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Virtual Reality recruitment

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In order to stand out in a crowded room of tech employers, DLG’s recruitment team realised it had to be innovative.

This innovation ended up being a virtual reality recruitment experience, which made its debut in January at the Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today event in London – the largest tech careers fair specially created for women.

“We wanted to do something on a recruitment stand that was completely different to what everyone else was doing,” explained Kate Facey, Direct Line Group’s specialist recruitment & recruitment marketing manager.

“When we go to these events it’s important not to have a boring stand, simply handing out giveaways. We wanted to look different, creating a bit of excitement and buzz.”

The team turned to creative agency Havas People, with the brief to educate people on what it’s really like to work here. Rather than focus on a job role, the idea was to create a feeling of the culture that makes DLG so unique.

“It was a brief from DLG in helping people understand what the Direct Line Group is,” explained Duncan James, creative director of Havas People. “Everyone knows about the big brands; Churchill, Direct Line, that sort of stuff. But from a recruitment point of view, no one knows who DLG is. For us, it was getting that name out there for potential employees to understand DLG.”

For Duncan and his team at Havas People, the answer was virtual reality.

“This was an educational piece and the best way of doing that – with the technology available - is being able to submerge someone into that workforce, within that surrounding,” said Duncan.

He continued: “We can show the working environment, what that entails. But also, what it does is lock into the cultural and social side as well, and the other values that DLG has, such as connections with charities.

“VR was a really great way of getting people engaged.”

The VR experience placed users into a virtual recreation of our Bristol office. To take in everything that’s going on users need to look around the office and follow voices, where they’ll discover such things as:

  • A dog sat on a chair in front of you to represent pet insurance.
  • A couple sat in bathrobes having breakfast in what looks like a B&B. The idea is they are talking about their insurance with DL4B and how great it is for their business.
  • People coming through the office from the Bristol Boat Race. You can sit on chairs and do a race with some hats on, and that’s to demonstrate the fundraising element.
  • People going out for a run with the running club at lunch.
  • Colleagues talking in the kitchen about their holiday, with a background screen displaying DLG travel insurance.

The experience is pulled together with a fun quiz at the end.

“It was asking you to submerge yourself to get a real understanding and then we’ll ask you some questions,” explains Duncan. “You’re not just watching something that you won’t remember. It was a case of getting them really engaged and really understanding what it was about.”

Given this was DLG’s first use of the VR recruitment experience, the results and feedback have been great.

The culture here is not what you’d expect it to be and getting people to see this is key.

“I think some people were a bit reluctant to have a go at first, but the ones who did really got into it, and they found it an enjoyable thing to do,” explained Kate. “For us we want them to walk away from that experience remembering us, going to look at what opportunities we have available, and telling others about it."

Kate says it’s currently too early to say that VR will be a long-term recruitment tool, but DLG already recognises its power to raise the brand profile and to “make people think about how different we are”.

“For us, it’s how do we make sure we’re finding the right people, and this is a great opportunity,” Kate continued.

“It’s taking it away from traditional thoughts about what it’s like to work in insurance, and bringing it to life. The culture here is not what you’d expect it to be and getting people to see this is key.”

To discover what opportunities are currently available at DLG head over to our careers website. If you’re looking for something specific to Digital, you’ll find open positions right here on the blog.