The Metaverse Works Its Way Into HR
At some point, the metaverse will evolve from being a virtual playground for impassioned users to a solution with the potential to transform the HR experience as we know it. At least according to Vikram Ahuja, CEO of recruiting technology firm Talent500.
Ahuja is among those who have high hopes for the metaverse. He recently wrote in Forbes about the metaverse's potential to turn HR on its head, particularly when it comes to the talent acquisition and onboarding process in a dispersed and remote environment.
Because of the changes affecting the way we work, Ahuja forecasts companies will find great potential in the metaverse’s augmented and virtual realities and expects virtual tools to ultimately improve the employee lifecycle and strengthen workplace communities.
The Metaverse Advantage
While the metaverse is still in its infancy, some employers are already conducting virtual job fairs. In his piece for Forbes, Ahuja wrote about how early adopters are using the technology to present company information in virtual lobbies and through holographic presentations.
But the technology has other advantages. It is enabling hiring managers to study a candidate’s behavior and observe their interactions with both individuals and groups, thus helping make more accurate decisions on a person's fit within the company. It can provide feedback on how well candidates perform, both in general and with specific tasks. And, when used in immersive learning, it can help improve the results of a company’s learning and development programs.
“For many brands, the metaverse can be a path toward faster and more comprehensive learning programs,” Ahuja wrote. “It can also offer increased levels of engagement and motivation by facilitating self-paced learning and memorable experiences.”
By integrating the metaverse into their talent strategy, employers are seeking to gain a competitive edge by innovating the recruitment, onboarding and development processes, argued Ahuja.
“More than ever, your ability to attract and retain the best talent depends on the employee experience you design,” Ahuja wrote, noting that about half of job seekers have reported having an unpleasant hiring experience. "Some 90% aren’t satisfied with their onboarding process.”
“We’re seeing a lot of buzz around the metaverse, and a lot of investment in it from [places] like Microsoft, from Facebook,” said Alex Young, CEO of Virti, a Houston technology firm providing immersive learning systems for healthcare professionals. “I think these shared virtual environments, which we jumped on about three years ago as an early adopter …. are really coming to the forefront of people’s minds."
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Training for New Worlds
The move to the metaverse is unlikely to be a natural evolution for most companies. It will require considerable investment, particularly in people — people who know how to code, how to test, how to plan, how to manage and how to imagine.
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Many educators believe tomorrow’s candidates will be a lot more sophisticated in a lot of subjects, and most companies lack the resources to develop their current talent pool accordingly. For that reason, colleges are paying more attention to areas like AI, the metaverse, networking and personal branding, as they try to keep up with the needs of both employers and workers.
An article appearing in The Wall Street Journal reported growing recognition that students need instruction in a variety of new subjects to prepare for the changing skills and dynamics of the job market. Big tech companies, for instance, are investing large sums in the development of products and services for the metaverse, and graduating students must be prepared to be able to seize these new opportunities.
A number of areas will evolve to keep up with the times, according to the WSJ article. Studies of artificial intelligence, for example, will add courses on the ethical applications of the technology, while engineers will have to decide how much risk can be built into machines. Using grant money from Google, more than a dozen schools are developing classes to examine just such scenarios, the article stated.
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Meanwhile, colleges are encouraging students to take a fresh look at areas such as pricing and cost of production. For instance, a digital New York City penthouse with views of Central Park isn’t nearly as exclusive as the real thing. You can only build one apartment, after all, but the digital property can be copied and sold any number of times. That means the penthouse in the metaverse is less exclusive than the one in Manhattan.
Networking is another area getting attention. Because of the pandemic-fueled remote learning trend, some students missed out on learning the social skills that are important to finding and winning a job, then progressing along a career path. Soon, courses will spend more time on developing networking skills and professional ethics, the Journal said. At some schools, courses on basics like creating a resume or a LinkedIn profile will even be included in the syllabus.
All of this is good news for employers who bemoan the way many universities don’t keep up with their needs. And these developments provide a positive outlook for the metaverse and its impact on the business world.
“It’s going to be very, very exciting for both the providers of the hardware, as well as organizations beginning to adopt them at scale,” said Young. “In the near term, it's one thing that really, really excites me.“