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Sony's online test aims to cut down on graduate programme applicant sifting time

Sony has launched an online test to assess judgment and decision-making skills of applicants applying for its European Graduate Programme.

The electronics firm is using A&DC's Graduate DILEMMAS tool as part of its selection process to ensure it finds the top 10% highest-calibre candidates and save HR administration time.   

The biggest issue to date for the European graduate programme team has been the task of sifting down the large volume of applicants to a manageable number, first to conduct telephone interviews and then for successful candidates to attend an assessment centre. From thousands of applicants, less than 1% of candidates were hired in 2009. 
Sony has seen graduate applications soar 50% year on year. The initial entry criteria are strict, requiring applicants to have business fluency in three languages and flexibility in their working location requirements. Over two years, the graduate programme combines business experience, training modules, mentoring and social entrepreneurship to help graduates to achieve their full potential within Sony.

Richard Bennett, people and organisational development manager, and head of the European graduate programme, said: "This solution offers a reliable and customised situational judgment tool to ensure we don't miss any ‘gems' at the sifting stage. 

"We customised the tool to reflect our international working culture and values, but equally to help us to promote our brand as a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation."
In addition to tailoring the scenarios, the scoring of Graduate DILEMMAS has been customised to reflect ‘what good looks like' for graduates within Sony. Line managers of graduates were asked to complete the online test and indicate how effective graduates should respond.