According to estimates by Australia’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), around 25% of people misrepresent their skills, qualifications, certifications and/or experience on their CV

The cost of a bad hire is not only damaging to individual teams, but to company culture, employee wellbeing, and overall job satisfaction. As a result, businesses are looking for a quick way to verify an applicant’s credentials and avoid the long-term costs of bad hiring.

Why the right degree is no longer enough

It’s no longer enough to merely have the right degree from the right university – candidates need to provide evidence of a well-rounded, holistic skill set. Businesses are moving to a skills-based employment model, which means candidates need to have evidence of relevant skills and/or knowledge in a particular area. 

This is where digital badges come in. Digital credentials, often represented as digital badges, are a virtual acknowledgement of an earned qualification and/or certification, demonstrated skill or professional achievement. 

Digital badges can be used by organisations to instantly check important information, including critical certifications, vaccination status, skills such as First Aid, authorisations, qualifications, police checks, and Working with Children Checks. Organisations can rest assured that their interviewees have the qualifications and education they claim to have, giving them complete confidence when hiring. 

Digital credentials are invaluable for students who have chosen not to pursue higher education, but still have a whole host of life skills and experience under their belt. Without verified credentials, it can be very difficult for them to prove these skills – even if in reality, they clearly are the best candidate for the job.

Verification for hiring is not the only use case for digital credentials. Managers can also keep abreast of training completed during the employment period, and see if any training is running out or needs to be updated. Industry bodies can also use digital badges to see Continuing Professional Development (CPD) status and ensure their members’ standards, training, course completions and conference attendance are up to date.

The tech behind digital badges

Technological advances in the verification space are beginning to step in where manual CVs and references have failed. Digital credentials, among other things, are becoming a vital step in the hiring process for small and large businesses alike. 

Badges, credentials or certificates are stored in their unique digital passport, or ‘backpack’, which is a digital portfolio containing an individual’s earned credentials. This credential passport, or the individual credentials within it, can be easily shared securely, or publicly online via social media, email, or text message.

Each credential contains secure metadata about the recipient, including their achievements and activities, as well as the authority or organisation that issued the credential, the date issued and expiry date if applicable, and a description of the credential.

Credentials are stored in a digital passport or portfolio that can then be shared confidentially with businesses, employers or organisations that need to know, or publicly via social media, email, or text message. A good digital credential system should be secure, verifiable, flexible and shareable, with encrypted data stored on secure local servers so that credentials cannot be copied or tampered with in any way.

When an applicant submits their CV, which includes any digital credentials, the business  can review and verify in real-time what a candidate claims they can do. A business can quickly dismiss candidates who do not meet the minimum criteria and also compare credentials more easily for desired skills, knowledge or experience. This facilitates an easier process to put the right people with the right skills and knowledge in the right roles.

The future of digital credentials

Over time, blockchain technology will be built into digital credentials, giving businesses the ability to verify quickly and easily, adding an extra layer of transparency and trust. Blockchain means digital credentials are private, cannot be tampered with, and remain in the ledger permanently. 

Blockchain means students’ digital credentials are private, cannot be tampered with, and remain in the ledger permanently. In fact, this isn’t only a dream for the future: the University of Melbourne has been using blockchain to issue digital credentials since 2017. 

Digital credentials have endless use cases, and as more organisations adopt credentialing strategies, the more useful they will become. With the ability to verify a wide range of verifiable skills, certificates, and credentials, businesses are able to make better hiring decisions in the long run.