What We Learned About the #FutureofWork from SXSW 2016

What We Learned About the #FutureofWork from SXSW 2016

From virtual reality and wearable devices to artificial intelligence and machine learning, Craig Knutson from TMP Worldwide’s Innovation Lab recaps the emerging trends defining the future of recruitment technology as found at SXSW 2016. He illustrates how these innovative technologies of today are directly impacting the work spaces of tomorrow.

Virtual Reality

VR was very prominent at SXSW this year, especially in how brands used it to display their products and services. Samsung took their GearVR to the streets to show how mobile and accessible Virtual Reality has really become. By tweeting to #VRonDemand, a Samsung representative would bring the experience to your location. With this emerging technology, companies using it have a unique and interactive way to showcase their culture and connect with candidates in a way they never could before, such as on location tours, to make staff introductions, to conduct skills training and more.

Samsung Gear VR




Wearables and the Internet of Things

Wearables and the Internet of Things are always a hot topic at SXSW. This year the trend being more focused on easy access to actions vs. tracking health habits. Most specifically addressing speech and sound recognition to take pictures or trigger a search query as found in the Sony hands-free headphone prototype – Project N. This device wraps around a user’s neck and responds to pre-programmed commands similar to the Amazon echo or Apple’s Siri.

Sony Future Lab




Also showcased this year was Thync, a device that attaches to your head and neck to send signals to your brain’s adrenaline system. By using the connected app, users are able to energize or relax. Have a deadline to meet? This app will help motivate you to get started, enhance your focus, and then help you to relax after you’ve had a stressful day.




Artificial Intelligence

As the Artificial Intelligence in these devices evolves, so will future workspaces, tools and interactions, allowing candidates and employees to virtually talk to the internet to do research, command tasks, communicate or search for things like jobs.

The company behind SIRI is taking AI and Machine learning even further, creating what they call “VIV”, a global brain that not only communicates with devices, but learns from them and knows everything in the world around it including each user. It enables developers to plug into and create an intelligent, conversational interface with any object. Say you don’t like your job; it could know your location, your skills, your experience, your preferences and more to suggest jobs you possibly hadn’t even considered. Where intelligence becomes a utility much like your water, gas or electricity and everyone has access.

VIV, the Global Brain



Personality Assessment Tool

Traitify uses a candidate’s or employee’s response of “ME or NOT ME” to a series of images to paint a visual picture of the personalities within a company. It allows you to filter your data and find commonalities on your top performers, see what personality types are missing and make comparisons to potential new hires. Used on external candidates or internal teams, Traitify helps you find the perfect fit for your team, reduces turnover and showcases your company’s employee culture and diversity.




App Alert

Tapp That App was launched at SXSW this year. This is an application currently available for android devices that allows users to see what apps are currently on the phone of the people they follow. It creates great opportunities for learning and professional development based exposure to content, trends and information from the people they already admire.

Tapp That App



Other notable technologies from SXSW 2016:

Tailored Mail – personalized video embedded into emails.



CandyBar – location based Augmented Reality marketing.



Klaxoon – portable onsite interactivity tool that enhances learning and meetings through quizzes, surveys, brainstorming and live messaging.



Waffle from Samsung Labs – social media platform that enables collaborative content creation.



Technology is transforming the way companies search for candidates and build their talent. For further information about these or other recruitment strategies, please contact TMP.

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Craig Knutson
Written by Craig Knutson

As VP of Creative Technology, Craig is a driving force behind the development, implementation, and education of TMP’s interactive and digital offerings.

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