3 Things to Focus On for a Successful Assessment Center

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Assessment Centers are highly effective for leadership roles as they carry high predictive validity. But their effectiveness is not universal – it highly contextual. This post highlights 3 most important things an assessment center facilitator must do in order to ensure high reliability and validity. It is based on author`s own experience of conducting assessment centres in India, Europe and in the Middle East.

1. Know the competency framework very well

This is the crucial step about making sure that the assessment centre will yield the desired result. Before even starting to think about the activities and plan of assessment centre. Take time to discuss with the stakeholders to understand what is really meant by the competencies and their levels. In most cases, the list of competencies given to us is too much overlapping and if they are used as the base for designing/ selecting activities, there are very low chances of getting any meaningful results.

2. Use only the activities you have played at least 3 times in the past:

One of the most tempting thing for smart facilitators is to use 'oven-fresh' activities for the assessment centre. This , though sounds very good but is the most damaging thing for the validity of the assessment centre. Only tried and tested activity must be used in the assessment centre to get reliable and valid results.

3. Train the observers by playing the activities with them:

This is another very important thing to keep in mind that training of the observer plays a big role in reliability of the assessment centre. Even highly skilled observers have wider disagreement if they do not meet before the assessment centre and agree on expected behaviours and ORCE schema for that.
Vijai Pandey is Head of Assessments in The Psychometric World. He has worked in India, Europe and in the Middle East in research and advisory capacity in the area of talent measurement and development. Views expressed here are his personal.

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