Escape rooms: The new way to recruit?

January 14, 2019 Guillermo San Román

Whether it’s unravelling a mystery in a haunted house, cracking codes inside a military bunker or solving a murder in a boarding school, escape rooms have become a popular leisure activity across the world. The activity involves a group of people locked in a room, which is often themed, and the goal is to work together, solving riddles and finding clues to escape the room in a certain amount of time. 

The escape room industry is estimated to be worth more than £53m in the UK alone, with more than 1,000 escape room experience across the UK and Ireland. What began as a leisure activity with friends has begun to enter the corporate world and can be specifically adapted for recruiting.

Using immersive experiences, that are far from the traditional job interview, are becoming more common as a way to attract candidates in organisations. And something like an escape room experience, although unusual, can be a good way to demonstrate a candidate’s qualities.

Placing candidates in situations where they have to solve problems as a team within a specific timeframe allows recruiters to see their abilities such as communication, leadership, creativity and ability to work under pressure. Unlike traditional role-playing tasks, which can sometimes be complex for candidates to understand, escape rooms add an element of fun to the recruitment process, easing the pressure and nerves that some candidates may experience.

Escape rooms can also help to foster team development and strengthen the relationships between employees. Helpfully, many escape room companies have a corporate option to allow this.

Other organisations have also used escape rooms as a marketing tool. Audi, for example, created its own escape room to promote its e-tron cars. Teams were asked to solve puzzles using modern technologies like robotics, holograms and projection mapping, with the idea being that the room represents what the future might look like and how Audi’s e-tron technology helps.

New technologies and globalisation mean that society has changed very quickly and the way we communicate and work with each other has evolved. When we recognise that the world around us is changing, we need to make sure that our workplace adapts, however big or small the change might be. For recruitment teams trying something new, escape rooms show that the organisation is willing to adapt and change according to the times and, you never know, it could help you prepare for the workforce of the future.

About the Author

Guillermo San Román

Guillermo San Roman is currently managing Cornerstone's existing clients in South Europe. Thanks to his vast experience of over 15 years he is successfully supporting Talent Directors through their digital transformation.  ​​​​​​​ He believes that through a collaborative approach and putting the focus on a talent centric HR strategy all organisation can realise their potential and create a culture of learning and development.

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