HR Technology

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A company’s Human Resources department is invaluable. Besides managing the hiring and discipline process, this team also handles employee benefits, career development, and training. Thankfully, there are a variety of software programs designed to assist Human Resource Managers with their tasks. This week, we’re exploring various HR software types and our favorite choices in each category.


As previously mentioned, there are multiple facets to the HR role. If you are seeking a program that can manage payroll, hiring, paid time off, and benefits, there is a variety available. The benefit of this type of software is that it typically includes a customizable dashboard that helps users visualize their progress and easily locate tasks. Additionally, these software programs are often scalable based on company size which can result in cost savings.


Our team favors this product because it is very user-friendly, making it the perfect choice for small and medium-sized businesses. Administrators can track applicants, manage benefits, onboarding, and records, and store and analyze employee performance records. To manage payroll, there is an extended software that features a similar user interface.

This program assists with hiring, payroll, benefits, compliance, and more.  We recommend this product because it syncs with all other systems, and reduces the amount of time spent entering data. Because all the information is stored in one place, it creates valuable insight. Also, employees have the option to access the software from their own dashboard, where they can easily make PTO requests, benefit changes, etc.


Managing payroll can be a daunting task and requires a lot of time and effort. HR managers who use technology to assist in this will be able to pay employees via direct deposit, pay taxes, and manage user accounts easily. Because this is such an important aspect of the role, there are numerous software options available.


The biggest benefit to using Paychex for payroll is that there are different solutions for small and large companies. This is because Paychex knows that the HR environments in smaller businesses are very different and the dashboards should be tailored to them. This software allows for data to be entered and reports to be generated quickly. Employees enjoy this software because they can access all information online. If desired, this program can also be used to manage employee benefits.


Although this software has multiple applications, Gusto specializes in payroll services. Administrators will enjoy the program’s simple onboarding process, which allows employees to enter their own information. Implementing the pay itself is easy because popular payroll programs such as QuickBooks can be easily integrated into the software. Additionally, the software automates local, state, and federal taxes, which further reduces workload.


Depending on the size of your company, recruiting can require a dedicated employee or entire team. This is a critical business function and sorting through large amounts of information can be daunting. Although some websites and companies claim they can automate this task for business owners, those who want to keep this task in-house can rely on technology to help ease the process.


This award winning technology caught our attention because of its multiple applications and customizable dashboard. This includes hiring, engagement, onboarding, branding, and videos, which can be accessed by the company’s smartphone app. Jobvite has been around for over ten years and uses their customer feedback to better their operations. This feedback has also allowed the company to collect various statistics, including those that state companies have a 27% faster time-to-hire and 30% lower candidate acquisition cost.


A majority of a recruiter’s time is spent thumbing through resumes and sourcing candidates. With Ideal, artificial intelligence is used to automate these tasks. Other programs, such as CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, or other ATS and CRM, can be easily integrated into this software so the entire candidate pool can be accessed and analyzed. Applicants benefit from this software because it updates employees on the recruiting process, and automates communication to increase satisfaction.


It can be challenging for business owners to handle the day-to-day operations while still keeping employees engaged and satisfied. Especially in today’s workforce, having programs designed to improve employee retention is crucial. However, studies show that almost 90% of organizations’ engagement and reward systems are ineffective. These programs will ensure your engagement is effective.

High Ground

The makers of this software claim that their product, “changes the way employees develop, recognize, and reward one another and participate in surveys.” Their technology allows customization for each role within the company and provides the opportunity for real-time coaching and feedback, recognition, rewards, and surveys. All of this information will be compiled into a mobile-friendly platform so administrators can manage their workforce on-the-go.


This software has solutions for managers aiming to improve their teams’ performance and HR executives who are seeking a stronger company culture.  Weekly surveys can be sent out, allowing employees to easily communicate their feedback. Additionally, anonymous conversations promote honesty. For administrators, these responses are compiled into a report and actionable advice is generated.

How Iranian Hackers Tricked their Prey

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For years, Iran has been a leader in state-sponsored hacking, attacking governments and businesses across the world. While the government has proven their advanced abilities, other groups in the area have been able to operate without detection. Until now, the world was unaware of the power these cyber-terrorists developed. This summer, security experts from TrapX, who were working for a military contractor, spent 18 days battling a team of advanced hackers trying to break into their network.

The hackers were believed to be Iranian but were using a tool-set created by a known Russian hacker that is typically circulated through Russian dark-net forums. Additionally, the web domains and email addresses used during the attack have Russian origins and continue to be used by a known Russian hacker. This type of attack is similar to one in 2015, where the hackers were able to shut down portions of Ukraine’s power grid.  There were also similarities to hundreds of other attacks that the Iranians attempted and executed.

During these attacks, hackers mimick internal IP addresses to try to enter a system undetected. A majority of these codes were identical to those used in 2015. Although they didn’t utilize the most advanced hacking methods, the team dedicated a lot of time to the planning and execution of their attack. Once the firm’s experts detected the hacking, the criminals would lie in wait for their next opportunity.

The team defending the network was sure they could continue to protect against the code they had studied. However, during the last attempt to enter the system, the attackers utilized a groundbreaking new tool that was created to be encrypted and to evade typical methods of analyzation. Understanding this new tool took weeks for the team of experts.  For the military contractor to win the battle, their team of cyber-security experts set up a bait network with fake information to lure them in. Then, once the hackers were in the system, the experts could learn their behavior and set up a defense against it within the real networks.

Although the TrapX team had a successful defense method, this type of attack leads governmental and business organizations around the world to question their current defense methods. It is critical that all hardware and software is updated frequently to be able to thwart off hackers, but there is no sure-fire way to protect an infrastructure. If you are interested in building a proactive response for your business, including a backup and disaster recovery plan, contact us today to get started!

What is Blockchain?

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What is Blockchain?

For the last few years, companies like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have been talking about their belief in the power of blockchain technology and its popularity. The technology is predicted to transform the way transactions are processed, but how? This week’s blog takes a deeper look into the technology’s functions and performance.

Blockchain technology was developed to allow financial data to be communicated to various locations. To put it simply, blockchain is a public ledger that incorporates real-time financial data from multiple parties. This system isn’t owned by any corporation; rather, it is monitored by the entire network. Each of the parties must agree on a change in order for it to be implemented. This group administration allows operation without a central authority, which saves time and money.

There are many terms correlated with this technology, including but not limited to:

  • Block: A collection of transactions that are grouped chronologically.
  • Block Height: The block’s chronological order (Height 0 is the first block).
  • Bitcoin: A cyber currency traditionally recorded through blockchains.
  • Hash: A method of identifying each transaction through a random set of encrypted numbers. Also within the record is the previous “hash” number, to establish a chronological order, a list of other transactions within the same group, or “block,” and a public key.
  • Ledger: A detailed record of the transactions storing.
  • Node: A computer connected to the system.
  • Private Key: a set of numbers that proves that you are associated with a specific transaction.
  • Proof of Stake: When the amount of existing cryptocurrency you own is used to determine the amount you can mine.
  • Proof of Work: The amount of computational power spent performing the transaction, which is used for verification and approval.

How can blockchain technology be beneficial?

Most often, this technology is used for Bitcoin. This is largely because Bitcoin was created to be untraceable and not subject to governmental and industrial regulations. For the financial industry, the possibilities of this technology are endless. In the future, taxes could be paid by blockchain and existing payment apps could be replaced by the technology. The biggest benefit is its ability to operate without much administration. This means banks could operate without requiring labor for bookkeeping and oversight. Additionally, the technology can be used in supply chains to record and track progress and inventory.

Windows Vs. Linux

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The type of operating system you choose can have a significant effect on your user experience and abilities. This week’s blog covers the difference between the two most popular operating systems: Windows and Linux. Learn more about each system’s strengths and weaknesses and contact us to share your reasoning for choosing your OS.


Linux operating systems are open sourced, so users can adjust the code manually to better meet their needs. This platform can make it easier to customize your technology as well as update it to fight off bugs faster. Linux’s open licensing allows these updates to be republished or sold and software can be purchased once and utilized across multiple devices. Some of the versions of this platform can even be tested without being installed, allowing users to try before they buy. Windows, however, doesn’t allow users to change the code. This prevents attackers from accessing the system and some consider it to be more user-friendly. The installation itself takes more time than Linux’s but has fewer requirements. However, each individual user is required to purchase their own software license, which increases expenses.


Linux support is mostly provided through online communities’ forums and websites. A majority of issues already have information available, but if the issue is more complex, it might take hours or days for someone to provide a solution. If you are looking for professional help, it is important to know that there are fewer companies who provide support contracts for this platform. When utilizing a Microsoft system, there are also a variety of online support forums to rely on. For professional assistance, Microsoft offers a support contract.


For IT Administrators, the command line is a powerful tool used to administrate the system. Although both systems offer the command prompt, Linux’s prompt has many more applications than the simple prompts available to Microsoft offers. Additionally, Linux allows an administrator to add, edit, or remove an application or group of applications from a single location. Although cloud computing is making this process easier with Windows, some applications require updates at each, individual workstation.


Because Microsoft is a more popular platform, most applications are tailored to accommodate this OS. This means that while popular software will be Linux-compatible, not all applications will be accessible. To counter this, users have created alternative applications that can be used to support Windows software. While some of these mimicked applications are similar, many are considered to be lower quality.


The Linux system provides a more secure environment because of its access controls. This control enables users to have limited access to the data of other system users. Giving administrative access to a limited number of users prevents the spread of viruses throughout the system. Also, because Linux users are considered more technically savvy, it is assumed that while they’re editing codes they could detect viruses early. In contrast, Windows systems are targeted by more cyber-threats. Thankfully, a majority of defensive software is designed for this type of system. Because Microsoft has more software available, there are more options for prices and coverage.

User Experience

With the span of Microsoft’s programs and operating system, it can cause applications and programs to load more slowly than on Linux’s platform.  Linux was designed more recently, so it was created with speed and functionality in mind. However, because Microsoft has been operating for much longer than Linux, it has had time to improve its product based on user feedback.

Overall, each operating system has its own costs and benefits. For users who are tech-savvy and like to administrate their own systems, Linux is a good fit. Microsoft is recommended for users who are comfortable with Windows and don’t have technology intensive roles. Contact our team today to discuss which hardware and software will best benefit your business!