Assessment Centres (AC-s) are a common method of personnel selection in the public and private sector.
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) introduced Assessment Centres in 2010 as part of the
reformed European Union (EU) recruitment system so that candidates are evaluated on the basis of their
competencies instead of solely on the basis of their specific knowledge. Assessment Centres are used for
all profiles including Administrators, Assistants, Linguists and Specialists at all position levels: entry level
positions, heads of unit and even directors or director-generals.
Through the use of AC-s, the EU is looking for candidates who can demonstrate the following general
Analysis and Problem Solving: Identify the critical facts in complex issues and develop creative and
Communicating: Communicate clearly and precisely both orally and in writing
Delivering Quality and Results: Take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering work to a high
standard of quality within set procedures
Prioritising and Organising: Prioritise the most important tasks, work flexibly and organise own
Resilience: Remain effective under a heavy workload, handle organisational frustrations positively and
adapt to a changing work environment
Working with Others: Work cooperatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries
and respect differences between people
The CEO has instructed you as the HR manager to review the EU’s approach as many of the competencies are similar to what a management trainee of your company should possess. In the long term, he would like to implement an assessment centre for management trainee selection.
Q1. Watch the following youtube video, here. Analyse and
elaborate on ‘Oral Presentation’ and ‘Computer Tests’ being employed by the EPSO. Your analysis should review and discuss the reliability and validity of both ‘Oral Presentation’ and ‘Computer Tests’, and when best to use each method. Your discussion should also be substantiated by empirical research.
According to the EPSO recruitment process, the panelists strategically conduct oral presentation after other important assessment methods such as structured interviews and group work.
Additionally, each candidate presents individually. Unlike group work, oral presentation determines an individual’s capabilities in terms of the job specification (Oteyza et al., 2018).
Most importantly, candidates present before a panel of judges that keeps on noting points as they present. After the presentation, the judges can tally the results to determine the best presenter in consideration of the critical aspects highlighted by the management.
Oral presentation enables candidates to express their communication skills. Employers can also assess candidates’ confidence and ability to express themselves. As shown in the video, the judges tend to look in the eyes of the candidates to determine their confidence.
In any organization, communication plays an essential role in determining the capability of employees. At a given point in time, an employee will express himself before the management.
Therefore, the assessment and selection process should include an oral presentation to identify potential employees. The oral presentation also applies to various organizations. In other words, most of the assessment strategies are in line with the job description. However, communication is an all-round skill that employees should have.
As many organizations continue to implement technological advancements, computer skills are one of the most relevant knowledge that employees should have. EPSO employs computer tests to a candidate during the assessment and selection process to identify those with outstanding computer skills.
According to the EPS, every employee is given his or her computer during the assessment. Ideally, employees tend to have personal desks and computers at work. Therefore, each candidate should undergo a computer test. Employee advocate for computer knowledge since an organization is more likely to use computers.
Today, many organizations use computers to store and process data. Isaac (2015) emphasized that computer literacy is one of the primary selection criteria that many employees will be using in the future. He added that human resource management departments should ensure that the organization hires computer literate employees.
EPSO ensures fairness by applying a similar assessment procedure for all employees. Computer test enables employers to identify candidates’ ability to use computers. The reliability of these two assessment methods relies on organizational goals as well as job descriptions.
In summary, computer tests and oral presentations are some of the primary assessment methods that employers should implement. These two methods are reliable in almost all organizations regardless of the industry in which they operate.
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