Assessment centres remain popular recruitment tool despite cost

Many employers are still using assessment centres to select people for particular roles, especially management or graduate positions, despite high running costs.

This is according to a new survey by XpertHR, which found that two-thirds of employers use assessment centres for recruitment, with larger organisations more likely than smaller ones to use this selection method.

Assessment centres bring job applicants together in a group, where they are subject to a range of selection methods, such as group exercises, role play, individual interviews and psychometric tests.

They can, however, be a fairly costly recruitment tool, with the price per candidate averaging £311. They most commonly last for one day but can go on for longer periods.

The survey found that more than half (51.6%) of employers use assessment centres when recruiting senior managers, while around two-fifths use them for middle managers, graduates, line managers or senior and technical staff.

Rachel Suff, author of the report, commented: “Given the potential cost of assessment centres, it is logical that organisations are most likely to use them for high-value roles, such as more senior or specialist staff or when recruiting graduates who it is probably envisaged will be future leaders within the organisation.”

More than nine in 10 (90.6%) of the 191 employers that took part in the survey said that candidates generally reacted very or fairly positively to the experience of taking part in the organisation’s assessment centre.

View full findings of the 2011 XpertHR survey on assessment centres.

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