Open Data Just Made the Lives of Potential Hires Easier

Image credit: iStockphoto/Drazen Zigic

So many of the new digital tools in the digital workforce area are about making it easier for employers and existing employees. But what about candidates?

Yes, they have the convenience of browsing for jobs online, but that is hardly new. And they can review employers and rate them on sites such as Glassdoor. There is also an argument that AI offers candidates advantages in the recruitment process.

However, beyond that, there is very little digitalization for candidates. But a few open data projects are about to change this, bringing the candidates and their potential employers closer.

Open data and the personal identification revolution

One way in which open data can help candidates is securely managing individual digital identities. It is not new and already useful when switching bank accounts, energy providers, or loan providers.

One company that does this in Australia is Verifier, where the value proposition is to “take the headache out of filling in forms and collecting your verification documents.”

The idea is that individuals will permit service providers to access their digital identities, maintain security and privacy, and enhance convenience.

It seems that the same principle is also being applied to the digital workforce area. New digital projects in Finland and Sweden are also extending it to job candidates.

In many cases, the paperwork involved is the same. You will need the same documentation regarding official permits, licenses, qualifications, and references.

These Scandinavian projects use technology from MyData to make recruitment and job applying easier.

For example, the Swedish employment bureau, Arbetsförmedlingen, is testing how MyData technology can make job search easier by applying for these permits digitally from the various public registers with the consent of the job seeker. This way, the job seeker does not have to manually apply for, renew, retain, and submit valid permits and certificates.

The job seeker can give permission to view the information on an employer-by-employer basis and set a time limit for how long the information is available. He, she or them can then withdraw the permission to view the data at any time, for example, after being employed or when the job search expires, even if the set time limit has not been met.

“Human-centric services need personal data. The processing of this data must be extremely secure and transparent to the person to whom the data relates, and it is therefore very important that public actors such as Arbetsförmedlingen develop these services in accordance with the MyData principle,” says Mika Huhtamäki, the director of Vastuu Group's MyData operations.

Open data management gains momentum

Jobtech Development, based under Arbetsförmedlingen, is currently carrying out a proof of concept in Sweden. It combines job search services in Sweden with open data and common standards.

In Finland, the MyDataShare service enables the flow of personal information between systems to be transparent to all parties. The system will know what information is being moved and its origination, allowing MyDataShare to verify the accuracy of the information and increase trust between the parties.

Vastuu Group is also developing job hunting in their project in Finland called Digital Employment. It solves the same paperwork headaches, especially in construction and real-estate fields where employees need various special permits. The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland.

It’s a positive move that digital tools are now available to make the process easier for candidates. For companies moving into identity management, this is another potential application of open data principles.

Lachlan Colquhoun is the ANZ correspondent for CDOTrends and HR&DigitalTrends and the editor of NextGen Connectivity. His fascination is with how businesses are reinventing themselves through digital technology and collaborate with others to become completely new organizations. You can reach him at [email protected].

Image credit: iStockphoto/Drazen Zigic