Emerging Technology

You have mail: you’re fired… Is Google getting into social networking… The counter-offer as a retention strategy… Google DoubleClick deal in the balance…

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You have mail: you’re fired

SME owners clearly have better manners than their big business counterparts. How do we know? Because, according to a recent Harris Poll reported by Information Week, large firms with more staff are much more likely to use email tell people they have been fired.

The poll, of more than 750 US employees, found that 10% worked for companies that had used email to fire employees. One large employer, RadioShack, had used a standard email to lay off 400 people.

And, according to the survey, it is businesses with more than 1000 employees that are much more likely to use email as a way of getting rid of employees, while people in professional management jobs are most likely to receive an electronic pink slip, followed by administrative and service workers.

Is Google getting into social networking? 

Rumours abound that Google is getting ready to take on the one booming part of the internet that it is yet to establish a powerful presence: social networking.

According to social networking news site Mashable, the whisper is that Google is using Arizona State University students to test out a new social network that could be integrated into its Google Earth platform. The rumour goes that several students have been granted the opportunity to test a new product, which will be launched by a “major internet company” later this year. The application for participation asks students if they’re interested in social networking, 3D modeling and video games. Hmmm.

It would make sense for Google to start testing any prototype social networking product at the Arizona State University: the college has contributed to the Google Mars project, while Google has an office at ASU’s campus.

The counter-offer as a retention strategy

In some businesses it is commonly understood that the only way to get a really good pay rise is to get a job offer elsewhere and put it to your boss. It’s a high-risk strategy for the employee but for employers it often works, at least in the short term.

A survey by recruiting firm Robert Walters found that 64% of respondents would accept a higher counter offer from their boss, 9% without consulting the other employer.

But Robert Walters director James Nicholson told the Australian Financial Review it is one of the least successful retention strategies. If a worker is looking elsewhere, their relationship with their current employer is likely to dissolve in the near future, even if they do accept an incentive to stay.

A bond of trust may be broken and the extra money may not resolve the issues that prompted them to consider leaving in the first place.

Google DoubleClick deal in the balance

Google has asked the European Commission to approve its proposed $3.1 billion buyout of DoubleClick, reports CNET/Reuters. In the meantime, Microsoft in engaged in a PR push against the deal. Microsoft, working with top public-relations firm Burson-Marsteller, is mounting a behind-the-scenes campaign to rally public and private sector opposition to Google’s planned $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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