“The right person for the right job” is an oft-said adage, rarely followed.

This is because it is much easier said than done. There is an entire industry built on putting people in boxes based on some very ill-defined ideas.

This understandably makes executives very squeamish about the entire hiring process. But all the information you need isn’t in the resume. And anyone who knows how to look and act professionally can impress someone in an interview.

That’s where assessment centres come in.

The principle is very simple: every method of assessing a person reveals some incomplete information about them. Simply using one, or a few methods is always insufficient. However, assessment centres put together several different methods of measuring a person, forming a holistic picture. Like the old story of a troupe of blind men who could touch various parts of an elephant and deduce what animal it was.

There’s nothing special about this. No magic tricks. Anyone can do it.

Provided they know how the puzzle fits together.

What many don’t realise is that the problem in assessment centres is the exact opposite of the problems faced with traditional evaluation methods. With traditional methods, you don’t have enough information to make a clear decision. With assessment centres, you have too much: the challenge is separating information from the noise. Identifying what is relevant, and why.

That skill separates good assessment centres from bad ones. Assessment centres across the industry have broadly similar tests, but their methods of interpretation are different. And not always in clear-cut, well-defined ways. Assessing candidates in an assessment centre is not merely a matter of theory being applied; experience plays a big role. An experienced assessor knows what to look for, and how the various tests fit together to form a complete picture.

The best assessment centre interpretations do two important things: they identify not only the suitability of a candidate for a given position, but also their potential. Furthermore, a good interpretation does not give you a simple binary answer, but a description. You have the freedom to choose the traits you want in a candidate. Assessment is descriptive, not prescriptive; science, not engineering.

Some fears about assessment centres are understandable. But they aren’t well-founded. For example, there is nothing subjective about assessments; there is no guesswork involved. A good assessment centre program is backed up by strong scientific bases and industry experience/use.

Another common misconception is that virtual assessment centres are inferior in quality to traditional assessment centres; this is untrue. They differ slightly in the range of information that they are looking at, and must be interpreted differently, but each provides valuable information that can be used to make informed and precise decisions.

People Metrics runs its assessment centres on one principle: quality above all else. We achieve this through the expertise that we have gained over the years in understanding candidate assessments in a holistic way. Looking at assessments with discernment and identifying relevant aspects is a matter of skill and expertise. Our value proposition is this: we are among the very best at knowing what to look for.

 Our flexibility is a key trait in working with our partners; we give them all the information they need to make decisions, but are also always at hand to advise and recommend. We take pride in our expertise in finding the best solution for each client.

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