Five reasons to take your assessment centre virtual

Posted by Sova

Technology has transformed the way organisations design and manage their recruitment processes. The days of paper-based screening are long gone, replaced by online technology which manages the application process smoothly and efficiently for organisations and candidates. Smart digital innovations such as online assessment and video interviewing are being used to assess early talent in a fast, effective and fair way, helping organisations make better hiring decisions. Yet, all too often the investment in technology-led solutions in the early stages of the hiring process is not matched when it comes to the assessment centre. This digital disconnect means the assessment centre – a mainstay of the graduate hiring process – remains labour intensive, paper-based and error-prone.

Here are five reasons to go virtual with your assessment centres: 

1.    Efficient candidate experience

The assessment centre can be a daunting process at the best of times – meeting other candidates, completing tasks while being analysed by the hiring team and being under pressure to perform at your best all day. Throw a global pandemic, and ongoing travel restrictions, into the mix and it becomes even more challenging. 

Implementing a virtual process improves the candidate experience in several ways. Digital assessment centre technology fully automates the scheduling on the day, assigning candidates and assessors to the right tasks, at the right time in the right place.  If some candidates don’t turn up, the system adjusts the timetable in a matter of minutes.

2. More accurate recording of observations

Digitising the assessment centre is a more accurate and consistent recording of observations during the day. Typically, observations are recorded on paper, leaving assessors and hiring managers with pages and pages of information and analysis about each candidate. The assessor team and centre administrators must then collate and analyse all of the data, identifying who has performed well and who has not. Wash up sessions with assessors are far more efficient when using a digital process with all candidate data, including assessor notes, available for review and discussion by assessors and illegible assessor notes being a thing of the past.

3. Reducing environmental impact and improving social diversity

A significant benefit of moving your assessment centre online is the environmental impact. In-person centres require candidates and assessors to travel, sometimes inter-state requiring flights, hotels and taxis, to attend the session, while setting up and executing the assessment centre can generate reams of paper which needs to be stored securely post-event. 

Bringing this process onto a digital platform, allows companies to reduce their carbon footprint, without impacting the candidate experience. Furthermore, digital assessment centres improve social mobility, making assessment centres accessible to candidates who can’t afford to cover the costs of travel, or buy a suit for an interview. We have many stories from candidates and clients which highlight the improved accessibility of digital assessment centres and how they have enabled candidates to secure employment.

4. Reduce risk

Covid-19 has forced us to change the way we live our lives and the way we do business. We have had to pivot repeatedly to accommodate the challenges that Covid brings, including working from home while offices are closed.

Digital assessment centres allow us to continue with business as usual and avoid the risk that comes with in-person events. They provide your business with the certainty that assessment centres can proceed even if the office doors are shut, or if new variants emerge. 

5. Improved data analytics

While thinking about the candidate and assessor experience, it can be easy to overlook another crucial benefit: data quality. Bringing your organisation’s assessment process onto a digital platform hugely improves the data you can collect, as everything is recorded automatically, in real time, in the same format. This not only removes the chance of human error but enables the collection of consistent, reliable data accurately mapped against a candidate’s application. Extend this to every recruitment campaign conducted in your organisation and the efficiency and accuracy of your data and metrics is invaluably enhanced. Having this data easily accessible in a single platform enables data to be analysed and key data such as diversity rates, made accessible in real time.

The assessment centre is likely to remain an important part of the graduate hiring process, but it must move into the digital age. By using smart technology, we can design paperless assessment centres, which in turn enhances the face-to-face experience for candidates and assessors. 

We’ll be exploring this topic in more detail at our upcoming webinar on Thursday 17th February at 11am AEST. Find out more and reserve your space.

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