Interpool

... intercultural. skills. assessment.

Assessment Centers

Assessment Centers

The validity of assessment centers is not automatically higher than the validity of a job interview, especially not in an international context. They need to be carefully designed.

Assessment Centers combine a number of tools and exercises, such as interviews, group discussions, practical and work-related test situations, role plays, written exams, or presentations in order to form a comprehensive and encompassing aptitude test. Designed and executed properly, assessment centers increase the validity of the selection process, they are more attractive to candidates and thus pay into the employer brand. Not the least, they are an investment in the retention and career development of new hires from the first moment of their employment.

However, different cultural and personal backgrounds can blur the evaluation process even in a carefully designed assessment center. Group processes among both applicants and among recruiters can add to the challenge of recognizing valuable perspectives, skills and potentials, if only because they deviate from the established patterns of “strong” and “weak” candidate behavior. Thus, adapting the design of international assessment center exercises and training the observers in cultural differences are paramount to achieving valid, innovative, unbiased and culturally transferable results.

interpool supports this process on three levels:

  • We design interculturally and diversity-sensitive assessment centers in a way so that being different does not turn into a disadvantage, and so that diversity and new perspectives can be recognized and appreciated as a valuable potential to the organization.

  • We train observers and assessors on cultural differences and how their own cultural and personal imprint affects the assessment process.

  • We participate in assessment centers as observers and recruiters, and we facilitate the decision making process afterwards, so that we can contribute “on the job” to an open and non-biased evaluation of every exercise.

In our intercultural assessment centers, we adapt every exercise as much as possible to the expectations and business reality of our clients. Thus, participating in the assessment process should portray a valid and realistic picture of the requirements and challenges within the targeted vacancy or career path. This does not only contribute to the attraction and retention of the right candidates from the first moment of the assessment, it also helps to make the process a lively, enriching and team-building experience for HR and the participating line managers.