Walmart is Using Virtual Reality Tools to Evaluate Workforce Potential


Many years back, Walmart employees have to go through a comprehensive checking process. The process includes exhaustive paper-based assessment for the promotion. Even more, it consists of a face-to-face interview and a written assignment. All in all, the assessment process helped management to judge the potential of their employees. Through the analysis, they can evaluate how efficiently one can handle their workload and responsibility for a given role. But now, they have changed their evaluation process from the past few months. Walmart has replaced its paper-based assessments with a virtual reality experimental tool.

The company is using Oculus Go virtual-reality headset (costs US$ 250), where instincts and abilities of employees can be tested in a simulated scenario. The test will allow managers to understand how well they react in everyday situations. Apart from this, managers can analyze the depth of knowledge workers have about the store. Also, these scenarios range from motivating a weak or underperforming employee to resolving queries of customers. Under this experiment, candidates find themselves standing between a busy corridor facing several problems include misplaced items, spills, trash, etc. In the scene, they have only 30 seconds to figure out the problem that they will resolve first. Virtual scenarios also include handling production division and getting them ready for the chaos of Thanksgiving or Black Friday by watching actual videotape from the annual shopping fling.

The combination of virtual reality and conventional interviews helps in eliminating bias results from the hiring processes. The VR assessment tool has arrived in April 2019, and about 10,000 employees, applying for new jobs, have used it.  STRIVR, a California based company, has designed Walmart’s virtual reality assessment tools and strategies. Earlier in 2017, Walmart has already used virtual reality to train their employees at 200 Walmart Academies. Now the company has sent thousands of VR headsets across the country for the assessment of the workforce. Walmart claims that these training tools have improved employees’ confidence and boosted their test score by 15%.