In our white paper we discussed the major problems that are created due to data silos that exist on the internet. We as individuals don't own or control the data that we work so hard to create and are often prevented from easily sharing our own data across the internet.
Over the past year, we've been hard at work building out the Dock Network, establishing partners in our network, and developing the technology to ensure data is shared securely and controlled by the individual. We have also met with hundreds of recruiters, hiring managers, partner platforms, and job seekers, and the need for having information verified has became more and more apparent.
False profile data is abundant
There is a growing need for accurate data within the recruiting industry - 85% of employers have found lies or misrepresentation on a resume or application, up by 29% from 6 years prior. This is false data that is directly used by managers for sourcing and recruiting.
Companies typically perform background checks and employment verifications as the very last step in the recruitment process, often after an offer has been presented. As a result, false information is only revealed after multiple interviews have been conducted across dozens of candidates, and countless hours have been spent by hiring managers and others involved in interview processes. Rarely are offers rescinded after the background check despite discovering information that a candidate may have falsified or held back. This is coupled with an expanding need for accurately verifying employees due to increased regulation. Companies site negligent hiring as their top concern when it comes to being compliant.
A common belief we hear is data on LinkedIn and other online profiles can be trusted since there is enough social proof to verify accuracies, but this is a major misconception. We've seen firsthand how profile information can be highly inaccurate with past employees of our own companies who have exaggerated accomplishments, listed inaccurate dates of employment, and posted incorrect titles. As an employer there is very little we can do to correct this information on someone's profile, let alone a resume we never see. Unless we are contacted directly about that information, a past employee can easily continue to falsify their contributions to future employers.
Companies need to be concerned not just because they are making major hiring decisions based on false data (decisions that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars), but also because they are hiring employees who are willing to claim false accomplishments. This begs the question - if someone is willing to lie on a resume, what else are they willing to lie about on the job? In that sense, this becomes about more than just a fact check, but a signal about a candidate's honesty and openness. Job seekers should be equally concerned since they are competing with candidates who are misrepresenting their experience.
Current verification methods are inefficient
Existing systems used to verify candidate information can take weeks to process, are often re-checking the same data, and results may contain inaccuracies that impact employment.
The time it takes to run a background check is cited as the top challenge for companies screening employees and is a reflection of major inefficiencies in the current system. The data points that a background check attempts to verify are extremely fragmented and stored across various government agencies, universities, past employers and even third-party companies that most people have never heard about. This results in a complicated and often manual process to track down the correct parties that can verify various pieces of data about the candidate, typically data that has already been verified in past background checks.
Many companies outsource verification of employment data to third parties who literally profit from verifying the same basic employment data repeatedly throughout a career. Inaccuracies in background checks are also very common; someone may have the same name or information could have been entered incorrectly when conducting the check. Although there is regulation to enable candidates to dispute inaccuracies, this creates further delays in the recruiting process.
Solution: a universal professional identity
This is why we need a verified profile - a professional identity - that is continually updated during someone's career, individuals fully control, and can be used across platforms.
Industry adoption of a verified professional profile not only solves the existing challenges of false information and inefficiencies in the recruiting process, but also enables new capabilities that transform how we develop and measure our careers.
Once a verified data profile is in place, the next step is to enable individuals to easily and quickly share this data profile across various platforms and networks. Maintaining up-to-date profile data is a challenge for both individuals and platform operators. By connecting back to a user's source of truth, both parties can ensure the data provided is accurate and all profiles are tied to a real person. This enables platforms to focus on building valuable resources for professionals and smarter recruiting tools.
As careers get more flexible and varied, how we track and measure careers needs to also become more flexible. For example, a freelancer should own and be able to share proof of work for past projects, or an accomplished saleswomen should be able to directly share verified reviews from her past customers. By enabling processes that can verify more nuanced information that is not included in a traditional resume, we can create a much more enriched view of an individual's career. Companies spend millions of dollars designing intricate hiring processes that attempt to validate experience and skillset, how much more efficient and accurate could we make the entire hiring process if recruiters could access this data at the very start?
Technology can solve the "proof of verification" problem
An important aspect of creating this profile is the actual proof of how the data is being verified and by whom. If the verifier is not credible or verified themselves, then the value of the verification is lost. With dozens of background check companies, it's not worth the resources for an employer to vet all of these potential background checkers.
This is where technology steps in and where the Dock team is hard at work creating a verification system that provides the necessary proof that claims made on a verified profile are accurate. By leveraging cryptography and distributed ledger technology, we can prove how data has been verified, as well as ensure that record of that verification is securely stored and can be re-shared by the individual. More on this to come from the Dock team.
In order to achieve the transformation that will be possible as a result of these profiles, we need to work together as industry to adopt a new standard and set our sights higher for what can be achieved. As a team, we're excited about the potential for verified profiles and will soon be releasing v1 of verified Dock profiles.