When designing a virtual assessment centre, it's important to follow best practice guidance if you want to get the best from your candidates.
A well designed virtual assessment centre can help businesses increase the validity and effectiveness of their assessment process, whilst also helping to ensure that candidates have a fair and positive all round experience.
Conduct a Job Analysis and Competency Modelling
The job analysis helps you identify the responsibilities and duties of a specific role, and what knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes are necessary to perform in the role.
Competency modelling is useful for uncovering the assessment criteria; it will help you describe the competencies you wish to assess and create indicators for what good and poor performance looks like.
It's important that the assessment criteria are described as behaviours as these will be used to create the positive and negative performance indicators that will guide assessors in their evaluation.
Prepare your Virtual Assessment Centre materials
Using a Virtual Assessment Centre eliminates the need for paper forms. The materials used in the assessment activities should be built into the system and hosted within the platform itself.
To protect the test materials, steps should be taken to ensure that materials cannot be downloaded, printed or copied and pasted.
Standardise your process
Try to ensure that your process is as standardised as possible. Candidates should be given the same information and practice materials, and complete the same exercises within the same timeframe.
With Virtual Assessment Centres there are several factors to consider that may affect the standardisation of your process, including:
Equipment (e.g. computer, screen size, and sound quality)
Internet access and speed
Working conditions (e.g. noise, lighting, heating, or others being present nearby)
Identify assessors and training needs
The assessors will evaluate the candidates’ performance against the competencies. Ideally they should be a diverse group both in terms of their personal characteristics (e.g. age, sex, and ethnicity) and experience. To ensure that the process is robust, assessors should be rotated across the candidates so that no single assessor evaluates one single candidate.
All assessors need to be appropriately trained to use the assessment platform as well as the various methods within the assessment centre, including the Observe, Record, Classify and Evaluate (ORCE) process. You may also need to train the assessors or additional personnel to participate in role play exercises.
Consider Reasonable Adjustments
As with any assessments, you will need to consider how you can maximise accessibility. It is your legal duty to offer reasonable adjustments to candidates with disabilities.
Reasonable adjustments may include adjusting the font size in exercises with written information, providing audio or text alternatives, or extra time.
Other considerations may include using keyboard navigation for those who are unable to use a mouse, high colour contrasts for individuals with visual impairments, and avoiding any flashing, moving or blinking content for individuals with ADHD or visual processing disorders.
If you're interested in reading more about virtual assessment centres or assessing your candidates more generally then please check out some of our other blog posts including Planning a Virtual Assessment Centre, Virtual Onboarding Strategies and knowing what Strategic Interview Questions to Ask Candidates