Category Archives: January 2014

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Picking A Good Candidate

By Rachel Andrea Ko Go
Writer, Profiles Asia Pacific

When people do work that suits them, where they shine and they’re connected to their power source, the work is better and the wins are bigger. – Liz Ryan

When selecting a good candidate, employers and human resources managers have to look beyond a resume and cover letter to the skills and personality of each candidate. Holistic hiring takes into account what a person likes to do, in addition to what they are good at doing. Someone who has skill in one field and no passion with produce flawless work that has been produced hundreds of times before, with no originality. The benefits of using assessment tools when hiring include gaining candidates who will be innovative, who suit the position, the company culture, and who will work well with their teammates.

Some questions to ask before you hire someone:

  • What is the candidate best at?
  • What is the candidate interested in?
  • How does the candidate work in teams with a clear leader? What about in teams with no leader?
  • Can the candidate work independently?
  • Is the candidate well-rounded? Does he or she have experience outside of work, such as volunteer or internship experience?
  • Is the candidate likely to slack off, or become unhealthily engrossed in their work?

Last but not least, if no qualified applicants are found at the end of the selection process, consider spending a little more time and money searching rather than hiring someone who may not be qualified.

Remember to look at performance indicators based on research and studies, critical behaviors, reasoning, interests and aptitude of a candidate.


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Balancing Work and Personal Life

By Rachel Andrea Ko Go
Writer, Profiles Asia Pacific

Keeping your personal and professional lives separate is important for many reasons. It helps keep you professional at work and relaxed at home. It will help you stay productive, avoid burnout and keep you sane.
Modern day technology has made it a little bit too easy to access work from home. We can check our emails on mobile devices and have meetings virtually anywhere. This ease-of-access can wreak havoc on the separation of our work and personal lives. Here are a few tips to help you keep your personal life personal, and devote your work life to work.

  • Unplug. Stop checking your work email once you get home and do not check any personal messages while you are at work.
  • Use separate devices for your work and personal lives to make it easier to unplug (from work when you’re home, and from home when you’re at work).
  • Create a to-do list for each day that involves work and personal items. It is important to put personal time on the list to make sure you do not get caught up in work.
  • Block out periods of time that you can devote to either work or leisure.
  • Do not discuss personal matters at work. During work hours, your coworkers are not your friends.
  • If your personal life takes you away from work, avoid sharing the details. Just let your boss know, and move on.
  • If you work from home, set up an office space that is not visible from your bed.
  • Commit to only work when you are in the office, whether your home office or otherwise, and avoid working on your bed, the kitchen counter, etc.
  • Extremely few people have the luxury to leave work on a day-to-day basis with a clear desk. Do not rush your job to get projects out of the way, just accept that you will have more work the next day and go home.
  • Stop for coffee or take a walk on your way home to create a conscious action that symbolizes the end of work and beginning of personal time.
  • Relax when you get home. Have a glass of wine!

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Defining “Quality of Life”

By Rachel Andrea Ko Go
Writer, Profiles Asia Pacific

What do you think of when you think of a “good” life? Do you think of money, luxury items, exotic vacations, fast cars, a big house and catered parties? Those things do not necessarily add up to a good life. It is what you do with the things that you have, and how you think of your current opportunities that create a good quality of life.

The first thing you should remember is that “quality of life” is not a synonym for “standard of living.” Quality of life is a term we hear that often refers to wealth, but it very much depends on intangible aspects as well. Standard of living is based primarily on income, whereas quality of life refers to your environment, health and wellbeing, education and social engagement.

The University of Toronto defines quality of life as “the degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life.”
One of the vital distinctions between standard of living and quality of life is that you can enhance your quality of life today, simply by adjusting your mentality. Instead of thinking about what you want, focus on what you have.

Decide to be content with what you have, meet friends or family for lunch more often, or make a list of all the things you can do right now. Can you plan a trip to the beach? Can you enroll in a weekend class in your passion? You will be amazed with the opportunities you never realized you had until you really thought about it.

So when you think of the term “quality of life,” do not allow your mind instantly go to luxury items and bank accounts. Instead, think about happiness, opportunities and the people around you, and measure your life by the quality of your daily activities, mental wellbeing, and the company you keep.


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Improving Employee Efficiency

By Rachel Andrea Ko Go
Writer, Profiles Asia Pacific

Employee efficiency should be a priority for every company. Employees who take pride in their work create an efficient company, better work atmosphere, and produce a better product.

It is important to realize that workplace efficiency relies as much on management as it does on employees. An environment of productivity results from accountable employees who are motivated, rewarded and communicative, regardless of rank. Here are some questions to ask to help evaluate how well your company is creating efficient employees.

  • Do employees earn their salary by simply showing up, or are they required to meet goals each month?
  • Are employees incentivized to produce quality work, monetarily or otherwise? An example would be allowing an employee who accomplishes something ahead of deadline to leave the office early.
  • Does management recognize individual employees with exemplary performance? This will encourage the employee to continue to work hard, and encourage other employees to work harder.
  • Do employees have clear communication channels to make needed changes? If something in the office is making it hard to get work done, an employee should be able to discuss it with someone who is authorized to make changes. The key is letting employees know that this communication channel is open to them, should they have suggestions for workplace improvements.
  • Are employees micro-managed? Giving employees the authority to resolve small issues independently eliminates the drain of time and resources it would take to elevate an issue to management for approval.
  • Are there extra touch-points in the office workflow? Is a document going to someone more than once unnecessarily? Eliminate any unnecessary procedures that take up time and resources.
  • Do your employees work well with their coworkers? People work best when they are in a team they can trust and rely on, with complementary skills.
  • Are your employees continually challenged? Monotony is deadly to innovation. When employees get stuck in a pattern, they may not be as deliberate in their actions, or as aware of the big picture behind a project.
  • Are your employees in the right department? Different people have different skills, talents, and personality traits. An extroverted employee would probably be more comfortable than an introverted employee when interacting with clients.

Once you have asked these questions, you should have a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your company in terms of employee efficiency.


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