If you land that great new job and you’re directed to take the company’s computer-based training, think twice about scrolling too fast. A Virginia-based software company has developed a program that will report back to the boss about how long you spent on each page, how much scrolling you did to get through it, and around 250 other parameters.
Tech 2000, the people behind the HR spying software, has already put the program called Lumious to work in two “undisclosed” companies, and has raised $3 million towards the distribution of the software to other companies. Now, bosses not only get to bring you on board after completing the computer-based training, they know what kind of work ethic you have going in.
Reps of the company have openly stated that the purpose of it is to give employers a better sense of which employees have what it takes to work for the company simply based on how seriously they took the training and how good they are at following their superior’s instructions. Some feedback from Tech 2000 stated that bosses can know before the end of the employee’s first week whether or not to fire the individual for what amounts to on-the-clock dishonesty. Employees who took their time looking through the text (which has been embedded with code that feeds back to the source, reporting on how the employee interacted with the material) are better long-term bets than those who sped through it without actually reading, thinking that no one was looking over their shoulders.
The company has also indicated there are great educational sector uses for this type of software, especially in this climate of online education. With universities offering entire degree programs online, knowing that their students actually read the course material goes a long way towards making professors feel better about issuing course credit with their names on them.
One news source that looked into Lumious did highlight a downside to this type of monitoring: if you’re having to rely on spying software to tell you which employees are worthy, you’ve got big problems in your hiring process. Ideally, employees who would ignore the required training shouldn’t have made it past the interview stage. However, Tech 2000 counters that with the real function of Lumious, which is to let employers or educators know where their training materials are falling short and losing the interest of the new readers. Online materials can then be tweaked to ensure that important information isn’t lost in the lack of interest.