Walmart using Virtual Reality to test and select store managers: report

Walmart store

Walmart stores are using virtual reality (VR) to determine whether an employee is the right fit for a managerial position, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The VR experience tests employees to see how they respond to an angry customer, an underperforming employee, or a messy aisle. Walmart uses Oculus Go headsets for the training.

Walmart Canada confirmed to MobileSyrup that stores in Canada are not using the VR manager training.

However, a spokesperson stated that “investment in technology is an important aspect of Walmart Canada’s strategy to empower associates, improve compliance and help with merchandising.”

VR training is getting popular, but it has usually been used to assess high-skilled workers such as pilots, as outlined by the Wall Street Journal. However, VR is now being used to determine an evaluation for a large hourly workforce.

Walmart executives told the Wall Street Journal that the VR training is aimed to limit biased hiring and to increase diversity. Over 10,000 employees have already undergone the VR manager experience training.

Once an employee undergoes the VR experience, the hiring managers receive a report that outlines the employee’s strengths and weaknesses.

Walmart has used VR in the past to train employees on how to stock shelves and use new equipment.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Update 02/07/19: The article was updated with additional reporting on the VR headsets used for the training, and Canadian store information.