Author Martin Casielles, Oracle HCM Solution Specialist
After having followed the evolution of Human Resources systems for over 13 years, I’m not surprised that every single revolution the digital world has gone through has had an impact on how we manage and run these systems and, most importantly, what we expect from them.
I’d like to start by explaining briefly, for those who might not know, what BlockChain is. It’s a safe, distributed database that can be employed in any type of transaction, eliminating the need for intermediaries. Let’s say a person wants to send money from their own account to another person’s account from a different bank, without BlockChain. Both banks centralize the information and take the money from one account and send it to the other. Actually, no money has been transferred, just information. And neither of the two people—the one sending money and the one receiving it—has any control over it. The transaction is subject to the charges and conditions laid down by their banks. So, what can BlockChain do? It replicates the information digitally and in a decentralized way, and hands the control of the processes over to the users, not to the companies, be it a bank or any other institution. Furthermore, the information is encrypted. This model eliminates the need for a trust record between the parties or having to rely on a centralized authority. This technology was made popular by BitCoin, the digital currency—cryptocurrency—that has gained a great deal of value in the last few years, and promises to revolutionize international economies and to threaten banks’ involvement in these transactions.
The use of BlockChain in the HR departments is now booming, especially when it comes to research. The new applications of this technology can help companies improve their processes, particularly in the HR sector where some solutions now available in the market are already in full swing, or even other solutions with some disruptive not-yet-developed ideas.
One of the uses in Human Resources has to do precisely with the well-known technology that emerged from BlockChain: the digital currency—BitCoin, the most popular one. The first application has been thought for the payment to people who work in different countries (e.g. expatriates), avoiding intermediaries, banks and delays in the process. This money transfer would now be instantaneous.
One of the first companies to introduce it was Etch, an organization that applies the BlockChain technology to payroll protocols.
Another interesting application is the validation of university degrees by certain companies. For instance, a university degree is registered as a node in a chain in BlockChain created by the institutions, and both employers and employees can access it asserting its authenticity, reducing validation costs, time, printing, and more.
The best example is the pilot program by the MIT, offering their students the option of receiving their degrees digitally—as well as traditionally. This allows students to have access to their degrees more quickly, share it on social networks such as LinkedIn, and enable employers to easily verify its authenticity.
It could also be applied to other types of certification, such as awards or performance records of previous jobs so as to have a reliable CV available for each of the candidates.
For example, BlockCerts expects to transform the global open standard for the exchange of certifications through BlockChain, where once a record is saved it can no longer be modified.
Another use for this technology could be the attraction of talents, rewarding people with cryptocurrency or giving some kind of benefit to the network that brought the candidates forward. Also, it’s possible to know the reputation of networks, recruiters and candidates as mentioned in the previous case of use, having all information certified and unchangeable.
This application is quite useful, especially if considering research findings by sites such as CareerBuilder, which says that 58% of employers claim to have found “lies” in candidates’ CVs.
And since BlockChain eliminates the need for intermediaries, another application that I think is more challenging is making the network available to freelancers, and that companies hire and make payment via the network. As ChronoBank.io—the driving force behind this idea—says in its site: it would be like the UBER of the job market.
These are only some cases or examples. And just like Oracle is investing in this technology (https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/blockchain), I’m absolutely sure that, before we know it, Human Resources tools will be ready to bring enormous value. That’s why I believe it’s critical to start incorporating these concepts into our everyday life.
And here I ask you...
What other applications do you think are possible?
Do you think this is feasible in the short or medium term?
Best regards to everyone!
Here are two videos to learn more about BlockChain: