Using Assessment Centres to Recruit Apprentices

On 27 February 2020, Damar Training and West Point Medical Centre held an assessment centre recruitment event for three customer service apprenticeship roles. Rob Stark, Practice Manager, has given us his thoughts on why the event was so successful:

“Although I’m a firm believer in the assessment centre process, yesterday was the first opportunity I’d been able to utilise the process as an employer and I thought Kat’s (Damar Training’s Account Support Co-ordinator) suggestion to hold an assessment centre paid rich dividends as there were several outstanding candidates who we were able to immediately select to attend a subsequent individual interview based on the outcomes.

“Kat’s initial screening of all applications, as well as inviting and confirming attendance of potential recruits to our assessment centre, was incredibly helpful. Kat’s screening of applications also meant that each potential candidate received a consistent level of scrutiny and follow-up to ensure that suitable candidates were identified quickly and professionally.

“One of the issues we continually face when screening applicants and selecting those to attend subsequent interviews is that there are always several who, despite confirming their intention to attend, fail to appear on the day which results in a considerable waste of the interviewing panel’s time as there is very little else which can be effectively done during the gaps.

“The assessment centre, however, ensures that those who take the time to attend will be genuinely interested in the vacancy on offer which means that interviewer downtime is reduced to virtually zero. In addition, the assessment centre also provides an indication as to how effectively candidates work together as a team (with fellow candidates who they are unlikely to have met previously).

“In essence, the assessment centre provides employers with an early opportunity to identify genuinely interested candidates and observe how those candidates are able to work effectively as part of a team or on their own, none of which is available to a recruiter who selects candidates based on written applications only. The other key factor is being able to benefit from having an experienced, knowledgeable and supportive facilitator, such as Kat in our case, who was able to direct and organise the day in a way which seemed to work incredibly well for the candidates and for us.  Without a doubt, the assessment day might have been too big a challenge if we hadn’t had the benefit of Kat’s expertise.”

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