How Blockchain Can Help You Detect Résumé Padding

Posted: Mar 02, 2018 9:37 AM
How Blockchain Can Help You Detect Résumé Padding

The emergence of the big data and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) as must-adopt technologies has sent many companies scrambling to improve their internal capabilities. Unfortunately, the high demand for talent in these areas has led to a scarcity of capable human resources. McKinsey expects a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 analytics experts this year. Cisco even cites the lack of expertise as a lead cause of IoT project failure.

This shortage snowballs into a variety of other problems. According to Glassdoor, it takes a little over three weeks to fill a position in the tech industry. In a fast-paced industry like tech, that span of time can make the difference to a project’s success. While most organizations typically try to hire the best people they can, they may also sometimes risk filling positions with readily available people just to get projects moving.

The demand also creates a profusion of applicants who exaggerate their expertise and embellish resumes to help them land jobs. Information about an applicant’s professional history and credentials are often fragmented and siloed across sites and services like LinkedIn or Glassdoor. Companies performing due diligence often have to access multiple sites and this increased effort leads some to gloss over this crucial part of the process. 

Poor hiring decisions ultimately lead to skills mismatch. While this is detrimental to all parties involved, it hits companies the hardest since they are the ones who invest the most in the process. One way to help address this issue is by having a transparent and accessible way to view and verify professional information. A technology such as blockchain can prove useful since it can provide a decentralized and immutable means to store such data. 

Several projects are already geared towards such applications. Several universities around the world are exploring the use of the blockchain to keep diploma records. Dock offers a data exchange platform that allows professionals to connect their profiles and experiences from a variety of services to make it easy for them to showcase and manage their credentials. Blockchain is also finding use to secure intellectual property through projects like Bernstein. These services help validate applicants’ ownership of works or contributions to projects that they cite in their portfolios.

Here are three ways blockchain can help organizations get the right people for the job by encouraging truth in the job application process.

Curbing fraudulent claims

Despite the increasing number of ways employers can verify applicant’s claims, a good number of applicants still lie on their resumes. Even large companies and institutions like Yahoo, Radioshack, and MIT have all dealt with executives and officials who have lied about their credentials

Blockchain can help curb such fraudulent and embellished claims. Putting academic credentials on a transparent and immutable record could deter applicants from lying. The various attempts to put academic records and credentials on the blockchain, for instance, will make it easy to prove if one has truly graduated from an institution with the corresponding degree.

The same goes for professional history and credentials. If this information can be readily verified against a permanent record, it would help prevent professionals from making false or overstated claims regarding their previous employment and the roles they played.

Consolidating profiles

Given the competitive job market, it’s almost a necessity to maintain a presence across recruitment sites and professional social networks. Aside from the popular ones, there are also niche services and networks that cater to professionals within specific fields. Since these are oftentimes separate services, any recent development in one’s career would require an update across these sites.

In addition, sites that cater to freelancers often have their own reputation systems that help identify top-performing contractors. However, reputations are often restricted to the platform on which they participate most. For example, a reputation on Upwork is not reflected on rival platforms like Outsourcely. Because there is no link between various platforms, maintaining an updated profile and being active on multiple platforms at once is often a challenge.

Platforms like Dock aim to break down these barriers by creating a decentralized means for professionals to aggregate their reputation information together with their credentials in one profile. They can even include their linkages and relationships across various services to their consolidated profile.

“The ability for professionals to own and control their work experiences and reviews enables them to truly mobilize their career and move platform to platform to get exposure to more high-quality jobs and become more successful,” says Dock CEO Nick Macario.

Validating works and contributions

Many recruiters are now going beyond claims in resumes by looking at performance portfolios. This can be tricky in tech since most developers often work on larger projects. It is often difficult for them to showcase their contributions to these projects due to intellectual property and non-disclosure restrictions. 

Some embark on their own side projects for the specific purpose of showcasing their skills and abilities. However, once published, these projects can be easily copied by other unscrupulous developers who may try to pass them off as their own. Blockchain intellectual property platforms like Bernstein help developers and creators claim ownership of their works. This way, companies will be able to readily validate if the work their applicants' show is really their own.

Promoting the truth

Emerging and disruptive technologies will continuously put pressure on IT companies to improve their talent pools. The hiring process, however, has its challenges. Companies can benefit from services which will allow them to readily verify applicant's claim. 

The availability of immutable and transparent blockchain records should compel applicants to be truthful. This will ease the pressure on companies when they perform background checks and cut costs as well.

Still, truthful resumes are just a part of the solution. Other measures such as qualification tests, interviews, challenges and contacting references are invaluable in helping separate unqualified applicants from qualified ones. At least, having these mechanisms will help prevent less honest people from getting ahead easily and will greatly assist businesses big and small in cutting costs and hiring skilled, straightforward people.