There is a clear business case emerging for Virtual Reality (VR) usage among HR teams as many large organizations are weighing VR’s advantages in saving costs incurred in travel, training, employee engagement, retention, productivity, and risk prevention. The prime advantage of VR is that it allows people to experience situations in lifelike scenarios. From the HR perspective, more than the cost-saving factor, VR implementation would be immensely helpful for performing hitherto complex functions that involved changing mindsets, ensuring cultural fit, sensitizing people, reframing dialogues, and creating transformative ways of working.

Already, some of the world’s leading companies have shown the way in which VR can be leveraged to their respective businesses. For instance, Europe’s biggest tour operator, Thomas Cook, asks potential travelers to wear Samsung Gear headsets and explore their dream vacation by transporting them via VR. Or, take the case of New York Times, which provides an immersive, 360-degree video experience for users to live through the events or stories. The above are among a long list of compelling cases that show how VR can transform the way businesses operate, interact, convince and convert customers.

Cognitive business is business intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing have given us an opportunity to augment and enhance human expertise. For instance, AI-based technologies such as pattern recognition, machine learning, and natural language processing bolster business potential by delivering critical capabilities that surpass the abilities of any workforce. This has helped businesses to outgrow the competition with new ways of problem solving, improving productivity and enhancing employee engagement. Today, cognitive technologies are changing the face of digital business and many companies are joining the bandwagon to leverage these technologies to meet the evolving demand. According to a research, the size of the global cognitive computing market will reach USD 49.36 billion by 2025. There is a continued surge in demand across sectors and industries to leverage these technologies’ potential to perform analysis and support business decision making. Who would risk to ignore business intelligence delivered in real-time? The time has now come for VR to take the lead in pushing the boundaries of digital business even further as companies are beginning to embrace it to influence market dynamics, accelerate growth, and increase revenue.

Using VR for workplace transformation

Companies are already using VR to address a variety of HR issues. From diversity and sensitivity training to recruiting and onboarding new employees, VR is being used to facilitate a goal-oriented approach and open minds to new concepts, thereby positively impacting employee engagement and driving business results. With VR, the possibilities are numerous; in fact, it is an industry in itself with numerous enterprises developing applications for various use cases. Standalone VR applications are emerging to help companies in performing HR and corporate functions, such as assessing employees’ skills, reviewing performance and appraising work.

Some companies are toying with the idea of using the power of VR to recruit. For attracting and recruiting highly skilled talent, it is now possible for companies to use VR to provide the prospective candidates with a powerful experiential glimpse into what it is like to work for an organization. A recruit can feel like that he or she is already at the company and get to know how a normal working day passes in the company. In fact, employees can virtually travel to an organization’s global offices or meet the c-suite team. Of course, the entire gamut of VR capabilities in corporate HR is still waiting to be explored. However, the complexity of creating immersive content objects for VR is quite expensive and resource hungry. In any case, it is only a matter of time for VR to emerge as the most preferred cognitive technology for HR, given the market potential and the opportunities. Very soon, virtual reality will be the new reality for the HR teams.