Interview with CareerChain
At our event on 21 July 2018 CareerChain was represented by Ray Gibson, Co-Founder with 20+ years of experience in the HR industry and Douwe Mulder, the CEO, who built the first Bitcoin ATM in Europe back in 2013.
Q1. Ray, Douwe, welcome to the Planet Blockchain community event. When did you start working on the project? When and how did this idea came about?
Co-founders Andrew Evans and Ray Gibson have already been working in the HR world for the better part of their lives – Andy on the founding team of Careerbuilder and Ray as an HR leader, headhunter and director. About 4 and a half years ago Andy and Ray got together to start a new company in the HR tech world, StartMonday, focussed on bringing the first ‘handshake’ moment of a job interview into the application process by allowing jobseekers to apply with a 15-second video. It was about a year ago when they looked at the HR space and realised that blockchain has some unique properties which could solve one of the biggest problems in the job market today: job applications. Since then, a new team has been built to develop this idea into a working product and take it to market.
Q2. You’re planning to be the first industry standard for sharing career histories. Are you taking on LinkedIn? What is the concept behind CareerChain, the problem you’re trying to solve?
We are indeed going to be the first industry standard for shareable career histories. The key players in the job market have never been able to come together and make this a reality on their own since they are all competing with each other. That’s why we’re set up as a consortium foundation to not compete with any of the existing players, but rather provide the infrastructure for all players to share and verify career histories using “Bizzy” profiles. This means we’re not taking on LinkedIn, indeed or any other company, but seeking partnerships with them.
Q3. You have taken steps to develop not just your platform, but indeed an entire ecosystem – for example, by organizing hackathons. Can you elaborate on these initiatives?
Our belief is that one of the reasons why the HR industry hasn’t seen much innovation is because there is a lack of community-driven initiatives in this market. All players build their own solutions and it is difficult for new solutions to enter the space. By organising hackathons and other HR-tech events we can bring all parties in this space closer together, stimulate collaboration and rapid development and integration of new solutions in the market. It is of great importance for CareerChain to allow for speedy adoption of the standard to make sure developers have all incentives to start utilising CareerChain to their advantage.
Q4. Are there any unusual or novel technical features of your solution that you would like to share with us?
We have been following the Blockchain space for quite a while now and have been looking at all solutions that are currently in the market and how they apply to existing markets like banking/enterprise/gov-tech. After long research and a lot of experimentation with different blockchain technologies we’ve put together all the best components from both open as well as enterprise tooling to make sure CareerChain is compatible with the existing blockchain world, while it seamlessly fits in with the enterprise systems of the partners we are working with.
In the coming two months we will gradually release the platform and tooling software for everyone to review and improve.
Q5. You have chosen to set up your project as a foundation under Dutch law. What are the benefits of this legal structure?
Many companies in the HR space have been trying to build solutions to improve conversion by introducing a standard application solution, but so far nobody has been able to drive adoption because these companies are competing with each other. We’ve set up a consortium foundation to clearly signal that CareerChain is not going to compete with any party but supply an underlying architecture with Bizzy profiles and an ecosystem to drive conversion for all parties, bringing a better user experience for jobseekers and stimulating much needed innovation to the market as a whole. Next to that it is important to us to show that we can comply with Dutch and European rules and regulations. Dutch law is well known for its level of compliance and we want to be as transparent and straightforward as possible for all parties involved.
Q6. Your token sale is taking place in September 2018. Why should institutional and individual investors be interested in your project?
We are in advanced talks with partners and clients who will be the first to adopt CareerChain and Bizzy profiles as their standard for job applications and applicant tracking systems. When the public sale goes live we will already have the platform up and running with these parties on board, which means the tokens are usable from day 1! There is an intrinsic demand for CareerChain tokens: job sites and agencies must pay to process profiles in tokens; token supply is fixed from the beginning at 72.5m tokens and partners can only buy from token holders through exchanges. The team building all this has been designing and launching products for the job market for decades and are experts in user experience. In addition, the private round gives a great discount on the tokens (40%) and provides the opportunity to set up a validator node to earn more tokens while validating transactions on the network (similar to mining). All this together makes for a great opportunity to get in as early as possible!
Ray, Douwe, thank you for your insights. We wish you all the best with your project, and hope to see you again in Dubai!