Blockchain: what it might mean for recruitment?
Posted on 30th August 2018
In my last blog I attempted to explain what blockchain is and how it works. This time, I’m going to consider its possible impact on business, the economy and, ultimately, recruitment.
Before I started digging into the subject, I thought that blockchain was just that thing that “powered” bitcoin. However, I soon found out that by offering a very secure digital environment for transactions and information, blockchain can be used in more or less any area of business.
For example, the Estonian government is working with the private sector to create a blockchain that stores public records (something where an enhanced degree of security would make admirable sense!). Then there is OpenBazaar, an online market without middlemen and payments in cryptocurrency. Kodak, a company that has seen digital technology devastate its previous markets, is now exploring the use of blockchain to track international IP rights and thus ensure photographers are paid what they are due.
It’s also being used in marine insurance, while IBM, Walmart and various food companies have been collaborating on a project to improve food safety worldwide. Finally, in an area where it might really become well known, blockchain use could be a means of safeguarding the environment, while former Guns N Roses drummer Matt Sorum is seeking to use the technology to allow artists to sell their music directly to their fans without the need for the traditional (rip-off!) intermediaries of banks and band managers.
This removal of the middleman and the creation of direct links between those selling a service and their customers is seen as one of the areas with most potential for blockchain and clearly, process and project-based work are amongst the more obvious areas where it can have an impact. There is no reason why this should not include recruitment. In the July edition of industry mag, The Recruiter, there was an article noting that there is already a software company “integrating its peer-to-peer review platform with blockchain for roll-out next year.”
Recruitment lends itself to blockchain, because every bit of data that is involved in someone moving job can be held in one place, with all the relevant parties having secure access. I’m not sure what this means for all those (expensive) bits of software that are currently used by the majority of big companies’ recruitment teams (all those ATS and candidate management/attraction kits), but I can certainly see how blockchain would allow all parties – employer, candidates, government agencies and recruitment agencies to all be part of a seamless process as and when required. Of course, it may also have an impact on us recruiters. We are middlemen too and some of us might have to re-skill, but, like AI, blockchain should be seen as an opportunity for the recruitment industry, not a threat. In the long term, as the CIPD’s recent research demonstrates, the vast majority of candidates want human beings involved as they move to a new job. That’s not to be complacent, but just to note that, no matter how much technology impacts on any industry, ultimately it’s human beings that should be in control of the tech and not vice versa.
Gareth Biggerstaff, CEO, Be-IT
Posted in News, Recruitment News
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