Strong managers build strong companies. Your company’s success depends on having managers who make effective decisions and motivate other employees to perform to the best of their abilities. Without strong management, short and long –term goals of profit, customer satisfaction and employee retention do not stand a chance.
How do you know if the candidates are really appropriate? Promoting individuals who are not ready may fill a short term hiring need, but building a strong management team should be a long –term strategy of any organisation. The first step in addressing management concerns is to ensure that you hire the right candidates for managerial positions. This applies to graduate trainee programme candidates as well. While many individuals are trainable, you can give yourself a head start by identifying the candidates who are most ready to manage the moment they set foot in the door. You need to select managers and supervisors who will coach and motivate others to succeed. Without question, organisations which strive to capitalize on their “people assets” are the visionaries of today and the market leaders of the future. Selecting the best people and developing that investment separates winning organisations from the rest. But how do you select the best? An assessment centre is one of several selection devices used to determine a candidate’s suitability for a particular supervisory or managerial position. Individual and group exercises are administered under standardized conditions which simulate the skills and abilities most essential for successful performance. The candidate’s behaviour is observed by a team of trained assessors, qualified individuals who are familiar with the requirements of the job and the format of the assessment centre. They have been specifically trained in-group and interpersonal skills, observation of behaviors, and the exercises used during the center.
For years assessment centres have been used in the world’s top companies to help hire, promote, and train the best individuals based on the requirements of the target position(s). Many organizations use them today for selection of all people targeted for managerial and professional positions. The process is the most effective selection, promotional, and training tool ever developed. No class, seminar or workshop offers such immediate, targeted application supporting leadership assessment and development for operational managers and other professionals. Users and practitioners value assessment centres for their content validity, predictive accuracy, objectivity, and relevance to the demands of the job, if not for their overall utility and cost effectiveness.
The foundation of the assessment centre is a thorough job analysis including identification of the critical functions and competencies required for successful job performance. The methodology involves identifying what a person must do to succeed in the real world (using job analysis), developing instruments (business simulations or role plays, interviews, presentations and ability tests) to measure a person’s ability to perform the critical skills or competencies needed to succeed and training a group of individuals to process and evaluate the results in an accurate, fair, and objective manner. One of the many benefits of a quality assessment program is the diagnosis and development of information about a person’s job-related strengths and weaknesses. More and more organizations are recognizing the value of the process in identifying training needs, for individuals and for groups.
Assessment Centres assess multiple competencies using multiple exercises and trained assessors. The cornerstone of the technique is the use of simulations that closely parallel actual situations and challenges encountered at work. These simulations include:
In-Basket Exercises – Administrative and organizations skills are evaluated, as participants are required to review and take actions on a number of in-basket items that are inter-related. This consists of a variety of memos, letters, and documents of varying importance, which the candidates respond to and prioritize. To be successful, participants must be able to set priorities, organize information, and take logical actions.
Oral Presentation Exercise – With this exercise, candidates give an oral presentation in which they must defend their positions and recommendations on a specific issue.
Analysis Exercises – Analytical skills are evaluated, as participants are required to review quantitative and qualitative information related to a complex business problems. To be successful, participants must be able to relate information, see trends, and reach logical conclusions.
Role-Plays – This is one on one interaction with a trained participant that are designed to evaluate interpersonal skills. In this exercise, a candidate deals with a subordinate or an irate customer. This exercise measures such skills as communication, problem solving, and interpersonal skills To be successful, participants must be able to be persuasive, maintain control, problem-solve, and demonstrate appropriate empathy and sensitivity.
Leaderless Group Discussions – In this exercise, candidates are given a specific problem in which they are instructed to try and reach a group consensus within a specified amount of time. This exercise measures qualities such as decision-making, cooperation, and interpersonal skills.
The assessment centre offers an additional opportunity to assess those skills, which do not surface in a written test or oral interview. It rates candidates on how well they perform during job-related exercises. With the number of challenges organizations are facing today, it is important that qualified individuals are appointed to supervisory or managerial positions.
Memory Nguwi is the Managing Consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com