Modernisation of the selection process for apprentices at Commerzbank

Our client’s concern

Maximizing efficiency and the quality of candidates was the Commerzbank’s aim for the selection of apprentices and dual students. Each year they received around 30.000 applications for ten different apprenticeships and dual study programs. KI.M was asked to optimize the selection process of young professionals with the main focus on the early identification of talents and promoting commitment to the bank.

The project

A customized test procedure with realistic exercises was designed for the target group in order to ensure valid diagnostics and a high acceptance from the applicants’ point of view. By integrating a personal interview on telephone before the actual Assessment Center more information was gathered and moreover an early personal contact to the applicants was guaranteed. For the conception of the exercises at the Assessment Center KI.M used the results of numerous workshops with instructors and executives from the bank in order to develop realistic scenarios for each apprenticeship and study program. Apart from designing the selection process, KI.M took over the training of employees for their new tasks in selecting candidates.

The result

The efficiency of the process was significantly enhanced since the increased success rate at the Assessment Centers led to less resources for the selection of junior staff. The improved preselection as well as the realistic and custom-fit exercises of the Assessment Center resulted in a higher quality of candidates. Furthermore, there was a vast acceptance both by the applicants and executives. The quality of the process is ensured by an ongoing evaluation. Despite declining rates of applicants Commerzbank has the opportunity to win over the best apprentices and dual students each year. 

Thomas Schlosser
Thomas Schlosser
Psychologist (Diploma), Managing Consultant

1 Goals of the new selection process

  1. A differentiated demand analysis with the highest methodical standards
  2. Multiple observations of all relevant competences
  3. Psychologically trained observers, interviewers and assistants
  1. Reduced resource input at the Assessment Center due to an optimised preselection
  2. Efficient use of online tools and communication via telephone
  3. Internal expertise through train-the-trainer programs
  1. Application-oriented exercises and tasks
  2. Early personal contact via interviews
  3. Fast decisions and a professional process

2 Summary of the new selection concept

3 Extract from the German online test

The online test combines classic cognitive performance tests with application-oriented tasks. A strict time limitation and an individual compilation of each test from an extensive item pool ensures a maximum resistance of tampering. The exercises have a high applicability which increases the applicants‘ acceptance. The example on the right shows a mathimatical problem which is a part of the analytical skill set.

4 Evaluation of the Assessment Centers

To evaluate the Assessment Center implemented by KI.M the executives which took part as observes were asked. They scored the design, organisation, quality of candidates and overall satisfaction with the Assessment Center using German grades (1=A, 6=F) 

  • 1,3 design of content
  • 1,5 organisation and systematics
  • 1,8 quality and selection of candidates
  • 1,5 satisfaction with the AC