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 networking and reputational risk in the workplace

Over 6 months ago Deloitte released their 2009 report on ethics and the workplace this time focusing on impact social computing is having on reputation risk for organisations. The results are very interesting, and given the recent background checking and social media discussions, they also impact individuals and their online reputation.

reputation

Let’s review the result:

  • 74% of employees said it’s easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media
  • 58% of executives agree that reputational risk & social networking should be a board room issue, but only 15% say it actually is
  • 53% of employees think employers should stay out of their social networking pages
  • 40% of executives disagree with employees and 30% informally monitor sites
  • 61% of employees said even if employers did monitor they would not change their online behavior, because they know it’s not private, and have already made significant adjustments to their online profiles
  • Almost 50% of employees said they would not change their online behavior if their company had a policy
  • 27% of employees do not consider the ethical consequences

These figures worry me because to quote James Lovell; “Houston, we have a problem”. (Yes I know he did not actually say that but the real quote won’t work.)

74% of employees agree it’s easy to damage a company’s reputation on social media but only 27% actually think about it.

So let’s break this down

For me this calls for more education of people about their activities online so let’s re-look at The Mother Test:

  1. Make sure you have a consistent profile you are willing to show your mother. It is very hard if not impossible to remain completely anonymous online, even if you never use your real name. For example I know of several bloggers who blog under anonymous names, but I also know who they really are.
  2. Make sure you don’t do/say anything you would not be proud to show your mother. You might not want your mother to see what you have done, but if you had to show her and example yourself would you be proud of what you had done?
  3. Make sure you don’t post pictures/videos you would not be willing to show your mother. Like doing or saying things online, if you had to explain yourself could you and would you be proud of what you have done?
  4. Is your reputation online one your mother would be proud of? You might not specifically say or post anything that is suspect but we all have a reputation, even on sites that are password protected.
  5. Would your activities online make your mother trust you? Trust is the ultimate test of what you are doing and defines your integrity, ability, or character.

(Image: Flickr)

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)”

HR Technology Landscape

eliminate_the_paper_messI have been thinking a lot about how complex the overall HR technology landscape has become in the last five years.

Traditional time and attendance vendors now do all things (Kronos), applicant tracking vendors now do performance management (take your pick of vendors), learning management vendors now do compensation (Plateau ) and competitors are now the same organisation (Micropay and WageEasy ). This doesn’t even start to look at the large ERP’s trying to play in the 50 – 100 person marketplace!

It is not difficult for an organisation with 1,000 plus employees in Australia to still have a maze of systems and dataflows, check out this example I pulled together today. Yes the flows miss performance and development data but I ran out of room and time to clearly demonstrate. Nor I am saying that every organisation is like this, or heavens forbid that this is any target architecture! More that if you were to sit down with the HR and Payroll team in many midsized organisations in Australia you would end up with a maze of some sort. Very few have a clean architecture.

So it is not surprising when we start to ask questions about workforce analytics, integrated talent planning, sources of hire etc a majority of HR departments just roll their eyes. They have no way of knowing how to get this data!

Some questions I ask clients to begin clarifying just how big a mess they are in are:

  • What is your master data strategy?
  • What are your data standards with regard to people data?
  • Which system(s) is the source of truth?
  • How to communicate data with external providers?
  • How many different vendor’s tools do you have?

The answers are usually not surprising, but they are not good either.

However the challenge is not just to purchase a system that provides a nice integrated framework. That bit is easy! The hard part is part data conversion, cultural change, process re-engineering and IT development.

To get a master data strategy you need everyone to agree on data standards and ownership, only then can one begin to assess the conversion/cleansing/migration effort to get to the new world.

To reduce the data flows you need to have a clear picture of who is using your data, and now just officially using it. How many spreadsheets are manually loaded into other systems? How many IT developed interfaces exist to manipulate and represent your data to email, finance, facilities management systems? Who’s data fiefdoms are you going to destroy in the process? How many forms need to be changed? How many processes need stream lining and upgrading?

It is never as simple as just installing a new payroll or talent management system.

(Please if you are a vendor do not comment to say oh we can solve these issues, this is not the point of the post. However feel free to add to the discussion. Thanks.)

Workforce Analytics: Following the employees

I ran across an interesting post from the LinkedIn blog, via Steve Barham from LinkedIn, entitled Where did all the people go from the collapsed financial institutions?. The post was looking at the flow of employees between five major financial services companies:

  • Barclays
  • Credit Suisse
  • Citigroup
  • Bank Of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

LinkedIn Data - Financial Fallout Graphic

This image shows the amazing amount of data that is available from LinkedIn both via public searches and as a premium paying member, to quote the post:

To be specific, other than two acquiring companies (Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch and Nomura acquired Lehman Brothers’ franchise in the Asia Pacific region), Barclays was by far the biggest beneficiary, scooping up 10% of the laid off talent, followed by Credit Suisse at 1.5% and Citigroup at 1.1 %.

While an interesting look at talent movement it got me thinking.

A couple of questions came to mind:

  1. Do you use external talent movement data in your workforce planning/sourcing strategy planning?
  2. Does your workforce analytics program allow you the same sort of analysis?

I would suspect most companies would answer No to both questions. The cynical might also ask why would you want this information. So let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Your organisation is experiencing rapid growth in one particular area of the business, so you need to recruit more employees. Access this information would allow you to target the “usual suspects” for new talent but you could also look to see if there had been a major exodus to other organisations that may not be on your “usual suspects” list. These organisations may not be prepared for an all out assault on their talent.

Example 2: Can you produce graphs that show where each division of your organisation is getting is best performing employees, covering both internal and external movements? Not a purely LinkedIn example but highlighting similar talent flows.

A final note there is no reason why your HR/Payroll/ERP/People Management/Whatever System should not be launching these sorts of features. For example LinkedIn opened its API up to developers almost 6 months ago.

Social Recruiting what is it?

For several years now I have been watching the development of social media and its eventual impact on both the HR and Recruitment professions. I have attempted to define social recruiting, run presentations on the development of a strategy, and worked with several clients on creating a strategy.

If you attended some of my presentations in the last year you might have seen two basic diagrams that I have used to start getting the message across. The first designed to highlight the social media can be used through the full recruitment process. The second trying to map the process to the four C’s of social media. Neither really got the message across and all the time I have felt I was still missing something.

The haze is clearing.

Following the Altimeter Group’s release of their 18 Use Cases for Social CRM, I got to thinking again. While I am still not 100% happy with the result I thought I would release this revised model to the world.

Social Recruiting Model

A few of things stand out for me now. There are 18 use cases within this model, an accident more than intent, not each one is relevant for agency recruiters, but all are relevant for in-house recruiters. As with the Altimeter Group’s model each starts with a listening and reflection phase, this is intentional as listening is the first part of any social strategy. Each of the 18 use cases can deliver a return on investment to an organisation that implements them.

Next step is build out each of these use cases into more detail, I also suspect a couple will be killed and more will be added as I go along.

(If you read the Altimeter report you will see I have re-used a number of their ideas in the image which is one of the reasons the model is released under Creative Commons.)

How engaged are your employees??

Last night I had the privilege  to see François-Frédéric Guy perform in his Sydney debut as part of the Sydney Symphony’s International Pianists in Recital Series. François-Frédéric performed three Chopin and three Beethoven pieces to a packed crowd of piano lovers. In particular he performed:

CHOPIN 
Nocturne in C minor, Op.48 No.1 
Nocturne in E, Op.62 No.2 
Polonaise-fantaisie, Op.61 
BEETHOVEN 
Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 
‘Tempest’ Sonata, Op.31 No.2 
‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Op.27 No.2

I was lucky enough to be in the front row, just out of hand sight but still awesome seats, essentially I was able to get up close and personal with François-Frédéric during his performance. I could see the emotion in his body, the sweat dripping from his face, the frantic movement of the pedals and hammers in the amazing Steinway concert grand. The music was awe inspiring.FRANCOIS-FREDERIC GUY

In recognition of how much he had put into his performance the audience responded with round after round of applause, resulting in 2 encore performances.

I could not help but reflect on how engaged François-Frédéric was; the emotion, the love, the sweat he poured into his work, and how if organisation could replicate this then they would succeed beyond the expectations of any board directors or group of shareholders.

Each note he played must of been practiced thousands and thousands of times. But every note he played had passion and feeling to ensure that his customers had the best possible experience he could deliver.

Now he was not perfect, he made several errors most undetectable to to the average listener but they were there. However none of the experts (my mother is a piano teacher and musical educator) in the auditorium said anything, they all came back from the interval and continued to enjoy the performance.

So let’s contrast this with the average companies talent management practices. How many organisation’s employees are so engaged that they would give everything into every single transaction they perform? How many managers would still provide a stand ovation to their employees for a fantastic job, even if there were a few hiccups along the way? How many organisations would give prizes (François-Frédéric received flowers) every time an employee completes their daily job?

All of these things took place last night during François-Frédéric’s performance.

So I ask what are you doing to make your employees want to work as tirelessly to succeed as François-Frédéric did? What are you doing to have policies and procedures to enable such a performer? How can your performance review processes be enhanced so that a meaningful standing ovation can be provided for outstanding work?

Finally how are you providing a meaningful and supportive environment?

What do executives in Australia want?

On Monday my colleague Philip Tusing, co-author of the Sources of Talent Report, released his latest report, Executive Monitor. An eye opening look at what 1,332 executives are thinking in Australia about all sorts of different topics from compensation, education, recruiters and personal branding.

Philip gives a great run down on the key findings on his site, so go read them there as I do not plan to reproduce them here. Instead I wanted to look at what the results mean to me.

I see the key issues from the report being how do employers keep their senior employees both engaged, motivated and working towards the goals of the organisation, instead of just their own personal goals.

Another message from the report I found was that Australian executives are motivated primarily by money and their own success. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, and nor is it limited just to the executive ranks, I think some of the key findings show us a fairly dangerous future.

The number one trigger for a change in job is not growth, development, experience, cultural fit or anything that a majority of HR interventions focus on it is money at 30%. With almost 80% of these employees expecting yearly pay rises between 6 – 10%, way above inflation, and almost 70% see salary as the primary reason to do a good job.

Further concerns are found in the expectations and intentions of these executives. Work life balance while a stated value by the survey respondents was not a primary driving factor when undertaking a job search, money was still number one. All is not good on the branding side either with 90% of executives felt that personal branding was more important than developing that of their employers.

So where do I think this leaves HR? With massive opportunity.

What are your thoughts?