An assessment center is a process of examining a pool of candidates to determine their suitability for specific types of employment, especially management. It is a means of gathering relevant information, under standardized conditions, about an individual’s capabilities to perform a managerial position. In essence, an assessment center puts candidates through a series of group and individual exercises designed to simulate the conditions of a given job and determines if they have the skills and abilities necessary to perform that job. It does this by bringing out the candidate’s behavior relevant to the job, while being observed by a group of assessors.
Benefits of Assessment Centers:
- Are all useful for screening groups of potential candidates and are standardized because testing conditions are similar for all candidates
- Measure job-related behaviors rather than other behaviors that are not directly related to effective job performance.
- Measure a broader range of knowledge, skills, and abilities than traditional methods, such as written tests or interviews.
- Are fair regardless of age or gender.
- Candidates typically view assessment centers as a fair promotional method.
- Assessment center ratings tend to be much more accurate than conventional ratings because the assessment center provides an opportunity for direct observation of behavior in a controlled setting with trained raters.
Common Uses of Assessment Centers:
- Selection and Promotion