Revolutionising the World of Recruitment Through Blockchain
How the blockchain is empowering candidates.
It feels as though we have all been waiting for the world of recruitment to change in some significant and positive way for decades. Zealous, some would even say fanatical, change agents like me started to believe that fundamentally the industry was so broken, it was beyond repair. We’ve stood by and watched concepts which promised so much be introduced, bastardised and then stumble like drunks into the recruitment abyss of nearly-so technology and solutions.
Ideas such as RPO’s, Master Vendors and On-site Suppliers that came, got distorted and went again as they merely became a monstrous disconnect between the hiring company, the recruiters and ultimately the poor bloody candidates. The creation of Applicant Tracking Systems which promised so much and delivered a plethora of automated transactions that merely served to alienate the recruiters who became subservient to the instant vacancy notification process whilst alienating the applicant/candidate to such an extent that the whole experience broke down.
But at no stage, as far as I know, has anyone truly taken a philanthropic approach to the whole business. Plenty have carped on about how important the candidate experience is, how the process needs to be simplified, made more transparent, more efficient. Some have even mused whimsically about trying to actually make the whole experience of finding a job, slogging through the interview process and actually agreeing a contract, enjoyable!
Seriously, these people rarely if ever beta test their own systems. You only have to go and look at pretty much any major retailer’s job board and see how arduous and mind numbingly awful it is to apply for a part-time (the minimum number of hours possible to avoid being accused of exploiting people with zero hours contract) store assistants’ job in the UK. It’s easier to apply for a place on a degree course at Durham University.
Here comes the Blockchain
So, say hello to the Blockchain revolution. I’m delighted to witness and to be an active supporter and participant in what I believe is the beginning of the end of recruitment 1.0 and to see the advent of a new dawn. A new dawn engineered by the leading minds behind Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). It is indeed a brave new world and one that will significantly favour the candidate, at last. More importantly it will revolutionise the whole recruitment industry as candidates take control of their own data, their own identity and their own destiny in the job application and work assignment process. Recruiters need to sharpen up, smarten up and get on the boat, or they’ll be thrashing around like a cotton picker staring balefully at a cotton-picking machine.
How will the Blockchain (DLT) impact recruitment?
Academic Credential Verification
Thanks to companies like Learning Machine, educational authorities around the world are adopting blockchain solutions to enable students to create personally owned records of their qualifications and educational achievements. For the candidate, this means that wherever they are in the world they will have the power to share authenticated, incorruptible certifications of their academic qualifications.
Natalie Smolenski, Anthropologist and Blockchain Evangelist from Learning Machine, recites a story of the tragic lost resources of displaced people. Often professionals such as accomplished doctors, scientists, accountants and teachers who arrive in new countries and find themselves tragically unable to contribute by taking up employment or even acting as a conduit for their fellow people. Simply because they are unable to verify their qualifications or experience. Blockchain can resolve this appalling waste of experience and talent.
For organisations this will not only save them huge amounts of time in verifying these records, it adds a reassuring layer of security and authenticity. No longer will people with fraudulent educational certificates slip through the net. HR Teams will no longer have to call or write to academic institutes to verify credentials and levels of achievements.
If we consider recent scenarios where literally millions of people find themselves suddenly displaced, such as the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria for example, often these people find themselves without credible ID documentation. The Blockchain has the capacity and is already being utilised in such a way that all of an individual’s identity documentation can be stored securely, accessible anywhere in the world in a fully authenticated manner.
For a globalised workforce, the ability to prove your identity, authenticate your right to work and to even remain in a country will be critical for both the employee and the employer. For a displaced citizen regardless of whether this is a result of environmental disaster, political instability or otherwise, this will enable them to immediately, confidentially and securely prove who they are and what their citizenship rights are.
Career History and References
Often one of the most challenging aspects of hiring a new employee comes at the point of verifying their career history and even the roles they undertook throughout their career and the responsibilities, achievements and qualifications they have acquired during their career. The blockchain has the potential to become a living, almost organic Curriculum Vitae and/or resume that provides indisputable evidence of an individual career and this can include references.
Imagine, no longer having to make those calls to Human Resources at a company the candidate worked at 5 years ago when the company may have been acquired 3 times or have gone into liquidation. Or when there is nobody left within the organisation who even recalls the candidate and how they performed and the reasons they left?
In the UK as in many countries around the world, often the biggest hurdle to securing employment are issues such as criminal records checks. Sometimes this process is antiquated, relies upon cross referencing thousands of disparate records and can takes months. The blockchain if applied correctly could eliminate not just the manpower, the time consuming process and labour, but also the cost. A cost burden which is often incurred by the candidate. This is critical to adding efficiency and urgency to hires in the care, education and law enforcement sector.
Often when people relocate to new countries they have to comply with strict health codes and elements such as inoculation criteria. Currently, due to often draconian privacy legislation which changes from geographical region to region in regards to medical records it can be virtually impossible for an individual to authentically prove their medical data and history. Similarly, when attempting to comply with medical insurance terms and conditions for employer funded benefits, this can prove difficult. The future will enable an individual to take their entire health history, medication data and treatment records securely with them and enable them to share these with authorities and health professionals.
Not only does this protect organisations in terms of compliance and insurance, it can actually save lives. It empowers individuals for example, with existing ailments and conditions to immediately share securely the relevant and necessary data if they become ill or require treatment.
The list is endless. Candidates in the future will have a living and breathing perpetually evolving Total Identity that could include elements above and beyond those mentioned above. These could include new innovations such as video interviews, a history of behavioural and psychometric assessment and testing, voice recognition, ID verification and analysis.
Candidates will also be able to create an easily accessible record of every job application, interview process and outcome. This alone will enable candidates to gradually revolt against having to constantly duplicate applications for the same role with dozens of individual companies. In essence, every application should require the exact same information and documentation and lengthy repetitive processes.
Ultimately, candidates will have the power to release via Authentication Keys precisely the information and date they wish to share when appropriate. They won’t have to share personal confidential information across multiple platforms and businesses and risk the security of their data. The days of sending an email to a recruiter with detailed references who then sends this same data to a prospective hiring manager or HR Person are finished.
We should all embrace these changes, we should all be striving to engage with them and adapt our systems and processes, our online applications and job boards to accommodate these advances today. Tomorrow will be too late. Get on the bus, or get off it, but stop sitting on the fence or burying your head in your hands. This is happening right now and the momentum is picking up speed quickly.
Expecting a candidate to fill in lengthy online forms and convert and upload documents into your portal is already a thing of the past. So, wake up.