US Navy recruiters turn to virtual reality to attract STEM talent

Dive Brief:

  • In an effort to recruit more cadets, the U.S. Navy has rolled out a mobile virtual reality gaming system, complete with 8 VR pods capable of holding 60 players at once in simulated Naval exercises. The Navy revealed the program at a Memorial Day event in New York City, reports Fortune.
  • The goal of the virtual reality system is to give potential recruits a glimpse of naval life. Other branches of the military have used similar VR gaming for training exercises, but this is the first time the technology has been extended to recruitment efforts.
  • The VR gaming system is currently being driven around in a tractor trailer to visit schools and events in order to generate interest from students in STEM career paths.

Dive Insight:

The military and law enforcement has taken to virtual reality for both training and recruitment. This technology makes it possible for anyone to experience simulated scenarios in a controlled, safe environment

As a side note, it’s interesting that they Navy is using the technology specifically to attract talented STEM students. That’s in line with job training and recruitment programs recently announced by major corporations, including JPMorgan Chase. With several areas experiencing a critical shortage of such talent, recruiters would do well put emerging technologies at the forefront of their hiring efforts, whenever possible.

Earlier, HR Dive highlighted how VR technology impacts training in many workplaces, including the blue-collar workforce. It’s expected this trend will continue as VR becomes more cost effective.  While some employers use VR to orient and train employees, the military is also demonstrating its value in recruitment efforts.

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