In 2017 our lives have become significantly high-tech. From our smart homes to cars to workplaces, everything is rapidly getting connected. In fact, technology has had an impact on every facet of our existence.
While this is true, human resources (HR) departments have been a little slow to catch on, but that’s now changing. It’s also a welcome change as the competition for top tech talent is getting even more fierce. To stay relevant in the job market today, companies have had to get creative to attract new recruits.
Companies that thrive on innovation are already showing off their office spaces in 3D while allowing potential employees to immerse themselves in the day-to-day experience of the role. Pretty soon we will all be able to visualize ourselves at the company (even from thousands of miles away) before accepting a job thanks to virtual reality (VR).
Furthermore, VR also presents opportunities for remote employees to be more engaged and work efficiently with in-house staff. But there are still some things that HR managers need to consider when utilizing VR technology.
What are the challenges of incorporating VR in HR?
According to Gallop, 43% of US employees surveyed stated that they spent at least some time working remotely last year (4% more than five years ago). As this number grows rapidly, it presents a lot of benefits like enhanced productivity due to lack of office chatter and travel time.
But for businesses to achieve a seamless transition between in-house staff and remote workers, the company's IT infrastructure needs to be up to date. Furthermore, appropriate platforms need to be in place to enhance collaboration.
Since most people are already using social networks in their everyday lives, it makes sense to incorporate them into your virtual management strategy. It makes even more sense for enterprises to build their own internal social networks that allow group conferences and one-on-one chats easily through VR.
These social tools also need to work seamlessly with project management tools to share documents, gather feedback, and intuitively connect you with the right people. But it’s not going to be an easy feat to achieve this and it’s probably best suited for large enterprises who have the necessary resources to pursue it.
Apps and trackers can also help VR initiatives by leveraging the data from social networks to give HR unique insights into career and life goals as well as wellness and satisfaction. But these types of initiatives can face a lot of resistance, too.
Further, there is also a high probability of experiencing technical glitches while trying to collaborate within a virtual office. From a hiring standpoint, you can also be faced with some potential candidates not having access to the necessary resources to effectively engage in the VR recruitment process.
What are the opportunities that VR provides to HR?
VR presents an opportunity for companies to build cohesive teams to enhance productivity. It can also be the secret weapon in your recruitment arsenal.
For example, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn is faced with a labor crisis (because of an aging workforce). They have to hire approximately 8,000 people every year, over a period of four years.
In order to recruit workers, the company turned to VR so that potential employees could experience a variety of job opportunities before applying for them. Through their VR films, candidates can now look over the shoulder of different workers to experience their day-to-day lives on the job.
Further, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia is utilizing VR to change the general perception of banks from boring establishments to innovative institutions. This was also a way to distance themselves from the competition and show employees the challenges that they may encounter at work and communicate a new way of thinking.
Finally, you also have the opportunity to enhance the following:
- Office tours
- Practical assessments
Have you ever experienced VR in HR? Was it positive or negative? How does it compare to traditional HR functions?