Connect with us


Open Banking and the Internet of Things: a Collaboration for the Future



Open Banking and the Internet of Things: a Collaboration for the Future

In the 21st century, Internet of Things (IoT) devices are used globally by various age groups to establish seamless communication between people, processes, and objects. People have wide access to IoT devices, and in turn, IoT technology has gained access to the consumers using low-cost computing, the cloud, large quantities of data, and analytics to collect and share data on clients.

These pieces of innovative tech are desirable to the consumer, with more than 7 billion connected IoT devices registered today. In fact, users are the ones shaping the industry with demands for productivity and optimized experiences being the driving force behind the creation of these devices and the astronomical adoption rates of the tech, with an average 90% adoption rate globally.

The integrated sensors of IoT devices are able to monitor and track data in real-time, with the findings being digitally transmitted via an IoT gateway or other devices, stored, and then can be accessed within any time period. The devices also have the ability to act on the information shared between them, to further enhance customer experience.

While IoT is commonly used within homes through appliances, the technology has further expanded into other areas of our lives, connecting with the financial industry and open banking.

Current finance innovations fuelled by IoT

IoT has already entered and revolutionized the finance industry through countless innovations. IoT-powered contactless payment solutions being one of the most widely used IoT enabled innovation in the industry, allowing customers to leave fumbling for their wallet in the past, instead allowing wearable tech, such as smartwatches to make quick payments, without entering PIN codes.

AI-powered banking through voice assistants, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, has further improved and simplified the process of online payments to e-commerce locations. Both options are quicker for the consumer and are more convenient, improving user experience.

Contactless payments, especially, were popularised through the COVID-19 pandemic with fears of contaminated surfaces pushing customers to opt for the “cleaner” touch-free solution. Mastercard’s study found a steep increase in contactless payments at grocery stores and pharmacies at the start of the pandemic in 2020, with statistics showcasing how touch-free transactions grew twice as fast as non-contactless.

Some banking institutions are utilizing Internet of Things technologies to transform identity verification into the simplest possible procedure, through visual identification tactics, such as submitting selfies from a smartphone. This results in clients receiving user IDs in the fastest way possible and without the danger of a data leak.

Shinhan Card, Korea’s leading bank card firm, is one of these innovators, intending to develop an IoT-based payment system that will include facial recognition technology. Once this is organized, the business will be able to further streamline the client experience, while also aiding in global eco-friendly initiatives by reducing the usage of plastic that is used in the creation of physical bank cards.

Data gathering and better customer experience

Both open banking and IoT are able to gather valuable data from customers and supply this information to relevant businesses. While the information obtained by open banking platforms is related to financial transactions which aid in creating a customer profile, IoT is able to provide additional insights in relation to lifestyle choices and day-to-day schedules. Using this data, businesses can adapt to clients’ needs and habits relying on new and always updating customer information.

Current client and consumer behavior dictates that technology, both in finance and within general client-based industries needs to be quick, more intuitive, increasingly tailored, and safe. Combining forces, open banking, and IoT can help gather information on all aspects of their clients’ lives, helping modernize and upgrade current systems in place, providing better customer experiences, fast solutions, and improved overall services.

Banks turn to IoT solutions as well, linking bank accounts to appliances to gather data and to facilitate related payments. For example, a refrigerator with the capabilities of direct grocery purchasing could be used by a customer paying directly through their linked bank account. Linking to accounts also provides banks with a significant edge giving them additional information and including them in key financial choices.

Simpler creditworthiness checks and insurance claims

Insurance companies and lenders can also take advantage of the combined amounts of data gathered through both sources. For years, insurance firms and loan companies have made judgments and performed creditworthiness checks based on historical data and outdated information stored within credit bureau databases to manage uncertainty and risk, calculating risk by analyzing information on prior customers and their general behaviors.

However, the tremendous rise of the Internet of Things data, collected and stored in near real-time, has the potential to fully restructure this system. The sensors and software present in IoT devices can supply insurers and lenders with real-time data on nearly everything relating to their customers’ day-to-day lives, including daily schedules, driving habits, and fitness levels. Combining this information with financial data from open banking, insurance companies, lending platforms, and landlords would have the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on potential clients. Insurance claims could be filed more quickly, while credit checks could be performed almost instantly, supplying both the customer and business with accurate information based on all the data gathered.

In theory, with wearable technology or IoT-enabled vehicles, insurance claims could be submitted very quickly as well, with information about potential road accidents or bodily injuries being recorded by the devices. The data stored can then be shared with the relevant parties as evidence. This can be beneficial for both sides, with customers being able to support their claims and insurers being more protected from fraudulent reports.

AI assistance and further automation

The connection between open banking and IoT devices can further the aforementioned AI-assisted voice banking service, allowing Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant to link to bank accounts directly. This could also apply to wearable technology with built-in voice recognition software, such as Apple Watches. This will allow for financial data, such as the current balance, to be directly transmitted to the customer without them needing to log in to their online banking account every time they would like to check in with their finances. In theory, this can also further revolutionize the way vision-impaired individuals interact with their digital banks, allowing them to easily access and manage their funds as long as they already own an IoT device of this nature.

Automation is another priority factor and a characteristic that open banking and IoT both share. Open banking has allowed for third-party services to populate their applications with valuable financial data to automate processes within finance management, accounting procedures, Know Your Customer (KYC) verifications, identity authentication, and more.

Similarly, IoT already automatically processes requests, but with open banking, it can further help automate financial procedures, and instinctively disable accounts, transfer ownership of assets, and more. A real-life case study already showcasing this in our time is Chase Bank who, with the help of IoT, has reduced the time needed to open an account to five minutes.

Impact on personal finance management and investing tools

The data gathered from IoT devices is acquired in real-time through direct contact with consumers, making it one of the most reliable and up-to-date pieces of information on customer behavior. Combined with financial data obtained through open banking, personal finance management (PFM) applications, as well as investment tools can gather incredible insights on customer habits and spending.

Global data can be used to predict behaviors and put together plans that have been proven successful with similar clients. Additionally, information gathered across all the customer’s IoT devices can supply PFM apps and finance tools with more robust information on specific clients, helping create an even more personalized approach for each individual. The applications can take into account the lifestyle of the client, thoroughly analyze all the data, and put together a plan that is sustainable and achievable based on the gathered insights.

Fraud detection and protection

Internet of Things devices can be taken further to elevate levels of security and protection in regard to financing processes and systems. Open banking has previously been scrutinized for its potential to create financial safety risks, such as data breaches. As data becomes shared, consumers can become anxious about how well their financial information is protected, with 48% of customers surveyed in 2019 stating they were concerned about security when it comes to open banking.

Allowing users to link their objects to bank accounts can also lead to security concerns, with the accounts’ security levels only being as secure as the object itself. Anyone who can come into contact or possession of the object could theoretically access financial information or make unsolicited purchases.

Open banking has valuable security features set in place, such as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and Consent Management. Banks also add their own layer of security, with individual fraud protection protocols in place to protect customer data. IoT, however, is able to create more futuristic solutions to cybersecurity, focusing on helping financial institutions predict and identify security risks in real-time.

Facial recognition software and biometrics

Facial recognition technology and biometric identification processes are a couple of examples of security measures benefiting from the rise of IoT. Devices that are used to log into banking services or that are permanently linked to a bank account can use this technology to ensure that whoever accessing the account is the genuine owner of the device and the account.

Facial recognition may also be utilized outside of the login process, instead taking note of anyone with who it comes into contact. One application for this is loitering detection which when used in ATM or bank vestibules can recognize someone standing around for longer than a predetermined duration of time. When someone is identified as “loitering”, the stakeholder or account owner can be alerted by the system. While this is increasingly helpful in bank offices, a similar system can be further spread to individual objects, with multiple failed identification attempts through an IoT device alerting customers of a potential hack.

Other ways for IoT devices to help protect banking assets include the use of fingerprint identification, retinal scans, and FaceID in mobile applications to help ensure that there is no breach or unauthorized access. UK mobile bank, Atom, has created a security system that requires clients to go through a variation of either facial scans, passcodes, or voice recognition tests to be passed before any action can be performed on their account. This can be further spread to apply to IoT devices with linked banks.

IoT wristband Nymi takes identity verification even further by recording and storing customers’ unique heartbeats or heart “signature” to authenticate the wearer’s identity. The device must be placed in front of a supported scanner for the authentication process to commence. While Nymi is currently focused on innovations within employee verification at places of business, the idea can be implemented within financial services and identity authentication within banking. Nymi, or other innovations can continue to develop and create ways for customers to verify their identity and keep their financial data safe.

Final thoughts

The digital revolution is truly here, and it is driven by novel technologies such as open banking and IoT devices. Individually, they are both changing the way consumers and businesses communicate with each other and helping commercial industries innovate. Both prioritize a simpler, more enjoyable user experience and the utilization of customer data for the benefit of the consumers. With the open banking industry and the IoT market joining forces, real magic can happen, bringing out new innovations and ideas, and paving the way for more fintech inventions.

Rolands Mesters

CEO and co-founder of Nordigen

Rolands Mesters is the CEO and co-founder of Nordigen, the first free open banking API that provides the widest reach of European bank connections. Passionate about fintech and advocating innovation through free open banking, Rolands regularly shares industry insights, featured by top media outlets.


5 Benefits Engineers Can Bring to a Tech Hiring Team



Brad Anderson

The tech job market is in a perpetual state of flux. One day, there’s news of talent shortages; the next, rampant layoffs. But one thing remains constant: there will always be a need for skilled tech workers. Whether the market is booming or a recession looms, positions for highly skilled tech professionals can sit unfilled for months, while employers struggle to find the right candidates to stay on top of the game. To win, every company needs an airtight strategy for attracting the best possible talent.

Some companies are handling today’s tech hiring challenges by turning to recruiters with more specialized knowledge, such as backgrounds in engineering. Startups and established enterprises alike may benefit from including engineers at the hiring table or handing over their recruiting processes to highly experienced tech professionals. Dedicated experts — rather than more generalized recruiters — can help companies create leaner, more efficient tech hiring processes.

Here are some reasons engineers and other tech experts can help save companies time and money, while ensuring they find the best candidates for each role.

1. They Speak the Candidates’ Language

In a 2022 report on tech hiring, the New York Times points out that traditional recruiters can scare tech candidates off with too much friendliness and fluff. They forget that their data-oriented audience may just want the hard facts about the job. Engineers in recruiting roles know that a quick message highlighting the most important bullet points of the role will often go much further in attracting a left-brained candidate than a lengthy personal introduction penned by a more conventionally personable recruiter.

Furthermore, tech talent may find that encounters with standard recruiters feel like a game of telephone. A current member of the team explains the ins and outs of the role to a recruiter, who must then convey that information to a potential candidate. But when recruiters possess only general industry knowledge, a lot can get lost in translation.

Recruiters may not understand enough about the role to accurately relay the information or answer candidates’ questions about the inner workings of the position. This can lead to a frustrating experience for the candidate and a whole lot of back-and-forth for the company and the recruiter. With experienced engineers at the recruiting helm, candidates waste less time waiting for answers to more detailed or technical questions about the job, and current employees exhaust fewer resources prepping recruiters for candidate interviews.

2. They Know What Tech Professionals Are Looking For

In today’s world, highly skilled tech talent will leave any job that doesn’t work for them, so employers need to understand how to best appeal to candidates. Hint: It’s not just a salary and benefits package.

An experienced engineer in a recruiting role can help identify the things that really matter to today’s tech professionals, like a flexible or asynchronous work schedule, work-from-anywhere options, and the right mentorship and learning opportunities. Engineers can assist companies in developing a comprehensive and effective employee value proposition: the right combination of role composition and employee benefits to attract the perfect talent for the job.

As this suggests, it’s not all about perks. Most tech professionals want to feel truly engaged by their jobs — they want to enter that state of flow, where their work is equally challenging and meaningful. They want to feel a sense of connection and purpose on the job. When engineers work as recruiters, they can empathize with candidates’ need to really sink their teeth into a project and help match them with a role they’re excited to wake up for each morning.

3. They Know What Employers Are — And Will Be — Looking For

Just as engineers know what their fellow tech professionals are seeking in a job, they know what hard and soft skills employers require to achieve business results. They understand the state of the market and know what languages, platforms, and tools applicants must have mastered to ensure project success. Better yet, they have the tech chops to assess that mastery.

While most tech employers understand by now that resumes often take a backseat to skills assessments during the hiring process, there’s still a science to choosing the best evaluations for the job. Engineers can help employers avoid generic coding tests and select or design skills assessments that are more closely tailored to the specifics of the role.

Engineers on a hiring team can also help determine what skills and expertise may be needed to take an established company into the future or bring an exciting new product to market. They can predict which candidates will be best equipped to train for these skills later and stock their contact lists with people who might be a fit in months or years to come, even if they aren’t the best candidates now.

4. They Bring Greater Efficiency to the Hiring Process

According to tech talent acquisition agency OSI Engineering, engineers are much more effective than the average recruiter at recognizing the kinds of hard and soft skills that make a candidate right for a specific role. With a quick scan of a resume or a few glances at a LinkedIn page, they can more quickly spot applicants that are up to the task.

Without that same highly specialized experience and technical know-how, generalist recruiters need to work harder — and longer — to source and select the right people to interview. That’s a problem, as one of the main flaws in the tech hiring process today is the lag time between first contact with a candidate and actually making an offer. In many cases, this can take up to several months.

In the time it takes to move through the hiring process, a company’s ideal candidate may already have accepted another offer or even started a new position. When decision-makers have more experience with the roles being offered, they can streamline hiring timelines, making companies less likely to lose out on the right candidate.

5. They Can Help Companies Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

Engineers can play an equally important role in weeding out the wrong candidates. Google, for example, uses a structured interviewing process developed by its People Analytics Team to forestall toxic hires.

The reason that’s so vital is that bad hiring choices cause about 80% of employee turnover, which in turn contributes to recruiting and hiring cycles that cost U.S. businesses $72 billion a year. Recruiters with engineering or other technical expertise can help stop these bad hires from happening in the first place, saving companies a fortune on firing and rehiring.

As vital as it is to stop the wrong hire before it happens, however, rejections need to be handled with care. Recruiters without a technical background may struggle to give detailed, accurate feedback to a candidate on why they weren’t chosen for the job. Fortunately, engineers have no such difficulty.

Because engineers can effectively relay this information to the candidate, that individual is more likely to walk away from the interview with a better understanding of where they need to learn and grow. More importantly, this candid but constructive feedback creates a positive experience of the employer and the brand, which other tech professionals in the candidate’s network are sure to hear about.

Go With the Pros

So when you’re looking to hire tech employees, there are five good reasons to leave it in the hands of engineers. Here’s one more.

Engineers have established networks, often including fellow professionals in the global, virtual space. With more tech workers wanting to work remotely, a shortage of skilled tech workers in the U.S., and an increasingly global talent marketplace, companies can’t just rely on their local networks to find applicants. They need recruiters with contacts around the world who are familiar with niche job boards and other places attractive candidates might be hiding out. Engineers fit this bill, too.

When you leverage engineers in your tech recruiting process, you up your chances of landing skilled hires that can help your company achieve its business goals. And if you likewise tap the international talent pool, you can make not just qualified but more diverse hires, improving company culture, productivity, and reputation.

Featured Image Credit: by Edmond Dantès; Pexels; Thanks!

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at

Continue Reading


9 Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Attract and Engage Patients



9 Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Attract and Engage Patients

If you’re a healthcare provider looking for new and effective ways to find and engage potential patients, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll look at nine healthcare marketing strategies that can help you attract more patients and increase your patient engagement. From leveraging social media to investing in search engine optimization, these healthcare marketing strategies will give you the tools to reach out to and build relationships with potential patients. So, let’s get started.

1) Define your audience

Identifying the target audience for your healthcare marketing efforts is an essential first step in any marketing strategy. You need to determine who your ideal patient is so you can craft effective messaging and use the right tactics to reach them.

Start by considering the demographics of your current patients and those most likely to be interested in your services. Take into account age, gender, income level, location, and other factors that might be relevant.

Then, think about the pain points or needs your services can address. It will help you identify potential customers who could benefit from your offer. For example, if you specialize in sports medicine, you’ll want to target athletes and active individuals who are likely looking for solutions to common injuries or health issues.

2) Foster relationships with referring physicians

Building relationships with referring physicians is great for your healthcare marketing strategy. Physicians are well-respected and highly trusted in the healthcare industry, so building meaningful relationships with them is important. Doing so will help you gain access to their patient referral networks and increase your visibility in the community.

Start by introducing yourself and your practice to referring physicians. Ask for their contact information and make sure to keep it up-to-date. Connect with them on social media, if appropriate. Offer to attend conferences and meetings they are attending, or invite them to yours. Offer them patient education materials, discounts on services, or other incentives that show your appreciation.

You can also offer referring physicians helpful resources and advice, such as regular updates on medical advances or educational materials related to their specialties. Make sure that your content is always accurate and up-to-date. Finally, be sure to follow up with referring physicians regularly. It will show them you value their relationship and help maintain positive working relationships.

3) Research your competition

Understanding your competitors is essential when it comes to healthcare marketing. Knowing what strategies they use and how successful they are can help you improve your tactics and stay ahead of the game.

Start by researching the demographics of your target market – who are they, what do they need, and how can you reach them? Analyze their services and offerings and evaluate their marketing tactics. Ask yourself how you can differentiate your services from theirs, what makes your product better, and how you can beat them in terms of quality, cost, or convenience.

Look for trends in their marketing campaigns and see what works for them. Analyze their approach and create a plan that capitalizes on their weaknesses and maximizes your strengths. Discover what makes them unique and use this knowledge to inform your marketing strategy.

4) Incorporate SEO into your website

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for healthcare marketing and can help increase organic traffic to your website. It involves optimizing keywords, phrases, titles, headings, images, and other elements on web pages to appear higher in search engine results.

Optimize your website for search engines to ensure that it ranks high when users search for topics related to your practice. The higher your site appears in the search results, the more traffic it will get –more opportunities to convert leads into appointments.

SEO helps you get found by potential patients and keep existing patients coming back. As an essential part of your healthcare marketing plan, it’s important to understand how to incorporate SEO into your website.

First, you’ll need to create content that is both informative and optimized for search engines. Research relevant keywords related to your practice and target audience, then use those keywords in your website content. Ensure you don’t overuse the keywords, which can negatively affect your rankings.

It’s also important to ensure your site is easy to navigate and contains fresh, unique content. It will improve user experience and encourage visitors to stay longer on your site. Additionally, ensure that your website works on all devices and browsers. It will maximize the number of people who can access your site, increasing your ranking in search engine results.

5) Use social media

Social media is another powerful tool when it comes to healthcare marketing. Not only does it allow you to interact with potential patients directly, but it also builds relationships with current and potential referral sources. Utilizing social media channels allows you to share valuable information about your practice and create content that engages with patients and drives new leads.

Regarding healthcare marketing, social media is important to your overall plan. With a well-executed social media strategy, you can reach a wide audience quickly and easily. It’s essential to have an active presence on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, as they provide excellent opportunities for reaching a wide range of audiences.

The key to success is to create content that resonates with your target audience and can convert leads into actual customers. Post relevant information about your services and helpful health tips, and answer questions from potential patients.

Ensure to include visuals whenever possible, as this will help grab your audience’s attention. Also, use hashtags to make your posts more visible and encourage user engagement. Responding quickly to comments and questions is important to foster relationships with potential patients. Finally, measure and track the results of your efforts through analytics software like Google Analytics or Facebook Insights.

6) Develop a strong brand

When it comes to healthcare marketing, creating a strong and unique brand is essential. It is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. Crafting an eye-catching logo and website and utilizing high-quality visuals can help you make a powerful impression on potential patients.

Another great way to build your brand is by creating custom content. Leveraging educational materials like blog posts and videos can help showcase your expertise. Sharing success stories and patient testimonials can also be effective in building trust with potential patients. Look for opportunities to get your name out in the local community. Attending events and partnering with other organizations are great ways to boost your visibility.

Participating in local events is a great way to interact with potential patients and show them why your services are superior. It also allows you to network with local healthcare professionals and gain referrals.

You can also host educational webinars or live chats to educate your patients and generate leads (healthcaremailing dotcom). Tools like Zoom or YouTube Live will allow you to stream the content and engage with people who aren’t physically present in the room. It can also help you reach a wider audience since many patients won’t be able to attend in person and may not have access to your event unless they know it beforehand.

You can ask questions during the webinar or chat and collect data from those who participate through their answers before ending the session with an action plan for following up with those who respond positively. It allows for better follow-up than just sending automated emails out afterward – you’ll get actual feedback from real people.

7) Invest in content marketing

Healthcare Content marketing is a powerful tool for healthcare providers to attract and engage new patients. It involves creating and distributing content related to your business’s services or products. It aims to educate and inform potential patients about your practice, services, and how you can help them.

Content marketing can take the form of articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media posts, and other forms of media. This type of content provides value to potential patients and can help establish you as an authority figure in the industry. By creating high-quality content that is informative and engaging, you can help potential patients learn more about your practice and its offerings. You can also use content marketing to build trust with current and prospective patients.

Content marketing can be done in-house or outsourced to a content creation agency. If you choose to outsource, select an agency with expertise in the healthcare industry that can create accurate, relevant, and up-to-date content.

No matter your approach, content marketing can be an effective strategy for reaching new patients and building relationships with them. By investing in content marketing, you’ll be able to keep your website updated, attract more organic traffic from search engines, and give your current and prospective patients the information they need to make an informed decision about their healthcare.

8) Advertise online

Online advertising can be a great way to reach potential patients and those in your care. You can use platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target potential patients based on location, age, gender, interests, and more.

Online advertising can help you promote awareness of your practice and services, increase brand visibility, and even drive conversions. You can also ensure your messages reach the right people with the right targeting. Just do your research and understand the different types of ad formats available.

For example, some formats are better suited to creating brand awareness, while others may be better for lead generation. Additionally, have clear, concise messaging with strong call-to-action (CTA). It will help ensure that your online ads are effective in driving conversions.

Paid advertising on social media channels or platforms like Google Ads is another great way to reach potential patients. Setting up ads allows you to target specific population segments, which increases the likelihood of getting clicks and converting leads into customers.

9) Implement lead capture forms

Lead capture forms are essential in any successful healthcare marketing strategy. They allow you to collect information from potential patients, such as name, email address, phone number, and other contact information. This data allows you to track your leads and nurture them into becoming paying customers.

To get the most out of lead capture forms, design them for maximum conversion. It means providing an easy-to-use interface with a clear call to action that encourages users to take action. You should also include a field for additional comments or questions so that you can gather more detailed information about your leads.

Your lead capture forms should also be strategically placed throughout your website. Place them prominently on your homepage, or add them to key service and contact pages. Additionally, consider offering incentives to encourage people to fill out the forms, such as discounts or free consultations.

By investing in lead capture forms, you can track your leads and nurture them into becoming loyal customers. The right combination of design, placement, and incentives can make all the difference in finding and engaging patients.


Healthcare marketing is a unique opportunity to build relationships and connections with your audience. These people will benefit from your products and services to be incredibly loyal customers. By putting yourself out there in a way that resonates best with your target demographic — and by keeping an eye on what makes them tick — you’ll find that you have a much easier time engaging them on social media or in person at events like conferences or expositions.

Hopefully, we leave you with insights on the marketing strategies that can help you find and engage patients in a way that leads them to take action.

Featured Image Credit:

Paul Mark

A highly creative and motivated self-starter with exceptional project management skills and strong ability to work independently desires the job of a Brand Marketing Coordinator at Healthcare Mailing, a leading provider of healthcare email list, Physicians Email List, medical email list and healthcare related marketing services.

Continue Reading


Alternatives to Layoffs in Tech: Maintaining a Stable Workforce



Alternatives to Layoffs in Tech: Maintaining a Stable Workforce

The tech industry is volatile and subject to the whims of the market. With the recession that’s predicted to hit the global economy in late 2023, companies everywhere, from small startups to major enterprises, are already taking countermeasures to combat it. Ironically, the most commonly employed countermeasure is large-scale layoffs.

Just recently, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, impacting nearly 5% of its global workforce, as part of “workforce reduction” measures the company is taking. This was soon followed by a similar announcement from Google’s parent company, Alphabet. CEO Sundar Pichai commented on the downsizing, saying the company had “hired for a different economic reality” than what it’s up against today.

During times of economic hardship, it is important for companies to maintain a stable, employed workforce. This is why many businesses are searching for alternatives to layoffs as a method to get through these challenging times. Let’s explore what some of these potential alternatives could be.

Reducing Hiring

A substitute for layoffs is to recruit fewer people each month in the first place. Companies might limit the pace of new recruits and concentrate on keeping their present employees. This is one of the factors that they can adapt to rather than reduce their current staff.

During the height of the pandemic, companies like Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft hired and grew their employee base significantly. In contrast, Apple hired at a more modest rate compared to its peers, adding only 17,000 new recruits between 2020 and 2022. Now that uncertain times are ahead, and we see the consequences of overhiring in the form of mass layoffs. On the other hand, Apple has avoided using layoffs as a tool to deal with these dire circumstances.

Hiring Freeze

The implementation of a hiring freeze is an additional alternative to laying off present employees. This entails putting a temporary stop to all new hiring until the business’s financial situation improves. By doing so, companies can cut expenditures while maintaining the current staff.

Another reason why Apple is not laying off its employees like its counterparts — is that it implemented a hiring freeze in November 2022 to prepare for the turbulent times that are ahead. There’s no news on when the freeze will be lifted, with sources even saying that it could go on until September 2023.

Reducing Working Hours

Reducing the number of hours a worker works each week is one such option that can prove to be beneficial. This enables businesses to maintain their personnel while also cutting expenditures. Employees who are able to keep their jobs but with fewer hours worked may also benefit from it, freeing up more time for other activities.

Reducing hours, not workers, is the right for forward-looking business leaders to institute today. 73 companies in the UK ran an experiment with a four-day workweek. The results showed that managers and employees generally described being more or equally productive in a shortened week. A shorter work week gives employees more time to spend with their friends and family and also focuses on any hobbies or part-time ventures that they wish to cultivate.

Voluntary Separation or Leave

Offering voluntary unpaid leave is another substitute for permanently laying off workers. Although this reduces the number of employees, it also gives them the option to return to their positions later. This is advantageous for the employer and employee because it lets workers take a short break while businesses save money.

Alternatively, companies can also implement a voluntary separation program. This enables employees to willingly leave the organization in exchange for severance compensation. This may be a successful strategy for reducing the workforce while still treating the impacted workers with fairness and compassion. Coca-Cola offered voluntary separation packages to 4000 employees in North America, and it included some major incentives like at least a year’s pay plus a 20% bump.

Focusing on Employee Retention

The most optimal way to avoid layoffs is to reduce employee turnover. High turnover can lead to a constant need to fill available positions, which can be costly and time-consuming. Businesses can decrease the number of unfilled positions and the need to hire and train new employees by putting more emphasis on employee retention and taking measures to improve it. Employers can concentrate on keeping their present staff members by offering them competitive wage packages, flexible work schedules, and opportunities for career advancement.

When to layoff employees?

It’s crucial to remember that laying off employees should only be used as a last resort. Additionally, when layoffs are unavoidable, the business should manage the situation with transparency and empathy. It’s vital to avoid doing bad layoffs or for the wrong reasons. The recent Twitter layoffs are a prime example of a bad layoff, with employees either being informed by email that they have been laid off or finding out after discovering that they have been locked out of their work laptops or communication channels.

Layoffs are not always the best option and can often be detrimental to the organization as a whole. Companies can keep a steady workforce while still controlling expenses and adapting to market changes by thinking about possible alternatives to layoffs. Employers should be aware of their options and carefully consider them while putting the interests of their staff first.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!

Asim Rais Siddiqui

Asim Rais Siddiqui is a seasoned professional with over 10 years of experience in developing and implementing advanced technology and software solutions. He excels at leveraging his expertise to drive business growth by identifying and capitalizing on new market opportunities and taking calculated risks.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2021 Seminole Press.