Your Company's Probably Going to Ask You to Delete TikTok From Your Phone (The HR Famous Podcast)

Ah, company phones.  Here's the deal - they really don't exist much anymore. 

Why are we talking about company phones? Last week was a doozy as Amazon directed its employees to remove TikTok from company devices, only to take the request back later in Tik tokthe same day. Wells Fargo came in behind Amazon and gave the same directive - and held to its guns.

TikTok is a concern because of data security concerns combined with the fact that it's a Chinese company. China has a long history of being rogue with all types of IP. You can expect that more companies will follow suit and direct their employees to remove TikTok from company devices.

But can we be real a second? Companies long ago transferred the financial responsibility for devices to employees. While a small percentage of employees have company provided devices, at the end of the "Blackberry" age companies began the march to the "bring your own device" world, where employees had access to company email and other apps on the device that they chose. My Gen X and old Millennial friends will remember in the 2010 timeframe when IT departments started allowing personal iPhones to be able to get corporate email.

And like that, the need to provide devices to employees was gone. The pitch went something like this: Your choice, we can give you a clunky ass company-owned Blackberry, or you can use your iPhone to pick up email. Some companies provided a stipend, but most did not.

Poof! Expense related to telephony gone!

Unintended consequence of that revolution - companies don't own the devices that are being used by employees in 90% of the workforce in America.

That means mandating TikTok being off phones goes something like this:

1--Companies mandate no Tiktok on device being used for company work (but that the employee owns), employees say yes (sounds unlikely)

2--Companies mandate no TikTok, and provide phones to a higher percentage of employees (unlikely due to cost)

3--Companies say if you won't remove TikTok from phone, you can't use company apps like Outlook (unlikely due to the hit on immediate response and productivity)

4--Companies look at the do-do bag of options above, do nothing about TikTok (ding, ding! Most likely outcome!)

We talked about this issue on the latest episode of HR Famous.  Take a quick listen below, see the time stamps on this issue shared below and while you're there, subscribe to our pod!

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In episode 23 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee are back to discuss Jlee’s recent vacation, Tim’s new favorite shorts, different proposed plans for return to work bonuses, and privacy concerns about TikTok and other apps on company owned devices. 

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

1:20 - Jlee is back from vacay! Jlee went on a working vacation to the beach and returned with a nice tan. 

3:45 - Do you turn on an out of office reply on your email when you go on vacation? The HR Famous crew has rarely if never turned on their out of office reply. 

6:00 - Tim comes through with the much needed fashion advice. He says to check out Fair Harbor shorts! (Also, we’re open to a sponsorship!)

21:45 - Next topic of the episode: TikTok and employer’s rights! Last Friday, Amazon emailed employees to delete TikTok from their phones. Later in the day, they issued a statement that the email was a mistake and their employees didn’t need to delete TikTok. Wells Fargo also directed their employees to delete TikTok from company owned devices. 

24:00 - Tim brings up the bitcoin hack on Twitter and privacy/security concerns on there as well. Although TikTok is a Chinese owned company, there is still risk coming from American owned companies like Twitter. 

25:50 - KD discusses the differences in security issues on different kinds of devices or softwares. Tim brings up how many tech companies have allowed their employees to work on whatever operating system they’re most comfortable with and how there may be IT concerns surrounding that. 

28:00 - KD asks Jlee if she thinks that people will delete TikTok from their personal mobile devices even though most people have other privacy sensitive information on their devices. Jlee thinks it’s not going to happen and says the only way employers could have complete control over the employee’s devices would have to be somewhat similar to government agencies that work with national security concerns. 

30:00 - Tim discusses concerns over TikTok being a Chinese company and therefore, somewhat state-controlled. He thinks a solution may be getting a US owned TikTok alternative to replace the platform. Jlee is very sad about the potential outlawing of TikTok. 

32:00 - Tim thinks that people should be allowed to have multiple logins on a phone like you can have on a laptop or a computer. KD thinks that companies should just pay for their employees to have their own company device to solve any security concerns. 

33:30 - The HR Famous podcast promotes wearing a mask! Mask up!

 


What Is Your Pettiest Reason For Being Lukewarm On A Candidate?

Updating this post for COVID-19, although most of you are bigger than that. But that doesn't mean we're not all small in some way...

I'm asking. You know you have some type of petty thing - that's caused you to rank a candidate lower Pettinessthan they should have been.

Candidates who got impacted by COVID? You'll get through that and not hold it against them. But you'll still be holding something small against a cross-section of candidates.

I'm not talking about bias with a capital "B".  I'm talking about bias with a smaller than lower case "b".   It's so petty that the "b" in bias is actual two font sizes smaller than the rest of the word.  

Mine?  I have a hard time with candidates who take me out of my normal messaging environment.  Namely, the ability to use iMessage across different devices and communicate with team members is a preference - not a necessity.  I've hired people that I can't message on the iMessage platform before, and will in the future.  Best candidate wins. 

But when I pick up my phone to SMS a candidate rather than iMessage from my mac, I need to remind myself best candidate wins.  Twice.

What's your pettiest reason for being lukewarm on a candidate?  Hit me in the comments, or message me.  Unless you're not IOS - if that's the case, definitely hit me in the comments.


If You're Pointing Me To Your Automated Calendar to Pick a Time, You've Already Lost Me...

Stop me when you've felt one of these before:

1.  You and Person B are friends and/or business associates and have a relationship that is beyond the initial stages.

2.  Person B (without the relationship listed above) has asked you for help/assistance via a meeting where they can have some your your (valuable?) time.

3.  Person B works for a company you're paying for some type of service.

So imagine one of the forms of Person B has reached out to you.  All of those forms of Person B are a bit different, but one thing is for sure - you're at least equal in the relationship, and in #2 and #3, it's fair to say that at least for now, you're the more important party in the 2-way relationship.

Which is neither good nor bad.  Until Person B does the following to set up a meeting with you after you've agreed to meet:

PERSON B SENDS YOU AN AUTOMATED LINK TO THIER CALENDAR AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO SELECT A TIME THAT THEY ARE OPEN.

PERSON B IS VERY BUSY.  THEY'VE AUTOMATED THEIR SCHEDULING.

PERSON B NEEDS YOUR TIME.  BUT RATHER THAN WORK A COUPLE OF EMAILS WITH YOU TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU, THEY'RE TELLING YOU WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM - VIA TECHNOLOGY.

Goodbye relationship.  Hello automated future!

Here's what you signal to me when you are Person B and you send me an automated process that "invites" me to select a block on your busy calendar:

1--You're treating me like the cable company does.

2--The cable company doesn't really give two shits about making me feel like there's a relationship.

3--The last time I checked, you didn't provide HBO (game of thrones) or Showtime (Billions) as part of our relationship.

4--It's fair to say since you aren't the distributor of Game of Thrones, I'm less willing to feel like a transaction related to our relationship and your unwillingness to spend a little time to make me feel like we're connecting when asking me to spend time with you.

Hey Person B (which is all of us from time to time, right?), watch the transactional nature of the scheduling services you're using when you ask me for time.

Or as an alternative - find a service that will easily look at my calendar without setting up an account or will automate the process of you having a brief conversation with me.

Isn't that the promise of AI?  How about automating the process and making me feel like I'm having a conversation with Person B?  That would be cool and acceptable.

Or you can just treat me like the cable company does and see how that works out for you.

Related: Get off my lawn.


HR Capitalist Definitions: "Bespoke" (as Used in Corporate America)

I'll start you off with the regular definition, which is what you know:
 
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be·spoke
/bəˈspōk/
 
--made for a particular customer or user.
"a bespoke suit"
 
--making or selling bespoke goods, especially clothing.
"bespoke tailors"
--------------------------------------------------
 
Sounds awesome, right? You're going to customize it to fit me? Could not be better! Thank you!
 
But there's a slippery slope going on in the corporate world. Providers, especially of technology solutions, are increasingly referring to implementations that aren't supported or standardized as "bespoke".
 
Which is code for, "this could go horribly wrong and cost much, much more in both time and expense than you're ready for."
 
Here's how you'll see it referred to:
 
"Our solution has a standardized integration for iCIMS and Workday. For bespoke implementations, we offer webservices SOAP API to utilize the functionalities of integrated ATS systems".
 
Translation: This is going to hurt you more than it hurts us.
 
But we're using the word "Bespoke" to make it sound like you're getting a custom suit from a London tailor.
 
If someone uses the word "Bespoke" with you to describe an integration, they're talking down to you and downplaying the level of sh#t you're going to deal with.
 
Proceed with caution. 

Video Interviewing: It's OK to Love It, Just Know S**t Will Probably Get Real...

It's hard not to like video interviewing solutions as an HR Pro or Hiring Leader. After all, what's better than seeing how someone communicates on a basic level with some simple questions before you invest your time to bring them in and commit a minimum of an hour to interview them live?

We've all been to the bad place - you phone screen someone and it goes fine, then bring them in live and within 5 minutes, you know it's not going to happen. Video interivewingVideo interviewing can prevent that.

To be clear, I'm not talking about Skype or similar solutions when it comes to video interviewing - I'm talking about robust situations designed for the top of the funnel - when the candidate applies, they are getting a chance to answer 5-7 questions, the audio of which is designed to really replace the phone screen, and the video of which is to make sure they have the command and presence necessary to do well with your hiring manager if you bring them in live.

Of course, there are some issues with video interviewing. The first one is obvious - even in 2020 (I'm rounding up, folks), most people in the world today aren't comfortable firing up the smartphone or laptop camera for an on-the-fly, taped 1-way interview. It freaks them the F out, which means you're losing good talent because they can't deal with this digital test.

The second issue is one related to bias. There's been a lot of discourse lately about the presence of unconscious bias, and if that topic continues to trend and cause us to do things like redact certain portions of resumes, then showing all identifiers via a video interview can't really happen. In a world concerned with unconscious bias, a solution with risk of straight up, old-school bias seems destined for the scrap heap.

The third issue? The video interviewing solutions really stretching the boundary claim to have AI in mix that can measure items like "personal stability".  If that seems like more than our legally challenged world can bear, you're right. The FTC is being asked to investigate HireVue (a leader in the video interviewing industry) for their use of AI in the hiring process. It’s probably one of the first of a series of challenges to the use of AI in HR. More from TechCrunch:  

"The Electronic Privacy Information Center, known as EPIC, on Wednesday filed an official complaint calling on the FTC to investigate HireVue’s business practices, saying the company’s use of unproven artificial intelligence systems that scan people’s faces and voices constituted a wide-scale threat to American workers.

HireVue’s “AI-driven assessments,” which more than 100 employers have used on a million-plus job candidates, use video interviews to analyze hundreds of thousands of data points related to a person’s speaking voice, word selection and facial movements. The system then creates a computer-generated estimate of the candidates’ skills and behaviors, including their “willingness to learn” and “personal stability.”

Video interviewing solutions have long listed bias concerns and generally non-progressive, non-rationale hiring managers who make flippant decisions as threats to their future.

It will be interesting to see where the privacy world's issues with video interviewing go in the future and how those concerns stack with unconscious bias to impact this industry.


Is Workday Really the Most Used ATS in the World?

If there's one thing that's consistent in the TA/Recruiting world, it's hot takes related to Workday Recruiting.  Which is why a recent report that shows Workday Recruiting is now the most used ATS among Fortune 500 companies is fascinating.  

Many of you object to that finding. But it is science! More from OnGig:

"Workday is the #1 ATS system used by Fortune 500 companies, narrowly beating Taleo.

That’s what we found after a review of the 476 Fortune 500 companies that show their applicant tracking system on their public-facing career sites.

22.6% of these Fortune 500 companies use Workday versus 22.4% that use Taleo.

Oracle is still the #1 ATS provider to the Fortune 500 when you add in Oracle HRMS, iRecruitment and Oracle Cloud (see the long table below). Oracle beats Workday 24% to 22.6% when you add in Oracle’s other software."

It's notable to say that there's a lot of dissatisfaction out there related to Workday Recruiting, as many CHROs are forced into the solution by broader ERP initiatives within their organizations.  

Also notable is the fact this is a survey of Fortune 500 companies - Workday Recruiting most certainly is not the leader in the mid-market ATS category, where a bunch of companies on the tail end of the Fortune 500 full list fare much better (looking at you, Jobvite, Greenhouse, Newton, Lever, SmartRecruiters).  See the top 10 ATS solutions across Fortune 500s in the image below, get the full list here, and see a broader list here from 2017 that includes mid-market companies that probably provides better context and a shopping list for the masses.

Top ATS


Google for Jobs: A Stat That Will Make Go Hmmmmm...

First, a quick definition - in 2017, Google launched Google for Jobs, a service dedicated to making Google a primary job search source for all.  It works like this - Google scrapes all the jobs from career sites across the world, and by coding your jobs/career sites in a certain way, you can do your best to ensure the jobs at your company perform well when candidates search for jobs (think, "Financial Analyst") in the geographical area they are interested in.

The big news in 2017 and beyond that Google was getting into job search/job postings.  Since so many candidates start searching for jobs with search engine query, the reality of what Google was doing - putting a big listing of jobs from G4J at the top of search results on anything resembling job search - was thought to be a threat to all who market and sell job postings.  This obviously impacts the future business results of Indeed, LinkedIn and the traditional job boards.

Early results show that the change, i.e. the potential to put other companies out of the job posting business (or hurt their financial results), has been slower than expected to materialize. 

But to really understand the potential impact, you simply need to look at other industries.  Here's a stat that should make us think it's only a matter of time before Google for Jobs is completely dominant:

On mobile devices, 62% of searches never leave Google. Google’s desktop dominance is also growing: Between 2016 and today, desktop searches that never leave Google have risen from 9% to 35%.

You may have noticed that in a lot of Google searches you do, Google provides enough information in a dialog box, and you don't have to leave Google to get to another site.  That's by design - Google’s goal is to provide info directly, without having to refer users to other websites.  The stat above tells you how good they are getting at providing enough info/value so you don't have to click and go somewhere else.

The latest news covering this trend  - song lyric site Genius.com has accused Google of scraping its site.  More from Mashable:

"Lyrics annotation service Genius.com has accused Google of scraping its site and stealing its content, the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend. However, a lyrics data provider at the center of the controversy claimed on Monday that those allegations were without merit.

The Journal reported that Genius had been complaining to Google about the alleged theft for some time, with Google consistently denying the allegations. To prove its point, Genius proceeded to alter lyrics hosted on its site with a variety of different apostrophes.

The company alternated between apostrophe styles in a frequency that allowed it to embed a secret morse code message into the text. The message in question: “Red handed.” Soon after, the modified lyrics, complete with the hidden message, showed up on Google.com, according to Genius."

Why the drama about song lyrics? Genius.com says its traffic is dropping because, for the past several years, Google has been publishing lyrics on its own platform, with some of them lifted directly from the music site.

In other words, when Google provides its own data rather than referring web searches to other sites, life gets hard.

The fact that Google does that in 35% of all web searches today - with an eye to take a lot more market share - should make everyone who relies on referral traffic really nervous.

Google for Jobs hasn't put anyone out of business in the job posting industry  - yet.  But, it feels like we're in the first quarter of this game.

Diversification of business model seems like a smart play for those in the crosshairs.

 

 


Minimum Viable Product in the World of HR...

If there's one thing that HR could do better at, it's caring less about being perfect and shipping more HR product.

You see it all the time in the world of HR. We have big plans. Those big plans include the need for project planning, for meetings, vendor selection and deep thoughts.  After awhile, the process takes over the original intent, which was trying to serve a need and make the people processes of our company just a little bit better. MVP

We chase big, risk adverse, "get everyone on board" type of wins.  The development of those big wins can stretch into a year - no make that two years - of prep.  

What we ought to be chasing more is Minimal Viable Product, which in the software industry gets defined as this:

minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development.

A minimum viable product has just enough core features to effectively deploy the product, and no more. Developers typically deploy the product to a subset of possible customers—such as early adopters thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information. This strategy targets avoiding building products that customers do not want and seeks to maximize information about the customer per amount of money spent.

I'm looking at you, Workday.  You're on notice, SAP.  We love the big solution in the world of HR.  But the risk of big failure goes up astronomically when implementation plans are more than 120 days and your own HR team hates the product - after 18 months of work to "customize" "configure" it.

Of course, we'd be a lot better off if we would simply either design/buy the simplest solution to a problem we think needs fixing by HR.  To be clear, you can buy or design these minimalistic solutions.  Which way you go depends a lot on what you are trying to fix/improve.  The general rule of thumb is this related to the following types of HR "needs":

--Technology - always buy. Find the simplest solution you like, buy for the shortest term possible and roll the solution out.  If you prove the use case and gain adoption, you can always seek to upgrade to something more complex, but if it fails, initially buying simple is the smart play. Recruiting, performance and system of record tech falls into the "buy" category.

--Teach - You're buying a tech solution for early forays into Learning and Development?  You're kidding me, right? You know that you may build this and no one will come, right? You also know that the type of training you're generally asked for (manager and leadership training, etc.) is an area where you're the expert, right? hmmm....

--Process - You never buy process initially - you build.  You never spend money on a consultant to help you in any area before you  - the HR leader - has your own hot take related to what you want in this area.  

Thinking in a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) way is simple.  For tech buys, If you're first generation HR (no tech has existed), you should always find the simplest solution you like, buy for the shortest term possible and roll the solution out.   Figure out what's usable and what's not.  See this article from me for Best in Breed vs Suite considerations.  Open API's mean you have limited worries about tying all the data together.  Let's face it, you've got to grow up your HR function before you were going to use that data anyway.  Buy small and learn.  Maybe your v 2.0 tech solution is an upgrade to a more advanced provider.  But you don't by the BMW when you're kid is learning to drive - you buy the used Camry.

Here's some lighting round notes on what Minimal Viable Product looks like in HR - for some specific areas/pain points:

--Manager/Leadership Training - You want to shop big and bring in an entire series from an outsourced partner.  The concept of MVP says you should listen to the needs, then bootstrap a 2-hour class together on your own.  At the very least, you order a single module of training from a provider (I like this one)and walk before you run.

--Redesigning Recruiting Process - Put the Visio chart down, Michelle.  Dig into a job that represents a big area of challenge at your company and become the recruiter for that job for a month.  Manage it like a project and be responsible personally for the outcomes.  Nobody cares about your Visio chart - yet. They would love the personal attention you give them.  Once you run a single, meaningful search in a experimental/different way, you'll have real world stories and experience to create a <shudder> Visio chart that's based on reality.

Doing Minimal Viable Product in HR means you plan less, get to doing, run the action you're taking through a cycle and evaluate.  If it works, build on the 2.0 version with a bit more complexity.  MVP in HR means you ship more product that's lighter than what's traditionally come out of your office.

Get busy shipping more HR product.  Plan less. Play the Minimal Viable Product game and if you're going to fail, fail quickly.

 


Daily Pay: Discount it at Your Own Peril As an HR Leader...

Most readers of this blog are blessed in many ways, including financially.  As HR and recruiting pros, many of us live our lives and really don't consider things from our workforce's point of view often enough.

Case in point: The concept of Daily Pay as a tool for retention. IMG_2818

Daily pay is something that doesn't feel natural to HR pros. After all we've long since settled into our 2 week cycles for payroll.  Payroll is due!! What's our error rate on Payroll?  Are the transactions getting done in a systematic way?

Our 2-week payroll cycles make the concept of Daily Pay foreign to a lot us.  I was reminded of this when P Hall, a reader of the Capitalist, sent me the picture you see at the right (email subscribers click through if you don't see the photo) from a Taco Bell in the Carolinas.  My reaction to it was mixed, which underscores what a lot of HR pros and TA leaders would say about the concept of Daily Pay.

"Nobody really needs daily pay."

"Daily pay would cause anarchy in our department"

"Our employees need to wait until payday. We're not the bank"

But our own perspective and experience isn't shared with the rest of the world.  For those of you with large hourly populations, you've got a workforce with a high number of people living paycheck to paycheck. And that means that disruptions in your employee's lives can cause bad things - absenteeism, lower focus on their job at your company via second jobs, moonlighting and turnover.

Payroll technology in the app world makes the transition to daily pay easier than you might think.  More from SHRM:

"We're seeing a lot of traction for instant pay apps in companies with large hourly workforces where employees live paycheck to paycheck and unexpected expenses can cause big disruptions to their lives," said Ron Hanscome, a research vice president at Gartner in Minneapolis who specializes in HR technologies. "It can be a differentiator in markets where turnover is high and organizations are looking to create a more stable workforce." The ability to draw pay right away can keep some hourly workers from jumping ship to competitors for a 25-cent or 50-cent per-hour pay increase, Hanscome said.

Organizations including Outback Steakhouse, McDonalds, Dial America and Maids International are using some version of the pay option, with some saying it has contributed to a reduction in turnover among hourly workers. Walmart has announced it will begin allowing its workers to use an app called Even to access a portion of their wages before standard paydays.

Just as importantly, we're in a peak economic cycle, and your hourly workforce has more options than ever before.  You've got employees who live paycheck to paycheck, and being able to tap into their wages before you decide to pay them every two weeks might be a contributing factor moving forward to you being able to attract hourly workers - or keep them.

Turns out, you might need to be the bank in today's world.