2017 was decidedly the year that Bitcoin became a household name. Yet, despite the constant media coverage, many still struggle to understand how the cryptocurrency can have any sort of tangible impact on our daily lives. However, new applications of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency model and the blockchain technology that underpins them are emerging across a wide range of sectors, particularly the recruitment industry, and are presenting enormous opportunities for job seekers to capitalise on.
Where 2017 was the year that cryptocurrencies were recognised by a wide global audience, 2018 is set to be the year that we see them, and blockchain technology, make a profoundly disruptive impact on the way we live and work.
Bitcoin, and indeed all crypto-currencies, rely on blockchain technology to operate. Blockchain is essentially a vast, globally distributed ledger capable of recording anything of value. It can run across millions of devices and, as such, is interoperable and immutable. Cryptocurrencies use blockchain to ensure that the exchange of value is trusted and secure.
Despite having risen to prominence because of its use in the crypto-world, the potential applications of blockchain technology are ubiquitous and pervasive. The fundamental premise of offering secure and trusted documentation of transaction and processes is one that can diminish the need for manual involvement in virtually every broker service industry.
Knowledge is power
As these technologies have become widely recognised, more and more businesses are entering the marketplace offering innovative solutions to long-standing problems. The diversification that this is bringing the market has created enormous opportunity for workers looking to change jobs or even industry in 2018.
In the first instance, the proliferation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies across so many industries have created a growing need for skilled technical workers. The maintenance and development of the software that underpins the day to day operations of disruptive new firms requires specific expertise. The technologies in this area are advancing quicker than engineers are able to learn how to develop them. As such, there are not enough people with the requisite skills to fill the growing number of vacancies.
This is presenting a huge opportunity for people to capitalise on this growing gap in skills and expertise. The short supply of skilled workers means that choosing to study the likes of software development and coding is a valuable way to invest in your future career development.
Furthermore, taking a proactive interest in the area and therefore affording oneself a general understanding of how cryptocurrencies and blockchain work can also greatly improve employability. The businesses that are emerging in this sector not only need employees with technical expertise but also ones who understand the developments going on in the sector. Roles ranging from communications to legal are required within these businesses and approaching the job with an existing and comprehensive knowledge of these leading emerging technologies is an excellent way to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Cryptocurrencies and bitcoin have been well-documented as hard to comprehend beyond a basic understanding of how they operate, so taking the time to learn more about the topic can be a fruitful exercise when looking to move jobs.
The recruitment revolution
Last year saw companies across the globe start to pay their staff using cryptocurrency. In the UK, Leeds-based firm Victvs began to offer staff the option to receive their salary in Bitcoin in December. Although the prospect of receiving Bitcoin instead of fiat money may seem daunting, showing a willingness to accept cryptocurrency demonstrates an understanding and genuine investment in progression of the sector.
Aside from pursuing a career within the field of cryptocurrency and related technologies itself, job seekers can make use of the new applications of said technology developed specifically for the purpose of improving the recruitment and application process.
As blockchain technology provides a trusted network of information, it is being applied to the recruitment process with the introduction of ‘Intelligent Profiles’ - blockchain-verified CVs. Every aspect of a candidate’s professional and educational history is added to the blockchain and verified by the relevant organisation, meaning that the employer can be confident the candidate is qualified in the ways that they say they are.
By extension of this, we will see a rise in the use of cryptocurrencies as a way to facilitate the exchange of information and data between different parties throughout the recruitment process. Many companies are looking to implement token economy models as a way to encourage engagement and the recruitment industry is no exception.
This year we will see candidates being rewarded with tokens when organisations look at their online profiles as an incentive to display considered and accurate information. Under this type of token model, applicants could use their accumulated tokens to redeem against the price of courses or further education, allowing them to upskill and invest in their own personal development.
Tokenisation is also set to revolutionise the way that people are paid for skilled and specialised jobs. This year will see the token model used to distribute royalties, regardless of size, to people who have contributed to a project. Further, the use of smart contracts in combination with tokens will incentivise people to demonstrate their best work, improving service quality. For example, a website designer may receive tokens proportional to the percentage of traffic that the website enjoys once it goes live. This type of model encourages workers to be results driven, and rewards those whose work is proven to be of a high quality, rather than those who are the best at selling their services.
In 2017, Bitcoin grew from a niche area of expertise to become one of the defining features of the public zeitgeist. While widespread understanding of how Bitcoin and blockchain technology works is fairly limited, businesses are emerging across a range of markets promising to revolutionise the status quo with these disruptive technologies.
These businesses are looking for skilled workers to develop the cryptocurrencies and blockchain they offer, and for personnel in their wider team that understand their significance and how to communicate it to the wider market. The recruitment industry itself is already undergoing changes driven by cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, with verified CVs and tokenisation promising to change the way we find and operate in a job.
Gary McKay, Co-Founder and Managing Director, APPII
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