MGM Introduces Newest Tool in HR: Virtual Reality

MGM Resorts is introducing an unusual tool that lets prospective employees literally “try on” jobs before accepting them: virtual reality headsets. The technology is expected to reduce turnover.

MGM Introduces Newest Tool in HR: Virtual Reality

In an effort to reduce employee turnover, MGM Resorts International will soon give job applicants the chance to literally “try on” job roles before they accept the positions: virtual reality (VR) headsets.

According to Business Insider, the headsets will give candidates a much better idea of what the job will be like on a day-to-day basis.

“It can be very difficult just to verbally explain the types of positions or show a video,” said Laura Lee, MGM Resorts’ chief Human Resources officer. With the VR experience, applicants can “throw a headset on and really experience the job,” she added.

Lee said MGM will start using the headsets in January, starting with customer-service roles at its employment centers and possibly at career fairs, and also use them for training. The VR experiences will include the good, the bad and the ugly, including “difficult guest interactions.”

Lee said she “absolutely” expects that some candidates, after trying out a role using VR, will realize it’s not for them. That will save investments of time, money and training. Lee hopes it will resolve “some turnover we experienced when people accepted positions and then realized it wasn’t quite what they thought it would be.”

MGM Resorts developed the package with VR-firm Strivr, which also works with Walmart, Bank of America, Verizon and FedEx, reported Business Insider.

Strivr CEO Derek Belch said the data gathered from using VR “can be very powerful for both the employee, as part of their candidacy for a role, as well as for the employer to make better data-driven decisions.”

The pandemic has caused a mass exodus of workers from the hospitality industries; the phenomenon has become so widespread it earned its own label: the “Great Resignation.” At first, the departures were involuntary, due to shutdowns and layoffs amid the Covid crisis. Later, workers decided to opt out of the industry altogether. Some were worried about working in close contact with others. Some said they were dissatisfied with the lower wages paid in some hospitality positions.