The way we're working is changing. While our grandparents spent their whole lives working for the same company, we’ve since seen a fast decline in the time employees stay with their employers. Today, a lof of people are giving up on traditional 'jobs' altogether to become part of the freelance and creator economy.
In this era of Unbundling Work from Employment, signalling your skills has become more important than ever. That's why people value building an online professional identity, today often in the form of a LinkedIn profile. However, there is a growing community of gig and creator economy workers who’s professional profiles are spread over multiple platforms: designers on Dribble, freelancers on Toptal, developers on Github, drivers on Uber, hosts on AirBnB etc...
In this article, we want to talk about a few of the problems we see with current professional identities:
One fundamental problem with our current professional identities is that they are owned by tech giants who forcibly keeps them behind walled gardens. They aggressively monetise their natural data monopoly. This is why LinkedIn can ask recruiters 800$ a month for manual access to its library of resumes. This Web2 business model is not aligned with your professional interests: you want your professional information to be accessible to anyone who has relevant opportunities for you, while not getting spammed. The lack of data access prevents innovation to better match work and workers using advanced AI / ML algorithms, better search technology and specialised recruiting services.
Because of the lack of ownership of your professional identity there is no interoperability. Can you estimate the amount of times you've filled in forms sharing your professional information: to apply for jobs, to join a specific community, to create a profile for a conference etc...? You should not have to keep filling out this data and keep it up-to-date when you own your professional profile.
At Meritverse, we believe that professional profiles that are not user-owned and that are forcibly kept behind walled gardens leads to a very inefficient job market, preventing talent from finding more fulfilling and higher paying work.
Credentials are a poor proxy for skills
As the world is moving to remote work, another problem surfaces: today's over-indexing of credentials. When recruiting locally, you can easily rely on your personal network and use the signalling value of the local universities, employers and communities you know well. This mechanism breaks down when you can hire form anywhere. Furthermore, using credentials as proxies for skills is prone to discrimination. And to what degree can you trust self-reported credentials anyway?
We believe social proof and reputation are a key element to the solution here. With this in mind LinkedIn created 'Skill Endorsements and References'. Every LinedIn user knows how ineffective this is. The fact that you can freely endorse anyone without risking your reputation renders this mechanism hollow.
The lack of objective, trustworthy and socially validated professional data makes it hard to trust people, making hiring processes long and expensive.
At Meritverse, we believe that recruiting should be based on skills and reputation. Today's platforms rely on credentialism and have not figured out how to create an incentivised system to signal quality.
Professional identities in the Metaverse
As we're spending an increasing amount of time online in both a personal and professional context, your online identity is gaining importance. This identity is an opportunity to boundlessly express yourself. We see this happening in the crypto scene and in DAOs: people know you by your self-selected nickname and profile picture, not by your real name and your suit-and-tie profile picture. Your credentials no longer speak for you, but your portfolio of work and the reputation you've established in different online communities does. Today's platforms were build for the corporate era, and have no means to capture this new identity or the value you created in different communities.
At Meritverse, we believe that we need web3-native platforms that allow us to showcase our multifaceted professional identity.
At Meritverse, we're building an open, user-owned and decentralised professional network that allows people to showcase their multifaceted professional identity and that uses crypto incentives to create more value for its members.