HR tech

The WOW factor: The use of VR in HR

Important takeaways from this blog:

  • How to enhance your career page with VR
  • How does it look like to use VR in recruitment
  • How is VR going to revolutionize trainings

 

The number one obstacle that candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization,” confirms a recent LinkedIn report. Combine this with the increased need to vividly illustrate company culture and enrich recruitment processes to find the best talents to deliver an immersive training experience. It is easy to understand why VR can be a game-changer.

As we know, VR has been a pretty hot topic in the last couple of years and its use in HR brought modern solutions to the traditional problems such as engaging employees into company culture, shortening the time to explain their job role, assessing candidates in a better way, improving employee training, etc.

In recent years, the use of VR at the workplace has been drastically increasing, especially with the intent to improve various aspects of the company that HR is taking care of. What VR has a large potential to be massively used in is employer branding, recruitment and employee training. 

VR & EMPLOYER BRANDING

Some researchers claim that some of the main reasons why people leave their new roles in companies are that the expectations they had in the beginning are not fulfilled later. Usually, companies try to reflect their culture to attract new talents by designing clever employer branding strategies through marketing campaigns, career fairs, career web pages, etc.

However, companies often forget how important it is for every potential new employee to get a real insight into the typical workday, the offices and other premises i.e. the overall working space. This is hard to depict just by photos on the website or word-of-mouth during career fairs, interviews, or similar events. What companies need to do is to highlight their employer branding in a new, modern way. 

Taking into consideration the fact that more and more people want access to almost any kind of information from the safety of their homes, some companies introduced VR into their EB to provide a real-world experience.

It is not only about the offices. VR also allows companies to give future employees insights into their typical company meetings, places where employees gather to chat during breaks, their overall culture (dress code, diversity, the possibility to find out who are the real employees there, what is it that they do, etc). 

Want to know a small tip on how to retain visitors on your career page? Include VR.

The companies who included VR in their career pages reported that the candidates spent over 10 minutes on average on the page exploring the offices, easily absorbing all the information about the company culture. The same companies also reported that their jobs were filling at a rate 15% faster than they were before the VR was introduced. Unbelievable, but such modern technology has indeed helped companies improve their employer branding and attract more talents.

With the use of VR in such a way, companies managed to differentiate themselves on the market. VR can help companies be seen as modern, innovative and cool. Virtual tours sound amazing when you know you will gather even more insights into the company rather than just looking at pictures of happy employees, perfectly organized one or two offices, etc.

It is time to take things to the next level and introduce entire office tours, enable the possibility of the potential employee in the onboarding process to be able to see how company meetings are held, how employees spend their work time, how they are dressed, who they are… 

Experience a company culture via VR right now and check these examples of companies that introduce VR as a part of their EB to present themselves in the market better.

As the director of global leadership programs and university relations at General Electric, Julie Grzeda, said: “Your culture is a strong asset to attracting the team you want — and VR can help vividly illustrate that.”

VR & RECRUITMENT PROCESS

It is true – VR is reshaping the recruitment process as we know it. Besides reducing the time spent on scheduling the live interviews with candidates, the candidates themselves can reduce time spent in the traffic on their way to the interview. It’s a win-win for both sides. More and more companies are opting for this solution to enhance the recruitment process and reduce the time needed to assess and hire candidates. 

As mentioned earlier, having realized that the reality is different than their expectations – a lot of candidates tend to leave their new roles. There is a gap between what they imagined the job to be (through job description in the advert, job explanation by the company employees during the career fair, etc) and what the job in reality is.

This trend can negatively influence retention within the company. The breakthrough is that VR can help companies present jobs vividly, more precisely, which will give better insights to the candidates.

VR can provide the possibility for candidates to see if the job is suitable for them or not. Instead of sending a twenty-page presentation about the company and job role to the new employees during the onboarding process, why not just enable them a unique experience to see things for themselves?

In this way, companies will ensure better engagement during onboarding, along with other benefits that VR brings to the table. In the end – it is all about the experience. There is no better way to learn about things unless one experiences them himself. The idea of adopting VR in the recruitment process in its essence is the same as in every other field – to experience things as if you were there. 

Want a good example? Check a U.S.-based food company General Mills and their experience with adopting VR to recruit new graduates. The idea of making a video that could make students feel as if they were still there is the WOW factor that improved their recruitment process.

Bear in mind that VR is not only used to hire talents for positions such as salesman, office administrator, operations coordinator, etc. It is also used for managerial and C-level positions. Here’s how Walmart is using VR to hire potential new managers. Using Walmart as an example, an interesting fact to know is that VR can also bring pay raises to those who demonstrate high skills and knowledge within their VR tests. 

VR Recruitment is expected to have its seat at the HR table even more secured in the future since, currently, it is the most modern way to help potential employees gain valuable experience of what it is really like to work in a company. James Colino, a Talent Acquisition Leader in Sheetz company, stated that “the use of VR in recruitment strategies can be a difference between winning and losing a great candidate.” 

Will the use of VR in recruitment be widespread in the near future? The belief is that it is just a matter of time.

VR & TRAINING

In current times of increasing work from home which has been rushed since last year, it is essential not to forget about the development of the employees. The overall success of any company, especially in times of crisis, depends on the engagement and skills of its employees.

Many HR departments were forced to urgently find high-efficiency methods to provide training for current and future employees. Employee training that VR will have the most impact on refers mostly to manual labor methods. This is especially useful for companies who also need to lower the risk of cost implications of such training and the daily transfer of employees to dangerous sites or remote destinations during the training period. 

Who would ever think that one day people will be able to learn their jobs through technology that simulates their future environment (besides astronauts, right)?

The use of VR for this purpose will increase even more in the years to come in training related to: managing the production lines, practicing handling with machines on hazardous locations, learning different safety practices, learning how to improve management skills of other teammates, even practicing public speaking. 

The belief that VR will revolutionize work is widespread and it is easy to understand why.

Companies want to do more than just a one-day training or two-hour video on how to do things that they send to their employees. The idea that it is possible to provide the most-close to real experience during training is more and more appealing rather than praying that the future employees will take notes from the tons of video and other materials about their work duties and skills. 

A senior marketing leader in IBM company, Ruth Williams, in her blog about VR named a few examples of companies already using VR to train their employees:

“Oil companies like Shell spend millions of dollars creating simulations of oil wells and refinery operations, and IT companies like IBM spend tens of millions of dollars on sales simulations coaching sellers on sales calls, presentations, and behavior.“ 

The best thing about using VR for training is that VR enables experiencing the same scenario over and over which enables employees to learn from their mistakes and reduce real-life work mistakes.

Add the opportunity to test various scenarios, to try various approaches to find the best ones and you will see why VR is becoming the best choice for a lot of companies who care about the proper training of their staff. 

WOW!

Engaged and hill-skilled employees bring the best results to any company. To achieve this, companies are recreating the existing HR practices by adopting cutting-edge technology such as VR. Starting from employer branding and its possibility to vividly show company culture and provide experience to future employees, VR also affects the recruitment processes as well as the way training and employee assessments are being done.

It is uncertain which HR strategies will be improved in the future with the use of this kind of technology but one thing is for sure – VR brought that WOW factor to HR departments and their companies. Looking forward to seeing more of this! 


Author: Aleksandra Fuštić, HR WORLD

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About HR WORLD:

The HR WORLD organization, as a community of HR professionals in the Adria region, aims to transform the HR function from a former Human Resources to a modern, more innovative and humane business function with strategic influence.

HR WORLD builds links between academia – universities, individual faculties, career development centers, various professional / youth associations – and the business community by influencing a more dynamic flow and merging of theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Human Resource Management.

Our slogan is “Better HR for a better world”.

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