24. September 2020

The Future of Talent Matching: Digital Career Wallets

the future of talent matching

Four billion people are connected online. Cars drive themselves and appliances can communicate, yet we still rely on resumes to navigate through the stormy global markets. Why? This is the question that the Velocity Network Foundation seeks to address with The Internet of Careers™. What is The Internet of Careers™ and how is it going to affect HR? We take a look into an HR crystal ball and get a sneak peek as to the technology that may change the world using technology that's already making waves now.

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According to PeopleManagement, recruitment fraud now costs UK businesses £23.9 billion annually. What would happen if there was a way to reduce this fraud? What if there were a new, better way of seeing HR evidence, credentials and skills: a ‘digital record’ that people could control, based on verified and trusted career credentials, powered by blockchain?

This is essentially what Velocity Career Labs believes is possible. Their intention is to turn work achievements into verified, secured and truly global digital credentials that people could claim, own, store and use to access better opportunities?" But how?

In this short interview Laura Schroeder, Head of Brand at Personio, and Yvette Cameron, HR technology analyst and Co-Founder of Velocity Career Labs, discuss the not so distant future of jobs and skills by looking at how digital career wallets on the blockchain will enable job seekers to curate and authenticate their professional credentials and share them with potential employers, making it easier to match skills and opportunities.

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"I think the biggest trend in skills,” says Cameron, “is the fact that the whole supply chain has been disrupted. With the impact of COVID, this global pandemic, we are seeing in the US alone, 26 million individuals who are ready for work and yet we have a hard time connecting that to work. There’s a glut of skills of all different types on the market and yet we have an inability to connect the two sides.

Skills are more important than ever and the ability to understand, surface and track those skills in a timely manner is more important than ever.

The types of skills, of course, are changing. But it’s the transparency of those skills between both sides of the supply and demand chain that I think is the biggest trend we’re having to face now.

Yvette Cameron, Co-Founder of Velocity Career Labs

How do we move the many people from a hotel who have been displaced into healthcare, or into retail? The skills are there, but the ease with which we are able to identify those skills and connect them to the new opportunities which are still there and growing has been completely lost,” she concludes sadly.

Cameron believes that there’s a lack of insight into skills and a lack of trust into how those skills have been validated. Sadly, 25% of people include inaccuracies in their CV, according to conservative estimates provided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Other sources, (Verifile) have found that 60% of job applicants have lied on their CVs. Since the crime of “fraud by false representation” can rack up a 10-year jail sentence in the UK it’s surprising that people would take the risk of being exposed, but they do.

Is there a risk of letting the wrong people through? “Wallmart just did major hiring in an incredibly short time” explains Cameron, “They did it in days, literally, and hired thousands and thousands of people, but they did that by bypassing background checks and that’s a big risk for the organization”.

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What are the biggest opportunities for employers and job-seekers?

Cameron identified that HR technology organizations like Personio are making huge investments in artificial intelligence and matching algorithms: but it surprises her that employers are sometimes hesitant to take it up. She believes that, “employers need to encourage their HR tech vendors to embrace whatever investments are possible to ensure that individuals are able to share more and more information about their skills and capabilities”. She also believes that we, as individuals, need to take more control over our future and bring these capabilities to the surface.

We can take more control of our CVs with a self-sovereign identity, and that’s where the consortium aligned with Velocity Career Labs, The Velocity Network Foundation, comes in. As she explains, “This industry and vendor-neutral foundation helps develop digital identities and digital career wallets that help people curate their skills and identities from their employers, from online learning etc. and share them with potential employers, potential gig opportunities and so-forth.”

How close is this dream to becoming a reality and how do we get there?

As Schroeder explains, Cameron has been a strong advocate for open skills and portable talent profiles using blockchain technology for a while, as well as being a pioneer in this space. But how close are we to seeing this become a reality? Cameron answers, “I would say that within the next 12-24 months we are going to see organizations and employers sharing digital credentials with their employees to take with them to get the next job or the next opportunity faster”. She explains that there are literally hundreds of programmes out there in the market today. Furthermore, in the United States, she says, “We have an entire industry who is focused on skills-based hiring and doing that hiring based on digital credentials”.

What are these digital credentials? Think of them like a digital CV – but externally validated, thanks to verifiable data from academic and training institutions, employers and other sources – that individuals can carry with them on their mobile phones and share when new job opportunities become available.

This isn’t a future of work initiative. This is now-of-work. This is starting to happen. The pilots are out there. And I think that this will become reality in the next 12-24 months, based on all the technology investment and government support behind these initiatives.

Yvette Cameron, Co-Founder of Velocity Career Labs

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How does this apply to HR leaders?

One day, the physical CV may be replaced by a truly virtual one. Not just a PDF copy or the data that a candidate has manually input into a form: but a blockchain-enabled digital career wallet.

From an HR perspective, a more highly validated ‘virtual CV’ may be a blessing for beleaguered recruiters responsible for vetting candidates’ qualifications and experience. As the Security Watchdog explains, “All employers have an obligation to ensure that applicants have the right to work in the UK, and therefore this check is a legal requirement. After a right to work check however, employers must be able to prove that they have a legitimate reason to carry out further screening.”

Imagine if the software you use could help you manage the recruitment process, store and delete CVs when they reach the relevant or mandatory expiry date and track all candidate-related information – including a digital career wallet! While the last element is not quite a reality for European companies yet, the rest certainly is.

Cameron believes that there will be much better ways of getting people to work, and helping them get better work, faster. And that makes life so much easier for HR. But until that happens, it’s nice to know that there is intelligent HR software that can already improve the HR experience for applicants, candidates, recruiters, HR teams and business leaders.

Watch the full interview here:

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