Since the beginning of time, humans have collaborated together to create some of the most incredible civilizations, technology, art and demonstrations of our ability when we work together toward a common goal.
Throughout the ages, there have been different methods to facilitate progress, negative and positive, from slavery to sheer passion. Today, we believe value exchange is the key to collaborative efforts and that entire ecosystems can exist with basic protocol rules, yet all other remaining decisions and growth being determined by the user population.
My expertise is in recruitment. I have spent my entire career in this industry and have always tried to be the forefront of the technology behind all the various services, from job boards, and matching, to applicant tracking systems that have brought companies and candidates together. But my interest runs much deeper than these logistical technologies. I would say I am a dreamer, a tech evangelist and someone who loves to challenge the status quo.
What would an ecosystem designed simply for hiring need to truly be completely self sufficient and ever evolving? Beyond placing people into work, could this ecosystem develop its own trust ranking, enhance and develop its own rules, could it improve its own user interface? Could it even develop itself? I genuinely believe this is possible and I am sure that we are not that far away from it.
Earlier this year I was in Hong Kong speaking with a certain level of confidence on the potential role of blockchain technology within recruitment, sure I had all the answers to what the working world would look like in this context. Unexpectedly, I was blindsided by insight from an expert on the panel when they posed the scenario of a working world where people had 5,6 even 8 separate jobs. My instant opinion was, “Impossible”? 8 Jobs? When would people sleep?
But the seed was planted and it got me thinking about what he really meant. He was talking about a ‘Gig Economy’, where rather than being centralized to one company, we would all work multiple jobs, offering out our services to different companies and platforms, acquiring incremental levels of pay that would culminate together to create an overall level of income suitable for to maintain a person’s livelihood.
Eureka. Blockchain can potentially offer silos of ecosystems based on separate parts of people’s lives and behavior, such as getting a job, getting a ‘Lyft’, getting social and even gaming. Imagine living your life through these separate decentralized ecosystems and that your role was to satisfy any requirements you have and that you could also contribute in micro ways to the upkeep, improvements or tasks for that ecosystem, earning yourself income that could be used in the ecosystem or outside of it in your daily ‘real’ life. When you consider this, we manage ecosystems now to a lesser extent, but they are centralized, like Facebook, Uber, Banking, Shopping, Dating etc… but we received nothing in the form of reward.
With the right framework and the right set of starting rules, we could decentralize almost anything and see the revenues that once were controlled by a select few, dispersed amongst the community that has made them so powerful.
Blockchain is going to shift the balance of power.
So what would this framework look like in the recruitment space? Frameworks for different services would have slight differences, but on the whole, like the laws of physics, all ecosystems that are created would work to the same set of rules and framework.
The core constructs of what the framework would need in my opinion are
I understand that 3 of the words above currently do not exist in the English language, but I am certain you know exactly what I mean and I feel they will become very relevant in the future. Remember that in an ecosystem, the underlying foundation to all the above points is communication, feedback and gamification, none of the above can exist without that.
Everyone who participates in the ecosystem earns rewards and in the hiring ecosystem that would mean gaining employment, recommending friends to the ecosystem, endorsing skills, endorsing companies, feedback on platform improvements, finding new jobs for the population, improving the technology within it, improving the matching and the list goes on and on. Rewards are not predetermined, a person can request the level of reward they wish to receive from an action and other members of the ecosystem vote as to what is the suitable reward. Similar actions always have guideline reward numbers, but a person can request what they want and the ecosystem can decide what they want to offer, collectively.
The more you are endorsed, the more you contribute and the longer you hold a trust presence within the ecosystem, the greater your trust ranking, that is relative to everything, including the general governance of the ecosystem increases. Trust will be earned, measured and displayed at all times, increasing fluidity throughout the ecosystem.
In recruitment sense and when it comes to skills, experience and education, users will be able to state what they have, but everything will be subject to meritocracy. Particular focus on projects that are completed within the ecosystem, such as building new parts of the matching, UX, paring candidates, finding jobs, facilitating towards the growth of the platform will offer higher merit. Users on the platform could rate your skills and ability to deliver projects, tasks, tests etc… All of which contributing towards the users overall recognized merits.
Everyone has a vote within the ecosystem, however, based on Merit and Trust,
your vote has a separate weighting, which you can be sure is unbiased as every
decision you make in the platform is subject to community scrutiny, so even with
a long established record, if you vote for things or actions that goes against the
community so many times, this may also play against your ranking.
The entire system of gaining trust and merit would of course create a level of Gamification, and being clever, the creator of such an ecosystem would include increased attainable levels, followed by reward everywhere within the platform to encourage the users to develop themselves, in turn, developing everything around them in the ecosystem much quicker.
We are already used to bounty programs externally within ICO’s, so why wouldn’t there be an opportunity to create bounties for almost anything inside a fully decentralized blockchain system? As a user, I may notice a bug, or a piece of functionality that I do or do not like, or even that the platform is missing something. If this ecosystem was a recruitment focused one, I may offer tokens to someone who is already in the company I want to work for, in return for their help preparing me for interview, or even making an introduction to someone senior in the company to help me get my foot in the door. The reward system would intertwine with gamification, and levels of achievement would intertwine with Merit and Trust. In short everything within the ecosystem framework is intertwined and that is what creates a balance and Governance.
Which brings us to Governance, as without it there is chaos, so when creating a framework that will have the ability to self govern, you have to release it with the right rules of engagement that allow it to do so. As the framework attracts users and the democracy grows within it, it can truly decentralize without one or a few being able to steer it towards an unfair bias.
Governance can come in many forms, but clever technology will wrap all the rules of the framework around the governance of any platform. Something like the one we are discussing would mean any bad actors or individuals looking to manipulate the ecosystem would be extinguished by their own behavior automatically.
This then builds a race towards gaining trust from the platform as that will be the only way to have any form of power or influence, yet we can be assured that it will always be for good, as the majority vote, will remain supreme. This also brings me on to the type of blockchain we would run for a framework and ecosystem like this? If we have a system that has verified people and companies over and over, with a long traceable record of trust on the blockchain, what stops these individuals or entities becoming nodes within the ecosystems own blockchain? Users with high trust could act a proof of authority nodes within such an ecosystem and then we have achieved complete self-sufficiency? This is my dream.
In my normal day-to-day job, I hold the title chief visionary officer and I spend a good deal of time thinking about: If we could do it different and better, what would that look like? In much of what I have spoken about here, we are applying to the future of my organization, with some of the brightest minds trying to figure out the revolution.
So let’s take a step back from what we have discussed. We are talking about creating silo’s of ecosystems and maybe even one day their just being a ‘Super Ecosystem” where everyone’s lives are carried out, no ‘one’ person is in charge but a system that allows us to vote, get credit, earn reward and input as much or as little to the platform where we all host our lives.
It sounds far-fetched and even a bit sci-fi, but I can assure you, it is not, now that blockchain is here, the entire world is rushing towards this future and it’s heavily funded with ICO money.
At my business Job.com, we have possibly the most unusual agenda for our business, which is how do we remove ourselves completely out of the process? As in a decentralized world, there is no room for recruiters, job boards or even Job.com. We are working towards creating a self serving hiring platform, called a recruitment community ecosystem that will act as the global hirer for everyone and provide the global gig economy a way of earning another income by supporting this framework. Our ecosystem will become part of the daily diet of multiple interactions, efforts, collaborations and value exchanges that we all do, yet now, we will all be rewarded for it.
Strangely it excites me as when I look at large centralized companies, they have been exchanging my data, my value in return for profit for so long and I have never had a cent for it. This new world, which has no place for my business or many other centralized models will see a redistribution of power and value exchange between everyone.
We have been exchanging value with one another for so long already, with volunteers on Wikipedia, to the endorsement I gave on LinkedIn. What I speak of is nothing new, its already happening, but now blockchain is taking it to another level.
I’m confident that with the right frameworks, the ecosystem I have described and far more advanced versions will exist in the near future. Everyday users will simply shift from a centralized to decentralized, it probably won’t feel massively different to the average person, other than once upon a time we did everything for platforms and received nothing, completely at the mercy of their decisions, whereas in the future, the spoils of creating the perfect platforms will be shared amongst the users and its actions will be dictated by the users. For me personally, that is a future I am very much looking forward too.
I will end this article with this, I cannot guarantee everything I have said will come true, and I cannot guarantee everything is right, but…
I am not afraid to be wrong,
I am afraid to do nothing.