The digital world sits on the cusp of a fully realised Web 3.0. But what does this mean for the humble job seeker, and how will decentralisation in all its new and novel forms change the simple act of connecting with an employer, or finding talent during a candidate shortage?
For months, if not years, much of the commentary around recruitment futurism has been focused, quite rightly, on how emerging industries will handle – and compete with – a paucity of talent.
Candidate shortages have extended into virtually every industry and this trend of talent battling shows no sign of slowing down. This is not for want of employers and governments trying. From retailers upping their logistics pay bandings to novel benefit systems, incentive-rich referral systems and more, many solutions have been levelled at domestic workforces to little effect.
The spectre of decentralisation.
In the last couple of years conceptual ideas of how decentralisation – typified most popularly through blockchain and cryptocurrency – will change the world have rapidly erupted into massive real-life implementation.
Since the advent of public blockchains, everything from money management to stock trading, investment to tech product development has been thrown at the blockchain and blockchain development. And, while much recent press coverage has been far from complimentary about the long-term security and viability of cryptocurrency, the future, it seems, is still very much decentralised.
So how will the blockchain – and conceptual understandings of what decentralisation means to work, careers and personal skills growth – affect recruitment in the coming few years?
What is the blockchain?
“A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger that is shared among the nodes of a computer network…The innovation with a blockchain is that it guarantees the fidelity and security of a record of data and generates trust without the need for a trusted third party”.
“One key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is how the data is structured…A database usually structures its data into tables, whereas a blockchain, as its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are strung together. This data structure inherently makes an irreversible timeline of data when implemented in a decentralised nature. When a block is filled, it is set in stone and becomes a part of this timeline”.
Blockchain technology is actually a bit of a misnomer – the theory of decentralised network storage and data ownership is called distributed ledger technology. Blockchain is one version of a DLT, but its name is used synonymously with the entire concept of DLT.
In short, a blockchain or DLT is a secure method of information storage and access, unique to the owner, author or buyer, that is completely secure, guaranteed between nodes of a network, and visible to all (if it’s public). Blockchains underpin the basis of cryptocurrency and NFTs, but the future will see blockchain tech integrated almost everywhere.
Who currently uses blockchain technology?
Almost everyone, even if it’s not being used in distinctly “customer” focused business areas.
“81 of the top 100 companies use blockchain technology, Blockdata research shows”.
In no particular order, according to Insider Intelligence, the following industries currently already use blockchain technology:
- Banking and Finance
- Regulatory Compliance and Audit
- Supply Chain Management
- Real Estate
- Record Management
- Identity Records
- Big Data and Data Storage
So how will blockchain affect recruitment?
Consider the list above. How many of those industries have processes and methodologies that complement the recruitment industry? Think about safe data storage, GDPR, document access, assessments, and due diligence. Almost every industry above utilises these sorts of processes.
How many of those industries already use blockchain tech as part of their recruitment processing? Quite a fair few, we hasten to guess.
Here is a snapshot of where blockchain is predicted to make the biggest impact on recruitment practice and strategy:
- “Namely, with the level of security blockchain provides its users, it can be relied upon for maintaining the integrity of data, such as employment background or academic credentials”.
- Recruitment records, applications and/or personal data – or an entire resume – can be locked into a blockchain. In effect, qualifications and certifications – immutable signs of skills and qualifications – can be “authorised” by qualifying bodies and put into the blockchain for indelible proof a candidate has the qualifications they say they do.
The rise of smart contracts.
- “Smart contracts are created from any automated action that is initiated on the blockchain after certain criteria are met. You put something in, you get something out. This means transactions and workflows can be automatic, reducing the need for human input”.
- Blockchain tech takes simple automotive or AI-based tasks and supercharges them, creating seamless data transference between candidate and recruitment or employer. Form filling and admin tasks are quicker, easier, equally protected, and even more secure.
Feedback and assessments.
- “A typical worker in the technology sector receives upwards of 50 unwanted approaches weekly through popular recruitment platforms. There is also frustration around the repetition of tests and assessments”.
- When the burden of recruitment testing, feedback and assessments is genuinely putting off huge swathes of talent from applying to jobs or continuing on a recruitment journey, blockchain tech can store and impart information securely, immediately, on a candidate’s skills and skills development journey, not to mention it gives employers a chance to cut the admin heavy workloads of prescreening and testing down.
Background Checks and Identity Verification.
- “In the future, a candidate could have all of their personal information – prior addresses, previous employers, past compensation data, certifications, degrees, transcripts, Social Security number, visa status – pre-validated and stored on a secure blockchain application”.
- The blockchain represents a sort of CV 2.0 – a space in which to securely store vital – and sensitive – hiring information, that would be owned entirely by the candidate.
A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.
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