Jobs. One of the most important things for both people and companies in the coming months will be the ability to match people with jobs. There will be hundreds of thousands of people who will be suddenly without a job. And there will be thousands of companies who survive the current crisis and come out the other side who will be looking to hire people.
This weekend David Fogle posted one of his efforts to help the London startup scene with a centralised worksheet for job listings. It is a great initiative, and it got me thinking.
The current system for recruitment is badly broken. Recruiters rank in the top 10 of “least trusted professionals” according to a June 2019 survey from jobs board CV-Library. Jobs boards are littered with postings for jobs that either don’t exist or which have already been filled – and many jobs are posted across multiple online services and potentially listed with numerous recruitment firms. Some jobs are never posted at all.
One solution would be to create a job registry with information stored on the blockchain.
Every company would be able to list their job on the registry for a small fee. Posting to a single registry would be extremely efficient for the companies as they would only need to register their jobs once.
“Every company would be able to list their job on the registry for a small fee.”
Candidates would not list their CVs on the blockchain for privacy reasons. Holding personal information on the blockchain is not possible. Information once written into the blockchain cannot be edited or removed.
Candidates could manage permission for companies to access their CV as well as to manage applications. It would reduce duplicate applications and would quickly provide updates when a candidate was available and open to new roles.
Recruitment firms and job boards would be able to have access to the most recent job postings, and it could be configured so that for each position there would be a list of any job board or recruitment firm working to fill those positions.
A jobs registry based on the blockchain could provide efficiency and transparency across the entire industry. Of course, transparency isn’t always good for everyone.
Once posted, every job would have a history. Withdrawn opportunities would be updated to indicate why the job was removed: Position filled (external), position filled (internal), position withdrawn, etc. Over time, it would be obvious how many jobs a company posts which were never really available to external candidates (filled internal or removed).
Not every position is one that makes sense to list on the registry. Some employers do not want to advertise that they are hiring. Recruiters hiring for those positions would have to disclose that their job was not available on the public registry. (e.g., C-Suite positions might attract thousands of applicants and overwhelm the HR department.)
Job boards would potentially suffer in this environment as all of the positions would be publicly accessible, and they would need to find a new way to differentiate themselves. They would also need to find a unique value proposition to employers – the ones who pay their fees.
“The challenges for the adoption of this technology are not technical; they are both commercial and behavioural.”
Another challenge would be creating a consortium to own and operate the blockchain. A jobs registry would not be a government-run service but would be owned by an industry association. It should be possible for any company to be part of the consortium and contribute to the operation of the blockchain, including how much information was stored and how it would be accessed.
A classic entrepreneurial failure is to assume that they could create a company to run the blockchain and to make money from every job posting and every candidate application. Such a company may as well just run a database. Such a company is nothing but a variation on a job board. Successful blockchains are systems that provide value to everyone in the network. They are not intended as profit centres for single companies or entities.
A job registry which is run by a consortium with information stored on a public permissioned blockchain can be created and can add value to stakeholders including companies, candidates, recruiters and jobs boards. The challenges to overcome include: Creating a consortium to run the system, ensuring that all the stakeholders both contribute and extract value in a balanced manner and managing the change in how the entire system works.
Blockchain is the underlying technology which allows for shared access to information and can record information related to the identity, transfer and transformation of assets. The challenges for the adoption of this technology are not technical; they are both commercial and behavioural.
Troy Norcross, Co-Founder Blockchain Rookies