Cherry Professional's Head of HR: My 'most invigorating' day in HR

Cherry Professional's Head of HR: My 'most invigorating' day in HR

Recently we spoke to Danielle Coleman, Head of HR, Internal Recruitment and Training at Cherry Professional, about running the first assessment centre to recruit budding new talent…

I had a strangely nervous feeling on the train that morning, which was very unusual for me but it was to be expected considering the day that lay ahead. There had been hours of hard work and planning which had led to this point and my nerves reflected that - we were doing something we had never done before and I was heading into the unknown.  

It was the first assessment centre that Cherry Professional had run and I had been solely responsible for developing and organising the sessions that would make up the day. 

We were looking to recruit a graduate position, where the successful applicant would be liaising with prospective candidates [daily], developing key skills for account management and business development.

I had designed five tasks and activities to complete during this assessment to test key competencies, which included: good communication skills, team work, emotional intelligence, achievement motivation, time management and accountability.

We whittled down the seventy or so graduates to a group of 18 to attend the assessment day. We had to split this into a group for the morning and a group for the afternoon, and at 9am the day commenced!

We were faced with 18 fresh-faced and hopeful applicants (who were more nervous than me!) and worked through the activities with the first nine candidates. It went incredibly smoothly and I began to identify some excellent qualities amongst the group, which turned my nerves into excitement.

It was energising to say the least, and when the afternoon session started I was thrilled that it was filled with just as much fun and success as the first! I really enjoyed embracing the talent that was beaming from these young people. The only hiccup was one applicant rushed through the door out of breath and very late.

The key element to this day was the preparation that went in to it. There was a lot of research and planning that helped to ensure the tasks were fit for purpose and that the timings would work. Throughout the planning process I ensured that the senior management team were bought in to the process and understood how it would work. 

Having fun and putting people at ease was a key element to the success of the day. This was something that we had planned from the beginning as our hard-working team and fun spirit is a huge reason to join our business.

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