Bangalore: A growing number of HR professionals are turning to the so-called metaverse to hire and engage with new and existing employees. This has accelerated with the pandemic forcing companies to work remotely, leading HR managers to deploy the latest technology for employee engagement.
In 2020, shortly before the covid-19 outbreak, global consultancy Accenture created an immersive employee engagement platform called the Nth Floor. Built using Microsoft’s Mesh mixed reality (MR) platform, it allowed Accenture employees to meet for presentations, socialize with each other, and attend training sessions without each other. meet in person.
Microsoft said in a November 2021 blog post that the onboarding process “typically involves gathering cohorts of new hires and senior executives into an office for a series of experiences that help people understand and connect personally with the Accenture culture, to plant the seeds of professional relationships and set them up for success from their first projects”.
Accenture’s immersive platform pioneered new ways of working for HR professionals. Additionally, prompted by covid-induced lockdowns, companies are conducting “Zoom calls” and experimenting with employee engagement in the metaverse using technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the MR.
Virtual reality creates three-dimensional spaces that users can view and interact with using headsets. AR, on the other hand, puts virtual elements like holograms into the real world. Mixed reality, or MR, is a fusion of augmented reality and virtual reality that helps businesses create digital simulations of the real world and enhance those experiences.
Accounting and consultancy firm PwC designed its PwC Virtual Parks in May last year, allowing users to create avatars, walk around the virtual space and participate in events. They can also meet virtually and network with others. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also introduced Horizon Workrooms last year, with which the company aims to bring the entire office experience into the virtual world.
While PwC and Accenture are trying VR and MR for global employee engagement and hiring, Indian companies are jumping on the metaverse bandwagon. Mumbai-based AI-powered skills and hiring platform, Incluzon, for example, seeks to digitize the interview process through metaverse implementations. The company is building a platform it says will allow HR professionals to gauge the interviewee’s body language and confidence levels.
“India is currently in the early stages of adopting the metaverse, especially in HR practices. While the potential is huge, companies considering the transition are investing in research and development and backend process development,” said Naveen Jangir, co-founder of Incluzon.
However, the biggest barrier to deploying metaverse solutions is the availability and cost of the hardware required to deliver meaningful immersive experiences. Incluzon said it is studying the feasibility of making VR headsets available to students in small towns.
According to Neeti Sharma, senior vice president of digital recruiting firm TeamLease Services, the industry could revisit an old concept to overcome this challenge. Around 2009, people used to go to video conferencing centers to attend first-round interviews, before heading to the workplace for pre-interviews. Sharma said she expects “metaverse fairs” to ramp up over the next few months in India, which will support the lack of infrastructure as startups and other businesses strive to mainstream. VR and AR headsets.
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