Location Based World


March 23, 2011

I was fortunate recently to spend time at Talent Net Live at the start of the SXSW conference in Austin.   TNL it is a grass-roots event, run by founder Craig Fisher, that brings recruiting, HR and marketing professionals together to disucss the impact of technologies on the fields.   This was my second time speaking at a TNL event and I was very impressed with the diversity of topics and with my fellow speakers.   All of the sessions were top notch in terms of content and delivery.  One session caught my attention due to the almost limitless uses of the technology. Location Based Marketing and Recruiting.

As Craig Fisher moderated a discussion with Jill McFarland and Aaron Strout, it quickly became clear that like it or not, location is the new buzzword of the century.  Personally, I’ve been a bit of a skeptic and have not jumped on using all the location tracking apps that are available on Droid and iPhone.  For example, I was not using Foursquare, one of the hottest apps to come out in the last two years.  I asked Craig why I should use it and he retorted, “If you had asked me why you should use Twitter three years ago, could I have told you how valuable it would be in your daily life today?”  Touche’!

I was schooled in the ways that location based marketing, recruiting and sourcing, and many other applications are now the hottest trends in our market.  Here are a few of the top recommendations from the moderator and speakers:

The real message as it related to location based approaches is to keep an open mind and be mindful of your privacy.  By following that advice, you can begin using it to benefit your candidates, your organization, and your clients. Are you using location based apps?  Let me know the pros and cons in the comments!


  • Use of location-based apps is consent to Big Brother knowing your every move. This is not a good thing.

    I don’t want to turn this into a paranoia-based rant; however, having others know where you are at ANY TIME is frankly scary. I have nothing to hide; however, location-based apps are just another way that you have to watch your every move or your smartphone could potentially embarrass you or destroy your career. I could see it now- someone gets fired for being “located” at either a strip club or a competitor’s place of business. What if you were not in possession of your phone when you were located at such places?

    Again- I really think you should think hard and long before consenting to the compromise of your freedom. I will NEVER get a location app on my phone, for certain.

  • I love location based apps. I’m becoming more engaged with both Foursquare and FB’s Places. We’re currently exploring Foursquare as a recruitment resource (using Craig’s posts on the subject) and how these tools might create some energy around our organization for current employees as well.

    I don’t buy the paranoia/stalking angle on these tools at all. Stalking was around LONG before social media.

    Great post and reference material Trish.

  • You know who gave us Foursquare? Ronald Reagan! The government can track us. Ronald Reagan decided not to limit access to this data to the government. In fact I met several people from the government at an LBS meetup at SXSW. They don’t care where you check in on Foursquare unless you’ve given them a reason to. It’s your choice if you want it to be public information.

    Great post Trish! So happy you enjoyed our session and are learning more about this area.

  • Trish – nice work on the post. And thanks for the mention.

    Doug – many people are concerned over the privacy aspect of LBS but there are two things to keep in mind. The first is that you have complete control over when and where you check in (and who knows about it). Second, if you are truly concerned about the government knowing your every move, don’t ever use a cell phone, wifi or a credit card. It may sound like i’m being facetious but you would be amazed at how much publicly available information there is about you as a result of these three things. Bottom line… everything the government wants to know about you, they already know. And to Jill’s point, the government only pays attention to you if you’ve done something to make it so.

  • Jill-

    What could be the reason they care where you are? You publicly criticise what the President is doing? You’re wanting to start a grass-roots effort to change the Constitution to enact term limits for Congress members? You voted for a Libertarian candidate? I really don’t like the way this is sounding…

    It just seems incredibly creepy to me, that’s all.

  • I’m sorry, I was being sarcastic. I don’t believe they care what you are doing on Foursquare. If you don’t use location based services though I can understand why you think its creepy. People talk about where they are on Facebook all the time without checking in. It’s all about your personal comfort level. The government paying attention to my locations is the last thing I would even think about because it is of no benefit to them. Marketers… that’s a different story.

  • Well, you what the Great Kurt Cobain said in the early ’90s- “Just because you’re paranoid/ don’t mean they’re not after you…”

    Yeah- I’m the guy who isn’t on Facebook, either. Too many people from my past found me, and I was super uncomfortable with that.

    And I was being a bit sarcastic, as well.

Comments are closed.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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