Technology has transformed the way organisations design and manage their recruitment processes. The days of paper-based screening are long gone, replaced by online technology which manages the application process smoothly and efficiently for organisations and candidates. Smart digital innovations such as online assessment and video interviewing are being used to assess talent in a fast, effective and fair way, helping organisations make better hiring decisions. Yet, all too often the investment in technology-led solutions in the early stages of the hiring process is not matched when it comes to the assessment centre. This digital disconnect means the assessment centre – a mainstay of the hiring process – remains a labour intensive, paper-based and error-prone.
Here are five reasons to bring your assessment centre into the digital age:
Efficient candidate experience
The assessment centre can be a daunting process for anyone – meeting other candidates, completing tasks while being analysed by the hiring team and being under pressure to perform at your best all day. The experience can also be made worse by a lack of due process and clarity.
Digitising the assessment centre improves the candidate experience in several ways. Firstly, digital assessment centre technology fully automates the scheduling on the day, assigning candidates and assessors to the right tasks, at the right time in the right place. Furthermore, in the event that some candidates don’t turn up, the system adjusts the timetable in a matter of minutes, meaning there’s less ‘dead’ time for candidates.
Secondly, candidates will see assessors using mobile technology to record their observations and manage the day. As this is a crucial touchpoint in the hiring process, and probably one of the last chances to manage the candidate’s impression of your organisation before choosing which job offer to accept, this digitally-led approach enhances your employer brand reputation.
More accurate recording of observations
A key benefit of digitising the assessment centre is more accurate and consistent recording of observations during the day. Typically, observations are recorded on paper, leaving assessors and hiring managers with pages and pages of information and analysis about each candidate. The assessor team and centre administrators must then collate and analyse all of the data, identifying who has performed well and who has not. This manual process takes time, in contrast to a digitised approach which analyses and processes the data quickly, accurately and consistently.
Not only that, digitising the process reduces bias by offering assessors both positive and negative descriptions of competencies and behaviours to choose from, balancing the way observations are recorded.
A significant benefit of bringing your assessment centre process into the digital age is the potential cost-savings. The process for setting up and executing assessment centres is time-consuming, paper-based and laborious. Bringing this process onto a digital platform, with candidate scoring and monitoring done in real time without paperwork, is cost-effective for the assessment centre but also in the long run as processing candidates becomes smoother.
Improvements in scheduling may mean less time per assessment centre as each is scheduled in the most optimal way. In turn this could mean fewer days required and less non-HR management time dedicated to being an assessor.
GDPR and compliance
It may not be everyone’s favourite topic, but data protection (GDPR) compliance is one the major benefits of digitising the assessment centre. With personal information being handled throughout the hiring process, printing lots of sensitive information about candidates and making notes can be a compliance nightmare, with the potential for data loss and handling requests such as the right to be forgotten. A centralised digital system to manage the assessment process ensures data is secure and minimises the risk of non-compliance.
While thinking about the candidate and assessor experience, it can be easy to overlook another crucial benefit: data quality. Bringing your organisation’s assessment process onto a digital platform hugely improves the data you are able to collect, as everything is recorded automatically, in real time, in the same format. This not only removes the chance of human error but enables the collection of consistent, reliable data accurately mapped against a candidate’s application. Extend this to every recruitment campaign conducted in your organisation and the efficiency and accuracy of your data and metrics is invaluably enhanced.
The assessment centre is likely to remain an important part of the hiring process, but it must move into the digital age. By using smart technology, we can design paperless assessment centres, which in turn enhances the face-to-face experience for candidates and assessors.
Fusion’s preferred assessment partner is Sova Assessment Ltd, who are remaking assessment for the ultramodern digital world. For more information, please contact a Fusion representative or Abigail Scott, Director at Sova Assessment Australia.