What’s your Talent Strategy in the Metaverse?   

by Pranav Ramesh
September 01, 2022

As if COVID and the Great Attrition are not enough to deal with, are you prepared for a radical change in the Internet? There’s a label for this transformation. It’s called the Metaverse.   

What is the metaverse’s long-term impact on business transformation and talent strategy? Is it a true game-changer? The truth is we won’t know for sure until users are at critical mass and embedded in the enterprise, but if you are an employer, planning your tech investments and talent strategy to stay ahead of this trend is a wise move. Because:   

  1. Growth is becoming more elusive for large companies.   
  2. Great talent in this sector is scarce.   
  3. Companies are investing in digital transformation and implementing workplace policies centered on remote work collaboration, virtual attendance, and assistance through augmentation.   

 Moreover, the metaverse is not just a set of technologies but a mindset on how the digital and physical worlds interrelate.  

This means identifying—or developing—the best talent pool, making the right moves for long-term value creation, and operationalizing the business model for growth will be a strategic exercise. Your talent strategy cannot be an afterthought.  

  

Understanding the Metaverse

The Metaverse is admittedly an odd-sounding term for companies to take seriously. First introduced as a sci-fi concept in Neil Stevenson’s 1982 novel Snow Crash, today’s vision of the metaverse is an optimistic, business-forward, idea. A “…continuum of digitally enhanced worlds, realities, and business models”, as Accenture defines it.   

In fact, we are already experiencing a continuum where our physical world is almost entirely dependent on the cyber world. A power outage or cyber-attack could prevent you from accessing bank accounts, buying food, or filling your car with gas. A hacker can wreak havoc on your most sensitive data and sell your identity to the highest bidder. The physical world no longer functions without cyber.   

The metaverse is expected to blur the lines further but whether it becomes the new form factor of the Internet as we know it, or a niche extended reality experience is beside the point. Most of the current online infrastructure is still highly centralized and vulnerable compared to new technologies now available to developers. Security is one of the core drivers, and we are hearing more about verifiable credentials and DIDs (decentralized identifiers) being a requirement for a user-controlled, privacy-protecting, self-sovereign solution for digital identity but metaverse technology is also shaping the ambitions of the world’s leading brands.  

  

What is Web3?

The term “Web3” was coined by Gavin Woods, Ethereum’s Co-founder. Web3 involves a sandbox of enabling new technologies that also make up the tech stack and building blocks of the brave new metaverse.   

Many experts believe Web3 is a fundamental rework of the internet and the gateway to a future decentralized world. Emerging from blockchain technology (which is what metaverse projects are currently built on) Web3 promises a more democratized, native form of value exchange on the web.   

Where Web3 and the metaverse intersect is in answering the question of ownership. By disrupting traditional models of ownership, banking, and finance, Web3 innovations make it possible to give control to content creators rather than platform owners, within the metaverse. Distributed finance or “DeFi” is just one example of how this technology potentially disrupts traditional business models in banking and finance. To put it simply, metaverse tech can help us build a virtual world and Web3 tech can help us keep it democratic.  

 

How will we use Web3?

The most vocal practitioners, including crypto enthusiasts, designers, and blockchain builders, anticipate that Web3 will reorganize the world of business and commerce. So much so, that in the rush to enter the “multi-trillion dollar” opportunity, over 34,000 developers committed code to Web3 projects last year, with an average of 18,000 monthly active developers contributing to thousands of opensource services running on blockchains like the Ethereum Network.   

People are already using cryptocurrencies to create and sell purely digital goods like NFTs. NFT’s can be owned, created, and sponsored by individuals and brands in the form of collectibles, rewards, and for such things as access to gated content or member experiences.  

Avatars (a hybrid form of digital identity) will be used to access specific services, and hang out in community-based digital places. Holograms, virtual and augmented reality will become common modes of interaction for engagement and customer service. Imagine being immersed in geospatial 3D worlds (fanciful renditions of new inter-galactic worlds, as well as digitally enhanced twin(s) of the physical world known as Earth). There could be deep visibility into entire supply chains, the inner workings of a city, and possibly a massive, interactive digital visualization of the global economy.   

At the minimum, we will meet in extended reality workplaces (e.g., think Microsoft Teams on steroids) for extended periods, and in digital goods markets that never existed before to trade the next-generation NFTs.   

 

What skills will you need?

As a business looking to leverage this new tech enterprise, you need to start looking beyond current competencies to fill roles that will quickly become central to a metaverse-based business model. Thinking about what practice area relates to your strengths and what value you contribute to the business, exploring applied uses, and investing in hands-on knowledge could make a positive difference in your career prospects. Choosing the right technology recruiter and placement agency is also important once you are ready to make a move.   

A candidate’s understanding of the full scope of Web3 technologies, from tokens and digital assets to DAOs, and how a brand can use them to connect with its customers, collaborators, and creative partners will be a basic requirement.   

Ana Andjelic, a strategy executive and author of The Business of Aspiration has articulated four key skillset pillars—technology; brand and business; creative; culture and consumer—that organizations will need to make the best of this new tech.  

Technology

  • Have an informed approach to Web3 and metaverse innovation based on experience in moving brands forward through the deployment of cutting-edge gaming and digital asset production technologies  
  • An understanding of smart contracts and Web3/blockchain languages like JavaScript objects, Solidity, and Obsidian.  
  • Experienced in using, issuing, and deploying cryptocurrencies; understands token protocols, exchanges, swaps, and marketplace infrastructure.   
  • Well-versed in Java and Python  

Brand and business

  • The ability to translate research into creative ideas that can be applied to physical and virtual reality.
  • Understand, set, and achieve business targets through tokens, skins, virtual real estate, and digital assets.  

Creative

  • Understand who your audience is in the metaverse, what the metaverse is enabling, and how to apply that to their brand’s creative engagement. Use cases, models, and campaign ideas need to resonate with the target audience. 
  • Execute a brand’s promise creatively and apply methods native to Web3 to express unique brand identity.  
  • Stay true to the brand’s core values while creating an immutable presence within the metaverse.  

Culture and consumer

  • Identify your metaverse audience’s key needs, and engagement metrics, and build a hierarchy of the most influential tools like tokens, access, rewards, currency, play-to-earn, avatars, skins, physical-digital integration, DAOs, etc.  

  

Conclusion

The coming era of digital transformation offers richer possibilities for human interaction and commerce. Technology leaders have never been as busy as in the last two years and the Great Attrition (or Great Resignation depending on perspective) has made the situation more complex. Increasingly more Americans have begun to identify as digital nomads, i.e. those who combine remote work with frequent travel, with the number doubling from 7 million in 2019 to 15 million in 2021.    

Companies of all sizes need to think about how Web3 technologies potentially disrupt their business models and how to create new products and experiences for customers, employees, and stakeholders.  

 

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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has partnered with some of the biggest Fortune brands to offer excellence of service and best-in-class team building for the last 25 years.

PTP’s diverse and global team of recruiting, consulting, and project development experts specialize in a variety of IT competencies which include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Science
  • AI/ML
  • Salesforce Optimization
  • VR/AR

Peterson Technology Partners is an equal opportunities employer. As an industry leader in IT consulting and recruitment, specializing in diversity hiring, we aim to help our clients build equitable workplaces.

26+ Years in IT Placements & Staffing Solutions

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