Assessment Centers: Current Practices in the United States
The goals of this investigation were to review current AC practices in the United States by evaluating whether they follow the Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations (International Task Force on Assessment Centers, 2000). We both expanded upon and compared our results to a prior benchmarking study (Spychalski et al. in Personnel Psychol, 50:71–90, 1997), and investigated practices regarding job analysis, AC development, dimensions (i.e., job requirements), exercises, assessor characteristics and training, behavior recording, data integration, organizational policy, assessee rights, AC evaluation and AC technology. Data were collected via an online survey completed by individuals from human resource departments of organizations (N = 54) across the U.S; organizations to whom the survey was sent were selected by sampling Fortune 500 organizations based on economic sector.
Results indicate that 93% of organizations reported considering the Guidelines for AC development and use. More specifically, the investigation reports specific findings regarding job analysis, AC development, AC dimensions, AC exercises, assessor characteristics, assessor training, behavior recording, data integration, organizational policy, assessee rights, AC evaluation, and AC technology.
We provide two types of conclusions. First, based on two concerns, we provide two recommendations for improving current practice. Second, we present two commendations (i.e., positive trends that should continue). Finally, to continue to advance AC practice, we discuss our results in the context of observations on recent developments in AC practices by Lievens and Thornton (Assessment centers: Recent developments in practice and research. Blackwell, Malden, pp 243–264, 2005).
Despite the importance of assessment centers (ACs) for personnel selection and development, no recent benchmarking studies exist.
KeywordsAssessment centers Selection Development Technology Human resources
We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments. We also thank the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Institution) for their financial support during Diana’s visiting research stay at Colorado State University.
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