The Value of Assessment Centres and Psychometric Testing

The objective of an assessment centre and psychometric testing is to tap into the maximum potential that a person has by assessing a broad range of abilities, attributes, values, competencies and behavioural styles.

An integrated set of methods and models of human behaviour are used to assess their maximum potential. A focal point of the centre is to tap into the transformational potential of current and future leaders, and to use this information to enhance their personal development.

The primary advantage and value-add of an assessment process is the objective and scientific generation of data and information for decision-making purposes. It therefore goes without saying that those who are involved in these activities need to have a level of proficiency and professionalism commensurate with the task at hand.

Experience and research has led employers to conclude that no single selection method can satisfactorily assess or predict success at work. At the same time, understanding what people must achieve in the work they do – and measuring these outputs – have themselves become fundamental processes of work.

Organisations unable to systematically and purposefully evaluate individual ability to deliver critical knowledge, skill or whatever is considered vital for the organisation to prosper, are unlikely to compete successfully in the global market. Assessment centres offer organisations the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the generic business cycle of understanding evolving needs in society, designing or agreeing an entrepreneurial intervention, maximising distinctive competencies, honing competitive advantage and aligning all resources for the best possible outcome.

Benefits:

By using a variety of assessment tools one is able to evaluate individual reactions to a number of situations, and in a variety of different settings. It is also possible to determine a person’s aptitude for and ability in certain activities in a practical and demonstrable manner, thereby limiting reliance on subjective reports of competence.

An assessment centre is an essential staff development tool. It should encourage the process of objectivity and set standards for improved performance. An assessment centre has the following specific guiding principles:

  • To enhance the organisation’s performance against the corporate business plan.
  • To enhance individual performance against agreed objectives.
  • To manage under-performance in a firm and constructive manner.
  • To give direction to employees in terms of their career planning and personal training and development.
  • To enable a culture of continuous improvement within the company.
  • To provide an objective measurement of potential and performance.

Among the key issues assessment centres have the power to address very specifically are:

  • How organisations transform the stress and challenge of tough, global competitive demands into a progressive process?
  • How organisations energise people and engender a passion for both life and work?
  • What we should be doing at work to maintain a sense of vitality?
  • A vital link to on-going executive coaching and development

One of assessment centre technology’s strengths is its flexibility of design. Collectively, the content and process selected must cogently reflect factors organisations believe are most likely to determine success, irrespective of whether the organisation operates within a small market or worldwide. Organisations seeking change are likely to turn to benchmarking or “best practice” to find solutions. While guidelines and models to deal with perceived threats tend to offer generic-type solutions, assessment centres have the advantage of being able to revert to basics, exploring every facet of required people-related acumen for individual organisations to both survive and prosper. While traditional value-chain competencies are important – marketing, finance and so on – the special mix of “human capital” qualities individual organisations need to sustain themselves requires close and special attention. Assessment centres are increasingly proving to be an ideal, practicable vehicle to manage on-going transition.

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