Metaverse is a convergence of two ideas that have been around for many years – VR (Virtual Reality) and Digital Second Life. As a technology, Metaverse is already exhibiting a monumental impact on sectors like gaming, EdTech, fitness, amongst others. Needless to say, it is a rapidly-growing investment ground for global tech giants like Facebook (or Meta), Microsoft, and Apple. Right now it’s a bit of chicken and egg because people are excited that the tech giants are excited, and tech giants are excited that the market is keen. But is the euphoria real?
Keeping all the hoopla about Metaverse aside, it’s certain that Web 3.0, is set to have a massive impact on almost all the sectors including Human Resources. Though employees are becoming accustomed to work from home, the fact is that a majority of them still miss the real-life interactions they used to have with their colleagues. The water cooler conversations are sorely missed.
A recent report published by Gartner forecasts that 1 in 4 people is expected to spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and entertainment by 2026.Though Metaverse might not replicate the real-life environment, it is sure to create a new world of communication and interaction that employees would cherish. Just imagine an employee team meeting held in the Metaverse where all of the attendees are seen in different avatars -it will drive much more engagement since the entire experience will be much more immersive.
HR teams looking to capitalize on the Metaverse wave should first provide an engaged employee experience with the technology. Though there might be a learning curve to get acquainted with Metaverse, the learnings will help build a more humane organization. Water cooler gossip will finally make a comeback to hybrid workplaces with Metaverse. Metaverse will undoubtedly lead to a more collaborative environment where employees can engage, bond, and collaborate over a cup of virtual coffee. But it’s advisable to start small, experiment and scale.
Another area where HR can leverage Metaverse is employee onboarding. All of us would admit that employee onboarding over Zoom or GMeet calls is not an exciting experience. Also, there is no going back (as of now) to the old style of employee onboarding process. Metaverse can be an intuitive solution where employee onboarding and engagement will be more connected and fun.
Recruiting (or hiring) has always been one of the areas of concern for HR teams. Finding candidates that are technically and culturally fit is another issue! Metaverse might help solve this lingering problem for HR teams to a large extent. Imagine an interview simulation without a computer/mobile screen where recruiter avatars can directly interact with those of their candidates. The ability to feel each other’s presence will mutually benefit both. Recruiters will be able to conduct hiccup-free tests on the spot while the candidates will showcase their skills in a more seamless manner.
Training sessions have undergone a major transformation in the wake of the pandemic. What used to be on ground face-to-face engagements have turned into a, more or less, one-way communication where candidates are often passive recipients.It will be extremely useful to have a lifelike virtual space where employers and trainers will be able to not just speak but show their new hires everything they need to know while hopping on board an organization.
Coming to terms with this sci-fi-like technology is still taking people some time. Picking the real deal from run of the mill 3D platforms may sound brain-wracking to many. Therefore, awareness on Metaverse is crucial at this point as it’s just around the corner. Educating people on what doesn’t entail Web 3.0 is equally important.
While there is no doubting the potential of the technology, right now we are at a nascent stage of its lifecycle. As we move towards broader adoption, we will continue to see more opportunities and challenges. The technology has significant potential for creating a more engaging and collaborative hybrid workplace!
President – Americas