The main purpose of Assessment Centres (ACs) in an organisational environment is to successfully and accurately measure job-related traits of individuals to help predict their future performance and assess their suitability for roles.
Effective human resource strategies including: selection and development decisions; workforce capability; employee engagement; talent management and succession planning are generally built on the foundation of accurate and reliable information. Assessment Centres have proven to provide rich layers of information for managerial decision-making.
However, human related diagnostic information will in all likelihood only result in valued organisational outcomes when assessment practices are clearly linked to long-term strategy. In order to make accurate decisions, organisations need to use Assessment Centres that are reliable (i.e. consistent in measurement) and valid (i.e. measure what they purport to measure). Notwithstanding the value added by Assessment Centres in development and selection practices, ACs are often more expensive to design, administrate and validate compared to conventional standardised psychometric measures.
Against this background, Assessment Centre practitioners are called upon to justify the use of these sophisticated tools, especially in light of a hibernating global economy. In general the Assessment Centre methodology will have to demonstrate the following:
- • strong return on investment;
• precision and accuracy in measurement;
• integration of technology;
• support better talent management, selection, and development decisions;
• reduced cultural bias;
• clear linkage to key organisational outcome (i.e. higher performance, lower turnover, less absenteeism);
• justification of further investments in HR initiatives to senior management; and
• increasing the perceived value of HR to the organisation