Virtual Reality in Recruitment: Could this be a game changer?

So far in 2015, the tech topic on the tip of everybody’s tongue has been virtual reality (VR) and the potential applications it might have. As always with the release of any technology, some believe VR could be a worldwide game-changer and some think it’ll be a bit of a damp squib. We won’t know the answer for a while, but with forecasts that the VR market reach in excess $5.2 billion by 2018, we wanted to talk about some of the potential applications.

According to KZER Worldwide, hardware revenue alone from VR devices could reach an estimated $2.3 billion in 2018, with hardware revenues between 2014 and 2018 reaching a total of $8.4 billion. Our everyday lives are awash with devices from smartphones to wearable tech and computers to Internet of Things devices. These technologies are becoming common place, but none are garnering as much attention as VR technology.

At Austin Fraser we’re always looking to develop and evolve our infrastructure, from the installation of an entirely new IT system in 2014, to the complete replacement of our phone systems in 2015. One of the technologies that has us really interested is the potential for VR. We wanted to narrow down some of the really exciting potential opportunities we see within the recruitment industry.


So you’ve invested heavily in creating a wonderful work environment for your dedicated employees and this really helps you to capture the attention of prospective candidates at interview stage. Using VR technology you could deliver virtual tours, providing an insight into your working world without the need to ever leave the comfort of their own home; perfect for giving those candidates who aren’t quite sure a little nudge in the right direction or saving them that long drive from long and expensive journeys if they’re considering relocation.


Imagine you’re recruiting for a highly technical engineering role and in order to properly assess the candidate’s abilities, you’ll need them to come to site to conduct a practical exam or run through – VR technology has the potential to allow you to remotely assess your candidate’s skills and whether or not their technical ability is up to the standard you need it to be. Not only is this more practical, but there is significantly reduced risk to your business and their safety than there would be if they were using real equipment.

Interviews and meetings:

Professor Albert Mehrabian wrote a book in 1971 which suggested that only 7% of communication is what we actually say, 55% is body language and 38% is delivered through tone of voice. Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus brought with it speculation of an entirely new world of social networking and communication. A VR platform could allow you to conduct face-to-face interviews remotely within a virtual plain, allowing you to carry out those meetings in neutral areas. VR would give interviewers full access to the communication spectrum so they can truly understand their candidates without the need to meet them face to face. Imagine your final stage interview being carried out on a virtual beach whilst sipping a virtual piña colada…That can only be a good thing, right?  

Collaborative assessments:

Particularly when recruiting for senior roles, the decision can often involve a number of other senior members of staff from within a business. Arranging for everybody to be in the same place at the same time can be extremely challenging when dealing with busy calendars and multiple geographical locations. VR takes concepts like video calling to the next level, allowing employers to all be involved in the interview process remotely, along with the discussion and decision making process afterwards. 

The future is almost here. Technology is readily available and evolving all the time; the real challenge is changing longstanding mindsets. Whether you’re an established global brand or a tech savvy Silicone Valley start up, if you don’t keep up with the rapid changes that are taking place in this digital world, you’ll be left behind. Embracing the future is vital. The world is changing so quickly and it looks set to continue. 

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for us, recruitment and the business world! 

Austin Fraser is an award winning, specialist IT and Engineering recruiter who specialise in sourcing specialists. It's our mission to break the perception of 'stereotypical recruiters' and demonstrate that recruitment, when done well, is an excellent and consultative process. 

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