Virtual Reality in Recruitment
By Xuan Hoang
As we rapidly move through the ever-evolving world of technology, we see into the new era of Virtual Reality with curious wide eyes. To fully understand the impact of VR on our future, think of it as a whole interface rather than a piece of technology. We took the leap from desktop computers to phones. Now we step into VR. And it’s set to revolutionise the world around us - including recruitment.
As recruiters begin to explore the possibilities of the technology, we’re starting to see some of the real results it’s had on today’s recruitment world.
VR can add a new dimension to the candidate experience, and take a company’s employer brand to new heights. Its’ ability to virtually transport a person to new and realistic worlds has been adopted by some recruiters to show candidates around their potential workplace.
Increasingly used at career fairs, it allows a candidate to really experience a role, because VR goes beyond the opportunity of being somewhere else, it also lets you to see and experience in someone else’s eyes.
The British Army saw the great potential in this, and created a unique VR recruitment experience that captured some of the most exhilarating experiences that candidates can gain on the job. These include parachute jumping, tank driving, combat training, and climbing. The experiences allowed participants to not only see, but feel what it was like to be there. And it worked. On the days that the VR was used on their roadshow, they saw a 66% increase in applicants.
And many other companies are reaping the benefits of VR. In 2015, when Deutsche Bahn realised they had the mammoth task of sourcing 10,000 new people each year, they turned to VR to transform their hiring numbers. They brought the headsets to careers fairs, and gave candidates a realistic, virtual experience in hard-to-fill roles like train electrician and engineering. It gave candidates a clearer idea of the daily responsibilities, and the nature of the jobs. In doing so, interest increased from approximately ten candidates per job to between fifty and a hundred. Better yet, the quality of applicants was higher.
Having a cool, immersive experience of a potential job is sure to have a positive affect on the candidate. But additionally, it reflects well on an employer branding level. Having an innovative approach to technology shows how a company encourages and invests-in new technology - And that always goes down well with young talent.
VR also has the potential to transform parts of interviews such as psychometric and personality testing into a fully immersive experience.
So, a candidate could be put in an immersive situation to demonstrate how they would react and deal with a difficult situation on the spot. Or for behaviour testing, a candidate can be placed in a scenario that shows how they’ll interact in a social environment. This could allow for improved and more accurate assessments.
Lloyds Banking Group are the first bank to have launched VR to assess their graduates.
So instead of a candidate giving a verbal description of how they would handle a particular situation, they’ll have to actually show it, virtually, and in real time.
It’s early days still, but it’ll be interesting to see the outcomes of their innovative approach, and if VR really is, in fact, good at predicting future performances.
And that’s a big thing here – we’re only seeing the very beginnings of what VR can do. VR is still a long-way away from the popularity of smartphones. And until it makes its way to the everyday user, the possibilities of VR will be contained. But it’s completely possible that VR will play a more significant role in the near future of recruitment.