5 Lessons In Attracting, Onboarding and Developing Top Talent From The World’s Biggest Improv Theater

We've talked about looking to marketing and data scientists to improve recruiting, but what about people outside of your organization like actors? Yes, I said actors. Don't make a pun about actors and jobs - there's something to it.

That's why we've talked to Second City Improv Theatre about how they have been attracting & developing top talent in their field. With alumni like Tina Fey, Bill Murray and Steven Colbert, they clearly got something right in the talent department.

And along the way, their exceptionally talented performers have taught them how to use the philosophy of improvisation to impact the organizations with which we work. Improvisation creates a powerful connection with the audience, involving them moment to moment so that they feel part of something larger than themselves: After two full acts of a show, we ask our audience “Do you want to stay for more improvisation?” and they scream “YES!” At 10pm. On a Tuesday night.

The same methods that they use to cast, develop and deliver our comedy can elevate the way you attract, onboard and develop your talent.

You'll Learn How To:

  • Make your company stand out from everybody else
  • Make a candidate feel as though they are part of something larger than themselves
  • Make candidates and employees feel heard and welcome.

Meet Our Presenters

Robyn Scott received her degree in addiction studies from Texas Tech University in 1994 and worked as a case manager in the drug and alcohol treatment industry until 2001 when she started to pursue acting and improvisational training at The Second City in Chicago. Since graduating from their Conservatory she has performed with several Chicago companies and in many comedy festivals, directed sketch ensembles and short films, and worked in TV and feature films (credits include: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “State of Romance,” “Public Enemies” and Sonic commercials). She has understudied for The American Theatre Company, freelanced as a commercial copywriter, and has written and produced an original web series. Her work as a core actor, keynote speaker, and workshop facilitator for Second City Communications at The Second City in Chicago has been featured in the “Wall Street Journal” and on NBC’s “The Today Show.” She also serves as a private presentation skills coach and travels internationally leading corporate sessions in innovation, team building, and advanced communication training. Her client list includes Motorola, Accenture, Hyatt, Miller Coors, Kraft, Kellogg University, GE Healthcare, and McDonalds to name a few.

Andy Eninger is an actor, writer and director who has taught workshops for and performed for hundreds of corporations across the country. He trained in Video and Film production at Miami University of Ohio, and later at the Hungarian Academy of Film and Dramatic Arts. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Playwriting from Miami of Ohio. Before becoming a full-time actor, Eninger worked as a Project Manager for NCR, and as an IT Coordinator for the ad agency Euro RSCG Tatham.He currently serves as the Head of the Writing Program at Second City's Training Center. Andy’s favorite accomplishments include: Understudying for Second City's main stage production "Red Scare;" Performing for Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines; Co-founding sketch group GayCo Productions, who’s "Weddings of Mass Destruction" won "Best Ensemble" at the New York International Fringe Festival; Directing and composing music for "Band Geeks: A Half Time Musical," which won a Chicago After Dark Award for music and lyrics. When he is not instructing scores of improv and sketch students for the Second City Training Center, you can find Andy improvising alone or in various ensembles, most notably in his solo production “Sybil,” which has toured around the country and in Toronto, London and Amsterdam.


Tom Yorton is CEO of Second City Works, the B-to-B arm of the world-renowned improvisational comedy theatre and improvisation school, The Second City. Second City Works serves more than 400 Fortune 1000 clients annually with innovative solutions in talent development & leadership development, sales effectiveness, marketing & content, and legal & compliance. Second City Works also licenses innovative video content for corporate education under the brand RealBiz Shorts, a cloud-based service of video libraries with funny content tailored to ethics, compliance, life sciences, human resources, talent development, and sales enablement training. Tom formerly held positions as a senior marketing executive at 3COM and Sears, and as a vice president in the advertising firms Hal Riney & Partners and Ogilvy & Mather. He has experience in numerous industries, including high tech, Internet, retail, automotive, airline, fitness, restaurant, lodging, financial services, and healthcare categories. Yorton writes and speaks widely on his undying belief in the power of improvisation and humor to improve individual performance and to transform organizations. Follow Tom on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Kelly Leonard is the Executive Vice President of The Second City and The President of Second City Theatricals. He has worked at The Second City since 1988 and has overseen productions with such notable performers as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, Amy Sedaris and a host of others. Mr. Leonard co-founded Second City Theatricals, the division of the company that develops an eclectic array of live entertainment all over the world. Recent productions include The Second City Guide to the Opera starring Renee Fleming and Sir Patrick Stewart with Lyric Opera Chicago; "America All Better” which was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC; and the collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance that premiered at The Harris Theatre in Chicago in October of 2014. Mr. Leonard also brokered the deal that brought The Second City to the high seas where the company maintains full time ensembles aboard a number of Norwegian Cruise Line Ships. He has received many honors, including being named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list and named one of the top 40 cultural figures in Chicago by Time Out Magazine. He recently received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Lake Forest College and his first book, “Yes, And,” will be published by Harper Collins in February of 2015. Mr. Leonard lives in Chicago with his wife Anne Libera and their children Nick and Nora. Follow Kelly on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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