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Arti Kumar CETL Associate Director Using Assessment Centre approaches for skills development.

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Presentation on theme: "Arti Kumar CETL Associate Director Using Assessment Centre approaches for skills development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Arti Kumar CETL Associate Director Using Assessment Centre approaches for skills development

2 Take-aways from this session.. Learn about employers’ recruitment practices: what do they look for in their graduate recruits, and how do they test this in Assessment Centres? Consider which of these personal skills, qualities and attributes you possess What opportunities do you have for developing your ‘employability’?

3 A typical application /selection process Attraction Application Research InductionJoin Decide Accept SelectionPre-selection Offer The application process for job-seekers….. The selection process for employers….. Explore

4 Assessment Centres in context Apply online/ on paper Employer sifts applications Initial interview (by phone or in person) Invite to assessment day Assessment Centre Offer (Typical activities, not necessarily in this order) Tour / introduction to the company and key people Group discussion Group exercise or task Presentation Written exercise In-tray or e-tray exercise Psychometric tests Second interview Social activities

5 Why do employers use Assessment Centres? ‘The assessment centre is an integrated process of simulations designed to generate behaviour similar to that required for success in a target job or job level. It enables candidates’ performance to be measured objectively against specific key criteria’ Association of Graduate Recruiters (2008)

6 How do employers try to get it right? 1990s2000s Interviews 99% 99% References 96%96% Personality tests 35% 64% Cognitive tests30%70% Assessment centres21%59% [Source :University of Liverpool - c. 2000] Note: The AGR Graduate Recruitment Survey 2006 Summer Review found that 83% of their members use final round assessment centres or selection events.

7 Assessment Centres Video/DVD (AGCAS) What activities do you see being assessed? What skills/ behaviours are they looking for? How do employers assess these? What criteria do they use? Which of these do you consider important in higher education – and in life generally? Do you develop these skills through the curriculum? What benefits could you gain by experiencing this type of activity and assessment - and how could it be done?

8 Assessment Centres contain a number of elements What did you see?

9 What do employers look for? (Logica) WellRoundedIndividuals Communication Skills Business Awareness Team Players Problem Solvers Flexibility & Adaptability Drive for results Client Focus

10 What makes a Fast Streamer in the Civil Service? Drive for results Learning and improving Decision-making Constructive thinking Building productive relationships Communicating with impact an inquisitive mind adaptability robustness impartiality the ability to challenge collaborative attitude decisiveness lucidity

11 Skills that you need to demonstrate Time management  ensuring that you complete the task in the allocated time Communication  expressing your views, allowing others to speak, being supportive, using whiteboards, presenting Drive for results  keeping the group focussed to achieve the goals Creative thinking / problem solving Adaptability  tackling problems that may not be from your area of expertise

12 Self-assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) Group work: How can I be effective? Caution! This SAQ is expressed in terms of an ideal world where perfect people conduct themselves perfectly in dream teams! Arguably there is no such thing. Your ratings are therefore expected to be low – especially if you are new to group interactions. Please consider each statement as potential for a learning process and not in terms of expecting perfection. Low ratings are not to be viewed as failure but as raw material for development and success. It can seriously damage your sense of well-being as a learner if you evaluate your abilities harshly and use any SAQ as a stick to beat yourself up with! Realising the potential of this SAQ: It alerts you to actions you may need to take in order to be(come) more effective in group work (similar to marking criteria and assessment rubrics that show what it takes to achieve a top A+ grade). Use it as a self-diagnostic tool at the start (Time 1) and then return to it at a later stage (Time 2) to evaluate how your behaviours may have changed. At any stage of the group work process it serves as a frame of reference. You can identify those behaviours that are important for you to develop, and seek opportunities and resources to develop them – and Flux coaching sessions can provide those opportunities and resources.

13 Completing the SAQ Please take time to read and understand the items in this SAQ, made available in print and online in BREO Two intended uses of the form:  Purely for your benefit, as explained  An anonymous version used as one research tool within a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the benefits of Flux Complete the SAQ and save it for later reference and future re-use If you agree to participate in our research question, we will photocopy an anonymous version and return it to you

14 In relation to group / team effectiveness… The behaviours I consider most important are… My highest ratings:… Evidence that I do this in real life… Areas I need to improve:… Opportunities I will use in order to improve… Please rate the extent to which you (a) consider these actions important; and (b) act in this way? where 4 = high and 1 = low a) Ratings 1 – 4 importance b) Ratings frequency I express myself confidently and assertively I contribute ideas and suggestions relevant to the task I take on a specific role when required I listen respectfully to others I support others’ positive contributions I focus (or re-focus) the group on its tasks and goals I help the group to achieve its goals within a given timeframe

15 Observing the group exercise For developmental reasons, we need to observe and provide formative feedback Ideally one observer per participant Make detailed observations relevant to the competencies of interest You can use a checklist as an aid to observe, record and give feedback

16 Giving and receiving feedback Owned  Ask the recipient of feedback: How did you feel? What worked well? What didn’t? Discuss rather than tell.  ‘I realise I was not letting the other participants give their opinion’ Specific  describe specific observations  ‘during the brainstorm I noticed you interrupted when Jon was trying to talk ’ Constructive  say how it could have been done better  ‘you could try and listen to others more, and draw them into the discussion’

17 To make this a success Room should be arranged so that candidates (ideally group of 4) sit at small tables, with plenty of room around the outside for observers Ideally groups spread round a room - noise from other groups is distracting Discuss and set ground rules for giving and receiving feedback Take time to share the feedback collectively

18 Example of a student brief for experiencing a group exercise You will be allocated roles as participants and observers/assessors of a group discussion You will be given written candidate and observer briefs and time to read/prepare Observers will provide constructive feedback after the exercise This should be a fun learning opportunity! (before you experience the real thing!)

19 “How did it feel… To do the exercise? To observe the exercise? What did you learn from this exercise? What might you do differently as a result? What questions do you still have about it?”

20 Key messages You could get better at assessment centre activities for employability reasons Competencies developed are transferable Preparation for entry to jobs provides a practical incentive Process of participating in and observing group exercises is beneficial as a generic developmental activity Opportunities and materials are available for you to develop a range of skills and attributes.


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