instructions should be given clearly in many different formats that all candidates can comprehend. The assessor or manager should communicate clearly and effectively with all candidates and the assessment process and exercises should be explained nicely beforehand.
  5. Preparing appropriate assessment activities – The assessment activities involved in an assessment center will vary, depending on the needs of the organization. However, there are some commonly used activities. With the inbox/in-tray assessment, candidates take part in “real-life” situations. The candidates are presented with material, tasks, or situations that they’ll normally see in the role that they’ve applied for. Role-playing exercises are also very common at assessment centers. These can include personal sessions with an assessor, manager, or even an actor, or there might be group role-playing activities. Role-playing exercises are often designed to put candidates in stressful situations, where it’s essential to think rationally and correct decisions. Several psychometric tests are also used which are designed to evaluate objectively specific knowledge sets or technical skills, personality, logical or verbal reasoning ability, language, problem-solving, judgment, behavior, personal characteristics, and leadership qualities.
  6. Presentations – Good assessment centers should also require candidates to present both individual and group presentations. Such presentations help managers or assessors assess candidates’ public speaking skills, communication skills, and level of self-confidence.

This method that many companies, businesses, and governmental organizations have implemented to identify management potential is the assessment center approach. It fulfills its purpose by bringing out the candidate’s behavior and skills relevant to the job while being observed by a group of assessors and managers. In addition, the assessors judging a candidate’s behaviors view and consider all individuals from a common frame of reference in the various assessment activities and do not exercise any personal bias.

These procedures help to ensure that the judgments made are relatively free of the many forms of bias, are reliable, and can serve as the basis for meaningful predictions of a candidate’s potential and contribution to the organization. In general, research findings on assessment centers are quite promising; the assessment center evaluations predict success in a given position considerably better than tests or interviews alone, biographical data alone, supervisors’ evaluations of performance, or ratings of promotional potential.

There are also other common tips for the psychological assessment centers. Assessment centers should thus be prepared in such a manner that they measure job-related behaviors rather than other characteristics that are not directly related to effective job performance or the job itself.

Assessment centers should measure a broader range of knowledge, skills, and abilities than more traditional methods, such as written tests or interviews, all of which are important if effective and hard-working employees are to be recruited. Assessment centers should be standardized because testing conditions have to be similar for all candidates, systematic, and organized as well.

This standardization ensures that no candidate receives better or worse treatment than another and all are assessed only on the basis of merit. Assessment centers should be fair regardless of age, gender, caste, race, or any other such dimension. Also, assessment centers should be prepared such that it is a learning experience for all candidates, regardless of whether they are selected or not. They should be able to learn about their strengths and weaknesses and how they can be improved for better job opportunities and performance.

Contact us if you are interested in a DiSC assessment program that is tailored to the needs of your organization or team.