Assessment Development Centres


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“Hiring decisions have long-term consequences for an organization’s productivity and performance. Therefore, quality—not speed—should be the primary measure of the success of hiring decisions and the underlying hiring process.”

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Assessment Development Centres

  2. 2. 2 “No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.” -Thomas Jefferson
  3. 3. How did I do on the organizational wants? 1. Understand bench strength 2. Speed learning and development 3. Link assessment and development 4. Provide fair and reliable judgments 5. Decrease total assessment center costs 3
  4. 4. Summary • What is an assessment centre? • Benefits of Assessment Centres • Brief Assessment Center History • Who uses assessment centres? • Uses of the Assessment Center Method • Why do employers use assessment centres? • Types of Assessment Centre • What happens at an assessment centre? • How will you be assessed? • What are assessors looking for? • What happens after an assessment centre? • How can you prepare for assessment centres? • Further help and information 4
  5. 5. Assessment: Defining the Terms • Personnel Assessment: a systematic approach to gathering information about individuals • Personnel Assessment Tool: any test or procedure (for example, ability test, structured interview, work sample) used to measure an individual’s employment or career- related qualifications and interests 5 U.S. Department of Labor, Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, 1999
  6. 6. What is an assessment centre? • Good news! Normally only 5% of the original applicants will get this far • A series of exercises, carried out individually or in a small group over one or two days, designed to measure the competencies needed in graduate recruits • The final stage in the selection process 6
  7. 7. Assessment centres are about 7 Meeting people: selectors, current graduates, senior staff, other candidates Gathering information: about the organisation, the job, and the working culture Demonstrating your potential: tests and exercises about your competencies
  8. 8. Assessment Center Defined An assessment center consists of a standardized evaluation of behavior based on multiple inputs. Multiple trained observers and techniques are used. Judgments about behaviors are made, in major part, from specifically developed assessment simulations. These judgments are pooled in a meeting among the assessors or by a statistical integration process. - International Taskforce, 2009 8
  9. 9. How do employers try to get it right? 1990s 2000s • Interviews 99% 99% • References 96% 96% • Personality tests 35% 64% • Cognitive tests 30% 70% • Assessment centres 21% 59% [Source :University of Liverpool - c. 2000] Note: The AGR Graduate Recruitment Survey 2006 Summer Review found that 83% of their members use final round assessment centres or selection events. 9
  10. 10. The AC Big “10”… 1. Job analysis (behaviors) 2. Behavioral classification (dimensions) 3. Links: behaviors  dimensions  exercises 4. Multiple assessments 5. Simulations 6. Multiple assessors 7. Assessor training 8. Recording behavior 9. Reports 10. Data integration Observation Rating Judgment 10
  11. 11. Assessment Center Scheme 11
  12. 12. • Provide a comprehensive overview of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses; • Are standardised, every candidate has the same opportunity to demonstrate their skills; • Are more objective then interviews alone, which may be biased by the interviewers’ interpretations; • Allows applicants to demonstrate many abilities in a variety of different situations; • Can be tailored to suit the position and the type of skills required; • Provide information to place successful candidate in the appropriate section of the organisation. 12 • Employer • Graduate • An opportunity to share your working style and strengths; • Success does not hinge on two interviews; • If you are successful in securing the position the candidate can be more confident that it will suit you and that the employer feels you have potential to advance; • A fair and more equitable hiring practice; • Attendance at an assessment centre gives you an opportunity to assess the organisation and whether you’d like to work for it; • You have gained valuable experience for next time
  13. 13. Brief Assessment Center History • Used by Germans in 1st World War to select officers • Used by U.S. to select spies (OSS) • In Private Industry, 1st used by AT&T to predict performance of managers (Management Progress Study) 13
  14. 14. AT&T Manager Progress Study • 1st application of AC method in US industry (Douglas Bray) • Longitudinal study of 400+ recently hired managers • Inbasket, LGD, manufacturing game, interview, personal history, p&p tests (g & personality) • Predicted progress over a 15 year period • Implemented throughout the whole Bell system 14
  15. 15. From then to now… • 1960s: AT&T shared… – IBM, Sears, Standard Oil, GE, J.C. Penny • 1966: Bray & Grant: Psych Monographs Paper • 1969: Conferences being held on AC Method • 1970: Byham article in Harvard Business Review • 1973: 1st International Conference on Assessment Center Methods (ICACM ) Meeting; DDI Established • 1975: AC Guidelines Published • Today: Hundreds of studies, Thousands of ACs conducted, Millions Assessed! 15
  16. 16. Who uses assessment centres? Most large graduate recruiters including: • The Civil Service • Local government; the NHS • Manufacturing companies • Banks, chartered accountants • Advertising agencies • Consultancies • The armed forces, police etc 16
  17. 17. • Selection and Promotion • Diagnosis – Identification of training & developmental needs • Development – Skill enhancement through simulations – Not the same as diagnosis (Carrick & Williams, 1999) Why do employers use assessment centres? 17
  18. 18. Why do employers use Assessment Centres? 18 ‘The assessment centre is an integrated process of simulations designed to generate behaviour similar to that required for success in a target job or job level. It enables candidates’ performance to be measured objectively against specific key criteria’ Association of Graduate Recruiters (2008)
  19. 19. Why do we use assessment centres? • Accuracy – right person, right job • Ability to observe ‘on the job’ performance • Equity – fair for everyone • Buy-in – for assessors and candidates • Cost of poor selection – morale, retention, impact on work 19
  20. 20. Types of Assessment Centre What types of Assessment would you expect at an Assessment Centre? 20 • Numerical Reasoning • Verbal Reasoning • Comprehension • Diagrammatic or abstract reasoning • Analytical thinking • Personality tests or profiles Psychometric Assessment • Case Studies • In-tray Exercises • Group Discussions • Group Exercises • Presentations • Role Plays • Proposal • Problem Solving Projects • Social Events Work-based Activities and Simulation Exercises • One on one • Panel • Behavioural or Competency based Interviews
  21. 21. What happens at an assessment centre? 21 Individual exercises: • Written tasks • In-tray exercises • Psychometric tests • Presentations • Interviews A number of different exercises, which are likely to include: Plus socialising with assessors, fellow-candidates and recent graduates
  22. 22. A typical 1-day assessment centre • Introduction of participants and candidates • Company presentation • Individual presentations • Coffee break, socialising informally • Psychometric testing • In-tray exercise • Buffet lunch, socialising informally • Group exercise, solving a work-related problem • Interviews, ½ hour, skills-based 22
  23. 23. The most frequently- used exercises at assessment centres • Interview 97% • Psychometric test 91% • Group discussion 89% • Personality test 79% • Case study 71% • Presentation 61% • In-tray exercise 48% 23
  24. 24. Psychometric Tests • Aptitude Tests - measure skills relevant to position – Verbal comprehension - evaluate logic of text – Numerical reasoning - interpret statistical data – Diagrammatic reasoning - recognise patterns – Watch timing – complete as many as possible • Personality Questionnaires – Look at personality style – No right or wrong answers – Be spontaneous, don’t try to second-guess – Tests include built-in checks – Employers may be looking for different personality profiles 24
  25. 25. How will you be assessed? • By people with clipboards! • On a range of competencies that are important in the job you are applying for • By more than one person • On your own merits 25
  26. 26. What are assessors looking for? • Evidence of the competencies needed to perform well in the job • You have already been assessed on these on paper and at first interview… • The assessment centre will look particularly at your ability to work with others, influence and persuade – and how others respond to you 26
  27. 27. Qualities and Competencies • What employers are looking for 27 In general companies are looking for the following qualities: Cognitive /Intellectual Strategic thinking, analysis and judgement, planning and organising Interpersonal Managing others, assertiveness, oral and verbal communication Adaptability Versatility, resilience, creativity, dealing with ambiguity Results Orientation Energy and initiative, achievement motivation Social Persuasive, confidence, multicultural sensitivity, values and integrity
  28. 28. Interview Simulation Scheduling Exercise Business Game Leaderless Group Discussion 1. Decisiveness X (X) (X) 2. Leadership (X) (X) (X) 3. Management Control X X X 4. Oral Communication (X) X (X) 5. Planning and Organization X (X) X 6. Problem Analysis/Judgment (X) (X) (X) X 7. Resilience (X) (X) X X 8. Sensitivity (X) X X X 9.  Written Communication (Reaction Forms) X X X X Dimensions By Exercise Grid  To be measured in four Participant Reaction Forms X Quality typically measurable in this particular exercise ( ) Parentheses indicate an exercise that is a particularly strong measure of that quality 28
  29. 29. Group exercises • Discussions • Practical tasks • Role play 29
  30. 30. Group Discussions • Discussion of a general topic, e.g. – Should tolls be introduced on all motorways? – What can be done to improve the NHS? – How can the problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption be tackled? • Discussion of a scenario: – Assessment of bids for lottery funding – Shipwreck/desert survival 30
  31. 31. Group Exercises Practical tasks, e.g. • Constructing a Lego tower or paper chain • Creating an advertising campaign for a specific product • Crossing a “shark-infested river” 31
  32. 32. Role Play • Discussion of a given topic or problem • Each member of the group allocated a role, e.g. Marketing Manager/Finance Director • You will have information that other members of the group do not • Need to reach an agreement or produce a recommendation 32
  33. 33. What are assessors looking for in group activities? • Interpersonal skills • Persuasiveness • Co-operation and teamwork • Analysis, judgement and decision-making • Initiative and creativity • Time management 33
  34. 34. Case Studies • May be one of the group exercises and discussions, often involving role-play .. • … or an individual task • Will need to study the information you are presented with, pick out the key points and reach decisions … • … which you may need to write up in a report or to present verbally 34
  35. 35. Presentations • You may be given a topic in advance or allocated one on the day • Keep visual aids simple and relevant • You will be allowed to use notes – small cards are best 35
  36. 36. In-Tray Exercises • Simulates the work you will be doing if selected • You will be given a number of messages – plus attached documents – that you might find in your inbox one morning • Need to sort, prioritise and take or recommend action • Time-limited: new emails (and even phone calls) may keep coming in! 36
  37. 37. Interviews • Likely to be more challenging and probing than previous interviews … • … but will be with a different interviewer so be prepared for some of the same points to be covered … • … especially anything that has emerged as a weak point at previous interviews 37
  38. 38. The Social Side • May include coffee breaks/lunch with the assessors and/or meetings with recent graduates 38 • Not part of the formal assessment … • … but anything you say or do could be remembered
  39. 39. Data Integration Options • Group Discussion – Administrator role is critical – Leads to higher-quality assessor evidence—peer pressure – Beware of process losses! • Statistical/Mechanical – May be more or less acceptable to organizational decision makers, depending on particular circumstances – Can be more effective than “clinical” model – Requires research base to develop formula • Combination of both – Example: consensus on dimension profile, statistical rule to determine overall assessment rating 39
  40. 40. Assessor Report Form Interview Simulation 1 – Very little or none of the quality was shown. 2 – A less than satisfactory degree was shown. 3 – A satisfactory amount was shown. 4 – A greater than satisfactory amount was shown. 5 – A great deal of the quality was shown. (1) Decisiveness: ______ (Readiness to make decisions, render judgments, take action or commit oneself.) (2) Judgment: ______ (Ability to develop alternative solutions to problems, to evaluate courses of action and reach logical decisions.) Participant:______________ (Name) Assessor: ______________ (Name) Date: ____________ 40
  41. 41. Decisiveness: Readiness to make decisions, render judgments, take action or commit oneself. Assessor Your Business Game _____ _____ Interview Simulation _____ _____ Leaderless Group Discussion _____ _____ _____ _____ Overall _________ Initiative: Actively influencing events rather than passively accepting; self-starting. Takes action beyond what is necessarily called for. Originates actions rather than just responding. Assessor Your Business Game _____ _____ Leaderless Group Discussion _____ _____ Overall _________ Assessors: _____________________________ Participant:_______________________ _____________________________ Date: ______________ _____________________________ Assessor Discussion Form 41
  42. 42. Dimension Assessor #1 Assessor #2 Assessor #3 Final Rating Decisiveness Initiative Judgment Leadership Management Control Oral Communication Planning & Organization Problem Analysis Resilience Sensitivity Written Communication Overall Score Assessment Center --- Sample Final Rating Form 42
  43. 43. Sources of Rater Bias • Halo effect– rate high or low due to irrelevant feature or global impression • Leniency error– tendency to give everyone higher ratings • Severity error– tendency to give everyone lower ratings • Central tendency– avoid extreme ratings for specific or on all dimensions • Contrast effect– rating of one person is affected by rating of another • Hawthorne effect– rating distortion (usually high) due to being attended to in a study • Self-fulfilling prophecy (experimenter effect)– selective attention given to what is expected or desired • Misplaced precision error– faults in the rating, design, or treatment may invalidate the precision of the other • Law of the instrument– a favorite instrument will probably find only what it’s designed to find • Number magic– the use of numbers carries the impression of greater precision than may be present 43
  44. 44. Key Steps to Valid Assessments Step 1: Identify job-relevant competencies Step 2: Design the assessment strategy Step 3: Identify assessment tools 44
  45. 45. Step 1: Identify Job-relevant Competencies 45 Do you have job analysis/competency data? IF NO • Conduct a job analysis – A study of what job holders do on the job, what competencies must be employed to do it, what resources are used in doing it, and the conditions under which it is done • Why do a job analysis – It forms the basis for applicant assessment tools – It helps provide legal defensibility – It makes good business sense – It enhances the validity and utility of human resource products
  46. 46. Step 1: Identify Job-relevant Competencies IF YES Proceed to the next step Step 2: Design the assessment strategy 46 Do you have job analysis/competency data?
  47. 47. Step 2: Design the Assessment Strategy – Number of applicants – Volume of hires – History of litigation – Degree of customer contact 47 – Turnover – Diversity issues – Job stress • One or more assessment options can be used to determine a person’s ability to successfully perform a job • The appropriate assessments for a given situation will depend on a number of factors, such as:
  48. 48. Step 2: Design the Assessment Strategy Other considerations • Resources – Budget available for assessment – Time available for development and implementation – Staff available to administer assessment • Job-relevant competencies to be assessed • Tools used to assess these competencies 48
  49. 49. Step 2: Design the Assessment Strategy 1) Is the assessment tool reliable and valid? 2) How are the assessments scored? – Formula to combine assessment scores – Setting of passing scores – Veterans’ preference 49 Questions to Address
  50. 50. Step 2: Design the Assessment Strategy 3. In what order will applicants take the assessments? One common model: • Hurdle 1: Screening • Hurdle 2: Performance-based Assessment • Hurdle 3: Interview 50 Questions to Address (cont.)
  51. 51. Step 3: Identify Assessment Tools Hurdle 1: Screening tools may be used to narrow large candidate pools Examples: – Accomplishment Record – Biographical Data Questionnaire (Biodata) – Cognitive Ability Test – Job Knowledge Test – Personality Test – Situational Judgment Test (SJT) 51
  52. 52. Step 3: Identify Assessment Tools Hurdle 2: Performance-based assessments measure an applicant’s ability to perform job-related activities (best used when a limited number of applicants is expected) Examples: • Assessment Center • Work Sample • Writing Assessment 52
  53. 53. Step 3: Identify Assessment Tools Hurdle 3: Structured interview should be used as a final assessment method or when the applicant pool is moderate or small in size 53
  54. 54. © Development Dimensions Int’l, Inc., MMXI. All rights reserved.54 Training and Development 54
  55. 55. Connect Assessment Insights with Development Activities • Provide a “fix” for things assessed • Save money by not training people on what they know or are good at • Take advantage of Key Actions to speed training • Provide multiple practice opportunities where Key Actions overlap—most important Key Actions 55
  56. 56. Interaction Essentials 56 B = Behaviorally-defined Key Actions B= Behaviorally-defined Key Actions which are Interaction Essentials B B B B B B B BB B B BB B B B B B B B B B Coaching Delegating B = Behaviorally-defined Key Actions B B Influencing Others Decision Making
  57. 57. How Development Components Are Linked Determination of focus Key Action development needs based on assessment report and discussion with manager  Training to learn and practice focus needs  Deliberate Practice with manager or others  Follow-up development and reinforcement to assure training sticks  Adoption of Key Actions into ongoing personal skill set 57
  58. 58. Ongoing Practice and Measurement of Key Actions • Reminders of key learnings and forms provided in training • Additional simulations for more practice • Games to build skills • Ways to collect ongoing feedback (Social Media) 58
  59. 59. Advantages of Linking Assessment with Training and Development • Focuses training and development efforts • Guides deliberate practices • Motivates learners (understand need) • Speeds training and development • Decreases training and development costs • Makes assessment and training/ development into an integrated system 59
  60. 60. Other Considerations • To use assessment tools properly, you must be aware of both the benefits and limitations of any assessment strategy • Agencies can develop and administer some of these methods independently. However, some of the options require a high level of technical expertise to develop and implement 60
  61. 61. One Final Thought “Hiring decisions have long-term consequences for an organization’s productivity and performance. Therefore, quality—not speed—should be the primary measure of the success of hiring decisions and the underlying hiring process.” 61 Identifying Talent through Technology ─ Automated Hiring Systems in Federal Agencies. U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, August 2004.
  62. 62. For Better IndONEsia 62 Learning and Giving