What is the one thing every Talent Acquisition Manager should know?

What is the one thing every #TalentAcquistion manager should know? I posed that question to Glen Johnson who a very interesting response. Spoiler alert! #Empathy plays a role in his advice. Tune in to this special “extra” episode to hear what he had to say and a special shout out to my friends at ClickIQ.

File this one under: #recruitment #candidateexperience #bestadvice

The Pros and Cons of Predictive Policing

21 | If you had a magic computer that could predict when crimes would take place, would you use it? Would you share it with the police so they could prevent people from becoming victims? Well, believe it or not, the police have such a system and have been exercising it to great effect. The technology and processes behind it is called “Predictive Policing” and it is a very controversial trend  spreading across the USA. I discuss the good and the bad of this, in this episode. | Click here to support my Starbucks habit and financially support this podcast.


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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

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast.

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is – “Person of Interest.” Do you know that show? In it, a man invents a sentient artificial intelligence system then uses it to protect people before crimes are committed against them. This is how the show begins…

What would you say are the odds of a machine like that existing today? Hah! I think the odds are… Very good. I’ll explain after this…

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On the tv show – Person of Interest, a team of people operating outside of the law, protect American citizens with the help of a sentient artificial intelligence system. Although I cannot say with 100% surety that such a machine exists, I think the basic building blocks of such device are already in play. And those blocks make up the trend of “Predictive Policing,” which is technology and processes that stop crimes, likely to occur, before they happen.  Let me quote a few articles to prove my point.

The New York Times says this, quote…

Mr. Brown, whose criminal record includes drug and assault charges, is at the center of an experiment taking place in dozens of police departments across the country, one in which the authorities have turned to complex computer algorithms to try to pinpoint the people most likely to be involved in future violent crimes — as either predator or prey. The goal is to do all they can to prevent the crime from happening.

The strategy, known as predictive policing, combines elements of traditional policing, like increased attention to crime “hot spots” and close monitoring of recent parolees. But it often also uses other data, including information about friendships, social media activity and drug use, to identify “hot people” and aid the authorities in forecasting crime.  

Business Insider has this to say, quote…

Predictive policework is rooted in complex mathematical models, but the basic premise is actually quite simple. A foundational paper on modeling crime compares crime to earthquakes to explain the rationale.

Just as earthquakes tend to lead to more earthquakes nearby and in the near future, gang retaliations, serial offenders, and repeated burglaries on a single location tend to create clusters of criminal offences that, with the right algorithms, police can forecast.

Previous predictive policing methods primarily focused on finding locations where crimes were likely to occur. A report from the nonprofit RAND Corporation, however, suggests that predictive policing can help forsee not only the location, but the times of crimes as well as individuals likely to commit future offenses. It can even predict those likely to be victims of crimes.  

And here’s one more quote; this time from Digital Trends Quote…

Cortica, an Israeli company with deep roots in security and AI research, recently formed a partnership in India with Best Group to analyze the terabytes of data streaming from CCTV cameras in public areas. One of the goals is to improve safety in public places, such as city streets, bus stops, and train stations.

It’s already common for law enforcement in cities like London and New York to employ facial recognition and license plate matching as part of their video camera surveillance. But Cortica’s AI promises to take it much further by looking for “behavioral anomalies” that signal someone is about to commit a violent crime.

The software is based on the type of military and government security screening systems that try to identify terrorists by monitoring people in real-time, looking for so-called micro-expressions — minuscule twitches or mannerisms that can belie a person’s nefarious intentions. Such telltale signs are so small they can elude an experienced detective but not the unblinking eye of AI.

The intent of all this surveillance is to protect the public and make everyone feel safe. And I applaud any and all in the security services who do what they do so I can sleep soundly at night and live another day; but, what is the cost of all this security? I don’t mean cost in dollars. I am referring to the psychological penalties. I also point to loss of liberty. Let me give you something to think about. For one, constant surveillance makes people alter their behavior and not just their bad behavior.

This quote from CJFECanadian Journalists for Free Expression. Quote…

So, how does mass surveillance affect the way we act? A 2016 study showed that people alter their behavior when they are reminded that the government is watching their activities. To test the effects of surveillance, participants in the study were first shown a fictional news headline about the United States targeting the Islamic State in an airstrike. They were then asked how they felt about the event while being regularly reminded that their responses were being monitored. As a result, most people in the study began to suppress opinions about the fictional event that they felt to be controversial or that they believed may lead to the government to scrutinize them.

Interestingly, the study also showed that participants who support the idea of mass surveillance were the most likely to suppress their own non-conformist opinions. | End Quote…

I very much like the idea of Predictive Policing. I especially like it when I hear of companies like PredPol which uses big data and machine learning to predict where crime will take place. One success the company highlights is a 22 percent drop in residential burglaries in Tacoma, Washington thanks in part to their technology.

And yet, I all too often hear a dissenting voice against such technologies because they are purported to be faulty and biased. Listen to this quote from The Register. Quote…  

American police and the judiciary are increasingly relying on software to catch, prosecute and sentence criminal suspects, but the code is untested, unavailable to suspects’ defense teams, and in some cases provably biased.

In a presentation at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, delegates were given the example of the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) system, which is used by trial judges to decide sentencing times and parole guidelines.

“The company behind COMPAS acknowledges gender is a factor in its decision-making process and that, as men are more likely to be [repeat offenders] recidivists, so they are less likely to be recommended for probation,” explained Jerome Greco, digital forensics staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society.

“Women [are] thus more likely to get probation, and there are higher sentences for men. We don’t know how the data is swaying it or how significant gender is. The company is hiding behind trade secrets legislation to stop the code being checked.”

These so-called advanced systems are often trained on biased data sets, he said. Facial recognition software is often trained on data sets filled with predominantly white men, he said, making it less effective at correctly matching up people of color, according to research by academics.

So, where do I stand on all this? I confess to being a bit conflicted. Surveillance is necessary to keep us safe but it can go too far, such as with the social credit score happening in China. Maybe I would feel better about the government surveillance if there was an impartial auditor charged with monitoring these algorithms for fairness, an appeals process should someone be falsely accused of a crime by some machine and put a human in the loop. In other words, include a human being in all of this. For example, say some software on a CCTV camera identifies someone as a terrorist. Before the FBI is called in, a human being has to look at the footage and confirm that the person is who the machine thinks they are. I don’t know. Maybe they are already doing that. I hope so.

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 reach me at my website – 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. Oh, before I go, please financially support this podcast with a little somethin’-somethin’ in my virtual tip jar. (There’s a link in the podcast description.) Your generosity encourages me to keep this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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Whatever happened to employee privacy?

20 | If you have a social media account or a cell phone or an internet connection, then you have no privacy. I’m pretty sure you can agree with me there. Do a search on Duck Duck Go or some other search engine for “Facebook scandal,” “cell phone privacy scandal,” or “data hacked” and you will no doubt agree with me.  But have you ever considered your lack of privacy in the workplace? I’m going to share with you three stories and I want you to figure out whether or not they are true or false. Tune in to see if you can guess how far companies will go for the sake of efficiency.


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

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast.

If you have a social media account or a cell phone or an internet connection, then you have no privacy. I’m pretty sure you can agree with me there. Do a search on Duck Duck Go or some other search engine for “Facebook scandal,” “cell phone privacy scandal,” or “data hacked” and you will no doubt agree with me. But have you ever considered your lack of privacy in the workplace? I’m going to share with you three stories and I want you to figure out whether or not they are true or false. The first story begins after this special message…

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A certain man is interviewing for a job for a rather progressive company. How progressive are they? Rather than relying solely on resumes, they use a complex algorithm to scan a candidate’s social media accounts in order to discern their personality and cultural fit. Is this true or false?

This is true. Listen to a quote from The Wall Street Journal.

Nearly all Fortune 500 companies now use some form of automation — from robot avatars interviewing job candidates to computers weeding out potential employees by scanning keywords in resumes. And more and more companies are using artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to assess possible employees. DeepSense, based in San Francisco and India, helps hiring managers scan people’s social media accounts to surface underlying personality traits. The company says it uses a scientifically based personality test, and it can be done with or without a potential candidate’s knowledge. The practice is part of a general trend of some hiring companies to move away from assessing candidates based on their resumes and skills, towards making hiring decisions based on people’s personalities.

Story #2

A factory worker wears a helmet for safety reasons but, the helmet does more than protect the head from physical injury. It reads the brainwaves of the worker for changes in their mood and informs management of whether or not that worker should take a break, be reassigned or fired. Is this true or false?

This is true. Listen to this quote from the South China Morning Post.

On the surface, the production lines at Hangzhou (Hang-Joe) Zhongheng (joe-hung) Electric look like any other. Workers outfitted in uniforms, staff lines producing sophisticated equipment for telecommunication and other industrial sectors. But there’s one big difference – the workers wear caps to monitor their brainwaves, data that management then uses to adjust the pace of production and redesign workflows, according to the company. The company said it could increase the overall efficiency of the workers by manipulating the frequency and length of break times to reduce mental stress.

Hangzhou (Hang-Joe) Zhongheng (joe-hung) Electric is just one example of the large-scale application of brain surveillance devices to monitor people’s emotions and other mental activities in the workplace, according to scientists and companies involved in the government-backed projects. Concealed in regular safety helmets or uniform hats, these lightweight, wireless sensors constantly monitor the wearer’s brainwaves and stream the data to computers that use artificial intelligence algorithms to detect emotional spikes such as depression, anxiety or rage.

Story #3

Amazon is a master of efficiency. So much so, they recently patented a pair of Googles that will help its workers maneuver through their gigantic warehouses. If you were wearing these goggles, not only would you be more efficient, but the company would be able to monitor your every step. Is this true or false?

This is true. Listen to this quote from The Telegraph.

Amazon has sparked privacy concerns after filing a patent for augmented reality goggles that track the movement of warehouse workers. According to the patent, the e-commerce giant is interested in developing augmented reality goggles that workers could use to navigate through Amazon’s gigantic warehouses, guiding them to the right location. The patent, which was filed last year but made public on Thursday by the US Patents and Trademark Office, would mean the company could send orders to workers through visual cues. “In some embodiments […] the wearable computing device can be configured to provide worker instructions and/or visual indicators to a worker wearing the wearable computing device who is not moving or navigating through a fulfilment centre.” However, the patent application also states that the device could detect where a person is at all times and when they have stopped moving.

I suppose on some level; we are used to the idea of companies monitoring our emails and web activity; but what about those enterprises that seem to go the extra mile? How far is too far, when it comes to companies monitoring you? How concerned are you about your privacy at the office? No, really, I want to know. Leave me a comment? I want to know your point of view.

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 reach me at my website – 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. Oh, before I go, please financially support this podcast with a little somethin’-somethin’ in my virtual tip jar. (There’s a link in the podcast description.) Your generosity encourages me to keep this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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Who will win the Minimum Wage Fight for 15?

18 | The Fight for 15 is an American political movement advocating for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 per hour. The federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 per hour in 2009, and as of 2019 it has not been increased since. The movement has involved strikes by workers in child care, home healthcare, airport, gas station, convenience stores but most notably with fast food workers. What will happen if or when $15 is the minimum wage for all of the United States?  I speculate the national and global consequences in this episode of The Jim Stroud podcast.


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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

Hi, I’m Jim Stroud and this is my podcast.

The Fight for 15 is an American political movement advocating for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 per hour. The federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 per hour in 2009, and as of 2019 it has not been increased since. The movement has involved strikes by workers in child care, home healthcare, airport, gas station, convenience stores but most notably with fast food workers.

The movement has seen some success on the state and local level. California, Massachusetts, and New York are currently in the process of raising their state minimum wage to $15 per hour and major cities such as San Francisco, New York City and Seattle, where the cost of living is significantly higher, have already raised their municipal minimum wage to $15 per hour with some exceptions.

What will happen if or when $15 is the minimum wage for all of the United States?  I speculate the national and global consequences after this special message.

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The fight for a $15 minimum wage has been argued over and over and over by people who support and oppose the idea. These are the points I tend to hear, both pro and con.

If you are for a $15 minimum wage then, you are likely thinking that minimum wage workers will have more spending power which means increased sales for businesses resulting in more workers being needed. There would be less stress on social programs because people will be able to better take care of themselves. And since people would be earning more money, there would be less employee turnover thus, saving companies money from lost productivity due to vacant openings.

If you are against the $15 minimum wage, its likely because you, as a business owner, believe you cannot afford the raise in salary and must layoff workers to compensate. Plus, the increased salaries will have to be compensated for in some way, likely you will have to raise your prices and outsource some of your jobs to countries where people are willing to accept a lower pay rate. I also imagine that competition for jobs will intensify exponentially as overly qualified individuals pursue jobs that younger workers typically pursue. And when that happens, younger workers won’t have the experience needed to build their resumes.

The minimum wage debate is only going to increase in light of the fast approaching 2020 presidential election. Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has been pressuring McDonald’s to raise their minimum wage to $15 via an open letter to the CEO of McDonalds – Steve Easterbrook and a tweet which (in part), says this, “If Amazon and Disney can pay $15 an hour, so can McDonald’s, which made $5.1 billion in profits last year.”  Some people agree with Bernie Sanders. I speculate, many businesses do not.

I was in London recently and I saw something I had never seen before, inside McDonalds was a kiosk that allowed you to place your order and pay for your food. I looked at the counter where I presumed the cashier would be. There were several workers handing out food and such and some were taking orders but, I had to wonder. How many less workers were needed once these kisoks were introduced?  I did a bit of research after witnessing this and found out that McDonalds was adding these self-order and pay kiosks to 1,000 stores per quarter; not to mention their  mobile app that let you place orders with your cell phone. Very, very clever.

Now, I don’t speak for McDonalds, so I can only guess that these kiosks are McDonalds rebuttal to the “Fight for 15” movement. In other words, McDonald’s says sure, we will pay a $15 minimum wage if required but thanks to automation negating cashier jobs, that $15 an hour salary will go out to fewer workers.

So, on one hand, it looks like McDonald’s wins by employing fewer people while at the same time reaping higher profits. Right? Well, not necessarily. What happens when your customers don’t agree with your policy and protest it or, worse yet, show their discontent by shopping elsewhere? Consider this… Quite recently, Walmart announced that it was getting rid of greeters (many of whom are disabled) and would replace them with “Customer Hosts.” The plan was to go in effect at 1,000 of their stores. Shortly thereafter, there was a BIG backlash from its customers. So much so, Walmart backpedaled on their policy. Listen to this report from CBS Pittsburgh.

And here is something else to consider… Amazon. Robert Charette, a risk consultant to financial organizations made a very astute observation. Here’s a quote from 2017 that is still ringing true today…

Amazon is a leading indicator of what may come for service industries. In 2012, Amazon purchased Kiva Systems, a maker of warehouse robots, for US $775 million. The company began deploying the 320-pound, 16-inch-tall robots to its warehouses in early 2014, with some 10,000 of them operational by the end of 2014. Analysts estimatedthen that each robot replaces 1.5 full-time-equivalent human beings. Over the past two years, Amazon has added another 30,000 Kiva robots to its warehouses, as well as increased the productivity of its warehouse activities through additional automation initiatives, which allowed it to ship over 1 billion items between 1 November and 19 December 2016. While it may still be some years away, nearly completely automated Amazon (and other companies’) warehouses are seen as inevitable.

Clearly, Amazon’s automated warehouse efficiency has other consequences. It has enabled Amazon, through its online sales channel and ability to discount prices, to become the world’s eighth largest retailer(and largest online retailer). Amazon increasingly is taking market share away from traditional department stores, helping place companies like Sears, Kmart, and Macy’s, among many others, at risk. All three announced significant store closures and layoffs this past week, with Macy’s alone eliminating 10,000 jobs after disappointing holiday sales attributed to increased online sales competition. Macy’s management says it will take the savings from the layoffs and invest it into its online presence.

How many of those employees that Macy’s and other retail companies laid off will be able to find comparable work at the same salary is unknown. However, it is unlikely for very many, as few retailers that are under threat by Amazon and other online retailers are hiring permanent staff. Instead, like Macy’s, they are looking for ways to shed staff while they increase their online presence to combat Amazon and other e-commerce discounters. [END QUOTE]

And now, 3 predictions…

  1. Technology will persevere, and progress will be made, as it always has, since at least the 19th century when people protested the cotton gin and the steam engine as a threat to their way of life. But I think the transitional period will be bumpy, to say the least. As automation encroaches and younger, under-educated workers from the services sector become more and more frustrated, I think it is entirely possible to see another type of… Arab Spring but this time, on a much larger scale. Why? People losing jobs in America due to automation is one thing multiply that number by the countries we no longer need to outsource jobs too due to that same automation; and you have young angry displaced workers all over the globe, and roughly around the same time.
  2. Companies will begin to experience consumer rebellion. What do I mean by that? People will begin to make a more conscious effort to forgo automation whenever possible: for example, skipping right past the robot operator and demanding to speak to an actual human being when calling a company; not using the automated checkout lines in supermarkets and reducing reliance on ATM machines.
  3. There is a Made in America movement to support American businesses and the families that rely on them. I imagine that in the next decade, there will be a “Made by Human Hands” movement to support those businesses who refuse to fully automate their processes so they can put a human being to work.

But that’s just what I think will happen. I’m more interested in what you have to say.  Share your thoughts?

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 reach me at my website – 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. Oh, before I go, please financially support this podcast with a little somethin’-somethin’ in my virtual tip jar. (There’s a link in the podcast description.) Your generosity encourages me to keep this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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When will robots replace recruiters?

17 | I break away from my typical podcast format to chat with Katrina Collier, Candidate Engagement Specialist, world-renowned speaker and my friend. As only we can, we discuss robots replacing recruiters, 4-day work weeks and cellphone addiction during a very sunny London day. Tune in to hear all the fun! Want more of Katrina Collier? (And who could blame you?) Find her at: www.thesearchologist.com


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.