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Virtual Reality – Does it have a place in Recruitment?

by MAX JONES / Wednesday, 25th May 2016

Virtual Reality

Now, if I’m being honest I’ve been very reserved about this piece of technology since it exploded onto the scene a couple of months ago.  And that’s not because I’m a cynical “techno-phobe” (I’m not one of “those”) but because of one of the accountants here at SSG. That’s right, I’m blaming an accountant! The “Obi Wan Kenobi of numbers” in question will of course remain nameless, but he’s the reason I’ve been sceptical about Virtual Reality (VR).

Before the release of the Samsung S7 they were offering anyone who pre-ordered the phone, a free VR headset. Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? But when you’re sitting next to your accountant & all they talk about is their brand new VR headset, it’s a little bit grating on even the most patient of people – I’m sure you can appreciate this!

In my attempts to thwart his enthusiasm (blimey, I sound like a real supportive colleague don’t I?) I decided to do a little bit of research around VR & what it really was all about. Safe to say, I’ve apologised to Obi Wan & I’m certainly “Team VR” when it comes to recruitment. VR is still an emerging phenomenon but nevertheless appreciating its potential in the recruiting world is key. After all, you know the old saying, in business losers react; leaders anticipate

For both myself & the content around the subject I’ve read online, VR has the potential to change the way we recruit & the processes we have historically adopted, for example…

1. Interviews
Interviewing is a daunting process,  And I’m sure (although we don’t all want to admit it) we’ve all been guilty of the pre-interview jitters once or twice in our lives. No? Well please give me a call – what’s your secret?! All joking aside, fundamentally interviews are all about building rapport, whether it be over the phone, on Skype or even over Facetime, rapport is key. But 55% of rapport is built through your physiology (i.e your body language, how you mirror one another, how you move, how you use your hands etc.) & in this technological age, where tech-savvy means of interviewing are being opted over the traditional face-to-face meeting – this 55% is getting lost.

VR can help fulfil client’s desires of meeting their new techie-KPIs, while also allowing both parties to build the rapport needed to have a successful interview. I mean imagine being able to sit in two separate rooms, in two separate counties & pop a headset on & instantly be transported into a virtual room where you can both build rapport through your language but also (& more importantly) your body language.

2. Office Tours
I know this might seem a little far-fetched but what better way to sell a job to someone then allowing them to have a virtual tour of the space they will be working in. Heck I know if I had that I wouldn’t be working here today…only joking of course – I’ve managed to bag the palatial suite! But seriously, what better way to allow your candidates to get a feel for the space they’ll be working.  Better than just photos on a piece of paper!

3. Learning & Growth
You don’t learn by reading words on a page, listening to a presentation or even a podcast. You learn by doing. If you aren’t learning in recruitment, you aren’t growing & what doesn’t grow? Something that’s dead. Sounds dramatic I know but it’s true. If you aren’t growing in your job, heck in life (!), then you might as well be dead. VR allows rapid learning techniques in the workplace. For example, using VR you could constantly train in the art of interview techniques, pitching, closing, management & even more!

I think the most exciting things about VR is that we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of the technology & with VR slowly making its way into the sporting scene as well (for example, NextVR) its potential is growing literally every day. I personally think it’s the future of the sports industry, perhaps you will leverage the technology in your recruitment business?