It’s very common for job candidates to feel that they did well in the initial interview, thus they are going to get hired. That may have been true in the past, but times have changed.
Today’s contact center still has one more hurdle in the process, the employee assessment. In this phase, candidates will be tested on their communication, problem solving skills and their ability to work with others.
There is a need to understand what the employee assessment is, how it works, and what are the expected goals.
Employee Assessments… Here to Stay
More Contact Center organizations are adopting the employee assessment process during the recruitment phase. The term “employee assessment” can be misleading. Basically, an assessment is a series of tests, activities, and simulations that contact centers use to select the right person for the right job. Usually, several evaluators monitor performance throughout the course of the assessment, and these assessments can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
If an employee is applying for a supervisor/management role in a contact center, they will likely go through role-playing scenarios where they have to manage an unhappy customer. They may be tested on their ability to multitask, or on their ability to lead a home agent team and be asked to design a plan detailing how they would increase customer satisfaction on each call.
If the candidate is applying for a technology position, they might go through several additional troubleshooting scenarios. The organization might also test their ability to coach non-IT professionals, and assess their ability to solve problems effectively.
Employee Assessments are useful for the prospective employee as well as for the contact center organization. First, this testing process allows contact centers to see how the candidate reacts in an environment similar to the one in which they will be working. The tasks, activities, and problem simulations they would face should all mimic real situations; and their ability to work through these scenarios gives evaluators an in-depth look at whether they’re right for the role.
This process also benefits the prospective employee. By going through the assessment, this helps candidates get a good feel for the knowledge and skills that they will need in their role. It also serves as a realistic preview of what the job entails, which allows them to see whether they’re likely to enjoy the work and the organizational culture.
Post Assessment Interviews
Most employee assessments will lead to another interview, so it’s important that managers take the time to brush up on interview skills.
During the employee assessment, candidates are issued numerous instructions in many different formats. Following complex instructions is another key indicator of a candidate’s ability to work under pressure.
Role-playing exercises are common during employee assessments. These can be one-on-one sessions with an evaluator or manager. Role-playing exercises are often designed to put candidates in stressful situations, where it’s essential for them to think on their feet. This means staying relaxed and confident under pressure, listening actively, and pacing themselves on calls.
Many, if not most, employee assessments will ask the candidate to make an individual or group presentation if applicable.
One or more personality tests should be given during an employee assessment. These tests are designed to evaluate objectively and specific knowledge sets or technical skills, personality, logical or verbal reasoning, problem solving, or judgment.
At the end of the day the goal is to create a constructive process to obtain and cultivate good candidates and successful employees. The cream of the crop will be those individuals that understand and embrace the challenge of the employee assessment. It is better to know up front and drive success for the candidate and the organization.