I am always on the lookout for new technologies that will help to transform the Recruiting industry. Back in the 90’s, it was Monster and CareerBuilder. LinkedIn started in 2004 and has help to usher in a new platform that changes the way recruiting is conducted. What future technologies will help transform what is a very fragmented industry? From what I can see, Blockchain offers an even greater ability to transform and streamline not only recruiting, but the entire HR process as well.
What is Blockchain? According to Wikipedia, a blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.
The main area in recruiting that will be aided by blockchain technology is in the verification of candidate’s resumes (or CVs) including the verification of work history plus educational schooling and training. Currently, the process is very time consuming for companies to do references checks as well as potentially contact universities to verify a degree. If companies don’t do the work themselves, they generally outsource to a firm that does background checks-an added recruiting cost. Blockchain technology will cut out the middlemen, eliminate costs, but most importantly, will add verified trust to a system that is somewhat lacking in verification.
While blockchain use in the recruiting industry is in the very, very early implementation stages, my research have uncovered three companies that seem to have a jumpstart in the market:
APPII-The APPII platform allows individuals to create dynamic career profiles which are verified using blockchain technology. These ‘Intelligent Profiles’ represent the first time in the global recruitment industry that candidates can use blockchain technology to verify qualifications, career history, and other career achievements.
For recruiters, this collaboration not only provides the reassurance that all information on a candidates’ application is accurate, but also significantly reduces the cost and time to hire – a major benefit to employers, particularly in the public sector and financial services, where extensive personal background checks take place.
For candidates, the blockchain-based Intelligent Profiles act as an assurance that they will be measured on their achievements, rather than the format of their CV.
Individuals can add their education, professional training, and work experience to their Intelligent Profile, and use QR codes to record continuing professional development and course attendance. Every assertion added to the platform can be verified by the relevant institution or employer and stored securely and permanently, completely free of charge.
The platform uses biometric identification to ensure the validity of candidates. Going far beyond basic identity verification, APPII’s technology uses biometric scanning to compare a selfie taken on its mobile application with official photographic identification.
Vertalo-Vertalo is, at its most basic level, an incentive-driven platform that enables the verification of work and academic history. They will be rolling out many applications to enhance this basic function of the network. The end goal with Vertalo is to provide a way for people to leverage their work experience (because it is authenticated in the blockchain) to gain access to more opportunities, for employment, for education and more.
With Vertalo, individuals will have authentication of their credentials and work stints, whereas organizations will have a holistic census of verified freelancers, contractors, employees and future employees and individuals.
By joining Vertalo’s network, individuals will be able to prove their histories to a hiring company, a background checker, or a credit bureau, based on certification of their history by employers or universities. Organizations on the other hand will be able to produce a census of all their associates without reliance on siloed HR platforms, and all parties will be able to provide neutral and passive references via standardized certifications.
HireMatch-HireMatch.io is a Decentralized Application (DApp) that will eliminate the friction and costs of third party intermediaries like expensive recruiters, when firms are searching for talent. HireMatch will reduce the cost to find, interview and acquire new employees by removing unnecessary friction and creating a more efficient marketplace.
I am sure that there are other companies in the marketplace who are working on and rolling out disruptive blockchain technology that will help transform the recruiting industry in the very near future. It should be very interesting to see what the recruiting market looks like in the next 2-5 years.