In hiring, here’s the eternal conundrum…how to make sure someone has the experience under their belt that they claim. Blockchain and smart contracts can help companies and employees find one another through verified work histories, says Vertalo CEO David Hendricks – and can even help gig workers gain a leg up in their financial lives, and get paid. It’s data as currency in the workaday world.
Consider the resume. A piece of paper, maybe two, and tried and true. The history of you – professionally speaking.
The problem is, who knows what’s true beyond what’s been tried? The phone calls, the references, the lead-ins to the interview. For the recruiter, the tasks and hurdles are formidable in winnowing down the inevitable waves and pools of candidates.
The resume dates back to the time of Leonard da Vinci. That’s a few hundred years. Might we assume the time is ripe for a tech-enabled makeover? One that can show accomplishments in a verifiable manner?
One company, Vertalo, seeks to leverage the blockchain – and the immutable data tied to it that is the hallmark of multi-party agreements – in a way that helps the recruitment process rather than disrupts it.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Dave Hendricks, CEO and founder of the startup, said that past experiences working with headhunters and finding quality workers for tech projects showed the limitations of traditional hiring methods. Scanning hundreds of resumes found familiar patterns of unfamiliar companies, schools and unverifiable work histories.
The upshot: “I really had to go on the basis of trust” – namely, trust in the recruiter, or referral, and trust in the concept that what was being presented from the candidate via resume as skillset and experience was, in fact, true.
“I started to take virtually the same resume over and over again,” he told PYMNTS, adding that “the only thing different was the name at the top.”
Thus, Vertalo seeks to solve the problem, summed up by Hendricks: “It is very difficult for highly qualified people to prove themselves.”
Tech becomes a jumping-off point and a guiding factor in solving these problems, he said, as two individuals using blockchain agree on something without the need for a centralized point of contact.
While some observers may equate the blockchain and those agreements of “pure” transactions with, say, monetary value, the process holds true with data, via smart contracts. In a way, it’s data as currency, with truth attached to the data, and valuable in an employment construct.
Vertalo offers what it terms “stints,” billed as concrete and verifiable accomplishments. According to Hendricks, the stint documents the professional relationship between two owners – in this case, they are the employee and employer, or the student and college. Or, in the world of the gig worker, freelancer and temporary project/employer. Stints, and the verification attached to them, said Hendricks, are “searchable, shareable and you own your own identity.”
Among the ultimate goals: “Let’s cut down the reliance on trust and rely on objective standards. Now people can own their experience and represent themselves to people that they do not know.”
Another goal: to conduct a “first cut” more efficiently, said Hendricks. A candidate who may appear marginal at first may get another look with the foreknowledge that the data being presented has been verified. In the long run, companies save money, as the cost of hiring, training and eventually jettisoning and replacing a poor fit can run as much as $100,000.
Finding the right fit, by extension, may boost the workforce itself in many ways, including in their financial lives. That’s especially true in the gig economy, where, as Hendricks noted, proving the veracity of five concurrent projects may be rougher when a W2 is not at hand.
Hendricks also told PYMNTS that Vertalo looks to associate a crypto wallet with everyone, and all enterprises, on the platform. “If you’ve got people working all over the world, you need to be able to pay people in a country or denomination that they want to get paid,” he said.
“We are very confident that the HR and recruiting industries are going to be extremely interested in what we do,” he told PYMNTS.