Reinventing Employer Branding in the Metaverse
In the space of a few months, the idea of the metaverse has been discussed in an ever growing number of spaces – technology, media, business forum. Investment in related technological projects is on an upward curve and even in the United States a stock market index has emerged known as the Ball Metaverse Index, which brings together the companies that are theoretically most strongly positioned to benefit from this new market which is forecast to reach the figure of 800 billion dollars by 2024 according to Bloomberg.
The fact is that the metaverse, whether it is a fashionable term or not, is already on the list of priorities of CEOs’, who are beginning to rethink their strategic approach and their companies’ future role in this this dizzying technological evolution. How to take advantage of its full business potential? How and when to position themselves? What new possibilities it creates for connecting with talent?
In essence, the metaverse is a gigantic stage on which the physical and digital worlds are combined through a wide variety of immersive experiences using virtual reality, augmented reality, gaming and blockchain technologies. It is so to speak the next evolution of the Internet: a new kind of virtual social network or alternative reality in which, according to Gartner, in 2026 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day to work, shop, train, use social networks or entertain themselves. A universe that will provide companies with new formulas to expand their business and interact with customers and employees in previously unexplored ways.
From a talent perspective, the impact of the metaverse is twofold. On the one hand, it will further strain the demand for technology profiles, a segment in which a mismatch between supply and demand had already been occurring for some time due to a shortage of qualified professionals. This gap has been exacerbated by the pandemic, due to the drive for digitalization and the adoption of hybrid working models in all types of companies and sectors.
On the other hand, from the point of view of recruitment and retention, organizations will be forced to reinvent their employer branding strategies and the way they connect with talent. To attract the attention of the best digital profiles, extraordinary digital experiences will have to be created and this is where the metaverse is emerging as a new enabler, opening up a new world of possibilities with involvement in the entire talent lifecycle, from attraction and recruitment to onboarding, development, retention and exit.
To do this, organizations will need to understand how the various existing platforms, whether centralized – such as Meta, Roblox and Fortnite – or decentralized and open source – such as Decentraland, Somnium Space and The Sandbox – work and what opportunities they offer, as well as the extent to which they enable them to build and enhance their employer brand recognition.
Although the technology is still in its infancy and interoperability between all metaverses is still some way off, several organizations are already taking the leap -at least on an experimental level- into this new environment as it progresses. The metaverse will undoubtedly provide more instant and impactful interaction between candidates and recruiters and open new possibilities for enhancing the employee experience in the workplace.
In employer branding and talent management, as in other areas, there is still a long way to go, but this new virtual world will allow, among other potential uses, to improve the integration of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) at each stage of the candidate and employee journey, boost collaboration, achieve greater scalability in onboarding processes by bringing together thousands of people in the same space or develop more attractive and innovative training experiences.
In short, the metaverse will be another enabler and a new path for organizations to consider as a means of enhancing their employer brand communication strategies, provide differential value and connect and interact with their talent audiences through immersive experiences.
Whether or not it can be classed as a revolution -real or apparent- and regardless of how fashionable or not, what is certain is that everyone is eager to see the possibilities offered by this space. Only time will tell whether we are facing a new technological bubble or a feasible trend. In the meantime, as Gartner recommends, it is time to learn, explore and prepare for the metaverse. As experts in employer branding, at Grayling we are already doing so, working hand in hand with cutting-edge clients on pioneering projects.