In many ways the digital age hasn’t really caught up with the world of work.
Powerful search engines can help find job postings instantaneously, but there remains poor visibility of the jobs available, and even less transparency of the available and qualified workers.
Despite technology advances, the humble CV is still written in MS Word. Employers and workers know that details of our work history will probably never be checked. And like a sun-drenched Instagram filter, half of our CVs have ‘little white lies’ on them.
Once employed, and after a hard days work, we probably won’t get paid for up to 10 weeks. If you have a small business, or work as a freelancer, chasing invoices is a harsh visceral reality linked directly to the food on your plate.
This is because many of our management and HR processes were designed for an earlier age, and we just haven’t got round to rebooting them for 2018.
When new technology like Cloud, Mobile or Artificial Intelligence emerges on the scene, the first instinct is often, how do we use that cool new technology round here?
Take mobile technology, in the early days we just put our 6-page long candidate application form in mobile form. Great, but that totally missed the point, the clue is in the name.
So, when I get asked, “Can we run payroll on Blockchain?”
The answer is we probably can, but that is the wrong question.
Why would we want to map 50 year old processes onto this new technology. We have an opportunity to completely rethink pay and reward for different types of modern workers.
The question of how we can best use blockchain technology in work intrigues me and subsequently formed my research report “Blockchain and the Chief Human Resources Officer” which is available for PDF download.
This was published early this year with the Blockchain Research Institute, as Don Tapscott writes in his foreword,
“Blockchain is an exciting opportunity for HR to become a truly strategic function in the enterprise that is emerging…”
The report mentions ten start-ups who are making an impact in this space, I am now tracking over 80, plus industry incumbents and other industry initiatives.
The main opportunities and activity for using blockchain in HR, include
Credentials Verification — using blockchain to confirm identity and verify credentials such as work history, references, employment history, skills, university degrees. See companies such as APPII, Zinc and CV Proof.
Paying Workers — Chronobank are piloting paying construction workers almost immediately based on their physical presence on a job site. There are also big savings to be made in allowing workers to send wages to family overseas with much lower remittance fees. See also companies such as Workchain.io and Etch in this space.
Digital Career Profiles — Dock.io, are creating a decentralised data exchange for the professional world that allows people to connect their profiles, reputation with privacy and security.
Digital Work Matching Platforms — well here we can imagine a blockchain version of upwork or Fiverr, as I did in my report, with quick payments authorized using digital smart contracts, see for example Indorse.
In the blockchain workforce, over time, organisations will be able to find the talent they need when they need it. As the gig economy becomes more transparent, liquid, and beneficial to all stakeholders, organisations will require fewer full-time employees.
Blockchain should reduce recruitment costs and give employers direct access to a pool of top candidates, fundamentally changing the role of HR and creating radically new work organisations.
I am looking forward to sharing my research and speaking at Blockchain Live on Wednesday 26th September in London. So if you are there, come and say hello and let me know your views on blockchain and work.
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