Assessment Centre and its key components

Companies are increasingly likely to appreciate the importance of an AC in the recruitment process, although such an audit generates additional costs. However, not everyone knows what this process exactly involves, how it should be carried out properly and why it is so important.

Assessment Centre to metoda rekrutacji będąca audytem kompetencji, przeprowadzonym na podstawie analizy zachowań kandydata w zaaranżowanych sytuacjach, odpowiadających jednak charakterem jego przyszłym zadaniom.

Assessment Centre is a recruitment method which is an audit of competences, carried out on the basis of an analysis of the candidate’s behaviours in arranged situations which correspond to the nature of their future tasks.

Assessment Centre is usually the last stage of the recruitment process. Conducting a one-day session properly requires the use of three essential elements: the so-called competence profile, i.e. a description of the employer’s expectations towards the position, appropriate tasks which will allow for checking what behaviours and skills of the candidate relate to the profile and competent assessors, whose task it will be to evaluate the process.

Why is the competence profile so important for proper performance of the AC? “The competence profile is a set of criteria on the basis of which we will assess the skills and soft competences of a candidate for a given job. It is the first necessary condition for the Assessment Centre process to be accurate,” explains Anna Zachariasz-Łobodzińska, Director of the Development and Evaluation Department at BIGRAM.

Another equally important element of the AC process are the tasks. After checking and refining the competence profile, we need to select the right tasks, which will enable us to verify the skills of a given candidate. These two elements make up the so-called competence and task matrix — a type of competence test, taken not on paper but in real life, in situations that may occur at work.

Let us assume that we are recruiting a sales manager in charge of a team of salespeople. We need to prepare tasks to check how they motivate people, how they develop them, how they communicate, provide feedback, conduct coaching talks, how they plan their own work and that of their subordinates.

The final step in preparation of the process is appropriate selection of people, i.e. so-called assessors, who will assess the behaviour of the candidates. It is important for them to be experienced consultants who are intimately familiar with the Assessment Centre methodology, but also have business experience. It is also important for at least three assessors to evaluate a given candidate to ensure that the assessment is objective.

To sum up, without a properly prepared competence profile, properly designed tasks and involvement of experienced assessors, we will not be able to carry out an Assessment Centre process that is compliant with the methodology and accurate.

Autor: Anna Zachariasz-Łobodzińska, Dyrektor Działu Rozwoju i Ocen, BIGRAM

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