With the gradual establishment of remote working, the onboarding process has undergone significant changes and, as many employers believe, not for the better. In the article, we show how remote onboarding can be effective with VR technology.
Why Onboarding is Important
Onboarding should not be underestimated as one of the key factors in the stable long-term development of any company. According to Digitate, newcomers who experienced poor onboarding are twice as likely to change their place of employment relatively soon. This leads to low employee retention rates that can financially impact an organization. A high employee turnover means significant financial costs for the employer in view of lowering the average efficiency. For example, Suzanne Lucas, a Human Resources expert, believes that the average expenses on replacing an employee are 16-20% of that employee’s wage. Moreover, the process of one employee onboarding on average in Europe is estimated at around 400 euros.
Overcoming Remote Onboarding Challenges with VR
HR experts believe that if onboarding goes remotely, it’s much more difficult to seamlessly integrate newcomers into an organization, transfer to them the corporate culture and DNA of a company. Since new employees most often experience the onboarding process through video conferencing tools and presentations, many of them do not feel a corporate connection with a new employer and have difficulty building social capital, which certainly affects the level of engagement and retention.
To minimize the negative effects of remote onboarding, businesses work out various HR techniques and approaches. As software development professionals, we believe that VR technology is the most relevant solution to this challenge. And this is not our guess but the results of a real project that we completed for one of our customers.
VR Onboarding – Real Case
The project we mentioned above was completed for a large European food company with 10,000+ employees and various offices & production buildings in several European countries. Our customer needed a VR solution to facilitate employee onboarding processes, reduce the cost of onboarding, effectively transfer the corporate culture of the company to new employees, and increase talent acquisition/retention rates.
To satisfy the customer’s goals, we created a VR onboarding solution that enabled new employees to explore their new office, private working place, team leader, and the company’s founders in the virtual environment. Also, the developed VR solution allowed exploring in VR mode a typical production building, the basics of the production process, and the company’s product line. You can find more details about this project and its results here.
VR Onboarding – Real Benefits
Many global leaders in various industries, including LikedIn, KFC, Dell, Walmart, etc., have already implemented virtual reality solutions for new employee onboarding & training. Based on their experience and the feedback from our customer, we have compiled the major benefits of a VR onboarding.
Faster adapting to corporate culture
With VR technology, new joiners can explore the main pillars of your company’s culture during the first days of onboarding while working remotely. Using headsets, new employees can get acquainted with the company’s founders without distracting them; learn from them the company’s history, values, mission, structure, etc. Also, newcomers can explore the company’s office and their particular working places as a replicated virtual environment and join department meetings in VR, thus feel they belong to a company’s community. Based on six months of active use of the developed VR onboarding, our customer noted that their new employees adapted to the company’s culture much faster and it helped to increase their level of engagement and enthusiasm.
VR technology can help significantly reduce the average cost of onboarding new hires. Firstly, VR onboarding reduces the workload of the HR department and heads of other departments by automating onboarding practices. Secondly, VR onboarding tours can help you avoid additional travel and time expenses, if your offices or production facilities are located in different countries or even continents. For example, newcomers can explore your production building in Russia, the manufacturing process, and products being in London. Finally, VR onboarding solutions can be multifunctional. For example, some parts of a VR solution can be used for participation in international expos and customer acquisition. Thus, our customer managed to reduce average onboarding costs by about 50%.
Increasing employee retention & acquisition
The use of VR technology in business processes can positively affect a company’s attractiveness in the labor market and help attract and retain the best talents. According to research by Dell and Intel, 70% of remote British employees think that technology influences their job choices. Moreover, 58% of global workers prefer high-tech perks (VR, AR, IoT, etc.) to standard ones. The positive impact of VR onboarding on talent retention & acquisition rates is also confirmed by our client’s experience, as they noted the increase in employee retention rate by about 15%.
Better promotion of your brand
By introducing VR technology into the company’s processes (including onboarding), you invest not only in their optimization but also in building and promoting the brand of a high-tech company keeping up with the times and global trends. Thus, virtual reality technology can become one of the building blocks of the company’s long-term development process.
As practice shows, VR technology can significantly enhance onboarding processes and be extremely useful for companies in any field of business activity. To increase the chances for success, we recommend cooperating with professionals experienced in VR solution development. So if you feel interested, you’re welcome to turn to OTR’s VR team to develop and implement your high-quality VR onboarding solution.