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The importance of Role Play Scenarios in the Recruitment Process



Virginie Graziani

Talent Management & Synergologist

4 April 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes


In recruitment, everything starts with a need. Whether it be the replacement of an employee if someone leaves, the creation of a position, or if someone is transferred, the process to follow is long and complicated. This starts with an essential step: an analysis of the need with regard to skill and workload expectations. Through this essential phase, the missions of the position to be filled can be (re)defined, as can the precise profile sought by the company. Often, it’s then that the recruiter asks two main questions: how do we recruit and assess the candidates?


Recruiting is not enough. Skills also have to be assessed


The job market is tough, and the question that keeps coming back is more about today’s recruitment strategy. However, it’s not enough to know how to recruit. In particular, when it comes to experienced profiles, we also need to know how to assess how honed the skills are that the candidate has acquired throughout his or her professional career. Recruiting doesn’t mean looking for something extraordinary. The success of your recruitment process is also based on your ability to prioritise the skills that are essential in relation to those that are a bonus.

To do this, we need a clear vision of the missions entailed in the position on offer, as well as a medium-term idea of the possible changes that the position may undergo. So, we need to broach the notion of the individual’s potential. To determine the skills of the candidate, the latter must be able to use their know-how and soft skills. These different professional dimensions are difficult to determine in-depth during a face-to-face interview.


The advantages of using role play scenarios for recruiting


To directly assess the skills of a person, there is nothing better than a role play situation. For example, most companies expect that a manager should have the ability to bring together his/her team to achieve individual and/or group objectives. How do we assess a candidate for these dimensions? Ask them questions at an interview, contact previous employers for references… All this can give an idea of how honed his/her special managerial skills are. However, to be absolutely sure, the best thing to do is observe the employee doing a specific task.

What do these role play assessment exercises actually consist of? The principle is simple and pragmatic. The idea is to see the candidate “in action”. Through simulation exercises, the candidate will work towards achieving an operational objective while following certain instructions. This means the employer can examine the candidate’s natural reactions. Depending on the objective, the scenario can take place in your environment, or in a context the individual is used to. Taking the person to be assessed out of their comfort zone is an excellent way to gauge his/her aptitudes and not his/her automatic responses.

The use of role play games in recruitment is now becoming increasingly popular. Role playing is not just used to assess technical skills. It can reveal various behavioural characteristics of the person being assessed: analytical skills, the ability to summarise, judgment, overall vision and managerial style etc. Furthermore, the simulation exercises are now much more sophisticated and assessors are highly experienced professionals. From now on, all recruiters can consider using simulation to get a precise idea of the level of expertise of a future employee.




Explore how an individual will perform in the future : Discover our Assessment Center based on simulation of a professional environment.

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RH Consulting – Talent Management
Scientific evaluation of skills and potential

Expert in the evaluation and development of resources, skills and potential, Apostrof helps you make the right decisions regarding recruitment, annual interviews, professional training, organisation of operational staff, career management and professional development, succession plans and high potential..

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