Employees, GPS and privacy?

News.com had an article on how organisations in the US are starting to use GPS to help monitor their workforce. This comes as local Fuji Xerox repairers are striking over a number of things including the potential for similar technology being introduced to track them. Cameron Murphy President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties has called the move a “gross invasion of personal privacy”.

I wonder how this ties into the new privacy legislation in place in NSW and Vic?

The Transport Workers Union earlier this year had strong words to say about the Australian Trucking Association’s proposal to install GPS devices in trucks to help manage safety.

Coupled with RFID chips, GPS and other tracking technology will have a significant impact on the way workers privacy is managed. I see several more industrial issues arising before guidelines are put into place so that both sides can agree on a go forward. This highlights the impact the introduction of technology into the workplace can have and how the people introducing the technology need to be very careful. What is “cool” may have a very cold reception.

Online recruiting trends

It is Tuesday, and that is Workforce.Com’s newsletter day, this week they have several interesting items on online recruiting (You have to register to view them). They bring up an article on blogging as a recruiting tool (originally published in May 2004), even mention The Moon Girls and Johanna Rothman.

They bring up several of the points I made a few days ago and highlight how organisation are becoming more innovative in their hiring trends..

A very interesting item they refer to is Seven Myths About Recruiting Technology, this is a great article from Sam Greengard. The seven points should be painted on the walls of all recruiter’s offices, especially the ones looking for technology to help them. They will dismiss every hyped up sales person and force the sales process down the line to proving real ROI not marketing hype. The points are:-
1. You can handle all recruiting online.
2. The software will find the best candidates.
3. The computer will help an organization work faster and better.
4. Today’s applicant-tracking software doesn’t require training.
5. A good applicant-tracking system makes interviewing and background checks less significant.
6. All systems are created equal.
7. A good recruiting and applicant-tracking system will force a company to put effective business processes in place.

Does your organisation need a Wiki?

Hot on the tail of blogging Wiki’s are shaping up to be the next big collaborative tool in the workplace. Steve Rubel led me to a couple of interesting articles and a vendor (SocialText) that plays in the space.

If you don’t know what a Wiki is, it is a collaborative space that allows anybody to change the document, this allows real time feedback and input. The article from the Seattle Times provides a great intro in a few hundred words. I have been using Wikipedia to help find information for several months.

Both Wiki’s and Blogs can have a place in the corporate IT landscape, and it will not be long until your IT department wants to bring some controls in place for these technologies. Both are very easy to set up and with so many options for external hosting, and free distributions many organisations will have deployed them before the IT department realises.

Mainstream blogging

There is a new site/blog setup just for CEO’s who blog, (thanks to Lee LeFever at CommonCraft) does this mean blogging is now completely mainstream and not just for technical people. Heather Leigh has even had her parent’s asking about blogs and speculates what it would be like if her mother wrote one.

All of this is great news as one of the best methods of knowledge management and sharing of knowledge is now being accepted in the mainstream. Over the last couple of weeks blogs have been the topic on numerous new reports.

Any person within an organisation wanting to create an environment of knowledge management and knowledge sharing would do well to invest some time in learning about blogs.

What would happen if you allowed more employees to be involved in Intranet blogs, and provided a framework for RSS feeds between employees? Any organisation split over multiple locations would suddenly have knowledge flowing quickly, easily and with corporate rhetoric. Once you have the culture then the rest will happen.

Changes in applicant tracking systems

Lou Adler talks about the benefits of hiring “non-active” candidates. A good article on overall recruiting “dos and don’ts” but also raises some interesting points about how to use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to track and find these non active candidates. However this process has been made harder in Australia with the privacy and anti-spam legislation now in force, but not out of the realms of possibilities for forward thinking organisations.

While he has also used the article as a plug for a new report his company has prepared still worth the read. (I was even sucked in to register to get a copy.)

Update:- Just reading Technical Careers @ Microsoft and Gretchen has been posting some counters to Zef Hamel who says Microsoft can’t hire good programmers. While not to enter into the debate, Gretchen highlights several practices that make sense in hiring any type of person. Read with Lou’s article it all kind of makes sense.

Consolidation of ERP instances

An interesting piece of research from AMR Research on the pros and cons of regional ERP instances, thanks to the ZDNet Blog. As Bill Swanton mentions regional instances were all the rage, and now they seem to be consolidating.

This is good news to HR practitioners, why?

One of the biggest challenges faced to effective delivery of workforce analytics is consolidated reporting at a corporate level. With the consolidation of ERPs we will get consolidated data, and (hopefully) easier (cheaper) access to consolidated reporting.

ADSL providers & customer service

Today is a big day, I have decided to change ADSL providers. For the last several years I have had BigPond ADSL, I was one of the silly ones who registered early and have experienced the good and bad of BigPond. So this morning I submitted my application to change to Swiftel Broadband.

The online process worked fantastically, the only hold up is I need the fax the transfer form to Swiftel in Perth to comply with Telstra Wholesale rules. However Swiftel’s fax does not want to answer! So I hoped back on the website and called the customer support line to find out the solution to my problem. After navigating a very easy menu system I was speaking with Nick a really helpful CSR. Nick very quickly sorted out my problem, provided me a second number to try (which worked) and then took down the details of the original number to follow up the issue.

So far I am delighted! (Telstra take note.)

Now it is a waiting game until Oct 5th for the transfer, watch for an update.

Sun requiring employees to sign guidelines on blogging

Steve Rubel talks on a Fortune article that states Sun employees will soon be required to agree to specific guidelines on blogging. Sounds like a good thing.


Does this mean soon Sun will require employees to sign a document allowing them to talk about work at a BBQ on Sunday afternoon, or at the Pub on Friday night? Or will the guidelines be sensible, I hope so.

Certainly blogs need to be cover by the general Internet Policy, and providing employees with a framework for what they can and cannot blog about would be good. Let’s hope that management at Sun is sensible about this.

I also wonder will the guidelines be global?

The full article from Fortune is an interesting read and can be found here and talks about some of the more well known “firings” over blogs.

Technology decisions and other items

The Electronic Recruiting Exchange has an article by Kevin Wheeler on Recruiting technology decisions, while focused on recruitment software all of his point are relevant to any technology decision.

Human Resources Magazine has several items this issue of interest. Firstly on next generation measurement systems, while it does not provide a lot of detail it does highlight some issues with existing measurement tools (such as just re-labeling the old with a trendy new name) and provides 6 key elements that make up human captial measurement.

While I disagree with some of the content within the categories the categories themselves are correct. You need to be careful with the “Detailed” section as management will lose interest if the reports are too detailed. I am also not so keen on the statement that their 5 key measures can all be achieved through a survey of employees. Many of the elements discussed are subjective (at best) and having employees provide feedback on the performance of process completion for example is probably not the best method of collecting the data.

However, the recommendation to use statistical analysis is a welcome relief. The sooner HR departments begin to deliver reports within meaning information (not just listing type reports) the sooner management will pay attention.