The Role of Online Transcription in HR
Why Outsourcing Using Online Transcription Makes Sense
HR departments are being bombarded with sales pitches for a raft of new technologies. Your office could well be one of them. Software is available that promises to do everything from tracking job applicants to on-boarding new hires. It is almost every which way you turn. You may find yourself torn between free software, such as Skype, and paid technology. Video interviewing software is one example. But what about audio recordings and important text documentation? Have you considered the role of online transcription in HR?
Modern technology makes managing your people more efficient. It is easy to understand why more and more start-ups are tapping into the HR market. When it comes to documentation, accuracy and efficiency are vital. That is why this article on the role of online transcription in HR will focus on the importance of outsourcing and confidentiality. If you have any questions at the end of the article, get in touch.
Online Transcription Ensures Confidentiality
There is nothing worse than having to pander to the office gossip. Especially if his or her role involves dealing with potentially sensitive information. Even trusted professionals can let the cat out of the bag from time-to-time. That is why online transcription is becoming increasingly popular. It ensures audio files are transcribed in complete confidentiality. And it keeps damaging information away from a would-be whistleblower or gossip.
HR departments use online transcription for a variety of reasons. While confidentiality is one of them, it is by no means the only benefit. You may want to consider using online transcription if you need to ensure accuracy, for example. Perhaps you record board meetings or disciplinary hearings. You may need verbatim transcriptions for legal reasons. Knowing your audio transcription is being prepared by external specialists will give you peace of mind.
Data Leaks Thwarted by Online Transcription
Globally, data leaks cost businesses billions every year. Staff who share trade secrets with rival companies or clients’ private information can seriously damage the reputation of your brand. That is why online transcription should form part of your data loss prevention strategy. Here are the four most common ways sensitive information can find its way into the wrong hands:
Out of malice: Watch out for ex-employees or those with a grudge. They could leak information in revenge to intentionally harm a business. They may take information they had access to and publish it online. They could also hack into email accounts and share sensitive information with current or former colleagues. Online transcription can protect information relating to staff evaluations, grievance hearings and restructuring plans, to name a few.
This type of malicious data breach can change the way people view a brand. Not only that, it could breach privacy laws or contracts and land an employer in even more hot water. Don’t let employees get their hands on your sensitive data in the first place. Leave it in the safe hands of external, online transcription specialists.
It is worth bearing in mind that disgruntled employees pose the biggest risk to HR departments. They can:
- Tarnish a brand’s good reputation.
- Lose you clients.
- Leak sensitive data.
- Put potential new recruits off working for you.
- Cause an atmosphere that lowers productivity and upsets co-workers.
- Feel the company owes them something and resort to stealing.
Under pressure: One of the easiest ways to solicit information about a rival firm is to poach a key member of staff. Networking platforms such as LinkedIn have made it easier than ever before for employees to be targeted by competitors. If they accept an invitation to an interview, they could be encouraged to reveal more than they, or you, would like. They can be put on the spot and even pressured.
Having confidentiality agreements in place will not guarantee an employee doesn’t spill the beans. Integrity can fly out of the window in a tense situation. That is why it pays to keep classified HR information totally confidential – by outsourcing. Online transcription ensures sensitive data is documented externally.
By accident: Yes, accidents do happen. How many times have you sent an email to the wrong recipient? Imagine a typist dealing with multiple tasks sending a sensitive document to multiple recipients in error? The routine use of new technology can increase the risk of staff accidentally sharing confidential information. Imagine your sensitive data being shared in a public post online or in a staff circular. What would be the consequences?
Online transcription ensures your data is safe, secure and private. What’s more, data is shared between HR departments and audio transcription specialists using technology protected by military grade encryption.
Careless talk: When staff are out of the office, they can let their guard down. A throwaway comment on social media could turn into a big deal if it is shared. Those who enjoy socialising can get carried away. One too many in the pub can loosen a tongue. What if someone is eavesdropping or the employee is with someone from a rival business?
The safest way to ensure confidentiality is to have important audio files transcribed externally. Online transcription is secure, cost-effective and completely confidential.
Limiting Access to Data with Online Transcription
Using online transcription to turn audio files into text documentation is considered the right thing to do by business experts. They suggest audio files that contain any of the following should be outsourced for transcription:
- Disciplinary hearings.
- Meetings that discuss company restructures.
- Exit interviews.
- Job applicant interviews.
- Investigations into theft/fraud.
- Proposed changes to pricing.
- New terms and conditions.
- Proposed redundancies.
- Confidential information about the performance of a company.
- Takeover proposals.
The above highlights just some of the instances when online transcription should be used. While in-house transcription may seem the low-cost option, it poses risks. Specialist online transcription is more accurate than nearly all in-house services. Online transcription is carried out by proficient transcribers who are independent, with no biases. They document an audio recording using the latest, high-tech equipment and benefit from the services of professional proof readers.
Internal controls can go a long way to reducing the risks of a data leak in HR. By using online transcription, you can limit the amount of information available to colleagues. By paying attention to confidentiality, you can significantly reduce harm caused either deliberately or accidentally by an employee.
Online Transcription and Reputation Management
Handling a potentially damaging situation correctly can avert a scandal. For example, dealing with a customer or employee complaint as soon as you become aware of it. While you are evaluating information, it is important not share sensitive HR data with employees. If you need to transcribe an audio recording, make sure the work is outsourced with online transcription. This will stop a problem from entering the public domain before you have had a chance to respond.
As well as keeping sensitive HR data away from potentially disgruntled employees, you should limit access to the following:
It is worth bearing in mind that knee-jerk reactions to a potential crisis can actually make it worse. If you are dealing with a sensitive topic, consider your response carefully by reviewing text documentation. Voice and video recordings can influence the way you respond. They often end up mixing the facts with visual images and sounds, which can distort your perceptions. Always consider the potential legal ramifications of a situation before you respond.
By fully taking in and understanding the facts, you can mitigate the damage. Text documentation gives you time to pace your reading, so you can fully absorb the nature of a problem and consider potential remedies. Making a premature judgement that is not based on evidence could expose your business to further harm. Always seek transparency before responding to a crisis.
Reducing the Flow of Sensitive Information
No matter how much you trust your staff, confidentiality should never be left to chance. The former Foreign and Commonwealth Office found out the hard way that leaks often occur from within an organisation. In 1983, a clerical worker leaked classified information to the press. She revealed when American cruise missiles were due to arrive on British soil.
The documents set out the strategy Michael Heseltine was planning to use to deliver the news to Parliament. Although not considered a significant risk to national security, the breach was hugely embarrassing. An ensuing investigation revealed the source of the leak and the clerk was prosecuted and jailed. In cases such as this, it is worth bearing in mind how much getting to the source of a leak can cost. In this case, legal action was necessary to take a newspaper to court as part of the process.
Across the pond in America, a former typist found herself in hot water with the law after she tipped off friends they were under investigation. The typist, who had worked for the FBI in Chicago, found out about the probe while transcribing undercover tape recordings. She was fined and sentenced to house arrest. Had the audio recording been outsourced to online transcription, the situation would never have arisen.
In a corporate setting, this type of data breach can be costly. Particularly if an investigation is in an early stage. An HR data leak could suggest a completely innocent person is guilty of fraud or theft. It could also tip off the guilty and give them time to cover their tracks.
Data Security Before Online Transcription
There is nothing new about data breaches. Information has been leaked from within organisations since time began. If Judas isn’t a good enough pointer, here are some high-profile examples:
Early forms of the photocopier were dumped by major corporations and governments because they made it easier for employees to steal information. In 1929, use of Roneo machines in Australia’s Federal Parliament were banned following a series of data breaches. Instead, the government used typists to manually transcribe multiple copies of documents.
During the industrial revolution spying was commonplace. Everything from cake recipes to how to make porcelain was stolen. Even the secret ingredients list for hot chocolate was stolen – first from the Aztecs and then from the Spanish. The British stole the process of tea production from the Chinese.
Guy Fawkes’ infamous plot to blow up Parliament was foiled by a data breach. An anonymous note tipped off the authorities. And President Richard Nixon was forced out of office when information leaks lead to the Watergate scandal. The entertainment industry suffered a huge financial blow too. An unfinished version of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film was uploaded online. Its makers estimated the pirated version was downloaded more than 4.5 million times before the finished movie was officially released.
In 1999, a help desk worker hatched a ‘get rich quick’ plot before quitting his job. He stole a spreadsheet containing sensitive information about his employer’s clients. After using that information to access credit reports on 33,000 people, he sold the data to crooks. The scam netted him $100 million before he was caught.
Choosing the Best Online Transcription for HR
If your HR department could benefit from a completely confidential online transcription service, talk to Alphabet Transcription Specialists. We offer a comprehensive package of services. Not only is our online transcription trusted, it is cost-effective and extremely accurate. It provides a first-class service to HR departments, in both the public and private sectors globally.
Because HR professionals often deal with complex issues, it is good to know that there is a transcription company that understands your needs. We have been delivering expert online transcription since computers first became mainstream. Our business has more than two decades of experience in audio transcription for HR.
But just because we specialise in online transcription, it doesn’t mean we fail on customer service. At Alphabet Transcription Specialists we offer unrivalled customer support and care. We manage every project with a commitment to professionalism. And we treat every client with courtesy and respect.
For further information about signing up to use our online transcription services, give us a call on +44 (0) 1707 260027 or you can request a free, no obligation proposal.
The Founder of Alphabet, Denise Elsdon, commenced her training at British Aerospace. Having gained her RSA and Pitman qualifications, she embarked on her chosen career path as a personal secretary. Back in 1995, Alphabet Secretarial Services was born. Since then, Alphabet has provided professional transcription services to amazing clients like the NHS, Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) and others.