Benjamin Franklin famously said that "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." In the digital age, knowledgeable workers could soon be rewarded with crypto tokens, along with gaining all the other benefits that a person's knowledge provides.
Cryptocurrencies have defined the business world in 2017. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are fundraising activities that have attracted ventures of all sorts that use digital tokens and blockchain technology to fund and create various innovations. Moreover, blockchain technology is poised to disrupt entire industries, and these new approaches will likely affect how workers actually learn and become subject matter experts.
A Different Way of Rewarding Knowledge Workers
Knowledge.io is weeks away from its own ICO, launching what it claims will be a transformation of how recruiters and job candidates interact in the labor marketplace. Its founders want to create new ways for businesses to reward employees for learning new skills outside a corporate training environment.
Corporate training can be a hurdle for many American companies, both large and small. According to Training Mag, the industry’s leading publication, 26 percent of businesses leave their training regime up to the CEO, while 22 percent leave it to the head of HR. Which means many employees are focused on short-term results instead of developing and acquiring new skills for the long haul. And that can be risky at a time when disruptions (such as blockchain) are constantly being introduced to the marketplace.
Knowledge.io's founders want professionals to gauge their domain expertise through Knowledge Scores, a blockchain-supported measure of one's understanding of any given topic -; from finance to digital marketing to app development. Those who prove their mettle can earn tokens which the founders hope will gain in monetary value as the ecosystem grows.
What Gets Measured Gets Done
"Employers can discover and engage highly-skilled candidates based on their Knowledge Scores," says Marcia Hales, a co-founder. "These measures can be used for the purpose of interviewing, hiring, and career advancement in a more organized and efficient way than what exists today. And everyone will know what their options are for employment at all times."
Constrained budgets mean businesses tend to focus on senior leaders on whom they spend an average of $1,000 per learner. Typical employees receive far less than that, and some businesses don’t like giving them time off for training either. Yet training is crucial to an effective workforce, especially as companies face new business models and game-changing technologies.
With the Knowledge ecosystem, participants can earn tokens by providing value in various ways, whether through reviewing products, answering basic questions, or providing consulting services. The blockchain-supported platform enables experts to stand out and gain the attention of hiring managers and other interested stakeholders.
Incentivize Becoming a Subject Matter Expert
The tokens also create immediate motivation among employees: Become a subject matter expert and earn tokens to spend in an online marketplace. Employees get immediate rewards for improving their topical expertise, and their organization benefits from having a better-trained employee.
There are innovative approaches to knowledge acquisition. According to Training Mag, 2017 spending increased by 36 percent from the year before, and much of that was spent on flexible online courses. Younger generations also view development differently. Deloitte reports that 35 million people took online courses through places such as Coursera and edX in 2015-16.
Added Benefit: Knowledge Scores Assess Candidate Skill Levels
Employers have always sought the best candidates. However, misinformation on resumes and varying school standards make the recruiting process inefficient. A Knowledge Score provides a way to empirically assess candidates and their skill level.
"Knowledge.io rewards people for what they know and how much they know, and gives people the opportunity to be recognized and compensated for sharing this information," says Hales. "People can make better decisions based on expert recommendations and reviews, all while earning tokens for their participation, and even more tokens for overachievement."