Blockchain and HR

Blockchain and HR

There’s no denying that we are amidst a technological revolution. The biggest trendsetter has not been technologies such as Big Data Analytics, AI, Cloud Computing, or even IoT. Instead, Blockchain technology may soon forge ahead of other technologies. The technology came into existence as the backbone of cryptocurrencies and is more a revolution than an invention. The reason lies in its ability to keep data privacy intact unlike social media websites. Blockchain technology allows for data ownership and a secure gateway to be established through which information can be shared.

More than a financial tool:

The applications of Blockchain will help technology spread its wings beyond the banking system and across other business functions, including Human Resources. Tech giants are already trying to build their products and services to benefit from Blockchain technology. Walmart’s “Smart Package” is an efficient usage of a Blockchain-based delivery system that tracks package contents, locations, and key addresses. Blockchain technology has been popular with shipping and delivery companies at which organizations are developing a Blockchain-based supply chain network.

Recruitment and Blockchain:

We are still a few years away from witnessing the mass adoption of Blockchain applications in HR, recruitment, and talent acquisition. Within recruitment, you recognize terms like background verification, resumes, interviews, salary negotiations, and onboarding. The recruitment industry has seen an immense growth over the last twenty years. With the internet boom, recruitment has been classified into two parts – conventional recruitment through an agency and recruitment through job boards. This revolution has forced recruiters to adapt to the rapidly changing industry. Blockchain technology has delivered a tsunami of opportunities across all industries, especially recruitment as it is a direct interaction between a recruiter and a candidate, eliminating middleman cost and streamlining the flow of data. Blockchain will enable a candidate to reach out to masses while retaining data confidentiality.

Specific key areas in HR and recruitment can be integrated with Blockchain:

  • Background Check: Today, the background verification process is slow and often impossible without third-party intervention. Hence, it can be expensive and exhausting for candidates. With the help of Blockchain technology, information such as identity proofs, employment history, previous salaries, and qualifications, can be stored and kept intact within a secure platform. Job seekers can manage their own profiles and access this information from the employers of their choice. This abolishes the need for third-party verification services, saving both time and money. It also becomes convenient for recruiters as they do not have to chase down previous employers to validate candidate information.
  • Easy Candidate Onboarding: After validating job seeker information such as previous employment, address proof, academic credentials and PF, hiring managers can scrutinize the candidate without an exhaustive documentation process.
  • Blockchain and Payroll: The payroll process becomes more complex when employees are in different countries as there is additional wait time with transferred money. Also, when currency exchange is involved, there is an additional bank fee. Due to these complexities, organizations typically become engaged with 3rd parties to handle international payment process.

With the help of Blockchain, the money moves faster, and with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), there is a direct connection to the account balance of the employee, ensuring a quick transaction. DLT guarantees that organizations do not require a middle man as there is already a secure and valid transaction.

How can I integrate Blockchain with HR?

Blockchain technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. New developments are occurring every day. So how can this fast-paced technology be introduced to HR?

An organization can begin by developing a basic understanding of Blockchain and stay updated by reading its latest advancements. An organization may consider HR-specific issues and look out for leading vendors in the HR Blockchain market. However, the solution providers may be hard to scan at first and hence, the companies may examine those outside the industry for possible cross-application.

In bringing Blockchain to the table, HR should consider an individual comfortable with programming languages such as C, C++, JavaScript or Python and Solidity which is one of the main ingredients of Blockchain programming language.

Potential pitfalls to consider:

With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect, it is vital to ensure that this technology complies with your company’s data privacy ordinance as this will impact any organization which holds employee personal data.

In the coming years, I would expect a more mainstream integration of Blockchain with HR. This will allow HR to function more efficiently by spending less time verifying and validating data now automated by Blockchain, and enhancing overall employee experience.

Navin Gautham P.

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Twitter: @pnaving