An Assessment Center

You may have some questions when you are invited to attend an Assessment Centre at Hudson. So what can you expect?

The simulation technique as a basic feature

To be successful in a job, it is vital that an organisation recognises your competencies and links them to the right responsibilities. Given that a company’s success is mainly determined by its employees and their competencies, many companies prefer not to solely make this decision based on gut feeling. Scientifically-based assessment centres can help you make a more refined and objective decision.

During an Assessment Centre we assess your competencies based on your claims as well as on your observable behaviour. The basic feature of an Assessment Centre is the simulation technique. We use simulation exercises and business cases to put you in a professional situation, to see how you typically behave in real life on the work floor and which competencies you use in this setting.

Looking ahead to the future

When a company invites you to attend an Assessment Centre at Hudson, it mainly wants to gain an insight into your existing competencies. It does not set out to assess your performance in your current role. On the contrary even, the emphasis is on the future. An Assessment Centre assesses to which extent your competencies match the expectations, of the organisation and/or for the job. 

The organisation uses these findings to better predict whether you are the right fit for a specific role or to make an objective decision about an internal promotion. At the same time, the Assessment Centre also helps you to gain an insight into your strengths and pitfalls and better understand your developmental needs.

The consultant’s role

Hudson is an objective, neutral partner in this process, advising organisations on HR decisions. The certified consultants and assessors who supervise you during the Assessment Centre give specific advice based on the behavioural competencies that they measure and observe during the exercises.

We do not assess whether you have the required technical knowledge to successfully perform the job. Instead we focus on the client’s expectations and on the desired behaviour. Moreover, the assessment is carried out against an absolute standard. Under no circumstances will there be a relative comparison to other potential candidates.

Competency profile as a starting premise

Our screening always starts from the competency profile that our consultants have drawn up with your (potential) employer, which is tailored to the organisation and/or the job. The programme of your Assessment Centre consists of a combination of simulation exercises, business cases, intelligence tests, questionnaires, and in-depth interviews. The various components can be organised both face-to-face and remotely.

An Assessment Centre typically screens for the competencies in the following categories:

  • Information management: competencies with regard to processing information, facts, perceptions, knowledge, and ideas to develop new information and knowledge.
  • Task management: competencies based on organising and prioritising work to optimise all tasks and activities.
  • People management: competencies with regard to managing and leading people within a hierarchical, managerial context.
  • Interpersonal management: competencies with regard to managing relations with others, outside a direct hierarchical context (e.g. with clients, colleagues, suppliers, etc.).
  • Self-management: competencies relating to the management of one’s own personal performance and growth.

A piece of the puzzle

The findings of the Assessment Centre will be collated in a detailed report that will be sent to your (potential) employer’s HR Department. This supplements the information that they may have collected earlier in the selection procedure and helps them make an informed decision. A company can also elect to use these findings as a source of information to set up training and development initiatives.

After you have attended the Assessment Centre, you are obviously entitled to feedback. Our consultants will provide regular feedback throughout the day and will explain when and how you can expect more detailed feedback as this valuable exercise can also make a world of difference for you.

Have you previously attended an Assessment Centre?

Hudson solely uses the findings of your Assessment Centre in the framework of a specific procedure. We do not rely on them for other selection procedures that you may be currently engaged in. Did you recently attend an Assessment Centre at Hudson? In that case, we will examine with you whether specific competencies or tests overlap. We may also choose not to redo specific tests or exercises provided the previous findings are no more than 2 years old.

Our assumption is that behaviour can change but that this happens over a period of approximately two to three years. We always redo the interactive exercises because the competencies that we are assessing may be different from the competencies that we screened in the previous Assessment Centre. We custom-develop the assessment programme for every procedure. Each (future) employer applies different standards and has different expectations about the role for which you are eligible.

Spontaneity vs. preparation

Can you prepare for an Assessment Centre? Obviously, there are plenty of books and websites with examples of tests and simulation exercises. Our advice is not to let yourself be influenced by them. Our consultants want to observe your natural behaviour to see which other strengths spontaneously come to the fore and understand the growth potential that you have. This benefits both you and the organisation. Moreover, we build custom tests that are tailored to the organisation in many cases. The main thing is that you arrive feeling well-rested on the day of your Assessment Centre and that you remember to be yourself.

Good luck!

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