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The Herman Trend Alert: Using VR To Recruit The Right Talent

How cool would it be to be able to experience a job in VR before taking it? Deutsche Bahn, a mobility and logistics provider based in Berlin, has begun to do just that.

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Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at http://www.hermangroup.com/archive.html

Photo credit: iStock.com/ MATJAZ SLANIC

People love to play. Virtual reality (VR) is an important new technology people experience as play that is already being used to sell products and cruises.

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Try it – you may like it

How cool would it be to be able to experience a job in VR before taking it? That’s just what Deutsche Bahn, a mobility and logistics provider based in Berlin, has begun to do. Using a small library of VR videos, candidates may experience critical, difficult-to-fill positions at the firm, including train conductor, electrician and construction roles. The videos show the viewer the perspective of working at various jobs at the company. Why not use this new technology for recruiting?

An out-of-the box workforce solution

Back in 2010, Deutsche Bahn realized that much of its workforce would soon be retiring. That realization prompted the talent acquisition team to look at technologies that they might use to help them recruit the 10,000 people per year they would need in Germany alone. In late 2015, the recruiting team began bringing VR headsets to career fairs.

Using the VR glasses, the team discovered they immediately garnered focused interest. At these events, people interested in working for Deutsche Bahn could follow a trained electrician, train conductor or construction worker through their daily routine. This technology allows candidates the opportunity to experience what it would be like to actually work in the different roles in real time at the career fair.

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Five to 10 times the applicants

Prior to using this VR technology, the team had about 10 people per event who expressed interest positions with the company. Now, using VR technology, the company has lines of prospects waiting to try the headsets, producing between 50 and 100 interested applicants at each job fair. Moreover, the team team attracts higher-quality applicants and more people who are more aware of what to expect from the job.

An ideal tool to attract the new generations

Given the attraction the new generations (millennials and Gen Z) have for this technology, we expect this company will be just the first to embrace the power of using VR to attract the right applicants of many. This technology is a great way to give candidates a real sense of what the jobs are really like.

Special thanks to Lauren Dixon and TalentEconomy.io for drawing our attention to this practice.

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