How Technology Innovations Are Changing Job Search

Greg Simpson Blog

What will Pokémon and job seekers have in common this upcoming year? Both will rely heavily on virtual technology to find success.

Most people already know there was a massive proliferation of virtual technology last year thanks to the publicity surrounding games like Pokémon GO and increasingly affordable consumer VR headsets and other devices. In 2017, more and more consumers will be using virtual technologies to go places and experience things in a virtual environment.

However, the impact of virtual reality will not be limited to games and other forms of entertainment. An increasing number of employers, including some of the world’s biggest companies, are turning to virtual technologies to give them an edge in attracting and retaining the best and brightest candidates.

Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author and workplace trends analyst, predicts that employers will start utilizing virtual technology to both augment the office environment and attract new generations of talent.

In a recent article in Forbes magazine, Schawbel forecasts that virtual and augmented reality will help “close the experience gap for job seekers and allow employee technology to be more engaging, less expensive and free of distractions.” He notes that a diverse group of employers including the British Army, General Mills and General Electric, are already offering job candidates the chance to tour facilities or experience front-line work environments, all via virtual reality.

Even before Pokémon GO became a global phenomenon, other applications of virtual technologies were being used to bring employers and candidates closer together. For example, Lee Hecht Harrison has harnessed the power of the virtual experience for its virtual career fairs - forums that connect job seekers with hiring managers in a virtual environment.

In eight separate virtual career fairs held in 2016, a total of 7,500 candidates were able to make more than 115,000 visits to virtual employer booths, and engage in 18,000 chat sessions with recruiters and hiring managers. All from the comfort of their own computers—anywhere they happened to be.

Consistent with Schawbel’s observations, virtual career fair participants found they established more meaningful contact with potential employers, with longer one-on-one conversations via the chat function, and fewer of the distractions that come with a traditional in-person career fair.

Whether it is a virtual tour of the offices of a prospective employer, or a virtual interview with a hiring manager at a virtual career fair, this upcoming year will see cutting edge technology bring employers and candidates closer together more than ever before.



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