Blockchain it’s up there in the futurists buzzword list; alongside Crypto and the Internet of Things. It’s a word synonymous with the changing landscape of markets and an evolutionary step in technology.
During this year’s retreat, while at one of our breakout sessions with Johnny Campbell of Social Talent. The packed room was brimming with recruitment leaders, experts and thought-leaders, they were tasked with collaboratively coming up with innovative business ideas in transforming the staffing industry.
It was one group that really stuck with me. They came up with a fascinating idea which utilised blockchain and remote working to create a platform which securely matched jobs and gave the industry an interesting shake up. Since then I’ve been thinking about blockchain and the impact it will have on the recruitment industry as a whole.
If you’ve read any of my other articles I love to take a few steps into the future and see what we may be expecting in the next few years and how it’ll fundamentally effect our jobs. From the Internet of Things, Chatbots and Trends.
In this article I’ll be looking at what on earth blockchain actually is and how it may affect the industry in the coming years.
What is blockchain?
The concept of blockchain itself isn’t necessarily a new thing. It was initially conceptualised in 1991 by a group of researchers, intended to timestamp documents.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger open to anyone.
Once data has been recorded inside a blockchain, it becomes impossible to change it.
A ‘Block’ in the block chain will generally store 3 bits of information:
1 – The data recorded
2 – A hash (A unique fingerprint)
3 – The hash of a previous block
If we were to look at bitcoin for an example the ‘data’ would be the amount of currency, who sent the money and who receives the money. This will make up the ‘Block’ of the block chain.
What adds to the privacy and impregnability of the blockchain is those ‘Hashes’ which I mentioned earlier. The block stores a unique code acting a fingerprint, which will change if the block is edited. The block then also stores the fingerprint of the block in the series before it, creating a chain of interconnected hashes. So, if someone was to try and edit a block maliciously and change the ‘Hash’ then the block in front of storing the previous hash would not allow that change, as it’d break the chain.
Couple this with a ‘VPN’ which means all the blocks are shared via a peer-to-peer network of interconnected computers, meaning the chain is managed between a vast group of computers, with anyone being able to join. Which means that every computer must agree on the structure of the chain for it to be, this is called ‘Consensus’. So, a new block added would be verified between all computers in the chain and any malicious changes to the chain would not be allowed, as it’d differ to the rest of the computers connected to the chain.
So, as you can see blockchain provides an extremely secure way to share and input important data
How could blockchain effect recruitment?
Blockchain is continually growing and more and more companies are heavily investing and figuring out ways to implement it into their strategies and offering, including many job boards. Below are some of the ways I see Blockchain and Crypto affecting the industry in the future.
Blockchain in the educational system will make verifying records on a CV instantly verifiable.
Many universities and educational institutions are starting to implement blockchain into their student records. Imagine an incorruptible account of the candidates previous scores and grades. This kind of thing is quickly becoming a reality and creates a system in which employers and recruiters can query that name and receive a quick 100% verifiable list of their educational history.
This will not only save time on the behalf of the recruiter and employer, thus making a process even quicker, but it solidifies a trust in the CV of the candidate.
Job experiences and references can be stored in a ledger which will be 100% accurate.
Just like the educational blueprint, imagine a blockchain holding a growing ledger of a candidate’s previous employment history, like LinkedIn but backed by un-editable trustworthy facts.
From previous employment, the candidate’s experiences, successes and failure could all be stored, alongside previous employers’ recommendations. Helping not only the recruiter place the perfect candidate for the role but significantly reducing the process for the client.
Centralised CV templates between job boards can speed the hiring process.
Imagine one centralised template for the CV, not formatting or editing required. This CV is 100% verified, incorruptible, GDPR compliant and you’re able to post it to as many job boards as you desire in mere seconds. This will transform the process for placing a candidate in a role and open up some exciting possibilities to the future.
Some speculate this may end the role of a recruiter as it speed up the process, but personally we feel that the need to match the right candidate with the right job is still fundamentally a skill of the consultant.
Offering ‘Crypto’ as a reward for staff as a talent attraction strategy.
As crypto slowly becomes a more accepted way of transactions, it starts to become an interesting prospect to attract more tech savvy talented individuals. Not only for your clients in their employer branding, but yourself as a recruitment agency. Do you date to join some of the companies daring to offer Cryptocurrency as a signing bonus to your new employees, something different like this may set you aside from your less ‘informed’ competitors.
Crypto, let alone Blockchain is still in it’s infancy and even the biggest job boards in the world have not found the right ‘Solution’ to use it yet, perhaps they never will. There’s a lot of buzz in the tech and finance world around the influence blockchain will have on Industry’s, but predictions and optimism can sometimes loose to mere lack of adoption and scepticism by the wider market. But, I will watch the news feeds carefully to see which next big industry adopts the very attractive prospect of a blockchain infrastructure and I suggest you do too.