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How Innovation Is Changing the Future of Career Pathways

HireRight is a proud founding member of the Velocity Network Foundation, a non-profit focused on transforming how employers and schools validate student and candidate career history utilizing SSI technologies. Learn more in this blog by our CTO Conal Thompson.

December 16, 2020
Conal Thompson, Chief Technology Officer at HireRight
12.16.20 2020-12 blog-HireRightVelocity

Imagine that you have a digital wallet, containing your verified education and employment details as digital credentials. Any time you apply for a job, you need to only share the credentials from your wallet and potential employers could instantly gain access to verified information.

Sound like something from the future? In fact, it’s a reality now.

HireRight is a proud founding member of the Velocity Network Foundation, a non-profit, vendor-neutral foundation focused on a collaborative initiative to transform how employers and schools validate student, employee and candidate career history. The goal? Building a globally accessible and trustworthy Internet of Careers (IoC) – a distributed infrastructure allowing individuals and organizations to seamlessly and cost-effectively share trusted career credentials, built for the digital age.

Reflecting months of collaboration among its members, Velocity recently launched the Velocity Experience Center, the first in a series of multi-vendor scenarios showcasing just how such a world of self-sovereign, verifiable career credentials works in practice. These scenarios include a look at how the world of background screening will change – particularly when it comes to Career Pathways For Education, Training, and Employment.

How Does It Work?

Velocity Networks is on a journey to bring Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) to life through a collaborative industry effort. SSI is enabled through technologies such as blockchain, distributed systems, and cryptography to enable secure, privacy-enhancing, and easier way to exchange credentials. The goal is to build an ecosystem incorporating standards from Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), and other relevant standard bodies. All this will enable an interoperable mechanism to revolutionize career credential exchange.

Individuals can now receive standards based digital credentials from issuing organizations such as universities and employers. They can receive and accumulate these verifiable credentials in their digital wallet app on their devices from multiple issuers over time. When there is a need to share those credentials such as during job application, they can share from their wallet directly and instantly. The role of blockchain is crucial in building trust. This is achieved by way of maintaining issuers’ information on a distributed registry built on blockchain.  

The foundation builds and operates the infrastructure, toolset and common technology across multiple vendors, including Aon, Cisive, Comcast, Cornerstone, Credential Engine, Economic Modeling (EMSI), Greenlight, Joynd, Kelly, Korn Ferry, National Student Clearinghouse, NEEYAMC, Oracle, Randa, Randstand, Relias, SAP, SHL, Sum Total Systems, UKG, Unit4, Velocity Career Labs, Vero, the World Employment Confederation, Yoti, and Zip Recruiter, as well as HireRight.

Essentially, Velocity Network participants like HireRight are provided with new and secure ways to issue and exchange verifiable career credentials including individual identity and contact information, employment history, training, industry and professional certifications, licenses and more – leveraging current and emerging standards to ensure data interoperability.

What Does This Mean for Background Screening?

When it comes to background screening the concept of Verifiable Credentials leveraging blockchain technology ultimately streamlines the process for all parties involved. Here’s a closer look at how their individual experiences with a digital wallet might vary.

  • Candidates – Those completing education and training programs or employment can add their credentials to their digital wallet, and then share with the inspecting organizations which may be using one of the vendor systems such as applicant tracking systems, career sites or background screening systems. The vendor systems that integrate with Velocity Network enable inspectors to instantly verify the information. The candidate experience is tremendously improved, as applicants don’t have the pain of assembling information from their portfolios/folders and entering them manually in a form.

  • Clients – To verify a candidate’s background, rather than collecting candidate information at multiple points manually, screening providers like HireRight can accept information electronically from the candidate directly from the wallet app through a Quick Response, or QR, code. This offers a consistent source of exact dates, titles and institution names for ease of vetting and the turnaround time is near zero due to the pre-verified nature of this data. Most importantly, the credentials cannot be tampered with, thereby reducing fraud and candidate misrepresentation of information during the application process.

  • Background Screening Providers – Credentials shared by candidates are consistent irrespective of issuing organizations, as they will be using standardized schemas. This will greatly reduce the time and effort involved in presenting verified information in a consolidated consumer report. Both pain points and manual efforts involved in collecting information from the candidates and from the issuing organizations is totally removed. There is also no need to contact issuing organizations anymore – and this is crucial in situations where they are out of business or when there are delays in contacting them (such as during a pandemic).

Background screening providers embracing this technology can remove friction in data collection and the verification processes, while focusing on what they are good at: helping their clients efficiently assess risk in hiring and getting job candidates employed – all while providing a one-stop experience for their screening needs by producing a single consolidated consumer report.

How Does This Protect Your Privacy?

Verifiable credentials put individuals in control, empowering them to manage their critical information. They can now carry credentials wherever they go in their secure wallet and decide what, how much and to whom they share the credentials with. This, along with the powers of cryptography, greatly protects individuals’ privacy.

The Long View

Ultimately, we view our participation in the Velocity Network Foundation as a natural extension of our commitment to embracing and utilizing new technology for advancing the customer and candidate experience. As we continue to innovate and road-test new technologies, HireRight is excited to be actively contributing in this space and bringing its benefits to our clients and their candidates in the near future.

Release Date: December 16, 2020