Virtual reality learning could help disadvantaged youth find employment

Virtual reality learning - Grand Hyatt hotel in Shanghai

A new community-hiring program has been introduced by Hyatt Corp.

The global hotel chain has a new community-hiring program called RiseHY, which provides young people, who are seeking career opportunities in the hospitality industry, with a virtual reality learning experience.

Hyatt hotels around the world have committed to hiring 10,000 “opportunity youth.”

The company plans to hire young people of ages 18 to 24 who are neither in school or working. The goal is to hire 10,000 of these individuals by 2025.

The virtual reality learning experience provide by RiseHY has been designed to support the community, while at the same time, assisting Hyatt fill job positions that require certain talents. The project is said to be one part philanthropy and one part talent development.

The virtual reality learning system helps ease young people through the early recruitment process.

The community-hiring program uses both virtual reality (VR) and gaming to assess where an interested candidate would be a good fit in the company.

Hyatt wanted to give their targeted potential employees a sense of what life would be like working in a hotel. As such, they collaborated with a company to develop YouVisit, a virtual reality app, where candidates can take a virtual guided tour of a hotel to see what employees do. This allows the candidate to learn what is required for different roles from hostesses and room attendants to concierge and wait staff.

“The virtual reality lets them see what their career path could be, and to think about whether this is a good fit for them,” said Audrey Williams-Lee, vice president of corporate HR and philosophy, reported Workforce.

Beyond the VR tour, interested candidates can also complete an online assessment that utilizes AI (artificial intelligence) to assess a candidate’s skills and attitudes by engaging them in a series of games and reasoning exercises.

The games are designed to measure certain aspects, such as how well a candidate can multi-task, if they are willing to take risks, how good they are at filtering distractions, etc. When all is said and done, the RiseHY system is meant to determine what type of job would be ideal for a candidate.

Once candidates have been selected, they are reportedly either hired directly and provided a mentor to support them as they take on their role within the company, or they are put in a three-to-six-month training program to help them develop the skills they will need for their job.

Virtual reality learning - Grand Hyatt hotel in ShanghaiAdditionally, Hyatt’s virtual reality learning system isn’t only for the company to gain new employees. According to Jessica Schultz, Hyatt’s senior manager of community engagement, “It’s about helping these kids find careers in hospitality.”

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