90% of African CEOs are concerned about the availability of talent. Organizations are now, more than ever, looking for a much wider range of skills. Moreover, finding the right candidates for the right position and hoping they stay and have a good ROI is a painstaking endeavour. As a cross-industry disruptor, Blockchain has the potential to reshape the HR technology landscape and especially address these challenges in talent identification, recruitment and retention. What is Blockchain? The blockchain is a type of decentralised database (also referred as distributed ledger) that keeps records of digital transactions. Rather than having a central administrator like a traditional database, a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, synchronised via the internet and visible to anyone within the network. « The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation — powered by blockchain technology — is bringing us the Internet of value: a new platform to reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.» Don Tapscott This new upcoming technology enables us to solve some hard challenges in HR departments. Here are 10 reasons why: RECRUITMENT
- As some educational institutions are now beginning to issue their graduates certificates on the blockchain, companies can more easily check the validity of such academic credentials. This allows to build an higher trust on the verification of certificates and graduation claims of applicants.
- The explosion of free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) enables anyone with access to the Internet, to learn anything they set their minds on. Young African learners could leverage these platforms in order to gain and/or further their education and skills. Should such certificates be registered on blockchain, it could provide to all candidates a verified record of achievement, eliminating organisation concerns over falsified information on CVs.
- HR firms will be able to search blockchain networks for specific skill sets. This would help many organisations in urgent needs of specific and rare skills to identify available talents whom did not follow conventional education path but could master the tasks at hand. Imagine you want to look for people that have implemented segmentation analysis in B2C environment. Today, you would be scrolling over dozens of marketing/CRM profiles that are generic to identify relevant ones with no way to ensure that their implementation was successful. With blockchain, you can look not only for those marketing profiles but also those with specific “online segmentation training” trustworthy certificates, maybe even blockchain-based validated achievements [also on segmentation implementation] by former employers.
« You can think of the blockchain as an ‘append-only’ database. You can only write to it, you can’t delete it ….and anyone can see it » Peter Van Valkenburg, director of research at Coin Center
- Having a blockchain with easily verifiable achievement records would make the recruitment process quicker and cheaper by speeding the reference checking steps and voiding the need for intermediaries to provide such services.
GLOBAL INCLUSION IN LABOR MARKET
- Having such secure and trustworthy digital records of oneself achievements could be a life changer for the talented workforce in Africa as it will allow many young Africans to finally participate in the global labor market with provable and trustworthy blockchain-based CVs.
- Furthermore, in the event of natural catastrophes (earthquake, fire, flood, etc) or wars which either destroy all traditional records or force people to become refugees, an immutable string of records provided by blockchain technology could be a game changer. Material loss wouldn’t be any more compounded by the loss of the ability to work and rebuild as people would be able to easily prove their past achievements and skills acquired and thus find adequate work. Of course their identities would also have to be provable!
- This technology could boost the development of freelancing in the continent. For example, a blockchain could be used to verify skills by consensus. Individuals upload their portfolio and the community/past employers ‘vote’ on whether they show competency in a skill. This skill and the reputation score associated (based on votes received) are then added to the blockchain, underpinning their profiles on the platform.
- Retention is a huge issue for all organizations worldwide but even more so in Africa; smart-contracts could be used to entrust unique incentives and benefits between the company and its employees. Typically, a smart-contract could be triggered at an agreed time or an agreed milestone to unlock a salary increase or a bonus allocation. The transparent, non-modifiable contract suppresses the need for both parties to trust that either one will change the rules before the contract is put into effect.
- Currently, when a company gives an employee recognition for an achievement, they issue a certificate or plaque with the employee’s name on it. There is little usability for such physical certificates. With blockchain platforms, the employee will use the recognition to boost their own professional reputation.
EMPLOYEE’S RECORDS SECURITY
- Finally, blockchain could be used to control who has access to sensitive employee information and ensure that changes are only made by authorised parties.
When it comes to HR, Blockchain is clearly on its way to changing the nature of some of its core processes – from talent identification, to recruiting, to contracting. The main question therefore seems to be when, rather than if. By our Guest Blogger Nelly Chatue-Diop Multitasker, data scientist, blockchain/crypto passionate, entrepreneur @chakaneld