The last month of summer vacation was full of excitement and we’re here to let you know what you missed.

Google’s genius recruitment scheme

A photo of Google's hidden recruitment screen

Who wants to be bogged down in a laborious recruitment process when trying to target the best talent? It came out this month that Google uses certain search terms (usually referring to programming or math) of users and their search habits to find potential job candidates.

One candidate, Max Rosett, detailed his Ex Machina experience (click above) which began with him Googling “python lambda function list comprehension” and he was greeted by the search results splitting in half and asking whether he wanted a challenge. Ultimately, it consisted of timed questions (48 hours) that were about programming. He passed the challenges and was offered a job at Google.

Hidden challenges like this are a great way to attract talent to your company and, given the cat’s out of Google’s bag, a lot of businesses are likely to copy this. There are easier ways to take the pain out of hiring though, and by choosing the right recruitment application you could be onboarding great new staff without the need for creative puzzles.


Cisco teams up with Apple to expand business apps capabilities

Having already mastered the consumer market, Apple has recently announced a partnership with Cisco in order to expand its presence in the enterprise space. It aims to gain a foothold in the enterprise network, and to improve Cisco apps integration with the iPad, which has experienced a slump in sales of late.

In the short term, there’s not likely to be too much of a difference other than apps such as Cisco’s Spark and WebEx products integrating much more smoothly with iOS. There’s also potential for iPhone to get involved in Cisco’s telephone products which would make sense in a business world that’s advocating for more BYOD.


And now a word about Ashley Madison…

There was some debate whether to mention the recent Ashley Madison (AM) hack in our news roundup, but the fact of the matter is the story is probably one of the biggest fails in recent history.

Hackers broke the law and stole lots of personal data, then threatened to put it online unless AM took it and another one of their sites down. AM didn’t comply and the hackers started releasing the data in chunks. The data released has been ground-shaking: government and public employees have supposedly used their work email addresses to register, celebrities have been caught, and AM’s CEO has stepped down.

One of the more concerning parts of the debacle is that AM offered a $19 deletion service fee that promised to wipe users of their data. Unfortunately the hack showed that this wasn’t the case and that plenty of scandalous material made it out there. There’s also been serious questions (and great investigations!) regarding the actual male:female ratio.

Customers’ sensitive info made public, promises made to users that ultimately turned out to be false, a resigning CEO, and a terrible initial response to the crisis: in all, this will ultimately be used a case study for when it all hits the fan for a business. Or, I could be totally wrong.

UPDATE: Gizmodo’s Annalee Newitz, who wrote the original post that delved into the data, has gone further into and clarified some points.


Most of the biggest SaaS companies were founded before 2008

TechCruch has begun an interesting series about 66 SaaS companies, both public and private. This began with a post called The SaaS Adventure. The post was filled with great (and specific!) information regarding what defines successful SaaS companies, broken down into seven steps.  

In the new post, entitled “The SaaS Success Database”, TC gets down to the nitty gritty about these SaaS companies such as profiles of their CEOs, where they’re based, and how long they’ve been around. This leads to some interesting stats such as SaaS companies are mostly funded by teams (rather than an individual) and 60 percent of the teams had never worked together prior to the business venture.

It’s worth following the TC analysis if to only get interesting tidbits of info like most of their successful SaaS companies were started before the 2008 crash. Likewise, if you really want to know what end users think of SaaS vendors, then GetApp is the best place to go as you can read hundreds of independent reviews from business application users.

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