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Assessment Centres – Are they worth It


Assessment Centres have many different write ups. Training companies who supply them highlight major pluses in using them to aid selection.
However, I very rarely see it advertised or hear that many companies use them.
Those of you out there who are actually running them internally can you tell me roughly, how often do you run them, how many trained assessors you have in your company to assist and what level do you use them on, junior staff, first line management, middle management or senior roles.
Has the days of Assessment Centres gone because of the expense incurred??
This is something we are dipping our toe in the water with, should we take the plunge?
Your thoughts, ideas and recommendations will be read with interest
Dale Gunstone MITOL
Dale Gunstone

6 Responses

  1. assessment centres
    please call me

    Kind regards

    Daniel Amini

    Mercuri Urval Limited
    Spencer House
    29 Grove Hill Road
    HA1 3BN

    Tel : + 44 (0)20 8901 6316
    Mob : + 44 (0)7900 407 673
    Fax : + 44 (0)20 8861 1978

    email :

  2. Yes – a useful tool
    Having designed and delivered quite a number of assessment centres over the years and written a training toolkit on the subject, I believe that well designed assessment centres have value. Recruitment panels that I have worked with appreciate the greater range of information on candidates that is available and also appreciate being able to cross-check attributes.

    Academic research generally supports the predictive ability of certain kinds of assessment centres though I have come across claims that other tools are equally effective.

    The cost in terms of time for the assessors and the candidates is a potential downside and therefore care needs to be taken in the design of the assessment centre to ensure that it genuinely yields added value and causes minimal inconvenience to potential employees, who will hopefully find the process positive even if unsuccessful.

  3. Assessment centres replaced with on-line assessments
    My company used the assessment centre approach to undertake capability assessment of large candidate audiences for ICT recruitment. We needed a filer approach to “reduce” the candidate pool in an efficient and cost effective manner. We found a software solution which we now resell that enables the creation of skills frameworks, self assessment against the frameworks and validation by nominated individual (line manager, peer or technical tester). The result is a fairly accurate assessment, measurement against a standard with validation and then analysis by role, task, skill, and other attribute, such as ethnicity and location. Now used by Norwich Union, Army and RAF. Assessment centre approach without the logistics and cost.

  4. Assesment Centres
    First, to declare an interest, my company designs and runs assessment centres for all manner of managers.
    Second, to answer your questions:
    – How often? For my own company and all our clients – for every ‘significant’ appointment, without fail. (Our smallest client? – 8 people. Largest? – several 100,000s)
    – How many trained assesssors? 50% of the time, at least 4. 5% of this time in practice, only 2 max are ever available. The rest of the time we provide our own.
    – What level? Middle and Senior management, or potential to be such.
    – Costs versus benefit? I’d hate this to be a sales pitch because my reply would lose its purpose. The cost is typically around £1k per candidate once clear what you are looking for, and maybe only 25-50% of candidates at best will fit the bill depending on your initial filters. The price of failure? – at least a year’s salary?
    – Recommendations? People are often hired for what they know and fired for how they behave. The more senior they are, the more this is true?
    – Disappointments? You didn’t ask this Dale, but let me tell you? Clients who ignore the evidence of a well-constructed and validated assessment process and appoint by gut feeling, and those who think they can spot a winner against all the evidence by a cv and interview alone without delving into personal qualities, behaviours and skills more deeply – especially for the most senior positions!
    I hope this is helpful?
    More off-line if you wish – without any sales pitch!

  5. Assessment & Social Work
    The onset of registration for social work and social care workers have led to the creation of an internal assessment team enabling the achievement of SVQ’s in care and promoting independence in the social work department of our local authority. Assessed Competency based training for a very practical ‘hand-on’ work area.


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