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Most Essential Tech Tools for Recessions

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Software subscriptions that were once necessary may now seem nice to have. But how do you decide which apps to keep and which to press pause? To help companies determine the value of different technical solutions, Terkel asked CEOs and business leaders: What are the technologies and software that are indispensable to your business, even during a recession?

Here are their answers.

1. Competency-based assessment technology

“Using competency-based, job-specific assessment technology is an absolute must for anyone looking to take their workforce to the next level. Going beyond the interview and getting into the hearts and souls of your candidates will give you a better sense of whether they can do the job and thrive as a member of your team.

With a recession comes a greater need to hire staff and to protect every dollar by reducing the risk of revenue. Assessment technology (like Reveal) has shown time and again how to get on the roller coaster and hire qualified and dynamic candidates.”

Linda ScorzoCEO of Hiring Indicators

2. Video Conferencing Software

“Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Streamyard or Airmeet, is a game changer in business scope. This type of software has made virtual events, courses, live streams and workshops easier and cost-effective for businesses. This in turn makes it easier for customers to buy and use the products. It also helps with brand visibility.”

Aikyna FinchCEO of Finch and Associates, LLC

Learn more: The best video conferencing apps

3. Chatbots

“For any business dealing with customer service, a recession can be an ideal opportunity to invest in chatbots to handle basic customer inquiries. A chatbot can handle and resolve many of your contacts, allowing employees to focus on more intensive tasks.

Sometimes human intervention will be necessary, as a chatbot cannot solve every problem. However, the repetitive, more mundane tasks will be handled in a consistent manner and can dramatically reduce payroll costs and wait times for your clients, leading to higher satisfaction rates. As an added benefit, your chatbot doesn’t need a break; it is available 24/7 and can be trained to adapt to changing customer needs.”

Jonathan Zaksfounder and CEO of GoMemories

Learn more: The best chatbot builders

4. Password Managers

“When the business is hit by the recession, tremendous attention needs to be paid to where the business needs to cut costs: for example, lavish company outings and business lunches or software that is rarely used.

One of the most important aspects of running a business is ensuring the security of all the sensitive information the business has, especially with many businesses operating remotely. So when it comes down to it, I will always advocate using password management software. Cloud-based password managers, of which 1Password and LastPass are good examples, allow you to access your password vault from any device, as long as you have an internet connection.

Password managers ensure that your passwords are secure, strong, unique and available to you and your employees. In addition, they keep a history of usage/changes to ensure company-wide transparency.”

Agnieszka GoulinHead of People at space elevator

Learn more: The best password managers

5. CRM Software

“CRM stands for customer relationship management and most organizations have some form of software that allows them to stay in touch with customers. Having a way to capture customer information is critical, whether your business is booming or you’re struggling to fill your pipeline.

With a CRM, you can identify new sales opportunities, track ongoing customer relationships, and help you build new marketing funnels. A well-built CRM, combined with automation (such as the connections that Zapier gives) can improve internal and external communication with key customers.”

Ryan BurchOwner of Tobie Group

Learn more: How to automate your CRM

6. Employee Recognition Software

“As humans, we need a sense of belonging to operate at our most successful level. Recognition is an integral part of this, especially in the workplace. Fortunately, employee recognition software has come a long way in the past decade, moving from a fun solution to a must-have solution for successful modern teams.

Remember how you felt the last time someone yelled at you at work? Employee recognition has been proven to reduce employee turnover, improve engagement and increase morale, so it’s a good idea to use technology to drive recognition efforts.”

Ben TravisFounder of HR chief

7. Premium Antivirus Software

“Recessions are hard for most businesses. During a market downturn, even the smallest setback can cause massive internal disruption. For this reason, maintaining a robust security system is something that all businesses should prioritize, not forget, if they want to get out of the other side.

While paid antivirus software may seem like an unnecessary expense during a recession, the extra layers of protection are well worth the investment. Malwarebytes Premium costs just $49.99 per device per year, and in return you get real-time malware coverage, priority phone support, and full protection against threats like ransomware, zero-day exploits, and phishing.

The risk of a security breach far outweighs the cost of doing business securely. In these times, investing in security remains a smart and sensible decision for any company with proprietary technology or confidential business data. It’s a small price to pay for the life of your business.”

Max WesmanChief Operating Officer at Rent well

8. Google Workspace

“It may be too obvious, but Google Workspace really is the central nervous system of our corporate communications. Email, calendars, shared documents and contact lists are indispensable. This is true, economic rain or shine. In a recessionary context, these services may even be more critical given the critical role email, scheduling and shared documents play in business development.”

Trevor EwenCEO of Southport Technology Group

9. Remote Device Management

“Mobile Device Management (MDM) provides businesses with a modern way to track device inventory and maintain control over their MDM assets. During downward trends, MDM can provide organizations with business continuity that they could not guarantee before.

If a remote employee is fired, a device can be locked immediately to prevent corporate data from being compromised. The right MDM platform can provide essential automation and control that helps employees stay productive and organizations scale while staying secure.”

Jason DettbarnFounder & CEO of Addigy

10. Community Building Channels

“With engagement rates falling and CPMs rising on social networks, it’s more important than ever to be deeply connected with your customers. Building a robust community will increase awareness, increase leads and conversions, and make Discord one of your most effective marketing channels.

Growing up in gaming, Discord evolved into a platform for anyone to easily create their own community. Discord offers chat, voice, and video, and depending on your community needs, you can use some or all of the features. The platform enables private branded spaces and has no ads; therefore it is easier to manage and keep out trolls, misinformation and drama. Plus, a user’s social status doesn’t matter, which is why everyone has a voice.

In addition to bringing people together, many brands use Discord as their support channel. Gucci, Adidas, Opensea and Fortnite are examples of successful brands building a community on Discord.”

Karen OBrienConsultant at Surf

Learn more: Building a community on Discord

11. Personnel Information System

“A personnel information system (HRIS) is indispensable for organizations. Employees are the most important capital of an organization. First impressions are eternal and it starts with the hiring process. The HRIS must be housed in one platform (or be able to communicate with all platforms) so that the onboarding experience is seamless.

Organizations need to ensure they attract and retain top talent, and many great candidates are lost in the process due to a poor HRIS and onboarding process. Improve your organization’s onboarding process by investing in an innovative HRIS – it will help maintain a competitive advantage.”

Robin HughesChief Human Resources Officer of R Hughes & Associates

Automation connects these tools

Once you’ve figured out which tools are indispensable to your tech stack, no matter how much you cut, you’ll want to make sure those apps can talk to each other. Automation can save you even more money by freeing up your team members to do more impactful work. Read more about how to make your business recession proof with automation


This one article originally appeared on Zapier’s blog and is reprinted with permission.


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