About Assessment Centre Methodology
An Assessment Centre is a formal process during which group and individual management simulations are used to determine an individual's management ability, skills, and training needs. The individual's performance is evaluated against a number of management competencies regarded as being of critical importance for an effective manager-leader.
It is therefore an approach to obtain an indication of an individual's competence to perform at a target job level. The assessment focuses on the individual's behaviour during simulations (exercises). The set of simulations capture the major aspects of the job.
During the centre several individuals participate simultaneously and are observed by observers. Assessment is done by using a combination of methods (i.e. interactive versus paper, strategic versus day-to-day, individual versus group simulations). The information generated from the assessments is classified under the behavioural competencies.
Different Types of Centres
- Management Assessment Centres are used to assess various competencies of candidates that applied for specific positions. It is usually used to select the most suitable candidate for a specific position in an organisation. It is also used to determine candidate's management-leadership potential for various positions and levels in the organisation.
- Management Development Centres are used to identify a delegate's current and unique manager-leader strengths and development areas. Delegates attend a debriefing session at the end of the centre which explains the various techniques, exercises and competencies used during the centre. Alternatively debriefing sessions can be held after each exercise with relevant theoretical inputs. Delegates receive feedback, a comprehensive report and an individualised development plan within 10 days after attendance of the centre.
- Coaching Development Centres are used to effectively coach delegates on management leadership principles. The Coaching Development Centre is based on the principles of experiential learning and continuous feedback within the context of centre methodology. Delegates write their own reports and construct their own development plans under the guidance of an experienced facilitator/coach. Delegates are given the opportunity to experiment with new behaviours in a safe environment and they receive objective coaching and advice.
- Functional Development Centres are used to identify a delegate's current and unique strengths and development areas in a specific functional context (for example Sales, Human Resources, etc..). These centres are designed for a specific functional context and tailored to specific client needs.
A simulation is an exercise that simulates a typical situation faced by people in a specific job or role. It requires the same outputs as the real job situation. To perform effectively during a simulation, the candidate/delegate is expected to use a variety of behavioural competencies.
Career and self-development discussion
Information on the delegate's career and self development is obtained by means of a detailed biographical questionnaire. The delegate's career progress, both in a functional and managerial context, is discussed and future career development strategies are agreed upon.
The In-Basket is a realistic simulation of the typical day-to-day problems faced by a manager. The delegate is presented with letters, memoranda, e-mails, messages and other papers on which he/she must act within a specific time.
The Counselling Interview is designed to determine to what extent the delegate is able to integrate and act on information about poor performance. He/she must address the past performance of a subordinate in such a manner that will lead him/her to insight into his/her strengths and areas requiring development. The subordinate must be motivated to improve performance within a framework of agreed upon development actions.
The Group Discussion is an assigned role group interaction with a built-in conflict structure. The delegate is assigned to the chairperson role and must lead and facilitate the discussion in order to reach consensus on the road ahead.
Analysis Exercise and Formal Presentation
The Analysis Exercise simulates a situation where a manager is required to analyse the current situation in his/her department/business to identify strategies and actions that will turn the department/business around and to give it a competitive advantage.
The delegate has to do a thorough, multi-disciplinary investigation of the company's problems and opportunities and submit a business report/plan with detailed recommendations to the executive committee. The delegate is also expected to present his/her findings and recommendations to the committee during a formal business presentation.
Observers and Facilitators
All our observers and facilitators are hand-picked and adequately trained in behaviour observation and assessment. The majority of our observers are Psychologists and/or HR and business professionals.
Assessment tools: Psychometrics
Applicable psychometric tools can also be used during a centre. Clients can make a selection from a wide variety of instruments ranging from personality questionnaires and EQ assessments to cognitive assessments. The psychometric data and the information generated from the simulations are integrated and presented in a comprehensive integrated report.
Comprehensive competency-based and integrated reports are prepared for each delegate that attended a centre. Delegates that attend the collaborative MDC construct their own reports at the centre under the guidance of a facilitator.
Simulations and competencies can be customised to suit clients needs.
Organisational Levels: Senior, Middle, Supervisory
The centres/simulations are presented on three levels, the First Line MDC/AC (Supervisors), the Managers MDC/AC (Middle Management) and the Senior/Executive Managers MDC/AC. Each centre adequately reflects the competencies (skills, knowledge and experience) and complexities associated with each managerial level.
Assessment Centre Technology: Benefits
Assessment centre methodology is a powerful tool to facilitate career planning processes. Delegates that attended a centre have an in-depth understanding of what constitute effective management and leadership and they have a very good understanding of their own areas of development. Their career development is supported with focussed development interventions based on individual needs.
Talent management is one of the most important processes in any organisation and yet it is often neglected or ineffectively managed. Assessment Centre technology is very powerful in this context because it provides detailed and scientifically-based information for each individual. It ensures that talent management is done in an orderly, well-structured and objective manner.
Delegate's future development focuses on their unique management-leadership development needs. Delegates understand why a competency is a development area and are therefore more committed to turning it into an area of strength.
The overall development process is focused and results-oriented to provide a return on investment for all involved. Because the centres are collaborative, delegates get feedback throughout the process and learning takes place during the Centre as well as thereafter.
The ability to attract and retain quality managers/leaders is critically important for every organisation. Assessment Centre technology is a very powerful tool in this context as it provides valuable, objective and scientifically-based information to ensure that well-informed decisions are taken as regards the appointment of suitable candidates in management/leadership positions.
PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING AND REPORTING
A major reason for using psychometric tests to assist with selection decisions is that they provide information that cannot be obtained easily in other ways. If such tests are not used then what we know about the applicant is limited to the information that can be gathered from an application form or CV, an interview and references. If we wish to gain information about a person's specific aptitudes & abilities and about their personality, attitudes and values then we have little option but to use psychometric tests. In fact, psychometric tests can do more than simply provide additional information about the applicant. They add a degree of reliability and validity to the selection procedure that is impossible to achieve in any other way.
Fullray Management Instruments offers a variety of psychometric tests and assessments covering a full range of skills, competencies, and personal attributes. Our psychometric tests are backed by extensive research and validation studies, registered with the relevant professional institutions and are administered by qualified Psychologists. Details are available on request.