Checklist for utilising technology to run successful virtual assessment centres

Posted by Sova

The assessment centre is a key milestone and brand-building opportunity in the hiring process, so whether in-person or virtual, it’s important to deliver a positive and developmental experience for candidates whilst gleaning the right information in a fair and consistent manner.

Organisations typically prioritise technology investment in the early part of the recruitment process such as careers sites and screening which are engaging, digital and frictionless. But it’s often the case that once candidates get to the assessment centre stage, the process reverts to being paper-based and inefficient.

This can be damaging to the candidate experience, time consuming for recruiters while also opening up the process to bias. Sova’s assessment centre technology fixes the digital disconnect. The technology can be deployed in face-to-face assessment centres, or in conjunction with video conferencing technology for a fully virtual assessment experience, allowing candidates and assessors to interact with each other the same as an in-person event. Our virtual assessment centre technology has transformed the assessment experience for our clients’ candidates and assessors as part of an in-person, hybrid or completely virtual process. 

We share ten important, practical lessons to help you get started when rolling out assessment centre technology in a virtual world: 

Test the process – for most (candidates and assessors alike), a virtual assessment centre platform will be a new experience. Trial and test the process before going live.

Opportunity to practice – provide an opportunity for assessors to login and get comfortable with the technology.

Contingency planning – think through what you will do if things go wrong on the day e.g. a candidate’s camera stops working, or internet connection is lost. 

IT & security settings – check with your IT teams to determine if there are any restrictions in place around video conferencing technology

Clear briefing and communication – taking extra time to fully brief candidates and assessors is key to ensuring the smooth running of a virtual assessment centre.

Support rooms – consider a virtual ‘staff room’ where a facilitator is on hand to deal with any queries. For candidates, an ‘online concierge’ in a separate hang out room who is available to provide support can help alleviate any concerns.

Group size – in a virtual setting, consider limiting the group size to be manageable e.g. 5-6 candidates.

Make best use of technology – many of the video conferencing technologies have useful functions for running virtual assessment centres such as collaborative whiteboards. Sova’s platform has an embedded video functionality with no need to integrate with applications such as Zoom or Teams. This ensures confidentiality and means that candidates only need to login to one platform. 

Capitalise on efficiencies – consider a more efficient process by sending candidate preparation work in advance. Fewer timetable restrictions, as the schedule isn’t dependant on physical meeting space, can help to deliver shorter assessment centres.

Reassure candidates – make it clear that things like background noise or family members walking in and out won’t count against them. Signpost between activities and include warm-up exercises to get everyone talking.

To find out more about taking your assessment centres virtual, join the Virtual Assessment Centre Hub within the Sova Community. You’ll be able to explore best practice advice and guidance on how to digitise your assessment centres, through a series of webinars, articles, client stories and an online course. 

Join the Sova Community


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