Can Blockchain Fix the Broken Business of Online Hiring?

Hiring is always at the forefront of business owners’ minds. After all, what’s a business without its employees?

But hiring today looks decidedly different than it did a year or even just months ago. With the process of collecting and analyzing job applications having moved exclusively digital, the days of handing out resumes in person are over. Richer insights into candidates are leading to a shift away from a decision model based on networking and intuition, and toward data-driven decisions.

Even in this digital age of cloud-based hiring tools and high-quality algorithms designed to sift through resumes, fraud and forgery remain prevalent problems. The impacts of this lack of resume authenticity plague employers large and small, reducing the speed and increasing the cost of sourcing, recruiting, and hiring.

Lack of Resume Authenticity

Employers face a major hiring hurdle when they need to verify information on a candidate’s resume. A survey by online job finder site, CareerBuilder, shows that a staggering 58 percent of employers have caught a lie on a resume.

A separate report by HireRight shows that screening of resumes uncovered lies or misrepresentations for 86% of employers. There is no doubt that resume inaccuracy is a common problem. The effort to verify credentials impacts the hiring process and costs employers time and money. Thus, significantly slowing down the pace of business, potentially leading to lost revenue for individual businesses and lower growth for the economy as a whole.

How Blockchain Impacts Online Hiring

For many people, if the term “blockchain” means anything at all, it’s probably associated with the digital currency Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has received an increasing amount of press for its mysterious founder(s) and wild swings in valuation, it’s the blockchain infrastructure behind it that’s poised to be a truly transformative innovation. In fact, blockchain has the potential to reshape some of the foundational structures of our economy and society, including how we recruit and hire.

So what is blockchain? In short, blockchain is a publicly distributed database designed to facilitate transactions and keep track of assets. A distributed ledger has a number of advantages:

  • It’s frictionless, since there are no intermediaries like banks or credit card companies
  • It’s authoritative, since there’s only one authoritative, publicly accessible ledger
  • It’s secure against errors and fraud, since every alteration to the ledger is recorded

Because of this, blockchain has the potential to establish reliable, accurate, and authentic resumes that can be preserved for companies and consumers to reference and build upon indefinitely. In addition, a blockchain record has the potential to follow an employee from job to job and provide a fast and reliable means for that employee to present education and employment credentials and get hired more quickly.

Populating the Blockchain

For blockchain technology to work as a trusted and comprehensive base for resumes and employment history, who contributes and who verifies the data is going to be critical. The blockchain will need input from every resume touchpoint including educators, employers, hiring marketplaces, and job boards.

Fortunately, in the higher ed space this process has already begun. Some universities have started providing educational data blocks for their students, enabling the secure sharing of verified and tamper-proof academic records.

Why shouldn’t employers and hiring marketplaces do the same? Moonlighting is one such hiring resource aiming to do just that. While the risks of online hiring are not unique to the freelance economy, Moonlighting, is poised to revolutionize this hiring niche with blockchain technology.

Because hiring freelancers, gig, and independent workers is an inherently quick process, fraud and forgery and their impacts are even more debilitating. By reinforcing Moonlighting’s already robust platform with blockchain technology, freelancers and participants within the Moonlighting ecosystem will be provided with a democratized community and employment history data that they own. This data will become portable to other blockchain-powered hiring marketplaces and publicly accessible. As a result, resumes, freelance profiles, and work history will become consistent, reliable, and immutable.

While Moonlighting aims to become the most trusted freelance marketplace in the world, the impact of putting blockchain technology to work in this space may begin to improve the reputation of online hiring as a whole.

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