Virtual Volume Recruitment Case Study

AEROPROFESSIONAL VIRTUAL

Virtual Assessment Centres – Case Study

Why did we create AeroProfessional Virtual?

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc within the aviation industry over the past 2 years. As the industry started to recover and the skies began to reopen, we were approached by 3 major airlines in the UK to conduct high volume recruitment campaigns for the 2022 season.

These recruitment campaigns were for customer facing, service-oriented roles, which meant it was vital to be able to evaluate candidate skills and provide a structured assessment centre that could include group activities, individual role plays to test problem solving, team interaction/collaboration and leadership skills. With many years’ experience running assessment centres, we also recognise the importance of having a space to allow the candidates to freely engage with each other away from the assessments. This helps us to assess how the candidates behave in a natural environment, which is key for these types of roles.

As we progressed with the delivery of the assessment centres, we were thrown a final curve ball by Covid-19. The omicron variant in late 2021 meant that we were not in a position to assess these candidates in person; it is incredibly important to put safety first, so we needed to employ one of our strongest skills, innovation, to find a solution.

The Solution

With the rapid improvement in video conferencing technology in recent years we began to design a completely virtual assessment centre format. Using our chosen video platform, we were able to create a virtual assessment environment similar to that required for normal assessments. This included having:

  • A main meeting room where all of our candidates could congregate and we could communicate/present information to them, as well as the candidates being able to freely engage with each other
  • Individual breakout rooms where private assessments and interviews could be conducted with each individual candidate

 

As well as having a clear assessment structure with strong assessment tools, it was vital that the whole day went smoothly from an IT perspective. To ensure this we orchestrated everything from our offices at Farnborough Airport. With our robust IT infrastructure, reliable internet connectivity, and quiet rooms for our facilitators, administrators, and assessors to work from, it is the perfect environment to run the assessments.

These virtual assessment centres also negate all the usual overheads that are normally associated with traditional events, mainly venue and travel costs. There is also a huge time saving, and with the flexibility of digital platforms there are no venue cancellation charges or logistical issues if dates need to be changed at short notice.

Implementation

In the initial phase, our team identified and constructed a comprehensive candidate attraction campaign that would successfully attract qualified candidates. Applicants were then subject to a detailed telephone screening to filter for basic requirements, and if successful dates were set for the assessments and each candidate was sent an email invitation with a weblink that allowed them to connect to the virtual assessment

On the day of the assessment the candidates were able to join from any location that was convenient for them, usually their homes, provided they had good Wi-Fi coverage. This meant that overall turnout for each assessment centre was higher than would be expected at a traditional event thanks to the removal of travel related issues. Being at home also meant that the candidates were far more at ease, so we really got to see the best of each of them.

The assessment centre began with an introductory presentation by the recruitment team, which provided information on the company and the role, and provided an overall plan for the day detailing how it would work and allowing an initial Q&A with the candidates.

The day was broken into morning and afternoon sessions, with the morning dedicated to evaluating customer service and teamwork skills. Each candidate was given a time slot during which they would be subjected to a range of short activities, such as a reading exercise, a challenging customer facing scenario role play or team lead crisis task. Using a detailed and objective scoring mechanism, each candidate’s performance was graded and those who achieved the minimum threshold proceeded to the afternoon session, while the others were politely advised they were not successful and then left the assessment.

During the afternoon session, each remaining candidate underwent a comprehensive competency-based interview. Again, a detailed and objective scoring mechanism was used to identify who passed and who unfortunately failed. All successful candidates were then given a further presentation to advise that a job offer would be made and also talked through the next steps in the onboarding process.

 

 

Our virtual assessment centres have so far produced 248 new starters, a glowing testament to the efficiency of the events, resulting in both happy clients and happy candidates.

If you would like help from AeroProfessional to run your assessment centres, either in person or virtually, you can contact us at admin@aeroprofessional.com

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