More and more, we’re experiencing the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) becoming integrated into our daily lives. Chatbots are old news when we consider a space where virtual human technologies now provide entertainment and broadcasting at world events. With this rapid progression, virtual and digital people emit renewed competition for job seekers and an alternative consideration for businesses and recruiters.

Virtual people are a hybrid of animation, AI, sound tech, and machine learning, resulting in digitized “staff” who can interact with the public based on their unique programming. Virtual people projects and their role in businesses are on the rise. This fascinating addition and development in the Metaverse have piqued the interest of recruiters and employers.

The Latest Buzz on Virtual People

China’s pioneers in AI technology have made some impactful additions to the recruitment world. Here’s the latest on virtual people and their increasing presence in the workplace:

  • Beijing plans to grow the municipal virtual people industry to more than 50 billion yuan by 2025.
  • Over 280 000 enterprises in China use services related to digital humans and have a growth rate of nearly 60%.
  • The revenue accrued by digital humans in entertainment is anticipated to reach 175 billion yuan in China by 2023, while the service-orientated virtual staff is expected to exceed 95 billion yuan, according to an industry report released by QbitAI, an industry services platform focusing on AI and cutting-edge technology.

Why is Digital Staffing an Attractive Choice?

For the most part, digital “staff” have a low-drama appeal for employees and advertising agencies. A virtual personality will not encounter negative criticism for their personal actions and scandals. This is beneficial for Chinese brands looking to use virtual people as spokespeople and hosts for their brand events and customer-interactive positions.

Anonymity is another appeal to using virtual staff. A U.S.-based study that used virtual humans to assess mental health patients found that people find it easier to disclose their information when there is anonymity, an attribute that is more easily found when talking to a digital personality.

The costs of virtual personalities are also expected to drop as technology improves. In the past year, Baidu’s virtual people and robotics business has seen costs drop by 80%. Expenses are around $14,300 per year for a three-dimensional virtual person and $3,000 (¥20,000) for a two-dimensional one.

Where are Virtual People Most Used?

China’s cyberspace is becoming densely populated with digital humans, and we will soon see similar merges in other developed countries. Popular spaces that have hired digital employees include:

  • Financial services companies
  • Local tourism boards
  • Broadcasting spaces
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Manufacturing and retail
  • Marketing — social media influencers, mascots, corporate speakers, etc.
  • Entertainment media

From animated to realistic-looking, AI personnel can be used for most interactive simulations. The use of virtual staff will only spread as technology advances.

The Pros of Virtual Hiring

For companies looking to hire virtual people, here are the perks of using a tech company’s virtual creation for you:

  • Reduces burnout and burden on staff
  • 24/7 response time
  • Consistent communication that’s always on-script
  • Product and brand experts
  • Multi-lingual capabilities

Recruiting virtual staff requires an in-depth look at tech companies that offer digital human creation. The brain of a virtual person is then tailored for the job based on product database and knowledge. Virtual humans can also provide face-to-face interaction and communicate based on non-verbal facial cues and voice tones. You get to design your candidate as you please.

Digital humans can provide a helpful layer to the workforce and streamline many positions. Their success is measurable. But at this point, many customers still prefer human interaction over artificial virtual interactions.

The Future of Recruiting – Mind Versus Machine

The shift of working side-by-side with virtual humans may seem intimidating, but recruiters and companies hold the role of deciding when and where these digital humans can serve them. The quality and initial input for well-executed virtual staff members cost companies time, effort, and trial periods. This investment is worth the effort for some roles in a company.

Ultimately, we can imagine and expect a future where we see digital people paralleled with humans. Staffing a business requires keeping your finger on the pulse of tech advancements and finding creative ways to source candidates. Look at what your competitors are doing, assess your goals, and determine whether a virtual person may have a future in your company or the business you’re staffing.

Jenna-lea Kelland

Jenna-lea is a freelance content editor, writer, and master multi-tasker based in the wonderful city of Cape Town. She has written about various topics, both in print and online. When the laptop shuts, she enjoys dips in the ocean, thrilling novels, or exploring the coastal towns and foodie hubs with her family.