February 1, 2024
As the labor market grows more and more competitive and workplaces become increasingly mobile and decentralized, HR departments are looking to emerging technologies to shake up the recruitment process.
Today, HR professionals are tasked with finding new talent to fill essential roles as senior staff retire and applicant pools dwindle in many industries. Moreover, they must provide engaging and effective onboarding and training as well as continuous opportunities for learning and development if they hope to retain employees. Conventional recruitment methods just aren’t cutting it.
Traditional application forms, job fairs, and interviews not only fail to get candidates’ attention but are proving less and less effective for identifying the right individuals with the right skills. Drawn-out hiring processes involving multiple rounds of interviews and other assessments are unattractive, time-consuming, and costly, with Glassdoor estimating employers spent an average of $4,000 per hire in 2019. It’s no wonder the buzz around VR in the HR world has outlasted the pandemic.
VR FOR RECRUITMENT
Over the last several years, a number of organizations have experimented with VR for recruitment, including MGM Resorts and even the U.S. Navy. Not only are VR headsets more capable and affordable than ever, they’re also attractive to younger workers who consider technology in their job decisions.
VR can improve the hiring process for both employers and job seekers alike, helping employers attract a more diverse range of applicants and candidates to get a feel for the position and company culture. Here are 7 ways VR aids in recruitment:
1 EXPOSURE TO NEW CAREERS
For decades, the stigma around blue collar work and emphasis on academics has created a dearth of talent in the skilled trades. Compounding the problem is general unawareness of industrial and public-sector jobs among students. How can employers reach and educate this group? VR.
Transfr is a company that “helps organizations train students for well-paying jobs in high-demand fields'' using extended reality. Students wearing Lenovo ThinkReality VRX headsets can try out new careers and practice baseline skills through 300+ task simulations. Users discover career options they might not otherwise know about, gain essential skills that will make them attractive to employers, and build confidence through repetition.
In a similar vein, recent college grads can use VR to narrow down a career path before they start applying for jobs. Since the pandemic disrupted their education and entry to the workforce, many Gen Zers are unfamiliar with a corporate office environment. This group could benefit from a simulated workplace experience to learn basic office skills in addition to figuring out what they want to do.
2 PREVIEW A JOB
What if you could experience a day in the life of an employee in a given position before applying for the job? It’s possible with VR and can save a lot of time for job seekers and HR professionals alike. By “trying out” a role in VR, especially potentially dangerous positions, candidates can decide if a job is right for them, while virtual office tours and simulations of the working environment can provide a sense of what it’s really like to work at a company.
3 SHOW COMPANY CULTURE
On the employer side, XR is an effective medium for communicating and showcasing a brand’s identity, mission, core values, and culture to potential hires. Use of such cutting-edge tech can help appeal to a younger audience and draw more candidates. Plus, it’s persuasive.
An immersive experience of your organization - the relaxed work environment, continuous learning opportunities, etc. - is much more powerful than a brochure or two-minute conversation at a job fair. It can make applicants excited about the prospect of working for you, leading to more satisfying hires and higher retention.
4 GREATER REACH
Virtual job fairs and interviews allow organizations to reach more candidates (potentially more qualified, too) in less time and at lower cost than traditional recruitment methods. That you can attend a virtual job fair from anywhere in the world greatly widens and diversifies the talent pool, putting employers in a better position to attract top talent and innovative minds.
5 SKILLS ASSESSMENT
XR can help recruiters evaluate a candidate’s skills and better assess their fit for a role. It’s no secret that resumes can be misleading; one’s qualifications don’t necessarily tell you how that person will behave in challenging situations. In VR, however, you can observe applicants in simulated true-to-life job scenarios and see how they perform under pressure, handle difficult conversations, etc.
Virtual assessments provide insight that a standard interview simply cannot reveal, enabling recruiters to accurately gauge soft skills like problem solving and teamwork, gain a deeper overall understanding of a candidate’s abilities, and make more informed hiring decisions.
6 WEED OUT THE UNINTERESTED
Typically, you only apply for jobs you’re actually interested in, right? But as identifying qualified candidates becomes more difficult (especially in high tech and engineering) and with the rise of tools like LinkedIn Easy Apply, it’s necessary to attract the right applicants and weed out the less interested ones.
Some employers have resorted to gamified VR (and AR) experiences to both test and screen candidates. The idea is that playing a work-related game requires commitment, and only serious candidates will take the time and effort to play. A well-designed VR game can help you connect to candidates with particular skills sets while also teaching skills they’ll need for the job.
7 IMMERSIVE RESUMES
Finally, job seekers might also employ AR/VR to augment their resumes, convey their abilities to recruiters, and stand out from the pool of applicants. A strategically placed QR code (very basic assisted reality), for instance, could direct recruiters to a virtual portfolio, blog, or other web destination.
Image source: Bodyswaps