Sunlight, process, systems, moats, tennis courts, flipping, heatmaps, mashups and flat screen TVs.

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From the cc flickrstream of sludgegulper Thanks!

I have been watching and reading about the goings on with the UK parliamentarian expenses with a mixture of incredulousness, dismay, horror, and anger. This is a grave insult to the UK tax payers, and a blow to global democracy.  Corrupt politicians around the world can sleep easy. One man’s moat is another man’s Wabenzi.

Other than all the information about moat cleaners, tennis courts, duck shelters, large screen TVs, iPhones for husbands, 200 mile taxi rides, tax advisors, and mortgage payments on mortgages that no longer existed, I was struck by the absolute lack of process and systems to manage the expenses. The inefficiencies and the lack of control are astounding. 

The problems are bigger than technology, The whole process needs a complete overall, but essentially we are talking about some basic compliance procedures. Workflow approvals, automated routing of claims out of policy, electronic receipt management,and SOD (separation of duties).  Even simple expense management system would go a long way to stopping this sort of abuse happening again. Rules can be easily automated and enforced, and with a bit of configuration, even issues such as flipping and claiming for trivia could be managed.

Driven out of a good process system, the data could also be easily mashed up with consumer analytics tools such as Google maps, and a simple query tool, allowing concerned citizens the right to audit.

Indeed, there has been a wave of excellent mashups and analytic reports based on the data that has been released and collated.

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Charles Arthur over at the Guardian has a closer lookTony Hirst’s blog gives an excellent account on the technical efforts needed to do this. Looking at what he has done with essentially free software. It is interesting to see how various technologies and techniques have been deployed. more here.  It is a fascinating study for anyone interested in analytics and data visualization. It does make the analytics offerings of many of the software vendors I cover seem rather dowdy, but that story is for another day.

Shining a bit of sunshine on the issue by opening up the data  is the best remedy. After all, when I last looked, parliamentarians work for the citizens.

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Learning from Australia.

 

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The best job in the world campaign from the Queensland government has gone brilliantly. It created masses of publicity for the barrier reef, on prime time TV, in the press, and across the full spectrum of social media.  It won best advertising campaign of the year.

According to my favourite newspaper, the Guardian.

A PR coup for Australian tourism, the whole campaign has generated around A$148m (£73m) worth of publicity for northern Queensland. In a clever piece of marketing and timing, they sent out news of the concept on a dreary Sunday afternoon in Britain, and subsequently the idea of a job reclining on a beach in Australia promptly received a prominent news slot in Monday morning’s papers

British Charity worker, Ben Southall landed the job, beating out 35.000 applicants.

There are a number of technical innovations that are worth noting for those of us involved in recruitment and recruitment software. Strong use of video based CV/Resume, Viral campaign, Voting, Community, multiple social media channels, psychometric testing…

I could pick up on those here, but I think there is a more important point here for recruiters and HR folks. Do you align your recruiting strategy with your overall branding strategy? Can you turn your recruiting strategy into a brand advantage? What does your  recruitment process say about your brand?  Do you work closely with marketing to position the employee brand in the broader branding strategy?  Do you measure the impact of your recruiting strategy on your brand?  Can you clearly articulate why someone should want to work for your organization?

If your organisation is skeptical about the power of social software and the web,  then you could do worse than remind them of this campaign.

If anyone has any details on the technology platforms used to manage the application process and the selection, I’d love to hear from you. What innovative recruitment strategies have you seen? Do let me know. please.