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Choosing an effective Assessment Center in 3 steps

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

The Assessment Center is relevant when it is conducted in a certain way. Furthermore, it has to meet the company’s objectives and its specific context. Indeed, this assessment approach can be carried out in many ways, both for companies and people. Thus, advices of your assessment partner are crucial. So, it is a question of choosing the right professional for your and your project. Apostrof provides you with fundamentals to respect depending on your situation.

 

 

What is the starting point for a relevant partnership?

 

When consulting, the first thing to do is to gather enough information internally. Your future Assessment Center partner must have a good understanding of your specific objectives. It is also essential that there be many exchanges between an HR and management team and the service provider consulted.

 

An assessment center can be used in a variety of situations: recruitment, internal mobility, executive transition, support for an employee or a department, remodeling of an organization chart, talent mapping, etc.

 

Whatever the situation that requires the use of an Assessment Center approach, it must be part of a global and coherent approach, both in terms of HR strategy and in terms of corporate strategy.

 

This will first allow for adequate communication with your employees and/or candidates. Secondly, as the methodology is tailor-made, your specific objectives will enable your assessment consultant to adapt the tool properly.

 

The culture of your company also plays an important role in the way you approach the results of the process. Indeed, the level of feedback must be adapted to your habits regarding the internalfeedback culture.

 

 

 

What internal elements are brought to the exchanges?

 

The Assessment Center approach does not use the “classic” performance indicators that we can find in certain job descriptions. As a result, the elements to be provided at the outset are sometimes more intangible.

 

Indeed, some companies avoid the Assessment Center because they think they are not ready. However, when it comes to assessing potential, the Assessment Center is built from a perspective of expected behavior. Also, sometimes even the internal skills’ repository may be obsolete in view of the need to change jobs, skills and the organization chart.

 

On the other hand, sharing the vision of the Director or the Management is essential to understand where the organization is heading. Thus, the process must be approached in a global manner because the Assessment Center is a tool at the service of your strategy.

 

Practical and concrete, exchanges with management, human resources and even some employees replace all the fixed internal documents that do not reflect the company’s perspectives.

 

 

What to check in the Assessment Center contract ?

 

To get to the heart of the matter, it is a question of validating the Project Manager consultant’s ability to understand your needs, your context and your specificities. Your partner must understand your needs as well as the company culture.

 

The most professional ones will also offer you communication support prior to the implementation of the approach. To be effective, this involves short and intense sessions, in coaching mode, allowing you to prepare your posture and language elements.

 

As regards the construction of the approach, your partner will suggest the key dimensions to be surveyed. The objective is to share and prioritize them during the discussions preceding the deployment of the methodology.

 

Finally, your partner owes you total transparency on the team of consultants that will be dedicated to your project. The expertise and profile of the project team in charge of the process must correspond to your environment. For example, non-operational psycho-profiles or actor profiles should be avoided in the context of an industrial company.

 

So, in addition to a proper contract, take a few minutes to check the background and specialization of the consultants you will be working with. Your HR consultant should be able to provide you with references in the professional assessment of skills AND potential.

 

His team should be made up of professionals with a varied background: managers, coaches, trainers, recruiters. The ideal companion juggles observation of the person being assessed, listening to their feelings and following the instructions of their character.

 

Be careful not to opt for a team with overly specialized profiles that will not be able to carry out a relevant benchmark in the evaluation process. Similarly, the consultants must be representative of what exists within the company (diversity, parity, etc.).

 

 

What to expect during the Assessment Center?

 

The Assessment Center is a methodology that uses professional situations. Your employees or candidates will therefore carry out simulations, always professional. The objective is to get them to work, while working with them.

 

Coming from the business world, the assessment consultants are trained to observe the behaviors implemented during the Assessment Center. As true professionals, they are able to understand the attitudes and thought processes of the person being assessed.

 

Also, their feedback will be regular on the Assessment Center day. The cross-view assessment offers a very rich feedback. The objective is to measure the level of awareness of the individual being assessed, but also his or her ability to change his or her behavior between two scenarios.

 

Conducting a virtual assessment is entirely feasible. For a long time now, video-conferencing has made it possible to avoid the need for candidates living abroad, for example. The simulations are therefore carried out using IT tools.

 

However, it is not an automated digital solution, even though the Assessment Center approach sometimes includes personality inventories. The team of consultants is physically present, on the other side of the screen. Indeed, the added value of the physical professional simulations used by Assessment Centers has been widely demonstrated in the past.

 

 

What to expect after the Assessment Center?

 
The Assessment Center is often very demanding for your employees. The process can also generate stress for some. It is therefore important not to neglect their feelings, while remembering that this is the beginning of a development process that will continue over time.

 

At the end of the feedback, the employee should have in mind his or her areas of progress and the resources at his or her disposal to build a future development plan. Sometimes, the manager’s feedback on the Assessment Center‘s findings helps to reinforce the dynamic of movement.

 

It is also important to anticipate the training budgets to be provided after the feedback to continue working on awareness and development of their potential.

 

Whatever the follow-up to be built, the employee, the team and the manager are involved in this process that is starting. The participant needs to share his or her experience with different actors in the company, sometimes also outside HR.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE …    

 

Explore how an individual will perform in the future : Discover our Assessment Center based on simulation of a professional environment. 

To find out more about how we can help you attract, motivate and find the right talent, please contact us via the contact form below.

 

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