Short of Technicians, We’re Trying Virtual Reality

Over the next four years there will be a shortage of about 15,000 technical professionals in the Netherlands. At our Dutch, 7,000-employee energy company Alliander, we have 700 openings annually. The shortage of technicians and the unfamiliarity of the energy sector have prompted us to explore new ways of recruitment and therefore we developed six special 360-degree virtual-reality films. With the movies, technicians can experience how it is to work for the company and in the energy sector before they start a job.

Our recruiters constantly tell people how great it is to work at Alliander. But not everyone sees how beautiful our work is. The VR films makes that experience clear to everyone. By using innovative techniques (tried by Intuit, the British Army, and the U.S. Navy, among others) everyone can experience Alliander everywhere at every time via social media and on the website in 360 degrees.

It makes me proud that we are a frontrunner in the worldwide recruitment industry with this new technology. The films are only a few weeks in full use, but the reactions are extremely positive in any case, both internally and externally. They’ve had a positive effect on the employer brand, internal engagement, as well as through the candidate experience and of course the number of hires.

2.500 Glasses Delivered at Home

The VR films are used in various ways to recruit technicians. In January, for example, 2,500 of the technicians from Alliander received cardboard VR glasses at home. They can show the films to family and friends. We believe that our involved colleagues in the recruitment of new colleagues are our greatest asset. With the VR glasses we enable them to show through their surroundings what a beautiful job Alliander does.

In addition, recruiters get applicants through the VR films prior to a job interview, during a cup of coffee, to meet the company. Visitors who visit job fairs and events also get a glimpse into the field of work of our energy company through the virtual reality experience.

The VR experience is also used to inform students from primary schools to university for work in the energy sector. With these kinds of initiatives, we really do everything to interest technicians to work at Alliander.

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Marnix de Groot

Marnix de Groot has over 10 years experience in the field of employer branding, marketing, recruitment, and technology. After obtaining his master's degree, he co-founded the marketing agency VONQ, which is now the European market leader in recruitment marketing services. In recent years, he has filled various positions and has completed a number of studies in the specialization of innovation and digital transformation (INSEAD). He is advising companies and startups about marketing and technology for recruitment and employer branding. He is a regularly-asked-for speaker for events on these topics. He is married and the father of three children and lives in The Netherlands. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marnixdegroot/