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 ?

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4 Thoughts on “An innovative recruiting process

  1. Avatar jwikstr on October 4, 2017 at 9:47 pm said:

    I think the escape game sound like an interesting (and fun) way to test some of the qualifications of a new employee. Do you now if the company’s change to this escape game has been successful?

    The recruitment process gives an indicator of the companies spirit or values. If they would have a process like this I would probably think it would be positive showing that the company is willing to try new things and are open minded.

    //Johan W

  2. Avatar ReneeMylou on October 5, 2017 at 9:07 am said:

    I really like this new way of recruiting new employees. Are these special made escapes rooms, or just general? And do you think the stress of such a game has influence on the people? Like, you react different if you do not have stress. Do you think this is a good representation of how you would react in real life?

    Renée Boesten

    • Avatar LucieCapelle on October 5, 2017 at 9:19 am said:

      It depends of the city. L4M is a recruiting firm which has build special escape rooms for 10 persons in the North of France. But in Paris, they are using classical rooms.

      I think it is good because in your work, you are under stress at every important moment : presentation to the board, in front of very important clients, … So if you can’t manage your stress, you will not be able to handle that part of the job.

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