Reputation in the workplace

After reading a post about collaboration and recruiting from Jobscience I went to watch the TEDGlobal Video of Rachel Botsman who explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls “reputation capital”. To me what Rachel is talking about is really the same as Whuffie, a term coined by Cory Doctorow in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom back in 2003, or social capital and not really something that new or revolutionary but is something very important.

The ability to transfer your reputation across different sites and services, just like Whuffie, would change the way we use new sites and services. For example I have looked a Airbnb and many property’s prefer you to have a good reputation before they will allow you to use their property, makes sense, but how does one get a reputation to start with if you can’t book a property. Enter the transferable reputation. I could transfer my eBay or LinkedIn reputation to Airbnb and immediately gain access to these properties. (Yes I know Airbnb allows you to link to these services and provides other methods but you have to start from scratch.)

Now into the workplace.

With the growth in collaborative, social enterprise software over the last few years now means many of us have (or will) built up internal reputations, earned badges, become experts inside our own organisations. This reputation in a collaborative organisation can help you get promoted, onto new projects become the go to person on topics etc. (Not to mention many people just like getting badges for the sake of badges, the whole gamification thing.)

But when you leave the organisation what happens to all of this reputation? Nothing. You join a new organisation and you start from the beginning again. Just like in the consumer world it would be great to be able transfer the reputation gained on these internally focused tools to your new organisation.

Again many in new organisations will review your Linkedin profile and other publicly available sources but still all that effort in your last organisation is basically lost.

4 years on some thoughts

I was have a chat with an old colleague this afternoon and we were discussing where social media has gone in the last few years, specifically around recruitment.

Which got me thinking. You know where has social media gone? This then took me back in time to some of the crazy ideas I had about what one could achieve with social media, specifically inside the enterprise.

About 4 years ago I published a list of 52 Social Media ideas for HR, at the time I had not seen a single consolidated list of ideas documenting the various ways these tools could help transform an organisation and its business practices. Now some of the ideas (and sites mentioned) are not relevant or the benefit just not lived up to the hype. However other ideas, actually more the philosophy of the idea, I firmly believe are still important to engagement of your current and future employees.

For example allowing your employees to engage in frank, open, constructive discussions internally, leveraging your workforce for referrals, focusing on “headcontent” not headcount, are all still as relevant as they were 4 years ago and I suspect will be relevant in 5-10 more years.

I am interested and if I find the time I might start a research project to find examples of all 52 ideas to see if anyone actually implemented any of these “crazy” ideas! I  know some organisations have implemented similar concepts as I discussed which is not surprising as most people floating around the social media circles at the time would have come to the same conclusions.

But these are just my thoughts, you might disagree, let me know especially if your organisation has implemented a similar idea.

Employee Engagement and Social Media

Over the last 2 weeks I have been giving a series of presentations looking at how social media (and Enterprise 2.0) can drive employee engagement. While the slides are available on slideshare for download I wanted to give a bit of context.

As part of preparing the presentation I came across a presentation by Susan Scrupski from Soco Partners (I also lifted several other ideas from one of her presentations to the 2.0 Adoption Council, thanks Susan!), where Susan introduced the concept of 2.0 Zen:

  • Collaboration
  • Trust
  • Authenticity
  • Transparency

This struck a chord with me. If someone had asked me to describe good social media these are the words I would have used. But I started looking at this a little further, from an HR point of view, and from my research on engagement. I have found five general attributes that enable employees to feel valued and therefore engaged:

  • Involvement in decision making
  • Feel they are able to voice their ideas, & managers listen to these views
  • Have line of sight between employee performance & company performance
  • They have career development
  • When the organisation is concerned for employees’ health & wellbeing

While looking at this it occurred to me that an organisation that had a highly engaged workforce exhibited the same attributes as Susan’s 2.0 Zen:

  • Collaboration
  • Trust
  • Authenticity
  • Transparency

From this I built the rest of the presentation, which you can find below.

Social media as part of background checking (Part 4)

Finally part four!

In case you missed the reason we are here have a look at the last few posts. In the first post we looked at laying a foundation for the discussion and about how social media allows you access to a unique view on a candidate’s character. In part two I discussed the issue of cultural fit and it’s important and how social media can help assess the cultural fit of a person. In part three I looked at some of the possible legal issues with using the information found online as part of the selection process.

In the final part of this series I want to bring it all together. A statement between the time I write this and when it is published others may have joined in on the discussion, I know Recruiter Daily will, I may have missed some critically posts in the story, sorry.

The Social Contract

Last week I was chatting with Jared Woods and Kelly O’Shaughnessy and it would be fair to say we probably have slightly differing opinions on the subject, or we did last week :-). One of the out comes during our chat was that more agencies need to disclose what they are doing when it comes to social media content. If you are going to use data you find online, is your Privacy Policy and Collection Statement up to date to cover these activities? Secondly if you are an agency have you spoken with your consultants to ensure that they understand their responsibilities? A really good example comes from SKM’s Graduate Recruitment Blog, which given their target market actually makes sense not sure the same could be said if they were hiring CFO’s.

Continue reading “Social media as part of background checking (Part 4)”

Social media as part of background checking (Part 3)

This is part three in my four part series on social media and background checking.

In the first post we looked at laying a foundation for the discussion and about how social media allows you access to a unique view on a candidate’s character. In part two I discussed the issue of cultural fit and it’s important and how social media can help assess the cultural fit of a person.

In part three I want to look at some of the possible legal issues* with using the information found online as part of the selection process.

Discrimination

The first potential issue is that of discrimination.
Discrimination

I would suggest if you want to learn more about discrimination in Australia head over to the Australian Human Right Commission website and review the information for employers. One thing to remember is there are five primary federal laws that cover this area and each state has their own discrimination Acts. While the overall content of the different laws cover essentially the same areas there are discrepancies at both a Commonwealth and state level and even between the states. Add to this sometimes Commonwealth law applies where at other times both Commonwealth and state  laws apply and finally times when only state laws apply. This is a fairly complex area and a legal minefield.

If employers are to use social media as part of the recruitment process to comply with Commonwealth law they need to ensure that the selection process is not influenced by information around race, colour, national or ethnic origin; sex, pregnancy or marital status; age; disability; religion; sexual preference; trade union activity; or some other characteristic specified under anti-discrimination or human rights legislation.

Continue reading “Social media as part of background checking (Part 3)”

Social media as part of background checking (Part 2)

This is part two in my four part series on social media and background checking.

In the first post we looked at laying a foundation for the discussion and about how social media allows you access to a unique view on a candidate’s character.

Now another method of assessing character is through a process HR calls cultural fit.

Cultural Fit
Cultural Fit
To start let’s look at the DDI Australia Research Report on Recruiting for Culture Fit. DDI use the terms motivational fit from two distinct perspectives; job and organisation. Let me quote their report:

Job Fit Motivation refers to the degree to which the activities and responsibilities of a particular job are consistent with the activities and responsibilities that an individual finds personally satisfying. In short will somebody want to do the job?

Organisation Fit Motivation is defined as an individual’s compatibility with an organisation’s values and mode of operation. While organisational fit covers a range of organisational attributes the most common and frequently cited element centres on the congruence between individual and organisational values. This is often referred to as Culture Fit.

The DDI study found that 90% of respondents rated recruiting as very important to essential, they also reference several other studies that have found the same thing. However only 36% said they always recruiter for cultural and it went down from there.

Continue reading “Social media as part of background checking (Part 2)”

Social media as part of background checking (Part 1)

Right now the Australian online recruitment community have started some very health debate/discussion about the concept of using the content from social media as part of background checking. All started by Riges Younan from Peerlo*.

Most of the discussion from the agency perspective is focusing around the ethics of using what is in the public domain to access candidates. There is a sub-discussion on disclosure and relevance.

In my recent post on social recruiting I highlighted social background checking as one of the 18 use cases. So I thought I would chime in on the discussion, not to mention I have a comment to answer on that post as well. But I am going to try and bring some facts into the discussion as well, because so far everyone is talking opinion, which for me is not enough.

Also before I get going most of the posts and comments have been from the point of view of agencies using the information, not employers, again something I want to expand upon.

A final note this post begins to lay out a foundation, part two looks at the cultural fit, part three legal issues and part four will pull it all together. I split this up as a single post would have been huge.

On with the main program.

Social media provides hiring managers a unique insight into candidates before they join the organisation. Now I agree last Saturday night’s drunken party photos have no place in the recruitment process, well maybe they do let’s see where this goes.

Social Media

Let us start with a definition on what is social media.

From Wikipedia social:

The term Social refers to a characteristic of living organisms (humans in particular, though biologists also apply the term to populations of other animals). It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary

From Wikipedia media:

In communication, media (singular medium) are the storage and transmission channels or tools used to store and deliver information or data

In today’s context social media is about using internet technologies so living organisms, humans in our case, can interact in a manner to create channels for the storage and delivery of information or data.

It is more than just Facebook, or Twitter it defines everything we do online where our interactions create and store data that is either in the public domain or being shared privately amongst a closed group.

Continue reading “Social media as part of background checking (Part 1)”

Is your HR Strategy ready for the intention economy?

I sit here typing this post during the first week of the second decade in the 21st century however some many organisation’s HR strategies are still stuck in the 20th century.

Let me explain.

Today most organisational HR strategy is based on a asynchronous model where the organisation does something and at a later time employees react. For example a new performance management policy is released, at a later point in time employees execute the performance review process. From an alternate direction an employee’s productivity begins to drop over time this becomes an issue so the organisation executes the performance improvement process.

Many organisations are aiming to move to a more synchronous environment, or real time. Here we have live chats on the career pages, real time updates on recruitment processes and continuous learning and performance management. In practical terms this can be thought of as HR dashboards and score cards that are updated live during the business day.

Real time is only part of the story the real value comes from understanding intentions. For example knowing that employees with 3 years service in the marketing department who have not changed roles in 6 months are your greatest risk of leaving and therefore Mary needs a role change. Or where a senior top performer plans to travel to a different office location your talent management system automatically suggests potential employees who could benefit from a mentoring session. Another example is where an employee is attending a conference the systems identify other employees, based on internal content, who would benefit from either also attending or receiving a briefing their return.

Intention based HR builds on the idea of predictive analytics but takes things further. Yes this is a long way off but leading organisations will start to experiment with these ideas over the next year or two. For example what could you do with these ideas; people who are looking for work in real time, or who hate their job?

On a side note based on the latest Cedar Crestone HR Technology survey only 10% of organisations have implemented predictive analytics.

(Note: I built on the ideas proposed by Jeremiah Owyang.)

A history lesson of sorts

I got distracted today so I started digging through my old blog posts to have a look at some of the subjects I have covered in the last 5 years.

Initially I was very much focused on blogs as a method of solving all of the world’s issues. Mainly because that was the main form of user generated content that we had. (Think – when all you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.)

Here are some of my posts that stood out:

How the world has changed, we now have all sorts of tools available to individuals and organisations alike. However the foundations are the same FUSE or “Find, Use, Share, Expand”.

For an organisation to effectively leverage their employee’s in a knowledge economy, these employees need to be able to quickly and efficiently find the information they need. Once found the information needs to be used to create the outcomes required by their KPIs. With this newly formed outcome they will most likely then share with either other employees, customers or partners. The act of sharing expands the outcomes of the employee and the recipient.

Each piece of information you put through the FUSE process can result in your very own virus, a small infectious agent that can replicates inside the cells of another organism. In fact the whole concept of FUSE is much the same as the life cycle of a virus!

FUSE should be your framework for the introduction of social technologies into the enterprise.

Agile talent management software – Your survival plan?

I read with interest this morning Dr John Sullivan’s article looking at how to survive in such turbulent economic times, his concept seems to be a play on the software development process Agile. To quote Wikipedia Agile software development is:

Agile software development refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

I am very interested in John’s views next week as he shows us some of the attributes he sees within an agile talent management strategy. In the meantime let me provide some of my own thoughts.

Last month I sat through a demonstration of a top end talent management system that ticked all of the boxes from a feature set, which as a buyer of software is important. However during the whole presentation I could not help but think “wow this would require a large structured project to implement in even the smallest of organisations”.  To start with a massive project would be required around defining competency frameworks, then career paths, development plans, capturing employee information, etc. Ongoing the process of ensuring performance management information is collected, development plans are kept up to date, compensation plans managed would overload many an HR department.

Most systems and their vendors today still follow something that closely resembles the waterfall model of software development. Again from Wikipedia:

The waterfall model is the most structured of the methods, stepping through requirements-capture, analysis, design, coding, and testing in a strict, pre-planned sequence. Progress is generally measured in terms of deliverable artifacts: requirement specifications, design documents, test plans, code reviews and the like.

Where as agile processes produce completely developed and tested features every few weeks. Today the consumer web is a very fast moving and dynamic environment that can change almost overnight, for example 18 months ago MySpace was the place to be, now it is Facebook. This has lead to most consumer focused web development teams, and some corporate, to use agile processes to quickly deliver new features to their customers. To this end a host of light weight tools have entered the market to help support these teams, for example Pivotal Tracker and Agile Zen.

Today most corporate IT environments are the exact opposite to agile. They have enormous governance models designed to stop “cowboy software development” and ensure that all stakeholders, including the board, internal customers, and in particular departments such as finance, have the necessary input into the decision making process. These governance processes have been required due to the complexity created within an organisation’s IT environment from years and years of short term planning and projects where only “phase one” has ever been deployed. Ok yes there are exceptions I admit, but ask the employees of most organisations what it is like working with their IT team and they will roll their eyes at you.

Enter Agile.

Just as Dr John Sullivan is suggesting you bring agile practices into your talent management strategies, how about you bring them into your software projects as well?