A Successful Application of The Assessment Center Concept To The Salesperson Selection Process

Randall, E. James; Cooke, Ernest F.; Smith, Lois
May 1985
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;May85, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p52
Academic Journal
It has been suggested in this publication that assessment centers can be used for the selection of salespeople. Since that time a successful experiment concerning this use of assessment center techniques was conducted in the life insurance industry. The purpose of this article is to determine if the selection process could be improved by taking an existing technique, the Assessment Center, and applying it to the hiring of salespeople, at least in the insurance industry. The value of the assessment center as a selection method was tested by the use of a criterion-related design. An assessment center is a comprehensive, standardized procedure in which multiple assessment techniques such as situational exercises and job simulations (business games, discussion groups, reports, and presentations) are used to evaluate individual employees for various purposes Assessors, usually selected from higher management levels in the firm are trained to observe the participants and to evaluate their performance as fairly and impartially as possible. One of the limitations of assessment centers is that they are expensive to conduct because they require a large pool of manpower to participate in the observation and evaluation process.


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