I am not writing about a start up but about an important bank and insurance firm, Groupama. They have 32600 employees in 11 countries, mostly in France.

Be honest, few of our generation dream about working in a bank. Young talents want to work for start-up style big companies like Google. But this bank needs new talents and want to find an innovative way to recruit entrepreneurial talents, not just people wanting to make money.

To change their image and the profile of candidates, they have changed their recruitment system. Instead of the usual meeting with HR head, candidates meet together at an escape game.

Wikipedia Definition : An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.  Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations, and are popular as team building exercises.

For 60 minutes, 10 candidates will try together to get out of the room. Depending of the session, a HR employee will be hidden in the master game room or will play with the candidates. They will be graded on their nature, group work appetence, strengths, weaknesses.

Personally, I love escape games so I would very much enjoy such a recruitment session. And that advertising on escape game made me look at jobs offer in that firm. In fact, in those games, your true nature is revealed because you are under stress during one hour. You can see who follows intuition, who is strategic, who is easily adaptable.

For example, it’s not that easy to take the leadership in such a situation, with people who don’t know each other very well and are under stress ; it is however an important role for someone to assume to ensure the success of the session. Anyone who manage to obtain this role, by natural authority, a vote, or whatever else, will prove (s)he has a strong managing potential.

So if you are truly competent, you will be hired whatever your experience or your diploma.


What about you ? Is the recruitment process important when you are applying for a firm ?