How Blockchain is Changing and Shaping the Global Labor Market

February 16, 2021 | Shannon Shoemaker

With more companies shifting to a fully or partially remote workforce, the importance of accurate, secure and accessible data is in the spotlight. This is especially crucial when it comes to background and reference checks across a global marketplace. In January of 2020, Cisive joined 14 leading, enterprise multinational labor market organizations to launch the Velocity Network Foundation (VNF). VNF is a collaborative, vendor-neutral, nonprofit organization established to define, deploy, and champion the Velocity Network: a globally accessible, trustworthy “Internet of Careers” powered by innovative blockchain technology in response to growing data privacy, security, and market pressures.

At its most basic level, a blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and oftentimes public, digital ledger consisting of records called blocks that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved block cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. The most well-known example of blockchain technology is Bitcoin, but it has many technological applications, including blockchain for HR.

Blockchain allows companies like Cisive to integrate with a secure data network that has the ability to issue, share and verify career credentials, ensuring highly accurate information and speeding up the timeline for background screening before hire. Additionally, because blockchain data is an uneditable sequence, it also has the potential to enhance security, helping HR departments to avoid data breaches.

 

How Velocity Network Uses Blockchain

By helping individuals aggregate, maintain and securely control access to a comprehensive, trustworthy record of verified career credentials spanning education, projects, skills, work history and more, Velocity Network helps businesses make workforce decisions based on trusted, immutable data. This reduces the time and costs associated with talent processes such as candidate screening and acquisition while reducing risk and gaining compliance in an increasingly global labor market. The Velocity Network provides a trusted, private and effortless way for people to take ownership of their career credentials, choose whether to share them, and decide how that data is used by others.

Velocity is implemented as a public service on top of a permissioned blockchain network running the distributed ledger that is shared, replicated and synchronized among the members of a decentralized network (nodes). A public utility enabling self-sovereign career identity on the Internet, allowing Individuals to collect, hold, and choose which verifiable career credentials – jobs, gigs, education, skills, performance, etc. – they share with interested parties. Every record in the network has a timestamp and unique cryptographic signature, thus making the ledger an auditable, immutable history of a user’s career. The nodes communicate with each other in order to gain consensus on the contents of the ledger and do not require a central authority to coordinate and validate transactions

Combined, the Velocity Network Foundation’s founding members have career-related data for more than 700 million individuals in their systems, including billions of professional and student credentials and assessments, as well as employment and contract work records spanning job information, pay histories, competencies and more.

“Career Credentials Data is key to sustaining labor markets’ efficiencies and has enormous potential upside for individuals and businesses,” said James Owens, President and CEO at Cisive. “And, as Artificial Intelligence in HR gets smarter and more focused on solving specific problems, we all expect to see even further capabilities: smart matching of individuals and career opportunities, predictive analytics and smart people development recommendations.”

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