By guest contributor, Jane Sandwood
Already used to train pilots, astronauts, and surgeons, virtual reality (VR) is now revolutionizing the job recruitment process. In fact, business spending on VR will reach $9.2 billion by 2021, according to Tractica. Why are companies spending so much on VR recruitment? With innovative products like mixed reality apps, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear, it’s now easier than ever to test the skills of potential candidates, attract tech-savvy millennials who comprise one third of the workforce, and provide prospective candidates with immersive day-in-life experiences.
Companies are utilizing VR headsets like Oculus Rift to let candidates experience a job at the beginning of the recruitment process — this gives a clearer picture than written job descriptions. In particular, General Mills used the Oculus Rift headset and GoPro action camera to walk candidates around their company headquarters. The goggles have embedded sensors as well as an external positional-tracking sensor that monitor the user’s head motions and accurately adjust the image. Lenses are used to focus and reshape the virtual picture and create a stereoscopic 3D image.
There’s already a shift toward skills-based resumes and skills-testing to better evaluate a candidate’s experience and abilities (rather than using qualifications alone). But, augmented reality takes skills-testing to the next level: companies can now test candidate’s skills in real situations. Jaguar Land Rover recently launched a mixed reality app to test prospective software engineers on assembling a Jaguar I-PACE electric concept car in a 360-degree virtual garage. Potential hires can download the app and put their skills to the test. Jaguar said the app is an “engaging way to recruit a diverse talent pool in software systems, cyber systems, app development and graphics performance”. Candidates who do well are fast-tracked through the hiring process.
VR at career fairs
VR allows job-seekers to attend virtual job fairs, virtual open houses, and even interviews regardless of their geographic location. In particular, the British Army saw a 66% rise in applications when they used Samsung Gear VR to let candidates experience sitting in a Challenger II tank, parachute, and mountaineer while avoiding the real dangers involved. The Samsung Gear VR comprises of a head-mounted housing unit which fits a Samsung Galaxy phone to enable virtual reality experiences — it has a Bluetooth motion controller to allow users to walk around, sit down, and stand up. There’s a wide 101° field of view and the built-in gyro sensor and accelerometer ensures a smooth, stable user experience.
While VR recruitment technology is still in its early days, we can expect to see it increasingly used in the hiring process. It’s an effective method of attracting prospective candidates, testing their abilities, and introducing them to the realities of the job. Ultimately, VR recruitment can make hiring process quicker and smoother than ever before.