Bitcoins, crypto and blockchain. Oh, my! 😱
Every industry from finance to real estate and yes, HR, is wondering how the heck this blockchain stuff will shake things up. That is, assuming they're clear on what the heck blockchain even is.
We're here to help you wade through the complex definitions and tech jargon to figure out how recruiters will be affected by blockchain on a practical level.
If you've heard of blockchain before, it’s probably in the context of the emergence of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But that's only part of the story.
Essentially, blockchain is a digital record-keeping system that can provide a safe technological infrastructure for any number of products and services across multiple sectors. Blockchain expert Jeremy Epstein suggests thinking of blockchain like this, “Just like email is an application that uses the internet, bitcoin is the most famous application that uses blockchain.”
Today our data is stored in central servers and databases. Each and every time we buy something online or login to our social media Amazon is storing that info in their central database and Facebook does the same. But having all that info in one place is dangerous. (It's the proverbial golden goose for hackers.)
Blockchain is a decentralized technology that gives users control over all their personal data via a sort of ledger, where everything is updated in real time. It's pretty nifty stuff.
But blockchain technology is still very new and while we don't know exactly how it will play out, there are a few clear and compelling predictions about its impact on recruitment and hiring.
A decade ago you would have expected a professional candidate to have a degree and maybe just two or three past employers.
Today, 91% of millennials said they expected to stay in their job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace survey, Multiple Generations @ Work. This means the average millennial worker will have around twenty different jobs over the course of their career.
Even though our lives have changed, the verification process hasn't caught up. Referral and background checks are time consuming, costly and cumbersome for both recruiter and candidate.
With blockchain technology, all the information entered is automatically verified. No more calls to past bosses. No more wondering if someone's educational background is really what they say it is. All the info is true and accurate.
After a candidate posts their resume, they lose all control over it. Not anymore.
Not only will job boards change, or even go extinct (more on that in our free guide!), with blockchain, candidates will have full control over their personal info via centralized resume databases that are updated in real-time with every new skill or certification.
Candidates will be able to instantly update their credentials via a blockchain-backed cryptographic profile, which gets automatically updated over the course of their career. They could even go out, learn a new skill and automatically boost their chances of scoring a position.
Despite the clear benefits of blockchain technology for recruitment and hiring, there are still some big questions to grapple with.
How will lower-level candidates interact with blockchain? Some job seekers may be less likely to have a job history that can readily show future employers their value. Will these applicants be at a greater disadvantage than they already are?
How will blockchain technology ensure all candidates are treated fairly? How will it add to or eliminate bias in the recruitment process. And as with all shiny new tech, there are still some very real privacy issues to contend with.
Experts are calling blockchain the biggest thing since the arrival of the internet. And with claims like that, it's easy to be skeptical.
But, let’s not forget people once dismissed the internet as a one-hit wonder and look where we are now.
Want a deeper dive? Download our free ebook Blockchain Recruiting 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Future of Hiring!