Escape Rooms, A New Way For Recruitment


Royal Caribbean Cruises has overcome the challenge of finding the best candidates while recruiting remotely, by setting up candidates to complete a virtual escape room challenge, says an article published on ship technology.

Why escape room?

“It’s very difficult to get to know someone via the web or Teams in place of meeting them face to face, but in the current guise we didn’t have the opportunity to meet the candidates,” said by Ben Bouldin, Vice President EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises. “An escape room is a fascinating exercise, because everybody approaches that sort of environment, and those kinds of challenges, quite differently.”

Escape room, an innovative tool

Coming up with the idea of using an online escape room meant that the recruiting team could see how the candidates interacted with others and assess them for soft skills, such as adaptability, problem solving and teamwork, which are difficult to judge during a virtual interview or from a CV alone.

Usually, candidates spend time together, and take part in structured exercises, including case study work and role plays. “This can be as simple as having lunch together to talking about one of the tasks together,” says Bouldin. “It’s not foolproof, but it helps us find some very good people.”

Benefits of escape room

Escape rooms, both physical and virtual, are proving to be a highly effective way to carry out training, teambuilding, client engagement and recruitment. The time pressure, mixed with the need for collaboration and competition, brings out the authenticity of a player’s personality, therefore providing an excellent way to see the true nature of a candidate.

Once the applicants had been interviewed and each role had a shortlist of four candidates, Bouldin and his team turned to Escape Live – – which host a selection of virtual escape rooms. They picked ‘Rogue Agent’, where players become part of MI5, to track down an AWOL detective who is stealing art and sculptures from museums all over the world.

Escape room success

There were five main areas for the recruitment team to assess, including lateral thinking and data connections which are part of successful problem solving. Teamwork, communication and influencing skills are also examined during the fun exercise, as well as how the candidate copes with pressure.

The Royal Caribbean experience went so well that Bouldin says an escape room would be a “fantastic addition to any recruitment day”.

“There is nothing better than seeing people interact with one another,” he says. “We had three or four people who interviewed very well, but when you put them in that forum it was really clear who we wanted.”

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Source: ship technology


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