Managers are considered as a guide towards the achievement of the organizational goals. All organizations exist for certain objectives or goals and managers are given up with the most responsibility for utilization of resources in an effective and efficient manner and to achieve those goals.
Managers are expected to communicate the organizational needs and encourage more productivity without breaking the morale of the employees. Also, one of the most important tasks of the managers is to review the performance of employees about how well they are performing with the assigned tasks.
Therefore, assessment centers are adopted by the employers so as for detailed evaluation of an individual’s role fitting for the job assigned. Basically, it refers to a process adopted by the organizations to assess the employees beginning from recruitment to training, promotion and later succession planning.
These centers use variety of tools to assess the extent to which a candidate would display selected proficiency. It further includes behavioral exercises which assist in observing the behavior of candidates. After the exercises, the candidates are rated accordingly. The score is known to be as Overall Assessment Rating.
These centers are considered as an essential element of management system. They are broadly used for three particular purposes:
- Predicting future behavior for making decisions.
- To determine the developmental needs
- To expand the behavioral interests
Additionally, these centers are popularly utilized for initiatives such as:
- Identifying the potential employees: Potential employees produce excellent results thereby, contributing for achieving the objectives. An individual alone cannot raise the performance level and bring a change. It is only possible with teamwork and coordination from all the employees. Hence, it tends to display the undiscovered abilities of the candidate.
- Identifying the training requirement: Training is considered as an essential part in the career growth of employees. If they aren’t provided with right training, they would leave the jobs sooner which results in employee turnover. Therefore, to cover the gaps assessment centers assist organizations to train current employees and initiate skills among amongst them.
- Developing leaders: positive behavior among leaders have developed through effective leadership developmental programs. When the organizations improve the training methods, thus it leads to developing leaders who would produce astounding results such as increase in sales, low employee turnover, high customer satisfaction in future.
- Succession Planning: Feedback obtained from these centers help the organization in identifying the candidate who would be able to handle the challenges imposed for the higher levels. Leaders learn about their residing capabilities and skills, areas to be worked upon and what is expected from them. Hence, it contributes towards succession planning by viewing the number of employees who required for performing key roles in future.
Furthermore, there are several pillars of assessment centers which make it stand strong and are extensively adopted by the organizations which are as follows:
- Job analysis: these centers assist the employers to determine the skills, capabilities, knowledge possessed by an employee. It moreover depends upon the complexity and prior knowledge of the job. Vision, objectives and values define competencies.
- Categorizing the Behavior: the valuation centers assist to demonstrate competencies which relate to behavioral aspects, ability, knowledge, aptitude etc.
- Capacity Mapping: After identifying the competencies and job analysis is done they are further mapped for various assessment techniques. Competencies are considered as the best tool of predicting performance which tends to measure approx four to six competencies for every exercise.
- Simulation Based Exercises: there are many work related exercises performed so as to have an in-depth understanding of the performance of an individual. These simulation exercises may be group discussions, in-basket exercises, role playing, case studies, presentations etc.
- Multiple assessment Methods: these centers subsume multiple exercises which include comportment simulation or an amalgamation of behavior, psychometric, situational based tests, knowledge based interviews etc. these tests are undertaken to make sure about the techniques to be precise and trustworthy.
So, conducting assessment centers is a must by any organization. The first thing which every organization should keep in view is to define the objective before disclosing the employees to assessment centers. If there is a requirement to assess the skills required by the employees for an effective target role, therefore, the organizations should analyze the factors which assist in better employee performance.
The greatest advantage involved with evaluation is it allows the organization to get closer with the selection procedure by observing how the employees would be performing the tasks for which they are being assessed.
But, these centers incur a huge cost as it requires great investment to be made on the part of organization and designing processes may take couple of months which might result in several delays in assessing the employee. Hence, the human resource management along with the top level management needs to attenuate the job roles against different assessment techniques.
Also, it takes a longer time span to bring reliable results. So, to avoid such a situation an expert can be consulted who would have the more in-depth knowledge of the tools used in assessment centers and to apply them in more effective manner.
The experienced experts take into account each and every single detail for how to evaluate every domain of employee which is also considered as valid testing. In addition, one of the biggest disadvantages which lies is biassed. Managers can be bias with the results produced and which may lead to non-satisfaction among the candidates as they wouldn’t get the proper feedback.
However, it is the sheer wastage of time and energy if the candidate chosen gets wrong i.e. recruited with higher expectations but after evaluation it turns out to be exactly opposite of that. Moreover, there is a higher risk involved if the employer fails to define what he wants to test and how to match up with the capability framework. Then, under these circumstances the employer is left with making assessment on the basis of observations.
Thus, despite of having pitfalls the assessment centers help to settle down the various needs of the organizations only when they are implemented in the right manner.