Category Archives: Productivity + Tools

6 Things to Accomplish Before the Holiday Break

The holidays are looming in on us and everyone at work is probably jollier with each passing day. There are decorations in the office, perhaps a secret Santa in the works, and a Christmas party that everyone is excited for.

Before you let the Christmas season take over, you've got to make sure that your operations are ready for the holidays as well. We may be closing the books on 2016 but 2017work year is just around the corner. Just like Santa, make your pre-holiday list and check it twice to be sure you're ready for 2017.

1. Update your work calendars

A good number of your employees have probably opted to use up the rest of their vacation leaves for 2016. To avoid wondering where half the company went, have your team update the company and leaves calendars so that you don’t waste time looking for people who aren’t even in the office.

2. Delegate the work that needs to be re-allocated

Since a few people might be on holiday already, you need to make sure someone is going to pick up the work that gets left behind. While it’s ideal that your employees did their work in advance, there is going to be some work that needs to be done in real time.

3. Identify the who will be on call

There are national non-working holidays and if you’re lucky, company declared holidays too. For most teams, you should be able to unplug completely for a couple of days but there will be others like the IT department or customer service that will still need manning even during the vacation.

4. Send Christmas emails to clients

While this isn’t a necessary gesture before the holidays, it is a nice one. Close up your 2016 books with a Christmas greeting thanking them for their business. A holiday email isn’t just polite as you can use this to communicate important information about your operations for the holidays and the new year to come.

5. Clear holiday bonuses

This one is for you just as much as it is for your employees. Though they won’t admit it, your employees are waiting for their 13th month pay and sooner or later, some will start asking for it so that they can cover holiday expenses.

6. Plan and start on the new year

As much as we’d like the new year to be a fresh start, let’s be realistic—when you get back to work in January, you (and most of the company) will still be on vacation mode and it will take a day or two for everyone to get back into the groove.

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Effective Meetings

6 Ways to Have the Most Effective Meetings Ever

Actually, there are no secrets. An effective meeting is the result of organization and a zero tolerance for dilly dallying. Meetings are one of the biggest time waters in many companies and that’s because the composition of your meetings is usually a mix of stress levels and priorities so they tend to veer off track at one point or another. For those of you who have been to your fair share of meetings that seem to drag on forever, this could be helpful.

PS: You might also want to send these tips out as an office memo.

1. Choose carefully the participants of your meeting

Before you go sending a company wide invite for your next alignment meeting, think about what your attendees can contribute or gain from the meeting. Attendance can make or break the effectiveness.

If you have deadbeats at the meeting, you won’t get anything done. If the manager/executive isn’t there, then no big decisions can be made. Select your attendees carefully (it won’t take much time) and make sure that everyone will be there.

2. Send relevant material ahead of time

effective meetings

(Source: myinsightmag)

Mark Zuckerberg does this and it is golden. Apart from your meeting having an objective, it saves up on think time to send your attendees relevant material, data, and reports beforehand.

This way they can study up and the meeting time can be used for discussions. If you want to take it a step further, ask your attendees for their individual feedback on the material before the meeting and you can save even more time for pressing matters if they come up.

3. Have an end goal

effective meetings

Source: shirleypalmer.com

You can use this as a means to drive the meeting or you can let your attendees know that this discussion or that decision has to be made by the end of the meeting. By doing this, you significantly decrease the chances of getting sidetracked and you can implement a parking lot for when unrelated ideas come up.

Setting a specific goal, as opposed to just a ‘having a meeting’, gives the meeting a clear purpose, and will direct the discussion towards achieving that goal.  If you have one takeaway from this article, let it be this.

4. Stick to your agenda

effective meetings

Something has to happen in order for you to get from point A (objective) to B (end goals). Set an agenda for even the simplest of meetings and you eliminate the risk of time wasting distractions during the discussions.

It doesn’t have to be a detailed agenda, sometimes a simple list of topics and priority points is enough. In relation to sending material ahead of time, you can send this beforehand, too, and ask for feedback or points for inclusion that you might have missed.

5. Start on time, finish on time

And here’s the clincher. Let go of the concept of #FilipinoTime. Whether or not you call for the meeting, start changing the culture around the office and arrive on time so that you can finish on time as well.

Your employees/boss have things to do after the meeting (and you probably do too) so it really is a win-win practice. This is also a great way for you to practice punctuality (which is a great habit to have, in the first place).

6. If you’re at the meeting, be at the meeting

effective meetings

Source: Madalyn Sklar

This one is as literal as it gets. When the people at your meeting are busy checking Facebook or cramming a report, its going to take twice as long to finish your meeting.

Implement a no (unnecessary) technology rule at the meeting so that your attendees are all ears (and minds). This will direct the focus to the objective at hand and allow everyone to contribute, both out of respect for the person who called the meeting and for the purpose of actually getting something done in that meeting.

It might be time to send that office memo.

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5 Reasons to Implement a Shorter Work Day

There’s been quite a lot of buzz about companies adopting a shorter workday to help boost employee efficiency. When a Swedish retirement home cut their work day from 8 to 6 hours per day with the same pay, the government-run home experienced increasingly improved results with both the nurses and the elderly they were caring for.

The idea of working less hours and getting the same, if not more, work done is not a new one. As early as 2003, there were companies piloting the 30-hour week and the results were good enough that the shorter work day became their standard. While there are arguments that adopting the shorter work day isn’t for everyone, the number of companies making the shift have been growing in recent years and some have even assumed a 4-day work week.

Your company might not be ready for a three-day weekend just yet but perhaps a 6-hour work day is for you. Here’s why:

Increased productivity

Source: www.lifehack.org

When employees are made to work 8 hours a day, they have a tendency to procrastinate because of the amount of time they have. Our brains stretch the workload and in doing so, tire us out. Having 6 hours to finish their work, employees will be able to be on crunch time without losing focus or much energy. They will be “pressured” to finish their work without the opportunity to burn out within the day.

More time for everyone

A 9-3 or 8-2 work day means that you can either bring your kids to school or pick them up and in both cases, you can still spend a good bit of the afternoon with them. If you don’t have kids, this extra time can be for you to spend as you please–do some cleaning around the house, pick up a hobby, cook a real dinner, or simply read a book. A shorter work day means more time for you, too.

Employees who stay

Source: Entrepreneur

As the boss, a shorter work day is a risk but to your employees, it’s quite the attraction. You can use this to leverage new talent and to keep your existing talent on board. Martin Banck of Toyota Gothenburg made the switch and his employee retention is better than ever, as are the sales of the car company. Employees, a good number being millennials, value work-life balance and if you can help provide that, they won’t go anywhere.

Employees who are healthy

Source: m.factoflife.net

Constant long hours result in poor performance and increased stress levels.Conflict in the workplace is also triggered by tiredness and irritability. Alleviating the late work nights and the lack of sleep from your employee’s days will do wonders for their well-being and in the long run, this will show in their output and the office harmony. By allowing them (and yourself) to recharge properly, health and wellness will improve drastically.

A smaller carbon footprint

(Source: entrepreneur)

(Source: entrepreneur)

Everyone dreads  Manila traffic but the shorter work day and a new energy level might prompt employees to ditch their cars and opt to commute to work. No matter the size of the company, a car off the road is a car off the road. For the individual, this also means nearly beating the traffic altogether; for the environment, you would actually be decreasing the traffic and pollution. Two for the price of one at no added cost.

Are you ready to make the switch?

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3 Easy Productivity Hacks Every Recruiter Should Be Doing

Recruiters are always looking to have productive days, and with good reason. Have you ever seen a recruiter’s inbox? They’re always swamped, flooded with 39 candidates per job posting, so with every little boost into their work ethic can absolutely make a huge difference.

While productivity tools can do a lot of good, sometimes it’s the simple changes of your routine that could help you work better, smarter, and faster.

1. Pause your Inbox

As a recruiter, emails are essential to your job. You need it to communicate with applicants, and be up to date with your job. But reading too much email can get overwhelming. If you don’t want your inbox to be clogged with emails, turn it off or use an app like Inbox Pause and put new emails on hold until you are ready to address them. More time to hustle

2. Don’t Multitask

A lot of people think that multitasking will make you more productive. It doesn’t. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it does, because studies have shown that overall productivity actually decreases with multitasking. If you want to get more work done focus on one single task at a time. Recruiters are often prone to this, even though it’s been proven that it does not work, with the exception of 2% of the entire population. If you’re part of that percentage, then go ahead, multitask away. If not, don’t even bother.

3. Work (a bit) on Sunday

If you’re part of the working force that loves Mondays, then there must be something wrong with you. The reason why most of the world hate Mondays is because it’s the least productive day of the week. We usually spend this day catching up on work and emails we missed on the weekend, plus there’s the usual update meetings to attend to. Address this by spending an hour (just an hour!) of your Sunday and sort out everything—emails, reports, little tasks—that usually crowds your Mondays. Get a head-start, and you’ll feel less stressed out and more productive the following day.

Bonus: Get some exercise

It’s really not a secret that regular exercise is beneficial for your health, but what people often miss out is that getting a bit of sweat increases brain function as well, which in turn will make you more productive. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, preferably in the morning. It’s the quickest pick-me-up you can get for a morning boost. Your mind and body will thank you for it when you’re in the office getting overwhelmed with work.

Sign up on Kalibrr and start hiring better today! You can also follow us on Facebook for more business and recruiter advice.

10 Productivity Tools Perfect for the Busy Manager

A goldfish’s attention span is 9 seconds. Ours is 8. And as far as recruiters, managers, or employers are concerned, we understand how stumped our lives could sometimes get. If you are the type of person who needs to be organized in order to function, then these applications and extensions are perfect for you and your multi-tab lifestyle. Even if you’re not that type, they could give you a boost of productivity when your running low on focus.

Browse through these 10 productivity tools and apps for all kinds of platforms and find one that fits your needs!

1. Rapportive

This Google Chrome extension immediately puts the LinkedIn profile of the person you’re talking to on Gmail on the side so you can easily check out their background, add them, and see your mutual connections. It’s great for building relationships and partnerships.

(Source: contentmarketinginstitute)
(Source: contentmarketinginstitute)

2. Momentum

Looking for a way to brighten up your new tabs? This creates a personalized home page complete with inspirational quotes, awesome background photos, a to-do list, and a “main focus for today.” Its a feel good extension that helps you get the job done.

(Source: omgchrome)
(Source: omgchrome)

3. Streak

Streak is an amazing customer relationship management tool from your Gmail inbox. It lets you invite teammates to view various stages (warm lead, pitched, closed, etc.) of your ongoing deals. Streak is perfect for sales, product development, fundraising, and deal flow. It also lets you track who’s viewed your email, when, and from which platform. This is best for small businesses and startups but if you’re looking for bigger management tools, check out PipelineDeals or SalesForce Navigator.

(Source: google)
(Source: google)

4. Pocket

This one lets you “pocket” websites/articles and save them for reading later. It’ll sync with all your devices and the best part is that you don’t need an internet connection to access them later on. So if you don’t believe in idle time even while waiting in line at the grocery then this is the best app for you.

(Source: theverge)
(Source: theverge)

5. AdBlock Plus

Block annoying pop up advertisements and save your energy and sanity with this one.

(Source: soft32)
(Source: soft32)

6. TimeStats

If you’re obsessive about time management then TimeStats is a work of art. It quantifies the time you spend on websites and presents them as charts so if you are overdosing on Netflix, this will flash all the red lights.

(Source: techhew)
(Source: techhew)

7. RescueTime

Similar to TimeStats but its more more comprehensive and holistic. This one tracks your digital life habits, accumulates data, and organizes it in beautiful color coded graphs and pie charts. If you get the premium version, it lets you set “focus mode” so it won’t let you open other sites until timer ends. Also works if you’re no good at time management.

(Source: exist)
(Source: exist)

8. Wunderlist

Lists galore. You can create lists of tasks and whatnot, share them with people (similar to Trello) and if you add deadlines, it’ll sync with your calendar and send you alerts for deadlines as well. It also syncs with your mobile devices so you can always be on the go.

(Source: thenextweb)
(Source: thenextweb)

9. Evernote

The digital notebook that has it all: notes, bookmarks, highlights, presentations, and lists. Evernote also has a feature similar to Pocket as a chrome extension, but it lets you just “pocket” phrases or photos instead of an entire web page. It also syncs with your mobile devices so its on-the-go friendly.

(Source: softpedia)
(Source: softpedia)

10. Sunrise Calendar

This is the most comprehensive calendar as it lets you integrate so many other apps like Facebook, Wunderlist, Trello, Todoist, LinkedIn, Evernote, Meetup, Gmail/Google Calendar, iCloud, Twitter, and a lot more. You will never need more than one calendar again.

(Source: teamtreehouse)
(Source: teamtreehouse)

Sign up on Kalibrr and start hiring better today! You can also follow us on Facebook for more business and recruiter advice.

It’s time to celebrate, recruiters!

Before the first month of 2016 comes to an end, we wanted to give you, our recruiters, a late Christmas present for the amazing month we have had with you guys so far. Our New Years resolution here at Kalibrr is to make sure your ability to recruit talent,that is best fit for your company,  becomes a much simpler, faster, and smarter process.

  1. Posting a job on Kalibrr is now as easy as 1 2 3!

Posting Job Post

That’s right! We made sure to only require what’s needed for a basic job post so you can get your job online and out into the job market as fast as possible! 

2. Additional job details are optional but more effective in attracting candidates. 

optional

Of course, we would still recommend that you fill in the optional fields after you’ve released your job post. We’ve noticed that companies that post more details about their job post attract  a wider pool of qualified candidates!

Moreover, adding details helps the Kalibrr algorithm find the best candidates to recommend to you.  If you weren’t aware, Kalibrr also recommends your jobs to potential candidates, so the more details you have, the better match we can find!

PRO Tip: Our premium recruiters use custom questions and  assessments to better qualify their candidates!

 Custom Questions ( Premium Feature ) Screenshot 2016-01-28 23.23.09

Custom questions allows recruiters to be more personal with potential candidates. You get to see how they communicate (written and verbal ) as well as understand them better as people.

Assessments (Premium Feature)

Screenshot 2016-01-28 23.24.16

Kalibrr spent a lot of time creating great assessments over the last few months so recruiters can have an easy time validating the skills and experiences of potential candidates. We have a wide assortment of assessments: from testing for typing and english fluency and as advanced as testing for proficiency in sales and programming.

Industry secret: We also work with our premium companies to create their own custom test just for their hiring needs.

3. Resolving the issue for following up with No shows and No Responses 

Over the last few months, e-mail exchanges for no shows and no responses have been ending up in support@kalibrr.com. This creates a bottleneck between the recruiter and candidate as kalibrr gets in the way of resolving follow ups between the two.

We now route all no shows and no responses straight to your company so you can quickly follow up on potential candidates!

4. A better experience for SMS.

 We noticed that some recruiters forget that their messages are also sent as text messages to candidates. As a result recruiters who send long messages end up sending insanely long and multiple text messages to the candidate. This frustrates the candidate and creates a bad impression of the recruiter — they think it’s spammy.

Screenshot 2016-01-29 00.30.53

Introducing… a check box for SMS.

Screenshot 2016-01-29 00.26.16

 It may sound like a small feature… but trust us it will do wonders for your recruiting and communication! The candidates will now have a better experience with your company when communicating in text.

This simple and quick improvement will ensure that your company creates the best recruitment experience for potential candidates out there! It also encourages your recruiters to be concise — saving more time for your company!

5. More candidates on Candidate search!

Screenshot 2016-01-29 02.00.52

We improved our algorithm to ensure that you get a better and wider pool of candidates when you use candidate search!

Screenshot 2016-01-29 02.00.29

PRO Tip: You can expand  or narrow the results by using filters on the left side of the screen. Play around with it. It’s fun to search the database! We’re sure you’ll find the right fit for you with this thing!

That’s all for today, Kalibrr recruiters! Hope all of you have a great weekend! Happy recruiting!

Tune in again next week for more updates!

P.S  Our next post will be for Jobseekers! 😉

Top 6 Certifications IT Recruiters Need to Look Out For

If you’re looking to hire an IT talent for your organization, certifications are an excellent way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Between two equally qualified job-seekers, the one with IT certifications on the resume is the better candidate because of the following reasons:

  • It’s an indication that the applicant takes his IT career seriously;
  • It’s proof that he is knowledgeable in that specific technology; and
  •  He is highly trainable, which is an important trait in the fast-paced IT industry.

Certifications add more value and enhance your employee’s skill sets, which will, of course, benefit your company in the long run. Career-oriented professionals know that in today’s competitive IT jobs market, getting certified is one of the best ways to stand out from their peers.

In the tech industry, there is no dearth of IT certifications to choose from—with close to 1,700 professional affiliations within varying branches and different levels of expertise. Those who know which career path to take need only to acquire the certification required to deepen their knowledge and skills in a particular technology.

As a recruiter, this makes it easier to find the perfect talent to fill any job openings in your company. There are six IT certifications that most businesses can stand to benefit from. These professional affiliations are also some of the best foundations on which to build any IT professional’s career.

 

1. Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

(Source: Abhinavpmp)

(Source: Abhinavpmp)

When it comes to setting the bar for IT Service Management, the ITIL certification is considered to be the worldwide quality standard. It is the basis for running and managing efficient IT departments, providing outlines for non-organizational specific best practices methodologies to help companies establish a level of competency.

ITIL certified professionals are adept at helping companies identify areas that need improvement. More than that, they can also provide solutions, including step-by-step, actionable guidelines on where to make specific changes to increase productivity and reduce overhead cost.

 

2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Regardless of size or industry, organizations need employees with the ability to oversee the development of a project—from its inception until its completion. Aside from that, the project must be accomplished within strict timelines without going over budget.

Acquiring a PMP certification is proof that an IT professional has the necessary skills to handle complex tech-related projects on time and budget. It is also considered to be the most important certification for project managers that is globally recognized by virtually any industry today.

 

3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator-Associate (Cloud)

(Source: Domenech)

(Source: Domenech)

As more companies turn to the cloud to help manage business operations, there’s never a better time to have an IT professional who is proficient with the intricacies and challenges of cloud computing.

The AWS certified employee knows how to deploy, manage, and operate the scalable system on the Amazon Web Services platform. This is an entry level certification that demonstrates an understanding of the Amazon cloud solution for the IaaS solutions. Further, it is recommended for any engineer tasked to support AWS-based applications.

 

4. Lean Six Sigma

(Source: Wikipedia)

(Source: Wikipedia)

Lean Six Sigma certified employees are equipped with the tools and techniques needed to fix processes that cost an organization time and resources. It’s a methodology that enables you to create efficient processes by eliminating wasteful activities and maximizing efforts toward delivering more and better products and services.

Streamlining processes help increase revenue and satisfy customer’s needs. This certification also develops a sense of ownership and accountability—traits that will promote active engagement and participation of employees.

 

5. Mongo DB Certified DBA

(Source: DevOp Services)

(Source: DevOp Services)

Big data is still in its infancy but is growing at exponential rates. Most organizations expect big data to be a major game-changer in the coming years. This is why it’s important to have an IT professional on board who can manage it. They need to create structured avenues and have the ability to use the tools and applications needed to leverage on big data.

A Mongo DB certification proves that an IT professional is proficient with run-time configuration, processes, scaling, backup and recovery, monitoring, and performance tuning for databases.

 

6. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

(Source: CEI Org)

(Source: CEI Org)

CISA used to be considered by most organizations as a “nice to have,” but that’s changing in recent years. CISA is world-renowned as the standard for those who audit, control, monitor, and assess IT and business systems.

As a designation, it demonstrates a capability to assess vulnerabilities, report on compliance, and institute controls within an enterprise. The spotlight among organizations has been focused on concerns relating cyber security, and a CISA certified employee can help your organization to practice standards and processes that promote confidentiality, software development, and maintain its integrity.

The most successful IT professionals are those who always seek new information and update what they know on a consistent basis.

As technology continuously evolves and changes at an increasingly faster pace, hiring and employing a pool of IT talent that can keep up with these changes will help ensure that your company stays at a competitive advantage.

Sign up on Kalibrr and start hiring better today! You can also follow us on Facebook for more business and recruiter advice.