When it comes to human resources, Virtual Reality is a brilliant platform to serve along all the steps of following processes: from prospecting the candidates and initial contact with them all the way to aptitude tests, hiring, onboarding in new jobs and roles, and finally collaboration across teams, geographies and roles, as well as long-term learning, development and promotion.
One of the greatest challenges in recruiting is to showcase to aspiring candidates how would it look like to be part of your company and team. Certainly, if those candidates visit your office on their way to the interview they will get a slight impression about your working culture and atmosphere, but it will not give them a thorough understanding what everyday life, work and play at your company may look like.
And this is the moment when Virtual Reality comes into place because this immersive technology creates the infrastructure for candidates (potential employers and new partners) to experience your company culture from a different angle, in a great detail and at their own convenience because there is not a totally fixed time to do so, as it happens with arranged meetings in person.
Not only do you save time as a hiring manager and HR department when you choose the VR format to showcase your work, but you also create an effect of being innovative and setting new standards.
INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES AND TESTING THEIR APTITUDE WITH VR
In the same manner as serious games can test how the future employee will fit into a corporate culture, VR has its recruitment place.
Technology and society haves made companies like Google, Amazon, and tech startups much more appealing to top graduates.
According to Fortune, top preferences for Millennials in the workplace are: flexibility, interesting career development outside of traditional learning environments as well as workplaces with an impact that care about social causes and a sense of purpose.
Toyota High Systems together with InstaVR created engaging virtual campus tours that they showcase on HTC Vives at college hiring fairs.
Not only are students enticed by the HTC Vive to try out VR, they’re given an in-depth 360 tour of all the great things happening at Toyota’s campus. This type of immersive experience sticks with the potential employee long after the job fair.
Our company created the AR application, which helped in recruitment process for junior sales people, who were supposed to obtain their initial working experience with global brand.
In order to test candidates’ thinking on their feet, our client set up promotional stands around student campuses in several major Serbian cities. On those venues, potential future employees were supposed to go through the gamification experience, and one of the clues was powered on Augmented Reality and solving the answer with an AR marker.
ONBOARDING THANKS TO NEW TECHNOLOGIES
One of the greatest benefits for onboarding with VR and immersive audio and video material is that employees can experience trainings in consistent experience regardless of location; while the costs of travel and training itself remain much lower, especially the marginal costs with every new employee who signs up to such a module of trainings.
For instance, Klip Collective wanted to bring VR into the mix when training staff. Klip developed a 15-minute orientation VR experience, featuring 3D graphics, interactive learning situations and mini-games.
According to Klip Collective Director Ricardo Rivera, “We’ve been researching and developing VR as a medium for over two years now and, as an experimental installation artist, it piqued my interest.”
One of the criteria you should use to decide about VR tools for onboarding is how many employees will go through that process. If you have hundreds or thousands of new employees hired simultaneously, your best best is to create an iOS or Android app, and give your employees Google Cardboards on which to view your VR.
If you’re onboarding less than 100 employees at a time to a location, it might be worthwhile to upgrade your VR training hardware to the Gear VR or Google Daydream headsets. And don’t forget about Guided VR Co-Viewing as an option, where appropriate.
TRAINING AND LIFE-LONG DEVELOPMENT
Very important component of human resources through Virtual Reality lens is training and life-long development across all different industries. The necessity of employers to build their skills entire life so as to remain relevant for their company and the market has become in the time of exponential technologies even more prevalent.
For example, people who work in high-stress, even life-threatening professions such as firefighters and surgeons can use VR to their advantage since such content prepares them for daily challenges of their work environment and it helps them fine tune their work processes and all the steps they need to perform in order to complete their tasks.
Inlet Shores Group is an excellent example of the company that uses VR hardware and software in its business processes i.e. for 360-degree training videos in a top-sensitive institution such as the U.S. federal government.
NASA, for example, has been using VR to train its astronauts for some time. In fact, NASA astronauts have already been to Mars (with VR), learning how to operate rovers using the Oculus Rift.
Other training applications may be much less technical. Some companies see opportunities to develop much more engaging HR training experiences around topics like diversity and sexual harassment, where employees are exposed to first-hand experiences through virtual reality to help them better understand common workplace issues.
WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY?
Andrew Woodberry, Head of Sales and Marketing at InstaVR suggests several initial steps to incorporate VR in your onboarding processes. It would be best to start with 360-degree videos in VR as they can give glimpse to employees and management into the training challenges that people need to overcome in order to perform their tasks at a higher level.
Gathering VR feedback, according to Andrew, will help companies understand if their employees are on the right track with getting new knowledge.
Probably the best way to collect the anecdotal feedback from users is through heat maps which show where users focus their eyesight within a scene. The beauty of training in VR as it happens with any other app is that iteration improves VR onboarding experience after a while.
For instance, ARVRtech created VR Lafarge app so that this large-scale company can showcase to the potential new employees all the different production segments and smart manufacturing tendencies.
Since Virtual Reality sends you to the world where you are fully focused on the VR videos and images inside your headsets can be created for many companies that truly care about hiring the best and developing their potential.