Tag: Assessment

The expansion builds on rapid success across Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific

Enterprise-level talent assessment HR tech business, Sova Assessment, has announced the launch of the business in the US.

Headquartered in London, with international offices in Dubai and Melbourne and a global network of strategic partners, Sova is an end-to-end talent assessment SaaS platform that is aimed at enabling enterprises to make work better for their people.

Sova offers solutions that are as agile and unique as the organisation they partner with and the HR technology combines scientifically strong assessment tools, workflow management and predictive analytics in one fully integrated platform, helping organisations make fast, fair, and data-driven decisions throughout the employee journey.

Sova’s expansion in the US is being led by two industry-leading talent assessment experts. Dr. Charles Handler, internationally renowned industrial psychologist and CEO and founder of Rocket-Hire, will spearhead the US team as President. Based on his 20-year long career working with globally renowned brands like Nike, Fidelity Investments and Delta Airlines to develop effective, legally defensible employee selection systems, Handler has extensive expertise in technology-based assessments and selection science that will drive forward the vision of the business for the US market and beyond.

Dr. Charles Handler, President, Sova Assessment US commented: “Having spent over 20 years in the sector and critically evaluated over 300 firms, it’s clear there’s a tension between the old and the new when it comes to talent assessment. I believe that a more integrated approach that values both science and technology equally – and is truly effective at managing bias – is where the future lies. Sova and I share a passion and commitment to deliver talent solutions for organisations in the US that make no compromise on speed and rigour, to address the needs of a challenging labour market.”

Handler will be joined by Doug Wolf who will assume the role of Managing Director at Sova Assessment US. With a proven track record of leading and growing organisations in the HR technology and assessment space, including Select International, he combines deep industry knowledge and commercial expertise to establish and grow Sova in the US.

Alan Bourne, CEO and founder Sova Assessment also commented: “Sova’s entry into the US marks a significant milestone in our development. Having worked with organisations all over the world, we know first-hand the challenges they face in relation to talent and the need for a more strategic and data-driven approach. I am excited about growing our presence in the US led by renowned industry pioneers in Charles, Doug, and the team, delivering world-class talent solutions for our enterprise customers.”

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For senior roles and specialist large-intake programmes, such as graduate schemes, assessment centres are a popular recruitment tool. Assessment centres or days take different formats according to the role in question and the nature of the company, but they will generally bring together a set of pre-screened and pre-interviewed candidates, ready to whittle them down to the final stage of the selection process. But why are assessment centres so highly valued by recruiters?


An assessment centre offers the core benefit of accuracy, particularly when compared to the methods used in standard recruitment processes. With a basic interview there is a real danger of applying different measures to candidate assessment – interviewer bias, the ‘halo’ effect, the clone effect, and the differing subjective opinions of different interviewers for different days! However, an assessment centre allows a far greater degree of objectivity to be applied to the process, thanks to a broad and rigorous array of assessment opportunities and exercises.

Watching performance in action

At an assessment centre recruiters can see how a candidate performs in a real life situation (such as a simulated business exercise), rather than simply relying on their own self-assessment during interview. They also make it easier to assess and compare candidates who might seem to be of equal quality on paper, but fare very differently in a ‘real world’ situation.

These centres also allow employers to simulate different scenarios typical to the role and see how the applicants fare. For example, the group might be required to work together on a posed business problem to see which roles they take within a team, how they interact, influence, communicate, negotiate, problem solve and work effectively with others.

There are usually tests involved as well to assess numeracy and literacy as well as technical skills for a role. An IT role might focus on specific technical skills, but it might also include a creativity exercise to throw participants a bit of a curveball and see how they perform under pressure.

Employer branding

Assessment centres also have the benefit of promoting the employer brand. Those candidates who turn up to an assessment centre and find that it truly reflects both the role and the organisation are typically impressed by the hiring company and maintain that positive impression, even if they aren’t successful in getting the job. This gives the employer a real opportunity to create a positive impression in all the high quality candidates that attend, and potentially build up an engaged group of possible future hires.

Cost advantages

Despite the perceived higher cost of an assessment centre, such as accommodation hire, food, equipment and staff assessor time, this approach is often more cost effective when compared to a disparate and drawn out recruitment process, and perhaps more importantly, the high business costs of poor recruitment decisions and errors.


Finally, an assessment centre is important because it is fair. It complements the employer’s equality and diversity agenda and helps to ensure that the right candidate – or candidates – are selected on the grounds of true merit. With an assessment centre, measurement evidence and evaluation is thorough, normalised against a broad curve of candidates, and recorded. This is more robust than with a single interview, where notes may be more subjective. If indeed, they are fully recorded. This strengthens the position of the employer company, particularly if they have delivered the assessment centre with the help of a specialist recruitment agency.

Reciprocal experience

The assessment centre experience is thorough, transparent and it also gives the candidates a true insight into the values and culture of the employer company. This is vital, as it is often hard to give a sense of the brand in interview alone. During the more extended process of the assessment centre, candidates can meet key managers and other staff from the company and have a chance to talk to them informally and get a sense of what it is really like to work for the employer. This helps to improve attrition within the company.

Diverse suitability

Assessment centres are diverse in their application and important for different situations, from senior executive hire through to specialist and technical staff hire for a large new project or other situations where bulk, seasonal or contract requirements require a sudden influx of high quality staff. Every assessment centre can be tailored to suit the role in question and the group of candidates.

Getting the assessment centre right

Given the importance of assessment centres, it is essential to run them well and without error. Common pitfalls include a failure to define objectives, key competencies and measurable skills beforehand, and agree a measurement process. Without this, the assessment centre becomes as subjective as the traditional interview process. This can be avoided with the support of a specialist recruitment agency with experience in the assessment centre field. These agencies can advise with the exercises, format agenda and evaluation of the day and ensure that it runs to quality, cost and outcome objectives -with the right candidates subsequently identified for the role, and with the other attendees feeling positive about the employer brand, and engaged for any future employment opportunities that might arise later down the line.

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