Case Studies

Restructuring for strength

This London based Housing Group established in the 1970’s owns and manages approximately 20,000 homes in London and the South East. Following an inspection that concluded the Group had significant weaknesses in the quality of its services, an improvement plan was put in place. This involved a restructure, requiring an in-depth staffing review including headcount and competence levels. A programme of assessment was initiated and has contributed to noticeable improvements in customer service, financial management and performance management.

To achieve an overall reduction in headcount it was envisaged that there would be some voluntary redundancies, retirement, redeployment and if necessary, compulsory redundancy.

OTL psychologists worked with the HR team to review new job descriptions and identified the types of tests/exercises that would be most appropriate to assess specific competencies required for each role.

For many of the roles, it was decided that job simulations would be the most appropriate method of assessment and so OTL psychologists developed a number of tailored job related case studies, analytical exercises, role play briefs, strategic exercises and in tray exercises.

This bespoke approach was combined with psychometrics, both ability and personality tests.

Understandably the announcement of the Group’s plans caused a degree of anxiety among staff and their preparation for assessment was given careful thought. Group sessions were held where individuals were given a comprehensive overview of the assessment process, why the Group had decided on using assessment, the benefits to the organisation, but importantly what benefits they could themselves derive from it and the types of tests/exercises they might be asked to complete. All individuals were able to ask questions and were reassured about any concerns they raised.

In conjunction with the HR team, OTL psychologists managed timetabling of assessment schedules and prepared candidate information packs. She also led the assessment team.

Written and verbal feedback was made available to the organisation and reports included probing questions for interview panels to use alongside the competence-based questions. Candidates were also presented with written feedback.

Noticeable improvements have been made as a result of this process, most particularly in the financial management and reporting, customer service and performance management.

Specific elements of project:

  • Review of job descriptions
  • Collaboration with HR team, line managers/Directors/Chief Executive
  • Centre design
  • Assessment materials design
  • Design of marking rubrics for assessors
  • Preparing individual candidate timetables and information packs
  • Preparing assessor timetables and briefing assessors
  • Book and brief role players
  • Manage and deliver assessment centre
  • Provide interviewers with objective evidence of candidates’ skills, abilities and personal attributes
  • Prepare interviewer and candidate feedback