The opportunities of using virtual reality (VR) in recruitment are indefinite.

The virtual reality space is going through a phase of exciting growth, with forecasts suggesting that this trend will continue in the coming years. By 2022, the augmented and virtual reality market could have a total value of more than US$209 billion, up from US$27 billion in 2018.

This could lead to some exciting opportunities for employers that are committed to driving innovation in HR and workforce management.

VR and AR, a game changer in recruiting

So how exactly is VR impacting recruitment, and how can you use it to your advantage?

1. setting challenges

VR and related technologies could provide an entirely new and exciting way for employers to test the skills and ingenuity of job candidates.

In the past few years, major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple have been investing in VR and augmented reality (AR) to help with candidate assessment. For example, HR technology firm, Cappfinity, uses AR to assess candidates by scoring them on more than 20 different strengths such as persistence, detail and risk. There are also 14 different environments which can be customised to analyse, or develop particular characteristics and abilities.

VR has also been trialed in recruitment and talent acquisition. When recruiting senior executives at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the company turned to VR to position themselves as a progressive and technology-savvy employer. PwC's talent identification leader, Carly Williams, said the company began deploying VR headsets at campus career fairs to give students virtual tours of the company’s office. This provides a “show” rather than “tell” experience, enabling students to get a feel of the office environment and culture.

New technologies can be used to not only assess candidates, but also give applicants an unique experience that they will remember, boosting brand profile and recognition for the employer.

2. enhancing candidate experience with virtual tours

If certain key roles within your organisation require people to be based in different locations and environments, VR can be a highly effective way to show candidates where they could be working and living.

This immersive technology lets people take a first-person look at their possible future workplace and city, whether it's an office or somewhere altogether more unusual. The British Army's recent deployment of VR gave participants the experience of tank driving at Salisbury Plain and parachuting at RAF Brize Norton before they were actually required to do it.

By giving candidates a clear and compelling insight into their working and living environments, you have helped them manage their expectations and improve their understanding of what the job entails. This helps you to ensure that the people you are interviewing really want to work for you.

virtual recruitment agency
virtual recruitment agency

3. engaging with young, tech-savvy candidates

Age diversity in the workforce is important and can prove extremely beneficial. If you are looking for the right mix of youths and experienced professionals in your organisation, appealing to young and ambitious candidates is just as important as keeping your seasoned staff happy and fulfilled.

Deploying VR in the recruitment process as one of your strategies can be an effective way to engage with and capture the interest of young, switched-on professionals, for whom cutting-edge technology is a key part of life and work.

virtual reality recruiting
virtual reality recruiting

One such organisation that has recognised the potential of VR to appeal to younger individuals is Deutsche Bahn, a Berlin-based mobility and logistics provider. After concerns were raised about the large number of current employees approaching retirement, the company decided to start investing in VR headsets and bringing them to careers fairs. By showing the viewer how working in different jobs would look like, it gives the viewers at the career fairs an insight into certain roles with the firm.

Deutsche Bahn saw immediate results, with head of talent acquisition Kerstin Wagner pointing out that use of the headsets led to instant and focussed interest from the fairs’ participants. She also said it has led to higher-quality applications from people who are clear about how they can contribute to the roles and able to manage their career expectations.

4. testing practical skills

It can be a challenge to replicate practical, day-to-day challenges employees are likely to encounter in their jobs during the interview and assessment process.

Some employers are using online immersive assessments as a way to overcome this, effectively placing candidates into situations they could find themselves in should they join the company.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for example, built an entire career experience using VR and AR to provide an insight into the bank's working culture and test candidates' aptitude for agile thinking.

As recruitment methods continue to evolve in the coming years, this sort of forward-thinking approach to technology looks set to prove more important than ever. Virtual reality recruiting and augmented reality could be one of a number of fields of experimentation and innovation that hold great promise for employers.

Learn more about the HR technology we use at Randstad and how you can access them by working with us.

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