Your Boss Knows You Are Looking for a New Job


Every employee in the world has been there, unhappy in their current job. They begin the search for a new job using their personal accounts and job websites. For most employees, they felt safe in the haven of their personal devices, personal email, and personal social media accounts. The notion that someone at their current employer would find out they were searching for a job was a distant fear, until now.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

A new start up is marketing their services as a human capital management solution that determines which of your employees is going to leave, and how quickly that departure will occur. Joberate is marketing its proprietary “J-Score” to employers as a way of determining which employees are most likely to depart their company.

Joberate scans all the mail accounts and -- on the big data side -- social media accounts of a particular employee and essentially investigates their job search activities to develop their J-Score. They cannot see anything set to “private”, in social media but they can monitor companies followed in Linkedin and connections made. They can also access information from third-party sources to contribute to the J-Score.

Clients of Joberate have many options on how to view their J scores. The J Score is calculated for individuals, companies, supervisors or divisions as a measure of effectiveness and employee satisfaction.

The company also produces its own “J-Index” for Fortune 100 companies. The list seeks to rank companies by how many employees are actively seeking other employment opportunities. Some recruiting companies see the corporate level scoring technology as valuable in locating employees open to new opportunities. The company regularly publishes their J-Index list on their website. To date they haven’t provided any data about how accurate their scores are in actually predicting employee turnover or management issues.

This type of predictive analysis can be very concerning to employees who fear retaliation if their employer finds out they are searching for another position. It also raises privacy concerns, since the score is calculated using non-company sources that could be inaccurate, based on name issues or social media identity issues. Many individuals have similar social media handles and can be easily mistaken. Employees are also concerned about an unproven technology being used to assess their management skills and its impact to their careers. Joberate states that 14 Fortune 500 companies are currently using its technology to help them manage their human capital management needs, but did not name any of them.

Employers are already monitoring their employee’s computer activities, their physical location with their badges, and their social media accounts. Yet this represents broader, sweeping, predicative monitoring. Many employers conduct employee surveys to assess satisfaction, engagement, etc., but they are intrinsically biased because of employee fear of identification. Monitoring and analyzing actual behavior provides employers with another level of data not as easily manipulated. This monitoring however comes at a cost to employees' trust in their relationship with employers. It also raises issues about employee’s rights to personal activity on their personal accounts and devices.

What do you think, does the thought of your employer monitoring your job search in this way bother you? Do you feel this is an invasion of privacy? Would you use Joberate to monitor your employees?

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Maryam Donnelly, VP Marketing Services, Impact Marketing

Maryam Donnelly is Vice President of Marketing Services at Impact Marketing. She has spent more than 15 years leading marketing strategy, communications, product marketing, market research, and business development at Fortune 500 companies including Prudential Insurance, Automatic Data Processing, and Travelport (formerly Cendant). She has been a principal at Impact Marketing, a boutique marketing services company based in the New York metro area, for the past five years. Impact Marketing provides the spectrum of businesses with strategic marketing consulting services including marketing planning, marketing communications, marketing management, and analysis. Maryam holds a BBA and MBA in marketing from Hofstra University. She can be reached at maryam@feeltheimpactnow.com.

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Your Boss Knows You Are Looking for a New Job

A start-up is offering an online tool that cruises company systems and big data sources to identify how many employees are looking for a job, and which ones are looking.


Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 12/21/2016 11:14:55 PM
NO RATINGS

Ariella, the focus on contract work too is because of uncertainty in the economy and the regulatory environment for some employers, as well as a bit of cowardice on the department manager's part --- it's an easy answer when your boss asks if you're really sure additional full-time employees are needed. You know what ... maybe not. Let's start with a contractor and see how it goes. Even less risky is hiring an agency to do the work.

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 12/20/2016 5:59:22 PM
NO RATINGS

@SethBreedlove and then there is the increasingly popular move of only hiring temp and contract workers to save on benefits cost.

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 12/20/2016 11:25:53 AM
NO RATINGS

@ Zimana, your comments apply even more to contract and temporary workers.  Some employers understand that these employees are looking for permanent careers but others may decide that the employee isn't invested in the job.   It's a bad place to be for contract and temp workers.

Re: 1984 in 2016
  • 12/5/2016 12:34:02 PM
NO RATINGS

@maryam: Not so much "constantly searching" as "constantly keeping your eye open and keeping yourself open-minded/available."

Same principle as in romance and dating.  The more (and more effectively) you (subtly) demonstrate--from the very beginning--that you're in very high demand and you're not necessarily committed if something else falls into your lap, the more you actually *are* in high demand and the more you *are* coveted to be kept.

So goes my thinking on this particular matter, anyway.

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 12/1/2016 8:41:19 AM
NO RATINGS

@Maryam. At this point in time, most employees recognize (even if they dislike it) that what they do on company time and on company equipment can be monitored, and that different companies and managers have different philosophies when it comes to what is permissible.

In some companies and departments, company time and gear is strictly for company business. "No, wait until your break to call the daycare." Others take more of a "just do you job approach". Employees have to understand those policies, and in either case searching for a new job should be done on private time using personal resources. Otherwise you are subject to discipline. (The BYOD movement presents some ethical issues in this regard).

Any manager who is spending time monitoring whether employees are job hunting on their own time has lost sight of their own responsibility, to maintain a productive workforce. As I mentioned in an earlier message, the time to keep people from job hunting comes much earlier. It's a time when you have to be a good manager and give employees the opportunities, training, and fair pay that they need. It's a time to listen to them in productive, face to face (where geographically possible) conversation.

 

 

 

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 11/30/2016 10:18:22 PM
NO RATINGS

It is very precarious for employees navigating privacy in this new world of analytics. Employees should be aware this type of analytics are available to companies and they are not required to reveal their usage to employees. Now employees know that private accounts are not really private

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 11/30/2016 9:20:15 PM
NO RATINGS

ANd in many states where people can be fired "at will", the knowledge of constant monitor can cause concern. What if my manager is really sensitive to my job search and decides to fire me immediately? The idea can make people feel brave (look with purpose) or respond with fear (never look to keep the boss happy).

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 11/30/2016 8:36:02 PM
NO RATINGS

Good point, invest in the environment you want to create - seem harder in some instances, but it is the right thing to do to attract the right team and structure for long term.

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 11/30/2016 4:08:15 AM
NO RATINGS

@Broadway I do expect the pendulum to swing the other way. MeWe is one sign that the movement has started.

Re: It's Way Too Late
  • 11/30/2016 4:07:01 AM
NO RATINGS

It can be used to punish employees for just seeing what's out there and what market compensation looks like. That's the worst thing about it for me: the false positives. It would be horrible for your loyalty to be put under suspicion just because some software thought it could read you.

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