Today, the XR Association (XRA), the trade association representing the growing ecosystem of companies powering virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (XR), released A New Reality in Immersive Technology (XR): Insights and Industry Trends for HR and Learning & Development, XRA’s second annual market research survey conducted by the Martec Group. This year’s survey focused on HR professionals across industries and their views on XR technology.
As post-pandemic workers continue to reevaluate their career goals, and employers experience higher than average workforce turnover, HR professionals are scrambling to find workers with the skills needed to fill vacant positions. According to the XR Association’s research, the top three priorities of HR professionals are training and upskilling (46%), finding and securing high-quality talent (42%), and diversity equity and inclusion efforts (35%). A compelling majority of the 250 HR professionals surveyed (92%) view XR as a pandemic recovery tool.
“The pandemic accelerated digital transformation and automation across industries creating further talent shortages and leaving HR professionals looking for new ways to train and develop talent,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CEO of the XR Association. “The XR technologies currently being deployed for workforce training are proving to be a game-changer. They are allowing organizations to upskill employees, prepare candidates for jobs on day one, and achieve better learning outcomes to address America’s ongoing employment crisis.”
Forty-eight percent of HR professionals surveyed believe that XR technology leads to better training and development outcomes, 46% see XR as a way to increase work efficiency and time savings, and 45% see XR as a way to expand distance learning.
According to the survey, the transportation and construction industries are leading the way in the adoption of XR technologies. Of the respondents who identified as HR professionals working in the transportation and construction industry 92% and 91% respectively reported using XR technology. Public Safety (88%) Manufacturing (79%), Energy (70%), and Healthcare (70%) were not far behind in adoption rates.
While 81% of HR professionals use XR as a critical tool for more effective learning outcomes, only 41% see it as a tool to support diversity, equity, and inclusion programs (DEI).
“Given its dynamic and impactful nature, immersive learning can and should be considered as a tool to support DEI programs. The use of XR for workforce training can help close the skills gap, allowing HR professionals to look beyond recruiting for exact expertise, opening up larger, more diverse pools of talent,” said Hyman. “XR learning opportunities for new hires and long-term employees can be tailored to individualized needs, which are at the heart of workplace equity programs.”
Recent research, including McKinsey’s latest report, “Diversity Wins: How inclusion matters,” demonstrates that organizations with diversity of ethnicity are 36% more likely to be more profitable than their peers. The World Economic Forum’s report “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 4.0” suggests that companies with diverse employees have “up to 20% higher rate of innovation and 19% higher innovation revenues.”
In addition to the release of its A New Reality in Immersive Technology (XR): Insights and Industry Trends for HR and Learning & Development report, the XR Association is hosting the Limitless Future Conference > XR for Learning & Development (LFC) on November 4. The half-day virtual event brings together senior-level learning and development and HR professionals to explore how immersive technology — virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality — is transforming the field of training, learning, and talent management. The conference will feature keynotes from Chike Aguh, Chief Innovation Officer, United States Department of Labor, and Ayreann Luedders, Senior Director II, Walmart U.S. Academies. Additional sessions will include:
- Understanding XR Technology for Learning & Development
Speakers: Liz Hyman, XRA CEO; Rori DuBoff, Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation, Accenture Interactive; Marc Metis, Vice President, Enterprise Software and Global Head of Vive X; and Greg Sullivan, Director, Microsoft.
- XR’s Promise for Equity, Advancement, and Opportunity
Speaker: Kristina Francis, Executive Director, JFFLabs
- XR For Communication, Empathy, and Equity.
Speakers: Audrey Mickahail, Senior Director of Corporate Solutions, JFFLabs; Katie Booth, Corporate Social Responsibility, SAP; Cortney Harding, Founder & CEO, Friends with Holograms; and Dan Guenther, Managing Director, Accenture Extended Reality (XR)