More On: metaserve
I was a little skeptical when I was asked to spend three hours in a virtual conference hall on top of a mythical mountain range, attending a metaverse job fair.
- It was a job fair for Y-combinator-backed startups held by the recruitment firm, Hirect.
- There was a lobby, an exhibitor's hall, and an auditorium, which people could walk freely between, and they could go anywhere.
- The technology was hard to use, but it was easy to meet people and get in touch with them.
Since Meta, a company that used to be called Facebook, came up with the idea of the Metaverse, it has been touted as the future of everything from concerts to meetings to recruitment.
Recruitment has always been about making personal connections, so I wanted to find out if this could be done in a virtual setting as well. I was surprised by how good it was.
The event, Hired in the Metaverse: The New Frontier of Recruiting, was organized by the Hirect app and Venu, a tech company that made the website for the event.
It was possible for people to go to the event in virtual reality by wearing an Oculus Quest 2 headset that Hirect sent out to people in the US who were interested in working there. They could also use their web browser to get in on it. In the end, I didn't have enough time to set up my quest, so I went to see the show instead.
Awe-inspiring was the event space.
Attendees were greeted by a receptionist in the foyer after registering. Thank goodness the hall wasn't located at the top of a mountain.
The event hall was designed by Hirect in collaboration with the tech start-up Venu.
The exhibitor's area was accessible by a stairwell, and attendees were free to move about the hall and theater as they pleased.
I initially found the avatars to be a little frightening and impersonal.
Most of them were dressed similarly, with no further facial or body language indications beyond the movement of their mouths.
If you're wanting to make a good first impression on a potential employer, don't let your avatar sit down at random.
I used the direction arrows on my keyboard to control my avatar. Early video games were fun to play.
Unlike virtual reality, I couldn't postulate with my hands, yet I still had the impression of being present at a gathering.
As of this writing, there were 30 startup recruiters and 200 guests at the event.
Live presentations in the auditorium dominated the first half of the fair. During panel discussions or Q&A sessions, guests appeared on stage in avatar form.
In order to ask a question, you had to stand in a line at the side of the platform while the audience was muffled. With the number one on the keyboard, you may clap.
Like in-person events but with a peculiar format. If it had been a Zoom presentation, it would have worked better.
When I was in the auditorium, it was impossible for me to connect with other attendees, therefore I didn't feel like I was getting anything out of the event.
My Insider coworker Rachel DuRose, who was watching the event from the United States, was waiting for me outside of the theater when I departed.
If you weren't looking at the other person at the correct angle, you couldn't hear what they were saying.
However, you could have a meaningful discussion once you nailed the lingo. As the event progressed, it became more and more natural.
Employer booths were interactive throughout the exhibit hall.
When you got close enough, a video began to play. You could send an email to the recruiter or visit the company's website using the clickable links. In the exhibit hall, you could approach anyone and start a conversation like you normally would.
Meeting new people was a breeze after I got the hang of the technology. The fact that their login and email address were prominently displayed made it easy for them to log in.
You might send them a note by clicking straight on their email address.
I found it to be a pleasant surprise.
Overall, I believe the metaverse might be a useful recruiting tool in some situations.
For companies and people looking for remote, high-tech jobs, Hirect's event was ideal. It was easy to meet new individuals, with the exception of a few awkward encounters.
In terms of other industries and in-person roles, it's hard to determine if it would work as well.
I'm sure the novelty factor played a huge influence in my enjoyment of it.
For the first time in my life, I was confronted with something so unusual. Some, like Hirect, believe it might become the norm for recruiting, and I can see it soon becoming tedious and uninteresting if that were to become the case.
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