Human Capital Considerations for a Blockchain Implementation

As an increasing number of businesses have started to deploy the blockchain technology and blockchain projects, we are going to see a higher demand for skilled blockchain professionals, including developers, in-house experts, designers, and architects. The increasing penetration of blockchain across the industries is leading us to human capital considerations, especially in the areas of recruitment, training and development, talent acquisition, corporate culture and change management.

Today’s Human Resources department embrace digitization and exploit the advanced technologies for efficient and effective human capital management (HCM)[1]. There is a rising awareness about the need for managing human resources for the business-wide deployment of the blockchain technology. Big industry players like Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, Accenture and Toyota have been developing the products and services based on this innovation, which clearly demonstrates that blockchain in the HR is something more than a hype.

What Makes Blockchain So Special?

The blockchain’s decentralized computer network verifies, validates and automates the information flow, which makes it a valuable system that saves data while kicking the middlemen out of the process. That’s probably the key reason why banks are trying to stay abreast of the blockchain… and also why it could disrupt the way today’s HR professionals, especially human capital experts, work.

If the organization fully and truly uses the blockchain capabilities, the technology bears the potential to develop more effective and precise approaches to just everything. From vast areas such as hiring, recruitment and taxes to smaller scale functions like payroll, there is a range of important HR applications that blockchain will revolutionize.

· Are resume & LinkedIn going to be obsolete?

Though it may sound bit unrealistic, yet blockchain is fully capable to make both the traditional resumes and career networking platforms such as LinkedIn, obsolete. For an applicant, instead of writing down the description of where they previously worked and what they have done, the blockchain will simply save their entire employment history. This will completely revolutionize the way that organizations hire candidates. The blockchain will replace the lengthy verification process where the HR has to verify the references and employment history of the candidates. They would just need to pull up the public blockchain. It is also possible that the blockchain may also save performance indicators such as when the employee got the increment, why he left the company etc.

· More Control Over Your information

Most of the information and transactions within the organizations such as Facebook, LinkedIn, JP Morgan, Equifax etc. are centralized, which implies that these sites gather users’ data and save it on the company’s servers[2]. This data is usually sold by these companies to other companies in the form of credit checks, ads or mortgage-based securities. This practice may put the user in trouble as a single point of failure with user’s data means if these companies’ servers are shut down, got hacked or if these companies are out of business, the user can either lose the information or have it potentially compromised. Blockchain assures it doesn’t happen.

The blockchain technologies minimize the power of the companies and give user back some ownership, privacy and security of their data, which cannot be provided by centralized organizations that are faced with a higher risk of hacking and fraud. A data breach case of Equifax is an ideal example of how centralized data management impacted over 145 million users.

Other key HR areas that blockchain can truly transform include recruitment, resume validation, on-boarding, performance management and employees’ benefits.

The Rise of Blockchain in HR — Are Organizations Falling Short of Blockchain Human Capital & Skills?

Now that organizations across the industries have started deploying blockchain, the demand for human capital and blockchain skills is rising. For instance, Oracle applied for a patent for the blockchain technology to trigger efficiencies in its workflows.

Due to the skill shortage, many organizations generally end up with simply “renovation”. Instead of developing the projects truly and fully based on the blockchain, they only refresh or slightly alter what already exists. The blockchain technology is completely different. It is one of those scarce developments that is truly and really brand new and like nothing we have seen before. While organizations continue to develop new job roles due to the transformative, fast effects of the blockchain, many of these jobs remain vacant as the demand is exceeding the supply. Human capital considerations for blockchain project implementation, thus become critically important.

Bridging the Human Capital Gap

Many educational institutions, universities, high schools and even organizations have started to offer blockchain courses. For instance, IBM offers a personalized online training for the staff working with blockchain or are interested to work with it.

Though the industry has blockchain skills shortage, it doesn’t mean that one has to pass through an extensive training to enter this ever-increasing job market. Skilled human capital is required and professionals having adjacent skills’ developer, UX designer, IT architect, or financial service consultant, have already started to enter the ring.

The Bottom Line

The blockchain is destined to disrupt HR like any other field. It’s is more effective and cheaper than traditional people-intensive and time-intensive processes. It makes our lives easier. The blockchain technology is there, its incentive is there and disruption is there. Now it’s just up to the organizations to deploy it to the fullest while bridging the blockchain skill gap through human capital considerations.