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)

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.

ATC Summary

Over the last few days I have published a number of posts summarising the sessions at ATC that I attended. However I wanted to pull together an overall summary of my thoughts from the event. This was my first ATC, mainly as I had now been in the position to attend before due to my previous corporate life which was a pity as I think attending in previous years would have been good. Well no point looking back let’s look forward.

First question was ATC worth the money? Yes. Even in the light of this GFC thing.

So what did I get out of the event to justify my expense?

  • Attending the sessions, while not all were good I took something from most of them. I could not say which was the best session, they were all different.
  • Meeting other Australian commentators such as Phillip Tusing, Jo Knox for the first time.
  • Catching up with Russell Kronenburg from Pacific Brands over lunch on the first learning in detail about some of their social media activities. They are doing awesome stuff!
  • Hallway time with the US speakers, most of whom I had never met in person, such as Master Burnett, Dr John Sullivan, Kevin Wheeler, Gerry Crispin, Charles Handler, and Sue Polo.
  • Having several business, dinner and social engagements organised with Master Burnett, Kevin Wheeler and Gerry Crispin for when I am in San Francisco for the Social Recruiting Summit next month. None of which would have been possible without ATC.
  • Catching up with locals like Riges Younan, Ross Clennett, Phillip Tusing, and the boys from Happener.
  • Meeting Belinda and Danielle from Buchan and chatting about marketing and PR, Daneille joined a number of us for dinner one night.
  • Meeting the Deloitte’s team (James Elliott and Tanyth Lloyd) and many other Australian organisations who are doing exciting things.
  • Chatting with Karen Cariss and Simon Cariss from PageUp People, Simon for the first time.

So as normal with these types of events, the sessions are good but it is the networking that makes it valuable.

If you are in any form of talent management, sourcing or a corporate recruiter and you did not attend shame. For transactional 3rd party recruiters I can see limited value, but if you are a 3rd party recruiter who wants to be ahead of the competition again shame you did not attend.

Another final comment there were several sponsor sessions most were traditional let’s try and sell you on our product. The PageUp session was different. PageUp approached their slot with an attitude of let’s inform the audience about something, virtually unrelated to their product but important to the audience, Twitter. The result was after the session their stand was the busiest of any of the stands over the two days, other than Hudson where we all went for good coffee.

Next Year: Yes.

ATC: James Elliott National Recruitment Director Deloitte

James Elliott took the stage after lunch to give us a run down on Deloitte’s (Update: to clarify this is only the Australian operation and does not reflect the US operations.) recruitment function, specifically their Sourcing function. James indicated he was a little concerned about presenting, mainly because of the real time feedback that would be on Twitter. Some of my notes from the presentation are below:

  • Globally 160,000 people with $27 billion in revenue!
  • They got into sourcing because while operational excellence had meant recruiter efficiencies were up 50%, vacancies where still going up, something had to change
  • In 2007 while 3rd party agencies as a source were low their costs were still very high
  • The Deloitte definition of sourcing is:
    1. Identifying and mapping passive talent for current and future roles
    2. Approaching passive talent
    3. Maintaining talent pipelines through a systemised CRM cycle
  • As part of the move to sourcing they had two key learnings:
    1. Wholesale changes to recruitment processes were needed as sourced candidates need to be treated differently
    2. They had to focus on planning & forecasting which was much harder than first through. Lots of change management, and recruiting team structure to make the transformation possible
  • In general Australian resume databases are extremely poor in quality
  • While they use Taleo as an ATS, it is not a CRM (they use SalesForce) which they needed to:
    • Map competitions
    • Track contacts
    • Segment contacts
    • Manage ongoing CRM through tasks, reminders and emarketing
  • Deloitte’s sends out 4,500 e Newsletter a quarter to people in the CRM
  • The sourcers at Deloitte’s get their prospects from:
    • People who withdraw from the rtecruitment process
    • People who did not get a job they applied for
    • Graduates
    • Phone lists
    • Conference & professional associations
    • Name generation workshops
    • New hire competitor intelligence
    • Web search
    • And dumpster diving
  • Social Recruiting is starting to be used to:
    • Enhance brand & position as an innovative professional services firm
    • Engage external talent by offering an authentic insight into working
    • Leverage employees networks
    • Search for talent directly
  • Deloitte YouTube channel has had 25,000 views
  • They use Twitter to connect applicants to other Deloitte Twitter users in similar areas
  • Built a custom Facebook application called Join Me @ Deloitte to facilitate referrals. The application had 90% of employees install, good number of hires have come through but less than 3 figures even with that James felt the ROI was very good as it was cheap to build
  • As a source 3rd party recruiters provide the worse quality of hire whereas referrals are the best
  •  

Is Facebook good or bad?

It seems to me that if I was to believe the pundits social media is going to either cause the next apocalypse or be the saviour for us all! 

But I want to look at two specific cases here and their relationship with HR.

First the negative.

Kimberley SwannKimberley Swann, at 16 year old in the UK, who was sacked from Ivell Marketing & Logistics for posting on her Facebook profile that her office administration job was boring. Some more background:

  • It was her first real office job, yes she was employed at a call centre before but this was her first office job. 
  • The company only found out after she allowed another employee to become a “friend” on Facebook.
  • She never mentioned the company name, so no initial damage.
  • There is no information on if the company provided her an acceptable usage policy, even while she posted from home it should have highlighted that she should have a due diligence when interacting online.

While it might not have been the smartest of things to do, I personally don’t think it should result in immediate dismissal. The company would have done better to take on board the fact that she was bored and look at ways to use her skills, also explaining that posting on Facebook was not the smartest of moves. If she did it again then look at discipline actions.

Another thought if they had done nothing Ivell Marketing & Logistics or Steve Ivell would not be all over the Internet and they would not have had to remove the contact us page on their web site due Facebook users crashing their email server. 

Now the positive, Deloitte’s is paying employees for using Facebook to find new employees! Deloitte’s a large user of social media as part of regular business operations and recruitment, this only entrenches them as a leader around innovation.

Now this brings me to Brett from Job Adder’s post from last week, he’s right don’t put the cart before the horse otherwise you and your social media campaign will end up on the cart even if you don’t want to go on the cart.