What Everyone Knows About Assessment Centres But Won't Say

To find out how to use Recruitment Automation to hire faster, reduce bias and save, we also have a great retail industry eBook on Ai in HR.

Let’s discuss the significant issues that talent acquisition teams face with assessment centres every day. As a solution provider operating in the high-volume recruiting space, we’ve identified seven common assessment centre problems.

Firstly, a bit of an explanation.

What is the recruitment Assessment Centre?

Assessment Centres or “Group Interviews” are a popular recruitment tool for those who specialise in high volume recruitment or large enrolment programs. They usually bring together a large number of candidates. This group is then reduced to a smaller group in the final phase of the recruiting selection process.

Let’s talk about the advantages of Group Interviews.

Firstly, group interviews offer significant advantages for high-volume recruitment. They are thought to yield better results. For every candidate interviewed more are hired with greater accuracy. That is, compared to standard face-to-face interviews. They are also quicker. In that, there is far greater efficiency in the number of candidates interviewed per hour. Many large-scale recruitment programs use assessment centres to evaluate candidates against one another using various exercises. These exercises are designed to assess your suitability for the job. They check your performance in your role as well as your knowledge of the company and its culture. Some exercises involve you working individually. Others assess you and your ability to work as part of a group.

For the candidate:

An invitation to an assessment centre shows that you are successful in the early stages of the recruitment process. It usually takes place after the first round of pre-selection interviews and before the final selection. This can be seen as more reliable and fair than an interview alone. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your potential in a variety of environments. Candidates should also be able to learn more about the culture of the organisation and the role of the workplace.


For the organisation:

Assessment Centres provide an evaluation method based on multiple evaluations, including occupational simulations. They monitor a candidate’s performance across a range of activities. This is to assess skills, competencies and traits that could be used in the workplace. Many companies use this method to recruit their graduate programs. In other words, to assess potential employees who have little or no professional experience. The bonus is that it also gives employers the opportunity to make a positive impression.

This all sounds great, except for these 7 Big Assessment Centre Problems

Assessment Centre Problem 1 

1. They are a pain to organise.
“No Julie, we do not have an afternoon session on Tuesday just on Monday and Thursday” – sound familiar?

Assessment Centre Problem 2

2. No one wants to be there.
The candidate wishes they had a job already. The hiring manager wishes they had their staff already. The recruiter wishes they were out for lunch. The general tone is:
“when will this be over?”.

Assessment Centre Problem 3

3. They are disappointing.
The results are never what you expected – for anyone! Maybe you attend with optimism. More likely you probably think to yourself “how will I select from this dire bunch of candidates???!“.
And every candidate is thinking: “This is ridiculous and unfair and like …totally ridiculous”.

Assessment Centre Problem 4

4. Speaking loud seems to get you noticed.
Seems like whether you are the assessor or the candidate, the person who speaks loud often wins out. Almost always leaving participants to wonder: “Were fair decisions made and were the right decisions made?“.
Loud does not equate to right. Being confident does not equate to right either. Right?

Assessment Centre Problem 5

5. They are all different.
There is little to no consistency or standardisation. For anyone is part of a national or global talent acquisition team – this is somewhat worrying. Particularly when you are recruiting for the same role across multiple geographies. When the bar to enter that role (and your organisation) moves, its a shift in goalposts and everyone knows: “that just ain’t fair!”.

Assessment Centre Problem 6

6. Keeping the paperwork for compliance reasons is terribly time-consuming.
The record-keeping on assessment centres is an administrators nightmare. The spreadsheets to obtain attendance records, then print-outs to capture scoring. And for how long do you actually have to keep every scoring sheet? Is it a year or is it 7?

Assessment Centre Problem 7

7. Calibration is rarely objective and never data-driven.
In concluding the assessment centre, the team calibrate their results together. This is the final decision-making process. Who should we progress to hire and who should be declined?
For anyone who has been an assessor, we all know that this calibration piece is too often based on opinions:  “I believe she will really fit in” “She seemed to be super friendly” “I think she will be a great hire”. Believe, seemed, think.  What is this? A fortune-tellers table in the corner of a dodgy country market? What happened to objective decision making?




Above all, they are ridiculously time-consuming! With so much time being spent on Group Interviews, should we think seriously about how they could be done better? Hours organising and days invested in an event with unpredictable results. Seems crazy! Can we do something to improve this costly and unwieldy process?

Sapia is solving these assessment centre problems.

It is for these reasons that Sapia has launched LiveInterview – the app that specialises in making group interviews:
1. Easier to organise
2. A pleasure to be there
3. Yield better results – especially considering all attendees were preselected using FirstInterview!
4. Totally fair and equitable
5. Consistent and standardised
6. Easy to administer. No record-keeping needed anymore, ever
7. Data-driven objective decision making plus it delivers a better hiring yield.

Assessment Centres have their place.

Now, let’s make the assessment centre shine, and produce the results we expect. To learn more, leave your details here, and we will be in contact.

Watch the video here – LiveInterview for Assessment Centres

Suggested Reading:


Sign up to our newsletter