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Hi All,
I am doing a project work on assessment centre and it's success in India. I went thru various websites but cudn't get much relevant data. Cud u plz update me about assessment centre with relevance to it's cost effectiveness, culture perspective etc.

Check this out


Assessment centres enhance HR effectiveness

Organisations find it difficult to make error-free judgements while identifying people for senior positions. DR E J SARMA writes that assessment centres are very effective in such decision-making processes

Let me share with you a funny incident. Recently, a client approached us with an urgent requirement for a particular software skill. We referred three candidates after proper screening. One candidate was put through three rounds of interview. The whole process took almost 15 days after which he was told that he will be put on 15 days trial. The candidate naturally got upset and told the company HR person to get lost. His contention was that even after three rounds of interview if the company management could not make up their mind, they were not worth joining. The company is yet to find a suitable person and they might have lost the project also.

If we analyse the reason behind this indecision we will know that judgements not based on data and facts are difficult. So the question is: Are there any better tools or processes?

Most companies find it difficult to make error-free decisions when it comes to identifying people for senior jobs, or when they want to promote. HR’s challenge is to help managements make the right decisions. The assessment centre concept is very powerful for such decision-making. In this article we will examine some critical issues related with assessment centres.

An assessment centre will have a standardised process for evaluation of behaviour using multiple inputs. These centres need well-trained process observers and robust techniques are used. Compared to normal interviews, at assessment centres judgements about behaviours are made by not one but many, using specifically developed simulations. Data is pooled by the assessors or by a statistical integration process. Trained assessors observe and evaluate candidates on their relevant managerial qualities, while those candidates are performing a variety of situational exercises. Assessment centre exercises (e.g., role-play, in-basket, fact-finding and group discussions), intend to measure dimensions such as leadership, planning, sensitivity, problem solving, and many others.

Assessment centres serve three main human resources functions:

* Selection and promotion

* Diagnosis (e.g., identification of training and development needs)

* Development (i.e., skill enhancement through simulations).

The following dimensions are normally assessed in assessment centres:

* Planning and organising

* Leadership n Analytical

* Problem solving

* Sensitivity

* Decision-making

* Creativity

* Sociability

* Management control and delegating.

For success of the centres, assessors have to demonstrate the capability to observe and record the behaviour of candidates. This is demanding as assessors have to understand the difference between merely looking for concrete verbal and non-verbal behaviours and interpreting these behaviours. They should be able to withhold early judgements. These days video is frequently used to aid assessors in gathering behavioural information.

Assessors should be able to organise their behavioural observations by job-related dimensions. This means indicating to which dimension each behaviour belongs. Another skill involves accurate rating of candidates on dimensions. They should have the ability not to make comparative judgements. This is critical.

Assessors should demonstrate the ability to integrate information from various exercises and be able to discuss the ratings with fellow assessors. Finally, they have to write formal reports and give feedback.

Studies reveal that if assessment techniques are robust, targeted, well-designed and properly implemented, then grouped together this multiple assessment technique can be the most valid and reliable approach when compared to single-method approaches—such as interviews and personality questionnaires.

Although setting up an assessment centre can be costly, the cost is worth it if one considers the risk minimisation of recruiting the wrong person. Costs can be higher when organisations spend money in buying expensive off-the-shelf tools which tie them into an additional cost. Often these products are mis-aligned with competency models. Another cost is the time commitment required from internal participants and managers who play assessor roles.

The main advantage of assessment centres is that it allows key job success behaviours to be directly observed and measured. Designed and run properly, they provide a window to cross-check or challenge information gained through self report measures such as interviews. For example, someone may outline a ton of experience (e.g. leadership experience) in a behavioural interview, but in a group exercise they are observed to dominate, do not listen to others and ignore the quieter group members. Assessment centres are powerful and are becoming increasingly popular. Organi-sations which have growth plans coupled with the desire to get people to man positions from within, should get started on assessment centres.

Dr. E. J Sharma is CEO, Hurmist


HR One is the company specialising in Assessment Centre..

you can contact them at any of the given address on the following link


Academy of HRD provides a course on "Individual & Organizational Assessment Centres ( IOAC)"

you can have information on them from

Dear Sharma Sir,
Thank you for the valuable insights on various aspects of Assessment centre.A few questions have cropped up during my project.I would be grateful if you could throw some light on these.
1. Though being so powerful tool, why is it not so prevalent in India?
2. Arnt test performances sometimes over emphasised.
3. Does the role of assessor makes the process much more subjective and prone to individual bias.

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