The labor market of today is affected dramatically by the “war for talent” (Michaels,  Handfield-Jones and Axelrod 2001). Most companies, in the VUCA business environment, understand that the key to success is their ability to approach, hire, engage, and retain the best talents. However, with a dramatic shortage of these talents in the labor market, companies are facing difficulties. According to a survey by Universum, 68% of the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE), and 61% of large companies have developed employer branding guidelines. TalentBoard’s research also found that companies are increasing their employer branding efforts to make sure they are accurately showcasing their brand, aligning with corporate branding efforts and attracting the right audience through their branding efforts.

One critical factor that influences the employee branding is the candidate experience. Candidates that have a great experience will talk positively about the company with their friends or on social networks, will increase their relationship with the employer, refer to other candidates, and will make purchases when applicable . The same counts for candidates who believe they have had a “negative” overall experience. They will take their alliance, product purchases and relationship somewhere else.

So, how can companies create and impact their candidate experience? The expectations of candidates has a critical role in the perception of their experience and on the company’s brand. When candidates believe they have ownership of their career journey, they become more sophisticated. However, they are also now exposed to a variety of information channels. In their search for new opportunities, candidates want, more than before, a chance to showcase skills and experience. Today, simply completing a basic form or general background screen is not enough. The more candidates are able to showcase, the higher their overall application satisfaction is, even if the candidate gets a rejection.

More and more organizations are thinking about the application process from the candidates’ perspective. Unfortunately, most assessment tools available in the market have not simultaneously changed with candidate expectation and technology. Most application processes were invented when the main instrument to understand human behavior was pen and paper and these tools still dominate (professional tests, personality tests, Biodata Questioners, graphology evaluation etc.).

Today, with the converging worlds of machine learning, virtual reality, and neuropsychology, there is a way to create a new, immersive candidate experience, without giving up on the depth of assessment or the need to allocate more resources. The answer is virtual reality. Virtual reality is all about the experience. The virtual reality not only provides an amazing candidate experience, it also engages and challenges candidates exposing their true abilities. Through an introduction walk-through, candidates are able to explore the company more in-depth and get a better view on the company’s DNA.

Virtual reality enables the employer to set the right expectations from the job such as, in the case of  Deutsche Bahn. The company used virtual reality technology to fill the most difficult to fill roles. The virtual reality simulated the job from an employee’s point of view, and the candidates could see for themselves how it is to work there. Deutsche Bahn reported that after using the VR experience, the number of candidates interested in the job grew 5-10 times with a higher quality of applicants and more accurate expectation setting.

Virtual reality enables companies to give the candidate the opportunity to understand better the company’s culture and value proposition. Jet.com lets candidates have a peek at their company’s culture through a virtual reality video, providing an immersive look into the company, with numerous different experiences. For example, candidates could watch a meeting with CEO Marc Lore and his team from the center of the table in a conference room. Also, candidates could sit in at a happy hour and watch the Jet band play to folks sipping beer and wine as they look out over the Hudson River.

Virtual reality experiences can also be used to change the image of an employer. In research conducted by Talentboard, 55% of candidates have a bias or existing relationship with their employers, possibly as a customer, alumni, intern, or partner. Traditional employers can use VR to create a brand that is much more innovative. For example,  CommBank wanted people to think differently about banking and to be perceived as innovative, customer centric, futuristic company. So, they took virtual reality to events around Australia. You can get more information about their decision-making game here.

VR assessment has the potential to attract new / different candidate profiles than companies had before. Candidates might withdraw from the conventional assessment tools. Virtual reality has the potential to attract candidates who are more tech-savvy, which is an advantage in the digitalized business world.

And today, with Assense, within a short innovative VR experience, companies can also get deep insight regarding the candidate personality, skills, potential and to evaluate if the candidate is the best fit for the position, team and company. This enables companies to shorten their recruitment process, focus on the ultimate candidate and to make the process much more experience-based, engaging and real-life informative. Assense renders all of this, creating the ultimate candidate experience while eliminating the need to allocate additional resources to the process. Request a demo to check out Assense ultimate candidate experience here.

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