It can be quite challenging for an organisation to identify the most suitable candidate for a graduate role. With an inherent lack of practical experience, an applicant may only be able to demonstrate competency based on presumptions of their own behaviour. It’s also highly likely that most candidates will be unfamiliar with answering interview questions, having only encountered such situations through applications for casual jobs and activities related to university study.
Interview-based recruitment methods only provide businesses with limited opportunities to evaluate whether a candidate can apply such knowledge and experience to a professional work role and organisational culture. In addition, the time-intensive, one-to-one structure of the interview process is not conducive to managing the large volume of applicants that are likely to be vying for a graduate position.
Assessment centres offer an ideal alternative by facilitating a simulated environment where graduates can participate in tasks and scenarios associated with the role. The recruitment team and hiring managers will look on as applicants undertake a series of one-on-one and team-based activities that are designed to reveal specific skills and behavioural traits.
The assessment centre methodology enables decision makers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of each applicant. Armed with evidence-based insights, businesses are empowered to select the candidate that demonstrates the best cultural and role fit.
Key advantages of using assessment centres to hire graduates
There are many ways in which your organisation could benefit from using assessment centres for recruitment. From reducing the labour associated with hiring new employees to improving objectivity in the selection process, here are the key advantages of using assessment centres to hire graduates.
Efficient Recruitment Process
As group activities enable an organisation to review several candidates at once, the assessment centre model is naturally more time effective.
There are organisational development consultants that specialise in assessment centre design and facilitation who can manage all aspects of your graduate program, further freeing up your HR department to invest its time into other valuable activities.
An experienced business psychologist will also be able to create a unique assessment centre that is tailored to your industry and the available position.
Improved Success Rate
Studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between the performance of an individual in an assessment centre and future job performance. A well-designed assessment centre will use psychological activities to evaluate relevant behaviours and explore individual competencies in various areas. It will use these activities to determine the likelihood that a candidate will uphold the values and culture of the organisation and further, predict the success of the applicant in the given position.
By identifying the graduate that is most well-suited to the company and the role, the selected applicant will also be more likely to remain with the organisation in the long term.
Objective Candidate Selection
With the commitment to fair work practices being stronger than ever, it’s becoming increasingly common for organisations to actively promote cultural values and uphold policies that support gender equality as well as cultural diversity.
The assessment centre method allows for an impartial recruitment process that is centred around equal opportunity. As there are multiple assessors following an objective set of criteria, the selected candidate will be chosen based entirely on merit, without individual bias influencing the decision.
As the use of objective criteria is essential for success, the recruitment team will also undertake training prior to the assessment centre to become more self-aware and learn how to manage their own bias.
Opportunity to Demonstrate Strengths
The transition from tertiary education to the workforce can be a time of uncertainty for graduates and combined with a lack of experience in interviewing for jobs, it’s likely that candidates will become nervous during the recruitment process.
Assessment centres can create an environment that lessens the pressure, providing graduates with an opportunity to showcase a range of skills and abilities in different situations. While standalone interviews cater to certain personality types, the exercises within group interview assessments can accommodate a variety of personalities, allowing each individual the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths.
Present Your Point of Difference
While the objective of an assessment centre is to review prospects for a graduate role, it is also an opportunity for the applicants to evaluate each organisation. Companies should treat group assessments as a branding exercise and use the forum to demonstrate points of difference and establish a favourable reputation among the graduate pool.
As graduate recruitment is highly competitive in many industries, it is very important to provide an assessment centre experience that’s unique to your organisation. With several companies looking to hire from the same pool of applicants, your organisation needs to effectively position itself to attract and retain the most suitable candidates.
Assessment Centre Design & Facilitation
To give your business the best chance for success, contact the People Solutions team today. Our industry-leading organisational development consultants can design and facilitate an assessment centre that’s tailored to the behavioural and cultural requirements of your organisation.