Our call for action for you:
Before you read on, I have written this article in the hope that you will leave feedback and tell us what you think about assessment days. Whether you’re an employer who has held one, a candidate who has attended one or someone who just wants to give your ‘two cents’- we want to hear from you. So please write them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Thanks in advance!
What is an assessment day?
For those who aren’t in the know – it’s a process where the candidates will be assessed by multiple interviewers/employers in order for them to witness if their candidates can actually do all the things that they boast about in their CVs.
Assessment days typically consist of written exercises, personality profiling, group tasks, research tasks and presentations. Quite often an assessment day will also include a traditional interview at the end too. They are considered by many as an important part of the recruitment process; especially for employers looking for grads/trainees.
Some people consider it to be a fair assessment; whereas others believe that it’s too stressful and the competition and pressure can reduce strong candidates to under-perform.
This begs the question, is an assessment day a good way to recruit?
When an Assessment Day is properly administered they are considered by many employers to be more reliable than regular interviews; as they evaluate the candidates in a number of different criteria’s and put them in high-pressured situations.
They provide employers with the opportunity to differentiate between candidates who have very similar experience and CVs.
They give the candidates a superior insight into the company and role; as they are tested on exercises, which are typical for the role they have applied for in the manner that the company would administer the task
They provide the interviewers/assessors to judge the candidates’ existing performance as well as predict their future performances – as they will see how they solve problems and interact in person.
First and foremostly, they cost much more than traditional testing programs. That being said it can be cheaper than holding interviews for months on end, but in general it works out that assessment days are more costly than traditional interviews.
You may have the ‘perfect candidate’ who has a distinction from Oxford, 4 amazing A Levels and 12 A*s in their locker – but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily impress at an assessment day; as the pressure may get to them.
Moreover, you could have another ‘perfect candidate’ who has impressed you massively and you are desperate to bring them on board. However, they may have had very high expectations from your company, but due to the way the assessment day was run and administered they have been put off! Assessment days are typically very difficult to administer and many things can go wrong…
Admittedly, the pros and cons seem to cancel each other out and there isn’t a lot of strong data to support whether assessment days or interviews are better – which is why we are reaching out to you!
So now you know what we think, we would LOVE to know what you think. Kindly write your feedback in the comments section below.
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