Technology News from the LIS Helpdesk
Would you trust AI to manage your hiring process?
Modern technology is a wonderful thing. It’s helped us connect across the globe, create virtual worlds and even land on Mars. But are there some advances in technology that may hold us back? Would you use AI to manage your hiring process?
In recent times, more and more businesses are using AI within their recruitment processes. This helps to sort through job applications and find the best candidates.
Companies such as McDonald’s, JP Morgan and Kraft Heinz have adopted these processes. It is only a matter of time before we see AI technology taking an even more prevalent role when it comes to finding a job.
How does it work?
A recent report by the BBC followed the experience of Andrea Murad, a journalist who went through an AI recruitment process to get through to the next stage of hiring. In this example, she was given a range of tests to complete at home to analyse her personality. The results of which would either give her the thumbs up to continue on, or would drop her out of the running.
Run by a New York based first called Pymetrics, the questions that Murad answered are designed to evaluate different aspects of a person’s personality and intelligence. This includes their tolerance of risk and how a person reacts to different situations.
Not all AI processes are the same. They can be tailored depending on the skill sets the recruiter is looking for in their new hire. Some use algorithms to analyse how candidates answer preselected questions in a recorded video interview. As well as, grading their responses and even their facial movements to make decisions on whether to move them forward to the next stage or not.
The benefits of using AI to manage your hiring
Some of the benefits of using this form of technology in the recruitment process are obvious. For example, allowing a machine to weed out some of the less appropriate applicants saves an awful lot of time for a firm. Especially if they have received an excessive amount of submissions for a role.
It also removes any potential unconscious bias that may have previously occurred if a person was to manage the first stages of the process, completely taking the emotional side out of hiring.
It can also lead to more positive experiences for the candidate. Allowing them to get through the process faster and have a better understanding of their suitability to a role.
Whilst the introduction of this form of technology can produce positive results, there are also risks involved.
The most obvious is a lack of accuracy. Although AI has come a long way in recent years, it is absolutely far from perfect. It can be lacking in reliability – especially when it comes to something as important as hiring the right person for a job. As well as, when using AI to manage your hiring process, you take away the personal interaction.
Due to the limited list of keywords and algorithms that the technology relies on, this can provide loopholes for candidates who are clued up on the process and let through people who aren’t as appropriate, whilst shutting out people who should be let through.
Hiring in this way also produces a lack of accountability for the hiring managers, potentially leading to poor decision making.
The future of recruitment
It’s safe to say that in the world we live in now, faster and more accurate recruitment is absolutely something that we need. By using technology to achieve this is certainly not something that should be taken off the table.
As with any new process, there will always be challenges. However, with challenges come solutions and the opportunity to create something better and more appropriate.
The technology behind AI is constantly improving and transforming how businesses recruit. As well as how they support, develop and retrain their workforce. We have no doubts that this new approach to hiring is here to stay.
We suggest if you’re looking at taking on AI to manage your hiring in your business, is to do your due diligence. Make sure this is something that will move you forward, rather than holding you back.
If you want to speak to LIS about any of our support or software development services, contact The LIS Help Desk today. We provide a range of solutions that can be tailored to suit your specific needs and requirements.
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Microsoft to launch new version of Office this year
A new version of Microsoft Office for commercial customers – Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) – will be launched later this year, as will Office 2021 for consumers and small businesses. It will be available for both Windows and Mac. It is designed for users who don’t want to use the cloud-based Microsoft 365 version of Office products.
Tom Warren from The Verge investigates more about this latest version.
Features of the new version of Microsoft Office
The new version of Microsoft Office, for which there will be a preview next month, will include dark mode support, accessibility improvements, and features like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel. The most obvious change visually will be with Dark Mode. Currently, Word has a dark mode which modifies the ribbon and toolbars. However, the canvas stays bright white. The ability to switch the canvas into dark mode, too, will be available in Office LTSC. The note taking program OneNote will also be available in the new version.
The interface will change and some features of the new version will mirror those of Microsoft 365.
“We have a lot of customers that have moved to the cloud over the last 10 months. That has happened en masse really. At the same time, we definitely have customers who have specific scenarios where they don’t feel like they can move to the cloud”, said Jared Spataro, Head of Microsoft 365.
Support and pricing
The new version of Microsoft Office LTSC will be supported for five years. This means, the support offered is two years less than with the current version. This revised length of support aligns more closely with how Windows is supported. Microsoft are aligning its release schedules for both Office and Windows more closely. Both 32- and 64-bit options will be available.
Pricing for Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and individual apps will be increasing by ten percent for commercial customers.
Make sure your Office has the latest version
Efficiency is so important for business. Being able to create, collaborate and communicate seamlessly makes any organisation more effective. Having access to productivity tools that enable your team to do their jobs more easily. Accessing your work from anywhere, allows businesses to be agile and lets them compete in their sector.
Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss the new version of Microsoft Office. Are you running older version of Microsoft Office? We can help with upgrades, security, cloud back up and any of your IT requirements.
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If your IT support company just wasn’t good enough last year, then is it time to switch? IT is too important to have a weak supplier. Our new guide explains why we partner with our clients and don’t just work with them.
Download The Top 5 Questions guide to help you make the best decision.
Why is it time to switch to LIS?
Investing in a good IT support company is essential if you want to generate sales growth, streamline your processes, and reach your goals. Are you wasting too much time trying to sort out your companies’ IT system yourself? Is your current IT provider working with you and do they understand your goals? If you answer no to any of these questions, then ask yourself is it time to switch?
As your IT support company, LIS will take the time to find out your exact needs of your company. Our Technical Support Staff use their expertise to deliver bespoke technology solutions that are fully aligned to your business plans. We are an extension of your business and will be a crucial part of your team.
Unlike other IT support companies, our focus is on being proactive. This means that the majority of our time is invested in potential causes of IT disruptions, before your company encounters any issues. Typically, our IT Help Desk spend time monitoring services and are proactive when there are issues.
The PC doctor will see you now
Prevention is better than cure: we do not wait for problems to occur. Our aim is to make sure your company is secure and has the latest updates. We try our best to do all we can to reduce the chance of anything going wrong in the first place.
By fixing the problem at its source, we can stop the symptom from returning. This enables us to provide you with consistently high levels of service. This ensures, low levels of risk and ultimately, enhance the productivity of your IT systems and staff. Is it time to switch to an IT provider that will assist you and your team with any IT problems? This in turn will allow you to concentrate on building your business or enjoy some of your favourite pastimes.
We have a belief at LIS: “If it has already happened, it’s too late. Why should it go wrong at all?”
Flick the switch – it’s time to switch
As a busy business owner or manager, we understand your time is precious. There is nothing more annoying than your IT systems running slow or being down. Fed up with staff moaning at you that their emails are down? Or the ultimate nightmare that your company has a virus, or your server is down.
Never fear. LIS can offer you a FREE IT AUDIT. Contact the LIS Help Desk and speak to our experienced and friendly support team. It is never too late to switch. We will talk to you about your current system. Advise on upgrades to improve performance. Review your security and back-up solutions. IT should not be painful. Let us take away your headaches. It is never too late to switch, we are only a phone call or email away.
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There’s no better feeling than getting a new PC. Until you start it the first time and realise it’s full of software you didn’t want or need! To your frustration your new PC is slow. You would expect it to come with a fresh installation of Windows and a clutter-free hard drive. But often manufacturers will preload their computers with all kinds of unnecessary programs, often called ‘bloatware’ and it will slow down your computer. Our new video shows why bloatware is on your computer, and what to do about it.
PC slowed down by bloatware? Almost all manufacturers are guilty of doing this to some degree. There may be lots of strange shortcut icons on your desktop when you first start your PC. Or if the All Programs section of the Start Menu lists lots of non-Microsoft applications that you never use, then your PC may be bursting with bloatware.
Why is bloatware still a threat?
All computer manufacturers are guilty of installing software on new machines. Lenovo for example is a company that installed bloatware on its devices that made users susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. Another question to ask is, why is every new PC in this country pre-installed with German, French, Italian and Dutch office trials. If bloatware isn’t secure, it can put a PC at risk. All software installed on a PC must be kept up to date and secure – including bloatware.
Are you protected?
What Anti-Virus and other PC “protection” software does your new PC have installed? Many machines are shipped with massive dead weight old fashioned Anti-Virus which saps 30%+ of your performance when compared to a fast modern cloud managed product such as LIS managed Anti-Virus.
Like most PC problems, mobile devices are also susceptible to bloatware. While Android bloatware could be relatively harmless and just show ads, it can be used to expose users to risks. For example, some bloatware that can be used to spy on device owners could technically be used for legitimate purposes, such as managing the device.
How to detect bloatware
Is your PC slowed down by bloatware? Often, bloatware is identified by performance degradation. For example, devices weighed down by bloatware can take a long time to boot up, have slowed reaction times or storage issues.
Trialware is a common form of bloatware. Such software applications are included on devices for free when they are purchased and work for a specific trial period until a license is purchased. Adware that pops up on websites or on devices’ screens is another form of bloatware, as are system utilities and applications pre-installed on devices by manufacturers.
Bloatware can be detected by end users by looking through the installed applications and identifying any applications they did not install. It can also be detected by an enterprise IT team using a mobile device management tool that lists installed applications.
Make sure your computers are set up by professionals
This time of year, businesses are reviewing their IT equipment. Is your system running slow or in need of an upgrade? Don’t be fooled by large retail outlets special offers. Their solutions may not be right for you and most of them do not offer monthly IT support contracts.
Contact the LIS Help Desk for friendly, knowledgeable and impartial advice about IT systems. We can advise you on the best hardware and software solutions to suit your business. Our technicians will set up your PCs so they are ready for you to plug and play.
A good professional install will review and remove all bloatware. All PCs shipped by LIS come direct from the manufacturer but are then cleaned, secured and prepared to your business standard by our team before being released to you
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The best practices in collecting customer data
Customer data offers an insight into information such as customer demographics, behaviour, and preferences. This enables businesses to create quality products and positive experiences that will cater to their client base. However, it is not enough for a business to collect customer data. It must collect data that is useful and relevant. Here are some of the best ways to collect useful customer data and avoid challenges.
For the most up to date information about GDPR and gathering customer information visit the Information Commissioners Office website.
Customer data collection offers business benefits, but there is a limit to what kind of data can be gathered. Customer privacy has become a serious concern in modern society. There are various regulatory frameworks that ensure the protection of people’s private information. To avoid running afoul of the law, inform your customers that you will be collecting their data. It is important you specify exactly what data you will be gathering.
Whether you’re creating an online survey or a sign up form, collecting customer data is crucial. This information will form the foundation for future analysis and segmentation.
Track customer interactions
Define important customer interactions. For example, if you own an online store, you need to know how your customers arrived at your site, the items they clicked on, the items they added to their cart, and what they eventually purchased. Tracking each step of their buyer journey — from learning about your business to becoming a customer — will give you insights into what your customers need and want.
Gather behaviour-related data
Don’t focus solely on customers who made a purchase. Think about what other indicators produce meaningful data. In our online store example, you might want to track how many sign up for your email newsletter, which pages they visited on your site, or how much time they spent on each page. Analysing this information will help you determine which aspects of your efforts are most effective and which ones need improvement.
Automate data collection
When gathering customer data, you must minimize the risk of human error. The most effective strategy is to automate as much of the collection process as possible. Apps and tools such as online forms and optical character recognition systems feed information directly into your database. This eliminates paper-centric processes that often lead to mistakes.
Integrate your systems
Redundancies and errors are also common when there are multiple databases managing the same information. You can prevent these issues by working with an IT provider to integrate all your apps, databases, and software solutions. This way, data collected in one database will be synced and consistent across other platforms, reducing manual data entry and, consequently, human error.
Consider who will view the customer date reports
Inevitably, you’ll need to convert data into business intelligence reports. It’s a good idea to identify who will read your reports so you can highlight the most relevant insights for them. For instance, sales managers want to see quarterly sales figures, and human resources teams want to see labour costs compared to revenue.
Update data in real time
Companies today need up-to-the-minute data accuracy in order to stay relevant. Use business intelligence dashboards that collect, organise, and filter data at the click of a button so that you’ll never have to wait a day or more to receive critical information that can guide company decisions.
How can we help your business collect customer data?
Looking for technologies that can help you optimise collecting customer data? Call the LIS Help Desk, our IT consultants are here to help you. We’ll recommend best-of-breed technologies that track the information you need to grow your business.
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