The future of recruitment and retention is being built before our eyes here in 2023. With the Covid-19 pandemic still in the background of workers’ collective memories, everyone has been searching for new and safer ways to gather employees together. Enter the metaverse: a virtual world that is waiting for those outside to discover it and make it their own.
The metaverse, according to thetalentgames.com, is defined as a “collective virtual shared space.” Incorporating “augmented reality” (AR) with “virtual reality” (VR), and adding sound, the Metaverse provides a more immersive experience for people. According to Hays, the first recruitment organization to claim to have entered the Metaverse to show its effectiveness at recruiting, it is “a virtual world where people can be present through individual avatars,” and they say it is here to replace the outdated notion that people need to be in an office for face-to-face interactions.
For those that are now used to the hybridity of workplaces, as many office workers today are, or those that are uncomfortable with the safety measures that come with meeting in person, the virtual world of the Metaverse offers brand new and fascinating ways to creatively meet the challenges of recruitment and retention in our current day and age.
It came from a “Meta”-morphosis of sorts…
The Metaverse is not new to 2023. Gamers will recognize the technology as being decades old; anyone who used to play Farmville on Facebook will remember the way they created their own little farms to grow crops or raise animals. While those who played online games may catch glimpses that are familiar to them, the Metaverse began to truly take off in the past three years. In 2020, the virtual world suddenly became one of the safest places; with the threat of a global pandemic bearing down on businesses globally, every manager was looking for a way to keep employees healthy. From there, however, in 2021, one of the biggest changes came from Mark Zuckerburg; in October of that year, he changed Facebook’s company name to “Meta,” bringing a whole new spotlight to shine on virtual universes.
Metaverse is changing the way people interact with each other online. Artists who couldn’t fill venues due to Covid-19 protocols, found that they could hold virtual concerts online. Brands like Gucci and Nike are already using the Metaverse to showcase their branding, something other businesses should take note of soon. Employer branding, which has such a prominent place in the recruiting process, has the potential to be exponentially easier in the Metaverse. The key is to remember that the virtual world can be extremely immersive, so making engaging and authentic content is of the utmost importance.
Bringing Recruitment and Retention to Metaverse
While the Metaverse has been changing the way people view virtual reality for a while now, recruitment in this world is still in its infancy. Companies like Hays, as well as Hyundai and Samsung, have already begun to hold career fairs in the Metaverse to attract and recruit talent. Meanwhile, other companies are resorting to virtual reality for retention. Here is why:
Metaverse has the ability to bridge the issues recruiters have for offering the best candidate experience. With this new technology, the entire recruitment process can be brought to life in creatively fresh ways. Instead of parading a group of potential employees through a real world office, where it is initially difficult to get an authentic feel for a person, businesses can allow for recruitment agencies to take the reins and build an environment where a company’s people, values, culture, and mission can take on a virtual life of their own.
Starting with job descriptions and advertisements, the recruiting process can actually begin in the Metaverse. Once there is a pool of potential candidates, recruiters and hiring supervisors can provide several interview situations; even setting up virtual work issues that include the gamification of the hiring process with real world problem solving capabilities. (For more information about gamification, please see our blog post from April 26, 2023.) After the candidate has been appraised, and possibly hired, the business can have an office built in the Metaverse to provide virtual tours and virtual meetings with new coworkers. The entire process can become more personalized, and, with the help of new AI technology, make it easier to attract and recruit the best talent for your business. On top of everything else, the current cost of bringing a new employee onboard can, on average, be priced at a little over $4,000 per new worker. However, by creating a way to virtually start a new employee, those costs can be cut by interviewing and training in the Metaverse. If nothing else, saving money can be a boon for any company at this time of financial and economic unrest.
When it comes to retention, an amazing onboarding experience is only part of what the Metaverse can offer. Besides providing a rich resource for a business’s branding efforts, this virtual world gives workers the opportunity to build a brand new company culture. Since hybrid work has become more universally accepted in the past three years, the technology issues accompanying the split working conditions have caused many issues. From online meetings that accentuate the separation of staffers, to connectivity issues, to the rising cost of real estate for offices, now, the Metaverse can take over and workers can fully immerse themselves in a virtual office, working together to build a better future. If the goal of companies is to provide an easier way for workers to collaborate and grow the business, the Metaverse can open those doors. With virtual idea boards, customizable online tools, and avatars and goals using diverse and inclusive measures throughout, work has the potential to expand far beyond anything imagined thus far.
It is easy to see that the Metaverse is a fascinating tool for the future of work; it is less easy to see exactly how it will change the way everyone performs their jobs in the coming months and years. For the purposes of recruitment and retention, the Metaverse has the potential to be a total game changer for everyone, particularly millennial and Gen Z workers. The younger generations of workers have an easier time adapting to new technologies, and, with many millennials growing up with games that are built around virtual worlds, many businesses are jumping at the opportunity to get on board early and set up their virtual workplaces to recruit and retain those younger workers.
This is not going to be an easy process. There are many barriers to companies entering the Metaverse. Those include a lack of executive sponsorship, the need to expand IT, HR, and Metaverse experts that understand the technology, securing all digital information from hackers that may try to take advantage of the opening of a virtual storefront or business, the upfront costs, and the limitations of new technology not fully ready for launch yet. However, to many experts, the benefits of joining Metaverse outweigh the initial startup costs and work it will take to ensure a fully operational virtual office. In a world where forward momentum is constant, the Metaverse has the potential to completely change the way workers are recruited and retained.
Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone. A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.