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Don’t let a tweet destroy your career progression

Twitter logosWith the job market and the economy currently languishing in the doldrums, it can be harder than ever to get your foot on to the HR career path, or move up the ladder to your next challenge. And to make matters even harder, employers now are using even more sophisticated techniques to carry out background checks on new applicants – including social-media checks.

Through a service pioneered by Social Intelligence Corp, a start-up in California, employers can now receive reports on their prospective next recruit that flag up their social-media usage and history. This means potentially that every ill-advised tweet, dodgy Facebook status or drunken photo can be retrieved and compiled into a fairly enlightening dossier for HR to peruse.

Of course, this isn’t entirely a surprise to job hunters, who have been hearing warnings of such searches for some years now. However, what many don’t realise is just how easy it is to access seemingly private social-media accounts and how permanent online updates are. And if it seems a little ‘Big Brother’, then sadly your concerns are irrelevant. As the Social Intelligence team point out, they aren’t detectives – they gather what’s already available, publicly, online. Increasingly it will become part of the HR department’s job to look into applicants’ online history, and social media activity, as a new stage of the recruitment process.

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A definitive guide to social intranet strategy

A definitive guide to social intranet strategyA social intranet is only one part technology, and two parts people and process. In fact, technology is only an enabler, and may only be worth 20% of the total value of an intranet.

Truth be told, a successful social intranet is remarkably similar to an intranet. Not unlike like the high-performance sports car to the family car, a high-performance social intranet resembles the corporate, family intranet at first glance… but only when it’s not performing to expectations.

So to find out more and learn how to utilize a social intranet, head over to thesocialworkplace.com and read the definitive guide to social intranet strategy.

2012 Leadership & Emotional Intelligence Summit

2012 Leadership & Emotional Intelligence SummitThe 2012 Leadership & Emotional Intelligence Summit is a powerful one-day event that explores how organizations can more effectively identify, measure and develop successful leadership behaviours. It takes place at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London, on 9th March 2012.

The Summit brings together Dr Paul Ekman, a world-leading psychologist and global pioneer in understanding emotions named by Time Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People, with Dr Martyn Newman, consulting psychologist and recognized expert in emotional intelligence and leadership, as well as leading HR professionals from around the world.

For more information head to eqsummit.com.

Social Media In Recruitment Conference

Social Media In Recruitment ConferenceOn the 19th April 2012 at the Congress Centre in London the fourth Social Media in Recruitment Conference will take place.

The 2012 Conference is aimed at helping the following types of organisations get the most from using social media in recruitment:

· HR & Corporate Recruiting Departments
· Government & Public Sector Organisations
· Recruitment Agencies
· Recruitment Advertising Agencies
· Job Boards
· Recruitment Industry Suppliers
· Recruitment Technology Providers

For more information go to socialmediainrecruitment.com.

The 10 things managers must do to increase employee engagement

According to David Zinger, here are the 10 things managers must do if they want to increase employee engagement.

Achieve Results
Engagement is more than a feeling, survey number, or a YouTube happy dance. We engage in actions directed towards results. The first key to consider when acting to increase employee engagement is what results are you working to achieve and how can you involve all employees in formulating those results or achieving those results? Powerful results matter to managers, organizations, employees, and customers.

For more information go to David Zinger’s website.

Photo: Paul Downey

HR systems integration is a costly problem

According to Computer Weekly, enterprises are wasting millions trying to integrate human resources (HR) systems that are not designed to communicate with each other, according to HR managers.

Human resources managers at major organisations, including HSBC, Royal Dutch Philips and Siemens, told delegates at the HR Tech Europe conference in Amsterdam that suppliers’ failure to develop compatible systems was one of their biggest concerns.

For more information go to the Computer Weekly website.

Photo: Bruno Cordioli

Bosses step up search for top talent with mental toughness

According to HR Magazine, the ability of MDs, CEOs and managers to recruit top talent with the mental toughness, knowledge and skills to keep their organisations moving forward will take on an unprecedented importance in 2012.

With the business world demanding more for less, coupled with forecasts of even more challenges ahead and one out of every 160 companies currently going into liquidation, having on board individuals with resilience and broad shoulders to deflect the turbulence will differentiate the good from the great.

For more information go to the HR Magazine website.

Photo: Bpsusf

How data protection laws have impacted HR in 2011


Data protection can be an area of concern to many HR professionals due to the significant amount of personal data that they come into contact with on a day-to-day basis. It is, therefore, of vital importance to ensure that an adequate framework is in place that complies with the requirements of data protection legislation and ensures that high standards are followed by all relevant personnel.

It is essential to have an understanding of what types of personal data are covered by data protection legislation. Essentially, any information that directly or indirectly allows an individual to be identified, either as a computerised record or held in a manual filing system is considered to be data. Personal data that is considered to be sensitive data requires a higher level of care as it has the potential to be used in a discriminatory manner. This includes information such as an individual’s health, race, religion, sexuality or political views.

Personal and sensitive data
HR professionals have access to personal and sensitive personal data on a day-to-day basis and it is, therefore, important that there are appropriate policies and procedures in place that set out the way that such data should be handled. Data must be processed in a way that is both fair and lawful. There must be a valid and identified reason for processing data. Additionally, individuals need to be notified of what data is collected about them and how it will be used.

It is essential that thought is given to the standards that are put in place to govern the use of personal data. Any data processed must be relevant and must not be excessive. It has to be accurate information and should be updated. It should not be kept any longer than is necessary. Policies and procedures should, therefore, be drawn up, implemented and reviewed to ensure that proactive management of the personal data held meets with a set of pre-determined standards.

Right to request
HR professionals should remember that an individual has the right to request access to the personal information held about them. As well as computerised records and standard documentation, this can include hand written notes that are kept on file. It is, therefore, important that meeting notes and any comments written on documents are factual and could cause no embarrassment in the event that they require disclosure.

Due to the amount of personal and sensitive data that HR departments hold, it is essential that an appropriate level of security be in place to ensure that the data held is not compromised in any way, either deliberately or accidentally. Clear guidance should be drawn up about who is responsible for the security of data and how this will be managed. Robust policies should be implemented that set up a framework for the management of personal data and staff must have adequate training.

Data protection is an area of risk for HR professionals due to the nature of the personal information that they deal with daily. To mitigate this risk it is essential that an appropriate framework be in place that sets out the standards to be followed and responsibilities that others have to uphold, so that personal information is used in a fit and proper manner and not compromised in any way.

Photo: Svein M

How social media changed recruitment practices for ever

Social recruiting is something of a hot topic and has become one of the buzzwords of 2011. It can, however, be difficult to know where to start or how to make sure that you get the most benefit from using web and networking sites. There is no right or wrong way to use social recruiting, however. It is a concept rather than a prescriptive way of doing things and as such, employers in many different fields are able to draw on the aspects of social recruiting that work for them.

Social recruiting is essentially a means of identifying and communicating with potential employees and building relationships with them. It is an additional tool rather than a replacement to traditional recruitment methods. It encompasses the basic elements that are required for any recruitment process, using new media as a means of attracting and carrying out preliminary vetting of potential candidates.

The web as a marketing tool
One of the simplest ways to embrace social recruiting is to use the web effectively as a marketing tool. By advertising online on websites that are relevant to the industry or field that you work in, you are able to target a much wider pool of people than by only using traditional methods. Twitter and Facebook can be a great way to advertise jobs, particularly if you work in an industry that is IT or media savvy.
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People would pay a lot to get a better work-life balance

According to The Independant, most people would be willing to give up £20 of their weekly income for an hour off, according to a report to be published next week.

Despite rising living costs, wage freezes and fears over job security, the average person in the UK is still willing to make financial sacrifices to improve their work-life balance. Many households would opt for a small reduction in income to improve the collective well-being of society, a study by the Demos think tank and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.

For more information go to The Independant website.

Photo: Images Money