An Assessment centre is a technique used to select individuals with high managerial potential for their respective organization. Their abilities are assessed based on their performances on a series of stimulated managerial tasks over a period of two or three days. An assessment centres has been proven through research to be a valid predictor of managerial success. They have also been so successful in assessing managers that organizations are now using them for hiring front-line workers as well.
Other exercises include applicants participating in stimulated exercises with customers including various exercises designed to assess their listening skills, customer sensitivity and ability to handle pressure. In order for assessment centres to be valid the organization must determine the skills and competencies that are needed for the job and the exercises that must be designed in order to assess those specific areas.
Developing the list of personality characteristics to be assessed is a critical element of any assessment centre. The characteristics that are developed should be directly related to the successful performance of the particular jobs that are being evaluated for. Once these personality characteristics have been identified the exercises can be selected for use in the assessment centre. Research has proven that certain exercises are more relevant for measuring certain personality traits than others.
Assessment centres can be used for a number of purposes, one of those being employee selection. It can be used for selecting external candidates to fulfil a certain vacancy and may also be used to select internal candidates for promotions. An assessment centres comprises of trained assessors who observe overt behaviours displayed by assesses (application candidates or current employees) in complex organisational simulations. The assesses are given ratings on their performance in these complex situations, their performance is evaluated in accordance to specific performance dimensions and performance targets which have been set. The dimensions of performance are identified through various methods of job analysis or competency modelling.