Case study

Designing An Assessment Center With Telefonica Digital


Telefónica Digital is a new business division of Telefónica, one of the world’s largest global mobile network providers. YSC Consulting’s role was to design an innovative Graduate Assessment Center based around YSC’s JDI Model of Potential to identify those graduates with the ability to be successful leaders of the future.

The assessment center needed to be innovative, dynamic and reflective of the realities of working in the ever-changing digital world. The assessment had to be hard-edged; these candidates had been headhunted from across the globe and were the best of the best. This was coupled with wanting to leave candidates with a lasting impression of Telefónica Digital’s employer brand.


YSC developed activities, supporting documents and guidance to enable Telefónica Digital to run the assessment centers completely independently. Internal assessors and facilitators were upskilled around YSC’s JDI Model of Potential, aligned to the clients key leadership behaviors, as well as practical assessor and center management skills.

This support meant Telefónica Digital were confident in conducting rigorous and robust assessments that were championed and owned by line managers and HR business partners.

Candidates also experienced working with Telefónica Digital employees instead of external consultants which added depth to their understanding of Telefónica Digital’s culture and ways of working.

YSC designed an assessment center that presented candidates with a series of challenging activities, in addition to a structured interview. The activities revolved around real-life strategic challenges for Telefónica Digital and included data on key global telecom indicators, sales trends and figures and customer preferences and segmentation. The assessment center was comprised of the following elements:

  • Structured interview
  • Business case study and presentation
  • Group discussion
  • Moments of truth exercise

The assessment center differentiated between candidates, effectively identifying those with high potential who would succeed in Telefónica Digital.

From an initial pool of over 300 candidates going through first stage interviews, 107 made it to the second stage and ultimately 40 candidates were selected to take part in the assessment centers. Of these, 13 were offered a place on the graduate scheme, 100% of whom accepted. Both candidates and assessors commented on the relevance and face validity of the assessment center content for Telefónica Digital as well as the innovative and dynamic feel – rigorous assessment and building employer brand at its best.

Assessor Feedback

“Very thorough process applied – gives a rounded view of applicants.”

“Satisfying to be involved in the process of finding our future leaders.”

Candidate Feedback

“The tasks of the assessment center were all interesting as they were very related to Telefónica Digital’s current situation and challenges.”

“Extremely high standard, enjoyable and relaxing assessment center, yet challenging.”

“I liked the variety of exercises – presentation, interview and group work. I especially liked the fast pace.”

“We gave YSC a short and thorough overview of what we wanted to achieve with the graduate assessment center, in an extremely tight deadline. After a scoping meeting, the plan was designed and agreed in record time and YSC worked directly with our Head of Strategy to gain key strategic insight for the assessment activities. YSC quickly and easily grasped and engaged with Telefónica Digital’s culture and needs and delivered an outstanding service, providing us with the tools and confidence to engage and train our internal assessors. The assessment centers received outstanding reviews from all internal and external stakeholders and can be used again for future graduate selection. A great start to the program indeed.”

Telefonica Digital Client