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February 5, 2020

Anyone familiar with the popular mobile gaming app of 2016, Pokémon Go, can imagine the potential of augmented reality (AR). Pointing smartphone camera at the surroundings could make a cartoon image appear on the screen, to catch. It was a perfect fun-filled example of seamless merging of ‘real’ world landscape with ‘virtual’ world.

In the last couple of years, experiments using AR and virtual reality (VR) have moved well beyond building the applications of fun and games to solving key business problems.

Majority of respondents in 2019 augmented and virtual reality survey report agreed that by 2025, immersive technologies (AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR)) would be as ubiquitous as mobile devices. Over the next couple of years, applications developed using these technologies would be so powerful that they would lead to industry transformation through  AR, VR, and MR, be it enhancement of buying experience in the retail industry, an automotive solution to avoid hazards or sophisticated solutions for surgeries; opportunities are immense.

How AR and VR would transform HRM

Current HR practices involve one way of communication and there is a lack of interpersonal interaction, which creates an artificial distance between an employee and the organization. Transformation of current HR practices by AR/ VR solutions can be achieved by providing the capability of capturing additional information that cannot be obtained in a conventional manner.

Potential Candidate Hiring

In today’s candidate-driven recruitment process, hiring the most suitable candidate is an ongoing challenge. Whether it is making the candidates apply for the job, introducing them to the organization or undergoing the whole recruitment process.

When a potential candidate arrives for the interview, he/she can get a virtual tour of the company, its daily life, and culture, and meet prospective co-workers with the help of VR experience. This virtual reality in HR would help the candidate to get a better understanding of the organization and its work environment.

In the interview process, an interviewer doesn’t need to spend time fetching key skills and details from the resume; instead, an AR/VR-based application can scan the candidate’s face and show all key details.

Also, AI/ML can help in extracting and analyzing important information from facial expressions captured during the virtual tour and interview process, to store unfiltered, unbiased emotional responses as data.

Candidate Onboarding

According to the 2018 job seeker nation study by Jobvite, on the candidate-recruiter relationship, almost 30% of employees left the job within the first 90 days of starting. Organizations with weak onboarding process lose the confidence of the candidates.

Usually, an onboarding process starts with HR professionals giving an overview of the organization, its various departments, and functions in the form of presentations or manuals. Sometimes it becomes monotonous and new hires get bored, resulting in loss of the track.

Immersive technology can make the whole process interactive and engaging with the help of immersive studios, 3D graphics, and games. Employees can attend induction training from any location without the feeling of being remote.

AR/VR mobile platform can enable an employee to go through the entire onboarding process in the form of fun and games at his/ her convenience.

Training and Development

AR/ VR-based applications can greatly revolutionize training and development. They can take employee training to a completely new level, where traditional methods of learning have become insufficient to make an impact.

Through specific spatial design, AR/VR-based applications can create a simulated environment of the real world and avoid any untoward incident during safety training.

It can help manipulate virtual objects and create a scientific phenomenon, which is difficult to experience in the real world.         

On the other side, a mobile platform can present the content in 3D format and make it more interesting to learn.

Performance Management

The performance management process and tool should be able to develop a shared understanding between an organization’s objectives and the individual’s key skills, competency and capabilities.

AR/ VR can provide a capability to HR professionals and supervisors in identifying key areas of improvement and comprehend critical elements of information concerning goals and capabilities. It can scan employee’s face and provide key inputs, with the help of sentimental analysis.

Situational immersion can create an ‘experiential learning’ environment, where an employee can undergo practical training to develop his/ her skills without being into a real scenario.

Future of HR Management

Augmented reality in HR goes hand in hand with virtual reality implementation. AR/VR technology has the potential to move beyond being a mere tool of fun and game to facilitating transformative enterprise application development. Simulation of a real-world environment through AR/VR can help in making the decisions better with machine learning by analyzing the employee’s reactions in different scenarios.

It has the potential to fill gaps and address issues that are hard to replicate in the real world, be it recruitment, learning, onboarding or performance management. In turn, it will lead most of the future trends in human resource management.

Rajeev Sharma heads mobile and API framework development in Innovation and Product Engineering group in Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He is having 16 years of experience, and his area of expertise includes solution design, architecture, consulting and product development across verticals. He has delivered multiple complex business solutions and demonstrated deep technical and domain expertise in multiple areas. He holds a Master of Computer Applications from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak.

Sachin Sabat is a Mobile Application Developer in the Platform Solutions unit at TCS. He has an experience of 5 years in native as well as hybrid mobile application development using Swift, Objective C, Kotlin, React Native, and Java. He loves to study and explore the concepts related to Augment Reality and Machine Learning. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Mumbai.


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