Artificial intelligence and Blockchain will revolutionise HR– but, are we ready?


While it might seem ironic, artificial intelligence and machine learning are well on the way to lending a helping hand when it comes to solving the problems of human capital management. Recruiting is one of the toughest issues businesses face today. Finding the right talent is critical for business success, but it’s challenging to say the least, and hiring the wrong person is expensive. Recent estimates put the cost to find and hire a new employee at a quarter of a million dollars – a cost that can quickly become astronomical if that person turns out to be wrong for the role. With the ever increasing data available about candidates and employees,   some innovative AI companies are taking on the challenge of helping improve talent acquisition efficiency and effectiveness.

The world of recruiting has undergone a major transformation in the last decade or two. Changing employment trends, social and technological advancements, evolving employee demographics, just to name a few.

These factors have all contributed to the ever-evolving recruiting industry. In order to keep up with these changes, it makes sense for corporate recruiting leaders to be proactive and keep an eye on current and upcoming strategic challenges in talent acquisition and work towards implementing them.

People change. This is 1 fact we are certain of. When people change, their interests, values and ideas change with them. They reinvent and reformulate their values and goals. And this affects the recruitment market. The traditional recruiting system is dying. Shift your focus and bring your A game! Be different by surprising your audience and keep it personal.


While companies have increasing amounts and diversity of data they can leverage to try to identify the best fit for each position, the recruiting process is still stuck in the past, based on standardized resumes and (potentially biased) interviewers’ opinions, and companies are suffering because of that. Even though we are talking about people, machines seem to be able to help not only source but also screen applicants. In fact, studies have shown that humans are notoriously bad at picking the right applicant and a meta-analysis illustrated that algorithms can outperform human experts in hiring.

Varun Sachdeva a recognised HR thought leader has consulted with global CHRO’s outlines his views on the buzzing amount of innovation happening in an around the HR domain. He questions, is HR truly grasping the changing Tech landscapes? – he drives his point home by saying if institutional and legacy sectors such as the Banking and Financing sector can transform and reform – why can’t HR?

We are seeing AI and Blockchain reshape other sectors, not just in terms of computing power but in terms of transparency, together they make an interesting combination, but, are we ready, are we lagging or leading the way? Varun believes we need to move from a wait a watch to engage now! We must shift our efforts to adoption and not work in silo, other sectors are transforming and gaining huge benefits, perhaps the HR landscape needs to shift its behaviour towards technology adoption – isn’t this what learning and development is about, expressed shift in behaviours?


Because AI and Blockchain when combined:

  • Reduces bias
  • Improves department and the candidate experience
  • Drives new engagement models

To me, both AI and Blockchain drives enhanced synergies between disparate data and value chains – for example, development activities can be recorded using different apps, the visibility and authenticity of data, such as competency claims and qualifications can all now sit within the data exchange hub rather than in isolation. How many times do we see mis guided or claims which cannot be substantiated on resumes!

“AI helps to remove the Hiring by Clone syndrome, and helps brings greater skills and talent diversity”.

AI is not just about making sense of data, it allows users and candidates to engage in different ways, for example, through the use of Chatbots – self serve FAQ, onboarding and even coaching and employee development can be crafted through different user driven interactions. It allows for the Automation of processes so that HR can enhance its engagement model, where personalised conversations across the different communities co-exist.

Even though AI is far from being able to autonomously decide who a company should hire when it comes to figuring out who the best person is for the job.

To me, I see blockchain as a corner stone to transformation, where for example, external competency claims can be brought forward, I recently connected to Sesh Sukhdeo an International Author and Speaker, in his book, “Unlock the Collaboration Code” he highlights how new value systems will thrive if AI and Blockchain companies and Service Providers collaborate.

Sesh see’s blockchain impacting payroll, expense management, verification of information on references and candidates resume, miss representations of information is common – so credentialing will benefit tremendously. For me, one of the biggest opportunities is in the multi layered approach to talent development, we can make sense now of third party assessment using AI and ensure transparency through the adoption of AI.

Eduworks a US based competency based management group – is leading the way with the deployment of an open source competency based management blockchain platform called CAAS www.cassproject. org which is seeing tremendous take up globally. It’s only a matter of time when adoption will see everyone using a platform.

If Resume parsing is shifting to AI and Blockchain stacks and Payments Systems are bring shaken up, through Blockchain – it does not require a genius to see that there is so much more that can be done.

Having read some interesting articles recently on HR blockchain in digital process management digital process management with the use of so called smart contracts. Smart contracting capabilities (policies, benefits, reward)

Smart contracts bring a different form of value exchange, as we digitise the payments and contractual elements all in one, rules written into a digital program which determine what happens when money comes in or when certain conditions are met. Smart contracting handles these options in an open and transparent way – everybody knows when they are getting paid, under which circumstances and what amount.

It requires little imagination to see how this can shake up the business administration of companies, especially in an open talent economy.

We are living in a candidate driven market which will continue to evolve further with bigger challenges. There is no definitive solution which can solve all the challenges for all the organizatios rather it has to be a customized approach with focus on employer branding, right assessments, analytics, effective & efficient recruitment process, and proactively building talent communities to hire the right talent at the right time. AI and Blockchain will be important enablers along with right technology adoption to win in this war of talent.

AI and Blockchain is a great marriage!

Author- Varun Sachdeva is seasoned professional with extensive experience in building and leading high performing talent acquisition teams across North America and India. Over the years, he has contributed to the growth of the companies by attracting top talent and helping build strong employer brands. He is member of the leadership team and key contributor to several cross functional teams for Talent Acquisition


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