eXcerpt: Blockchain Opportunities in Hiring

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From time to time we’re asked for our opinion on industry trends and technology.  One recent request came to us from ThirtyK, a news source for blockchain technology, because of our growing interest in how blockchain will impact HR and Talent Acquisition in the coming months and years.  What follows is the article that was published on ThirtyK by the reporter, James Rubin.

Career Opportunities: HR Consultancy Exec Sees Blockchain’s Potential in Hiring

As a partner at the human resources consultancy CareerXroads (CXR), Chris Hoyt works with some of the world’s best-known brands on their recruiting strategies. CXR’s roster of clients includes 110 Fortune 500 companies. Over the past year, Hoyt has been receiving an increasing number of inquiries about blockchain’s potential role in verifying resume information and streamlining the recruiting process. Hoyt also has been intrigued by its possible benefits to a process that is subject to inaccuracies and inefficiency.

“Thinking as an employer, knowing that it would be a great way to get validated background information or credentials or certifications that I could trust seemed like an interesting idea,” Hoyt tells ThirtyK.

Verification of Education, Work Credentials

ThirtyK: How did you become interested in blockchain?

Hoyt: Maybe five years ago, I had an interesting conversation about the financial sector at a South by Southwest Conference. The more I learned about [distributed] ledger systems, the more it seemed they could be applied to other things, certainly to HR and recruiting.

ThirtyK: What aspect of recruiting could blockchain particularly benefit?

Hoyt: Background checks or credentials for students and for professionals. Thinking as an employer, knowing that it would be a great way to get validated background information or credentials or certifications that I could trust seemed like an interesting idea.


ThirtyK: How important is the verifying credentials of candidates?

Hoyt: If you were a vendor and went into the education centers or career centers inside colleges and made available to students the ability to carry their diploma, all their scholastic records and history on a drive or device, or give them a bar code that they could easily give to any employer when they ask for it, this makes, in theory, an application process cleaner and smoother. So at any time allowing students as they continue through their career to add elements that are validated to that ledger would in theory be a 100 percent, nonexaggerated resume.

ThirtyK: Does the candidate or the employer stand the most to gain?

Hoyt: Both. I could see blockchain incentivizing students in that they would never have to order their transcripts again. Students who are graduating don’t mind tapping into technology. If you have a resume an employer or business partner could trust, it would be something they could rely on.

ThirtyK: How often do candidates forge their resumes and information? Is this a problem employers face?

Hoyt: It is not uncommon you have an extra year here, an extra set of skills that are exaggerated or that have been mistakenly added to a resume or a profile.

Eliminating the Background Checkers

ThirtyK: Do you think that blockchain could mean the demise of how companies now hold onto candidate resumes and other profile information?

Hoyt: Yes, that’s one possibility. Employers could then begin to source candidates within blockchain technology. It would be interesting to see a truly blind sourcing, recruiting process take place — sourcing for people with verified skills within a ledger.

ThirtyK: Are there blockchain models that particularly intrigue you?

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Hoyt: Dock.io [is one that] has potential. That’s an interesting take on encouraging users to earn their version of a cryptocurrency and creating and delivering what could be potentially an alternative to LinkedIn. They’re incentivizing people to use the system. When you send an invitation out to a potential user, when that person joins and verifies their profile, you are awarded Dock cryptocurrency. It does raise some interesting challenges. For instance, you can’t have a verified account unless you include an element of the profile that they deem required. If you don’t have a college degree, you can’t have a verified profile with them.

ThirtyK: Is the elimination of middle parties from recruiting another area of interest?

Hoyt: From a recruiting-HR scenario, I think there is an interesting opportunity for someone to remove background check vendors from the equation. I don’t see a scenario where you’re removing the recruiting component of it. It might change how recruitment could be done, But I don’t see a way for a recruiter to be removed from the equation.

Not the End of Recruiting

ThirtyK: You’ll still need someone to look for the nuances in a candidate’s profile?

Hoyt: It’s the same as it is with any new technology that is brought into the recruiting world. It doesn’t mean the death of the recruiter. It just means those skill sets need to change or be finely tuned.

ThirtyK: Who are your clients?

Hoyt: We are global. The majority of our members are based in North America. We’ve got an interesting group of leaders. Their teams hire from 2,000 to 200,000 employees per year. We’re looking at 110 member companies now. All of them are Fortune 500.

ThirtyK: What has the feedback about blockchain been among these companies?

Hoyt: The talent acquisition leaders at financial institutions are aware of the technology and thinking of how it could impact HR and talent acquisition. None of them that we are aware of have begun implementing blockchain or any services related to it for recruiting. Those who are not in financial services, anecdotally, the majority of them are trying to figure out more about it. Last week, at Converse’s headquarters in Boston, we brought together 50 leaders to talk about innovation and automation in recruiting. Almost everyone in the room asked for more information about Dock.io.

Picture of Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology, ERE and others in the USA as well as UNLEASH, iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.

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