TD turns to metaverse for intern program

Bank looking to provide 'great experience' and the 'unexpected,' says VP of global talent acquisition

TD turns to metaverse for intern program

Multinational TD Bank Group is banking on the metaverse and virtual reality in hopes of attracting more young talent.

Recently, the company launched an immersive and collaborative TD Co-op/Intern VR pilot for early talent groups in the metaverse. 

“Our goal ultimately is that the student becomes our employee, that's really important. This is one way of appealing to the demographic of the student, [providing] the expected and the unexpected,” said Irene Santos, vice president, global talent acquisition, TD Bank, in talking with HRD.

“They're joining a bank, and maybe not expecting that they're going to… participate in the metaverse.”

Several companies have started using the metaverse to onboard workers.

Metaverse pilot program

Under the TD Bank program, 100 interns – primarily from the Platforms & Technology and Digital & Innovation teams – are taking part in the program that runs from January to April 2023. The pilot will include:

  • professional training focused on how to work within virtual reality
  • monthly networking sessions in the TD virtual world within the metaverse to get to know each other and leaders at the bank
  • a live leadership panel discussion with leaders from across the bank to learn more about different areas of the bank, as well as their career journeys and advice
  • an innovation challenge where participants have 60 days to work with their mentor and group to produce an innovative solution, which could be implemented at the bank
  • A lunch & learn on the “Future of Money”

This is a change from the way TD traditionally did things.

“We've always done a leadership series — have always had leaders that come and talk to our students, tell them about their career journey, what they do at TD, how they got there, some tips — but we're going to actually bring these leaders into the metaverse with the students and give an opportunity for them to do the same type of session, but then open it up into a networking session within the metaverse. So [we’re] really excited about that. [And] I know our leaders are a little nervous and very excited as well,” said Santos.

“This is just to really demonstrate how innovative TD is,” said Santos. “TD is always looking to be creative, to evolve, to look into different ways of doing things. And we give them a lot of that information within our programs, our internships. But this is one way of actually experiencing an example as opposed to just seeing and hearing about all the things that we do.”

Talent and development will rely more and more on digitization, according to Josh Berson, founder and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company.

Overall, 100 spots are open for the pilot. But TD is already seeing success attracting Gen Z students early on.

“We know that Gen Z is looking for unique experiences, so we think it's the right target audience… It's definitely appealing to them,” said Santos. 

“They're excited about it… we already got the engagement that we were hoping for. Now we want to make sure that we're going to give them this great experience until April that will draw them into coming back to us at TD, permanently.”

Data from Gartner suggests that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse.

More TD-metaverse?

With the pilot, TD is also considering the possibility of adopting more of the metaverse into other things that they do, said Santos.

“It's also a great opportunity for us to learn not only in terms of how we continue to use it with a group like this, but how do we extend it to other groups? We've got very dispersed geographies both in Canada and the U.S. so bringing colleagues together across both geographies into one environment and having them collaborate with peers [when] they normally wouldn't have that opportunity – I think this will be a great test for that. 

“Could we use it for training in the future? [We’re] really excited about testing it as well.”

Here’s the metaverse’s current challenge: people are still figuring out its definition, its potential, what's hype and what's not, said Angus Stevens, CEO and co-founder of Start Beyond.

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