Within the last decade, the use of databases and HRIS platforms has radically changed the role of the Chief Human Resources Officer on the executive board, and how HR functions are able to contribute to the business. Their focus has gone from managing basic labor administration and employee complaints to becoming a force in the boardroom. The modern HR team plans strategic succession, integrates with every level of management to help objectively measure engagement and reward performance; they work closely with finance to tune headcount strategy, and track the legions of applicants who interact with the company and manage their employment lifecycle once hired.
I believe there is another revolution coming to HR and that blockchain frameworks afford companies an unprecedented balance between privacy and transparency. Here are two ideas:
People Analytics:Amazon has made press recently for placing sensors on their warehouse employees that track and give feedback on their efficiency. Humanyze is a startup company that’s trying to sensor up desk-bound employees in order to measure productivity and the unwritten layers of an organization. This sounds like an episode of Black Mirror already, but I find it disturbing that much of the data collected by these sensors gets blackboxed. Employees may never even understand the criteria they are being judged on. If the future of the workplace does involve such a level of measurement, I believe that employees will only widely buy into such programs if they can view their own data and trust that it is not being tampered with. A permissioned blockchain that supports high speed transactions but is visible with limited privileges to employees would be an good place to store such data. In addition to the company, employee advocate groups and third parties would run validator nodes to ensure that the data remains tamper-proof.
Smart Contracts for Compensation: While using blockchain for payroll is a no-brainer, integration with HR would also have valuable implications. Currently, there is a very subjective process for paying out bonuses & spot rewards. Smart contracts could run against performance metrics (see #1) and become a fair and transparent vehicle to pay out commissions, allowances, equity and annual bonuses. Enabling sidechains that could provide a limited view into compensation design and payouts, which would seriously simplify governance through audit, removing manual pulls that are prone to error. This is especially important in this age where we’re striving for pay equity across gender and other protected classes. I can even see a day where elected groups of employees would serve as validators for such data (for example, the Works Council concept that they employ in Germany).
I think that POA holds all the key features I mentioned (permissioned network, high-transaction rate, validators) to offers solutions in the HR space and lead in this market. What do you all think? I appreciate your feedback.