Virtual reality technology has grown in popularity over the years and is expected to improve with 5G internet on the way. VR has been implemented by several industries such as gaming, fashion, media, construction and so many more each with their own unique way of utilizing the technology.
Among the many applications for VR is in human resources. The HR department in a company can have several duties such as hiring, onboarding and training. VR technology allows for improvement in several of the aspects associated with HR. Here are some use cases of how VR is disrupting the world of work.
One of the most important functions of an HR department is finding and recruiting talented employees. As younger generations continue to enter the workforce, it is important for companies to adapt their recruitment strategy. The future of the workforce has been immersed in technology for as long as they can remember and gravitate towards tech-savvy businesses. Showing them that your business is innovative and willing to adapt will help it to stand out against others they may be considering.
VR allows companies to put prospective employees into the work environment so they can experience the office culture from anywhere. This experience not only provides the best way to promote your company at recruitment events, like career fairs, but also provides a fun experience the younger generation of workers can relate to.
Onboarding is the action or process of integrating a new employee into the company. VR can also help with this process in several ways, starting with a virtual tour of the office that will help new employees learn the layout to ensure they don’t wander around the office lost for the first few weeks.
VR can also be useful to allow employees to practice emergency drills. In an immersive setting, you can simulate several emergencies employees might experience in the office. For example, a fire drill in VR is much more realistic than in real life, unless of course you set an actual fire in the office to practice. In the virtual reality setting, employees can experience panic ensuing around them while they attempt to successfully navigate their out of the office.
Another benefit to using VR in the onboarding process is through team building exercises. One of the most important steps in onboarding is getting employees familiar with their new colleagues. Through VR, employees can learn how to work together in team building exercises that are immersive, interactive and fun.
Training is the most applicable function for VR, as it allows you to simulate dangerous situations without any danger actually involved. VR is being used to train surgeons and pilots as well as workers in Walmart and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The more immersive learning experience provided by VR technology results in a 76% increase in learning effectiveness.
The technology also provides companies with analytics to show how the employee is responding to the training. VR headsets, along with additional technology, analyze eye movement, behavioral data and gesture tracking to determine which parts of the simulation the user is responding to and the areas they need to improve on.
Aside from practical training, VR also helps train employees on how to handle themselves around the office. The ability to use VR for sensitivity training might be the most unique utilization of the technology. VR has the ability to put the user in a sexual harassment situation—either as the victim, offender or bystander. The technology can also offer the ability to experience life as someone of a different gender, race, age, etc.
Gone are the days of using DVDs to train new employees or giving prospective employees a brochure to show off your business. Corporations spent about $362.2 billion on corporate training initiatives worldwide in 2017, according to Statista. As the software for VR and the headsets become cheaper, more companies will be able to realize the benefits virtual reality can have on an HR department.