By Richard Foster, CEO of DREAM
As technology advances, so have hiring practices. We have come a long way from the days of posting a job advert in the local newspaper and following up on a snail-mailed resumé with a landline phone call. Modern companies need to adopt hiring practices in line with the times, and for start-ups and established SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) that means assembling teams of freelancers in order to remain lean, mean and nimble.
There are many advantages of hiring freelancers:
- They are by definition comfortable with contract (gig) work
- There is little or no compliance overhead to hire them
- They are experienced in working remotely
- They are more likely to be hungry, work on spec and accept a high-risk/reward proposition
- They are more likely to be self-motivated and hustle.
For the entrepreneur looking to launch a lean start-up, or the SME looking to grow its business, the advantages of recruiting freelancers are clear. But what is the best way to hire them, and what is the most effective way to assemble a team?
Existing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com and Toptotal are great resources for finding freelancers, but it still requires a great deal of manual work to search for and source the required talent. This can be outsourced to recruitment agencies, but they are not cheap, and controlling costs is even more important to SMEs and startups.
To further complicate matters, existing talent platforms are easily gamed to falsify qualifications. The ratings systems they use are one-dimensional: typically a ‘one to five star’ system, or personal ‘reviews’. These do little to assuage an entrepreneur’s uncertainty, requiring them to employ their own assessment and on-boarding routines due to the lack of a trusted system of verifying qualifications.
If the entrepreneur lacks certain skill sets (e.g. they are an expert coder but know relatively little about marketing), then they have an even greater problem – because it’s simply impossible to hire if you don’t know enough about the requirements of the task that you are hiring for.
The only way to avoid this is for an entrepreneur to educate themselves extensively by researching the specifics of the tasks that they need implemented. This is just to be able to make informed decisions when hiring. All of this results in a great deal of wasted time and effort in obtaining the talent needed to execute the founder’s vision.
So, the SME and start-up founder face a difficult problem: How do you build a team quickly and avoid the risk of the market leaving you and your great idea in the dust?
DREAM realised that AI and blockchain had the potential to solve this problem and to revolutionise hiring and team-building. The company has developed a platform which uses expert-trained artificial intelligence to enable project managers to scope out the parameters of their project and will then suggest the best team members from the pool of available freelancers.
The ultimate aim of the system is for an AI bot to ask the project manager a series of questions using voice and text-based interfaces. These questions guide the project manager through outlining the scope of their project and all the roles they need to achieve their goal. It does this by analysing past projects using deep-learning algorithms. Working from proven, successful launches of similar past projects enables it to ‘understand’ the nature of the current project and hence make the most appropriate recommendations.
DREAM is designing the system to automatically assess the importance of specific tasks that the project requires, and derive the necessary skills and requirements needed to achieve the goal. The platform will then be able to match talent so that the skills and experience of team members will complement each other and allow them to work together efficiently.
One of the game-changing aspects of using AI in this way is its predictive ability. The manager might not be aware of certain skill-sets needed to complete the project, but the AI can identify these based on its past deep-learning and make the necessary suggestions for positions the manager had not even considered.
DREAM has also developed a protocol which aims to solve the problem of reputation and skills verification. In addition to forming strategic partnerships with key identity and reputation management leaders, the platform will use the ERC725 standard – based on the Ethereum blockchain – to authenticate freelancers’ identities. The company is working with Fabian Vogelsteller (founder of the Ethereum ERC20 standard) to achieve this.
The system is currently in beta, so DREAM is inviting both project managers and freelancers to participate and contribute to the development process.
For more information, visit the DREAM website: https://tokensale.dream.ac/