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People Own Their Careers: Providing Individuals Ownership and Visibility Into Their Data Helps Them Build Great Ones.


John Machado, CTO at UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) recently shared his thoughts with us about the Internet of Careers: “Many organizations have said ‘people own their own careers,’ but [until now] there has not been an easy way for individuals to really own and manage the data part. This is the time to solve that problem.”



What is driving the growing investments from HCM and Education Tech leaders in Self-Sovereign Career Identity?


Everyone today is concerned about individuals being able to grow their careers to build the life they want, with the important people in their life. When you couple that with the focus on individual ownership of data, as well as awareness and visibility into where that data are stored, validated, and managed, it becomes a top-of-mind issue for all HR leaders. Many organizations have said ‘people own their own careers,’ but there has not been an easy way for individuals to really own and manage the data part. This is the time to solve that problem.



Your organization decided to join forces with other industry titans to champion and deploy the Internet of Careers™. Why not drive your own proprietary solution? Why get engaged now?


Ultimate, since our founding 30 years ago, has always focused on people. Now we are UKG, after a merger like no other, but that focus on people hasn’t changed. In fact, it has even extended. In that sense, we look at people as everyone in the ecosystem and we know that people are going to change jobs, change employers, and obtain education, licenses, and certifications. We wanted to be part of the innovation that brings the Internet of Careers to life, provides individuals with more ownership and greater visibility into the data that can help them build their careers, no matter what stage of life they may be in.



Velocity Network is built on an open-source tech stack and the network is governed by an industry nonprofit democratic foundation. Why do you think this approach matters?


This approach matters for a few key reasons: First, the tech stack is open to external collaboration, which allows us and other partners to contribute to the evolution of the technology. Addressing technology gaps in this collaborative way helps us in reducing our time to market to deliver features that leverage the decentralized career-credentials data. Also, the democratic network governance by the foundation is a decentralized, nonprofit model led by industry leaders that allows the network to grow via diverse, industry-grounded decisions and contributions that yield more innovation for the HCM space. It also allows for the network to scale out and grow at the right pace, allowing the network to remain secure and consistent with its mission. In the end, this approach to the development and delivery of the Velocity Network yields fast-paced innovation, resulting in more value to our customers over time, when compared with a closed and proprietary technology.



How will the Internet of Careers help solve some of the toughest challenges facing employers?


Today, employers spend an inordinate amount of time managing processes that are just on the outside of standard HCM systems. The Internet of Careers, with the data incorporated, will provide a mechanism to manage those processes. A great example is health care and managing the credentials when many individuals work for multiple employers. Today, it is a manual process. But at UKG, we see how the Internet of Careers integrated into our product will help drive automation that benefits both the employee and employer by taking manual paperwork out of the process.



What will be the benefits in general for organizations joining the verifiable credentials ecosystem? What unique value proposition would you expect your customers and constituents will see from your organization’s involvement in this industry-based consortium and its development of Velocity Network?


We are excited about the benefits this brings to our customers and their employees. The biggest value proposition is common across the participants of the Velocity Network in bringing the openness and visibility to individuals and giving them more power to drive their careers and development. UKG has a unique value due to the breadth of our offerings and ability to integrate data from the Internet of Careers across the Life Work Journey of individuals. We are looking at use cases – from recruiting to driving development to automating processes such as tuition reimbursement with validated data. It is exciting to think of the breadth of this opportunity.



What advice do you have for HR leaders to prepare for the opportunities and impacts of self-sovereign digital credentials?


My advice would be to think about the impact to engagement, retention, and other key HR metrics through the opportunity delivered with ownership and control of self-sovereign digital credentials. This isn’t a technical solution for technology sake, but it will deliver real impact to organizations and their people.