How Blockchain Can Join the Ranks in Recruiting Tech History

By on November 13, 2018

Co-Authored by Michelle Ferreira

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Recruiting tech sees a wave of change every 10 years.

  • 80s Newspapers and classifieds
    The original tried and true method of post and pray.
  • 90s Internet job boards
    Introducing the internet, and the ability to publish jobs to anyone, anywhere. Monster.com becomes the dominant player.
  • 00s Social networks
    The internet grows up. The audience can now contribute to online content with the spawn of web 2.0. Myspace paves the way for Facebook and LinkedIn leads the pack in recruitment.
  • 10s Pay for performance
    So much media, so little time. We welcome programmatic ad buying. A fix for optimizing spend in a multi-tenant and centralized ad network environment.
  • 20s Prediction: Blockchain
    Secure tech with the potential to put an end to centralized data and give people the power to share their own information.

“Blockchain has the potential to be as revolutionary as the internet.”

Blockchain goes mainstream

Invented in 2009, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or form of decentralized electronic money sent anonymously from peer-to-peer without the need for an intermediary or central bank. This makes anonymous digital transactions as simple and safe as handing you a $5 bill. Cryptocurrencies created a new way for global commerce managed by everyday people on a self-governed technology.

All transactions are recorded in a public ledger, where “smart contracts” are verified across a computing network or “blockchain” that cannot be edited once they are recorded. This makes blockchain virtually immune to fraud, and because it’s peer-to-peer it puts the power of finance back into the hands of the people, reminiscent of peer-to-peer file sharing through Napster and Limewire. To clarify, bitcoin is not blockchain, bitcoin transactions are enabled by blockchain technology.

Any computer science major with an interest in tech should seriously consider learning blockchain technology. Blockchain and smart contract talent will become the new data scientists in the near future. Blockchain has the potential to be as revolutionary as the internet. More on that in a bit.

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A blockchain analogy

Legacy Powerpoint vs. Google Slides¹
Legacy Powerpoint design is a centralized process. Individually, you collaborate on a deck with your team and send your draft to each team member to add or modify their slides. Each person creates their own copy that they send back to you to consolidate and revise into your final draft. Everyone who has touched the deck has their own version and only until you send out the final version will all parties be up-to-date. This process needs an intermediary (in this case, you) to verify, manage and distribute the latest version. Unfortunately, this creates a single point of failure (e.g. you forgetting to update or sending out the wrong version).

Google Slides, however, is a lot like blockchain technology and is decentralized. When a deck is drafted and shared out, each edit is recorded and made in real time across everyone’s version. All previous versions are recorded and made accessible to all stakeholders. In this process intermediaries are absent, the technology verifies itself.

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How has blockchain technology made an impact outside of cryptocurrency?

Instant gaming publisher royalties
Microsoft uses the power of blockchain smart contracts to almost instantly calculate royalties owed to game publishers on Xbox, vs. their legacy and manual method which took 45 days.

Immediate store to farm origination
IBM applies blockchain to help Walmart immediately identify the source of food-borne disease. In one instance, they reduced the time it took, to trace mangoes back to their farm of origin, from almost 7 days to mere seconds.

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How will blockchain affect the recruiting industry?

1. The blockchain talent boom is coming

Cryptocurrency and blockchain companies had an impressive showing on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top 50 Startup List among their mainstream industry peers, a good sign that a blockchain talent boom is on the horizon:

  • #3 Coinbase
  • #6 Robinhood
  • #7 Ripple
  • #25 Gemini
  • #26 ConsenSys
  • #47 Axoni

“Top recruits are looking at a six-figure salary and a signing bonus as high as $1M.”

Many big companies like Microsoft and IBM are adopting the tech. Today, IBM has 1,600 employees working on more than 400 blockchain projects. These companies are in need of candidates capable of coding smart contracts and building blockchain apps. Blockchain is also showing up on the syllabi in college classes across the country. Top recruits are looking at a six-figure salary and signing bonuses as high as $1M².

2.  Simplify candidate verification

75% of HR managers have caught a lie on a candidate’s resumé³ . Implementing a blockchain ledger of candidate credentials could make it nearly impossible to falsify a candidate’s resume or lie about their work history. For example, when an academic institution publishes a course completion to the blockchain, employers could just check the resume against the ledger. Candidates may allow the employer direct access to their ledger eliminating the intermediary and reducing admin costs for both the institution and the employer. No more phone tag looking for an ex-supervisor that has moved on to another company or an overloaded admin at a university lagging to deliver diploma verification.

3. Eliminate ad fraud

Ad fraud caused by fake clicks generated by botnets will cost advertisers $19 billion in 2018, which represents 9% of total digital advertising spend. It is foreseen to rise to $22 billion in 20204. Blockchain has the power to potentially reduce or maybe eliminate ad fraud altogether. New ad networks like Verasity (verasity.io) and NOIZ (noizchain.com) are getting creative with technology to combat the botnets, incentivize ads and capture proof of engagement.

4. Get personal data directly from the source

Employers paid over $2.4 billion in 2017 to access online professional networking profiles.
LinkedIn profiles are sold to employers without explicit consent. These users often do not know who is buying their data and are not rewarded in any manner. What if we give users complete privacy and the option to sell their professional data directly to employers? Enter MBYS (mbys.io) – MBYS gives control of professional data back to the rightful owner: the user.

MBYS is based on the belief that consumers should be able to build meaningful relationships on social networks while retaining complete control of their personal data. Users are able to determine what data they sell, who they sell to and how much they are willing to share. Their platform is based on three key points:

  1. Build your professional network
  2. Sell your data directly to employers and companies
  3. Privacy by default

If the LinkedIn’s of the world decide to ignore the relevance of blockchain in social media, they may have to be okay with sharing a higher percentage of the market than they’re comfortable with.

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The takeaway

Regardless of the fate of cryptocurrencies, blockchain is here to stay. This technology has the potential to change how we share information on a massive scale by creating efficiencies, eliminating barriers, enhancing security and giving people back the power to control what they want to share. The technology is still in its infancy which allows an opportunity for you to help shape how it could affect the HR and recruiting industries.

For more information on the history of blockchain technology and how it will affect digital marketing, take a look at these great articles:

¹ Credit to coindesk.com for inspiring the analogy.
²Wall Street Journal
³CareerBuilder 2017 study
4 Noizchain.com

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