Credential platform aims to be game-changer for HR, employees

About two years ago, Yvette Cameron and Dror Gurevich of Velocity Career Labs put their heads together to look at some of the ongoing HCM problems plaguing both employers and employees. Rising to the top of the list was data management, particularly, the fragmented nature of employee credentials.

Most career-related data–about employees’ educational history, past positions and skills, for instance–are housed in disparate locations, across varying platforms and databases. That puts employers at a disadvantage, the pair observed, as organizations lack access to holistic career profiles of potential and current workers, restricting their ability to tap AI and other tech to make predictions about their value to the organization. On top of that, self-reported credentials also have historically been shown to be untrustworthy. And on the employee side, concerns about privacy are on the rise–especially with the emergence of new regulations like GDPR–prompting many to seek more authority over their own career profiles.

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That’s where the Velocity Network Foundation comes in. Launched last month by 15 inaugural members–including big names in the HCM and education fields–the vendor-neutral, nonprofit foundation is rolling out the Velocity Network, a blockchain-powered, open-source “Internet of Careers.”

The verified career-credential platform is centered on the concept of self-sovereign identity–giving individuals sole ownership over their personal data.

Related: Here’s the first look at the Select HR Tech agenda

“Individuals with self-sovereign identity powered by blockchain technologies can store their data to their devices and provide it for verification and transactions without the need to rely upon a central repository of data,” explains Cameron. SSI, she says, gives users complete control over their identity records, including data related to their education, training, skills, projects, job history, assessments and more.

“By providing potential organizations with access to their data,” she says, “individuals will be able to turn their skills, training and experience into genuine value in the labor market, and access better career and development opportunities.”

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Employers can reap the benefits by applying analytics and AI to the data for job matching, learning and development, and tailored talent-management and retention programs. “In turn,” adds Cameron, “this will provide the much-needed uplift to productivity, which has been below par since 2011, despite huge technological advancements.”

In the coming months, the foundation will develop and test the platform and focus on growing the Velocity ecosystem, with plans for the network to be available, along with apps supporting initial use cases, by the end of 2020. To participate, entities must join the foundation as members, and ultimately can serve as credential issuers, credential inspectors, data processor or consensus node operators.

The 15 founding members, Cameron notes, represent a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including HR- and education-tech vendors, gig platforms, background-credentialing organizations, recruitment firms and more. The inaugural members are Aon’s Assessment Solutions, Cisive, Cornerstone, HireRight, Korn Ferry, National Student Clearinghouse, Randstad, SAP, SumTotal Systems, SHL, Ultimate Software, Unit4, Upwork, Velocity Career Labs and ZipRecruiter.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].