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.

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.

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.


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