4 Ways VR can Revolutionise HR
New Virtual Reality technologies keep rapidly evolving, allowing companies in a variety of industries to access new ways to carry out everyday tasks. VR represents a digital reality, made via a computer, that allows for exploration and interaction, reproducing an almost realistic scenario. Differently, from augmented reality, VR is an immersive experience that aims to fully involve the individual with a completely artificial reality, rather than enhance the existing environment. First used to turn gaming into a more realistic experience, this groundbreaking tech can go far beyond entertainment, as its impact on productivity and business is seen to be significantly advantageous.
Research from Ericsson found that 7 out of 10 early adopters of VR are confident that this technology would completely change six domains, including work. While another analysis foresees that by 2020 the sales of VR systems will reach 30 million worldwide, an impressive jump if compared to the 3 million from 2016.
Having experienced the potential of VR first hand, they can see how many more industries alongside entertainment will see a significant change as this technology gets applied to more things.
A more traditional sector such as HR is not renown for always following the latest technology advancements, but something like VR would help recruitment by speeding up processes, helping find more accurate candidates and overall improving efficiency. So how exactly can it revolutionise this industry?
Virtual Reality can be the ideal solution to test candidates’ abilities before hiring. Especially when it comes to job positions that require a high level of technical expertise, being able to carry out a test of those competencies would be incredibly beneficial for the employer. Even before the interview, employers could set some VR experiences meant to shortlist applicants and cut down on the number of people who would take part in an interview. For example, a company could provide a VR headset to candidates to have them experience everyday work tasks and see how well they would do in front of the challenges the job requires. From that, the employer would be able to judge applicants better and find the perfect match for the job.
American company General Mills was an early adopter, using the Oculus Rift from 2015 to reach out to students that are both in and outside classrooms, creating a virtual tour of their offices to provide a full view of the place to students. They are using this advanced technology not only to help those already interested but also to attract new people in the first place. VR alone makes the company stand out and promotes the business as modern and advanced.
Beyond just the hiring process, Virtual Reality could help new members of the team with their induction by providing a truthful digital tour of the office and every space the new employee might need to be familiar with. That way, new employees can start with more confidence and will have a better knowledge of the work environment before they even begin. Leading to an onboarding that is more focused on the individual rather than on paperwork.
The multinational General Electric has been using VR to offer a unique onboarding experience to their employees, by providing them with an exclusive view of the underwater oil and gas recovery machines owned by the company. This method allows new members of the team to learn how the machinery works and even how to assemble and disassemble them.
An aspect that would be beneficial for companies working with teams all around the globe, is how VR can help keep everyone in contact. This digital reality can favour team building exercises to make everyone feel fully part of the team, no matter where they are based.
VR would also provide collaborative virtual environments that go beyond video conferences or online chats, developing new ways to work together and communicate with colleagues. Via those spaces, which can be either a mixture of real and virtual or completely digital, employees would be able to interact, change or edit any data to then utilise it in the real world. Companies such as Innoactive have been providing headsets to businesses with the aim of allowing employees to meet over VR sessions and work together on 3D data.
This would revolutionise the way we work together and significantly increase productivity and improve communication between different teams.
Back in 2014, businesses would spend up to $1,200 per employee in training, leading to huge sums being spent by each company depending on how large their staff would be. That, plus some other extra costs they might encounter, makes training new and current employees incredibly expensive and difficult to maintain, especially for smaller companies. Providing the chance for constant improvement to the staff is incredibly important, even more in highly technical professions. Training is one the main sectors where VR can most help, by reproducing key situations that can prepare employees in front of challenges better than anything else. By having constant access to VR technologies, every member of the team would be able to keep training and improving at work.
A US-based startup named STRIVR has been encouraging this shift to VR training by developing apps that have helped big companies such as Walmart, Chipotle and Tyson Foods. Over the three years of their operations, they have trained more than 200,000 employees via their VR apps. By using that digital method to teach, they remove any exorbitant costs and significantly improve efficiency.
VR is still on its initial phase in terms of worldwide adoption, but the potential it can have towards specific industries, such as HR, could be revolutionary. Ultimately, it would represent the ideal solution to lengthy hiring processes while also ensuring that companies hire the perfect match for the job position. Overall leading to more efficiency in the workforce and fairer opportunities for employees.