The essence of quality assessor training
Challenges and Recommendations
An assessor is essentially responsible for the assessment of a particular thing, activity, or even an individual and his/her skills. Hence, to equip an assessor with the right skills to be able to assess efficiently is important as this will help in providing adequate assessment. There are various methods and techniques to use when providing assessor training. Assessing a participant based on observing behavioral patterns is a scientific and psychological assessment tool used in many assessment training centers. The key issue with this, however, is that an individual's behavior changes with new experiences, hence, whether he/she would be able to carry out tasks in the future may be questionable to many.
However, the solution to this may be to provide regular training with the changing times to keep them updated with new trends in assessment and technology. Additionally, to reduce costs and be cost-effective, assessment centers may also resort to providing additional training to equip individuals with adequate knowledge on various domains to increase their domain expertise and, in turn, reduce the team size and cost associated with it. The aim of this paper to is examine assessor training. Through in-depth reading of various journals, it has been found that behavioral assessment is key to assessor training. Candidates are given tasks and they are judged based on that by being specific ratings.
An assessor is someone who evaluates the quality of a thing, a person, or a person’s performance in a particular context (Cranbook College, 2018). An assessor is specially trained to be equipped with the right kind of knowledge in a particular field and is usually called upon for advice to judge/assess a particular thing/activity. Hence, an assessor plays a critical role in the entire process of skills assessment. The quality of the assessment is then directly proportional to the efficiency of the assessor. Since many assessors hail from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, their training is vital to help them develop the right knowledge and skills and train them on the standards, methodology, and various procedures linked to skills assessments. Various methods are also employed in assessor training and observation to provide maximum skills training and knowledge to individuals. The aim of this paper is to examine the role of assessor training in assessment centers.
Assessment centers are created exclusively for a detailed evaluation of how fit an individual is to be an assessor by assessing him/her against various aspects and criteria required to be successful in their job as an assessor (Shodhganga, n.d.). An assessment center is responsible for evaluating the extent of the participant’s competencies by employing multiple tools to evaluate the participants. Some of the various tools employed include behavioral simulation exercises wherein assessors pay close attention to and observe the behaviors of the participant. Upon close observation, the behaviors of the participant are then divided into behavioral competencies and these behaviors are rated.
Post the exercises given to the participants, assessment ratings are compiled once the assessors reach a mutual agreement. These scores essentially represent the behavioral contract of the participant, it can also be referred to as the average overall assessment rating (OAR). The Human Resource department is mainly responsible for the use of an assessment center as it is the HR department which looks after the required skill sets of candidates and decides whether to select the candidate or not. Also, it is through assessor training and observation that leadership qualities are detected or predicted (Brownell, 2005).
Apart from that, another way of assessor training is role-playing. By providing role-play exercises, the individual can get into the shoes of the character and play out the role of the job provided to him/her. This is a form of training where the understanding of the participant is examined and measured against a set criterion (Schollaert & Lievens, 2011).
As mentioned previously, each individual comes from a different background and carries with him/her a myriad of experiences that may have contributed to shaping their competencies. However, there has been a shift in dynamics and the impact of the changing dynamics of technology and society on recruitment and selection as something motivated by interaction and society. Therefore, the change in various social and environmental dynamics triggers a sense of dilemma on recruitment and section specialists. This dilemma is mostly based on how one would perform given the transformation and the flux of the dynamic and environment. (García-Izquierdo,Derous & Searle, 2013). This challenge can combat by continuous training. Assessor training, much like training in other fields, has to be a continuous process.
When the dynamics change and when the demands change, so does the assessing or training process. The training criteria and processes of assessors cannot remain the same over the years but must rather evolve with time. Also, to handle the fear of job competency when the candidate faces new challenges and experiences, he/she must be given additional training to equip him/her with the required knowledge and skills. Change is a constant occurrence. Hence, the demand for assessor training is an ever-changing process. Assessor training cannot and should not remain stagnant over years and years but ought to rather change with the demands and trends of each change.
Another challenge in assessor training is the training team size. It is important to have the right assessor for the right assessment. For example, studies have found that personal administrators provide more accurate ratings of a manager's performance in interviews than students in MBA. MBA students, on the other hand, have been found to provide more accurate ratings in comparison to undergraduates. Also, managers provide more accurate ratings in an AC activity than psychology students (Wirz et al., 2013). Hence, the team size of assessors and the background of the assessor have an impact on the accuracy of ratings. However, cost then becomes a challenge because the larger the assessor team size, the more the costs involved. The solution to this can be providing key training of different domains to all in order to equip them with at least the basic and essential knowledge of most domains. This will not only increase the assessor's domain but also save costs by not having to pay multiple individuals.
Source: Wirz et al. (2013). Trade-offs between assessor team size and assessor expertise in affecting rating accuracy in assessment centers. Journal of Word and Organizational Psychology,13-20
Assessor training is an essential part of the assessment. Training the assessor plays an integral part in the assessment process and procedure. While there are many complications in establishing the right method of assessor training, the most common one is generally based on behavioral competency assessment based on observations and ratings given to the participant to determine their competence. The challenge with behavioral competency assessment in assessor training is the ever-changing environmental dynamics that an individual experiences which influences their behaviors. Hence, to combat this issue, regular training is advised to keep the individual updated with the demands of the changing times. Also, it is important to train in a way that each individual is competent in multiple domains. This will reduce the cost of assessment centers by reducing the team size while still maintaining rating quality.
Brownell, J. (2005). Predicting leadership the assessment centre’s extended role. International Journal of Contemporary Hospital, 17(1), 7-21.
Cranbbook College. (2018). Assessors internal qualities assurer & awarding body coordinator. Retrieved from https://www.cranbrookcollege.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Roles-responsibilities-coordinator-Assessor-IQA.pdf
García-Izquierdoa, A., Derous, E. & Searle, R. (2013). Recruitment and selection in Europe : One step beyond. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1-2.
Schollaert, E. & Lievens, F. (2010). A new perspective on role-player training in assessment centres. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 19(2), 190 – 197.
Shodhganga. (n.d.). Chatper 2. Assessment centre method. Retrieved from https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/50912/7/07_%20chapter%202.pdf
Wirz et al. (2013). Trade-offs between assessor team size and assessor expertise in affecting rating accuracy in assessment centers. Journal of Word and Organizational Psychology, 13-20.
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