How do you conduct an assessment centre for almost 160 candidates from 25 countries and more than 40 company representatives online? How do you transform a proven concept of selecting high level candidates to an online format? Can you really assess group dynamics while gathering candidates just on a laptop screen? And how do you ensure that the selection is fair, comparable and still adheres the highest standard of personnel selection?
These are only a few of the questions the AFRIKA KOMMT! team had to answer during the organisation of this year’s selection process for the 9th intake of the programme. The heart of the selection process – the comprehensive assessment centre that normally takes place in Nairobi, Kenya – had to be redesigned due to Covid-19.
The trustful cooperation with our partner companies continues
Key for the success of the virtual assessment centre was the trust and the very active participation of company representatives from the AFRIKA KOMMT! partner companies. Colleagues from leading German enterprises such as SAP, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim or Robert Bosch, joined the adventure as assessors from early in the morning until late in the evening in front of their screens with the maximum concentration needed to assess interviews and exercises. The feedback to the GIZ team was very encouraging: close to no technical failure, no drop out of candidates joining from whatever country on the African continent and significant outcomes of the different exercises.
A long-standing concept adapted to current needs
Since the inception of AFRIKA KOMMT! in 2008, the assessment centre has continuously been improved and developed. The virtual format made it necessary to design the exercises to be technically feasible on MS Teams for each candidate and assessor and at the same time offered the opportunity to test the digital skills of the candidates.
A great risk for the success of the selection was the technical implementation on the candidates’ side who were located in 25 different African countries. A well-structured technical support system allowed them to test all technical features of MS Teams beforehand and to receive continuous individual support if necessary.
After two weeks of the assessment centre, 39 young leaders from 13 countries were in the end successfully selected for the next AFRIKA KOMMT! intake.