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Editor’s Note: In our four-part series, Breaking Down Blockchain, ReWork explains the potential of this promising new technology in the world of HR. Check out our previous piece, on how blockchain is transforming resumes, here.

Over the course of this series, we’ve explored blockchain in HR from top to bottom. We’ve spoken to experts who’ve explained existing and promising use cases for blockchain in recruiting, hiring, learning and development—and beyond. 

We’ve learned that, so far, HR leaders have taken particular interest in blockchain for recruitment, particularly because it can simplify the hiring and onboarding processes for all parties involved. With blockchain, the characteristic back-and-forth of the traditional hiring process fades into streamlined procedure. For example, when employees’ data is added to their record just once, it can carry through to background checks, benefits and other related stages of hiring and onboarding. New hires can get to work more quickly than ever before. 

The near-instant gratification that comes with using blockchain for recruiting and hiring enables even those unfamiliar with this complex technology to conceptualize its potential. But as the HR space starts using blockchain more widely for recruitment, adoption for other applications, including learning and development, has been somewhat slower to date. So what’s standing in the way? Ironically enough, it comes down to the need for more education.  

Boosting Adoption of Blockchain

Before a company can consider leveraging blockchain to transform processes beyond recruiting and hiring, its leaders must develop a comprehensive understanding of how it works. A general familiarity with the technology—like saying you’ve heard of cryptocurrency or Bitcoin—is not quite enough to use it productively.

To get familiar with blockchain, HR professionals must first drill down to its core. Gartner sums it up well: The real value of blockchain comes down to a paradigm shift in how societies, businesses, customers, partners and individuals interact, create and exchange value. In fact, PwC suggests we take blockchain’s potential a step further: blockchain is revolutionizing the way we exchange value online—similar to how the internet revolutionized how we exchange information. In the case of learning, for example, that value exchange refers to course credits, skills, certifications—anything that equates to knowledge gained. 

Each company will have to determine the best way to apply blockchain to its business and extract that value, but adoption of this technology is not about overhauling all existing processes. Rather, it’s about finding ways to incorporate blockchain into the practices we’re accustomed to, and improving them—making them more seamless, transparent and efficient. In fact, Gartner predicts blockchain will create $3.1 trillion in business value by 2030, with most of these returns stemming from value generation and efficiency improvements in current operating models and processes.

What’s Next For Blockchain?

Last year, Cornerstone joined the Velocity Network in an effort to support research and development of blockchain technology in the HR field. The network is an open source, vendor-neutral platform governed by the Velocity Network Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to make blockchain more attainable and clearly demonstrate its value. 

Together with other HR technology and education software providers, we’ve already successfully integrated our technology with the blockchain-based Velocity Network. We are innovating diverse use cases that apply blockchain in groundbreaking ways, from integrating blockchain into our skills graph technology, to building it into our recruiting suite. But there’s more work to do. Blockchain is an unprecedented, powerful technology that’s poised to transform HR. As part of the Velocity Network, we’re committed to creating real world applications that do just that. Stay tuned.

Did you know that Cornerstone joined the Velocity Network to help accelerate the development of a universal blockchain-powered network for HR? Learn more here and follow this series for everything you need to know about blockchain!