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Grundfos uses virtual reality to remotely evaluate applicants

If circumstances in 2020 had stayed the same, applicants for Grundfos’ prestigious graduate program would have been gearing up to travel from all over the world to Grundfos’ headquarters in Denmark.

But things were a little different for candidates this year. Since the travel restrictions were tightened due to the pandemic, Grundfos needed a new approach for bringing candidates together to participate in their intensive evaluation process.

The challenge: re-creating an immersive environment to evaluate graduate applicants

Grundfos realized that not only did they want to bring candidates together remotely, but there was a need for certain requirements for their solution. 

In particular, it needed to be a hybrid solution that incorporated online meeting capabilities in Microsoft Teams but also offered a completely immersive 3D environment.

In an online video meeting, aspects like hand movements, eye contact, and body language are easy to determine. Since Grundfos took these non-verbal cues into consideration when assessing candidates, the solution needed to use online video meetings to accurately display human behavior.

Additionally, the graduate program consisted of a large amount of factual information, tours, demos, and presentations. Therefore Grundfos needed a solution that could also provide an immersive, 3D environment, to further enhance the experience and support the standard online video meetings. 

Finally, the solution needed to facilitate collaboration sessions between participants. Since the evaluation program featured games, team building tasks and other ice-breaking activities, fluid collaboration was essential to be able to evaluate the participants in a nurturing environment that was more interactive than a standard online video meeting.

Ease of use and compatibility was paramount for us. We wouldn't have chosen to use SynergyXR if we weren't able to reuse content across all platforms.

Nicolai Aaboe Kallestrup  |  Designer & Concept Developer at Grundfos

The solution: combining the use of virtual reality and online meetings to facilitate evaluations and collaborations  

Grundfos decided to explore an innovative approach to overcome this challenge that combined virtual reality with standard online video meetings. 

For breakout sessions or more individual tasks, where non-verbal cues and body language were a key focus, applicants used Microsoft Teams to participate. 

For informative and group events, such as factory tours and machinery presentations, Grundfos utilized SynergyXR, where they could use virtual reality to bring together graduate applicants, from all over the world, into one virtual meeting location. 

This gave applicants a fully immersive 3D experience, where they could truly understand the virtual environment as if it were in real life.

These 3D sessions also included team collaborations and exercises, where candidates would be evaluated on their interaction and engagement with one another. This particular assessment of the candidates by program leaders was made completely remote and accessible by SynergyXR. 

To offer this virtual reality solution to the remote candidates, Grundfos sent out VR headsets to all participants who were situated globally from Russia to South America. The graduates were then able to use these headsets to virtually attend the program’s gatherings completely remotely.  

SynergyXR also offered Grundfos a way to completely customize their virtual meeting. For example, Grundfos was able to tailor their virtual space, plus the function and appearance of their content. The content was also easily transferable to other devices such as desktops and tablets for complete ease of use and adaptability.

We want to use SyngeryXR as our go-to approach for our ordinary meetings. Just as you would jump on a video call, we want to make virtual reality a normal, everyday occurrence.

Nicolai Aaboe Kallestrup | Designer & Concept Developer at Grundfos 

The results: an innovative way to remotely evaluate candidates from all over the world

From the 20 graduates that were surveyed, the feedback on the use of SynergyXR was extremely positive. 

The survey explored the graduate’s experience with SynergyXR’s usability, ease of navigation, and how it was for the graduates to connect with each other and explore the virtual meeting space. 

In fact, 99% of the graduates had positive feedback and believed that the platform was a fantastic approach to explore, present, and interact with each other, even though the process was digital. 

From the company’s perspective, it was a simple way to introduce the graduates to the company and easily present the factories, which are key fundamentals of the program.  

Grundfos has also saved on other resources by implementing both online video meetings and SyngeryXR to evaluate graduate candidates. Travel costs have dramatically decreased, as the firm would have previously paid for each graduate’s (often long-haul) flights, accommodation, transfers, food and drink during their trip to the Danish headquarters. 

Additionally, the company has lowered its carbon footprint by significantly reducing the environmental impact of flights and transport, as well as saving time that was previously spent traveling or performing travel-related tasks.

The future of virtual reality for Grundfos

Using SynergyXR in combination with online video meetings to evaluate new hires remotely is just the beginning for Grundfos. The firm plans to utilize this approach for social events such as Friday drinks with employees all over the world. 

But, there are also plans to apply this platform in other departments, for instance, sales and marketing – where virtual reality will be used to present products to potential prospects. In fact, they’re already using it for remote virtual sales meetings. 

There is also a shared goal for many in Grundfos who aim to make the platform just as accessible and approachable as video calls.

About Grundfos

Founded in 1945 and with nearly 20,000 employees, Grundfos is a global water technology company committed to pioneering solutions to the world’s water and climate challenges and improving the quality of life for people.