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The Internet of Careers is Near

Internet of Careers

After the Internet of Things, we’re getting ready for the Internet of Careers. This seems the best reading of two important announcements that came out in the last couple of months. The first was by Workday that in its last Workday Raising event presented a Blockchain-Based solution called “Workday Credentials“.

Credentials have been a part of the world of work for many years now, especially in technical roles. The issue is that they are still mostly paper-based, and their verification requires much manual work. The idea of creating a digital way to ensure credentials are maintained and verified has been lounging for some time, and Blockchain seems to be the ideal technology to ensure this happens. Workday’s solution comes also equipped with a mobile app called WayTo that would allow individuals the possibility to manage their personal information and credentials. (I will go back in a future post on the challenge that data management poses for individuals as part of the Employee Experience concept).

Workday has suggested it will create a consortium to enable broader access to this technology, but details need to be still announced.

This week Velocity has announced a partnership with 15 companies, including SAP and Cornerstone, to deliver a similar, Blockchain-based solution that they have defined as the Internet of Careers. In this case, the idea is to build an open-source solution, open to developers and certifying entities, to be able to follow credentials and verifications.

Why are Credentials still relevant?

As we explore what the Future of Work will be, the certification of specific competencies and skills is still relevant in many domains. Imagine a Nurse that is looking for a job. Independently from the type of working relationship, the Hospital that intends to hire her will need to be able to check and verify what credentials she holds. Any diploma? Specialisation? Proofs of previous experiences?

In the US, most organisations use extensive background checks to verify information provided by candidates, but this process is often inefficient. In Europe, real background checks processes are limited to particular roles. For some tasks, reference checks are pursued, but it is impossible to run these for the entire population. Even in highly controlled public sectors roles, it is not uncommon to read of tales of fake diplomas and credentials.

There is also another area where credential verification is critical. Many jobs are subject to certification processes too internally within the company. Either because of legal requirements (for example in the domain of Health and Safety) or for internal self-discipline (think about the implementation of management methodologies such as Lean, with the consequent Belt certification system etc.). Maintaining all these credentials is a vital workload, and often is done on a multitude of systems across the company.

The problem is, therefore real, and the idea of a quick and agile solution to keep track of all credentials is a positive endeavour.

What about CVs?

Research shows that the number of people “altering” their experience in their resumes is staggering. Over the past years, LinkedIn has become the best available proxy to “certify” a specific professional experience. At least this is the idea, thanks to a certain level of social control, and the fact that, as a recruiter, you can potentially reach out to contacts to verify the information. The issue is that, as we mentioned, reference checks are time-consuming and sometimes ineffective.

Here again, the possibility for an agile process to verify a specific experience is going to be essential. But in this area, things are more complicated, because there’s not a set of standards to refer to. Some companies have been proposing solutions, also based on Blockchain, to create Smart Certificates. But again the question is how far we can go in integrating this along with the job market. Will the Internet of Careers facilitate this?

What about the experience?

Similar tools are potentially great in terms of Candidate Experience. We all have seen the ease of use of having our CVs on one platform (Linkedin for example), and how convenient it is to use that Resume for submissions to a Job Opening. The tool already provides certification sharing that potentially will help in the process, but adoption is still limited.

A key question, already mentioned, will be how can I ensure as an individual the control over my data. Can I control if ratings and notes are shared together with my Diploma? What if I don’t want to share my Black Belt certificate for that new Agile Scrum Master role? And what about work experiences. Will my former employer only certify the period I have been working for them and the role? Or will it also include considerations on performance? How will I be able to control access to all these data?

Conclusion: the Internet of Careers will succeed if it serves the employee perspective

I genuinely see an essential future in the usage of Blockchain and the birth of an Internet of Careers. Ultimately the expected competitions will hopefully bring to shared standards in a short future. But it is important to consider the experience these tools will deliver to the candidate and employee, not just the employer perspective. With most of the employee’s data already sitting in the cloud, there are many negative scenarios based on the non-possible access on personal data. And it is not just a privacy concern; it’s above all a security concern for the individuals and the company. Discussion is just starting, but will for sure be exciting to watch.

And you? What do you think of the new Internet of Careers

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Cover Photo by Graeme Worsfold on Unsplash

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