An assessment centre is a space where a series of assessments are carried out and there are some major techniques used to do that like psychometric tests, simulations, and other exercises. These are mainly done, in order to take some major decisions regarding accepting or rejecting an applicant when it comes to recruitment. This is also used to judge a candidate in terms of promotions and appraisals in a job as well.
So, what are the major considerations for running an assessment development centre? Well, a regular assessment centre needs to have some defined competencies when it comes to behavioural indicators and some basic scales for evaluations. Also, the techniques used for a particular assessment should assess these very behaviours and competencies. No other behaviour or competency is evaluated here. Here, many techniques are used and different assessors are involved here to assess the candidates in different exercises and simulations.
Simulation exercises are an integral part in case of development and assessment centres. This is basically a situation or an exercise with some conditions that can imitate some real life work situations. They are mainly given in an assessment test to see how a candidate can behave immediately if they are given that certain situation and according to their behaviour the recruiter can judge about their work competency. When it comes to simulations in an assessment process one can expect things like in basket exercises, group exercises, presentations, structures interviews and some fact finding exercises.
What is a development centre?
There are many people who keep confusing an assessment centre with a development centre. They get confused because both the centres use some similar techniques to evaluate the employees. But there are some clear differences in between them. A development centre also like an assessment centre use some assessment techniques like psychometric tests and simulations but here the purpose of using them is actually different. The development centre (as per the name) is only conducted for the development purposes of an employee. This is mainly conducted to assess the strength and potential of an individual employee and also the areas where they need to improve. Then the end result is documented well and kept as a development plan for each and every applicant.
A development centre can be conducted for 3 days and here each and every participant or an employee has to undergo certain simulation exercises. They also have some pre-defined behaviours and competencies as a reference point with which they can assess the candidates during those assessment tests. But here the feedback is more important. In an assessment centre, assessing takes the central part while in a development centre, the candidate will be provided with all sorts of feedback after every exercise and so they have an elaborate feedback session. The main spirit of a development centre is to create a transparent and open atmosphere for learning. Mistakes hare are not treated as a negative aspect but looked up on as a proper learning opportunity. By doing this, one actually explores some more on the areas of development and strength.
If a development centre is used in any organisation, then it always has a great acceptability among the employees because this is very much non-threatening. Here, the members can seek for feedbacks on their regular job performances from their team members, from their subordinates and also try to develop if they get any feedback regarding any performance lack.
What is a virtual assessment?
This mainly involves the usage of videos, some online questionnaires and instant messaging programs. Sometimes it involves web conferencing as well which is an instant service to interact with the candidates. Interviews can always help the recruiters to make the most important hiring decisions but making it the recruitment procedure can be very draining and time consuming at the same time. In fact, this becomes more strenuous when there are multiple candidates for the interview (which is there in most cases).
That is why; many recruiters have been inclined to this virtual assessment process so that they can get some more insightful information about the candidates before they call them for a face to face interview. A virtual assessment centre is thus an online version for a traditional assessment centre and it has too much technology which is used but they do not hamper the pillars of the process.
A virtual assessment centre has a lot of tools that can map the behavioural competencies just like any other traditional assessment centres. These tools are actually administered online and then they are followed by the automated reports which can easily eliminate the hassle of logistics, overhead costs and manual efforts. But at the same time, it can do that without hampering any accuracy or standardisation of the results. A virtual assessment can overcome many of the pitfalls that a physical assessment process might face.
Here are some major things through which a virtual assessment can improve the hiring process:
- The interviews are created so that it can capture all the key information which is needed. A candidate’s response to the recruiter always gives them a better idea about how the candidate is thinking and how they are communicating. By this the recruiter can decide if the candidate can fit the job role or not.
- There is a gathering of data from different exercises which can give a very comprehensive picture of a candidate and their true competence. Here, the candidates participate in a virtual assessment which can make them more motivated to perform well. Here, the candidates take a proactive role in their recruitment process. They are given some exercises that can clearly reflect the typical duties that are needed for the job.
- In these assessment tests a candidate has to apply their knowledge and education to a real situation. So those who only have high intellects may not be a person of competence if they cannot solve a real life problem and handle them.
So, getting assessed on all these things can help the recruiter to see a candidate who can really fit the bill.