VR in HR: sounds natural, right? But this wasn’t the case till a few years ago.
Take, for instance, Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. Just a few years ago, these pieces of techs were accessible to the privileged few. They were short in supply, expensive and had limited usage in gaming and entertainment.
Fast-forward to 2021-2022: IT giant Accenture made headlines for procuring 60,000 VR Oculus Quest 2 headsets to train its new hires—the first for any corporation to purchase VR headsets in such numbers.
Bank of America reportedly rolled out training programmes accessible via VR headsets from 4,300 locations.
Car-maker Jaguar partnered with the virtual English band Gorillaz (yes, an unlikely HR entrant) to devise a mixed reality app (downloadable via App and Google Play stores) via which the carmaker intended to fill thousands of tech roles using a VR environment. Stunning, isn’t it?
American eCommerce heavyweight Jet.com reportedly devised a VR app allowing its current/would-be employees to glimpse the company culture from anywhere in the world.
Numerous such instances are growing. So what are these industry leaders doing to their HR and recruitment with these disruptive technologies?
In a word (okay, two): they’re streamlining and personalising.
This is because, when it comes to traditional and remote HR and recruiting processes, the current practices lack interpersonal communication and an immersive experience, making hiring a one-way and artificial experience.
The 2021 Gartner research says that amidst the cost-cutting environment due to the pandemic, 90% of the HR leaders still plan to either maintain or increase their investment in technology. And around 24% of chief human resources officers are still exploring how the evolving technology trends, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR), will impact talent acquisition and employee management processes.
But Augmented Reality/VR (both are interrelated, but not the same), coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML), is poised to overturn the game. These new-age techs are bringing a renewed vitality and immersive-ness to the 1960s-isque computer-based hiring.
Let us see how technologies such as AR and VR are challenging the ’60s status quo of hiring and bringing fresh perspectives.
Enhancing the Recruitment Process through AI
The 2021 Gartner research says that amidst the cost-cutting environment due to the pandemic, 90% of the HR leaders still plan to either maintain or increase their investment in technology.
And around 24% of chief human resources officers are still exploring how the evolving technology trends, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR), will impact talent acquisition and employee management processes.
As evident, recruitment is a cumbersome process. So let’s explore some of the most anticipated AI, AR, and VR applications that can benefit the recruitment and talent management processes:
1. Automated job-matching
AI-powered automated job skills matching platforms can ease the burden of HR professionals to find the right jobs for suitable candidates without any errors and delays.
This ensures quick and accurate matching of qualified candidates to open positions. The AI engine scans resumes and compares them to job descriptions and processes this information based on relevancy, proximity, length of the notice period, etc.
2. Target advertising
Through programmatic job advertising, employers can target the right audience who are more likely to see and respond to the ad and convert. Unlike generic ads, AI-based programmatic ads ensure hitting the bull’s eye by targeting the most qualified candidates.
3. HR interview chatbots
AI-based software applications enable human interaction to enhance the customer experience and connect with them. For example, these chatbots can help employers screen suitable candidates with preferred qualifications by engaging them with the right questions and providing an optimum candidate experience.
4. CV database filters
With heaps of resumes pouring every minute, resume database filters can cut down the herculean task of the recruiters going through all these resumes and applications. One of the leading database filtering platforms, Naukri enables employers to filter the candidates’ resumes based on keywords and skills they are seeking, thus making the process more targeted, easy, and fast.
In addition, bulk emailing the candidates based on matching keywords used by the employers is another excellent example of how AI can ease the recruitment process.
5. Virtual workplace tours
Pandemic has made work from home a common trend across industries and countries. In this scenario, employee onboarding can be a daunting task; they never get to see their new workplaces. Virtual workplace tours can provide a real-life-like stimulation that can help them acquaint themselves with their new offices and the workflow.
6. AI-powered job aggregators
These virtual job aggregators collate job opportunities from various employer sites into a common database. As a result, job seekers can directly go to these sites and find a suitable position using the right keywords, simplifying recruiters’ jobs.
7. Gamifying the hiring process
Gamifying the recruitment process is an emerging trend. Rather than employing the same old process of mailing one’s resume or attending phone calls as the first round of assessment, candidates are given interactive games and puzzles to fill their application and go through a series of behavioural and psychological and personality tests.
On top of increasing the efficiency of the entire process, this adds fun to the otherwise dull hiring experience for recruiters and the candidates.
8. Automated capability assessments
Many companies have built comprehensive digital capability assessment templates that ease recruiters’ burden. For instance, automated digital appraisal software and forms are other examples of how candidates can be tested even without any involvement of a recruiter from the company. They need to fill out a form and submit their entries to get an overall performance report based on which their appraisals are decided.
Benefits of Using AI in the Recruitment Processes
The use of AI, VR, and AR in recruitment processes comes with many benefits. These applications in the recruitment process:
- Helps in simplifying and streamlining the recruitment process.
- Reduces the burden for the recruiters hence, saving time and increasing efficiency.
- Increases fair practices by controlling bias, as machines do not discriminate based on caste, creed, gender, race, ethnicity, or religious biases.
- Enhances the privacy of the candidates’ information.
Why Human Intervention is Crucial
Despite having many benefits, AI-based systems have their limitations:
- Unlike humans, these systems and processes don’t have a personal touch.
- It may expel some unique candidates who might not have performed well per the standardised assessment criteria such as AI-augmented tools and software. For situations like these, human interventions are a must.
- In the automated hiring process, technical glitches are possible—for example, inaccessibility of some resumes by these AI-based tools, etc.
- Chances of error in judgments are also prevalent. For example, it will be difficult for machines and software to assess candidates in soft traits like integrity, character, decision-making abilities, consistency, determination, etc.
After all, artificial intelligence is artificial. No matter how much progress we make in technology, nothing can replace human intelligence. Therefore, human intervention is crucial, especially when it comes to human resources and recruitment, which deal with human beings.
The right way ahead is to have a beautiful blend of artificial and human intelligence to reap the maximum benefits of such technological advancements in hiring processes.
Recruiting sites like Naukri have already incorporated an equilibrium between AI and human assistance to advance your recruiting experiences.
At All Things Talent, we will continue to help you become aware of such latest advancements and trends in the HR and recruitment industry. Comment your thoughts and views on the role of AI and VR in recruitment.