Blockchain in staffing agencies

Looking at The major problems faced by temporary staffing firms and Top 4 challenges facing staffing agencies, one point common to both articles is the honesty of applicants.

The latter article says

Designing the full qualifying process to catch inconsistencies is important. This includes background checks, credit checks, reference checks, and other types of screening as is typical for any staffing firm. But skill specific and task-oriented tests also play an important role. This is an area where it’s possible to have some fun and get creative, developing ingenious ways to test whether an applicant who claims expertise is as much of a whiz as they claim. And of course, there’s always an online presence and social media search. These are the new best tools for staffing agencies that want to dig below the surface to understand the character and tendencies of candidates.

Implementing any process requires corroborating the applicant’s claims and this can be difficult. Why? Let’s study one: reference checks.

A reference check requires that you contact several of the applicant’s prior engagements. He says he worked for this company and that company. Each company will or will not confirm for various reasons. Is you proof you have permission to ask sufficient? Can you  identify him to each company? Do you have legal standing to even ask?

So many questions, so many hurdles. The difficulties here are that all the information your after is private, held in other places and it takes time and effort.

What if the information were available more readily? What if it were available in a way you agreed to at the outset? We’ll get back to this shortly. What if his identify isn’t a stumbling block, rather, it’s an advantage to help you find and corroborate his claims?

Here’s where blockchain enters.

Much will be simplified to convey the essential concepts.

Blockchains are a kind of ledger in the cloud. There are public blockchains and private blockchains. Public, as in anyone can look up information and private, as in only available to those who registered for them and were approved. Let’s consider a blockchain like Ethereum for identification and for employment history purposes.

Blockchains are not databases. A few things making them different and useful for these purposes are, immutability and consensus.

Ethereum, a blockchain, can only be written to, the data cannot be changed. This is immutability. Ethereum is maintained by consensus. There are many copies of the data all around the world. In order to add to the data, new information has to be voted on in a way. Consensus has to be reached. All by the machines. No humans needed or desired.

With hundreds or thousands of computers all creating consensus, the risks of hacking and cyber-attacks are greatly diminished compared to a private database somewhere.

How would this work? Everyone has identification like passports and/or driver’s license. Everyone can have their identity written to Ethereum and when needed updated. This is public information.

Each time you’re employed, your Ethereum identify is found and used as the key to store your employment records. We’d record employment information like: the company, your start date, your pay, and when you leave. Whatever you’ve agreed to have recorded. This is private information. Only people and organizations you permit have access to this information.

As a recruiter and/or staffing agency, imagine how much easier it is for you to find an applicant’s identify and to obtain their employment information.

When submitting the applicant to a client, the same information you’ve had access to can be available to them if everyone agrees.

This is one possible use of blockchain.


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