The traditional assessment centres comprise a blend of activities that is conducted at the offsite in a couple of days under a protective environment. Normally they are put to use for your existing workforce companies go on to use a virtual assessment centre to assess the training needs of their employees or other aspects that are needed in order to be successful at a given job. A point to consider is that physical assessment centres are not rolled out at all levels. Mostly they are suitable for the high end positions in an organization.
As a part of an assessment centre organizations send out their employees to an offsite outside their day to day activities, work on employee engagement and become aware. The participants go on to undertake a host of activities like role play, case presentation studies along with behavioural assessments.
At the same time the experience supervisors go on to evaluate the employees and this is on the basis of their demonstrative behaviour. By the time each activity is over, the assessors go on to correlate all the observations and create a manual report based on which participants are provided with a one on one feedback.
What is an Assessment Centre? (Watch Video)
The drawbacks associated with a physical assessment centre
For a long period of time organizations have gone on to prefer the traditional way of assessment as it provides a human approach. But considering the extensive manual effort involved, there are various reasons why HR department find it difficult to justify the uses of physical assessments for a business. In order to dig deep into the limitations that are offered by assessment centres, a lot of interviews have been conducted on this topic.
Here are some common pitfalls of traditional assessment centre:
#1. Logistical issues
The concept of physical assessment centre is cumbersome and boring. The HR department has millions of information and have to make the process a success.
The process starts off by selection of a vendor as the assessment centres are outsourced and a consulting company provides the best blend of exercises after discussion with the stakeholders. Then you have to cope up with all the reservations about accommodation and flight. Even the availability of the employees has to be screened so that the assessors can go on to participate in team activities.
#2. High cost
The traditional assessment centre incurs heavy costs for an organization. For this reason it is restricted to certain job roles where there are pre- approved budgets in place. The overheads relate the logistical requirements with the need for venue and flight reservations. When you conduct it outside the office premises traditional assessment centres work out to be a cost effective option.
#3. Untrained assessors
A trend that has been brought to the fore is the assessors fail to figure out the competencies or tools that they map. As they are not part of an organization where the employees are part of the development centre, there is lack of job understanding and function at hand. What most of the organizations tend to do is that they put the employees through a short training program before an assessment that many organizations even fail to comply. In fact the assessors go on to provide a casual rating to the participants.
#4. Bias tendency
The physical assessment centres are somewhat biased towards extrovert employees. The reason being that these people are good as far as expressing their views towards strangers are concerned. They quickly get across their point of view and go on to dominate the group discussions.
They do get an edge over the introverts who are good at listening and only open up to the people who are known to them. As the process appears to be critical and if they go on to suffer from any form of nervous breakdown the assessment centre would fail to unlock the potential of an individual. If you opt for a half- hearted attempt he scores are bound to be low providing no form of scope of re assessment.
#5. No clarity in tool competency mapping
A lot of times you might stumble upon poorly written case studies. The reason could be that people who formulate the case study lack the skills to relate it to the competency levels. Sometimes the case study would deal with problem solving might address a different issue altogether. Till the point a case study goes on to observe all the behaviours and even sub behaviours, for the role that you need to be assessed, the assesse is not in a position to showcase the demonstrated behaviour. A mismatch is expected between activity and behaviour. This goes on to provide a bias for poor rating as the assessor can only provide you with constructive feedback.
#6. Poor scheduling of exercises
Nearly 60 % of times the scheduling works out to be all around the place. The reason can be attributed to limited degree of understanding on the part of an assessment centre or even on the part of people who formulate these schedules. While formulating a schedule, the vendors create exercises on a back to back basis that provide no time for an assessor to gather their thoughts. If the assessor goes on to miss information then he might not be able to recollect it at a later stage. This has a direct impact on the ratings.
From our discussion till now the fact emerges that assessment centres are difficult to administer and might not always go as per expectations of the HR department.
The list of above mentioned cases could go on to formulate an adverse impact on the culture of an organization. Rather than relying on the traditional assessment centre organizations are opting for the blended approach.
This is a mix of the offline and online tools. You have to map both the tools to the job role and related competencies. In this case each competency is measured by two tools meaning that it works out to be a credible approach. In the midst of this the reports tend to auto generated.
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