NewtonX recently conducted a VR survey with 1,000 senior level executives at Fortune 5,000 companies, that revealed that 78% of executives do not believe that AR or VR provide any strategic value to Marketing/Advertising or Sales (you can read Marketing/Sales VR analysis here). In contrast to executive skepticism over implementing VR in marketing/sales, however, the survey revealed that 53% of executives do believe VR/AR can provide value to HR and team management, and even more strikingly, 13% of executives have already trialed or are using VR in HR. In fact, enterprise executives believe that VR has the potential to add the most strategic value in HR. The three key areas that VR can be applied in HR are: hiring, training, and uniting remote teams.
Virtual Hiring, Training, and Meetings: How AR and VR can be Used in HR
The extent of the value that can be reaped from VR in HR is highly dependent on industry — for instance, VR is a much more useful training tool for the military or for offshore oil rigs than it is for a Sales Associate. However, the NewtonX survey revealed that there are B2B enterprises that have used VR in HR or are interested in investing in VR for HR. These three use cases have industries for which they are particularly well-suited, but can also be adapted to less obvious applications.
VR can be used as an affordable alternative to flying out a candidate, particularly when a company is considering an international hire. It can be used both as a skills assessment tool, as well as an opportunity for candidates to experience the office remotely. For instance, Lloyd’s Banking Group used VR to as an interview tool for candidates to its Graduate Leadership Programs. Candidates were asked to solve puzzles in a VR environment in order for the company to determine whether they displayed the “strengths and capabilities required of the Group’s future leaders.”
VR for job training is one of the most compelling enterprise use cases of the technology, particularly in manufacturing, logistics, and combat. The British Army uses VR for new recruits and training, and the U.S. navy, army, and air force all use VR for training soldiers for combat. The technology also has application outside of combat: AR, which can superimpose holographics and instructions on top of a user’s real-world scope of vision, can educate workers for how to operate complex or dangerous machinery without risk of injury. For instance, Boeing uses VR to train pilots to fly the 787, Additionally, VR can be highly useful for training remote or geographically inaccessible teams.
3. Uniting Remote Teams
This use case has been one of the most compelling for business leaders. VR can allow teams to collaborate on projects in virtual spaces. For instance, in construction VR has already been integrated with BIM technology to allow project stakeholders such as the architect, plumber, investor, and contractor to work collaboratively on a structure. This has saved millions in errors and also expedited construction projects. Enterprises could likewise benefit from this for any collaborative project that requires geographically disparate parties to work together on a three-dimensional product. Mimesys, for instance is one company bringing MR, AR, and VR to remote collaboration for enterprise.
Will Your Next Interview Be Virtual? Probably Not
VR in HR has high potential and is seeing rapid adoption in specific use cases — not at every company. It’s unnecessary to use VR to hire a content marketer or to train a software engineer. However, the payoff for using VR to train a new employee to use a complex or dangerous machine is extremely high. Use cases such as this are what will drive adoption in the enterprise VR market.