Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Using Social in Hiring-Silly Season?

Continuing my observations on the use of social technologies (media) in the recruiting and hiring process, today is a note on why taking a strategic and systemic approach will save time, money and potentially legal actions.

Susan Avello at HR Virtual Cafe posted her perspective on using Klout to screen job applicants, a practice that appears to be rumour based at this point.http://hrvirtualcafe.com/2012/07/31/using-klout-to-screen-job-applicants/

If recruiters and hiring managers are using Klout as a measure of an applicants 'influence' it is a practice they need to rethink, quickly. As I do with many new products, I signed up with Klout as often the best way to understand something is to use it. I found that it showed I had 'influence' in categories that I had never posted anything online about and know next to nothing about; it did not include categories that I frequently post about and in some cases have quite a lot of knowledge (or opinions) about and that the 'score' is based more on how often one posts than the quality of ones content. In other words you don't need to have any particular knowledge or expertise, you simply need to take the time to schedule mega numbers of postings to get "Klout" scores that suggest you are 'influential' in social media.

Using such poorly constructed scoring systems in any way in the recruiting and hiring process really does move us into the silly season. Quality over quantity counts in many areas of life and in the hiring process that is still important. I am still waiting for the 'influence' product that takes quality into the equation, then it may be time to take notice. Until then, leave the Klout scores for amusement and keep them out of the hiring process.

Have you ever experienced or heard of a recruiter or hiring manager using Klout scores as part of the evaluation process? Have you heard of any other similar products being used in this manner?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CEO + HR + Customer/Employee Experience

Following my post yesterday regarding HR in the Social Business Era, Josh James, CEO of Domo posted his thoughts on the use of ‘social’ by big company CEO’s-in that they are almost invisible in this realm. http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/07/12/ceos-afraid-of-going-social-are-doing-shareholders-a-massive-disservice/

The comment from David Churbuck is a great example of a failure to see the opportunity in using social channels both internally and externally to develop a stronger link between the employee experience and the customer experience. The content of what a CEO or an HR person posts to any social network is within their control and provides an excellent opportunity to share knowledge, respond quickly to problems, and match the branding message to the humans inside the organization.

It is the silence of the people with the “C” level titles to recognize that the more remote they are from the employees in the organization and the customers the more difficult the recovery will be. When problems arise, be it a dive in the stock value, a large recall due to quality issues, a class action lawsuit based on poor employee relations practices, an oil spill etc., the more difficult the recovery will be. People are no longer content with the stock PR responses to problems as they tend to generate distrust based on too many experiences with a PR response that does not reflect the real actions of the company decision makers.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences for a customer is that the marketing and advertising messages bring one to a business only to discover that the people behind the brand do not reflect the expectations set out. A significant contributor to this disconnection is internal communication weaknesses that can be found in many organizations but the larger the organization, the bigger the problem. This type of problem is often found in the presentation of a role and company culture by a recruiter and hiring manager vs. the experience of the employee once on staff.

Consider this one point for now: the outsourcing of many jobs overseas has resulted in not just job loss locally but in an upsurge in customer dissatisfaction. There are noted problems with quality, shipping issues for tangible products, difficulty understanding the CSA, inability of the CSA to satisfactorily respond to a problem. Yet, companies are still taking this tactic in a bid to save short-term dollars while ignoring the long-term costs. This has become such a huge issue for large corporations in particular that customers and employees alike are no longer committed to the success of the business.

There is sufficient evidence in the social network realm for any CEO to gain awareness of how significant the problem is-yet they remain invisible, only briefly showing up behind a PR façade.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Social + HR + New Reality

Michael Brito posted his thoughts on the role of HR in Social Business in this article:


The comment from Elizabeth Lupfer came the closest to reflecting my perspective on the HR role in social, which is something I also noted in my e-book. I do think that we need to break out HR somewhat as the compliance based roles will be the last to be able to see the opportunities in social and adapting those roles to 'social' will require some careful thinking.

I find myself alternating between believing that it is simply time to use the HR title for compliance and compensation specialties and rebrand and rethink the rest of the HR realm. Rather than seeing "Humans" as resources or assets-perhaps we need to adapt a new approach to the Employee Relations and Organizational Development areas-one that more closely reflects the people focused community (employee experience to the customer experience link).

Rather than seeing "HR" as a 'strategic partner' a more practical role would be to have a team of strategic thinkers/implementers- directly linking the organizational goals to the team goals to the individual goals-with the big picture of the organizational strategy as the magnet for the output of that role.

The current silo of HR vs. the rest of the organization in many cases is a result of traditional management styles-HR handles the messy people stuff and the compensation stuff and the rest of the employees do the *real* work. A fully integrated resolution to that picture doesn't exist unless we radically shift from Industrial Era process to Knowledge Era realities. The Industrial Era process put HR directly in the middle of Management and Employees and at the end of the day-no one is particularly happy with the result. When I worked in the field the image of the "pig in the middle" game often popped into my mind.

How much longer will executives in business continue to complain that “HR doesn’t ‘get it’ rather than simply rethinking the role and making a wholesale change?

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

CEO Messages + Reality + unLeadership

Following the RIM problems over the past several months has been a study in abject failure of leadership and while predicting the mass layoffs was a given it does leave me with a feeling of sadness and frustration that 5,000 people are losing their jobs-not because they failed-but because of a failure of leadership. To read this morning that the RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, actually stated to the media that "there is nothing wrong with this company" http://mobilesyrup.com/2012/07/03/rim-ceo-says-theres-nothing-wrong-with-the-company-as-it-exists-right-now/)must come as a blow to those 5,000 people. Thorsten Heins isn't losing his job so perhaps he simply doesn't realize how truly heartless his comments are to those that are losing their jobs.

There is plenty wrong with a business that had so much opportunity to be a resounding, sustainable success and simply failed to take advantage of that opportunity. There is much wrong with announcing that 5,000 jobs are lost because of a failure of leadership without ever showing any sense of responsibility for that failure. This is far from the first business in which the purported leadership turned out to be anything but leadership, in which the 'leaders' took care of themselves and saw the massive job losses as "not personal, just business"-yet given all the examples that business "C" suite types have to improve on, they simply are not doing so.

And they wonder why employees are not engaged, committed, and loyal? It isn't that hard to understand-is it?

On a brighter note-RIM had some great employees regardless of the unLeadership steering the organization-and now-they will have the opportunity to show what they know they can do and hopefully for a business that understands what leadership should be.