By Anna Kurczewska-Formela, recruitment department director at Professional, part of the LeasingTeam Group.


What is the assessment center service about and what companies is it addressed to? Is this a popular recruitment tool in Poland?

Assessment center is a tool that enables job seekers to do a role play where they get to be an employee and get to address some scenario they could be confronted with inside an organization. Since it elicits candidate behaviors as part of a scenario which resembles the working environment, that’s what sets it apart from the majority of the recruitment tools which typically involve self-assessment. The assessment center methodology is a tool that’s widely used when searching for senior level staff. It’s addressed at companies who need recruitment tools to be tailored to their business and needs. Organizations who need to hire the right individual who’s proven himself in practical terms, in order to avoid the risk of having to pay for repeat recruitment especially appreciate this methodology.


When is the assessment center methodology used?

This methodology proves effective during mass recruitment projects and those that involve screening for candidates to fill strategic positions within organizations. It’s used to support external recruiting and to shortlist the best candidates from within organizations. Assessment center comes especially highly recommended when recruiting for senior management positions which must be filled well to ensure the organization runs smoothly and develops and when the potential costs of hiring the wrong person may exceed the cost of applying this methodology.


What are its advantages and disadvantages?

High cost, time, the need to rely on assistance of an external consultancy company are some of the reasons that turn companies off from using assessment center when recruiting. This being said, this tool is one of the most effective recruitment support methods because it eliminates the risk of hiring the wrong candidate and the associated expenses. Regardless of what position level a company is looking to fill, assessment center helps to provide an objective and unbiased evaluation of applicants. An employer might invite several top candidates to a session and ask them to work on a team task, or talk to them one-on-one. When all the top candidates get to meet in one place and work on a task that’s been put to them by assessors, the future employer gets to compare their competencies, skills and talents, ultimately making it easier to make the right choice. Running an assessment center session provides employers with an unique opportunity to observe how participants handle themselves in scenarios that closely resemble the everyday working environment and get to check how they perform during presentations, negotiations, during team work, etc.


Why is it a good idea to apply the experience of an independent HR expert who uses assessment denter? Do a lot of employment companies in Poland offer these types of services?

One major advantage of the assessment center method is the fact it’s applied by unbiased, and so objective assessors. This is why it’s a good idea to use the services of an external expert when running it. With the participation of an independent assessor, the process remains reliable, and the assessor’s evaluation of how various tasks have been performed helps provide an overview of candidates. Assessment center sessions are commonly held by specialized consultancy companies, but occasionally employers will develop and run such assessments on their own. If a company is considering using this methodology to support their recruitment efforts, there’s no need to contract out the entire process straight away. It can source applications, screen them, run initial interviews and shortlist candidates for the session all on its own. However it’s a good idea to contract a consultancy company to develop and run an AC session. Most professional recruiters, like Professional, who are part of LeasingTeam Group, have these tools in their portfolio and apply them successfully.


What does the service cost?

Assessment center is time-consuming and may prove costly. The final cost depends on the level and number of positions being assessed and on the competencies that are evaluated. Whilst the approximate cost of an assessment center may range from PLN 1500  to over ten thousand PLN per process participant, the method’s high efficacy as regards assessing candidates offsets the expenses that companies would have incur if they ended up hiring the wrong person or had to run the recruitment process again, train a newhire or assign existing employees to train the newhire.