HR System of “Blockchain”

Blockchain has been seen as a huge opportunity to revolutionize financial institutions. We are starting to see other applications coming to life such as companies like Gem Health aiming to leverage the power of blockchain to create a more efficient continuum of care by allowing health data transparency without compromising the security of an individual’s health data. This makes me think that this same application would make sense in the world of HR systems of record. Currently employers store all of their employee’s data on the internal HR system of record. This creates a unique profile for each employee with information on their salary, benefits & beneficiaries, performance, etc. However more often than not the data within the system of record is a snap shot solely of the employee during their tenure at the company. As the employee leaves their data does not transfer with them. Similarly, when a hire is made the new employee does not come with their “employment transcript.” The way of the world now is pretty much deploying a background check process to aggregate data on the new hires work history and salary information as well as calling references to learn about their performance. Both sources do not usually ever return data that is 100% accurate.

Using the blockchain database an employee would now have every instance of benefits, salary, hire date, performance, promotion, etc. recorded on a system that continuously cross references for accuracy and best of all data cannot be altered.

Moving to a decentralized system that is not under the ownership of any single entity will definitely create for a more trustworthy data set about employees. Especially in a world where the average tenure of employees continues to shrink, over time there is no single source of truth that consolidates information about an employee. A database housing info about salary history, job roles and trajectory, etc. can tell a lot about an employee and with confirmed historical data can aid in succession planning.

The one thing I have heard as I shared this thought with others is that at a certain point this can get too “big brotherish.” After all a person may not want to disclose their salary history to the next employer b/c they do not want it to be the premise as to what they are offered. Or someone could have had a terrible manager experience and does not want their previous performance record to reflect negatively on them.

These are all valid concerns, but I think that if data is only made available at the employee’s discretion or applying certain logic as to what is visible versus not may add value in the application of blockchain to HR.

I know that companies such as Recruit Technologies and ascribe are working together to explore the application of blockchain in the world of HR. I’m certain that if an application is created that addresses concern appropriately and provides valuable streamlined trustworthy data to employers it will be a huge win for the employer, the employee, and of course the idea innovators and their investors. I’d surely put money on this.

Mohamed T. Khalil

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