AI Apps digital payments

7 Creative Uses of AI in Digital Payments

ai in digital payments

AI or Artificial Intelligence is known for streamlining processes securely, but when it comes to the digital payment solution, AI goes beyond streamlining and offering security. AI brings automation and enables users to monitor online payments. It’s interesting the jot down seven highly amazing uses of AI in the payment industry.

How AI Transforms Digital Payment Industry?

  1. Neural Technology Works Wonders

A self-driving or autonomous car is no longer a new concept, but have you ever thought that the technology used behind a self-driving car can be used in finding fraudulent card or loan applications? Yes, the neural network technology or Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is the technology behind the autonomous car. It imitates the human brain and has played a vital role in finding the stolen identities from the Equifax data breach and other incidents.

ID Analytics has launched a new fraud scoring system for new applications based on convolutional neural network technology. It is a much-advanced version of the existing system and provides banks or financial institutes with indicators on whether the fraud attempt is done from a first or a third-party source. The neural technology creates a 3D model of the person’s data that includes the address, phone number, and transaction history.

  1. Bot Attacks become Reality

The Fintech industry becomes more dependent on AI technology with every passing day. Whether we talk of enterprise-focused banking apps like Chime and Wave or AI-based chatbots that facilitate the users to get personalized notifications on spending and investments, the AI technology gains traction among entrepreneurs.

Here we are pointing toward the flip side of machine learning and AI bots. Fraudsters utilize AI-powered bots to commit online fraud that becomes a big challenge for various industry sectors including the travel industry. The travel or tourism industry witnesses various types of online and offline fraud attempts especially during the holiday season. Many criminals want to exploit the situation arises because of the surge in travel volume.

Many cybercriminals use bots to reserve seats on flights to cause a wrongful increase in the price of unsold seats. Travelers and tour companies have to witness various challenges arising due to the fraudulent use of bots.

  1. Payments and Social Media Fusion

After seeing the dark side of AI, let’s go through an exciting opportunity for a digital payment solution. Yes, it’s a fusion of payments and social media. Facebook, Alibaba, and several other companies have made the most of fusion by bringing payment solutions through messenger apps. Amazon has now followed suit by working on a messaging platform known as Anytime.

We can certainly expect that the term “conversational commerce� will gain ground in the fintech and eCommerce segments alike over the period. Days are not far away when conversational commerce will be broadly adopted by people across the world. Chris Messina has already predicted the bright future of conversational commerce back in 2016. Consumers will utilize all means like chat, messaging, and even voice for making online transactions. AI technology will play a crucial role in making this possible.

In the near future, the lines between the human agent and a computer bot will be blurred as the users will not find the difference between them thanks to the advancing AI technology.

  1. AI Bots on Facebook Messenger

Financial companies and banks have gradually started deploying AI-based bots on Facebook Messenger to handle payments and offer personalized customer services. American Express (AmEx) is one such company that has a dedicated chatbot on Messenger for sending transaction notifications and benefit reminders to users. Every time the user buys anything, the dedicated chatbot sends a notification regarding the transactions.

Another version of AmEx chatbot enables users to add a card while linking an AmEx account to the user’s Facebook account. The card’s credentials are then stored with the user’s Facebook account to facilitate them to transact on the social network. We will have more intelligent and powerful AI bots in the future that will perform various tasks on Facebook Messenger and other social media channels. Simply put, the presence of AI bots on Facebook will boost the concept of conversational commerce.

  1. AI to Make Users Financially Healthy

This is one of the biggest benefits of AI. A fintech startup Douugh has developed an AI-based virtual assistant to help its consumers regain financial health. Sophie, as Douugh has named it, can assist consumers to reduce their credit card debt and student loan while enabling them to make better savings decisions. The virtual assistant also runs diagnostics on the financial positions of customers and manage their spending goals while handling payment-related tasks like bill payment and track payments. In a way, Douugh has made a giant leap toward offering a smart bank account to its customers.

AI technology is designed to analyze the user’s or customer’s behaviors and making predictions. When it is implemented into the fintech sector, it keeps on analyzing the data regarding the customer’s spending pattern and saving habits. In a way, it can help users maintain a subtle balance between the loan and deposit while making them financially healthy. In the coming years, many fintech companies and the BFSI sector as a whole will leverage the benefits of AI technology to provide 360-degree financial solutions.

  1. Bot Turns Banker

Singapore’s largest bank DBS has utilized the concept of conversational AI to take the customer experience to a new level. This approach enables the bank to manage customers’ accounts and facilitates them to initiate payments. The bank has taken enough care to make the interactions natural so that its customers do not realize that they are talking to a bot and not a human being.

Kai, the AI-powered bot of DBS can do more for the bank’s customers as compared to agents in customer centers. For example, if the customer asks about the amount, they spent on groceries last month, the agents might take some time to get the data, but Kai gives answers immediately.

Many other banks will also come up with robust and reliable bots in the coming years. On one hand, such bots will relieve the pressure on bankers, and on the other hand, customers can get improved services on a 24/7 basis.

  1. AI Makes Stores Intelligent

It’s time to make the walls and ceilings of your brick-and-mortar stores. Shanghai’s self-driving supermarket Moby has actually implemented this futuristic approach in which the supermarket ‘recognizes’ customers through a mobile app. What’s more, the store is solar-powered and it has a holographic greeter as staff.

Though this concept at its nascent phase, it has a vast scope and it offers a lot of opportunities for the retailers. Talking about the reason why Moby store has experimented with this concept in Shanghai, the store wanted to maintain a retail presence in the areas where the economy cannot support a permanent grocery store. Here, though the AI technology takes care of the customer service and delivery process, the autonomous store, help from humans is still necessary to return unsold items to a warehouse.

Amazon Go is a more efficient example of a concept store. It has sensors throughout the store instead of holographic greeters. Sensors can readily detect what customers are purchasing and which payment method is used. In other words, AI-based sensors simply collect and analyze the data related to the user behavior.

In a nutshell, AI is a game-changer in the digital payment industry.  As technology gets mainstreamed in the sector, we will have innovative and creative uses of AI technology.

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SMS Surveys: How to Increase Your Response Rate

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, mobile penetration has reached 95%. With 9 in 10 adults owning a cellphone and 72% of smartphone owners reporting that they check their phone at least once an hour, text messaging (SMS) has become the communication norm for much of the U.S. population. The SMS opening rate has a mammoth opening rate of 98% vs. only 22% for emails. Here are SMS surveys and how to increase your response rate.

When it comes to connecting with the customers, small businesses have a shoestring survey budget. They always choose those survey platforms or channels that quickly capture the individual’s attention and ensure maximum response rate without going heavy on the pocket. Over the years, we’ve noticed so far that SMS and small businesses make a great pair.

Also, businesses that are not looking at spending too much on surveys, but want to maximize the benefits of it. SMS Survey is an affordable and simple way to reach out to customers, no matter how many or few customers you have.

What is the SMS Survey?

SMS Survey is a feedback collection channel where businesses can collect customer data via short messaging service (SMS) available on mobile phone devices. Although SMS is considered to be an outdated way to reach the audience, still, it is five times more effective than email.

The best thing about the SMS survey is that it can be sent to any type of phone, with or without internet access, and will be received even if the phone is turned off. All you need to do is pick up the best tool to send SMS Surveys that helps you collect data from customers on the move.

Benefits of SMS Survey

  • Widens the reach of your survey
    An average of 20 billion SMS is being sent daily this year, translating to 7.3 trillion annually! That’s more than 5.5 million per second! Thus, the probability of expanding the reach of your survey is high in SMS Surveys.
  • Enables to get high response
    An average of 31% of consumers will respond to a survey via SMS with the average response time for users being just over five minutes. This speedy turnaround helps you to collect quick responses to your SMS surveys.
  • Ensures personalized survey experience
    You can easily personalize the survey experience of your customers by customizing your SMS surveys. You can make your survey response-driven by adding an NPS Survey in the text message.
  • Provides quick analysis
    An ideal SMS Survey Tool enables you to collect customer feedback data in real-time and analyze your results instantly.
  • Ensures cost-effective solution
    SMS survey not only maximizes your response rate but also helps you to connect with your customers cost-effectively.

When to use SMS surveys?

Deploying the SMS survey helps you to capture real-time, accurate data. Here are some popular use-cases of SMS Surveys.

  • eCommerce & Online Shopping – You can use the SMS Survey Tool at retail, eCommerce stores, and shopping centers to get real-time feedback from shoppers. Sending feedback form via SMSes offers a great way to understand the likes and dislikes of your customers.
  • Delivery Experience Feedback – Whether you are a food delivery or logistics service provider, tracking delivery experience is a must for you. Trigger the post-delivery SMS surveys to your customers to evaluate your services and the attitude of your delivery executives.
  • Retail Store Feedback – Gauging the shopping experience of your customers can help you to improve the level of your products and customer support services. You can send your customers a post-purchase transactional NPS survey via SMSes. This collects the instant real-time experiences of your customers.
  • Patient Experience Feedback – You can instantly measure the post-appointment and post-discharge experience of patients via SMS surveys.
  • Flight Experience Feedback – There are a series of experiences while traveling through the flight. You can send post-lending SMS surveys after baggage collection to gauge the flight experience and satisfaction of your guest.
  • Restaurant & Hotel Feedback – If you want to quickly gauge the dining experience of your guests, then you can quickly send a survey via SMSes. You can also trigger SMS surveys to your guests while checking out from the hotel. This helps you to collect instant reactions of your guests about your services and hospitality.
  • Candidate Experience Feedback – Collecting feedback from the candidates can help you to improve your organization. Concerning this, you can send Post-Interview experience surveys via SMSes to the candidates.

15 Tips to increase SMS Survey Response Rate

  1. Keep your SMS survey brief
  2. Give your introduction
  3. Use clear opt-in and instructional language
  4. Personalize your SMS survey
  5. Ask relevant questions
  6. Create a mobile-friendly survey
  7. Give clear CTA
  8. Test before sharing
  9. Send your survey at an appropriate time
  10. Automate the trigger of the SMS survey
  11. Follow-up on SMS survey
  12. Avoid sending too many surveys
  13. Use a shortcode to send SMS Survey
  14. Choose mobile-friendly SMS survey tool

1. Identify and Segment your respondents

Your customers are more likely to respond to your SMS survey when they feel connected to it. Before designing your surveys, do little research about your customers to deliver a personalized survey experience. It is better to segment your respondents as per their customer journey and provide them with relevant and valuable survey content.

For example, you run a software-based company, and there are different clients, some are users,  and some are those who raised tickets for customer support service. You can segment the clients as per their requirements and send them customized SMS surveys.

2. Keep your survey brief

While designing your survey, remember that your text message has a limit of 160 characters. If you try to extend this word limit, then your message will be broken into chunks. This may put an adverse impact on the readability of your message. So, try to incorporate all the important elements of your survey in those 160 characters.

3. Give your introduction

Your customers receive lots of promotional SMS from their banks, financial institutes, and other brands they follow. So, among this crowd, you need to pretend to be unique. How? Build trust in your brand. Give your introduction and USPs of your brand. This helps you to add credibility to your survey and drive better responses. Since in the previous point, we’ve told you to keep your message short & simple. So, in this case, you can save the space by shortening the link of your survey using a URL shortener.

4. Use Clear Opt-in and Instructional Language

Keep your survey crisp and clear as crystal so that your respondents can attempt your survey in one go. For this, you can provide your customers with opt-in instructional language. You can simplify your opt-in instructional language by adding the simple text “reply with a number�. You can also give them an NPS scale to rate their willingness to recommend your product, service, company, or brand.

5. Personalize your survey

Customers or respondents are likely to attempt those surveys, which give them a sense of Affinity. So, if you want to maximize the response rate of your SMS survey, you can customize your message by considering the following things:

  • Segment the data of your customers based on their journey or demographic details.
  • Begin your message by addressing the respondents with their names.

6. Ask relevant questions

The main reason for the abandonment of a survey is a large number of questions. Especially, when it comes to attempting surveys on SMSes, customers expect short & crisp surveys. So, close-ended survey questions including MCQs, single-choice – yes/no, and NPS questions are all excellent question types that can be used in an SMS survey.

7. Create mobile-friendly surveys

Your SMS surveys should be mobile-friendly so that your customers must be able to open the survey on their mobile phones easily. Various online survey tools help you to create and customize mobile-responsive surveys.

8. Give a clear CTA

CTA (Call-to-action) is an influential way to grab the attention of your customers and improve the sales of your business if executed in the right direction. CTAs offer your customers to get engaged with your survey and encourage them to take action. This further helps you to achieve both your survey and sales goals.

Here are some CTAs that can quickly grab your customer’s eyeballs:

  • Buy Now
  • Call Now
  • Call Us
  • Click Here
  • Click Here Now
  • Click Here to Get Started
  • Click Here to Join
  • Click Here to Register
  • Click Here to Sign Up
  • Click Here to Start
  • Click Here to Subscribe
  • Click to Call
  • Click to Call Now
  • Enter Your Email Address
  • Get Started
  • Join
  • Join For Free
  • Join Now
  • Need Help? Call Now!
  • Register
  • Register for Free
  • Register Now
  • Signup
  • Signup for Free
  • Start Now
  • Subscribe Now
  • Tap to Call
  • Tap to Call Now

9. Test your survey before sending

Before sharing your SMS survey to your customers, always test and cross-check your survey. You can set up A/B testing for your SMS survey. Here in this, you can send two groups the same message at different times. This improves the reach of your survey among your customers.

10. Send your survey at an appropriate time

The response rate of your SMS surveys is determined by the time you choose to send your survey. To choose the perfect time slot, you need to undergo various demographics and customer behavior research. Based on general research it is considered that:

  • Avoid sending surveys late night or early morning. Try to push your survey in the prime time, when your customers are free.
  • Sending surveys also depends on the priority of taking feedback. If you want to take immediate instant feedback like in case of a post-delivery survey or post-customer support interaction, then you should immediately send SMS surveys to your customers. This helps you to gauge real-time experience. And if you want to take any product feedback, then send your survey after a few days.

11. Automate the trigger of the SMS survey

If you want to send SMS surveys to the customers in bulk, then automating the trigger surveys is the best option. There are various events where you need to send instant feedback surveys like post-order, post-delivery, and post-interaction. A smart SMS Survey Tool enables you to integrate your system with other CRM, third-party apps, and marketing automation software to automate the flow of surveys at different customer interaction touchpoints.

12. Follow-up on surveys

Sometimes it happens that your customers may ignore your survey due to their busy schedule. In that case, it is your responsibility to give them a polite reminder about it. You can send a follow-up SMS to your customers and ask them gently to give you feedback.


13. Avoid sending too many surveys

Sometimes sending surveys regularly can put an adverse impact on your response rate. This may interrupt your customers, and they may start losing interest in your brand. To avoid over surveying your customers or survey fatigue, you can use survey throttling. It is a survey scheduling system that automates and controls the frequency of the flow of surveys to individual customers. Through this, you can schedule your surveys in the following options:

  • 1 month (30 days)
  • 3 months (90 days)
  • 6 months (180 days)

14. Use a Shortcode to send SMS Survey

If you want to make it easier for your customers to fill your survey quickly without any hindrance, then use a shortcode to send SMS surveys. Shortcode is a 5 or a 6 digit unique number through which you can send and receive SMS from mobile phones. This system ensures a much faster survey delivery experience.

15. Choose the best SMS survey tool

One of the best ways to improve the response rate is by choosing the best SMS Survey Tool. It not only captures real-time customer feedback but also ensures you with other noticeable benefits like:

  • Send SMS Surveys manually, or via APIs
  • Send bulk SMS surveys simultaneously
  • Creating Mobile-friendly surveys
  • Integrate with your systems
  • Track SMS Surveys, deliveries and responses
  • Feedback reports and detailed analysis

The post SMS Surveys: How to Increase Your Response Rate appeared first on ReadWrite.

Forea Luna 3 Men Forea Luna 3 Men Review Luna 3 Men Beard Cleaner Product Reviews sonic beard cleaner

Foreo Luna 3: Men’s Sonic Beard Cleaning Solution

Foreao Luna 3 Men

Offering a new way to clean and soften beards, the Foreo Luna 3 for Men uses its patented T-Sonic pulsations for a deep facial clean. Priced at $199.99, the cleanser also works for those without facial hair as well as a pre-shaving tool device. This means any guy can benefit from this facial cleaning line from Foreo, a well-known Swedish manufacturer of facial cleaning devices for men and women.


To deliver on its cleaning promise, Foreo Luna 3 for Men offers 16 settings and 8,000 pulsations per minute. It uses bacteria-resistant, BPA/phthalate-free silicone bristles.

How to Use the Foreo Luna 3 for Men

For beard cleaning, face cleansing, and pre-shave mode, the process is the same. Dampen your beard or stubble with water and apply a cleanser of your choice. Then, dampen the device. Press the button to activate the cleansing mode and use circular motion across your face, chin, cheeks, and whiskers.

When you are done, simply hold the button for three seconds and the device will turn off. Then, rinse your face and dry it.

To use the device for face massaging to smooth those fine aging lines, use any anti-aging serum you prefer. Then, press the concentric ridges on the back of the device to your skin and glide it across your chin, cheeks, and forehead in an upward motion. When you finish, turn it off just as you do with cleaning and then add the moisturizer of your choice to your face.

What I Like Best

It works for all skin types, is easy to use, and gets my skin and facial cleaner than its ever felt before. As a gadget guy, I also like that it has a mobile app and Bluetooth connectivity.

Plus, unlike regular shavers, the device head never needs replacement, which adds further value. It also gets more than 650 uses before it needs recharging.

In the Box

The Foreo Luna 3 for Men comes with a charging cord, a carrying case, and QR codes that connect you to their app, instruction guide, and technical/customer support. The product also comes with a two-year warranty.

Where to Buy

The Foreo Luna 3 for Men is available on the company’s website. All orders will ship after October 1st.

Final Thoughts

No matter how little or much hair you have on your face, this is an ideal cleaning product for men’s facial skin. It works effectively and delivers good value for the price to keep facial hair and skin soft and supple. Plus, it does well at reducing those fine aging lines none of us want!

The post Foreo Luna 3: Men’s Sonic Beard Cleaning Solution appeared first on ReadWrite.

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5 Reasons Why You Need to Reopen Your Business With IoT

reopen business with iot

Coronavirus made us all come up with new solutions. We have figured out distance learning, zoom meetings, social distancing, and not going insane while sitting at home all day. We did a pretty decent job. However, now we have to learn how to go back to life before the pandemic hit.

It is not as easy as it seems, and it is hard to say whether things can go back to what they have used to be. Some aspects of our routines will definitely change, and we still have to be very careful. Covid-19 is still an issue, we do not have a vaccine yet.

Businesses started to reopen, though. We can not sit at home forever. Considering everything that was said before, businesses have to develop strategies that ensure employees` safety. Otherwise, you will either shut the whole thing down after a week, or no one will agree on coming back to the office. In fact, 93% are willing to continue their remote working journey. So if you want to make them go offline, you have to convince them to do so. 

5 Benefits of Reopening the Business with IoT

The ones who have already reopened report using more IoT than they have ever done before. “IoT is extremely beneficial at times like this: you need fewer employees, and you don’t have to control safety measures on your own,â€� – PR expert from Essay Tigers explains. 

IoT is needed when you reopen your business. You will want IoT’s fine-tuned help implemented into your business life.

Image Source: pexels

#1 Distance Monitoring

Now that schools have started to reopen, many parents get concerned about how teachers will manage to teach their children without getting too close to them. Also, how can a teacher monitor how close students get to each other? The adult distance monitoring is applicable, too, especially as adults seem prone to harsher consequences of the COVID virus.

Research has shown it’s harder to keep the distance between adults. 47% of adults report feeling much lonelier than they have done before the coronavirus outbreak. This stat is not surprising since a lot of people live alone. During the worst part of the virus, we could not meet our friends.

Sitting at home for weeks did not contribute to our feeling of happiness and being content with life. People lacked socialization, and now they starve for human interactions. You can only imagine what will happen in the office as soon as employees see their colleagues after months of being apart. There is so much tea to be spilled.

Even if your employees do not get very excited about meeting each other, during the re=entry to work, one can get easily distracted from the real world. When you are absorbed in tasks, you tend to forget that you have to keep your distance — you just want everything to be done efficiently.

Discussing serious matters while being 1,5 meters apart does not seem as productive as the quick interactions at an employee’s desk in the past. Now, something private requires going to a separate room and then the requisite cleaning instead of quick low-voice, close interactions.

Companies have started to develop different strategies to make sure that coworkers keep the distance and not get everyone infected.

Many of these companies now track the mobile phones of their employees, and it is wrong. The question of privacy was acute a long time ago, and it is getting even worse now. If you have access to people’s phone, it means that you track them 24/7. Workers would rather not be tracked outside of the office. 

IoT can help you monitor the required distances with your employees. You can give out bands at the beginning of the workday and get them back by its end. Every time two devices get too close to each other, owners will get notifications, and as a manager, you will get one also. It will remind people of social distancing without you having to watch them on the camera or track their phones.

You can also find out who doesn’t care about safety measures, and educate them on why it is essential for everyone to follow the rules to keep your business open and their paychecks coming.

#2 Temperature Monitoring

As we know, having a temperature is not a good sign. It may mean that the person has gotten a virus and can share it with everyone. 

It seems reasonable to measure (or take) each employees temperature at the beginning of the day. If an employee has a temperature at the door, you merely send that person home before they even enter the office or a store. Yet, one can have no fever in the morning and end up with a fever later in the day. 

Do you have to measure temperature repeatedly throughout the day? It seems like a lot of effort, and it takes quite some time if you have a lot of employees. Taking temperature readings will slow down the working process; workers will get distracted and get out of their productivity streak. 

IoT has come up with a solution to this exact problem. You can install sensors that do automatically take temperature screenings. As soon as a fever is detected on someone, you can quickly take notice of that person, isolate them from the group, and send them home. 

#3 Know How Many People There Are

All the businesses know the rule that it is allowed to have only a certain number of customers and workers inside the buildings, based on how big and airy they are (buildings, not people). When there are many employees or your shop is quite big, and many clients can come in, it becomes complicated to count them. 

You may have seen security near the entrance with a notebook and a pencil who tries to count and not let more people in that it is recommended. Still, it is tough to keep the focus on both countings constantly, writing numbers down, and securing the door. If more than 50 people in the store, it is nearly impossible for a human to keep the situation under control.

IoT is there once again to help you. There are exceptional cameras that can count how many people are inside. So make the job of security people easier, get exact data in a matter of seconds, and spare yourself from the stress that you will not have to pay tons of money if someone checks your shop/office, and there are more people than it is allowed.

#4 Facial Recognition Is a Way to Go

In times like this, all businesses try to engage a bare minimum of employees so offices aren’t too crowded. It’s simple if you have a lot of staff and not that many rooms. With the help of IoT, you can minimize the number of security workers. 

You see, when people go through a security check, they interact with the same person. If the first person to come into the office was infected, he could infect security personnel. Consequently, all the people to enter after the person are at a high risk of getting the virus too. 

It can also help with employees who continually forget their badges or credentials. One can barely leave their face at home. You will no longer get irritated by such employees, and they need not stress about whether they have all the required documentation with them.

#5 Track Interactions Between Your Employees and Clients

In the worst possible case, when someone gets Coronavirus, owners usually panic and send everyone home again. Employees panic because of the employer’s panic, and don’t leave their home offices after two weeks: they are only scared, and it’s understandable. What if you could not shut everything down by sending home only those who had contact with the infected person?

While using IoT, you can track down the information about who interacted with who. Due to social distancing, it is unlikely that people meet as many coworkers as they had before the pandemic. Basically, you can see who is potentially sick, send them home, and continue working.

It might be risky though. Sometimes it’s better to double-check everything or, in that case, send everyone home so they can properly isolate themselves.


Coronavirus is changing our lives and makes us work in order to come up with new solutions and tricks. IoT managed to ensure your employees` and customers` safety. You can control social distancing, check the temperature, count people effortlessly, reduce the number of workers, and define the potentially infected staff. 

We highly recommend using these technologies so that you can promise safety to your employees and make them leave their homes. Moreover, you will not be forced to close everything down again in no time. 

Still, it is better to seriously think about whether it is actually reasonable to reopen. A home office is the safest idea, after all.

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Do Big Tech Companies Have Too Much Power?

Big tech companies have attracted significant public scrutiny over the past 20 years. Consumers, policymakers, and other authorities have increasingly speculated that big tech companies are accumulating too much power.

Intuitively, this seems like it could be the case. Big tech companies have grown from mere startups to mind-boggling sizes, especially in the past several years. Apple was the first company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion, with tech companies Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) not far behind it. Collectively, these four powerhouses control the manufacture and distribution of countless devices and software applications—and if you add in social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, the collective power wielded by a handful of organizations gets even more astounding.

But why do we care about how much “power� that tech companies have, and what do we mean by “power� in the first place? And if the excessive accumulation of power truly is a problem, what can we do about it?

The Nature of Too Much Power

The first goal is determining what it means for a big tech company to have too much power. It’s easy to see the amount of revenue generated by a business and believe it’s too big or too powerful, but if it doesn’t influence the state of the world or your personal life, what does it matter?

These are some of the most important categories we need to consider:

  • Limiting competition. One of the most nefarious uses of excessive power is limiting the abilities and influence of competitors. This was a major problem during the 19th Century; wealthy entrepreneurs would intentionally cut prices lower than competitors could stand to offer, bully competitors out of the market, and forcefully set up a monopoly where no other businesses could enter. For example, Facebook has a history of purchasing smaller companies it believes could be a threat to its primary business model; it purchased Instagram before it could become big enough to become a threat, and frequently seeks to acquire other social media startups before they generate influence of their own.
  • Controlling the narrative. Many tech companies are responsible for helping us discover content, learn new things, and engage with others. Accordingly, their algorithms and inner workings have the potential to control the public narrative; Google will only lead us to websites that fit certain criteria, and Twitter will only show us the tweets it deems most relevant. It’s trivially easy for any of these algorithms to be tweaked in a way that fits some ulterior motive. For example, an engineer could lead people to negative or positive information about a certain politician, or (perhaps inadvertently) give more attention to conspiracy theories or “fake news.â€� This can have a massive impact on public sentiment, and in some cases, influence major political decisions.
  • Restricting privacy. It’s no secret that big tech companies love to gather and use consumer data. While in most cases, data is used for innocuous purposes, like generating custom advertising based on your expressed interests, we also need to be wary about the restriction of consumer privacy. If tech companies are tracking everything you do online (and everything you say in person, thanks to smart speakers), you won’t have much privacy to exercise.
  • Influence. With power comes money; the founders and CEOs of big tech companies are typically multi-billionaires, and the companies themselves have access to virtually unlimited funds. With this power and money, it’s only natural that nefarious people within these companies could use this power to influence politicians—and exercise even greater control over the machinations of the world at large.
  • Exploitation. There are many ways in which a big tech company of sufficient power could use that power for exploitative purposes. They could use unfair pricing to squeeze more revenue out of unsuspecting consumers. They could attempt to get users addicted to their technology. They could even exploit their employees, forcing them to work in unfair conditions or face dismissal.
  • Self-promotion. As tech companies expand to offer wider ranges of products and services, they often use their existing platforms for self-promotion. For example, Google can intentionally rank its own products higher in search engines, reducing the potential appearances of competing products. This drives a self-perpetuating cycle of increased influence.

How Did This Happen?

So how did we get here? Why is this such a problem?

In the United States, there’s been no shortage of problems with companies getting too big or too powerful. For example, robber barons and other industrialists in the 19th Century used unscrupulous business practices to build monopolies until they were forcibly broken up with antitrust movements. So why haven’t these laws and lessons learned prevented tech companies from getting too big?

New territory. Many areas of technological development are new, and therefore hard to regulate. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) is just emerging, and it’s hard to tell how it’s going to be used or how it’s going to improve over the next few decades. Accordingly, it’s hard to create sensible laws for how it can be wielded.

  • Slow legislation. Legislation is a tedious and slow process. It often takes years for federal lawmakers to move, even on important topics.
  • Limited consumer awareness. While big tech companies have become a conversational focal point in recent years, there’s still limited consumer awareness on just how powerful these companies are and how far they reach. With limited consumer awareness, there’s limited demand for change.
  • Mergers and acquisitions. If you can’t do it yourself, get someone else to do it. Tech companies increasingly turn to mergers and acquisitions as a way to consolidate power, increase their own influence, and limit competition all in one fell swoop.
  • Getting customers hooked. Many tech companies intentionally try to get consumers “hookedâ€� on their products and their products alone. Addictive features, compatibility restrictions, and other elements make it incredibly hard for customers to switch to a competitor.

How big is too big? We also need to acknowledge that it’s difficult to tell how big is “too big.� Some issues are the natural byproduct of tech development and good business decisions; at what point do we really need to step in with a solution?

The Potential Solutions

If tech companies are in fact too big, or if they’re going to get too big at some point in the future, what can we do about it? What steps can we take to limit their power and ensure we remain in good economic and cultural balance?

These are just a few ideas:

  • Transparency laws. We can start by making consumers better informed. Clearer disclosures and better transparency from tech companies could go a long way to improving this situation and keeping customers aware of how they’re being exploited.
  • Data privacy laws. Big tech companies thrive on consumer data, so you can limit their power by imposing stricter regulations on the gathering and use of consumer data. Data is a relatively new commodity, so putting together data privacy laws is a long and intensive process.
  • Antitrust laws and breakups. On a bigger scale, Congress could attempt to pass new antitrust laws and attempt to literally break up the biggest corporations in the tech world.
  • Incentives for competitors. From the ground up, we could also incentivize more entrepreneurs to enter the tech space and give big companies a run for their money.
  • Consumer decisions. Perhaps most importantly, we need to make better decisions as consumers, and only work with tech companies we trust and respect.

It’s incredibly difficult to say whether there’s truly a problem with tech companies getting too large, or if we’ll face that problem in the near future. It’s also hard to tell exactly where the line is, or what to do when we cross it. In the meantime, as consumers, it’s on us to make the most informed, responsible decisions we can, and understand that not every tech company is going to have our best interests at heart. Keep learning and remain informed on topics related to big tech, and do what you can to make a positive difference in the world.

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All You Need to Know About Industrial IoT

industrial IoT

The term IIot, or Industrial Internet of Things is used to refer to the industrial applications of the Internet of Things. We are talking about using the technology in anything from the machines in a factory to engines inside a car – these are all filled with advanced sensors equipped with wireless technology. These can collect and share data enabling extensive use of digital intelligence across various industries. Here is all you need to know about industrial IoT.

Industrial IoT Use Cases

Applications of Industrial Internet of Things

Process Automation

One of the best use cases of the industrial Internet of Things has been the process of automation across many industries.

With the help of smart sensor networks that can connect with each other through cloud computing systems, industries have been able to automate a number of their crucial processes and achieved a higher level of productivity and efficiency.

It has provided better control of the process and has significantly decreased the number of people required to get the job done.

Restaurants have been using process automation to get rid of food wastage. With the incessant developments in IoT technology, the evolution of traditional industries will become inevitable.

Predictive Maintenance

To be able to run effective predictive maintenance, you will require the processing of large amounts of data and will have to run sophisticated algorithms on it. This cannot be implemented within SCADA.

Therefore, an IoT-based solution, that can store terabytes of data and can still run the required machine learning algorithms, was introduced on several computers to keep a tab on the progress and have prior knowledge of industrial equipment failing.

A robust IoT-based predictive maintenance ecosystem has become essential for modern industries. The architecture consists of field gateways, cloud gateway, streaming data processor, a data lake, and machine learning algorithms.

Asset Tracking

Asset management and tracking have become much easier and efficient as an IoT-based digital asset tracking can now connect different components of the business chain and create an integrated strategic system.

We are talking about connecting multiple stakeholders, processes, workforce, and assets to a single digital IoT-driven system that provides a unified view of a process now backed by effective data analytics.

Industrial IoT can be added to your traditional solutions to make them more intelligent and get automated workflows, real-time alerts, dynamic edge control of assets, cross-domain analytics, real-time visibility and more.

Fleet Management

IoT-enabled solutions have revolutionized fleet management by making the process more environment-friendly. An IoT solution can help monitor the carbon emissions and monitor the service condition of the fleet.

Industries can build sensors-equipped fleets that can send automated signals and warning alerts like system failure, low battery, engine temperature or maintenance, and more. IoT-based solutions can also regulate driver behavior which can result in improved fuel efficiency.

The fleet manager can keep a tab on all such data and get actionable insights. IoT solutions allow managers to implement changes and make data-backed decisions.

Technologies in Industrial IoT

Kubernetes, k8s

1.   Front-End Edge Devices

The sensor data is what industries need to get important insights into their processes. This makes the hardware containing the sensors a crucial component of the IIoT system.

Many front-end devices and control devices are installed to capture critical process-related data and analyze it in real-time. Therefore, the devices must be reliable and of very high-quality so that the stream of data captured is consistent and accurate as well.

Some of the traditional industries already have devices installed that collect data for them. It will be easier for them to develop their process and make it IIoT-enabled.

However, if your data collection process isn’t there in the first place, you will have an opportunity to install a modern set of tools for your industry. It’s quite a win-win situation for you because your process has to evolve some or the other day. So, why not now?

2.   Connectivity Technology

Industrial IoT solutions rely heavily on wireless technologies to transmit and receive commands from the cloud. You have got Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mesh networks, cellular networks, LPWAN technology, and what not to choose from.

Before going forward with technology, you should pen down your requirements. Different connectivity technologies have different range and capacity. It’s not just about wireless connectivity. Many of the industries have established IoT devices and connected them through wired systems as well.

If your setup allows for a wired connection, you should go for it as it will save a lot of money and provide even better reliability.

3.   Industrial IoT Platforms for Data Analytics

Once your setup is complete, you can focus on the data analytics part for which you will software that can analyze the collected and transmitted data. The software can be trained or programmed to make decisions for the processes.

The software is called the industrial IoT platform and it helps connect the hardware, access points, and data networks and also the end-user applications. All the data and command management happens with the help of real-time task management and data visualization.

The IoT platforms act as the middleman between the data and the processes or applications. One of the most common issues you will face is that you won’t get an off-the-shelf software solution for your process.

You might have to build the solution for yourself or buy the whole end-to-end software solution and the hardware and align your industry setup accordingly.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. We have discussed what you need to know to understand IIoT in depth. Let us know if this piece of content provided you with great value in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you. Also, since you are here, don’t forget to follow us on social media, we bring all the latest news and updates from the world of technology, startups and more.

Further Reading

What can we expect for IoT in 2020?

Is it time to implement IoT in the warehouse?

Top 5 areas where companies want IoT solutions?

Will companies embrace digital transformation?

Demystifying the 8 core myths that surround the Internet of Things

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12 Key Characteristics for an eCommerce B2B Website

ecommerce b2b website

Very often, when we hear the words “online shop”, this creates the images of different e-commerce platforms that sell products such as shoes, jewelry, stationery, or grocery stores. If it is unquestionable that the B2C companies compose an essential part of e-commerce shops, B2B portals slowly emerge to dominate the online sales.

Today, more and more B2B customers are making their purchases online. A study from Forrester indicates that more than 74% of the B2B customers do some online research before buying something. Customers searching first proves the everyday increasing levels of B2B portals. The needs and requirements of the customers are very different for B2C and B2B enterprises.

Therefore, B2B enterprises should change how they design and display their online shops to their customers. The standard model of the shopping cart does not work for the B2Bs. Here, in this article, you can easily find a list of the essential functions to avoid failure and create a successful e-commerce website from your B2B.

Customized Pricing

Unlike the B2C portals that have uniform pricing for all the customers, the B2B enterprises propose different pricing—depending on the client or the quantity that is bought. The wholesale purchases offer you higher discounts compared with a smaller amount of purchases.

Also, B2B enterprises offer group prices for specific products, quantity discounts, etc.

Your site should be designed to display the right price for different customers. Once a particular customer logs in, he must access the price for him, depending on the quantity ordered and other discounts.

Advanced Payment Method

We agree that the process for B2B orders is more complicated than B2Cs. More complicated means that the shopping cart model should be the most appropriate. Your e-commerce website design company needs to design your site to make it easier to pay and reduce the basket desertion.

The payment process must not only be streamlined but also help to remember some other factors such as:

  • Customers must be able to transfer their shipping costs to their delivery partners accounts (such as FedEx, USP, etc.)
  • Customers must be able to retrieve their payment information from previous orders.
  • They must have the possibility to pay for orders through different payment methods such as a line of credit, a purchase request, commercial credit, etc.
  • It should be possible to repeat an order previously placed and not to research individual products again.

Wholesale Purchases

Very often, B2B customers place large orders. In such cases, searching for all the products in your online catalog is tedious and time-consuming. To simplify the task, you can provide your consumers with a form for a bundled order.

When designing a group order form, ensure that the customers can add products only with the part number or the SKU. Also, they should be able to specify the desired amount for each item. Once the bundled order form is completed, it should take the customer directly to the payment page.

Minimum Amount of Order

Making the minimum order amount is another feature that makes a difference between B2C e-commerce websites and B2B portals. Very often, B2B companies sell products only in quantities of wholesale. Customers must order a specific minimum amount of order so it can be completed.

Degressive Discounts for the Wholesale Purchases

B2B customers often make bulk purchases. In this way, instead of listing products that are frequently sold as individual items, you can also list them as packages, boxes, cartons, or even pallets. The labeling designations will make things easier for the customer as well for you too. If a customer is looking for nails, he can easily add them to the basket in a box instead of 100 individual nails.

In addition, B2B companies offer different levels of discounts to customers depending on the number of products ordered. For example, offering the same value to a customer who buys 10 air filters and a buyer of 1000 air filters makes no sense. Your online store must be able to accept different discounts depending on the quantity ordered.

Restricted Access

Some B2B companies only allow pre-registered customers or resellers to order products from their online stores. For example, if your business only sells through a network of resellers, your website should be designed so that only authorized resellers can access it.

When choosing an e-commerce platform, make sure it can protect with a password your entire site and restrict access to customers.

You can also restrict access to specific parts of the site to non-registered customers. Restricting a site area means that the home page and product line are accessible to everyone, but only authorized retailers can buy from your online store.

Improved Mobile Experience

The mobile shopping experience is growing. Today, more and more B2B customers are looking for professional products on their mobile. As mentioned above, almost 94% agree that they start looking for commercial services or products on their smartphones. Offering your site on mobile means that mobile-friendly sites are no longer an additional feature. They are essential to provide your customers with the best user experience.

When designing a responsive mobile e-commerce store, you need to look for advanced features such as:

  • Auto-entry – this allows your clicks to fill out forms using information already stored on their device. This way, they don’t have to enter repetitive keys to get standard information such as name, address, email address, phone numbers, etc.
  • A clear call to action button – with this button, customers can contact your customer support team with just one click.

Make sure your site has fast loading times and offers an optimized experience on all screens.

Intuitive and User-Friendly Searches

One of the best ways to increase the conversion rate on the website is to improve the search functionality of your B2B e-commerce portal. Customers should be able to locate the items they are looking for without going through your entire list of products.

Being user-friendly and accessible means that you need more than just a search bar on your website. Here are some improved search features to provide to your site:

  • Search filters – customers should locate a product or refine default search results by varying attributes such as product size, color, availability, etc.
  • Long-haul searches – your e-commerce portal must be able to manage and interpret long-trailed semantic searches. Studies show that the dropout rate decreases significantly (40% to 2%) with a semantic approach than research.
  • Auto-entry – while this may seem like a simple feature, it does indeed have a considerable impact. Auto-entry not only saves consumers time but also makes them buy other products that they haven’t thought of buying before.

Flexible Payments

In the B2C world, getting paid immediately before processing an order is very important. B2B companies, on the other hand, do not operate that way. There is a stable relationship between the company and the customer, and very often, companies give their customers a line of credit. A line of credit leads to the need for flexible payment options.

Flexible payments add to the overall user experience. While different payment methods are very convenient for B2C online stores, they are incredibly critical for B2B stores. While offering several payment methods (uppler dot com) on your B2B e-commerce, be sure to provide options for offline modes as well as the usual ones such as credit cards, transfers, etc.

An example of an offline payment method is to complete the order and then allow the customer to pay for it using the order number within 30 days of the end of the transaction.

Available Customer Support

To make sure you increase conversion rates, you need to provide more than a “Contact Us� page on your e-commerce portal. You can add the “Ask for a free quote� form or add a live chat service to provide your customer with real-time customer support.

Real-Time Inventory Updates

This is an indispensable feature of all B2B e-commerce portals. Only with real-time inventory updates, you can provide your customers with the most accurate information.

If a consumer completes an order, only to find that you don’t have the required products, they not only lose confidence in your brand, but you also end up losing potential repeated sales and even the customer.

Real-time inventory updates have far-reaching implications beyond your online box. You get a clear picture of your overall inventory, and this helps streamline your operations, especially if

you run a business model just in time.

Advanced Personalization

Very often, B2B electronic stores fail because they are rigid and designed on the basis of a standard model. Your B2B e-commerce store should be tailored to the specific needs of your business and not the other way around if you want to take advantage of your e-commerce business.

This starts with choosing the right e-commerce platform that meets your specific needs.

Last Thoughts

The launch of a successful B2B e-commerce store is not possible overnight. You need to choose the right platform and provide your customers with advanced and additional features to make sure that it works the way you want it to work.

While this list of B2B e-commerce themes is essential for your business to stand out from your competitors, some of them may not apply to your industry. Make sure you choose a reputable B2B platform solution that understands your business and offers you the best solution.

Image Credit: ketut subiyanto; pexels

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6 Futuristic HR Technology Trends Amid COVID-19 Crisis

HR tech trends

Businesses are quickly adapting to the COVID-19 reality where HR technology has made the greatest influence to do so. COVID-19 has accelerated the evaluation, training, and implementation of HR tech trends in businesses of all sizes.

The HR team is actively involved in adopting innovative technologies at all levels like – recruitment process, employee engagement practices, and management processes. An emphasis has been laid on mobile connectivity and visual communication as employees started working remotely. The traditional management approach may not address the new challenges and complexities to keep the employee cycle moving.

Also, HR professionals are turning toward more strategic roles. They are catering to business needs like structuring organizations, strengthening the workforce, and managing talent. So, the repetitive tasks are handled through tech tools paving the way to use their potential to spot trends, decision-making, and becoming the true business partners.

In the survey, we can find how HR projects are delivered on their expected business value as said by employers.

Let’s deep dive into the technical aspects of the HR domain and how best HR leaders are cruising through this storm in the ocean. Here is a quick primer on some of the popular HR tech trends that are developing at an unimaginable speed.

Popular HR Tech Trends Amid COVID-19 Crisis

There is a quick shift in HR functionalities amid the COVID-19 crisis. Here are the HR tech trends that are raising the bar and helping the team to make informed and innovative decisions for the organization.

Artificial Intelligence in HR

AI in HR is on the limelight to lessen the administrative burden on the HR team. Artificial Intelligence can be used for various purposes in HR functionalities like screening, recruiting, online and offline training of employees, managing leaves, detecting anomalies, resolving queries, reviewing performance, absenteeism, exit metrics, and initiating retirements. AI use cases include digital coaching, development planning, recognition, and wellness as per ISG reports, 2019.

In brief, AI can streamline redundant and time-heavy tasks. It can quicken the tasks like surfing hundreds of resumes and cover letters, compiling and analyzing survey data, and many more tasks. Also, it removes human bias or error while evaluating candidates. However, one has to take care that there is no built-in bias while programming the algorithms, as this will continue the issue and may not get noticed upfront.

It is essential to train the systems with the right data and algorithms that are easy and transparent to understand. AI-enabled workplace still requires human skills and that’s where leadership in HR shines.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in HR

RPA includes robotic skills like natural language processing (NPL), machine learning, chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It helps the HR team to increase productivity as it can speed up communications. Many of the modern HR systems have chatbots that can provide answers to employee inquiries. 50 percent of companies will have HR chatbots by 2022, Chatbot News Daily reports.

RPA has a wide range of applications in HR processes, Deloitte reports. RPA can contribute in many aspects like strategic processes, talent management, operation, and total rewards.

  • The strategic processes include workforce planning management, also, employee satisfaction, organization design, establishment, and implementation of HR policies and programs.
  • Similarly, talent management processes involve recruitment, onboarding, employee development, employee training, performance, competency, global employment, career graph, and succession planning.
  • Likewise, operation management involves data administration, management of payrolls, reports, employee health, employee separation, labor, and employee relations.
  • And, total rewards include salary compensation and other related employee benefits.

As per Deloitte studies, RPA tools are best suitable for processes with repeatable and predictable interactions with improved efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Employee engagement tools in HR

Employers today are concerned with the employees’ financial well-being and health. As a solution, they are providing financial and employee wellness apps like budgeting apps, fitness trackers, wearable apps for health, and more. They are given access to many other apps and platforms for child care too.

Moreover, there are apps provided by healthcare providers that maintain the privacy of health data. Given the pandemic situation and raising remote work culture, there are self-service employee experience portals that facilitate employees to handle HR functions all by themselves. Likewise, remote tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are also used in maximum while engaging with employees, interviewing, hiring, and recruitment at the remote. This paves the way for the HR team to focus on people more than processes.

Cloud-computing in HR

Cloud computing streamlines the recruitment process and is capable of transforming the whole HR functions. To mention a few trends are omnichannel models, the Internet of Things, employee wellness, learning culture, agile workforce, and data security.

  • Cloud computing ensures streamlined functions and benefits organizations that have implemented it.
  • IoT acts as the perfect tool through greater connectivity. It can be used to transform data into information at a faster rate. And, storage of this humongous data will not be a hurdle due to the cloud.
  • Cloud communication is much better and fills the missing links in the communication facilitating managers to review, communicate, or provide feedback and all through a single platform.
  • As firms encourage e-learning and online training for employees to upgrade their skills, cloud computing enables employees to meet industrial requirements in a comfort zone.
  • Cloud computing connects the workforce from various geographical locations and profiles easily and gives instant communication facilities.
  • Cloud computing is more reliable for data security as the security measures protect the data to the core.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in HR

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can be used as a tool in HR toolkit. They help in the recruiting and onboarding process by setting up a simulated environment to test candidates’ specific skills, share a virtual tour of the office, create a personalized work-space environment, improve efficiency, save costs and make engaging recruitment process that helps in branding, training employees in new techniques.

It enables the HR professionals and supervisors to identify key areas of improvement, understand elements of concern for accomplishing goals by scanning people’s faces through sentiment analysis. 49% of Gen Z employees in Singapore believed that VR would revolutionize their work, while 45 % in the US confirmed the same. AR and VR have the potential to elevate a team collaboration levels. Though it is not implemented in an appreciable strength, it is more likely to be the top trend in the near future.

Blockchain in HR

Blockchain technology is poised to manage HR capabilities in different ways. The HR industry is envisioning the use cases of blockchain in their arena vowing to its characteristic features like immutability, transparency, trust, security, and decentralization. A few of the use cases could be –

With its security capabilities, blockchain can handle sensitive employee data like their pay, healthcare, banking, performance records, and expense reimbursement. Blockchain will prevent internal and external hacks of sensitive records as there will be authorized persons only.

It is difficult to determine the employees’ work and education history with the current facilities. With blockchain, the HR team can improve recruiting processes, verify the qualifications of the prospect, and make background checks. All records of the candidate will be present in a block that will get accessed through authorization.

Further, blockchain eliminates time lags in payroll systems even when the company goes global. The blockchain ledger helps to track invoices, facilitate distribution, billing, and reporting of all kinds of transactions. Payroll processing will occur in a timely fashion. It also assists in automating taxes, reimbursement system, mitigate audit risks, and give better access to benefits and packages.

To conclude

HR technology is helping the industries to sustain amid the prolonged lockdown led by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to these technology implementations, an increased focus toward the people aspect will drive the HR domain toward new work habits and its success.

Image Credit: pexels; pixabay

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Remote Recruitment – Tools, Best Practices, and Latest Trends

remote recruitment

With an increase in companies and organizations working remotely, there has been a significant rise in remote recruitment. Naturally, this has created a change in the organizational structure and the means of communication between the recruitment team and hiring managers.

HR professionals and recruiters are trying to adjust to remote recruitment while ensuring that the efficiency of information flow among the team is maintained. In such a scenario, it is imperative to choose the right set of tools and follow the best practices that can aid in remote recruitment.

Unless you do so, you risk losing the best talents due to the sheer lack of adaptability from your end.

How to choose the right set of HR tools to use in 2020?

remote recruitment tools
Remote Recruitment: Tools to use

There are many recruitment tools available, and choosing one depends on the goal that you want to achieve using the tool.

The remote recruitment process involves sourcing the candidates, scheduling interviews, screening amp; interviewing candidates and hiring them.

Recruitment tools assist in all these areas and help in streamlining workflow.

Recruitment tools help in sourcing candidates, screening amp; assessing candidates, scheduling interviews, maintaining a database of candidates, engaging with the candidates, interviewing them across different platforms, sharing the candidate profiles with the hiring managers, and getting feedback from the candidates.

Use tools that help you with either all or some of the steps involved in the hiring process.

Here are some of the tools that recruiters use to streamline their hiring process.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

According to research by Capterra, almost 75% of recruiters and talent managers use recruitment software or ATS. Of those, 94% agree that using those software has improved their hiring process by reducing cost and fastening the entire hiring process.

  • ATS is one of the most widely used recruitment tools and helps recruiters simplify their hiring process. Most ATS has these following features.

    -Advanced job sourcing and job board integration.
    -Saved candidate profiles and candidate databases for easy search.
    -Resume parsing and screening.
    -Interview scheduling, customized interview questions, and automated email replies.
    -Hiring metrics and insights.
    -Easy team collaboration.

    Some well-known ATS are- Taleo, Jobvite, Greenhouse Software, Homegrown, etc.

  • Candidate Sourcing Software

    Candidate Sourcing Software assists recruiters in sourcing both active and passive candidates through the web. Recruiters can source high-value candidates without frantically searching across different platforms.

    Job aggregators, candidate sourcing platform, and AI sourcing tools are some common forms of Candidate Sourcing Software.

  • Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) Software

    CRM Software is used by recruiters to improve candidate engagement and experience. According to a Glassdoor study, about 47 % of job applicants cited untimely responses and lack of information about job responsibilities as the primary causes of frustration.

    The importance of candidate engagement and experience has increased now, more than ever. Through CRM software, HR professionals can engage with candidates in a timely and personalized manner and build a good relationship with them.

  • Some well known CRM software are – Smashfly, Avature, etc.
  • Recruitment Marketing Software

    The significance of the employer brand has never been so important. A study by TalentNow highlights that, for 84% of job seekers, the employer’s reputation is an important factor, with 50% of candidates stating that they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation even if the pay increases.

    Recruitment Marketing Software helps recruiters use marketing techniques to create brand awareness, generate interest towards your company, and attract top talent for open positions.

    Recruitment Marketing helps in employer branding, candidate engagement, CRM, candidate experience, and uses analytics for data-driven decisions.

  • Video Interviewing Software

    With remote recruitment gaining momentum, Video Interviewing Software has also become an essential tool for the recruitment process.
    Video interviewing software enables recruiters to connect with candidates anywhere globally and enjoy a seamless interview experience powered with analytics.

    Well known video interviewing software are ConverIQ, Hire Vue, and Spark Hire.

  • AI and automation Software

    In recent years, AI in recruitment has been tremendous growth and potential. AI for recruitment uses Artificial Intelligence to automate repetitive tasks and helps HR professionals streamline their entire workflow.

    AI software not only assists in reducing the bulk load of recruiters and hiring faster, but it also reduces human bias in recruitment, diversity hiring, facial expression analysis, personalized candidate engagement, and automated interview process.

    Some of the emerging AI tools for recruitment:

    -Arya- Automated sourcing of candidates.
    -X or Chatbot recruiting assistant that communicates with candidates across various platforms.
    -FreJunHR– Streamlines the entire interview process from scheduling to sending.
    -WhatsApp messages; auto-dialing to generating candidate analytics using AI.

How to communicate with recruiters working remotely?

When working remotely, communication is one of the most critical factors for ensuring accountability and information sharing among team members. This explicitly holds for recruiters who need to ensure that information flow between hiring managers (frejun) are maintained, and the hiring process is working smoothly.

Here are the tips for communicating effectively with recruiters working remotely.

  1. Plan a remote communication policy with your team.
  2. Choose the tools to use for communication.
  3. Minimize emails and focus on automation.

Best practices for remote recruitment

remote recruitment best practices
Remote recruitment: Best practices

Whether you are new to remote recruitment or have been recruiting remotely for a while, there are some best practices that you should follow to up your recruitment process. Here are some of the things remote recruiters should do daily for an efficient remote hiring process.

  1. Maintain a standard recruitment process

    Since remote recruiters work from different locations, a centralized process is vital for proper information flow between recruiters, teams, and managers.

    Recruiters should follow a standard recruitment process through a well-documented recruitment policy. Among other things, the policy should include your mode of communication, meeting schedules, and tools amp; platform to be used for different levels of the recruitment process.

  2. Use technology to assist you in the hiring process

    Hiring can be a daunting task when you are continually juggling from one step to another. But with assistance from digital tools and technology in every step of the hiring process from sourcing to remotely screening to interviewing to onboarding, you can significantly improve the speed and efficiency of your hiring process.

  3. Maintain regular communication with teams

    Remote recruitment thrives in communication. To ensure that recruiters are sourcing the right candidates, recruiters should not only be clear about the job description but should also be clear about the company’s culture and the type of candidate that fills the culture.

    Hence, it is essential for recruiters to maintain regular communication with their teams and hiring managers.

  4. Engage with candidates

    Engaged candidates are more likely to show up for the interview and have a good candidate experience. Remote recruiters should understand the popular digital channels their target profiles use to engage with them accordingly.

    Some of the ways to engage with candidates are through social media channels, emails, text messages, and phone calls.

  5. Practice video interviewing often

    For remote recruitment, video interviewing is a core skill that will help recruiters and hiring managers to understand and evaluate the candidates better.

    Practice video interviewing every day to get comfortable with the process. Also, always double-check your network connection, software, and hardware before starting the interview.

    Always keep a plan B handy, in case there are some unexpected errors or glitches from either end.

  6. Focus on building the employer brand

    According to a survey by Careerbuilder, 64% of candidates said they research a company online after finding a job offer, and 37% said they would move on to another job offer if they can’t find information on the company.

    Along with an updated company website, an active social media presence that highlights the company’s values and cultures significantly improves employer branding.

    Ways to build employer branding:-Use your company’s career page to highlight your company values and culture.
    -Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook to engage with your prospects.
    -Hold interactive sessions for students through podcasts, webinars, job-related quizzes, hold virtual career fairs, etc.

  7. Use AI tools for smart hiring and streamlining

    A LinkedIn study states that 76% of recruiters believe that AI’s impact on recruiting will be significant. Using AI to assist in high volume repetitive tasks helps recruiters to focus on the more important steps of the recruitment process.

    Areas where you can use AI in recruitment:

    Automate candidate sourcing
    -Automate scheduling calls
    -Rediscovering the required candidate from the database
    -Getting candidate insights through natural language processing and facial expression analysis.

Recruitment industry changes

Over the years, there have been significant changes in the recruitment industry, mostly owing to technological advancements.

  1. The growing importance of company culture

    According to a Glassdoor survey, three in four adults consider a company’s culture before applying for a job and more than half of employees prioritize a company’s culture over salary.

    The trend by Glassdoor is an interesting trend that emphasizes the need for better employee engagement, building a clear mission statement, and focusing on a strong employer brand.

  2. Job search through mobile

    The rise of smartphones for job search among different age groups has been phenomenal. A Glassdoor survey reveals that 58% of Glassdoor users search for jobs using their mobile phones.

    Hence, employers should focus on mobile-friendly applications to attract more talent and not frustrate them when applying for the job.

  3. The increasing use of AI in recruitment

    AI in recruitment has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. And the trend is likely going to increase in 2020. And no, it is not here to replace humans. It is here to assist them.

    As John Jersin, vice president of LinkedIn Talent Solution says, “I certainly would not trust any AI system today to make a hiring decision on its own. The technology is just not ready yet.�

  4. Read: Tapping into the human side of AI
  5. Gaining prominence of soft skills

    The importance of soft skills in recruitment has been increasing with HR professionals selecting candidates based on the culture-fit. Candidates now are evaluated not just on their hard skills but also on their soft skills.

  6. Diversity inclusive hiring

    Bias in recruiting in terms of culture and gender is likely to decrease as the focus on company culture and employer branding increases. According to a study by McKinsey, companies were likely to have 33% higher financial returns than their industry counterparts.

    Focusing on inclusive diversity hiring will not only shed a positive light on the company culture but also enhance the creativity and productivity of the organization.

  7. Growing prominence of candidate experience amp; employer branding

    Research by Talent Adore states that, for 78% of job seekers, the candidate experience that they receive indicates how much the company values its employees.

    This is a very powerful message for companies to increase their focus on candidate experience and employer branding.

  8. Use of Analytics in HR

    Data and analytics are driving HR decisions at every level. The use of various tools to streamline each stage in the recruitment process and subsequent use of metrics and data improves the decision-making process.

    With the rise of big data and analytics, HR managers are more likely to make informed decisions backed with data and analytics.

The post Remote Recruitment – Tools, Best Practices, and Latest Trends appeared first on ReadWrite.

book list book list 2021 Leadership Leadership Skills ReadWrite

I’m Sick of 2020! Start Reading My 2021 List to Feel Better

start reading to feel better

As business leaders, successfully navigating during normal times can be challenging enough. During times of crisis like we find ourselves in today, maneuvering business can be downright daunting. We are all sick of 2020. Start your reading list, and feel better before 2021.

What do your leadership skills look like right now?

There is no better time than now to work on yourself as a leader, and there is no greater way to do so than by standing on the shoulders of giants.  As such, here are my picks for the Top 6 Inspirational Leadership Books to begin your reading for 2021 — to inspire and grow your leadership abilities to handle the challenges of today.

1. Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business by John Mackey

As a follow-up to Conscious Capitalism, best-selling author, and visionary Whole Foods leader John Mackey and his co-authors present a powerful argument for why conscious leaders are more needed today than ever before. They lay out what conscious leadership actually is, and how one can become a conscious leader.

This highly anticipated release features a renowned executive sharing the principles, vision, and mindset for how leaders today can drive positive change in society through intentional conscious leadership.

book conscious leadership

2. You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Win: The Art of Badass Selfless Service by Jonathan Keyser

Topping the charts at #1 on the WSJ Bestseller list, this brave and raw new book takes you inside the ferocious world of commercial real estate brokerage, where you see the author transition from a ruthless, money-hungry broker to a selfless leader at the helm of a rapidly growing, industry-disrupting brokerage firm.

But this book isn’t really about Jonathan Keyser—it’s about how you as the reader can adopt this same counterintuitive strategy to create extraordinary, long-term success in your own business.

reading list 2021

3. Friday Forward: Inspiration & Motivation to End Your Week Stronger Than It Started by Robert Glazer

Leadership depends on your ability to connect with and inspire others. This book from Entrepreneur and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author Robert Glazer offers actionable advice on how to do just that. Friday Forward takes the 52 most impactful stories from Glazer’s inspirational newsletter of the same name, which reaches more than 100,000 readers in more than 60 countries.

From stories of struggling entrepreneurs who turned things around to new hires rising to the occasion, Glazer’s latest book can give you the push you need to make an impact in your own network.

book friday forward

4. Life Gives to the Giver: Musings on Wellness, Success, Marketing and Being an Entrepreneur by Joe Polish

Joe Polish has been called the “world’s best connector,” and for good reason. The once ponytailed, dead-broke, drug-addicted carpet cleaner became a millionaire by the age of 30 and then went on to establish the world’s two highest-level marketing groups.

From advice on marketing and selling to thoughts on wellness and recovery, Life Gives to the Giver: Musings on Wellness, Success, Marketing and Being an Entrepreneur is packed with both wisdom and witticism, providing those who wish to succeed in business-and-life, a treasure trove that can help guide them exactly where they want to go.

book life gives to the giver

5. Leading Without Authority: How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration

Keith Ferrazzi, entrepreneur, coach, and author of the game-changing book Never Eat Alone, presents a daring, research-backed model of collaborative work. Ferrazzi details a new principle, co-elevation, that enables employees at all levels of an organization to connect with colleagues, collaborate freely, and inspir5 their shared growth.

Leaders can learn how to use co-elevation in their own organizations to help their teams build trust, manage stress, and improve performance across the entire company.

book leading without authority

6. Giftology: The Art & Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Client Retention by John Ruhlin

Radical generosity is the against-the-grain secret weapon of real influencers, and it will allow you to boost referrals, retention rates, and ROI like few other strategies. Through poignant personal stories and data-backed evidence, author and successful entrepreneur John Ruhlin breaks down how anyone can master the magic of Giftology and reap the rewards of an expanding business and fruitful relationships, professional and personal alike.

book gift ology


2020 has brought many unexpected challenges, and it certainly has not been easy for businesses and business leaders. 202o has made me wonder what I had to complain about before? I am certainly more grateful for the good things that happen.

Reading has always been an escape for me — and doubly so now. More than ever before we want to learn more, rapidly,  and apply that learning to survive in this economy.

But, 2020 has also provided extraordinary opportunities for committed leaders to self-reinvent and become better versions of themselves.

Don’t miss out on these game-changing books that will enhance and improve your leadership skills — even before 2021.

Top Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels

The post I’m Sick of 2020! Start Reading My 2021 List to Feel Better appeared first on ReadWrite.