In 1994, Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel had a now comical exchange about a relatively new technology that was thought to be the next “big thing” but at the time, difficult for them to wrap their minds around. That technology? The internet.
This video seems comical now, right? The internet happened – and it changed the way we interact, the way we do business, and the way we live. It’s been over 20 years since that conversation took place… and we now live in a time where the internet is involved in virtually every aspect of our lives, where data breaches affect companies large and small, and where unverified misinformation is ubiquitous.
The next big change is around the corner – and it’s blockchain technology.
The Blockchain Revolution
For those of you who don’t know, the blockchain is a public ledger where all transactions (i.e. digital currencies like bitcoin) are recorded. This public ledger is decentralized, meaning that every time a transaction is recorded to the ledger, it gets independently verified through all of the nodes within the system. This concept has a lot of benefits:
- It’s more secure. Because each transaction is added to the hyperledger fabric, a relational database, no single entity is in charge of updating and securing that data. Blockchain security relies on thousands of nodes in a peer-to-peer network, the data is regularly replicated and updated, and it’s cryptographically secured. This makes the data not only highly available and accurate, but also offers a larger degree of security.
- It’s more efficient. For many industries, transactions need to be timely while also being secure… two seemingly opposing forces. However, the inherent transparency of a public ledger coupled with the enhanced security of the blockchain eliminates the need for third party verification.
Applications of Blockchain Technology
Many industries are already experimenting with or actively using blockchain technology. And why wouldn’t they? The financial sector could leverage blockchain to streamline post-trade settlement functions, money transfers, and international payments. The government could leverage blockchain technology in the voting process, to manage public records, or to manage our tax system more efficiently. Educational institutions could leverage blockchain technology to verify academic credentials. Blockchain could be used in real estate, in insurance companies, in health care - the list goes on.
But what are the implications of leveraging blockchain technology in the staffing industry?
When considering a candidate, each recruiter is faced with the same questions:
- Are these bogus recommendations?
- Are these transcripts doctored?
- Are the listed skill sets on this resume legit?
- Is something going to pop up when we run a background check on them?
While the gig economy means more diversified experience, recruiters spend a lot of their time verifying all of that experience. The growing popularity of the gig economy coupled with blockchain technology could become an open-source system that every staffing company could benefit from:
- Employment records stored in the blockchain would eliminate the time spent calling previous employers.
- Educational records stored in the blockchain would eliminate the cost and time spent working with educational verification companies.
- Criminal records stored in the blockchain ledger would eliminate the cost and time spent waiting to hear back from background check companies.
HR professionals and recruiters alike could streamline these important processes that were previously time-consuming and tedious. It could enable staffing companies to meet the increasing demand for their services in the gig economy without losing the precious time to non-revenue-generating tasks.
The blockchain revolution is here. It’s efficient. It’s secure. It’s inexpensive.
Comment below with what you think the impact of blockchain could be on your industry!
- Talent Shortages, Unemployment, and What the Gig Economy Means for Staffing
- Is There REALLY a Talent Shortage?
- Industry Disruptors and the "Death" of Staffing