Article: Democratising background checks with verifiable credentials

HR Technology

Democratising background checks with verifiable credentials

Verifiable credentials (VCs) are a cutting-edge solution for secure employment verification, merging automation and tech for reliable digital identities. They excel in ensuring trust and efficacy in verifying credentials and personal data.
Democratising background checks with verifiable credentials

Background Checks originated in the early 20th century as a response to concerns about workplace trustworthiness. Initially focused on reference checks, they evolved into comprehensive investigations. The development of computer databases in the latter half of the century automated and expanded background screening, incorporating elements like credit histories and educational credentials. In recent decades, online platforms and a heightened focus on security have standardised background check practices, making them an integral part of the hiring process.

In the evolving field of background checks, automation plays a key role in speeding up employment verification processes. Traditional manual methods are time-consuming and error-prone. Automation utilises technology to access and analyse databases swiftly, ensuring accurate and expedited verifications. This benefits employers by providing prompt and reliable information and contributes to a seamless onboarding process for candidates, enhancing overall hiring efficiency.

Introducing verifiable credentials

Verifiable Credentials or VCs represent a cutting-edge paradigm in digital identity and authentication. These credentials ensure secure storage and sharing of personal information, qualifications, and achievements in a tamper-resistant manner. Unlike traditional credentials, which are often paper-based and susceptible to forgery, verifiable credentials offer a secure and efficient means of digitally proving one's identity and qualifications. This innovation not only enhances the reliability of credential verification but also grants individuals greater control over their data, as they can selectively disclose information only as needed.

Issuance of verifiable credentials to former employees

For organisations, issuing verifiable credentials to former employees presents a strategic opportunity. These digital credentials can encapsulate an individual's professional achievements, certifications, and work history in a format that is easily shareable and verifiable. By providing ex-employees with verifiable credentials, organisations not only contribute to the individuals' digital identity but also build a reputation for adopting cutting-edge technologies. 

Research suggests a substantial increase in the global data sphere, projected to rise from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes by 2025. Recognising data as a crucial asset akin to oil, organisations are increasingly realising the importance of leveraging their data for valuable insights, leading to a surge in data democratisation.

According to Dresner Advisory Services, the data democratisation market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 25% until 2025. A noteworthy trend on the horizon involves the intersection of data democratization with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI's reliance on extensive datasets for algorithm training and automation processes is well-established, and the expanding movement toward data democratisation is poised to increase accessibility to such data, thereby driving further advancements in AI and ML technologies.


The evolution of background checks has transformed with Verifiable Credentials (VCs) and platforms like eLockr, simplifying employment verification. These innovations empower individuals and organisations, offering secure digital identities and streamlining processes. By embracing data democratisation and technology, these advancements redefine workforce dynamics, marking a pivotal shift in the landscape of employment verification towards efficiency, security, and agility.

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Topics: HR Technology, #Innovation

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