Freelancers are taking the world by storm. Not only do they bring in over $1.4 trillion annually, it is also estimated that in just ten years, freelancers will outnumber traditional full-time employees
Companies have realized that as freelancers increase in number, it is sometimes easier to hire a freelancer for one-time project-based work than it is to hire someone full-time. This has led many companies to frequently dip into the freelancing talent pool, utilizing freelancers’ skills for writing, editing, web design, programming, and more. And by turning to remote workers, companies are able to save money in the long run, as they don’t have to pay freelancers benefits.
Despite numerous advantages, being a freelancer or a client has its shortcomings. For clients, finding reliable freelancers online can be complicated and frustrating because it’s difficult to know whether a freelancer’s credentials and portfolio are genuine. Resumes are easy to fake, especially when neither party interacts beyond emails.
But blockchain could completely change how the freelancing industry works. Blockchain is a platform with a decentralized authority, and it has useful tools such as ledgers and smart contracts. Blockchain could make finding reliable freelancers easier and more efficient.
Fake everything abounds on the internet. Including fake reviews. In a world where bots are insidiously involved in many things online, finding reliable sources of talent can be difficult.
Blockchain-based systems can make this process much simpler and more authentic. In a freelancing network on a blockchain platform, a freelancer’s contributions and work can be tracked. Therefore, the more a freelancer works and the more they contribute to that community, the more trustworthy they become. This system allows for transparency, which also means that opportunities for deception are limited.
Reviewers would also be picked based on the amount of time and help they contribute, meaning that not just anyone is able to leave a review. This is helpful because when someone is searching for a freelancer, they know that the person has reviews left by reliable sources.
Additionally, reviews in the database will be verified by a third party, making it impossible for freelancers to cheat the system or beef up their reviews.
Identity and Proof of Work
Due to the transparent nature of blockchain, all data stored in its database can be viewed by anyone in a network. Identity, credential, and portfolio information can all be quickly and easily traced back to the owner of the information. This makes identity and work verification a much simpler process than it currently is. Lies on resumes can be eliminated, because a freelancer’s work history would be right there for all to see.
With information about freelancers easily accessible, employers could get a holistic view of their potential employee and rest easy knowing that they wouldn’t be in for any unpleasant surprises down the road. Since information on the blockchain cannot simply be edited as one wants, it makes it very difficult for fake data to make its way into the database.
One of the niftiest features of blockchain for employers is that it allows students to own a digital file of their diploma. This ensures that a freelancer’s credentials are transparent and easily verifiable, and that candidates are less inclined to embellish during the application process.
Some colleges (such as Southern New Hampshire University, Central New Mexico Community College, and MIT) are already implementing digital diplomas
as an advantage for their students. Students are able to quickly and easily access their official qualifications on their phones.
This enables students to have their credentials on them at all times. Additionally, the document is able to be verified instantly. This is because the technology has a multi-layered security system that makes it completely tamperproof. Thanks to this security, diplomas on the platform are reliable, and employers won’t need to double- and triple-check to confirm the document’s authenticity.
Technology like this is especially useful, given the recent surge of fake degrees
that make their way into the workplace. Unfortunately, there are companies that issue fake diplomas for a fee. A person is able to obtain a “degree” without ever even attending the college they claim to have graduated from. Bachelor’s degrees, Master's degrees, and PhDs have all been faked.
Unfortunately, there are many unethical individuals online. As often as freelancers complete a task and are never paid, clients are duped into hiring someone, paying them, and never receiving the assigned work.
Blockchain will eliminate that problem. On a blockchain-based freelancing platform, every member of the network has been thoroughly vetted to confirm their reliability. Blockchain also has smart contracts. These are self-executing, and bound by whatever stipulations have been outlined within them. Thus, when parties enter into a contractual agreement, all of them have to honor their part. This guarantees that freelancers receive their payment on time, and that employers receive the work they paid for.
Hiring Freelancers Made Easy
Freelancing is only going to grow, and companies will be required to grow with it. Companies have to become more discerning in how they hire remote workers, and must make sure that they are looking in reliable places. Blockchain can help companies find the freelancer that best fits their needs, as well as ensure that the person they hire will deliver work of a high standard.