A tool for detecting potential and skills: “the Assessment Center” or “Behavioural assessment
The identification and evaluation of potential and skills using the “Assessment center” method (or Behavioural assessment). This allows an assessment to be carried out of strong and weak points based on previously established behavioural criteria that have been selected and defined according to the requirements of the employment posts. The process is also generally perceived in a positive light by those being “evaluated”, due to the fact that it is a realistic simulation of the post rather than an evaluation based on elements that are subjective or relate to personality.
The process involves the candidate being placed in a simulation of a professional situation, and being observed by evaluators from the Core Advice team. It may be used in different contexts: to assess the suitability of the candidate to the post, recruitment, promotion, identification of training needs / preparation of a training plan. The assessment of a person’s professional behaviour is carried out through the simulations (written or oral, including telephone exercises in the latter case), designed specifically by the Core Advice teams to replicate the reality of the employment posts concerned, and to enable high performance professional behaviour to be demonstrated. Each session in a “behavioural assessment” comprises a set of exercises, both written and oral, which simulate genuine professional situations and also take into account the social culture of the organisation.
Examples of professional behaviour that can be measured (each of which has been specifically defined upstream by the consultant and the management hierarchy involved in the post or posts, for the context in which the simulation will take place) include: analysis/summary, organisation and coordination, motivation/facilitation of participants, initiative, resistance to pressure, search for quality, ability to listen, awareness of the environment, etc.
There are different types of professional simulations, such as the “In Basket” or “in-tray” written simulations: which present all of the different types of documents that have accumulated in a manager’s in-tray over several days of absence. These may, for example, include letters, memos, reports, messages and other notes and files, all of which need to be dealt with in the correct manner. Technical situational tests (aimed at evaluating specific knowledge) may be designed, with the agreement of the client, and incorporated into the simulation.
In examples such as the “in-tray” simulation the candidate takes on the role of manager for a predetermined time (generally 2 or 3 hours): he or she will therefore have to react, carry out different actions, take the situation in hand and deal with the post, memos and other documents as quickly as possible, determining what needs to be done, setting priorities, taking decisions, delegating, ensuring that any actions undertaken will be monitored and controlled, etc.
The assessment/rating of work undertaken is carried out at the end of the simulations by consultants who are trained in the method, through observation (for oral simulation) and analysis (for written simulation) of the behaviour adopted when dealing with the problems presented.
Computer processing: the material developed for both the oral and written simulations can then be processed using specific programmes designed by the Core Advice team in collaboration with its partners.