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October 2019
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competency-based assessment

Why Do ‘Bespoke’ Assessment Centres Always Feel the Same?

Posted by: Jamie Betts


In this third blog introducing Capp’s Strengths Selector, Jamie Betts explores how the Strengths Assessment Centre, the fourth step of Strengths Selector, serves to differentiate the Assessment Centre experience for candidates, helping organisations identify and select the right talent


It’s perplexing. Assessment and development experts will all agree about the importance of bespoke assessment centres, which measure the unique behaviours required for success in a given role. And yet, as any graduate doing the assessment centres ’rounds’ will tell you, most assessment centres tend to feel the same.


One of the reasons for this homogeneity seems to be rooted in the weaknesses of the competency-based approach. For all the talk of organisations having unique cultures, the same 4 or 5 generic competencies are measured again and again: customer focus, collaboration/teamwork, results orientation, and planning/organising almost always crop up in one form or another.


And yet, despite the striking similarities between these assessment centres, design consultancies sell these competency-based assessment centres as entirely ‘bespoke’. This is not entirely untrue, since each assessment centre will often be designed from scratch.


But given how similar the assessment centres feel, and what they measure, it could also be regarded as intellectually dishonest.


This is just one reason why at Capp we have moved away from competency-based assessment centres, and instead are innovating in the field of strength-based assessment. Not only does strengths assessment allow for a greater range behaviours to be measured, it also provides a more natural and positive environment for candidates to express their natural behavioural preferences.


Strengths-based assessment helps break the cycle of overly similar assessment centres for volume and graduate recruitment/development, moving away from the tendency of measuring the same narrow range of core behaviours.


Not only is this good news for candidates, it’s great news for organisations looking to measure an individual’s true behavioural potential and to spot who has the talent to succeed.


Strengths Assessment Centres are the fourth step in Strengths Selector, Capp’s five step approach to strengths-based recruitment. Read more about Strengths Selector  and Strengths Assessment Centres here.


Jamie Betts is a Principal Consultant at Capp.

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