Getting it Right – Selecting the Best Candidate for the Job

During recruitment, discerning who will be the most suitable person from a short-list of candidates is an important consideration. When we consider that making poor hire decisions will cost 50% to 250%* of an annual salary to replace unsuitable staff, personal preference in the selection should only be part of the story.

Likewise, hiring a person who is not a good organisational fit, usually leads to them becoming disengaged, costing approximately 35% ** of their ongoing annual salary.

The Future of Jobs Report, published by the World Economic Forum in 2018 reveals that the four most important skills needed by the workforce now and into the future are:

  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • People Management

These ‘soft-skills’ are best observed in the management of day-to-day workplace situations and are difficult to evaluate during interviews.

Through experiential interviewing, however, employers have the opportunity to observe candidates managing real work situations and compare results with other candidates. At the same time, candidates have an opportunity to showcase their individual qualities, skills and aptitudes to leverage their employment chances.

The use of professional roleplayers to portray job-tailored scenarios heightens the reality of the workplace situations that the candidates will face. This provides employers with insights into candidates thinking, problem solving skills and creativity to manage people and adapt to the job’s varying demands. Importantly, the soft-skills shown reveal how someone will leverage their unique potential into the future.

The use of roleplayers builds confidence that good hiring decisions are made. Candidates gain insights into the job requirements, overall engagement and genuine belief in the match is achieved. And of course, costly re-hiring is largely avoided.

Roleplay Australia’s actors have many years’ experience with recruitment assessments. Contact us hereto find out how we can help.

 

*Society of Human Resource Management

** Gallup

Actors’ five unique skills for corporate roleplaying

Roleplaying has been a regular component of training courses. Usually, candidates take turns in roleplaying situations so their colleague can explore solutions, play with their ideas and have some fun. But it is a powerful tool in actors’ hands, after all they are in the business of ‘playing roles’.

Why use actors?

The art of acting is a lot more than learning lines. Actors are expert improvisers, and create believable characters and in-the-moment performances. When we watch actors on stage or film, we can be transported to places that seem real and believable.  It’s easy to forget we are watching actors act.

The same applies when actors take on a corporate roleplay scenario. The person they are interacting with quickly forgets they are with an actor, as the situation comes to life. When these roleplay scenarios are being used to assess training the actor combines a realistic situation and reaction to the candidate, with a consistency each time to ensure the assessment for each candidate is fair and comparable.

In summary, the actor’s five main skills in roleplaying are:

  1. Actors are able to take on the traits of an individual customer or personality type to enhance sales and negotiation training.
  2. Actors are comfortable with heightened emotions whilst improvising in response to the participant and within the scenario.
  3. Actors create ‘real’ situations in imaginary circumstances so that participants practice inter-actions as if they are real.
  4. Actors can articulate meaningful, honest feedback based on what their character felt and experienced to assist the participant to better understand their own experience.
  5. Actors can deliver repeated, consistent performances to support reliable and fair assessments in training and recruitment situations.

Next time you are assessing candidates or want to improve the results of your training and development days, contact Roleplay Australia here.

Roleplay adds value to training and development

When committing resources for training and development programs, there is a danger of investment in classroom based or online resources that can leave people stranded to attempt to assimilate the training into their work.

The addition of roleplaying into a program is being incorporated more often in business, sales and recruitment programs than ever before. It exponentially increases the value of the program by enabling people to practice new skills as they develop.

Here are a few benefits of Roleplay:

  1. One key benefit of using roleplay is to build confidence.

When a team or individuals roleplay, they experience scenarios in a safe, positive, respectful environment for the first time, and process the experience as they practice. This opens their minds to new ways of seeing and thinking about real situations and helps gain confidence in their everyday work. Transitioning newly acquired skills from the classroom into everyday working life is smooth and less stressful. People are also better able to manage and implement change when they have experienced new challenges confidently.

  1. Sustained involvement in roleplay develops deeper skills.

Deeper skills practice and enhanced confidence helps develops an individual ease with other and therefore improved relations with colleagues and customers. Problems are lessened and solutions more easily attained when communication is well developed.

  1. Gain immediate feedback.

Actors have the ability to create authentic characters and actions, whilst retaining the ability to reflect and articulate what an experience felt like. Gaining objective and clear feedback helps an individual to better understand their impact and make adjustments in their work to improve their effectiveness.

Using professional actor-roleplayers achieves the above with an authentic roleplaying experience. Actors possess specific skills for the job from their work on-stage and screen. Usually, actors are on stage with other similarly trained actors, but in roleplaying they are interacting with people who are often nervous about roleplaying at all. So, an actor-roleplayer also possesses the ability to support and help an individual reach the goals within a scenario whilst also maintaining their own limits of the scenario.

 

Roleplay Australia has been specialising in roleplaying for over 25 years-experience and, our team includes the most experienced roleplayers in the country.

Building a resilient workforce

Have you recently returned to work after a break, either school holidays or at the very least, a long weekend, feeling refreshed, relaxed, able to effortlessly handle problems as they arise?

Notice that sometime after that, the stress levels may start to rise, and soon the holiday seems a long way in the past! Ever wondered why some people seem to bounce back at these times and others start to increasingly wilt?

Resilience is someone’s ability to bounce back in the face of challenges …..

A recent Health report on the ABC looked into this phenomena, and came up with a key strategy to combat this: try changing how you respond to the stresses you meet at work and build resilience. It said that an individual can strengthen their resilience in a range of ways including;

  • Build resilient thinking by reminding yourself of what works well, previous accomplishments and break tasks into smaller manageable chunks, focusing on what you can control and accept that mistakes or challenges can occur.
  • Take a break and come back to the issue with “fresh” eyes
  • Get balance – your lifestyle is important, take time out of work to do things you enjoy. Exercise, diet, leisure time all have an influence.
  • Have a support network both in and out of workplace to help buffer difficult situations

Organisations can help their people become more resilient too, by implementing a few simple strategies:

  • Resilience training programs to help deal with stresses and challenges, especially around times of change.
  • Coaching to improve performance, skill and well-being, and mentoring to support long-term career development and build on the coaching outcomes.
  • Physical activity programs are known to be good for mental health, and encouraging it in the workplace makes good sense.

Roleplay Australia customises programs for organisations who recognise the value of a resilient workforce, especially when meeting the challenges of organisational change, and our expert coaches and mentors are there to support individuals at all levels of responsibility in the organisation.

See the full report from the ABC here.

Roleplaying at the FBI Academy

This is the first of occasional news stories from Roleplay Australia. Each story will include links to interesting articles related to training and development, innovative roleplay use, and useful tips on aspects of communication.

This first story includes an article I came across recently about integrated case scenarios used by the FBI. It shows how valuable it is to plan scenarios and use professional roleplayers to secure results.

Be Like the FBI:

Here at Roleplay Australia, we’re interested in research; it’s part of what we do in our acting careers, and to stay up to date with what we do. Every now and then we come across research that provides insights into professional roleplaying.

Like this not-so-recent article written by Chris Whitcomb published in Training and Development Journal in 1999, about Integrated Case Scenarios.

Training complete with bad guys and good buys at the FBI Academy honed agents’ skills so they were ready to hit the street running. The key was integrating courses into one realistic scenario.

It seems that since 1972, the FBI had been putting all new agents through a rigorous training course over 4 months, learning all kinds of things, but they were graduating without a clue how to conduct a complete investigation. That was until 1996 when they reviewed their curriculum and introduced Integrated Case Scenarios. This new system brought the seven different areas of the course together into one comprehensive 14-week long scenario to incorporate all aspects of their training in a simulation of the actual job of an FBI agent. The simulation took an agent from receiving a telephone tip-off through to a simulated trial including things going wrong like they can do in a criminal investigation.

These days Integrated Scenarios are used in successful Management Courses to inter-relate all knowledge and skills to produce graduates who are “more than the sum of their individual competencies”.

Whitcomb outlines the necessary steps to achieve Integrated scenarios for any organisation:

  • Gather trainers from each disciple to bring their unique perspectives
  • Decide on the theme or matrix through which all objectives can be recorded
  • Turn the matrix into the plot line by using an experienced scriptwriter
  • Develop the characters and allocate specific and controllable instructions and dialogues
  • Review the scripts by the team of trainers, and develop assessment tools for recording and tracking progress
  • Prepare the behind-the-scenes props and requirements
  • Engage professional roleplayers who will ensure that all of the roles are convincing and realistic

Improve the results you are getting from scenario-based training, and apply the same process to develop graduates and staff ready to implement new skills with experience and confidence.

If you are looking for script-writers, who also understand the necessary constraints of training and assessment recording and design, drop us a line. Roleplay Australia has deep understanding of compliance, training and assessment and a team of writers and roleplayers with these skills.