How to Build Trust with Candidates and Turn Interviews into Conversations

A recruiter’s job can often be an odd conundrum. We’d like to think you’re there to help them find the perfect job, but a lot of candidates may see it differently. They may see you as someone just trying to fill the position and not caring about their career goals.

Building a great candidate-recruiter relationship from the start of the interview is crucial when it comes to finding the perfect hire. When you gain their trust, they will be willing to open up more, share information to you about their goals, and maybe send you other great referrals.

So to figure out the best way to establish trust, here are three tactics you can use to get candidates to see you as a partner rather than an employer.

1. Establish a conversation, not a Q&A

If you want to get the best out of a candidate, try not interview them in a stilted form of question-and-answer. Make it more natural, like a two-way conversation with a good friend. They may be the most brilliant specimen in the candidate line up, but if you can’t connect with the them on a human level and build trust you will only get disappointed.

Cynthia LaBarge, Head of Corporate Recruiting at Consilium Staffing, says that this helps her “gain more (and give more) information while simultaneously building genuine rapport.”

2. Ask open-ended questions

Recruiters try to get the ball rolling by starting with classically tough interview questions—this will only make the candidate more nervous than he already is. Instead of doing this, begin with more optimistic questions that reflect curiosity about the candidate’s work style and goals. The goal here is to put them at ease and see you as a person who’s invested in them.

Ask questions like, “What is your ideal work environment?” and “What is your preferred leadership style?”

If you want to provide candidates the opportunity to convey what matters to them in their career, ask questions such as, “What do you hope to learn in this role?” This sends the message that you want to see the candidate actually succeed.

3. Open up and talk about your job

Another way to build rapport with the candidate is sharing background information about yourself and your career path in the interview. LaBarge calls this a “recruiter credibility statement,” where recruiters talk about their professional story.

“Share personal stories that can give the candidate a little bit of insight into who you are and what the people at the company are like,”says Michael Quoc, the CEO of DealSpotr. Transparency is key.

It is in our business to show we care about candidates. However, the problem is that all too few recruiters show it. So the next time you meet a candidate for the first time, think of it as more of a conversation and less as an interview in order to build trust.

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Why Recruiters Are Guilty of Hiring Bias (And What To Do About It)

In an ideal world, an interviewer would evaluate job candidates based on their professional qualifications. But in reality, so many other factors come into play — like where they went to school or who their favorite basketball team is. For most cases, these biases are unconscious, so we aren’t always aware that they could be influencing our choices.

Recruitment experts’ Ed Nathanson & J.T. O’Donnell who runs RecruitHUB discusses about why quite a few recruiters and hiring managers are guilty of hiring bias, and shows us how we can combat that way of hiring.

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9 Steps on How To Handle Underperforming Employees

Often times, managers and supervisors have a few responsibilities that are less than enjoyable—performance evaluations. In another world, we all hope that all of our employees’ evaluation results come out positive, that they were able to grow as an individual, and have made great contributions to the organization. However, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, there will always be instances where one or two poorly performing employees exist. This is where you’re job as a manager or supervisor becomes a little challenging.

The challenge for managers is what to do with under performers. Again and again, some organizations don’t reach their peak efficiency because they retain people who clearly are not doing their jobs. It’s easiest to ignore them and in fact that’s what usually happens. But ignoring the problem is not bliss; it’s a formula to hinder your company’s success.

It’s not always easy, especially when you’re not really keen on confrontations. But don’t worry, it’ll get easy with practice, and following these nine steps we’ve listed on how you handle a low performer.

To sum it all up, you need to keep in mind these 3C’s:


Before you address the issue of under performance, you need to find out what’s going on in the employee’s life. If there are personal problems going on, and the employee has a history of good performance, find a way to work around the issue. They can still be saved.


Often times, employees under perform because they lack the necessary tools and or training. And it’s your job to provide on-the-job coaching. Talk about the issues so that the employee understands where he’s falling short. Let him devise solutions for improvement. Talk about those solutions and agree on a timetable for improvement.


If in the case that there has been no improvement despite all your efforts, then you must come to the conclusion that they are not the right fit for the job. (Note: don’t pawn an under performer off on another department; that’ll simply kick the issue over to another boss.)

The first two parts are easy, but firing an individual is definitely not. So tread carefully and work with HR on the situation, making sure you don’t hit any grounds on employee labor codes. While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership.

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5 Obvious Signs That You Are an Inspired Leader

Successful leaders of today are expected to provide their employees with a sense of meaning in their work as well as provide an engaging workplace. Yet, according to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of U.S. employees are “not engaged” at work. How is this possible?

People need to feel their work matters. In order for this message to be communicated with authenticity, the leader must come from a place of emotional resonance. You have to truly believe in your employees and genuinely appreciate the contributions they make every day.

With a mindful attitude and a set of clearly defined principals, you have the power to shape your destiny as a leader at any juncture. Are you the type of leader people want to follow? Do you understand what sets extraordinary leaders apart from all the others? Inspired leadership necessitates casting away personal and psychological barriers and recognizing, cultivating, and maintaining that connection. If you unveil and remove the barriers you have placed over your heart, your paradigm for the way you see, approach and work with others will shift.

Yes, I said heart.

We all have unique goals and ideals, and to access them, you need to slow down and take a look within — and listen to your heart. You’ll find that by doing so, you become more connected with who you are and with those around you. Put your heart into your interactions with coworkers and employees, rather than looking for outward recognition as a leader. The focus is to serve the people that you are leading, not the other way around. Once you begin to incorporate Heart-Centered leadership practices, the most powerful shifts can occur in your relationships, and business outcomes.

Here are five signs of a heart-centered leader. One who leads by inspiration and encouragement, not by fear and control.

1. You maintain people’s self-esteem

Leadership requires first connecting to, then inspiring, people. When you regularly express gratitude and treat employees with respect — you lead your people by example and set them up for alignment with others. This also engenders trust. The bonds of trust can only be forged when you consistently show your team that they are valued, listened to and involved.

2. You replace blame with responsibility

This means taking the perspective of those who are doing the day-to-day work. Letting go of blaming others can begin with asking yourself some questions, such as: “What part do I play in this situation? How do my actions contribute to these problems?” Taking this further ask, “Did I exercise poor judgment? Did I do or say anything that may have adversely affected someone?”

3. You don’t assume, or judge — you come to understand

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you have the willingness to assume that people have positive intentions. Strive to be more open-minded. Ask better questions. Being consistent in making every attempt to understand the behavior of your colleagues, customers, friends, and family — rather than automatically assuming you know what happened or what they are thinking — will yield substantial, long-term rewards.

4. You know your impact

An inspired, heart-centered leader is always cognizant of how words and actions may be interpreted. When you have the integrity and foresight to understand that everything you do and say has an impact — you’ll begin to consciously direct your energy and intentions. If you can master this, the perilous outcomes brought about by short-range thinking and impulsiveness comes to a halt.

5. You practice self-care

The biggest challenge you may have as a leader is the pressure to perform at an accelerated pace, and at higher levels, for the business to be profitable. This means experiencing a great deal of stress to achieve goals and objectives. Longer working hours, 24/7 access and fewer resources can create a mountain of pressure and stress — and because the pressure is on you to perform, you may put yourself last. However, remember there is a reason that when flying you are asked to “place your oxygen mask on yourself before helping others.” If you are not strong, mentally and physically, then it is unlikely you will be able to take care of your business and your employees. When you are healthy, focused and calm, your positive behavior can’t help but enhance employee productivity and engagement.

This article was originally written, Susan Steinbrecher, the CEO of Steinbrecher and Associates, a leadership training and executive coaching firm. She is the co-author of Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well and author of KENSHO: A Modern Awakening. @SteinbrecherInc

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50 Interview Questions to Help You Find Your Rockstar Employee

Having great employees is an integral part of your organization's success, and is the key to keeping it solid. That means that during the interview process you have to ask the right questions that'll ensure whether or not the applicant fits not just the job, but also the organization's culture.

Every recruiter or hiring manager wants to find their "ideal" employee, the question is, how do we determine if they're ideal? The answer revolves around identifying the competencies that are critical for success on the job.

Competencies are observable behaviors that encompass the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics that distinguish levels of performance in the work environment. They are an essential part of the hiring process because at this rate, you'll be able to identify how they work individually and as a team, their motivation and drive, and how they strive for career advancement.

Here's a little cheat sheet of interview questions summarized per competency that will indicate whether a candidate is a fit for your company. Download it because a) it is really useful next time you conduct interviews and, b) it's absolutely free!

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5 Strategies to Help Millennial Employees Become Leaders

How would you train a millennial employee to be a leader? originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Jae Alexis Lee, Teacher, Mentor and Corporate Manager:

I’ve been training millennials to be leaders for a long time and I’ll let you know a few secrets that are key to turning a millennial into an effective leader:

1. Understand what drives them.

Source: Youth Village

No, I don’t mean get hip to twitter or whatever’s trending at the moment, I mean really understand their motivations. I talk to lots of millennials about their car payments, their rent anxiety, their concerns about job security and their future marketability as employees and leaders. You can’t treat someone as a cliche just because they’re a member of a generation, you have to get down to what’s actually driving the person you want to mentor.

2. Work with them to build a vision.

Source: Sylvia Browder

This is important. Once you understand what’s driving them, it’s time to talk about how to get there and how the things they’re going to be doing for you will make that happen. I’m invested in them and their growth. Of course I’m going to benefit from that, but I want them to understand the long haul and the long haul is that they’re going to be more marketable after a few years with me than they were when they started.

3. Demonstrate trust.

Source: Business Insider

For new leaders, this is vital and it’s vital that you do it from day one. You trust them before you’ve seen proof that they’re capable. You trust them because if they can’t be trusted they shouldn’t have been hired. Whatever the project is, whatever the scope of their responsibility is, you need to demonstrate to them that you trust them with an appropriate level of autonomy. No micromanaging, no excessively invasive oversight, and no treating them like furniture that’s “shadowing” for extended periods of time. Get them engaged, give them decision making capability and let them make some decisions.

4. Build trust.


New leaders make mistakes. Lots of them. That’s normal. New leaders should feel like they can approach their mentors with problems, and you have to create an environment where they bring you problems early rather than hiding them.

Help them clean up the mess if they make one but don’t clean it up for them. Hold them accountable absolutely but don’t cut their legs out from under them when they make mistakes because they will make mistakes.

5. Embody the kind of leadership you expect them to execute.

Source: Spring.St

This is one of the most important things for you to do as a mentor. Young leaders are seeking a mentor to model themselves on and their leadership will be a reflection of your leadership. If there’s a disconnect between what you expect of them and what you deliver as a leader, then you’re going to lose a great deal of your credibility as a mentor and instead be seen as yet another corporate cog spouting buzzwords without genuine belief in them.

Don’t get distracted by the stereotypes, drill down into the individuals you’re mentoring and learn what makes them tick as individuals and you’ll have the keys to making them successful leaders.

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Why You Should Be Hiring People With Grit

Imagine a company where the demands of work is immense; where the environment is complex and challenging. What qualities should an employee have for him to be able to handle the pressure?

Employee turnover is an ongoing concern for many companies around the world. Turnover rates can be extremely costly, it can impact employee engagement, and company-wide productivity. It is but proper that employers make the right decisions when it comes to recruitment. One notable characteristic elevates quality candidates from the rest—grit.

If the environment in your company is demanding then grit is important.

Based on a research by Paul G. Stoltz, he equates one quality – grit – with higher chances of succeeding, being hired and being promoted. He defines GRIT as growth, resilience, instinct, and tenacity. Put simply, grit is mental toughness. It’s the ability to work our way through a tricky situation.

When interviewing candidates, here are four helpful ways you can utilize grit when the situation calls for it, and separate the “gritty” candidates from the rest.

1. Growth: Stepping up in a sticky situation

One component of mental toughness is asking a candidate how they would deal with an issue that their senior might probably face. Will they sink or swim? This requires growth.

When you’ve established competence in the core requirements of the role, you can take it up a notch and ask candidates to exercise judgement on a certain issue. It could be dealing with suppliers, resolving a customer complaint, or presenting to senior management. They don’t have to excel in this test, what’s important is for you to see their willingness to take on a challenge.

2. Resilience: Handling failure

Failure is inevitable. At one point or another, a person or a business will experience defeat in life. In startup communities, failures are commonly discussed, and often celebrated. But one vital thing about it is that startups fail fast, learn and move on. This requires resilience.

Ask candidates for an example of failure in their careers.  Give them time to tell the story their own way. The important thing to look for is what they did next and what their attitude was to overcome that failure.

3. Instinct: An unhappy customer

In any kind of industry, you will always have customers. And often times those customers will be dissatisfied with your product or service. They will be unreasonable. And in this world, the customer is always right.

Now, put your candidates in a high-pressured, customer-facing situation, where they are required to use their instinct and forced to make a difficult decision. And because customers want answers fast, give them a time limit. To identify a good candidate, they will usually respond to these demands with composure and will make the customer feel important and valued.

4. Tenacity: Going outside your comfort zone

There are instances in life that we are pressed to do something outside our comfort zones — cold calling a potential client, asking a person for a date, approaching a stranger in a networking event. These are situations that make us anxious, and experience the awful feeling of rejection. But we do it anyway. This requires having a tenacious attitude.

Take your candidates outside their comfort zones, and give them an obstacle which will spark fear and see if they can overcome it. One challenge is to tell them that the final stage of their interview process is to call a senior executive in the company and convince him/her why they are the best candidate in 60 seconds.

If you incorporate an assessment for mental toughness into your hiring process you will learn a lot about your future employees’ character.

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How Great Leaders Get the Best out of Their Employees

JJ Ramberg, co-founder of, shares a simple tip of how a former colleague tapped into her employee’s productivity. She describes that when you encourage employees to do their best work, you help create a culture where people genuinely care. You create room for growth and learning.


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Why You Should Still Consider Interviewing Candidates With Employment Gaps?

Hiring managers and recruiters say that employment gaps in a resume doesn’t look good for candidates, especially if they lack related experience. But is an employment gap really a justified indicator for qualification?

The answer is, No. Every candidate has a viable reason for being unemployed for a time. Just ask, or you’ll risks screening out those with amazing talent.

Here are valid reasons why some candidates might have employment gaps, and why you shouldn’t have second thoughts about interviewing them:

1.  The economy

We’d like to imagine that companies always finds a way to retain top talents—even when they’re pressed under economic conditions. The fact is that many factors come to play when deciding who stays and who goes. Thousands of highly qualified individuals have seen their roles erased through no fault of their own.

Take a look at the dates on their resume if it falls on a timeframe where the economy was really bad. As professionals in the industry, we should be in tune with the labor markets and aware of significant periods of shrinkage.

2. Limitations on the resume

We are taught early on that you should only put relevant work experience on your resume. Individuals with 10+ years of experience know the drill of excluding some positions they’ve held so it’ll fit their 2-page resume. Job experiences can’t be seamlessly chronological on paper, and explaining gaps in cover letters can be counterproductive when resumes are the first to be screened. The same can be said for new job seekers who are encouraged to have a one-page resume.

3. Life just happened

Life experiences are just as good as work experiences. It shapes your attitude and personality. May it be taking time off to take care of your children, an ill family member, or maybe going on a world tour for six months. It teaches us skills we can’t learn from school or from holding a job. Skills can always be taught, but a candidate’s life experiences? They can be as applicable as work experience despite the presence of an employment gap.

The job market is competitive, and filling positions with great talent isn’t easy. But if you think interviewing someone with a crack on their work history timeline is a waste of time, chances are, you’ll miss having the opportunity of finding a great candidate.

Great recruiters know that employment gaps are a thing of the past. Let’s keep them there.

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What to Do If You Have a Horrible Boss

Apple and Google executive, Kim Scott, details the best ways a manager can get the most out of his or her team. We all know some managers can be a nightmare to work with. When this happens, Scott has three key pieces of advice to keep you from losing your cool.

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5 Books to Read That’ll Help You Become an Awesome Recruiter

There are thousands of books on human resources and recruitment, and if you want to read them all will probably take forever. So we’ve decided to narrow them down to the really good ones according to LinkedIn.

Remember that learning doesn’t stop in school but continues on as you course through your career. We guarantee that you’ll become a better recruiter by reading a few of these awesome books:

1. Knock ’em Dead Hiring the Best by Martin Yate

Why it’s a must-read: This book is directed towards hiring managers rather than recruiters. However, since recruiters must often coach hiring managers on how to make good decisions, this serves as a “train the trainer” manual.

2. 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire by Paul Falcone

Why it’s a must-read: You’d think from the title that this book is just a checklist of typical job interview questions. However, what Falcone presents is an entire philosophy of interviewing that is the exact opposite of the canned question approach. It’s full of examples and explains why these questions work and how to interpret the answers correctly.

3. Keeping the Millennials by Joanne Sujansky & Jan Ferri-Reed

Subtitle: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation—and What to Do About It

Why it’s a must-read: Because of our insanely rapid pace of technological change, there is a larger cultural difference between Millennials and Baby Boomers than there was between the Boomers and the Mad Men generation that raised them. Recruiters must navigate between these two cultures and help both generations to work together.

4. Who by Geoff Smart & Randy Street

Why it’s a must-read: The authors of this somewhat mysteriously named book conducted extensive research into how human resources department function effectively inside corporations. The result is not only eye-opening, it’s practically a manifesto on why recruiters have never been more valuable than they are in today’s slightly crazy corporate world.

5. Hiring for Attitude by Mark Murphy

Image result for hiring for attitude

Subtitle: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude

Why it’s a must-read: One of my recent posts was about how Chipotle uses attitude as the main determinant for hiring. This book explains how the hiring and interview process must change so that companies can weed out candidates whose attitude will create failure.

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Here’s the 1 Thing That Will Help Keep Millennial Employees From Quitting

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Companies and their senior leadership are asking the wrong question. It’s not about how to hire or attract millennial talent. And it’s not even about how you keep them engaged. The real question is: What can you offer them that they can’t get anywhere else? What can you do to nurture loyalty–and how does that ladder up to solving tangential issues like employee engagement?

A 2016 survey by Jobvite cited that of the entire workforce, 18 percent of the total changes jobs every one to three years. For millennials, it’s 42 percent.

This means that by the time you get a millennial employee trained up and actively providing value for your team and company, they’re on to the next one. They’re looking for the next job, which typically comes with a promotion, a pay raise, a new blend of benefits, and (they hope) a more attractive day to day routine.

Millennials GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Here’s the truth of the matter: it’s really not about millennials at all. It’s about people. Human to human interaction, and the underlying issues with running a business that tend to run opposite of personal development. It’s just millennials are the most vocal generation thus far, unafraid to speak up about what they’re feeling along the way.

Managers want productivity; millennials want to be judged on results, not hours clocked. Older business owners want them to follow their rules, their way; millennials want to change the way things are done to be more efficient, based on the ways they use and interact with technology. The list goes on and on.

What has happened is that the entire millennial generation seems to have been chalked up to being a bunch of kids who just need some new toys to keep them entertained. Which has led to the installation of ridiculous props in the workplace to make it seem like the work environment is something that it’s not: an arcade machine in the corner, a bar and barista by the far all, big chalkboards or dry erase boards with open space for millennial employees to write inspirational quotes around the office. And sure, all those things are great. They can certainly make a work environment feel more playful. But how impactful is an arcade machine, really, when the manager you report to every day continues to operate like an hour-chasing conductor?

Ask yourself how you can impact your employee’s personal development. 

It’s astounding to me how many people, business leaders included, seem to have “pinpointed” the issues plaguing the millennial generation. I am a millennial myself, and here’s what I have been reduced to: impatient, entitled, naive to the way the world works, uninterested in paying my dues, expecting everything to happen overnight, and most of all, filled with a false sense of confidence because I “received too many participation awards growing up.”

And yet, the irony is that after all the conviction backing these sweeping generalizations of the millennial generation, the proposed solutions have been to order a few ping-pong tables for the office, put together a Frisbee team, and serve beer on Fridays.

How, in any capacity, does that address the underlying issues (and coinciding reasons) millennials seem to be job hopping like crazy?

They don’t–and that’s why so many companies are struggling to keep their millennial employees engaged. And not just engaged, but keep them at all.

If you want to keep them, be willing to provide guidance.

You say millennials are impatient? How many of you–whether you’re the business owner, or the vice president, or even just a middle manager–make the time to nurture and mentor that millennial you call so impatient?

You say millennials are entitled? How many of you make an effort to listen and understand where that perceived entitlement is coming from?

You say millennials expect everything to happen overnight? How many of you see that as a positive opportunity to play the mentor and give them some guidance as to life’s journey?

Not very many. And that’s the root of the root, the real reason so many companies struggle with loyalty. Because loyalty isn’t found on a ping-pong table, or at the bottom of a red solo cup on a Friday afternoon.

Loyalty is the way you treat, nurture, and help someone else grow–friend, significant other, or dare we say, employee. Loyalty is the impact you have on them as a person, with the awareness that they have their own life, their own desires, hopes and aspirations.

Loyalty is the exchange that happens beyond the paycheck. The conversations you have, and the guidance you provide them, teaching them, empowering them, showing them not just how to perform their job better, but how to be the best they can be in life.

“What are millennials searching for?” you ask.

They’re searching for that.

Someone willing to show them the way, but give them enough freedom to also figure things out on their own.

The moment you start thinking of your millennial employees as mentees, someone you can teach impact as a human being, is the moment you begin to build real loyalty and longevity.

It’s just, most people don’t want to do that.

And buying a ping-pong table is a whole lot easier.

This article was originally written, Nicolas Cole, a writer and essayist, and a Top Writer on Quora. His work has been published in Time, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and more. He is best known for writing true stories about self-development.

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This Management Hack Will Definitely Eliminate Employee Burnout

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Every company wants engaged employees. Numerous studies show that such employees consistently outperform their less motivated peers, creating better products, more revenue and more profit.

However, there’s a dark side to having employees who consistently go the extra mile: burnout. As Tony Schwartz recently pointed out in the New York Times:

“Last week, Fortune Magazine released its list of the top 100 companies to work for, compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute. I’m familiar with many of the companies on the list. I’m not aware of a single one that isn’t struggling with the issue of employees who feel exhausted and pushed to their limits.”

In other words, people who love their jobs end up working so hard that they start to hate their jobs, at which point their personal productivity plummets.

I’ve personally seen this happen to numerous people, especially in startups and large high tech firms; heck, I’ve ridden that one hump rollercoaster a few times myself.

Some companies deal with this phenomenon simply by accepting it. They push employees until they burn out and then discard and replace them.

Hiring and training new people, though, can be expensive. What if there were a way to keep employees motivated without burning them out.

Turns out that this “silver bullet” may actually exist and, what’s more, it’s relatively cheap to implement.

According to research that to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, the main source of employee burnout is the expectation that emails will be answered after hours. The study notes that:

“an ‘always on’ culture with high expectations to monitor and respond to emails during non-work time may prevent employees from ever fully disengaging from work, leading to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion.”

What’s fascinating about this finding is that the burnout results not from the volume of work or the extra hours of work but from the “mere expectation that workers will respond to email in their off-hours.”

For example, suppose an employee is putting in 10 hour days 7 days a week. While that’s obviously a heavy workload, it needn’t result in burnout as long as that employee is allowed to completely disconnect for the 14 hours he or she isn’t actually working.

The Girlfriend Experience GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Conversely, employees working an average of 8 hour days 5 days a week will be prone to burnout if they know that a boss, customer or client might email at any time of day or night with the expectation that the employee will respond.

In order to keep your motivated employees from burning out, all you need to is make it perfectly clear that work emails need only be answered during work hours.

Yes, that will involve a little discipline on the part of management and employee alike, but the potential benefits are enormous.

Indeed, over the past few years, I’ve been running into an increasing number of people who simple do not answer emails sent during off hours. Despite (because?) they’re not plugged in, they seem to get more accomplished than the folk who are available 24/7. And they don’t seem to burn out.

And that’s seriously good news for everyone.

This article was originally written by Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author and professional speaker whose award-winning blog, Sales Source, appears daily on

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This Is How You Inspire Your Team to Bring Their A-Game Every Day

As a manager, it’s one of your responsibilities is to lead your team to greatness. This can get a little exhausting at times, especially when difficult circumstances arise. But remember that becoming a great leader doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a day-by-day process.

There will be moments which can wear down even your most audacious employees, times where they’ll feel unmotivated and unproductive. When these moments do come, here are helpful ways you, as the boss, can do to keep your team motivated to consistently perform like champions every day.

1. Start with the man (or woman) in the mirror

The energy of your team will, of course, start from you. If you’re not excited and inspired, your employees won’t be either. Your mindset is your most important asset, so you have to continually work on it as part of your self-care regimen. Focus on creating solutions, achieving goals, and share your enthusiasm with your employees.

2. Cheer, don’t just coach

Great leaders bring out greatness in their team because they see what is possible and transfer that belief to their people. Empower your employees by letting them know you believe in what they do. Often your belief in them will directly affect their confidence in themselves.

3. Practice empathy

An old-school management practice is to give negative reinforcement to drive results. This has been proven to be ineffective, and it also creates an unhealthy work environment for everyone. By leading your team with support and empathy, you will build a stronger relationship and increased rapport with your team. Your employees will step up to the plate and deliver at the next level.

4. Don’t micromanage

Leave employees alone. That might sound counterintuitive, but backing off is a great way of motivating your team. Top performers want space to be their best, all the while feeling a real sense of trust from above.

5. Keep your doors open

Demonstrate your eagerness to support your team by having a regular one-on-one time to discuss how they are. When impromptu requests come up, regardless of how the day has gone or the deadlines looming, view it as an opportunity to empower your team members through feedback and support. These conversations could be anything from work or personal life related. Just make sure you don’t disclose any personal things about your discussion. Keep it between you two.

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Do You Know What Makes A Good Leader? (VIDEO)

What makes a great leader? Is it their potential of leading? Is it their 5 year experience in management? We’ve gone through countless books and articles that help us become a great leader to our team, but management theorist Simon Sinek suggests being a great leader requires someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.

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6 Bad Management Habits You Need to Stop Doing to Be Successful

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

Every now and then, I’m reminded of timeless leadership lessons that countless books and research studies have told us over several decades about what good leaders do and don’t do.

Just when I think we’ve turned the corner, I observe yet another downfall from either a client in a management role or a leader in the public-eye being called to the carpet in the media. Usually, the mistakes are costly, and all of them could’ve been avoided.

But eventually, the buck needs to stop somewhere. Why not now? Here are 6 habits that you, the leader, can zap into oblivion once and for all.

1. Stop gossiping

Think this toxic behavior doesn’t damage the work environment? Some negative consequences of leaders who gossip include:

  • Gradual decline of trust and morale.
  • Work productivity goes down because people are emotionally caught up in the manager’s drama, thus wasting precious company time.
  • Anxiety and tension are high as rumors circulate and people walk on eggshells without knowing what is and isn’t fact.
  • Divisiveness as people take sides.
  • Unexpected turnover and loss of good talent who left due to the toxic work environment.

2. Stop judging others

Leaders that judge others like a sport shouldn’t expect their employees to come to them for advice or problem-solving. What a judgmental attitude will do is alienate people and create a toxic environment. If this is you, your best plan of action is to stop jumping to conclusions before hearing all the facts, and start listening intently to improve your communication skills. Do this and your workers will slowly gravitate toward you as you make it safe for them to do so.

3. Stop hiding behind a mask

People want their managers to be real with them. Display authenticity, be transparent, exercise good self-awareness (understanding yourself and others), and be open to input from others, even those below you. This is not eating humble pie. It’s showing up in all your courage and leadership strength by have emotional honesty running through your veins.

4. Stop with the “it’s all about me” attitude

The type of leaders that operate from hubris are only thinking about themselves and their own needs. They typically don’t care about the things that matter to their colleagues or subordinates, and will probably get defensive when being confronted. Don’t expect an apology when you’re wronged. If this narcissistic behavior persists, address it soon through the proper channels to see how he or she responds.

5. Stop ignoring your people (and start recognizing them)

If you think praising employees has no strategic value, you underestimate the power that comes from recognizing them, especially your high performers. In fact, The Gallup Organization has surveyed more than 4 million employees worldwide on this topic. They found that people who receive regular recognition and praise…

  • increase their individual productivity.
  • increase engagement among their colleagues.
  • are more likely to stay with their organization.
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.

6. Stop leading from a position of power or ego

Hubris is the cause of much conflict. In fact, know-it-all managers who think they have the best ideas and information, and use it to wield power or control over people, typically destroy morale. The general feeling of employees in one survey I conducted points to managers who aren’t able to “own” being wrong or handle being wrong properly.

Your Turn

OK, these can be challenging hills to climb for some in management roles. The first step is to always acknowledge that this is a current reality. Perhaps initiating honest conversations with trusted peers who see the damage being done from the periphery should be your first move before a 360-degree feedback process or employee opinion survey takes place.

This may have been a tough article to swallow, but take the higher road: Ask yourself the obvious look-in-mirror question, “Which of these can I commit to stop doing, so my whole team benefits from some new habits?”

This article was originally written by Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, a leading provider of servant-leadership training and coaching designed to create healthy, engaged and profitable work cultures.

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3 Common Mistakes You’re Probably Making That Causes No-Shows

How do you feel if your applicant didn’t call, or didn’t show up for the interview? Considering the time you’ve invested in his or her application. It’s frustrating right? But what if we tell you that sometimes, it’s not entirely their fault.

Here are three common mistakes you’re probably making that make them not want to show up for an interview:

Poor Communication

Sometimes, recruiters think that with one phone call and one follow up email/call (with details of interview) will convince the candidate to turn up for the interview. Chances are they might not.

Source: Acclaim Images

Candidates often feel the lack of interest, lack of knowledge, lack of recruitment process clarity and this means they are less engaged in the process.

This can be avoided by having a solid and continuous communication prior to the interview. The goal is to remove as much uncertainty as possible in the interview process.

Pro Tip: Be fully knowledgeable on the job position and provide all necessary details ( job description, company details, growth prospects, interview process etc) in the initial call and immediately through a follow up email.

Poor employer branding

One thing companies must consider is focusing on their employer brand. A lot of today’s jobseekers say that they would entirely accept a job offer from a company, may it be reputable or not, if it showcases a strong employer brand. Candidates have to opportunity to get a feel what’s like inside your company, see the staff in action, and the kind of work environment it has.

Source: LinkedIn

If companies have poor employer branding, chances are they’re not attracting enough or even the right applicants, thus resulting to no-shows. Jobseekers are now looking for much more than salary in a new job and therefore organizations need to pay much attention to how their entire brand is perceived.

Pro Tip: State the reasons in your company’s About Page why employees will have a great and fruitful career when they work in your company.

Ignoring logistics

Often, both the candidate and recruiter overlook the interview location. Considering location is actually a vital aspect when it comes to job interviews, as some candidates have to come from different provinces or cities.

The most common reasons for no-show logistic issues are: location is too far off and the realization dawns on the interview date, unable to locate the interview venue, was not able to get a leave because the interview was scheduled at short notice, and the interview was scheduled during work hours and their inability to get off work.

Pro Tip: Give as much as possible advance notice about the interview schedule. Do not push for interviews with short notice.

Kalibrr recently conducted a survey of Metro Manila jobseekers to find out if they’ve ever stood up from an interview, and 40% of respondents say that they skipped an interview without informing the recruiter beforehand.

Finding out why some applicants didn’t show up for interviews can help you improve your marketing and recruitment process, making it more effective and efficient. Download this free whitepaper for the complete guide to make your candidates show up.

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7 Simple Ways Women Can Become Great Leaders

This article was originally published on Inc. Southeast Asia. Read more here.

I was recently asked to speak at a national women’s organization on the topic of leadership. While I was grateful for the opportunity, I found myself struggling with some old – and what I’d thought were conquered – feelings of being an imposter.

Having arrived at my own role through an unlikely mix of luck, hard work, and invaluable support and advice from those around me, I found myself wondering how I could talk to other women about leadership when only a decade ago, I couldn’t imagine myself spending my days the way I do now.

I never dreamed of being a scientist or engineer or doctor. While my major in college was special education, my real dream was being a mother – the kind who sewed elaborate costumes, baked homemade bread, volunteered at school, walked to the library and explored museums with our kids. And that is exactly how I spent my days for almost two decades – loving every moment of it.

But when an opportunity presented itself to do something unplanned that I saw as having the potential to change the lives of others, I made the leap and metamorphosed from that stay-at-home mom into a tech startup founder and CEO.

It would be an understatement to say that I immersed myself in the deepest, longest, most rewarding learning curve of my life.

The more I considered my message, I realized my own journey was all I could share – and, with it, the lessons I’d learned for myself as I grew into my role and embraced the journey of growing our company, raising venture capital, and scaling to serve more clients.

Here are seven things I’ve learned about leadership:

1. Be authentic

Whatever your style, whatever your personality, when you embrace who you and get comfortable in your own skin, others will also feel more comfortable in your presence.

2. Anger is not a substitute for strength

Even if you are facing misogyny, disrespect, or insubordination, if you allow anger to be your fuel, your response will likely be spiteful, cruel, and unkind. Anger can quite effectively prompt us to act, but it cannot be the fuel we use to make our decisions or drive our actions.

3. Don’t gossip

As simple as it sounds, it isn’t simple at all. If you talk to your team about other people, they will not tell you what is going wrong, because they will not believe you will keep it private. If you don’t have your team’s trust, you cannot lead. You can drive, but not lead. That takes trust.

4. Kindness is not a sign of weakness

It is sometimes easy to confuse being tough with being a good leader, and there are times that toughness is exactly what is needed. But kindness comes from strength, and it is a choice that makes difficult situations easier and good situations a real win.

5. Compassion fuels loyalty

There are times when we know someone is struggling and needs us to choose their wellbeing over that of the company – whether it is relief from an overwhelming responsibility, showing understanding in the face of a terrible mistake, or accommodating urgent needs for some unexpected life event. While it will be your responsibility to mitigate the impact for the rest of the team, when you can respond in compassion, you will gain loyalty from your team that will be returned far above and beyond what might be expected.

6. Pick your battles, and then stick with it until you win

Understand what your deal-breakers are – things that absolutely must also be the values of your team. Whether it is prioritizing customer complaints or never tolerating undermining between team members, make a short list of traits or company values that are non-negotiable. When you are annoyed with a team member’s behavior, decide if it is simply an annoyance or if it violates one of these values. If it is an annoyance, let it go. If it violates something on your list, address it head-on and don’t relent until you have resolved the issue completely. If you fight every slight offense, you will be resented. If you always give in, no one will follow.

7. Integrity is a better companion than success

Pick integrity every time. No matter how tempting it is to cut corners or do what is expedient rather than what is prudent, you will eventually have to pay the price for those decisions. Better to take the hit and keep your integrity intact than choose success that is built on dishonesty or poor ethics.

This article was written by Lisa Abeyta, founder and CEO of APPCityLife. It is a corporation based in Albuquerque and New York that makes it easy for cities to develop mobile apps for their communities. @LisaAbeyta

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Should You Hire Attitude Over Skills?

In a perfect recruitment world, you’d hire someone whose attributes are equally great as their skills and experience. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and finding a candidate with both is as difficult as finding a needle in haystack.

You’ve probably heard the famous line “Hire character, train skill,” by Peter Schutz, so this isn’t really a new HR dilemma. But do we really know the benefits of each? We’ve differentiate both which will hopefully be helpful during your next hiring process.

Hiring For Character

There are a number of companies who hire new employees based on their character and then train them on the job. They do this with the idea that it’s easier to teach or enhance a person’s skill, but difficult to change their character.

Experienced and talented employees with bad attributes often fail at their jobs. However, the less experienced or perhaps second-best employees with great attitudes tend to succeed long-term. This doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention to technical skills. Just don’t make technical skills you main focus.

Character can be considered more valuable than an having an MBA or PhD. They can have all the necessary experience and skills, but if their personality does not fit the company culture, are they the best person to hire?

Hiring For Skills

On the other hand, you could also argue that a person’s character can only get them so far. When real talent and skills are needed, attitude might not be enough to succeed. This is where skills and experience reign supreme.

Imagine interviewing someone with with a great attitude but doesn’t have the necessary certifications that are required for the job. Think, nurse, engineer, architect, doctor. That would be a safety hazard, not to mention a waste of time.

When you hire for skills versus attitude, try to get the best talent available. A team of happy employees is great in theory, but if they do not have the qualifications to succeed, you may find yourself stuck in a rut.

Ultimately, always look for the best of both worlds when hiring a candidate: they must have the willingness to be trained with new skills and have a great character.

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Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume (Video)

If you’re given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the latter one a chance.

Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says.

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