Escape game — An alternative mode of recruitment?

Recruitment is a key process that deserves attention. Hiring a candidate has a lot of consequences, and choosing the wrong person may cause a company numerous problems. The hiring process challenges the candidate and his / her purpose. The right questions make it possible to look at his / her hard and soft skills.

A new recruitment means one more talent in the company but also one more colleague.

Interviews, Assessment Centers, live case studies in groups, serious games are the mot commonly used recruitment processes these days. A new recruiting trend is progressing these days: the escape game!

What is the escape game?

The escape game, as its name implies, is first, a game! It is played with several participants. Locked into a room, their unique objective is to find their way out. With the help of some clues, the players have one hour to get out of the room. Initially played virtually, these games are now played in real life. The first Escape Game Company was born in Kyoto (Japan) in 2008. Rapidly copied all around the world, it came to France in 2013 with Hinthunt. Since then, more than 100 of these have opened in France. This concept is increasingly popular.

There are now Escape Games which are meant for very short periods of time, during special events. The RATP (Parisian Transportation Company) organized a giant Escape Game in Paris during the National Heritage Days, for instance. It took place around ancient subways and hundred-year-old buses.

Because these games are a way to solve a problem, you naturally let your personality guide you through the clues and the issues: they are a reliable way to see someone’s personality and way of thinking. So, Escape Games have recently seduced many companies that use it for their hiring process! It has also been used for team building activities. At times when companies are willing to put candidates in concrete situations in order to know them better, this solution suits the hiring process particularly well.

In fact, a company wants to know a lot about the candidates: they want to know their professional backgrounds, their skills, and their behaviour in a group (as team work is key in companies).

On November 8 2016, Lidl & Assotel organized recruiting sessions in Lille at Get Out. They were looking for their new Sales Developer, Shop Director and Sales Executive. Recruiting executives took part in the sessions to observe the candidates’ behaviour. For instance: they wanted to observe how candidates interacted with other participants, whether or not they were able to listen and communicate, and how valuable their ideas and propositions were when formulated under stressful conditions. Candidates must prove they are willing to succeed collectively, not just individually.

The conclusion of our article is the following: escape games are a good tool to assess candidates in real life. Faced with stress and the necessity to collaborate with others, they must develop appropriate communication methods. When a candidate’s behaviour is thus made visible, the company is well positioned to choose the candidate who will be the best fit for its future team members.

Paulina BARBIER & Anne COLIN-SEGUIN