Are your assessors as good as Hollywood and Berry?!

Posted on August 6, 2014 by



UP launches Assessor Training Workshops

Time to put on your best ‘pinny and dig out your mixing bowls…..The Great British Bake Off is back!

The show, which has oddly gained a cult status over its 4 years, takes the proud leap to BBC One for its 5th season.

The show sees 12 contestants compete on a weekly basis to be crowned “Bake Off Champion”, by proving (yes, pun intended) their flair, skill and expertise for baking.

“But wait a second”, you think, “as much as I enjoy a good blog about cake, what on earth does it have to do with the world of HR, Training & Recruitment?”

Well, you may remember (or if not, scoot over and read) our GBBO blog post from last year, where we explain how the show really is just an Assessment Centre with delicious food.

Both share a mix of candidates, various competencies to be assessed and ‘judges’ (or as we call them, assessors!) to evaluate them.

And just like Bake Off, the popularity of Assessment Centres is growing too. According to the CIPD’s survey on ‘Recruitment, Retention and Turnover’, 34% of employers now use assessment centres when recruiting managers, professionals, and graduates. A figure which will inevitably grow as organisations seek to make more accurate selection and promotion decisions to secure the considerable investment they make in their personnel.

We know that assessment centres can be a large investment in terms of both time and money and it is therefore vital that they are successful at delivering the right result.

Bread Rolls

Talking of success, back to the Bake Off; and as much as the British public seem to like salivating over footage of wonderful biscuits and delightful gateaux, the success of the show is undeniably hinged on the public’s love of the reactions from the ‘assessors’, judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.

And in a way, the same can be said for an assessment centre: the success of your centre (and any subsequent hires) is directly impacted by those assessing your candidates. Assessors must be fully briefed on the day to ensure everyone is aware of the range of capabilities and skills being assessed. This enables the centre to run as efficiently as possible and means that review process at the end of the day is fair, objective and consistent for all candidates – allowing the organisation to make a more informed and accurate hiring decision.

Assessment centres need to provide evidence to make the right hiring decision as well as being a positive experience for both candidates and assessors alike. And in a competitive market having an assessment centre which impresses candidates is hugely important in securing the best talent for your organisation.

However feedback from the market suggests that this is often not the case and assessors are being asked to take part in assessment centres without proper training on how to be an effective assessor.  As well as risking the successful outcome of the centre it can also be a very negative, stressful and difficult situation for the assessor.

In other words, there is a reason that Paul and Mary are there to judge and pick the winners – they are the experts in their field and are fully briefed and agreed on the competencies, skills and behaviours of a successful candidate.

So as the Bake Off kicks off, we’re delighted to launch our brand new Assessor Training Workshops –flexible, interactive sessions, tailored to your company’s competencies and assessment centre exercises to give your assessors a tried and tested model to follow when assessing candidates.

Having helped clients run assessment centres for over 10 years, our expert team deliver a short programme which will help fully develop your assessors, ensure they can competently assess candidates and ensure the robustness and success of your assessment centres.

For more details please why not give us a call on 01224 643 465 to discuss your Assessor Training needs.

Or we could even meet you to discuss over a slice of cake?!