Coming soon — a resume-validating blockchain network for job seekers

An online resume-validating network has garnered support from than a dozen board members from companies whose ranks include Aon, Oracle, SAP, UKG, and ZipRecruiter with the aim of reducing the time and cost of vetting job candidates.

The network is part of a trend by governments, schools, and businesses to create verifiable digital IDs — self-sovereign digital identities — that can be used to verify everything from credit worthiness and college diplomas to licenses and business-to-business credentials.

The Velocity Network mainnet, now being piloted internally by corporate members, would enable employers to verify a job candidate’s diplomas, certifications, and work experience almost instantaneously. Employers using HR software can also issue verified credentials to employees, who can then access and share that information through a blockchain-based, online ledger.

A job candidate using the network would essentially be given a digital wallet secured through cryptography via the ledger. They could then choose to offer prospective employers whatever verified information they choose via a public key.

The network was created and is run by the Velocity Network Foundation, a Delaware-based nonprofit whose mission is to allow workers to store and share verifiable educational, licensing, and experience credentials online with job prospects.

“Verifying applicant career records can take days, weeks, if not months, to complete,” said Dror Gurevich, founder and CEO of the Velocity Network Foundation. “Hiring methods are severely outdated to the point that one in three Americans have admitted to lying on their resumes, which slows the hiring process immensely.

“There’s literally no easy way of verifying records today other than making phone calls and procuring information from various sources,” he said. “And that drives a $17 billion screening services market made up by professional third-party providers. Organizations spend millions of dollars on this. But it’s not the cost that’s the issue. It’s the time it takes; it’s a ball of friction that is the blocker for most of the innovation we need in the job market.”

How credentials are stored and shared

Essentially, workers approach issuers to claim their credentials, whether from a past employer, government agency, or school. The issuers take the records they have, then sign them with their private keys to create a tamper-proof record that’s issued to an individual’s digital wallet.

That digital wallet application can be installed on whatever device a user chooses to connect to their work, school, or license issuers to claim digitally-signed proofs of their employment history, educational background, skills, and qualifications. For each credential, the issuer writes a cryptographic key to Velocity Network’s blockchain, making it verifiable and trusted. The personal data is stored privately on the individual’s device, and the verification keys themselves hold no personally identifiable information.

“This allows individuals to stack proofs of their employment history, educational background, skills, and qualifications; store them privately; and share them [with employers] when needed,” Gurevich said.

Once the validated data is uploaded to the Velocity Network, workers would own it and can choose to share some or all of it by offering a public cryptographic key to prospective employers. Job seekers could control exactly which records an employer can access depending on job requirements.

“We currently support 25 different credentials, from basic identities to work permits, education credentials, courses, badges, assessment results, driver’s licenses, and professional certifications,” Gurevich said.

Via the blockchain ledger, the Velocity Network would also run a token-based, cryptocurrency payment and rewards system. Organizations that issue credentials and other career information contributors are rewarded with Velocity Credits. Conversely, companies can then buy credits on the Velocity Credit Marketplace to pay for access to the blockchain ledger to verify credentials.

Gurevich pointed to the Great Resignation as one reason a resume-vetting network is needed now more than ever as employees are quitting and changing jobs at unprecedented rates.

“We’re currently relying on self-reported, unverified resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and the like as the source for candidate and employee records,” Gurevich said. “If you want to hire a developer in Serbia, you can’t do that because you have no idea who they are and you don’t have that trust factor to comply with regulations. For most employers, that requires the vetting of the individual’s credentials or risk being responsible for negligent hiring.”

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