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Here’s how ABF assess & develop their future finance leaders


ABF’s Finance Development Programme
Every year various ABF business units from around the world nominate individuals whom they believe have the potential to become future finance directors to join our Finance Development Programme. The programme is intended to provide them with support, resources and direction to accelerate their development.  

Our Assessment Centre
Before joining the programme all nominees have to attend an assessment centre which puts them through their paces and assesses them via: interviews, strategic reports, role play events and case studies. Those that pass the centre make it onto the programme.

ABF invests significant money, time and effort into the assessment centres. A number of senior ABF employees give up their time to act as assessors; flying in from around the globe to do so. The assessors are supported by a number of experienced consultants who specialise in assessment programmes and talent assessment. The day itself is non-stop. Candidates are frantically going from one activity to the next and assessors are either busy assessing an activity or writing up candidate reports. 

It’s all about the feedback
The most impressive thing about the day is the quality of the feedback - once the nominees have finished all of their exercises, the assessors and consultants convene and each candidate is discussed in detail. This is a lengthy process and it concludes with both a decision as to who will progress on to the programme and an agreement on the feedback which will be given to each candidate. This comprehensive feedback includes observed strengths and development areas. For participants to get this level of feedback is invaluable; I have no doubt that it’s very useful for their future careers, whether they successfully make it onto the programme or not.

As Finance Director at ABF, I think two things make the assessment centre really special:

- How seriously ABF take the process and how well it is run.

- The fact that the focus of the centre is on nurturing and growing talent. Whether candidates pass the assessment centre or not; what is different from many assessment centres is that the focus of the centre is not to rank candidates. It is all about giving each candidate really insightful feedback which will help the candidates grow and develop and hopefully become future finance directors within ABF.

If you would like to learn more about ABF and our career opportunities, please visit the microsite here. 

Guest author: Mark Ward - Finance Director at Allied Milling and Baking Group.

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