Table of Contents
Today, we introduce the second edition of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters (v2.0), part of the ongoing project to illuminate and define influence in our industry. This list is one of a group of lists of people who influence the various silos in the HR Industry.
In the online world, influence changes pretty dramatically over time. People come and go from their jobs. New people master the techniques of online publishing.
Our lists are compiled with the least amount of human intervention possible. Determinations of influence are made through automated measures. In this edition, my name was pulled out of the list because it didn’t seem objective enough to keep me on it.
The method invloves a dramatic (very large) spidering of the web for content related to Recuiting. All of the material that includes prioritized key words are collected in a single database. It is then compared and contrasted with the data in the social graph.
In order to really quantify the dimensions of online influence, we measure three key variables:
- Reach: A measure of the audience size (number of eyeballs) for each individual. Traffic.
- Relevance: The degree to which content associated with the individual matches a cloud of keywords prepared for the analysis
- Resonance: The number of mentions, inbound links and participation found for each individual.
We are continuing to use the services of Traackr to create and manage the lists.
Heather Bussing is a returning contributor to our HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board. Heather has practiced employment and business law for over 20 years. She has represented employers, unions and employees in every aspect of employment and labor law including contract negotiations, discrimination and wage hour issues. While the courtroom is a place she’s very familiar with, her preferred approach to employment law is to prevent problems through early intervention and good policies and agreements. Full bio…
I downloaded a whitepaper from Taleo last week through ERE. It’s called “Social Network Recruiting: Managing Compliance Issues.” If you’d like a copy, go to the Taleo website. It’s under Resources, then articles. (I’d give you a link, but they need your contact information before you can open it.)
The article starts by warning that using social networks for recruiting can increase the risk of attracting a disparate impact discrimination lawsuit because the racial profile of social network users does not exactly match the racial profile for the general US population. There’s a cool pie chart that show that the US population is about 13% African American and a little over 15% Hispanic. But the LinkedIn user population is only about 5% African American and 2% Hispanic. An attorney was quoted saying that she expected more race and age claims based on the idea that using social networks as a source of candidates had a disparate impact on minorities.
Here’s why that doesn’t really make sense. The general population and the number of people qualified for a job are almost never exactly correlated. If the job requires the person to speak Spanish and a sourcer searches LinkedIn for candidates that are bilingual—she is going to get a disproportionate number of Hispanics as candidates – and there’s nothing wrong with that. If a sourcer needs a nurse, he will end up with a disproportionate number of female candidates. It is the search that matters—not simply the pool of resumes in the database. Besides, discrimination based on a legitimate job qualification is legal even if the available pool of candidates with that qualification is limited to a sector of the population that looks nothing like the general US population.
Next, the paper raised a concern about getting information that might not be relevant to the job-qualifications and could include pictures, comments or groups that would reveal that the person is in a protected class. Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, pregnancy, age or disability. States like California have broader protections that include marital status, ancestry, medical condition, and sexual orientation.
The warning was: “if some candidates are subsequently eliminated from consideration, some of them are almost certain to conclude it was because they were gay, pregnant, disabled and so on.”
But how will they ever know?
When sourcers research people online, most of those people never, ever know they’ve been “sourced.” And most don’t care. When people put information on LinkedIn or Facebook, they expect to be looked at. That’s the whole point of LinkedIn.
I just don’t see the lawsuit by a class of people who say that no one found them to consider them because they weren’t on LinkedIn. (Although there is probably a lawyer somewhere who would try it.)
Further, even if someone did learn that a company looked at their resume online, how would they ever know that they didn’t get a job they never applied for, were never contacted about and may not even want.
I would never take a case that claims disparate impact based on an employer’s sourcing practices alone. In order to prove a disparate impact claim, the plaintiff must make a threshold case by showing that the challenged policy or practice had a discriminatory effect on a protected class.
That is usually done by showing that the percentage of people hired is statistically different from the pool of potential applicants. The potential applicant pool is generally the people qualified for that job in that labor market.
Sourcers do not keep a list of every person they have ever researched for every job they are sourcing. (If you try to make them, they’ll quit–they like the hunt, not record keeping.) And while there may be a digital record of pages viewed, it is expensive to obtain and there’s no way to know what job related to what page or person. It would cost thousands of dollars just to figure out if there might be a viable claim.
I suppose if a particular sourcing employee only offered 50-year-old white guys for every position she ever researched, there might be a case. But there is no way for a 30 year old Hispanic woman, who did not even know she was being considered to know that.
Even if you can show that there is a statistical disparity that affects a protected class, you still have to show that the very same imbalance actually exists in the workforce. So although one sourcer only proposes 50-year-old white guys, there is no case if the actual people hired are a mixture of race, age and gender based on the qualified people for the job in that area.
In other words there actually has to be discrimination—not just a practice that might result in missing a qualified candidate in a protected class.
Disparate impact cases of actual applicants are very difficult to prove. Disparate impact of sourcing practices will be even harder because there is less evidence and the potential “victims” of the discriminatory practice will probably never know.
So I don’t think it’s worth getting your britches in a bunch over fear of lawsuits from using LinkedIn or Facebook for sourcing. But do look around at who you hire and who you don’t hire. Do actually look at all that data that your cool ATS software collects and see if you need to make any adjustments. And don’t discriminate against someone qualified for the job because of how they look, who they pray to or the ultrasound picture on their Facebook page. Because that’s illegal.
Heather Bussing is a California employment lawyer who has practiced labor and employment law for 23 years.
Claudia Faust joins the HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board this week with a post about candidate experience. As a recruiter and leader of corporate recruiting organizations for 15 years, Claudia Faust brings her passion for people and analytics to hiring and retention. She has recruited and managed staffing organizations for globally recognized brands such as T-Mobile USA, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Sprint PCS, and Burger King Corporation. In 2006 Claudia founded Improved Experience to provide business intelligence diagnostics for Human Resources and staffing leaders. Full bio…
Who doesn’t have an opinion about candidate experience these days? If that person exists in HR, I sure haven’t met them yet. After all, candidate experience is a good thing, right? It’s important, right? And ensuring that everyone has a great experience is the thing to do, right?
Baloney. Here’s the truth, folks: Experience happens. To everyone, whether you intend it or not. A great experience is a good thing; but a planned experience is better. I’ll go a step further: poor experience, when executed as part of an intentional strategy, is much better than a good experience that happens accidentally.
While most of us don’t deviously plan for the horrible experience of others when we create and implement hiring and onboarding procedures, there are times when that strategy can be effective.
Consider a company in which initiative and collaborative influence are key drivers of success. An interview scenario that lets you watch an unsuspecting candidate respond in real-time to situations requiring those skills makes a lot of sense. I know a hiring manager who purposefully keeps candidates waiting for interviews until they approach the receptionist to ask about the delay. He wants to see up-front who keeps the “project” of the interview on task, who waits passively, and how long they tolerate the situation before speaking up. Over time, this manager has honed the test to determine that the best hires for his team ask about the delay within 10 minutes of arrival. Interesting to know that about someone on the first date, don’t you think?
Experience, whether it relates to candidates or customers, is a combination of process, communication, and hospitality. In hiring, these elements vary from one employer to the next depending upon compliance issues, business culture, and a host of personal preferences related to those who create the process and interact with job seekers. But let’s be honest, shall we? Candidate experience exists because a business is hiring. So it isn’t really about the candidate after all; it’s about an employer’s ability to collect information, manage expectations, and make decisions in a way that positively influences revenue and profitability.
Candidate experience is best designed with a single end in mind: competitive advantage for your business. How you implement that strategy – the clarity with which you attract and screen candidates, the expectations that you set and deliver along the way, and how or when you say “Thanks, but no thanks” – that’s what creates the experience.
The bottom line is that candidates are HR’s version of customers: some you want, and some you don’t. Those really smart folks over in Marketing spend entire careers learning about customer preferences and how to influence decisions that increase loyalty and revenue. HR is just waking up to the concept that this can be applied to talent communities to improve the quality of candidate selection and retention. I say it’s about time.
HR Carnival: Bone Picker Edition
Shauna Moerke is an astonishing woman who is reshaping the way people think about HR. Her seemingly modest innovation, the HR Carnival, is a way for readers to see ideas they might otherwise never encounter.
Each month or so, a new editor steps up and receives submissions. The job is to review and organize them (curating). The resulting work is posted as that month’s HR Carnival.
The sea of self promoting HR bloggerisms rises up to meet the shore in the HR Carnival. Each month’s postings are a good source of traffic and the smart marketers of the HR blogosphere are ready. Since all you have to do is send a link to the editor of the month, it’s easy for folks to submit thier work.
This month’s submittals ranged from completely naive or downright stupid to insightful or provocative. Rather than editing out the relatively useless, I took this as an opportunity to discover the conversation implicit in even the most off-base submittals.
Think of this as the bone picker’s HR Carnival. For each item where there is the possibility of an interesting argument, I took the alternate position. I picked bones wherever I could find them.
It’s my hope that this edition of the HR Carnival will make you laugh, get mad and think. Robust conversation always starts with controversy. Otherwise, it’s just the same old people peddling the same old ideas.
One major bone to pick. There were three or four reports from people who went to conferences and determined that meeting people at a conference is a kind of social networking. Imagine that. None of them mentioned the content of the conference. Content is news. Conferences as networking isn’t news.
Here you go.
- HR TEKTONIC Awards – Rewarding Disruption, Revolution and Innovation
From the Devon Group comes an announcement of a new set of industry awards–including disruption.
- Are You a Talent Magnet or a Talent Poacher?
Ideally, work is so amazing that people just want to come have fun with you.
But, today’s bright and shining stars are routinely poached by third party recruiters. Dan McCarthy suggests that internal recruiting should involve manners and protocol. That’s why third party firms are so successful and internal departments become career prisons.
- MultiTennancy: Table Stakes for HRM SaaS in 2011
Naomi Bloom operates at a level of technical insight that is qualitatively different from much of the material in this HRCarnival. If you are at all involved in the procurement or operation of HR Software and Technology. You need to know what she thinks. Not always right, but always thought provoking.
- Why I Blog. You Should, Too
LeanHR comes from a guy who ended up in HR after time in IT. (Probably had too much personality.) It turns out that the really good news is that no one will read your blog. This should free you to think clearly and not worry about other people’s reaction. There won’t be any.
- Company Boss Demands Unethical Behavior
So, what do you do? According to Lynn Dessert, “First, you do not want to get caught being a part of the mess, especially if it is clear that you will be made the fall guy or girl or scapegoat.” She offers a set of approaches to cover your behind. One wonders why she didn’t suggest “Quit”. Commonsense career protection often looks like weasely behavior.
- The HR Manager’s Role, Then and Now
Apparently, the HR Department is no longer the “company police” because firing is more humane and we now promote diversity. The shift from Gestapo tactics to social work marks the functional changes in HR. As a business partner, HR still hires, fires and metes out discipline. Today, the descriptive PR is much better. At Young HR Manager, Amit Bhagria, explores Strategic HR Issues from a younger person’s perspective.
- Vigilante Corrective Action
Trish McFarlane wants to issue speeding tickets to employees when they do something wrong. She wants to hold people accountable for their performance with on-the-spot documentation and feedback. In an adjacent piece, she notes “Let’s face it, there is almost nothing but navel gazing when it comes to Human Resources. We spend a majority of our time trying to justify what we do in desperate hopes of leadership noticing so we will get the coveted seat at the proverbial table.” Is being a busybody an improvement over navel gazing?
- Can I Ask an Employee Why He Is Going To The Doctor?
Susan Lucas is widely known as the “Evil HR Lady.” She writes thoughtful things about workplace dilemmas. The money quote: “You can’t allow Steve time off for his nose job because everyone agrees it’s really ugly, but not John because we all think he’s making a mistake and will regret those pectoral implants.” Above all, don’t let the fear of HIPAA inhibit your sound workforce policing practices.
- CEO of Starbucks: HR Needs a Seat At The Table
Apparently, having HR there will sell at least one more latte at each meeting of the people who already have seats at the table. HRLori finds inspiration in this.
- The Tom Sawyer Effect
What’s the difference between inspiration and compensation. That question is at the heart if Kevin Grossman‘s musings on Tom Sawyer and call-center-soliciting. The jaded might note that since inspiration is much cheaper than market level compensation, most managers prefer motivation to raises. Most workers prefer the cash.
- Amateurs and Professionals: HR Southwest 2010
One of the better known of the new crop of HR commentators, Mark Stelzner offers this piece that is a combination apology and trip report. In his initial review of HR SouthWest 2010, Stelzner criticized the ‘stamp-ede” of low level HR folks hunting for schwag. A lack of reader response to the first piece left him speechless (momentarily). This follow up is an attempt to find some value in the event.
- Project Social: Let’s Clique
A self-avowed late adopter, Laura Schroeder (aka Working Girl) talks about her experiences learning social media. Is the communications environment ‘clique based’? Probably. Another term for clique might well be target market. Gotta love the idea of a targeted clique-stream.
- Use Social Media Sites – Carefully
Susan Heathfield writes the Human Resources Blog at About.com. In this piece, she notes that social media sites are becoming more commonly used, that one has no reasonable expectation of privacy and that one shouldn’t routinely post stuff that would offend your Mom. Companies should also be cautious, but she’s not very clear on the why.
- The Original Social Network
In a trip report about the parties at the Oracle User’s Conference, Arvin Kan says that the original social network was the “work conference.” Apparently he hasn’t heard about churches, the town square or prisons.
Jon Ingham is a Brit who opines on enterprise HR software strategy and social media. He’s busy putting the socialist in social media as you can see in this post about an ‘unconference’ held in a partially renovated warehouse. Searching for a purely egalitarian conference model, Jon decries event sponsorship because it creates status distinctions.
- The Quest of Better Outcomes: Hierarchy and Performance
Scant attention is paid to the fact that culture’s influence on performance is usually greater than the individual’s. We have few tools to quantitatively manage the mores, ethics, processes and systems that comprise our organizational environments. We don’t even have very useful language to build on. Tanmay Vora‘s offering, QAspire, is all about building quality cultures. Sometimes, it takes someone who is willing to deal with torturous language to get the ball rolling.
- 8 Benefits of an Inclusive Organization
“When you feel valued for your work, you are going to be more satisfied with your job”.
So sez Drew Tarvin, a professional corporate humorist who writes the blog, “Humor That Works“.
- How To Run A One Person HR Department
Ben Eubanks, at UpstartHR, represents the young, entry level HR Pro. This piece summarizes tips and tricks for running a small shop. At the top of the list? SHRM Certification, relentless prioritization/focus and a clear understanding of your limits. The money quote? When asked what qualified him for the job, the young HR guy looked at the senior leader and said “Nothing. But let’s agree that if I am effective, we’re okay. If not, then you’ll talk to my boss and get me out of here.”
- How Do You Get Employees To Stay?
Kevin Brazvich says “Ask Them What it Takes.”
- Performance Management: Recognize the Source?
Evil Skippy, aka Jim Weber, is a recovering employment lawyer who provides workplace training and does investigations (when things fall apart). There are more than a few people who think that the market’s fascination with Performance Management is a bit on the Pavlovian side. Is it really surprising that in a time of high unemployment, the high velocity management technique involves wielding the stick with more precision? Cleverly, Jim points this out with time honored performance training techniques.
- Leadership Is Damned Personal
Mary Jo Asmus notes that leadership involves having the courage to change yourself. “Developing into the kind of person who can successfully lead the change you want to see happen is indulgent and selfish. It’s also necessary.”
- Perceptions of Ladies In High Heels
Carnival creator and curator, Shauna Merkle, submitted this piece from Ali Webster. (Ali is a part of the Women of HR). It’s really easy for HR to be distracted by the very superficial things that are the foundation of bias and prejudice that aren’t things that effect performance. Before we can get very good at making the workplace to focus on the things that matter, we have to navigate those issues for ourselves. You simply can’t give away what you don’t have. Here, she examines the relationship between dress and performance and finds some interesting things as she matures.
- A Fair Day’s Wages For A Fair Day’s Work?
From Europe comes a piece grinding that well worn axe, executive compensation.
One of the trickiest things about having a successful HR Career is knowing when you are looking at something that you might not understand. When HP’s CEO was ‘accused’ of a range of things, many in the HR Blogosphere joined the mob condemning him. In hindsight, it looks like it was really internal board politics among Silicon Valley players. It’s easy to look like a chump when you don’t have experience with the thing you are talking about. In the case of CEO pay, there really are multiple sides to the story.
- Emotional Dimwits Need Not Apply
Announcing the imminent arrival of low conflict Nirvana. It’s just liike the old tune, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, where “the bull dogs teeth are rubber and the hens lay soft boiled eggs.” This is the operational Nirvana in the dreams of some HR theorists (like this one). Amongst the conflict avoidance set, there is an emerging myth that all organizations should be run by nice guys. It’s not true. CEOs become CEOs because they are aggressive and greedy. It’s more likely that they are not nasty enough.