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Trends in Brief

“Why is it not working?” seems to be one of the most asked questions in every meeting room. Many companies claim that they will deliver a “one-click” solution, but some are thinking even further. Earlier this year, Microsoft showed off a 360 degree camera and microphone, specifically designed for meetings.

Meeting rooms of the future

“Why is it not working?” seems to be one of the most asked questions in every meeting room. Many companies claim that they will deliver a “one-click” solution, but some are thinking even further. Earlier this year, Microsoft showed off a 360 degree camera and microphone, specifically designed for meetings. The camera can detect anyone in the room and throughout the meeting, and the microphone transcribes everything they say, regardless of language. Microsoft has also added AI that listens in on the meeting and reacts to certain words and phrases, sending out notifications to participants who, for example, promised to book a meeting. Amazon’s Alexa has a similar setup, and can also check that all the tech is working beforehand.

The legalities of the gig economy

With companies like Uber, TaskRabbit and Postmates, the gig economy got a new face. Workers are encouraged to join the services and work whenever they want, wherever they want, which might sound good to many. However, in reality, the “no full-time contracts” business model has been criticized for hurting workers’ rights. When Uber pays way less for their drivers, it makes it impossible for competitors to keep up without lowering their own drivers’ salaries or adopting the same business models. Supporters call it a revolution and point out how cheap a taxi ride has become with Uber, but the opposing side has already managed to have Uber’s original business model banned in a long line of cities, including London.

How to make your hires smarter

Removing names and pictures from CVs was just the first step. In an effort to remove biases in hiring, big tech companies have found new ways to filter out talent. The startup GapJumpers, which collaborates with Google, has created a software program that facilitates blind auditions solely focused on an applicant’s skills (like on The Voice). The company has found that this increases the number of female applicants and employees, which is something Google has had a big problem with before.

Another startup in this field is Textio, which helps companies write job descriptions with less gender-associated words. There are also job sites that think outside the box, like recruitment marketplace Search Party, which only shows employers anonymous profiles with just enough information to make an informed hiring decision.

Ellen Montén