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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Lean process focus leads to drop in assessment centre quality


A growing desire to implement cost-effective, streamlined processes is leading to falling quality at many assessment and development centres, according to research.

A survey among 543 HR professionals in 53 countries conducted by talent management consultancy a&dc, revealed that 17% of assessments lasted half a day or less, even though just over half of those questioned measured more than seven competencies.
Dan Hughes, the firm’s director of product development, warned that this situation appeared to imply that assessors were being put under “excessive pressure”, thus potentially compromising their ability to make effective judgements about candidates.
The situation was also not helped by the fact that just over a third of respondents admitted to providing assessors with less than a day’s training – or even none at all.
“It’s concerning that the time being allocated for assessment centres is decreasing, while there is also an expectation that a large number of competencies are still being assessed,” Hughes said.
While such changes were the result of difficult economic circumstances that had led to a requirement for leaner assessment processes, there was a “danger that the quality of these assessments will be reduced as a result”, he continued.
This scenario, combined with the low level of training that some assessors received, raised the question of just how effective some centres were in practice, Hughes pointed out.
Nonetheless, the majority of those questioned in the ‘Global Survey of Assessment Centre Practices’ felt that their centres provided a moderate to substantial return on investment.

One Response

  1. Darwin Rules

     Given that most people take 90 seconds to make a judgement about someone, some efficiency measures could be timely? 🙂

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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