Case study: ABB

How to organise Assessment Center 100% online

About the company

ABB is a technology leader which has been supporting the digital transformation of industry for several years. The company operates in four areas - Electrification, Industrial Automation, Drive Systems and Robotics and Discrete Automation. ABB currently operates in more than 100 countries worldwide and has approximately 147,000 employees.

For over 25 years, ABB has also been present in Poland, being recognized as one of the most innovative organizations in the country.

Sector: Industry and technologies
Number of Employees: 147 000
Challenge: 100% online Assessment Center

Recruitment challenges during pandemic

In May 2020 polish branch of ABB faced a challenge of acquiring students who will join the annual internship program at the Controlling & Planning Center of Excellence in Krakow and Lodz. Candidates had to meet several criteria:

  • availability to work 30-40 hours per week
  • studies in the fields of science: finance, accounting, economics, mathematics or related studies
  • knowledge of English at a minimum level. B2
  • knowledge of the German language as an asset
  • an at least intermediate level of knowledge of Excel (VBA knowledge as an asset)

In addition to the specific competence requirements of the candidates, a challenge was also how to conduct the recruitment process. The process was to include Assessment Center, which due to the coronavirus epidemic, couldn’t have been organised live. ABB has therefore requested support from Talent Place, which has so far supported the company in attracting candidates. This time, Talent Place’s role was not only searching for candidates for the internship, but also running the first 100% virtual Assessment Center in the history of ABB.

How to organise Assessment Center remotely?

Talent Place offered ABB their support during the whole process - from active candidate search (sourcing), through initial competence verification, to the organisation, coordination and technical support during the online Assessment Center.

The process of sourcing and recommending candidates was scheduled for 3 weeks. To source candidates, Talent Place engaged HR experts from its cloud of recruiters, who searched for candidates using job offers and direct search. Next, Talent Place recruiters run the initial verification process to check candidates’ competencies during behavioral interviews. Finally, candidates who were the perfect fit were recommended to ABB.

Next stage of the project was to prepare a recruitment cases study that candidates had to solve during the virtual meeting. The goal of the case study was to verify competences such as:

  • teamwork
  • communication
  • approach to people and tasks
  • analytical skills
  • proactive approach

Talent Place experts prepared the details of the recruitment task and the evaluation sheets for assessors, which facilitated the subsequent evaluation of participants' performance.

Assessment Center was held on a virtual platform, which enabled ABB to replicate the conditions of the offline meeting. Participants communicated via microphone and cameras and they could see each other, which make their cooperation on recruitment case study much easier. With the support of Talent Place, ABB team involved in the process have been fully deployed to the tool and haven’t had to face logistical challenges.

During the Assessment Center candidates were divided into groups, with each of them sitting at the separate virtual table - just like during a live meeting. After the cases were solved, ABB managers could freely speak to the candidates to ask them additional questions. Finally, the managers met at their "table" where they could discuss in detail the profiles of the candidates and assess their performance. The whole event was therefore organised 1 to 1 as a live meeting, but it was completely online.

Results of the cooperation

During the three weeks of sourcing, Talent Place gathered 174 applications from candidates. After initial verification of resumes, Talent Place recommended to ABB 61 candidates who fulfilled their expectations. Finally, 33 candidates were invited to take part in the Assessment Center and 15 of them were offered a job.

Thanks to the cooperation with Talent Place, ABB was able to quickly recruit matching candidates and to transfer the whole Assessment Center process to the online world. The whole project was a huge success - both for ABB and the students who applied for the internship programme.

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