BUSINESS DISRUPTION!!! DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?

Recruiting Firms ,being more and more dependent on technology can be at risk of running off the rails in a heartbeat causing a costly disruption in business if we do not have a business disruption plan. Consider what would happen if your internet provider was down for a week. How devastating would it be if a lightening strike or a power failure shut down your ability to access your computer for more than a few hours. Do you use an online backup for data and financial information, suppose some "hackerist" decides to shut down access to online backup you use or blows up your bank's website. What if you use phone service that connects through your computer that could be subject to interruption due to internet failure or service disruption.

It's not that we can't pick up the phone and arrange interviews that many times are confirmed by email or fax a resume (unless the power is off), we can write a check instead of paying online or get in the car and drive to the bank to make a deposit or transfer money from an escrow account or actually resort , heaven forbid, to snail mail. Our cell phones should function unless there is a tower outage in our area.

One of my clients is an online oil and gas auction company with continuous bidding online for oil and gas properties, royalty interests and leases. I noticed they had just published on their website a business disruption plan with instructions to their clients for emergency contact in the event the website happened to be down or any business disruption should occur. I am seeing more and more companies developing a business disruption plan so started thinking about my own.

Having lived through a couple of minor disasters back when internet service was iffy at times and phones went out for some reason it's a pretty helpless and scary situation when clients across the country are waiting for CV's, candidates are waiting for airline confirmations and interview confirmations and POW, no access to files on the computer, phones out, power off . What now, panic or move to alternate plan B. for business disruption. We are all told to have a plan in the event of weather disaster to let our family know where to go and what to do but do we have a workable business disruption plan?

I use two different internet providers, one for the office and one for home office to hedge my bet in the event there are technical problems.

All data is backed up on both an external drive and thumb drives in the event there is a power failure i can pick up a laptop move to another location and have all data.

A little utility program called dropbox puts time sensitive information on multiple computers in the event we are unable to access any of them remotely.

Two cell phones with different carriers. Wifi. Landlines that are not effected by power or internet faliure.

We have cell phone numbers for both HR and hiring managers with our clients and our candidates or a message number and make sure they have more than one number or cell number to reach us in the event of a business disruption.

I am giving thought to all the linkedin contacts and information that i have stored on social sites that would not be accessable in the event there were a business disruption at linkedin or facebook etc. etc.

It occurs to me that with the dependency we have on technology I need to give more thought to a business disruption plan so both the people in my office and our clients would be aware of how to move forward seamlessly in the event that there were a business disruption for a significant period of time. In recruiting the world can change in a heartbeat and two days of limited communication could result in some major problems and business loss.

What kind of plan do you have for a business disruption? Are your clients addressing this problem? Do you know the best way to keep business moving if the disruption is in the clients office or your office or both?

Can we find each other if there is a major wreck on the information highway?

Views: 85

Tags: -, Business, Disruption, Plan

Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on December 13, 2010 at 8:43pm

 

Good things to think about.

My back up plans include having a linkedin app on my blackberry, and having all "hot" candidates info stored on the phone as well so I can work from anywhere.. I also moved my contact database to a remote host that I can get to from anywhere...not to mention my emails are organized online with all attachements going back ten years I think.. multiple copies in multiple places is my mantra, lol.

if I have to, I can do the ol' printed CV ( stored on CD) and land line, just like the horse and buggy days.

I also always more than one computer..hell, I have three computers networked together on a shared DSL connection at home , and it's just my wife and me.. separate computers and separate bathrooms = marital harmony, lemme tell ya.

Comment by Paul Alfred on December 13, 2010 at 8:53pm
Very important topic Sandra .. We have our systems on 4 hour Power backup and we have all our files backed up again off premises .... You just never know when that Disaster Recovery Plan has to kick in ....
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2010 at 9:05pm

What do you guys do if there is a power failure that goes on for over 24 hours?

Comment by Paul Alfred on December 13, 2010 at 9:14pm
Sandra we're based in Canada not the Caribbean ... LOL
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2010 at 9:27pm

LOL, well geeezzzus does lightening ever hit a transformer in Canada or does weather ever cause a power failure.  We have been in the dark for hours due to high winds , tornados, ice storms maybe i just live in a part of the world where we need backup generators.  In fact i spent a whole day working from the horse barn once upon a time because the power was off and the only place that i could plug in a laptop was in the barn due to having a backup generator to keep water well going.  Power was out in town all day.  I am not kidding when i refer to Amarillo as Jackass Flats, USA America and we are a city of 200,000.

Comment by Paul Alfred on December 13, 2010 at 9:43pm
Woooo Tornadoes- fascinating - 24 Hour Power Backup really does make sense ... We get snow storms perhaps 2 times a year in the Winter Season. But our utility guys are on the ball up here in the North ...

There was a time a few years ago - we were affected by a blackout which hit Toronto, New York and a number of Cities on the North East Coast ... It was pretty scary .. .
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2010 at 9:59pm

Other than a power failure, what could disrupt your business for long enough to cause a loss in revenue or loss of candidate or client confidence?

@Tom - good suggestions.  Multiples give some security.  I think most of us have a disaster recovery plan but perhaps not a disruption plan to keep the machine moving if the wheels fall off.

 

Comment by Rayanne on December 14, 2010 at 12:25pm
I have thought about this often... Thinking alike is something we often do, Ms. Sandra. Actually, I briefly wrote about this today. Not even a result of inclement weather, our office has lost phones and internet for several hours at a time and it can seem, at the time, devastating.

I think we just need to remember that there is more work than just the work that requires phone and internet. And actually, should both those services go out, it might be good time to develop a business disruption plan, eh?

There is no rest for those that work for themselves or who run their own small businesses. The carryover into life is ever-present. So, you better love your work and have a plan.

Great post, as usual...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 14, 2010 at 1:00pm

Thanks, i did notice your forum post.  Actually was your post about running out of cyberspace that reminded me to review my business disruption plan.

One can even think about a business disruption plan in the dark, what better time. ? :)

Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on December 14, 2010 at 8:09pm

We do have a generator I can fire up, and I made sure to get one that was capable of running the computers without killing them with voltage spikes... When we lose power, it can be out for a whole day or so..I got sick of being at the mercy of the grid, so I took steps. I've got enough outlets for the computers, the fish tank, and the fridge. I have emergency stocks of other stuff, but that's for another forum, lol.

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