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How companies can set up a successful virtual assessment day

Do you feel that interviews are enough to tell you how compatible a candidate is? If not an assessment day might be the right option for you. They show recruiters/ employers how candidates act in a work-related situation before they get to know them one-on-one in an interview.

Yet, due to the unforeseen circumstances of the pandemic, it has become unsafe to invite a group of people from different households into one space. This is when virtual assessment days really came into there own.

Virtual assessment days offer greater flexibility for all candidates without distance barriers. This further removes travelling and lunch costs as well as other barriers present in traditional assessment days.

What factors should you consider as you set up for an assessment day?

Firstly, schedule.

What is the agenda for the day? What time do you want your candidates to log on? Be clear to your candidates on what they can expect from the virtual assessment and what you expect of them. It will enable them to be more prepared and you can ensure to see the best in candidates. Don't forget to send out communications days or weeks before the assessment day. This might include the assessment day timetable, information on what to expect and the duration of the day.

Choose appropriate technology.

From Skype to Zoom, Google Hangouts to Microsoft Teams, there are several technical options to pick. Choose your preferred method and communicate this to your candidates. This allows them time to either download it or ensure that they know how to use it on the day. Security is also fundamental. Therefore, ensure that the preferred platform of communication allows you to share documents securely and fast.

Material

I have previously mentioned the importance of communicating the timetable for the assessment day to your candidates. But, what should you include in the timetable that will work for online assessment days? You are free to be as creative as you wish. Ensure that managers and candidates are introduced at the beginning of the assessment day. Screen sharing is also helpful if candidates or managers want to share content. Virtual group exercises can be tricky. Platforms such as Zoom and Teams allow you to break into smaller teams.

Be prepared for technical failures.

Despite the preparations, all the factors you have put in place to ensure that the day runs smooth, there will be some technical mishaps that you need to be prepared for. Thankfully we don't live in a perfect world. It is completely normal for a few things not to run smoothly. It is important to predict these and find solutions around them. For instance, if the video call freezes or becomes slow due to poor internet connection, consider turning off cameras for the rest of the call or a short while until the connection becomes stable again.

Lastly, keep it short and sweet

Zoom burnout is real. Because of the lack of physical interaction, moving around and being surrounded by the same four walls, it is hard to keep focus for a relative amount of time. Keep the virtual assessment day brief and to the point. It is advised that this does not exceed 3 hours including breaks.

Most certainly, your candidates will be nervous. It's important to ensure that they are given enough information for them to prepare before the assessment day, know what is going on during the day and what to expect after. Retaining talented staff is not easy. These steps will ensure that your assessment runs smoothly so you can unmask the right employee for your team.

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