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The Assessment Centre Approach: The Best Way to Select Managerial Employees

Editorial Team
13/07/2017 9:13 AM

How do you know if the candidates are really appropriate? Promoting individuals who are not ready may fill a short term hiring need, but building a strong management team should be a long –term strategy of any organisation. The first step in addressing management concerns is to ensure that you hire the right candidates for managerial positions. This applies to graduate trainee programme candidates as well. While many individuals are trainable, you can give yourself a head start by identifying the candidates who are most ready to manage the moment they set foot in the door. You need to select managers and supervisors who will coach and motivate others to succeed. Without question, organisations which strive to capitalize on their “people assets” are the visionaries of today and the market leaders of the future. Selecting the best people and developing that investment separates winning organisations from the rest. But how do you select the best? An assessment centre is one of several selection devices used to determine a candidate's suitability for a particular supervisory or managerial position. Individual and group exercises are administered under standardized conditions which simulate the skills and abilities most essential for successful performance. The candidate's behaviour is observed by a team of trained assessors, qualified individuals who are familiar with the requirements of the job and the format of the assessment centre. They have been specifically trained in-group and interpersonal skills, observation of behaviours, and the exercises used during the center.

The foundation of the assessment centre is a thorough job analysis including identification of the critical functions and competencies required for successful job performance. The methodology involves identifying what a person must do to succeed in the real world (using job analysis), developing instruments (business simulations or role plays, interviews, presentations and ability tests) to measure a person's ability to perform the critical skills or competencies needed to succeed and training a group of individuals to process and evaluate the results in an accurate, fair, and objective manner. One of the many benefits of a quality assessment program is the diagnosis and development of information about a person's job-related strengths and weaknesses. More and more organizations are recognizing the value of the process in identifying training needs, for individuals and for groups.

assessment centres assess multiple competencies using multiple exercises and trained assessors. the cornerstone of the technique is the use of simulations that closely parallel actual situations and challenges encountered at work. these simulations include:

In-Basket Exercises – Administrative and organizations skills are evaluated, as participants are required to review and take actions on a number of in-basket items that are inter-related. This consists of a variety of memos, letters, and documents of varying importance, which the candidates respond to and prioritize. To be successful, participants must be able to set priorities, organize information, and take logical actions.

Analysis Exercises – Analytical skills are evaluated, as participants are required to review quantitative and qualitative information related to a complex business problems. To be successful, participants must be able to relate information, see trends, and reach logical conclusions.

Leaderless Group Discussions – In this exercise, candidates are given a specific problem in which they are instructed to try and reach a group consensus within a specified amount of time. This exercise measures qualities such as decision-making, cooperation, and interpersonal skills.

Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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