Recruitment and the new wave of technology?

Nov 1, 2018

The has been an incredible amount of hyperbole spoken about Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in the last two to three years. Most of this has been about revolution and how the world is going to be turned upside down and the institutions as we know them will be bypassed. The good news is, that most of this talk of revolution has been replaced by talk of evolution and how DLT can make time consuming and labor-intensive processes more efficient and reduce costs.

One of the areas that I feel that could benefit significantly from this new wave of technology is in the field of recruitment. The recruitment applications of DLT are still very much in their infancy, there are many new and exciting areas opening to those in the sector.

I have taken four areas that I feel could benefit from the deployment of DLT;

1. Credential Verification
Everyone knows it’s wrong to lie on a CV, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. In fact, lying is so pervasive in the hiring process that 75 percent of HR managers have caught a lie on a candidate’s resume, according to CareerBuilder (1).

The implementation of a DLT-based record of candidate qualifications and credentials could make it nearly impossible for an unscrupulous job seeker to falsify their resume. The idea is simple, It would be easy to create a DLT ledger that records academic credentials, professional certifications, and other qualifications. Academic institutions and certifying bodies would publish information to the ledger whenever a person completes a course/program, and employers could then check a candidate’s resume against the ledger. The University of Nicosia is doing this today (2).

2. Reference Checks/Work History Verification
Dishonest people will lie about qualifications and many will falsify their employment histories as well.

Today, most recruiters and hiring managers currently rely on reference checks to ensure they get the full, accurate picture of a candidate’s career to date. We know how inefficient that process can be. A few rounds of phone calls and voice mails are inevitable. Some referee won’t say much beyond “yes.” The candidate’s manager may have moved on and there is no one left at the company who can speak confidently on the candidate’s performance as an employee.

As DLT can confirm candidates’ credentials, so too can it streamline reference checks and work history verification. Imagine that in addition to certifications and academic achievements, the previously proposed DLT also recorded information about each of a candidate’s roles: their title, role, manager, responsibilities, major achievements, and more. Once verified, the job could not be altered, thereby preventing the candidate from going back later and massaging the truth.

3. Decentralised Recruiting
Perhaps the most radical change of all is the way DLT can decentralise recruiting, transforming the traditional recruitment process.

In your average recruiting process, an employer contracts with a single recruiter or recruiting firm, who then takes on everything from sourcing to submitting candidates. This process works well enough, but some companies are making it even more efficient by bringing DLT into the equation.

Take, for example, the project that HireMatch (3) has embarked on. Using its own cryptocurrency, called “HIRE,” HireMatch is building a crowdsourced recruitment marketplace. Marketplace participants can earn tokens for every action they take, from posting jobs and submitting candidates to referring friends and, of course, making placements. Because users can earn money for a variety of activities, they are motivated to contribute to a few different open roles.

Employers get access to a wider range of recruiters and a bigger pool of talent. Meanwhile, recruiters can mitigate the risks that traditionally came with recruiting: Even if their candidate does not get the job, they still make money.

4. Payment processing
The area of payment claims and processing is a slow and cumbersome one for both agency and client. One aspect of DLT, smart contracts may go some way towards elevating this problem.

A smart contract is based on a triggered event, so “if this happens then this needs to happen”. So, in the case of recruitment, when a candidate is submitted, and the resume is received a percentage payment could be triggered. When the candidate is called for interview, a further payment could be triggered. This could work right up to the candidate accepting the proposed role.

This model get even more confusing when you have fees payable to staff who have referred the candidate or the company is using multiple agencies.
This may be manageable through a smart contract framework, however some start-ups are focusing on this problem, a good example is AWorker.

Aworker (4) is a multi-chain verified data protocol for application creation, allowing people to control their own information. Their protocol makes it easy to create and manage applications based on verified data and reputation score. The Aworker DLT framework works with public DLTs and has the power to customise it for different applications.

The WORK token creates crypto-economic incentives on the Aworker protocol. The token is used to pay verification fees and data exchange between system users.

Reward: The reward between the participants of the recruitment process in Aworker is distributed as follows, thus creating a win-win for all involved:
50% to the one who recommended the best candidate
10% to the best candidate the company chose
10% receive by those who recommended people who came for an interview
10% to people who come for an interview
10% received by those who recommended candidates that are unsuitable for the position (not invited to an interview)
10% to the Aworker platform

As we can see, this area is still very much in its infancy but there are several new and original ideas focusing on this issue. In the authors opinion, it will ultimately come down to a cheaper, faster more efficient way of working through the process rather than reinventing the existing one.


Barry O’Connor is a Dublin-born Technology Consultant with over 20 years’ experience. In that time he has specialised in taking new ideas and concepts and bringing them into the corporate world. In the last few years he has focused exclusively on Blockchain and the emerging world of Distributed Ledger Technology. In addition he has a wealth of knowledge in Innovation, Finance, Strategic Marketing, Mobile Telecoms, Programme and Project Management. Barry is a valuable addition to the Vista People team and can advise companies of all shapes and sizes on their technology strategy. If this strategy involves additional people, the rest of the team at Vista People are ideal to source this new talent.
Tel: +353 866 000 898

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