Immersive Technology and Employer Branding Trends

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In the rapidly evolving world of talent acquisition and management, staying ahead of the competition is no longer an option but a necessity. The future of employer branding is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the integration of immersive technology. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the changing landscape of employer branding, explore key future trends, and examine how virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and HR tech are reshaping the employee experience.

The Changing Face of Employer Branding

Employer branding is all about crafting a compelling image of your organisation to attract and retain top talent, meeting the expectations of Gen Z and adapting to the new norm of remote working. With 44% of UK British people working from home at least some of the time, hybrid or full-time remote, virtual onboarding is only becoming more commonplace. While the fundamental principles of employer branding remain consistent, the methods and tools for achieving these goals are rapidly evolving. As today’s job seekers become more discerning, they seek not just a pay-check but a fulfilling employee experience. This is where immersive technology takes centre stage.

And it’s not just a new craze, there’s proof too. Organisations with a strong onboarding process:

  • Improve new hire retention by 82%**
  • Build employee engagement (69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding***)
  • Create and maintain connections (43% of employees don’t feel connected at work***)

 ** Glassdoor     *** Betterup.com 

Such virtual solutions are most often used during three main phases: 

  • Attraction: Employer branding campaigns and events are designed to captivate the attention of potential candidates. In this phase, virtual platforms facilitate the creation and dissemination of engaging content that portrays the organisation in a compelling light. Through webinars, virtual job fairs, and online networking events, employers can reach a broader and more diverse talent pool, showcasing their unique culture and opportunities to a global audience.
  • Onboarding: The ‘first day’ impact is crucial in setting the tone for a new employee’s journey within the organisation. Virtual onboarding solutions are instrumental in providing a seamless and immersive experience for remote or hybrid workers. They ensure that new hires can access essential information, complete paperwork, and engage with the company culture from anywhere. Virtual onboarding makes it possible for employees to feel welcomed and informed, regardless of their physical location.
  • Retention: Ongoing training and internal communication are vital for maintaining a strong employer brand and retaining top talent. Virtual solutions enable continuous learning and engagement by offering a dynamic platform for remote teams. Virtual training programs, webinars, and digital communication tools foster connection, upskilling, and adaptation to changing company dynamics, making it easier to keep employees engaged and committed to the organisation. In this ever-evolving landscape, the strategic use of virtual solutions during attraction, onboarding, and retention has become indispensable for organisations looking to succeed in the competitive world of recruitment and employer branding.

Future Trends in Employer Branding

What could the future trends of employer branding be? What changes are we likely to see? We believe these 4 trends will be next to take centre stage:

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) Tours: Virtual office tours, powered by VR technology, have emerged as a game-changing trend. Job seekers can don VR headsets and immerse themselves in a 360-degree digital representation of your workspace. They can explore the office layout, meet potential colleagues, and gain insights into your company culture, all from the comfort of their homes. For example, a candidate interested in a software development role can virtually explore the coding pods, collaborative meeting rooms, and even participate in a virtual team-building exercise. These immersive experiences are not only impressive but also demonstrate transparency, saving time for both employers and candidates.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR) Onboarding: Onboarding, often considered a mundane process, has been reinvigorated by AR technology. New hires can use AR apps on their smartphones or tablets to access a wealth of information, training materials, and interactive guides. For instance, when a new employee arrives at their desk, they can use their AR device to instantly access an overlay of important resources, or they can follow an AR-guided checklist to help them set up their work environment. This interactive approach makes onboarding memorable, efficient, and fun.
  3. HR Tech Integration: HR tech solutions are no longer limited to traditional HR functions like payroll and benefits administration. They are now deeply integrated into the employee experience, offering tools that support every step of the candidate journey. Advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms help identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement in the hiring process. As an example, these systems can track the time taken at each stage of recruitment and assess the effectiveness of various recruitment channels to provide insights that empower data-driven decision-making. By continually improving the recruitment process, HR tech solutions contribute to a more seamless and engaging candidate experience.
  4. Candidate-Centric Branding: The heart of employer branding is authenticity. The future of this field is undoubtedly candidate-centric, as companies are tailoring their messages to align with the unique needs and aspirations of their target audience. For example, a technology company looking to attract young, creative minds might emphasise its flexible work arrangements, a culture of innovation, and opportunities for skill development. On the other hand, a more traditional corporation targeting experienced professionals may highlight its stability, strong leadership, and well-established mentorship programs. The key is to create a narrative that resonates with the candidate’s values and career aspirations.

The Immersive Employee Experience

Immersive technology isn’t confined to impressing candidates during the hiring process; it extends into creating a holistic, immersive employee experience from day one.

  • Virtual Reality-Based Training: VR is being harnessed for immersive training programs. Instead of poring over static manuals or sitting through PowerPoint presentations, employees can dive into a virtual training world. Consider a scenario where employees in a healthcare setting can practise emergency response procedures in a virtual hospital environment. This not only makes training more engaging but also increases retention and effectiveness.
  • Augmented Reality in Daily Tasks: AR isn’t limited to onboarding; it can enhance daily tasks. For instance, in manufacturing, employees can wear AR glasses that provide real-time information on machinery operation and maintenance. They can see schematics, receive notifications, and even connect with remote experts for troubleshooting. This use of AR not only improves efficiency but also reduces errors and downtime.
  • Interactive Team-Building Activities: Immersive technology can foster collaboration and team-building. Companies are exploring VR and AR-based experiences that allow remote employees to participate in virtual team-building activities. These might include escape room challenges, treasure hunts, or collaborative design projects. It not only strengthens team bonds but also ensures that remote team members feel connected and engaged.

Benefits of Embracing Immersive Technology

Attracting new talent through virtual solutions is proving to be an effective way to hire new recruits. By embracing virtual technology, employers can save time when screening candidates, reduce costs associated with the entire recruiting process, set themselves apart from the competition, provide better experience for the candidates and allow a fairer recruitment process. Virtual solutions can also do a whole lot more too. They can help to: 

  • Attract Top Talent: Companies that embrace immersive technology are perceived as innovative and forward-thinking, which helps attract top talent. For instance, a tech start-up that uses VR for office tours and AR for onboarding stands out to tech-savvy candidates, creating a strong initial impression.
  • Reduce Turnover: Engaging and well-informed employees are more likely to stay with your organisation. This reduces turnover and associated recruitment costs. Consider a scenario where a new hire feels confident and integrated into the company culture from day one due to immersive onboarding. They are more likely to stay and thrive in the organisation.
  • Enhance Productivity: Immersive technology aids in training and onboarding, enabling employees to be more productive from the moment they join the company. In manufacturing, for instance, a new employee can be trained on complex machinery using VR, reducing the learning curve and increasing productivity.
  • Create Positive Company Culture: An immersive experience helps build a positive company culture. For example, a company that uses AR to facilitate real-time collaboration and problem-solving fosters a culture of innovation and teamwork. This positively impacts employee satisfaction and performance.
  • Future-Proof: In an ever-evolving job market, adapting to immersive technology trends helps future-proof your employer branding strategy. As technology continues to advance, those who have already embraced it will be better prepared to adapt to emerging trends. For example, as wearable technology like smart glasses becomes more widespread, companies that have already incorporated AR into their processes will be ready to take advantage of this trend.

In Conclusion

Navigating the future of employer branding is an exciting journey with immersive technology at the forefront. Companies that embrace VR, AR, and HR tech are better positioned to attract, engage, and retain top talent, ultimately strengthening their employer brand. As the future trends continue to evolve, one thing is certain: the employee experience will be more immersive, interactive, and engaging than ever before. With the right blend of innovative technology and a candidate-centric approach, organisations can shape their employer brand into a magnet for top talent in the ever-evolving world of work.

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