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Assessment Centre Activities for Net Generation


 I am currently researching on how to develop Assessment Centre Sessions targeted towards selecting Scholars from people age 16-17. Traditionally, such sessions are conducted using in-tray exercises, cases, games, presentations, etc. I wonder whether attractiveness of such activities has now gone down with the new generation whose gaming/social interaction/development activities are very heavily on-line. Any thoughts will be highly appreciated.


Greg B.

3 Responses

  1. Focus on outcomes


    When developing this event, think about the outcomes that you are trying to achieve, what behaviours, competencies etc. are you expecting 16-17 year old people to have. Is there a more relevant way that you can assess their priority assessment and time management skills then an in-box? It is unlikely they will have much experience of an in-box type workload and therefore the exercise may not help identify the better candidates.

    Try to approach the event from their perspective. What types of activities will they have done to gain experience and skills in the areas that you are interested in and how will they be able to demonstrate them.
    Also remember that the event is a two way communication. It gives the young people a chance to understand the working environment that they will be experiencing so make the situations as realistic as possible in order to ensure you get the people that you want.
    Do not fall in to the trap of stereotyping them as all on-line, technology warriors. If technology is not relevant to the roles then look at other tools to use and remember that their preferences will have developed so try things to allow all styles to shine and it will be a great success.
    Good luck with it.

    — Dennis Major
    Chartered FCIPD
    Coolthinkers – Maximising people’s potential

  2. Net Generation

    Hi Greg

    In answer to your question "Do traditional Assessment Centre activities apply to the Net Generation?"  I would answer yes.  Having watched the first 2 episodes of the Junior Appentice, Lord Sugar’s assessment exercises appear not to differ at all from the original programme, which is designed to assess older applicants, and the candidates appear to throw themselves into each task with as much enthusiam.   If technology is to be used as part of the role they are being assessed for,  then the use/application of technology should be included in the assessment criteria, that would apply to anyone being assessed.

    Hope this helps


  3. Net generation will still have to deal with the usual interperso


    I agree with the other commentators in that clear outcomes will ensure suitable exercises are designed. I also agree that the net generation my be ‘finger flicking good’ but will still have to stop txting and deal with real people and real situations thus group exercises and presentations looking at human issues are still relevant and worthy ‘tests’. I attach an example presentation exercise – please do email me if you want to work through possible in-tray and group exercises.



    Jane is the office manager of a small organization – responsible for the six secretaries and six cleaning staff. She has gone through a difficult relationship break-up which has meant that her work has been very poor over the last 6 months – often coming into work late and on one occasion she went on a lunch time drinking binge and had to be sent home. Jane receieved a formal warning about her performance from her manager and somehow this has become common knowledge within the office.

    The problem Jane has now is that her credibility has been completely undermined with her staff. Often she comes into the office and it is as if she is not there, people are going about their business and she is left out of the loop. They only refer to Jane when they need her signature and they seem to know that if Jane was to push them on something like attendance or performance that they can very easily retort with something like ‘who are you to tell me what to do after the way you have behaved

    You have 20 minutes to prepare a 10 minute presentation on how Jane could tackle this difficult situation. Following your presentation be prepared to answer questions from the assessors.

    Competences being measured:

    – Your communication skills

    – Your analytical and logical reasoning skills

    – Your emotional maturity




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