Virtual reality (VR) is set to be the next big thing in the recruitment world, so we are taking a look at the new and exciting opportunities this is opening up for businesses’ recruitment processes. While a lot of what’s being tried is still firmly in the trialling stages, early indications suggest VR has the potential to revolutionise the recruitment and training process.

Virtual Reality Potential

Businesses, like KFC, have started to harness the potential of VR for recruitment by creating candidate tests that can demonstrate their ability to meet the demands of the role without a recruiter actually being present. They have been designing tests for candidates that simulate the actual environment they would be working in – in the hope of radically reducing the time involved for recruiters overseeing the process. Instead, the programme will let them know the outcome! Experience it for yourself:

The main benefits to using VR certainly revolve around its money and time saving potential – especially for companies with large numbers of employees. Introducing a recruitment process delivered electronically, compared to deploying personnel to oversee the tests in person, attracts significant cost savings in the long run. The motivation is that these cost-savings would soon outstrip the expense of developing and implementing these simulated tests; which require significant upfront outlay.

However, hiring developers and purchasing the necessary hardware might be off putting to smaller businesses for now. For the well-known hair and beauty brand, L’Oréal, the costs of using VR are perceived to be more than offset by the longer term benefits, as the launch of their new VR recruitment programme testifies to.

Transforming Practical Training

L’Oréal’s VR recruitment programme simulates a room-scale hairdressing studio in which the candidate is placed to complete their training. The individual is asked to perform tasks linked to each stage of the hairdressing curriculum; which they are required to pass. The candidate's perfromance is then assessed by the programme – reducing the need for physical intervention and human biases and subjectivity.

Another company in the process of utilizing these high-end methods to recruit and train is the worldwide delivery company, UPS. Soon, the company will teach new delivery drivers how to navigate city streets and avoid hazards in a VR simulator using off-the-shelf HTC Vive headsets. Initially, they are planning to use the VR approach for drivers exclusively. However, if successful, future VR programmes are planned for employees across the company, demonstrating their confidence in this new way of training.

Both L’Oréal and UPS rely heavily on practical processes to train their new employees, and it’s easy to see how using VR will save them time and money in the long-run. But VR is also being used to help more office-based interviews too and Lloyds Banking Group is planning to put it to the test this year.

Enabling Interviews

Lloyds believe that through using VR-based interviews, interviewers will have the chance to observe how the candidate handles problems they couldn't recreate in a traditional office interview. Gone will be the asking of those hypothetical questions, "what would you do if...?". In their place will be a VR-enabled scenario, with you at its centre, where they can see for themselves.

At Enabling Change, we believe, going forward, VR will become a central component of the interview and recruitment process for all sized businesses. It has the potential to provide deeper insights into candidates, whilst saving considerable time and money for organisations. 

We are so passionate about the potential of virtual training that we have even developed our own Virtual Training for Recruiters programme. It’s a cost-effective, flexible and interactive method of training recruiters.

To take a look for yourself, visit http://vtr.enablingchange.co.uk/.