Using assessment centres to predict future job performance of candidates


Assessment centres are commonly used within the recruitment process. They are designed to measure the key capabilities required for on-the-job performance in an interactive manner, such as thorough structured interviews, group discussions, and work-related simulations. 

For example, candidates applying for a contact centre role will participate in role plays around handling a dissatisfied customer. They will be assessed on their composure and ability to solve problems in a manner that ensures first call resolution. 

Society for Human Resource Management defines assessment centres as a type of work sample test that is typically focused on assessing higher-level managerial and supervisory competencies. 

Using assessment centres is one of the best methods to predict future performance of the candidate. These sessions provide opportunities for candidates to demonstrate their suitability for a role while also giving them an overview of what the company expects from them as they work in the organisation.

Assessment centres typically focus on assessing higher-level managerial and supervisory competencies. They are not only used for selection but also used to provide comprehensive development feedback to participants.

An assessment centre uses multiple trained raters - often line managers and leaders, recruiters, and HR personnel, to evaluate performance. At the end of the centre, the raters consolidate data before selection decisions are made.

Raters observe and evaluate the candidates behavior during simulation exercises and then rate candidates using calibrated scores according to pre-decided competencies and relevant behavioral indicators.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using assessment centres:


  1. Engaging hiring managers. The whole process provides support and skills for hiring managers to make valid inferences about the candidate.

  1. Improving candidate experience. Improving candidate experience with an engaging process reflects well on employer branding, attracting higher quality potential hires.

  1. Conducting interactive exercises. Challenging assessments display the behaviour of candidates during the on-the-job performance.

  1. Providing rich candidate data. Data and feedback gathered through the centres can provide managers with objective guides  regarding candidate performance, optimising their candidate selection decisions.

  1. Minimising gender and racial bias. Providing pre-assessment centres ensures all applicants are evaluated on the same qualities.


  1. Costly assessments. Low candidate attendance and the significant time leaders are taken off-site contribute to higher costs.

  1. Demanding intensive resources. Assessment centres are backed with comprehensive data of employees, giving talent professionals a harder time to prepare and administer them consistently.

  1. Integrating data. Assessment centres use various objective approaches to conduct an efficient yet effective recruitment process. Talent measurement assessments require extensive research to accurately predict job performance of candidates.

Despite the few disadvantages, assessment centres remain as one of the most valid and fair assessment methods both for employers and candidates. Applicants are given the opportunity to display their skills, and employers can see them in action. 

Ultimately, these tools improve candidate experience and employer’s branding with its standardised approach of predicting company fit and  job performance of potential candidates.

Learn more about Talegent’s digital assessment centre to help your company improve administering assessment centres.

Reach out to John

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