In an ideal situation, a ‘try before you buy’ opportunity would be beneficial when it comes to recruiting.  Here, potential candidates and how they operate can be observed before making a hiring decision. Unfortunately for most recruitment agencies, this has not been realistic in the past as, given the timeframe provided, they were only able to select temporary or contract workers from a candidate pool that was immediately available.

Growing in popularity, candidate testing has given rise to an influx of assessment centres in recent years and these services continue to grow more readily accessible, prompting recruitment agencies to reap the benefits of them. While a little costly, the use of assessment centres benefits the recruitment process greatly when shortlisting candidates as it helps locate the highest calibre candidate for every role, thus leading to better working relationships with clients.

Simply put, assessment centres aid in the recruitment process by hosting a range of activities, through which groups of candidates can be compared. It replicates ‘real life’ working scenarios and tasks similar to the available role and the candidates are able to demonstrate their relevant skills and be evaluated against the other applicants. This extra step in the recruiting process significantly increases the suitability of candidates to the role, benefiting clients, and rewards hardworking and high-performing candidates who may not have had the best interview presence.

Why many recruiters use assessment centres

Assessment centres are used for numerous reasons and have become an invaluable source to many recruitment agencies. They can:

  • Highlight a candidate’s suitability over other applicants
  • Place candidates relatively quickly and efficiently
  • Provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates
  • Select the strongest candidates whose skills best fit the tasks required for the position
  • Give candidates a realistic idea of what is expected within the position
  • More closely simulate real workplace scenarios, and
  • Provide greater flexibility and higher objectivity in the approach to selecting candidates

What is involved at assessment centres?

An assessment should incorporate no more than three to four exercises, including but not limited to:

  • Group Exercises
  • Leadership Exercises
  • Writing exercises
  • Role plays
  • Ability, aptitude and Psych assessments, and
  • One-on-One Interviews

Recruiters can therefore rank each candidate through consolidating their findings against set criteria and reach a more conclusive decision of whether to hire the candidate for the position.

The ‘try before you buy’ approach is no longer an future ideal for businesses and benefits both recruitment agencies and their clients, while operating in a manner that gives equal opportunity to all applicants. Able to be utilised in recruiting candidates across a variety of different industries, there’s no doubting that assessment agencies are effective tools for delivering candidates of the highest calibre. Surpassing a typical board-room interview, simulating environments similar to real workplace scenarios allows recruiters to therefore use their time and money more effectively and deliver highly qualified and suitable candidates to all clients.