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Will Blockchain Change Talent Acquisition?

Sean Quigley
March 21 ․ 5 min read


With the recent ups and downs relating to cryptocurrencies, more people are thinking about blockchain, the underlying technological breakthrough, and how it could transform the recruitment industry over the next 10 years. There’s even some talk that the impact to recruitment might be bigger than that of the internet itself, which at a glance, seems like hype. However, when you dig in and learn about it, it starts to look a lot more plausible.

Blockchain guarantees that there’s no funny business, because each “block” is a cryptographic puzzle and this “chain” of blocks proceeds over and over again through time. “Miners” across the network solve difficult math problems with each new block, making the data stored on the blockchain unchangeable. Trust to the power of infinity. It’s called the “distributed ledger” and anything whatsoever that can currently be stored on a private database owned by one company, can now become validated on this distributed ledger, and stored in the blockchain forever. This makes it physically impossible to alter or adjust any piece of data recorded to the blockchain, and so without a second’s worth of hesitation, you are able to trust the data completely.

When you think about the talent acquisition space - resumes, interviews, school transcripts, background checks - it’s all just one big effort to establish trust in a company’s hiring decisions. It’s about determining that people are who they say they are, that they went to the schools they say they did, that they have the skills they claim to have, and that they really had the jobs they say they had for the time periods they’re claiming. Therefore, after banking, recruitment seems like one of the biggest areas of commerce that blockchain will impact in the near future.

Blockchains may end up giving candidates control of their own data, so that they can share it with whatever companies they wish - companies that will then be able to instantly trust said data. If candidates own their own fully-trustable resume data and certifications, and employers have direct access to it, why would employers have to pay large sums of money to access a private database for candidate data that’s, relatively speaking, not nearly as trustable? Why would companies need to pay for long and costly background checks, if the same or better data is already confirmed ahead of time and instantly, with each new application?

It seems likely that we’re fast heading into a recruiting world that’s unrecognizable to us now. Candidates may be controlling and owning their own data, and hiring organizations may have access to a much broader set of data for each candidate that is all fully pre-validated.

What will this world look like and what happens when you combine this “trust” tech with AI? Will dedicated hiring AIs be able to see blockchain-validated candidate data and be able to instantly hire exactly the right people for any job on the spot, without any sort of archaic online application, in-person interview, background check, or really any hiring process whatsoever? Probably not anytime soon. But all the same, I definitely wouldn’t rule it out.

What do you think?

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