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Seb Anthony

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graduate recruitment


at the moment we carry out panel interviews as part of which interviewees have to give a presentation, but i would like to include some sort of group working activity that would give us an idea of how people work as part of a team.
i would quite like to use a leadership task where each person is given a different brief and have to communicate and compromise.
does anyone have anything that they think would be useful or can point me in the right direction where i could buy something.
also, does anyone have any advice on how i could use these techniques as a valuable recruitment tool (ie training for me in what to look for, assess)

vivienne robinson

5 Responses

  1. Assessment Centres
    Hi Vivienne,

    We recently ran an assessment centre for graduates and included elements of group work. My advice is to firstly be absolutely clear about what you want to get out of any activity. When you say ‘team work’- take some time to break that down. In what kind of situations do they have to pull together in a team? Is it mostly team working to be creative?; solve problems?; deliver quality & quantity?. I find it helpful to think “Specifically when and in what situations will team working will make the biggest difference to a successful graduate in the role they will fulfill?” and I then create an activity surrounding that.

    The activity could range from a group discussion; creative challenge; problem solving activity; mental challenge; negotiation role play….etc.

    I think once you’ve defined the type of situationsthat team work is applied in…then it will be easier to determine what activity you want to use.

    There are a wide range of resources available for sourcing activities – once you have determined what one will suit you best. I often use Fenman resources, or contact a trusted external training company for support in designing one.

    Hope this helps?!

  2. Graduate Recruitnment
    Hi Vivienne

    As has been said development of assessment centres can be difficult, and to avoid complications of discriminating you should bring on someone to help you design the process in the first instance.

    Running an exercise and ‘scoring’ performance is one thing, actually designing the methodology is frought with potential holes – very big ones!

    Also have a look at these threads thay may also help your thought process:

    What you are aiming to do is great and you should continue – but be careful ensuring that all of the ‘risks’ are managed.

    When looking for assessment centr training – avoid the trap of being trained by one of the big 3 psychometric publishers, falling into the comfort zone of only using their materials. While their activities and exercises are well researched an on the whole excellent, you average graduat applicant would have done the exercise with another employer! This means they have an advantage second time round.
    I would recommend that because of this you have your own designed – or buy from small publishers – the harder it is for you to find them listed in the adverts or via google the more ‘unique’ their content is likely to be.

    If you want to talk about this please call

  3. Graduate recruitment
    We have some straightforward group exercises that we have used for a while for team manager recruitment that would work well. Happy to let you have a sample of what we use.

    Steve Bilton

  4. Grad recruitment
    Hi Vivienne,

    We currently run experiential development tasks as part of Scottish and Newcastles IGP and have produced a portfolio of assessment / development tasks for the National Assembly for Wales to facilitate themsleves in recruitment process. This includes the behavioural competencies each task looks to draw out and how to assess/score individuals – together with a facilitators guide.

    Happy to share experiences / knowledge with you if interested.



  5. Assigned role group exercises
    Hi Vivienne,

    I’m a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and ex Senior Consultant with SHL, and so I’m pretty familiar with the sort of exercsises that you’re after. There are good quality off the shelf exercises from test publishers such as SHL, OPP, ASE and Assessment and Development Consultants (and numerous other smaller consultanices). The type of exercise you’re after is called an ARGE (assigned role group exercise), and can certainly assess leadership, communication and influencing skills (and other areas depending on the exercise). The off the shelf upsides include cost, validity and immediate availability, the downsides being that you’re be using their generic competency models, the exercise may lack face validity (i.e. may not obviously relate to your sector)and those graduate devils may have done it the day before! Of course, the publisher will happily provide training on related assessment skills as well.

    Alternatively, you could have your own designed to your own specification, which would be unique, business specific and target your own competencies.

    In terms of how you use them, then the key thing is to think about your assessment matrix, and how you’re assessing the key skills your grads need. Planning to cross reference evdience between the interview, presentation and group exercise is a great place to start.

    I’ve designed and trained assessement exercises for companies including Abbey, BNFL, Yorkshire Water, AstraZeneca and Novartis and so happy to share knowledge, insights and maybe more!!([email protected];

    All the best, Paul.


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