I remember hearing recruiters discount the impact of Facebook and other social media. Now, I can’t get on any social media without seeing some type of ad advertising Now Hiring or Check out the culture at company X. The tech landscape continues to evolve rapidly and recruiters/organizations who do not move ahead of the S-curve may be left behind. There’s been a lot of hype about metaverse lately in tech news, social circles, and investment discussions. What is this metaverse and should recruiters prepare for it?

In case you are like, what the hell is metaverse, here’s a quick overview of what we know according to CNet.

The metaverse refers to digital worlds in which people will gather to work, play and hang out. Some of those online spaces will be immersive 3D experiences and require fancy goggles to enjoy. Others will play out on a computer screen. The term’s been in flux, and might still keep evolving and renaming itself.

According to Microsoft’s expansive 2022 Work Trends Index, 51% of Gen Z and 48% of millennials expect to conduct a portion of their work in the metaverse in the next two years. Considering these generation groups will comprise more than 80% of the workforce over the next two years, this is a significant tip of the hat for what’s to come. Interestingly, 52% of employees indicated they are open to using immersive digital spaces in the metaverse for meetings or team collaborations as soon as next year!

The future of work may soon be a group of avatars meeting in a virtual environment. Before you laugh, consider prior to 2020, most organizations only allowed 10% or less of their employee base to work from home. After two years of most employees doing 100% of their work in a digital space comfortably at home, the metaverse is just another tool companies should prepare to conquer in both workforce and recruiting strategies.

Consider the camera fatigue most employees have begun feeling. Sure, it’s great to be able to work from home, wear what is comfy, and not have to fight an hour or more of traffic, but sometimes we just want to participate in a meeting without the camera on. The metaverse may allow a new option for team members to join calls and appear engaged without the exhaustion of staring into the computer camera.

What are the impacts on recruiting?

It was interesting to watch both candidates and hiring managers adjust to video interviews at the beginning of the pandemic. Prior to the work-from-home mandate, I found managers would critique the candidates living space, their attire or video etiquette after the video interview. Fast forward two years, hearing a dog or child in the background during a video interview is brushed off with a laugh or joke about the “new normal”.

What can recruiters do to prepare for success in the metaverse?

Immerse yourself first

The best way to lead the change is to go first. Retailers have already begun moving the experience into the metaverse so try learning as a consumer the implications of this new venue might be an easy first step.

If learning classroom style is more your comfort zone, Udemy offers the Metaverse Masterclass for beginners, including VR, AR, mixed reality, extended reality, and metaverse land ownership. There is no minimum requirement for this course, and on completion of the course, students will be able to grasp what Metaverse is actually and how NFTs are shaping its future.

Meta (Facebook) is investing $150M to help develop the next generation of metaverse creators, fund high-quality immersive experiences that transform the way we learn and increase access to learning through technology. I’m quite sure there will be numerous other platforms following suit, providing you an opportunity to learn more and put your toe in the water.

Most Talent Organizations are in more frequent contact with managers compared to their counterparts. It will be up to us to help our managers learn, embrace and engage in this new environment.

“The past two years have taught us that culture will stand or fall with managers. But many … feel powerless to drive change for their team.”

Work Trends Index authors.

Start Planning

William Geldart sees several things changing through the metaverse, including a more instantaneous and impactful interaction between candidates and recruiters. “As a result, the whole recruitment process becomes far less transactional and dehumanized”, he says. “For example, recruiters typically run cold outreach, network to get referrals, or perhaps deal with inbound or job board applications. At the same time, candidates are applying for roles with companies they only really know at a surface level. Bringing recruiters and candidates closer together within the metaverse opens new avenues to engage. And ultimately this could prove mutually beneficial.”

Now is the time to start planning the impacts on your organization and recruiting function. Let’s face it, your HR department will most likely be the last to adopt this platform so engage with your marketing or sales teams to learn how they intend to use the platform. It’ll be much easier working with them to leverage a talent area of your new virtual talent storefront.

Whether you believe the hype or not, organizations will have to respond to the growing interest in the metaverse in some capacity in the not-too-distant future. I expect those organizations that place a value on the impact talent attraction can have with the metaverse will lead the way in new talent acquisition strategies and change the tide in their quest for top talent. The question is, will you be part of the pioneers in this new world or will you be left behind?

This isn’t a question you can wait too much longer to answer.

See you in the metaverse in the not-too-distant future! ✌️

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