Jim Stroud, Bruce Willis and Talent Acquisition

I was privileged to be a featured speaker on the ClickIQ Academy discussing current events and how they relate to the recruitment industry. Good times! Tune in to hear all the fun.

Topics include: 

  • How Bank of America increasing their minimum wage may have some unintended consequences
  • What IBM’s ability to predict whether someone is leaving – via AI – means for employees
  • Whether AI can be truly unbiased, and if it can be more or less human than humans
  • How a restaurant chain accidentally discriminated against certain communities
  • Why New York State barring marijuana testing is as much about a talent shortage as it is about relaxing drug laws

Please like, share and comment on this post. Thanks in advance.

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Mo’ Data, Mo’ Problems – Living in the Age of Big Data

If you want to learn something truly fascinating that you might not have considered before, go to your favorite search engine and look up the phrase, “big data is a civil rights issue.” As you scan through the search results and glean tidbits of data from the descriptions, or skim the various articles, you will no doubt see that the world is sitting on a powder keg of outrage. Algorithms and automation threaten to divide my country more profoundly than any political unrest around civil war statues, rumors of Russian collusion or fake hate crimes ever could. Indeed, when it comes to racial disparity in terms of opportunity or various life advancements, nothing is more injurious than the unintended consequences of machine learning. When I consider the effects on society and the labor market, I shudder at the pending reality of it all.

Just over a year ago, I wrote an article on big data and speculated on the societal implications. I called it “This is Why Big Data is a Civil Rights Issue.” Now, in this podcast, I am revisiting that topic and going a bit deeper in my analysis. This report told in 3 parts is…

  • BIG DATA, BIG BIAS – Where I explore the unintended consequences of so-called “unbias” algorithms.
  • BIG DATA, BIG MONEY – Where I look at how much money data brokers are making off of my privacy and the incentive they have to go even further.
  • BIG DATA, BIG ESCAPE – Where I consider my options, after learning more about my lack of privacy on the internet.

Stay tuned, for a very special report

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

 

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[VIDEO] Senior Citizens are the Future of Work

McDonald’s raised more than a few eyebrows with a recent announcement. They have pledged to hire more senior citizens in their bid to fill 250,000 summer jobs this year. Wow! In this episode, I discuss the myths and realities of hiring mature workers and how senior citizens are the future of work. | Special thanks to ClickIQ for sponsoring this episode.

 

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So, machines are firing people now?

26 | Have you ever been fired from a job before? If so, I imagine it was during an awkward in-person meeting between you, your boss and somebody from the HR department. Today, however, we live in a different era and companies are using machines to fire employees, without input from management. Don’t believe me? Tune in and I’ll share an example of what may be a sign of things to come.


Listen to this podcast on Anchor.fm.

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Have you ever been fired from a job before? If so, I imagine it was during an awkward in-person meeting between you, your boss and somebody from the HR department. Today, however, we live in a different era and companies are using machines to fire employees. Don’t believe me? I’ll share an example of what may be a sign of things to come, right after this…


I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well.Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

The popular blog – “The Verge” obtained documents showing how Amazon used a computer system to automatically track and fire hundreds of warehouse workers for failing to meet productivity quotas.  While not every decision was made by a computer system, the documents — included a signed letter by an Amazon attorney describing the system — reveal how deeply automated the process really is.

“Amazon’s system tracks the rates of each individual associate’s productivity,” reads the letter as quoted by The Verge, “and automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors.”

Let me quote a bit more from that Verge article.

Critics see the system as a machine that only sees numbers, not people. “One of the things that we hear consistently from workers is that they are treated like robots in effect because they’re monitored and supervised by these automated systems,” Mitchell says. “They’re monitored and supervised by robots.”

The system goes so far as to track “time off task,” which the company abbreviates as TOT. If workers break from scanning packages for too long, the system automatically generates warnings and, eventually, the employee can be fired. Some facility workers have said they avoid bathroom breaks to keep their time in line with expectations.

The idea of being fired by a machine is more than a little unnerving to me. It just seems so… cold and unprofessional. I would feel the same way about firing people by text message, which is something that has already occurred on multiple occasions. Case in point…

Firing people with an algorithm is one thing and by text is another. However, can you imagine laying off 160 people via email?

Yahoo reports: Back in 2012, Financial firm Aviva Investors accidentally fired its entire staff by email. The form-letter style email spelled out the requirements of the employees’ confidentiality agreement, and included the line “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future.” Of course, the email was meant for one specific person who was leaving the company, but an awkward computer mistake led to the message being sent to everyone in the company.

The electronic communique didn’t specifically tell workers that they were fired, and after about a half hour, a second email went out apologizing for the mistake and clarifying that no one was fired. Still, for a lot of employees, those had to be a nerve-wracking couple of minutes considering that the U.K.-based Aviva announced earlier that year that it would be eliminating 160 positions — about 12% of its total workforce.

Firing by algorithm, text or email, is all so very rude, I think and The Emily Post Institute agrees with me. For those who don’t know, the Emily Post Institute maintains a 25 book collection; conducts seminars and trainings; and partners with businesses and non-profit organizations to bring etiquette and manners to a wide audience. According to them, one should never text to inform someone of sad news or to end a relationship. Such news should be delivered in person or by phone.

So, culturally, we know what is proper. But what about legally?

Alison Doyle is the job search expert for The Balance Careers and one of the industry’s most highly-regarded career experts. She has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Websites For Your Career and in my opinion, one smart cookie. Concerning today’s topic, she has this to say…

“Unless you are covered by an employment contract or state law that stipulates how you can be terminated, there are no restrictions on how an employer can fire you. Employers can fire employees over the phone, by paper letter or email, in person – or even by sending a text message.”

So there you have it, more often than not, you are at an employer’s mercy. That being said, it would not be in a company’s best interest to fire people by text, email or even algorithm. Why? I think such a practice damages the morale of the workplace, hurts retention efforts and can negatively impact business if the public at large is not sympathetic to your process.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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► Music Credit: LAKEY INSPIRED Track Name: “That Girl” Music By: LAKEY INSPIRED @ https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Original upload HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlVfB… Official “LAKEY INSPIRED” YouTube Channel HERE – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmy… License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported “Share Alike” (CC BY-SA 3.0) License. Full License HERE – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music promoted by NCM https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ

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Big Data Knows You’re Going to Quit Your Job Before You Do

Are you happy on your job? Are you unsatisfied with your work? Perhaps, you’ve already begun spending quality time on Indeed.com in search of new opportunities? And yet, you’ve kept all this to yourself, as you continue to plod along in a job you are starting to hate. What if I told you that with the help of big data and magic algorithms, companies are able to spot employees like you and with that knowledge, offer you a promotion, a raise or more fulfilling tasks, all in an effort to retain you as their employee. Sound crazy? Its not. IBM has software that can predict which workers are about to quit their jobs with 95% accuracy. Tune in to hear a very interesting  podcast!


Listen to this podcast on Anchor.fm or on your favorite podcast platform.

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

When you think of prisoners working inside of a jail, what comes to mind? Prisoners cooking, mopping floors, folding clothes…? Yes, all of those are certainly true and now you can add one more – training artificial intelligence algorithms. I’ll explain, after this.


I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well.Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty spoke at CNBC’s @ Work Talent + HR Summit on the future of work; specifically, her talk was on AI and how it would change jobs. Here’s a clip.

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From this interview and other places online, I discovered a few more interesting things that IBM is doing, as reported by CNBC.

  • [quote] IBM HR has a patent for its “predictive attrition program” which was developed with Watson to predict employee flight risk and prescribe actions for managers to engage employees. Rometty would not explain “the secret sauce” that allowed the AI to work so effectively in identifying workers about to jump (officially, IBM said the predictions are now in the 95 percent accuracy “range”). Rometty would only say that its success comes through analyzing many data points.
  • [quote] IBM’s MYCA (My Career Advisor) AI virtual assistant uses Watson to help employees identify where they need to increase their skills. Its companion, Blue Match technology, serves up job openings to employees based on their AI-inferred skills data (employees opt into the service). Rometty said some of the 27 percent of IBM workers who received a new job or promotion in 2018 were assisted by Blue Match.
  • [quote] IBM employees no longer need to decipher which programs will help them upskill; its AI suggests to each employee what they should be learning in order to get ahead in their career.

I see what IBM is doing today as a natural progression of things. Using big data, to resolve retention issues has been in the works for some time. A few years ago, in 2014, Workday acquired a startup called – Identified which was doing some remarkable work with its predictive algorithms. I don’t know to what extent Workday has integrated and leveraged Identified’s technology today but, I can tell you what it was capable of back then.

  • Mohammad Sabah was Identified’s head of data science. He was previously at Netflix where he worked on their movie recommendation algorithm. In 2014, Bloomberg quoted Sabah when he compared his Netflix work with Identified. Sabah said, “The domain is so different, but the techniques and the algorithms and the tools are general.”
  • That same Bloomberg article goes on to say, [quote] “By combining company data on employee hiring, promotions, relocations, compensation, employee satisfaction surveys, managerial decisions and job cuts with public data sets like the standard of living in the region and workforce demand for certain skills, Workday can spot patterns.”
  • And even deeper in that article it cites how businesses can input decades of historical staff data to inform and customize the system’s recommendations. The system learns over time how each company works and, like an experienced HR employee, develops a gut feeling for which people the company needs to keep a closer eye on.

If IBM represents the state of the art and Workday the preceding evolutionary step then, Google would have to be the mother of the movement of using big data to predict employee departures. As far back as 2009, Google had developed a workforce prediction algorithm which tracked employees who were about to jump ship. The Wall Street Journal reported on the tech back then and reported that Google examined data from employee reviews and promotion and pay histories to try to identify which of its 20,000 employees were most likely to leave the California-based company. Laszlo Bock, who runs human resources for Google, told the Journal the algorithm helps the company “get inside people’s heads even before they know they might leave.”

When I mentioned what IBM was doing today with their magic algorithms, I could almost see your surprise, now imagine the shock the HR world had in 2009. Just for giggles, let me share a few reactions from people discussing Google’s Workforce Prediction Algorithm back then and see if they still resonate today.

  • REAL predictive analytics finally gets a showing! So many people are using the term predictive analytics about things which are really just metrics and reporting…it’s a wonderful thing to see real PA at least being thought about.
  • Google searches are great, but they don’t get everything…and if management at Google starts to think that they do, there is a serious risk of complacency and so further loss of focus on the value of human management. 
  • If we predict individual human behavior, what risks do we open up? Lawsuits, even?  What if we get it wrong about Sally and don’t promote her because the algorithm said she’s likely to leave?  Sure, we already do that in management heads, but what’s the legal situation once it comes from an algorithm?
  • Predicting how Individuals will perform is already an accepted and proven fact today in the US. The US FICO score is a predicted score of an individual’s credit worthiness and is used in our everyday life. The facts show that people who defaulted on loans in this housing crash, were people that had a FICO score that should have prevented them from getting a loan in the first place. Talk about a self fulling prophecy.
  • For the workforce, your bosses boss or even your boss’s boss’s boss has final say on what raise you get, bonus, promotion, etc. Is their intuition good enough to make the right decisions for you as an individual they may only know from a few meetings or passing in the hall? Predictive Analytics in the workforce will be able to provide them with the facts and the impacts of the decision they are about to make.

I think using big data to inform our decisions is a good thing. However, combining human judgement with big data insights, is the greater thing. Machines are our helpers, they augment our abilities and have the capacity to transform us all into Tony Stark. If we relax our input and rely solely on the decision making capacities of a machine then, that’s when the terminators come. At least, I think so. What do you think? Leave a comment on my blog or wherever you are listening to this podcast. I want to know what you think.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

Links related to this podcast:

IBM AI can predict with 95 percent accuracy which employees will quit 

Workday Predicts When Employees Will Quit – Business Insider 

Google gets mathematical on staff ‘brain drain’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) 

Google workforce prediction algorithm? | Strategic Workforce Planning 

(259) IBM’s Ginni Rometty: AI will change 100 percent of jobs – YouTube 

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Music in this podcast:

► Music Credit: Dj Quads Track Name: “A Coffee To Go” Music By: Dj Quads @ https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads Original upload HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WrH9… • Music promoted by NCM: https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ

► “(FREE) Lo Fi Type Beat – ” Autumn Jazz “”
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► Music Credit: LAKEY INSPIRED Track Name: “Watching The Clouds” Music By: LAKEY INSPIRED @

https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Original upload HERE – https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/… Official “LAKEY INSPIRED” YouTube Channel HERE – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmy… License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported “Share Alike” (CC BY-SA 3.0) License. Full License HERE – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music promoted by NCM https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ