Your boss knows you’re looking …

Employees who think using their personal smartphones to do job searches via LinkedIn or other public platforms, are in for a surprise:  this service offers to not only find and correlate job searches, a “J-score” is developed that is an index of companies and employees’ likelihood of looking for a job outside.

What’s the privacy issue?  Several:  your current employer knowing that you’re looking, is not good for you in most cases.   If the publicly harvested information is not accurate, you’re potentially being punished based on a lie.  How do you look for a job, without identifying yourself to the clearinghouse?  Even if you change your name, lots of other details will out (“dox”) you.    Watch out: if this work begins to collaborate with other information repositories such as the credit card companies who know what you buy and where, your travel patterns, and other information, employees and job seekers will be at an even worse imbalance in information power.

From the article:

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.