HR and recruitment

Assessment and selection: area of work

A graduate career in assessment and selection involves the screening and hiring of job candidates.

Assessment is big business in its own right. Check out the articles on assessment centres and job interviews here on and you’ll see just how intricate modern assessment practices can be. Many large companies now allocate assessment and selection its own specialist function within the HR team. If you work in the area, you can help design – typically with the input of line managers and the help of psychometrics experts – the right type of assessments for your company, and for specific job requirements. The assessment process is also an important part of your company brand, so if your methods are overly severe, then rejected (or even accepted) candidates are going to believe that is what the wider company culture is like.

While the actual assessment centre or job interviews may only take a few days, the planning and administration process, from placing the advert through to screening CVs and online applications, and eventually assessing the candidates’ performance, is a long and tiring process.

What’s required

You’ll need to be as objective as possible, and not reliant on instinct or bias, but rather trusting in the assessment process that you have helped to design and implement. You’ll need to be a very good communicator, and have a fair degree of patience and time management skills to cope with, and act upon, the varying requirements of candidates and line managers.

An HR degree and/or a CIPD qualification will be advantageous and any HR experience will be hugely valuable. The more assessment and selection knowledge you have, the better. Recruitment consultancy experience may also provide a way in.

Assessment and selection preferences and trends can vary by sector, and change with the seasons, so make sure you're on top of the current thinking by reading specialist websites and relevant publications such as the CIPD’s People Management magazine.