Blockchains have been taking technology by storm, even though many people have still not heard much about them. Those who are familiar with the term usually associate blockchains with bitcoins, but they actually have many potential applications. Human resources departments around the world are realizing that, but many are still unaware of the potential impact that blockchains will have on human resources systems. It sounds dramatic, yet it’s the truth—blockchains will change everything.
What Are We Talking About?
To review, blockchains are basically a decentralized and transparent method of gathering, organizing, and protection information. They also connect all present information to everything that came before it, which throws off hackers’ tried-and-true habits of targeting the specific pieces that they want. Since they allow a way to store information securely and in such a manner so that nothing can be altered, deleted, or viewed without permission, blockchains are the future of recordkeeping.
Changing Relationships Between Employers and Employees
In human resources, the uses for blockchains appear to be endless. They could allow recruiters to easily access files on potential job candidates, which can do wonders for headhunting, character/personality analysis, and even background checks.
Candidates themselves could add information to the cloud and let human resources departments instantly peruse specific parts of their profiles and resumes to verify their credentials and experiences.
What all this means is that when human resources is looking to fill a position, they can use records stored by blockchains to discover what they need to know about the applicants they’re considering hiring, trusting that the information they find is accurate because it’s already validated, stored permanently, updated regularly, and untouchable by third parties.
The employees’ health records, performance evaluations, contracts, and other documents relevant to the workplace can also be tracked with the assurance of accuracy and safety. Everything would be in one permanent, tightly controlled place.
The payroll process can be completely transformed, too. After all, blockchains were originally invented for the purpose of moving money more efficiently. Monetary transactions can take a while because they have to pass through several sets of hands before they can be approved and completed. Thanks to the nature of blockchains as a means of exchanging information more directly, however, there may no longer be a need for payments to jump through numerous hoops with the banks. Even international payments can occur with a speed comparable to that of domestic ones, since it would be easy to overcome the exchange rate barrier.
But That’s Not All
Essentially, what blockchains do is remove some of the need for a “middle man” or third party, which has long defined the relationship between companies and their employees in matters of negotiation, compensation, and recordkeeping. Human resources and candidates or employees can communicate and share information directly with each other with unprecedented transparency, and it could happen with just a few clicks on the computer.
There is some speculation that blockchains will be a major contributor to the emergence of a “gig economy,” allowing people to find work and receive compensation for it so quickly and easily that third party contracts may become obsolete.
For an example of how blockchains are already changing the process of contracting employees, look no further than the music industry, where Imogen Heap has already made headlines for releasing songs as digital music contracts without having to go through anyone else. She essentially got to set her own terms and enjoy fuller compensation for her work, free of the obligations to share the fruits of her labors with an array of intermediaries.
Imagine applying this concept to other industries. Being able to make mutually beneficial decisions one-on-one allows more people to act as their own bosses and more human resources departments to make wise judgments on behalf of their companies with ease, efficiency, and peace of mind. Most industries rely on some degree of intermediation, so it’s safe to say that the way people work on anything—not just music—will rapidly evolve into something more independent and controllable for all parties involved.
Basically, blockchains will rapidly change all the rules in human resources by giving employees a greater voice in how they work and simplifying communication among recruiters, human resources, candidates, and employees. Every last aspect of recruiting, drawing up contracts, issuing payment, filing records, conducting background checks, and so much more. No human resources department can afford to ignore blockchains as they continue rising in prominence. Some of the precise changes that they will bring with them may be predictable, but as blockchains are still being developed to their full potential, human resources departments will need to be as prepared as possible for any kind of surprise.