6 months into my career in the recruitment game I was granted a fantastic opportunity. One of my top clients, an Irish based Voice and Voice Recording Specialist, came to me looking for a couple of Junior/Trainee Engineers. Faced with filling multiple positions of essentially the same role, I came up with the idea of streamlining the process through an Assessment Centre. The concept is simple; you set a date, time and venue and invite select candidates to come in and be reviewed through a combination of group and individual exercises. This allows the client to evaluate candidates on a number of characteristics and aptitudes such as how they interact with others, react under pressure, work in groups, their technical competency, ability to understand and interpret instructions and deal with confrontational personalities, to name just a few.
I don’t claim to be an innovator with this approach in any way, this method of evaluating job hunters and applicants is a tried and true method that has been around for decades. Like most college graduates or job seekers, I have gone through many formal interview processes like this while looking for a job myself, and have had good and bad experiences. However, running the process; managing the logistics, designing the exercises and structure of the day is a completely different matter to just taking part as a candidate. After pitching the idea to client, we got the go ahead to run with the idea. The venue would be on client site, and the date was around 4 weeks out from our conversation.
The location was a perfect setting to introduce candidates to their potential future employer, and also gave us an idea of the maximum number of candidates we would be looking to invite. From there it was up to me and my team to find and screen candidates and design a process in collaboration with the client that would evaluate the candidates and allow us to make informed decisions on their potential for the role. As with any event, there is the initial difficulty of getting attendees. As a recruiter, we have traditional sourcing methods for finding candidates. However, to reach the profile of candidates we wanted for this (recent graduates from a technical course/background) we had to adapt a different approach. Figuring this out was quite a challenge, and took some tinkering, experimentation and time to get it right. When we did, we were blasted with applications for the role, which required a massive time commitment from myself and the team to pick the most suitable applicants.
The lead up to the event itself was, as one could imagine, a trying period with candidates dropping out and logistical difficulties arising. Our working motto of ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ served us well as we prepared for every contingency we could think of, such as overbooking with more candidates than the venue could hold. Although we had a plan for the exercises we would run, a combination of sprint interviews and individual and group exercises, there was still some last minute adjustments made following continuous review and debate within the Ingenio team and the client. The entire process required constant fine-tuning. Thankfully, when the day came, it ran as smoothly as we could’ve hoped for.
Having tested and fine-tuned the process and seen its success, I will now be running monthly or bi-monthly Assessment Centres in both Ingenio offices in Dublin and London. We will be holding them for both young sales and technically minded job seekers. This will allow us to manage and maintain a pipeline of great candidates for both our current clients, potential clients and for our own internal hiring needs. As an Ingenio Enhanced Service, hiring from an Ingenio Client Dedicated Assessment Centre is priced at a premium rate. However, the value of an assessment centre for a client is unquestionable, as it allows you to significantly speed up the time to hire by circumventing the formal 2/3 stage process you would normally run, and do it all in 1 afternoon or morning, with the same outcome: the hiring of an ideal fit for your organisation!
If you would be interested in hearing more about the next Ingenio Assessment Centre, please get in touch by using the contact form located on the side.