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Japan’s human resources (HR) industry is undergoing a transformation. Lifetime employment is no longer guaranteed. Promotion by seniority has started to collapse. And the job market is becoming ever more borderless. That’s why Japanese firms are exploring new work styles closer to global ones.
In particular, many employers now allow employees to work side jobs, which brings an influx of freelancers and contractors into the market. As these people seek new jobs, HR professionals generally work in isolation using tedious manual methods to screen work histories, skills, achievements and references.
Could blockchain resolve the challenge?
At Persol Career Co., we knew there had to be a better way to verify that credentials were current, accurate and not altered just to land a job. A better way to store personal information in IT systems, yet keep it protected from hackers and fraudulent changes. A better way for workers to update their résumés and securely share them among preferred recruiters and employers.
We hypothesized that a blockchain network could provide the framework to resolve these issues. But we needed assistance in testing our assumptions and developing a solution.
We turned to IBM Garage, which hosted an Enterprise Design Thinking workshop staffed by IBM experts knowledgeable in the IBM Blockchain Platform, the open source Hyperledger Fabric from the Linux Foundation and successful global use cases. Our team included IT personnel and businesspeople representing the HR user community.
Real benefits to HR stakeholders
Using design thinking, the Garage team didn’t take long to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) with tremendous potential. Still in prototype form, the solution creates a permissioned blockchain network ideal for storing, verifying and sharing employee work history among a consortium of employers, HR firms and employee organizations. It offers significant benefits to stakeholders in the employment market and even to the Japanese social fabric.
During the Garage workshop, it was great to be able to ask Hyperledger experts if our assumptions were right and to have them confirmed. The IBM team also gave us many new ideas and demonstrated how blockchain can streamline HR processes. A key enabler is blockchain’s distributed ledger, a tamper resistant and security rich environment for sharing work history information so critical to job seekers and employers.
Streamlining employment processes
Once personal information is stored in the blockchain, job seekers can make it available by sharing a digital key, and HR personnel can search the network for qualified candidates. This will make it easier to screen applicants and place them in positions matched to their qualifications and interests. And workers will be able to choose their career paths more autonomously.
Bigger picture, we believe that by applying blockchain to the HR market, we can help people maximize their strengths and fulfill their potential.
To help our network grow to critical mass, we at Persol are inviting HR and employee organizations to join the consortium. HR blockchain is a sharable platform. We encourage new participants to capitalize on the sharable part to introduce new styles of work and help create a better way to manage HR.
From time to time, we invite industry thought leaders, academic experts and partners, to share their opinions and insights on current trends in blockchain to the Blockchain Pulse blog. While the opinions in these blog posts are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of IBM, this blog strives to welcome all points of view to the conversation.
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