Blockchain and HR: where next?

René Seifert, Co-head –

HR departments have been under significant pressure over the past 12 months, but have also had a unique opportunity to prove their true value in an organisation, as seen with the rise in HR leaders gaining a seat at the C-suite table. HR leaders must now use this opportunity to drive processes forward, powered by modern technologies.

Digital transformation became top of the agenda last year as organisations moved to more digital processes to enable working from home. But with this transformation, comes a number of new challenges. These, coupled with the already vast array of HR challenges such as talent shortages, cost of labour, candidate fraud and changes to law surrounding gig workers, means that HR leaders must look to new technologies to enable them to be more efficient and productive. This is according to René Seifert, co-head of who believes that blockchain has a huge role to play in innovating HR functions.

Gartner predicts that blockchain will create $3.1trillion in business value by 2030[1] and within the HR function alone, has potential to transform contracts, storage and sharing of sensitive information and data, the recruitment and onboarding process, and any other processes that require sharing of information. René explains, “Blockchain has historically been understood as ‘something to do with cryptocurrencies’ and ‘something for the very tech-savvy’.”

“But, in simple terms a blockchain is a shared file which records transactions. Each of the transactions, such as a piece of identifying information, is added in as a ‘block’ and is stored decentralised in the chain which means that once added in, no one can interfere with or control its content, meaning it’s highly secure.“

René outlines that because of the nature of blockchain, a specific innovation that is gathering pace is blockchain-powered verification: “For example, using a blockchain-enabled professional document verification platform can enable candidates to securely upload and verify private documents, such as passport or university certificates, providing them with a form of portable credentials. Recruiters can then view and verify candidates’ credentials against the blockchain.”

“From a recruiter’s standpoint, this can help to drastically streamline the verification process by eliminating the continual churn of verification requests on employers and educational institutions every time a candidate applies for a new role. For candidates themselves, the process is also expedited as their credentials only need to be verified once before being saved on the blockchain. They can then share this with potential employers at any point during their careers, rather than having to be verified each time when applying for a role.

“This application of blockchain-enabled professional document verification also eliminates the risk of hiring unqualified, fraudulent individuals.”

René concludes, “While this implementation can be applied right now, there are huge implications for the future of HR if this were to become a universal technology. Imagine a world where each organisation doesn’t need to verify candidates when they hire them because that candidate has already been verified and stores and owns their own credentials. This simple move – while would take time to fully deploy – would save organisations not only endless time in the recruitment process, but also huge amounts of money, and this is where the application of blockchain can become very exciting for the future of HR.”