Assessment design and delivery support


Since July 2014, we have been supporting Heathrow Airport in their final round assessment centres across a range of roles. The nature of the service Heathrow provides means they aren’t necessarily very reactive to union related issues, bad weather, technology failures etc.

The resilience of their business is frequently tested and they need a resourcing partner that, while thinking ahead to anticipate resourcing issues, can also react as quickly as Heathrow needs to in response to urgent issues.


In late August, following a protracted approval process for the running of an Industrial Placement (IP) programme for 2014/15, Heathrow approached us for support on the short-listing and final round  assessment centre delivery for IP candidates. Dates for the final round assessment were driven by a firm induction date meaning we had less than 2 weeks to short-list 16 candidates from a long-list of 50, design a robust assessment centre and deliver a slick and professional assessment experience to candidates and Heathrow’s own business assessors.


Within the two week period we: 

– Delivered online tests to all candidates

– Short-listed candidates for the final round assessment centre based on test results

– Declined unsuccessful candidates

– Developed a presentation exercise to measure Heathrow’s business behaviours

– Developed a competency-based interview

– Selected an off-the-shelf group exercise and wrote scoring criteria bespoke to the business behaviours

– Developed all assessment centre supporting materials such as integration matrices, timetables, candidate and assessor feedback forms and a start of the day presentation

– Invited all candidates to the day and dealt with the queries

– Liaised with the assessment centre venue on the logistics of the day

– Sourced, booked and briefed eight associate assessors, a lead assessor and an assessment centre facilitator

The day ran without a hitch with all sixteen candidates attending. We were able to identify six clear front-runners for the placement who joined Heathrow one month later, in October.

Whilst delivery at short notice is possible, it relies on significant extra effort being exerted by dedicated individuals under time pressure. It also restricts contingency arrangements and potentially impacts quality. As such, we’d work with any new partner to agree lead times that allow sufficient responsiveness to their needs as well as protecting our ability to deliver a first class service and, ultimately, the best candidates for the job. We’d look to establish a thoughtful process with clear roles and responsibilities outlined as well as contingency time for our dedicated staff to deal with any unexpected issues. This is exactly what we have done with Heathrow. We now have a template for delivery at short notice. The final round materials developed for IPs be quickly adapted for use in the selection of candidates to other roles, we have a pool of pre-briefed assessors familiar with the Heathrow process to deliver these and we have a proven track record for high quality delivery that reassures our stakeholders at the airport and gives them confidence in our ability to support them.

In addition to their internship programme, we’ve supported Heathrow with assessment design and delivery for their graduate programme, security roles, customer service roles and specialist roles such as Resourcing Specialists and a Marketing Campaign Director.