Virtual Reality Offers Candidates Immersive Previews of Prospective Roles

Virtual Reality Offers Candidates Immersive Previews of Prospective Roles

You’ve heard of 360 reviews, but what about 360 previews? At SHRM last week, Lin Grensing-Pophal took note of the novel recruiting technology, through which recruiters can give prospects a realistic virtual view inside their potential future workplace. Candidates even get a chance to see exactly what the jobs they are applying for entail:

The content of 360-degree videos can vary: They can offer a “day in the life” perspective about a specific job, interviews with employees and others from the organization, or a bird’s-eye view of company activities such as events and town hall meetings. The management training program at Compass Group North America, a family of food-service and support-services companies serving the hospitality industry, for instance, allows viewers to explore the company’s facilities through a tour narrated by those who are in the program. Viewers see the facilities and learn about the incumbent’s experience in the role. The viewer’s vantage point can be swiveled around for a 360-degree experience.

The ability to provide such realistic job previews arms candidates with better information to make decisions, not only about accepting a job offer, but about applying to or interviewing with the company at all. “This capability is especially impactful for recruiting long-distance candidates, as they can fully understand the opportunity without spending the time and resources to visit the office in person,” [Stacy Nawrocki, head of demand generation and product marketing with IBM Watson and Cloud Video,] said.

Virtual reality is among the cutting edges of HR technology that took major steps forward in the past year, as its cost has fallen and companies have experimented with new applications, of which 360 video previews are just one. Organizations are also using VR as a learning tool, letting trainees practice solving problems in digital recreations of real environments. These virtual trainings allow employees to train in tasks from frying chicken to performing surgery much more safely, cheaply, and efficiently than ever before. VR has also been proposed as a means of mitigating bias in job interviews, by having hiring managers interact “face to face” with a candidate’s digital avatar without knowing their gender or race.