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Recruitment in the Metaverse

Posted: 17 Jan 2022

Recruitment in the Metaverse

Demand for IT workers will intensify this year as businesses get ready to compete in the metaverse, predicts Eolas Recruitment.

Eolas Recruitment Managing Director Vincent Flynn says Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR) skills are in strong demand as companies prepare to establish themselves in emerging virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox where people work, play and interact with brands in realtime.

From education and health to the workplace, the so-called ‘metaverse’ is increasingly encroaching on interactions that previously required physical space. And it’s not just the major tech players like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google who are focusing on virtual reality:

“In recruitment, companies already use virtual scenarios for candidate assessment (eg to test problem-solving skills in a game-like environment) and to create virtual worlds at recruitment fairs. We’re also seeing employers begin to use virtual environments for induction, training, collaboration and to facilitate social interaction among teams, particularly teams that are socially distanced or working remotely,” says Vincent.

Immersive experiences

In the metaverse, people can work, play, collaborate, learn, attend virtual events, visit virtual stores, chat to virtual sales assistants and purchase physical and digital goods in realtime. The concept echoes some of the aspirations that were around when Second Life launched back in 2003 but technologies have advanced in the meantime.

What is driving business interest in the metaverse?

Eolas Recruitment Technical Manager Peter Kirby says two factors currently accelerating business interest in the metaverse are the COVID-19 pandemic and Facebook’s recent rebrand as ‘Meta’.

“Firstly, Covid-19 has had a really profound impact on work practices and processes in many organisations. When working from home went mainstream it highlighted the limitations of existing communications technologies. The remote working experience can be lonely and isolating, particularly for new employees. It’s not easy to build meaningful relationships through email or on Skype or Zoom. More than ever before, employees are rethinking what they want in terms of work life balance. That’s contributed to the so-called ‘great resignation’ and it’s a challenge for employers, particularly in competitive sectors like IT. The metaverse can provide a way for businesses to enhance employees’ experiences. That’s important when it comes to recruitment and retention,” says Peter.

The second factor that really stimulated interest in the metaverse was Facebook rebranding as Meta and Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse as a successor to the mobile internet.

“The Meta announcement really caught attention. It prompted brands to consider how they are going to compete in emerging virtual worlds and to plan where and how to establish their presence. You only have to look at this year’s CES where everyone is talking about the metaverse to see the potential — it’s really beginning to capture people’s imagination,” says Peter.

Building the metaverse

Companies like Reality Labs Research in Cork, who are helping to develop the metaverse, say that by “creating a greater sense of ‘virtual presence’ interacting online can become much closer to the experience of interacting in person.”

Already, brands are purchasing virtual real estate. Plots on popular platforms like Decentraland can sell for thousands of dollars. However, while the potential of the metaverse appears limitless, skills will be needed to build the infrastructure to support it.

Opportunities for IT workers

Creativity is a ‘must have’ for brands developing immersive experiences. Currently there is very strong competition for tech talent. Programmers, engineers, games developers, experience designers, artists and people with cryptocurrency skills are all in demand, according to Eolas Recruitment Principal Consultant Stephen Daly.

“For IT workers interested in these opportunities, a good starting point is to check out Eolas Recruitment’s online Job Search. As a specialist in the IT sector, we have strong relationships with employers and can alert you to upcoming roles that match your skills and experience. This is a free service for candidates.”

Impact on people management

For employers, the metaverse will transform functions like hiring, onboarding, induction, training and people management, says Eolas Recruitment Senior Recruiter Nicola Byrne.

“While businesses will need to invest to participate on the emerging platforms, there will also be cost savings because virtual worlds will potentially eliminate travel costs on things like attending interviews, training events and conferences.”

Plan ahead

Interest in the metaverse and virtual worlds is particularly strong in Ireland. Findings of the 2022 Ipsos Global Trends Survey reported in The Irish Times (8 January 2022) highlight that 80% of Irish survey respondents agree with the statement: “Many more people will live their lives in virtual worlds.”

As the metaverse develops, companies facing skills shortages will be able to access a wider talent pool while employees will be able to connect with colleagues in virtual environments that feel much closer to real-life experiences.

Monitoring metaverse developments and planning ahead will be very important for employers this year. Companies need to consider how they can enhance their ability to attract and retain key skills. Proactive employers are already doing this but it is important to be able to separate hype about the metaverse from real opportunities. That’s one of the areas where Eolas Recruitment can help.

“Our recruiters constantly monitor developments that affect our clients and we continuously invest and innovate so that we can deliver the best possible advice. It’s one of the key ways we maintain our leadership position in IT recruitment,” says Vincent.

As to what the metaverse holds for Eolas Recruitment, Vincent says, “We’re excited about the potential to extend our reach and enhance our digital and virtual services. We’ve already designed new avatars for our team which we’ll be using to support those endeavours but it’s our recruiters’ specialist expertise that brings companies and candidates back to Eolas Recruitment time after time. That core value from the physical world is something that we’ll definitely be taking with us wherever our virtual journey leads.”

For further information and/or advice about Eolas Recruitment, please see our informational videos and online reviews or reach out to a member of our team to arrange a chat!

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