Crowdsourcing in Human Resources is my main research topic in 2009. Cash is king and so is the cashflow in most of the companies. There is no surprise if budgets are reduced for most of the binsess functions.
So how can one leverage what it is available to still implement most of the programs envisoned and needed ?
But first of all what is crowdsourcing and how does it work and what are the boundaries ?
In Wikipedia crowdsourcing is definded as “a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call. ”
Real life examples of crowdsourcing are:
1) P&G involved an open network of scientist to find a technology to print picture on Pringles potato Chips.
2) O’Reilly Media iengaged volunteers to report on how their books were displayed on the shelves in bookstores.
There are plenty of real life examples here:
The New Human Resource
50+ crowdsourcing projects
Above these are business examples, but how could the Human Resources Function use crowdsourcing ?
A) The first item that comes to my mind is learning:
I have one word for you: youtube.
1) Stress Management presentation is an example. Google academy invites known experts and publishes the event on youtube.
Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and developed a scientific sound Stress Management program.
Click here to watch the video
2) My personal experience: My son loves the so called brick or lego films on youtube. Lego is known to children for its plastic building blocks. We wanted to make our own lego film and turned to Youtube for advise. It was a video created by a nine year old who was of tremendous help to us – unfortunately I did not keep the link.
Remark: The company needs to allow their employees the access to Youtube. This is still not the case for all companies.
In Youtube usually the work has already been done. It is just a matter of finding it. But one could think of inviting the crowd for example the Human Resources Learning & Development crowd to jointly identify useful free learning resources on the interent to a specific topic such as stress management, interview skills, etc….
Existing projects and groups:
WikiEducator is a community project working collaboratively with the Free Culture Movement towards a free version of the education curriculum by 2015.
Connecting Online C009: Sharing personal and professional online learning experiences. This is group of 465 members on the ning plattform.
Richard Baraniuk on opensource learning:
a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute:
B) Crowdsourcing will be a new dimension to Talent Management.
You have talents that you do not employ but that participate in your business processes.
The Routledge Companion to Strategic Human Resource Management describes this new dimension.
C) Workforce: Talent aquisition
Don Tapscott the best selling author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything lectures on The Future of Staffing is Crowdsourcing
D) Workforce: Talent Assessment and Talent Pool and EmployabilityPotential talents could be identified through crowdsourcing projects for example in Commercial, Marketing, Public Affairs or Research & Development .
In Commercial future talents could be invited to develop a business plan for a new technology, market, etc.
In Public Affairs future talents could work on new campaigns for one of the businesses such as using Web 2.0 channels and tools.
In Research & Development future talents could work on new key challenges and develop new solutions.
There are a lot of opportunities to engage future talents and thus build a talent pool.
There are numerous benefits for the talents as well. The main benefit besides a potential job is experience.
In the early 1990s crisis I was representing the Fraunhofer Institute at an education and career fair in Germany. Number of students approached us with their CVs. Of these students who had their diplomas in hand there were a few who had not found a job even two years after graduation. And in these two years some of them had basically not collected any experience be it as an evening class teacher at a local night school or any other job related experiences. Would you hire a person that has two years of missing experiences in his or her CV ? My point here is that these crowdsourcing project would help to increase the employability of participants especially in a recession. With the internet this has become so easy now and shows that the internet is more than a large computer it is a society within the society and opens us to a whole new world to collect needed experiences.
Related Post: List of Developmental Assignments 2.0
If you have other crowdsourcing examples to share which would benefit the Human Resources Function please do not hesitate to write a comment or join me on the HRcrowdsourcing comunity.
I will continuously update this post with new examples as I go along on my research journey on crowdsourcing in 2009.