Category Archives: March 2014

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Behavioral Event Interviewing

Are you prepared for your next interview? Whether you are the interviewer or interviewee, pre-interview preparation is vital to getting the job and candidate you truly want. Some of the most difficult interview situations come unexpectedly, such as when you interview a disagreeable candidate, or discovering that the references provided were not professional. It is important to learn how to equip yourself for when these situations arise.

From March 17 to 18, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Profiles Asia Pacific held a 2-day workshop that will educate participants about developing valuable questions, interview techniques that get behavior-based examples of past performance, and strategies for the interview. The workshop also discusses communication techniques and the use of unique interview questions.

Participants of the workshop will benefit by learning to recognizing the cost of a wrong hire, developing a fair and consistent interviewing process, creating better job advertisements over multiple channels, developing job analysis’ and profiles, and more.

Stay current on future seminars at profilesasiapacific.com


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Earth Hour 2014

In support of international movements to help promote a sustainable world, we encourage you to take part in the upcoming Earth Hour 2014 on March 29. In our previous post, we covered World Water Day, focusing on the lack of access to clean water, and the vital tie between water and energy. Earth Hour, which started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, aims to raise global awareness of climate change by encouraging individuals and businesses around the world to turn their lights off for 60 minutes. Earth Hour will take place on March 29, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. and the Philippines will join other countries around the world in observing this event.

In 2013, a number of iconic landmarks showed their support of Earth Hour, as buildings around the world went dark. Some of these landmarks include The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101, The Petronas Towers, Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Gateway of India, The Church of the Nativity (Birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem), Eiffel Tower, The Acropolis, Tower of Pisa, The Spanish Steps, Buckingham Palace, The UK Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Christ the Redeemer Statue, CN Tower, Las Vegas Strip, Times Square, The Empire State Building, and the Niagara Falls.

“The Philippines absorbs some of the world’s most violent typhoons, and has had to adapt to climate change earlier than most countries. Yet, it is home to a resilient and cheerful people who have been championing Earth Hour since 2008.” – Earth Hour website

Learn more at EarthHour.org, and back a project or add your voice online. We hope you will join us in our intentional blackout for our Earth!


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Customer Service Training

Developing good customer service skills will help businesses in any industry, and individuals in any walk of life. Understanding the basics of good customer service means understanding how to conduct yourself around people. Customer service representatives, technical and support personnel, field service representatives, small business owners, account managers and salespeople all benefit from learning the essentials of customer interaction.

From March 26 to 27 at 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Profiles Asia Pacific will hold a 2-day workshop that will answer the following questions, and more.

  • What should I do when I have an unpleasant customer?
  • Am I not assertive enough with demanding customers?
  • Who are my customers?
  • Do I know my individual and organizational goals?

Your behavior impacts the behavior of others, so it is important to learn how to communicate effectively, make customer service a team approach, develop confidence and skill as a problem-solver, and recognize that service delivery is a responsibility.

Learn more or register at profilesasiapacific.com


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World Water Day

World Water Day 2014 will be on March 22.

Water is arguably the world’s most valuable resource. Humans, plants and animals need it to survive. However, the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished areas must struggle to survive without access to clean, drinkable water. This inequity leaves billions without adequate sanitation, sufficient food or energy services.

World Water Day aims to bring attention to these struggling communities, and to lead the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. According to UNwater.org, “worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.”

Objectives of World Water Day in 2014

  • Raise awareness of the inter-linkages between water and energy
  • Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to the nexus of water and energy
  • Demonstrate, through case studies, to decision makers in the energy sector and the water domain that integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts
  • Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Water and UN-Energy, can offer significant contributions
  • Identify key stakeholders in the water-energy nexus and actively engaging them in further developing the water-energy linkages
  • Contribute as relevant to the post-2015 discussions in relation to the water-energy nexus.

What You Can Do

  • Reduce and conserve your water consumption
  • Measure your water consumption and figure out where you can cut back
  • Use energy-efficient and water-saving devices, such as economical showerheads
  • Only use heated water when necessary, as it requires considerably more energy than room temperature

World Water Day was first held in 1992, after a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Countries around the world were encouraged to devote the day to implementing UN recommendations on clean water programs.  This year’s celebration highlights the link and interdependence of water and energy.  Particular attention will be given to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality.

For more tips on how you can conserve water and energy, check out Seven Ways to Save Energy by Saving Water, and the World Water Day website.


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The Value of Learning Seminars

It is easier to build on people’s strengths than to correct their weaknesses.
– Malcolm Pick, National Director of Profiles Asia Pacific

Learning seminars are important for employees of all levels. It provides opportunity for continual growth, allows you to learn more about a specialized topic, and in most cases provides a deeper understanding of yourself. If you are not exactly sure what to expect when attending one, here is a sample breakdown of a recent workshop called “Ensuring Team Effectiveness.”

  • Two different sessions are offered; a morning and an afternoon session. You may choose whichever is more convenient for your schedule.
  • A few days prior to the seminar, an assessment is sent out for participants to answer. This is one of the assessments that Profiles Asia Pacific offers, and will measure what type of team member role you take predominantly.
  • A number of ice breakers help the group of participants get to know each other and a little more about themselves. One ice breaker involved people moving to different parts of the room based on their personality traits. For example, those who are comfortable in leadership positions are asked to move to the left, while those who prefer to focus on family before career are asked to move to the right. Once everyone has found their place, they are told a little about their most probably strengths and weaknesses.
  • The seminar itself involves psychological theories and evidence. The presenter gives tips on how to put together effective teams and choose complementary team members.
  • Half-way into the 3-hour seminar, participants take a working break and fill out a personality and leadership assessment. Snacks are provided.
  • Participants leave the seminar with certificates of participation, and two assessments of themselves as team members. These assessments include recommendations for improvement and are valuable tools for participants moving forward.

Please note that the recap is based on one particular seminar. Expect differences in other equally beneficial seminars.


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Hire Out or Promote Within?

There is no correct answer to whether you should be hiring new applicants or promoting from within the company to fill open positions. There are pros and cons to each hiring technique, so employers and human resource managers need to carefully consider what they need before deciding on one applicant pool or another.

Accepting new applicants is beneficial when your company is expanding. If your company does not have any qualified candidate, filling a position from within the company would be a waste of time, resources, and effort. You can hire new graduates with fresh ideas who are ready for training, or you can hire mature applicants who bring a wide variety of skills and experience. New applicants are also great for infusing new talent and energy into a company that may be stagnating. According to HR Zone, “organizations that use employment agencies are more often guaranteed to receive only the best and skilled applicants.”

Promoting from inside a company is usually quicker and more affordable than hiring new applicants, since it cuts out the need to spend on job advertising. Applicants who already work for the company generally require less assessment and testing, since employers already have the additional insight of performance evaluations and referrals. When hiring within a company, employers know which of the candidates comes in late, who successfully completes projects on time, who gets along with their coworkers, etc. Your candidate will already know about the company and the company culture, and are unlikely to be entertaining other external offers. Promoting within a company draws from a ready pool of applicants who have already shown their skills and ability. Allowing growth within a company also shows employees that loyalty and quality work is rewarded with job security.

The bottom line is, no method is completely correct. There are great reasons to hire both outside applicants as well as current employees, so HR managers should hire based on where the best applicants are for what the company needs.


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Defining “Human Capital”

Human Capital: The attributes of a person that are productive in some economic context. Often refers to formal educational attainment, with the implication that education is investment whose returns are in the form of wage, salary, or other compensation. These are normally measured and conceived of as private returns to the individual but can also be social returns. (Econterms)

Human capital results in economic gains, supports company growth, and assists overall business success. The term can also refer to how much of an investment you are making in your employees. Companies should think of their employees as valuable investments, paying attention to employees’ education and “the capacity to deal in abstractions, to recognize and adhere to rules, [and] to use language at a high level.” (James Traub, 2000). Look at some key attributes of an employee when determining how much he or she would add to your company’s human capital.

Diverse and inclusive – Make sure everyone on your team brings a unique skill set, and is open and accepting to other ways of thinking.

Deliberately placed – Everyone should be in a department they can excel in, and doing a job that he or she enjoys.

Trained annually – As mentioned before, a company should never stop increasing their human capital, which does not necessarily mean adding employees. Human capital is also increased when current employees grow and improve.

Continually moving – In order to keep employees motivated, there must always be the opportunity for growth. “This simply means making sure your employees have the opportunity to evolve and transition with the demands of their position, or the position and roles they can occupy in the future.” (Arlene Chandler, 2013).

Human resource departments should begin considering current and potential employees in terms of human capital. Education cannot stop when someone is hired; companies need to continuously grow and improve their human capital by seeking good candidates and continually training current employees.


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Hire Someone You Would Work For

Hiring one candidate over another is a tough decision. When there are multiple skilled candidates whose qualifications fit the job requirements, how does a HR manager decide who to hire?

Here’s a tip: Hire someone you would want to work for.

There are a number of underlying traits that determine whether or not someone would be a good boss, and those traits are important to consider in all employees.

Standards also go up when considering who to work for vs. who to hire. You want to hire someone who is intelligent, but you want to work for someone who takes intelligence a step further into innovation. You hire someone who is a hard worker, but you want to work for someone who can balance work and personal life with good time management skills, and still get top results.

Look for humility. If a newly employed worker is proud and not open to criticism, he or she will not be a good boss. Employers who lack humility are likely to ignore suggestions, push responsibility to others and cause low employee retention rates.

Look for leadership. Because of the opportunity for internal promotion, every employee should have the potential to lead. Leaders are also valuable when problems arise, since they are quick to handle the situation and willing to step into a position of authority when no one else is.

Look for integrity. Good leaders are always trustworthy. They can be trusted to treat their employees fairly, run a business honestly, and handle problems with integrity. These are all valuable characteristics in an employee.

Look for problem-solvers. Leaders can solve difficult problems with integrity, instead of waiting for someone else to hand them a solution. Employees need to be able to think logically to overcome obstacles, preferably well enough to be a leader.

Finally, look for someone who fits the company culture. Whether he or she is an intern or a manager, all employees need to get along with their coworkers, bosses, and the people who work below them.


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