Do I want a job or a date?

Newish recruitment site in Australia JobX who promote their site is “all about giving you control and enabling you to promote yourself and network with others” is having a bit of an identity crisis. It seems they are not sure if they want to be a job board or a dating site!

How do I know this?

Check out http://perfectdate.jobx.com.au, the JOBX Dating Site.

Hat tip to my source on this news nugget.

Social networking in the work place

There are many barriers to the take up of social networking tools, and Enterprise 2.0, within organisations.  One of the big ones is fear, which in part is due to a lack of understanding of the tools and a lack of governance. A couple of days ago ComputerWorld published a story about the six commandments of social networks at work which starts to provide a framework for governance.

  1. Thou shalt present yourself respectfully and honestly
  2. Thou shalt ask: Do I want to explain this to an employer in 10 years? Or to my boss now?
  3. Thou shalt set boundaries
  4. Thou shalt not limit thy employees’ time on social networks
  5. Thou shalt not leave thy employees to founder, but lay down workplace guidelines
  6. Thou shalt remember: We are all still figuring this out

The list is a good start but does not deliver the details required not to mention it flips between what individuals should do (1-3, & 6) and what organisation should do (4-6) which makes it a little confusing.

Every organisation should be looking at governance of these tools, but remembering that while the technology is new’ish the issues are not. For example most major organisation already have medai guidelines for when senior employees are talking to the media, and acceptance use of internet policies. Both of these documents would form the basis of a governance framework for social network/media tools in the workplace. I say a basis as they need to completely reworked to suit the connective nature of social networks and media and the fact the employees will be contributors online not just consumers.

Yet even more data stolen!

Once again more HR data has been stolen, and guess what again it was not encrypted!

This time Colt Express Outsourcing Services, an HR outsourcing vendor, had data for many of it’s clients stolen in a burglary on May 26. The clients affected include Google and CBS’ CNET Networks. The data stolen in the burglary included just names, addresses, social security numbers and other data of employees and dependent, as with the Stanford case enough to open credit cards under the person’s name. More details in the letter Colt sent to the Marylands Attorney General.

What is interesting in this case is that Colt Express is in financial difficulty and is unable to help the affected customers. Further to this Google had ceased using them as a service provider a few years ago.

This scenario brings up some questions for organisations.

  • Firstly encrypt personal data, even data in file servers, laptops and corporate databases. Now I know this is not a simple activity but please look into it.
  • When you enter into an outsourcing arrangement do you really check to see that the vendor is complying with the contract to store data encrypted?
  • When an outsourcing contract finishes and the organisation either has to keep your data for legal purposes or does keep the data, what review processes do you have in place to ensure the data is kept secure.
  • Further following the contract end do are these old arrangements reviewed in light of changing privacy legislation? Does anyone remember that you had the arrangements?
  • How do you ensure that data stored in old systems is correctly destroyed? Now I know what the process should be, certificates of destruction are required, but do you ever ask to view them and do you even know when hard disks containing your data are destroyed by an outsourced service provider?

This area is becoming more and more complex.

For example the Skilled Group looks after about 60,000 employees across Australia and have recently entered into an agreement to deploy Wide Area Data Services which basically means that personal data could be stored in many of their offices. Skilled admits that their IT infrastructure is very decentralised, so what happens when a disk dies in one of the smaller offices and is replaced? Will correct data destruction procedures take place?

Governance around the handling of personal data should be a priority for every HR Director during IT projects. Assuming they know that personal data is being impacted, such as in the deployment of a Wide Area Data Service which on the surface looks just like an IT project.

CMyPeople follow up

About 3 weeks ago I posted about a new service from Chandler Macleod called CMyPeople, following the post Roger Christie from Sefiani Communications Group called saying that he had read the blog post and arranged for me to go into Chandler Macleod to complete the full survey before the official release. Not only did he arrange for me to take the full survey but also have Kevin Chandler (yep the Chandler part of Chandler Macleod) walk through the results with me.

So I rocked up to the Melbourne Chandler Macleod offices to take the test really not sure what to expect. I was told the test takes 90 minutes and it did, mainly because certain parts are timed. As I went through I took a few notes which I am going to share.

Technically the tool is built in Flash version 9. The user interface is not bad, nothing over the top which would retraction from the test but at the same time it still looks a little 1990’s.

The test is broken into 6 portions with a mixture of timed and untimed sections:

  • Section 1 – Training on the tool and user interface
  • Section 2 – Basic demographic and job information is collected, including your PC expertise
  • Section 3 – Covers verbal reasoning in 15 minutes using the ACER Higher Test WL. I found this test quite easy until the last question which I did not finish in time.
  • Section 4 – Covers numerical reasoning in 20 minutes using the ACER Higher Test WQ. The last 5 questions in this were tough and I didn’t get to finish the last 2 questions at all due to time.
  • Section 5 – General reasoning in 20 minutes based on the Ravens Standard Progressive Matrices Classic, with 5 different subsections each with their own time limit. I completed all questions except the last one where I ran out of time.
  • Section 6 – Looked at my temperament based on the Humm-Wadsworth Scale and was untimed covering 164 questions.

I left the assessment with a 10 page report outlining my key strengths but without much of an understanding what they meant. I was not surprised as usually a participant is given immediate feedback on their results.

Two days later Kevin Chandler called me while I was sitting under a tree in Sydney’s Hyde Park just by the War Memorial, we had a good chat for almost 45 minutes. I was expecting only about 15 minutes. A bit about Kevin. His background is as a programmer and then psychologist where he has either been Chandler Macleod’s Chief Psychologist or had them reporting to him.

Kevin explained the the basis for the new tool was his belief that personality is the primary driver for job performance. This means that recruitment and selection needs to start with looking at the person, who they are and then do they fit the job vs does the job fit the person. Working with the Australian Government they have defined 8 primary competencies and 30 detailed competencies which can be mapped to any role. These competencies have been mapped to the 1,200 standard occupancies in Australia and New Zealand. for organisations who have roles that dob’t match the 1,200 mapping of new jobs can be done in about an hour. The CMyPeople tools is based on the joint Chandler Macleod/ Australian government initiative called Employability Skills Profile (ESP). ESP was built for the Job network and which placed between 1/3 & 2/3’s of people who had been unemployed for greater than 12 months in roles.

The tool is aimed at the top 400 organisations in Australia and will be monetised through a per survey cost and ongoing storage of results.

Following the background discussion Kevin took me through my results. This part was quite surprising. Kevin spent about 5 minutes feeding back to me my strengths, weaknesses and personality outlining what I liked to do and disliked. It was as if he had knew me and we had worked together for years, when in fact we have never met.

From the intelligent tests I am in the top 10% of the population in my verbal reasoning, top 2% numerical and top 7% for abstract thinking. Well above the averages for university graduates. In general terms this means I am smart, but not a genius so no Mensa for me.

So what job can I do? In general he stated I was intellectual and could basically do any job I wanted as long as it held my interest. To determine the best job Kevin reviewed my key interests from a list of key words, based on these I have a 98% fit for a Web Development type role. While he felt I could do any role there were a few he indicated I would not be as good at as others: General Manager, CEO, Magistrate or Medical Scientist. Finally my personality is one of a high degree of self control.

My overall feeling is as a career guidance test it is good with the results seeming surprisingly accurate. Will it revolutionise recruitment and selection processes, probably not. In fact other than use with the long term unemployed I fear that the tool like many others will just add to the time it takes people people to apply for jobs.

(These are my notes I made during the discussion I hope I have not miss-represented anything.)

Job referral survey – Take it now!

An area that has always been of interest for HR is how to keep the cost per hire down while still getting high quality candidates. One common method to do this is through a referral program either formal or informal.

As part of my consulting I am doing research into the referral habits of Australian workers (although data from other countries would be good as well). To this end I have created a short survey to collect some data points, it only takes 5 minutes to complete so if you have the time please complete it. I will distribute the summary results if you are interested ensure you enter your email address. Of course no personal data will be shared with anyone.

The link to the survey is http://inspecht.com.au/survey/public/survey.php?name=Job_Referrals feel free to direct anyone to it as the more data the better. The survey will run until 11th July.

What is Enterprise 2.0?

One of the big questions facing anyone working (or wanting to work) in the new world that is being called Enterprise 2.0, is how to define both what it is and the business value. I have seen lots of people attempting to do this with complex diagrams and huge documents, which just don’t work.

Today I discovered that Hugh Macleod has been drawing cartoons that simplify it. Now the images below were drawn for Microsoft, one of his clients. I have no idea what they will be doing with them (I have suspicions) but I felt they worked well to describe Enterprise 2.0 and the benefits.

So here they are:

Image 1
Gapingvoid

Image 2
Gapingvoid

Image 3
Gapingvoid

What do you think?

(Oh yes the blog has had a image change, to match inspecht.com.au)

Inspecht is live & other interesting news

Another quick business update.

After a week of getting logos and the like completed the site for my new venture is up and running. Where can it be found? http://inspecht.com.au, http://inspecht.com, http://in.specht.com.au and finally http://specht.com.au also redirects there as well. Right now the site is very basic and more just to get some content out there for people to refer to. More information will be released over the next couple of weeks.

General business activities are being finalised, such as bank account establishment, legal aspects, etc. I am still meeting a lot of people but these meetings have moved from general discussions to more “how can we do business” which is great given this should eventually lead to income.

The discussions are confirming my thoughts; Enterprise 2.0 is a big topic in Australian corporations, but very few people can articulate the business value. Management is still very concerned about employee engagement, becoming an employer of choice and where are they going to find talent. Finally there is still a lot of fear in the market about social networks, this is not helped by the continual “bad press” they get from the media.

To help support my activities over the next couple of months I will be completing both PRINCE2 and Change Management certification. I was about 50% of the way through PMI’s PMP certification before finishing at Nortel so moving to PRINCE2 will be interesting.