According to Business Insider, MGM Resorts is allowing applicants to try out casino and hotel jobs in virtual reality (VR) before signing on.
It’s part of a new initiative to reduce employee attrition during the “great resignation,” which has resulted in labor shortages in the United States and elsewhere during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The casino and resort group is using headsets from Strivr, a virtual reality company that specializes in virtual training for industry health and safety, customer service, and other purposes.
The idea is to expose employees to typical job activities so they know what to expect. “It can be very difficult just to verbally explain the types of positions or show a video,” said MGM Resorts’ chief human resources officer Laura Lee to BI.
Using VR, on the other hand, allows applicants to “throw on a headset and really experience the job.”
Beginning in January, MGM intends to use the headsets in its offices and possibly at career fairs. The goal is to expose prospective customer service employees to key aspects of the job, both positive and negative.
The MGM Resorts VR module, for example, would include interactions with difficult guests, which has reportedly become more common with COVID.
The negative interactions may deter some candidates, but MGM anticipates that they will also allow for better hiring decisions.
According to Lee, the use of the technology “might have resolved some turnover we experienced when people accepted positions and then realized it wasn’t quite what they expected.”
MGM intends to use the technology in its $9.1 billion hotels, resort, and casino in Osaka, Japan. Because it would be the country’s first casino, potential employees may be unfamiliar with typical jobs.
As a result, candidates may be offered (but not required) the VR option to demonstrate customer-oriented functions such as hotel check-ins and gaming operations.
VR may not have been the consumer hit that everyone expected, but it has certainly caught on with businesses, particularly for training. MGM also employs Strivr’s technology for customer-interaction training with new employees, claiming that it allows them to fail without repercussions while learning a role.
“Virtual Reality allows employees to think and correct themselves without becoming stressed or concerned that they did something wrong,” Lee explained in a Strivr webinar.