Amid the famed great reshuffle and a global recession, the world of work is changing—and so is the employee experience. As employers, more than ever, your ability to attract and retain the best talent depends on the employee experience you design.
In 2021, more than $12 billion in venture capital was poured into the HR technology market to address issues relating to employee experience and to build a robust digital infrastructure. And yet, I see that a lot still remains to be fixed. One in two jobseekers has had an unpleasant hiring experience, and around 90% of candidates are dissatisfied with their onboarding process. Prospective employees are likely to drop off after receiving an offer if there is a lack of engagement from employers. In a world where talent is currency, could the metaverse be the solution to solving talent acquisition and retention challenges?
The Metaverse In HR
The metaverse is pitched as an alternate virtual or mixed world that augments our own where avatars take the place of physical bodies. Virtual reality allows us to create unique simulations of the real world and enhance it by overlaying virtual objects. Themes of what the Metaverse is and what it could be are still emerging. It is not limited to a single meta world but many virtual worlds that have the potential to transform social interactions.
Hype aside, there is serious potential in the augmented and virtual reality industry. A PwC report cited that AR and VR could boost GDP globally up to $1.5 trillion in the next eight years. While the entertainment industry has been some of the first to take advantage of AR and VR, it’ll be especially interesting to see how this burgeoning technology will become utilized in enterprise-level firms, mid-sized companies and SMEs as it becomes more accessible. It think it’s only time before “What’s our metaverse strategy?” becomes a common boardroom discussion.
In the context of global work, the metaverse has the potential to gather people from all over the globe to work, collaborate and create in one space.
So, how do I see these experiential spaces transforming the traditional employee experience process? In a dispersed, distributed and remote world, virtual tools and avatars can help create bespoke experiences to improve the employee lifecycle and strengthen communities. They can also take onboarding to a whole new level. The metaverse has the potential to allow recruiters to conduct meaningful observations and assessments throughout a candidate’s journey.
Immersive Interviews And Virtual Job Fairs
Companies like Capgemini and Hirect recently conducted successful job fairs in the meta-world. Attendees were able to create their avatars, don VR headsets and join the event via their web browsers. The biggest advantage of virtual hiring is that it allows recruiters to interview and evaluate candidates in real time. Technology allows you to present company portfolios in virtual lobbies and through holographic presentations.
Hiring managers can get to know the candidates through their behavior in this alternate universe and make an educated guess about who is best suited for their organization. They can observe how candidates interact as individuals or within group settings.
Furthermore, this technology can open up access to analytics that can provide detailed information about how attendees interacted with each other during an event. This data could help strengthen your recruitment strategy.
Virtual Onboarding And Tours
Research by Brandon Hall group found that employee onboarding can improve employee retention by up to 82%. Furthemore, a Gallup study found that 70% of the candidates with excellent onboarding experiences say they have the best possible job, yet 88% of organizations don’t onboard well. The metaverse could certainly change this.
Virtual onboarding in the metaverse will allow new recruits to tour an environment in a fully 3D environment, including a company’s headquarters or manufacturing facility. This will allow them to have an immersive experience and better understand the culture of the company. With employees working globally, having them connected in one virtual location can foster collaboration across departments and build camaraderie. New hires will be able to build rapport and develop professional relationships with their colleagues.
Virtual onboarding also provides employers with instant feedback on how well candidates are learning the material and performing specific tasks, so you can better understand their strengths and weaknesses before entering the workforce.
An early example showing the potential of enterprise metaverse is the Nth floor by Accenture. Designed with both imaginary spaces and real-office counterparts, the Nth floor is a virtual campus that new employees go to for orientation and meet many peers while doing so. Hyundai also uses a virtual world app, Zepeto, for new employee inductions and onboarding. As one more example, Mondelez India is exploring the metaverse for an elevated new-employee experience.
Employee Engagement And Training
In 2018, my team was selected by Google to participate in their global Daydream Impact program on a project that would reimagine the prevention of sexual harassment training in immersive environments. While the project didn’t take off, we were surprised by the number of enterprises that signed up to use the product. Utilizing virtual means for training is becoming more popular, and even large corporations like Walmart have recently used VR to train new in-store employees—particularly to deal with the famed Black Friday sales rush. Other brands like Siemens, Adidas and BMW have also successfully created immersive employee and customer experiences in the metaverse.
One study found that immersive learning experiences can help with retention when compared to traditional learning methods. For many brands, the metaverse can be a path toward faster and more comprehensive learning programs. It can also offer increased levels of engagement and motivation by facilitating self-paced learning and memorable experiences.
Today, I see the metaverse as a great opportunity for savvy businesses to establish a competitive edge in the job market by integrating these technologies into their talent strategy. The end goal should be to create immersive experiences for your employees.