What is an Assessment Center? Its History, Methods and Practices.


What is an Assessment Center?

An assessment center is often used in the selection process to test the suitability of the candidates. An assessment consists of a number of tests and practical simulations that show whether a person is fit for a particular position or still performs best.

The assessment center has a standardized assessment of behavior based on multiple assessments which include: job-related simulations, interviews, and/or psychological tests. Job simulations are used to evaluate candidates on behaviors related to the most critical aspects (or skills) of the job.

Several trained observers and techniques were used. Judgments about behavior are made and recorded. These judgments are driven by a meeting or average process between the evaluators. In discussions among evaluators, detailed descriptions of behavior, often including ratings, are pooled. The results of the evaluation of the performance of the assessors on the level of discussion or other variables.

Why is it referred to as an assessment center?

The word assessment center is used because employers usually conduct these extended assessments in a single-center, either in the owner's office or at a third-party venue, such as a hotel or function room. It can last up to 24 hours and some can last up to three days.

History of assessment center procedures

The assessment center method developed when people realized that simply asking questions and interviews was not enough to prove a person's suitability. After all, almost everyone will claim to be stress-resistant, but only practice can show if this has really happened.

The method originated in military circles. After World War I, the German army decided to start selecting its officers based on relevant assignments. The Americans also decided to start using this method during World War II, and after 19445, assessment agencies also used it. When American companies began to establish themselves in the Netherlands, the evaluation center system was introduced there.

Methods of Assessment Centers

The assessment center method is often used in the selection process to test the suitability of the candidates. An assessment consists of a number of tests and practical simulations that show whether a person is fit for a particular position or still performs best.

Assessment often consists of a variety of elements, including intelligence tests, psychological tests, and presentations. Role-playing is often part of an assessment.

  • Leaderless Group Discussion

A. The leaderless group discussion is one type of assessment center practice where applicants come together as a group to discuss issues related to a real job. As the meeting progressed, candidates were observed how they viewed their behavior and what leadership and communication skills each individual displayed (Schultz and Schultz, 1994).

B. Problems involved in this method:
  1. This kind of exercise was ineffective in selecting candidates from a potential applicants pool of 9000 people due to the time and expense involved in training the people rated as applicants.
  2. Since each group will be different, individuals may argue that the process is biased or unfair
  3. The process is not standard.

  • Role-Playing

A. Role-playing is a kind of assessment center practice where the candidate takes on the role of a newcomer to the position and must treat the other person in a job-related situation. A trained role player is used and responds “in character” to the candidate’s actions. Performance is assessed by observing the ratings.

B. Problems with this strategy:
  1. Since this strategy is not conducive to group administration, test safety will become an issue.
  2. The fields of work content identified in the job analysis, such as the selection techniques used in the final examination, were not well suited for this type of practice.
Using the assessment center method, candidates are tested for the qualities required for a particular position. If it is an executive task, candidates must show their leadership qualities in the evaluation. If it is an organizational function, the evaluation will focus more on organizational qualities.

To test these qualities, various strategies and functions are used in the assessments. Examples of frequently used assignments are mailbox practice, interview simulation, group discussion, and fact-finding.

Commonly used assessment center practices are:

Psychometric examination

Psychometric tests are used to analyze a candidate's skills and abilities and to match the job position requirements. These tests are designed to filter the right candidate to open a specific job. Psychometric examinations are conducted either in written form or online. Companies can help you find the right candidates for this job. The medium used to conduct these tests may be online or in writing. We can divide the psychometric test section into the following two sections:

Ability and Aptitude Test:

Aptitude and skill tests are designed to measure logical reasoning or thinking performance. These are standardized tests consisting of multiple-choice questions that are conducted on strict test conditions. There are thousands of trends and skills in the market without testing. Popular test areas are verbal ability, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, spatial reasoning, mechanical reasoning, and error/data testing.

Personality test:

Personality tests are standard questions to reveal aspects of a candidate's character. It is used to determine the general reaction of the candidate in different situations. Employers look at a number of factors during the hiring process, such as how well you are dealing with others, your response to stressful situations, and other forms of attitudes toward work-and-work-related situations.

Role-play practice

Candidates are expected to act in a scene with a group of colleagues or only one or more interviewers/observers during the role-playing rehearsal. Typically, these types of simulation exercises occur in situations that they may face while performing the job they are applying for, but this is certainly not necessary. Common example situations may include dealing with customer complaints or marketing new brands. Candidates may be asked to analyze the situation, propose/discuss solutions, or fulfill objectives by considering various elements of the exemplary environment. Prioritization and decision-making skills are important during this practice.

Group practice

These types of exercises are typically used during assessment centers, and in-group exercises of nature such as panel interviews are evaluated in a discussion that usually involves a small group of job seekers (usually between 10 and) following a question/statement raised by an evaluator or employer. Group exercises are conducted in assigned and non-assigned roles depending on the role of the task. Each of the candidates' performance is evaluated and rated with performance criteria such as leadership and persuasion.

Presentation practice

Presentation exercises are used to analyze candidates ’communication, presentation, and persuasion skills. Candidates may be provided with a report for example and may be asked to present their views regarding the material. A question cycle at the end of the presentation is common.

Panel interview

Panel interviews are of the nature of regular interviews, with three to six people on the panel anywhere, instead of just facing an employer or team member. The people on the panel depending on the business where the recruiting agency is active. At the beginning of the interview, panel members will introduce themselves and explain how the interview will be structured.

Today, assessment centers are used in a variety of settings, including industry and business, government, armed forces, educational institutions, and security forces, to select individuals for supervisory, technical, sales, or management positions. Changes. Development of current trend assessment center which is suitable for mass examination. Assessment Therapeutic assessment centers require the use of live rattles for practice and are usually unable to assess more than a few examinees per day. This then becomes an extremely expensive form of selection for companies. Today, the use of audiotaping and the use of objective score-in-basket exercises allow for the evaluation of a much larger number of candidates per day, as the rating of the practice is held at a later date. This allows for wider use of the assessment center technique as it is becoming a more time consuming and affordable method.

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