Philippines’ Top HR Blog

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Productivity tips: Are you a maker or a manager?

Knowing the difference between a maker and a manager, and where you fall in the spectrum, can be crucial to your productivity. It affects how you should structure your day, handle meetings, and approach collaboration. This post provides some productivity tips for organizing your day.

What’s a manager?

A manager is a leader whose responsibility leans toward project management, organization, and keeping clients happy. A manager in a business scenario is someone who gets most of their work done in meetings, via delegation, and is important for quality assurance.

The biggest concerns of a manager include getting deliverables to clients, making sure the company is profitable (revenue versus cost), and ensuring continued business success.

Best schedule for a manager: Managers are able to divide up their day into segments, and meetings are still productive for them; Their day isn’t thrown off if they take a break.

What’s a maker?

A maker is also known as a technician, and they are responsible for creating deliverables. A maker is a writer, designer, developer, and anyone else who creates the products or services that your business sells. If you run a PR agency, your makers would be the people who write press releases and land placements.

The biggest concerns of a maker are creating quality deliverables within deadline. They are responsible for producing what clients want.

Best schedule for a maker: A maker needs uninterrupted periods of time to finish his or her work. Meetings are disruptive to makers’ days, since it breaks up their periods of continuous productivity.

Whereas managers can hop from meeting to task and remain productive, makers tend to get into a workflow that shouldn’t be disturbed. If you’re a maker and must attend meetings, try to schedule them all on one day of the week, or get them out of the way in the morning. Having a meeting looming may disrupt creativity and focus, as the maker will have it on mind.

Are you a maker or a manager?

Knowing whether you’re a maker or a manager will allow you to adjust your schedule and working practices for maximum productivity. If you’re a maker, avoid meetings unless it’s completely necessary. And if they are, then schedule them first thing in the morning, or during a set day.

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6 Ways to stay healthy and productive this flu season

Sniffles, coughs, and sneezes abound. Hearing those familiar, unwelcome sounds indicates the start of yet another flu season. If you hear plenty of the sniffles around your office, here’s how to avoid getting sick. If you already caught something, we also include some tips on how to get work done through it.

1. Load up on vitamins

Making sure your body is equipped with nutrients and vitamins needed to maintain a healthy immune system is your first defense against illness. Loading up on vitamins includes eating well, adding lots of color (fruits and vegetables) to your diet, and avoiding sugar. You may also opt to take a multivitamin, or drink freshly pressed juices in the morning.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated is good for your skin, and combats aging. If that isn’t enough to get you to pick up a glass of water, it’s also good for staying healthy, get rid of toxins, and fight off infections.

If you show any of these signs of dehydration, start drinking more water; thirst, dark urine, dry mouth, headache, and fatigue.

3. Wear a face mask

Face masks help keep your airways clear of germs. An easy way to catch a cold is by being near someone who’s coughing and sneezing. The mask will block any particles that might be carrying viruses or bacteria from entering your body through your airways.

Masks are great for staying healthy, but they’re also important to wear when you’re sick, to avoid spreading diseases. We’ll discuss this a little more at the bottom of the article.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is when your body resets and repairs itself. When you don’t have enough sleep, it could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. The typical adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep, but you can check how much sleep you need according to your age.

5. Sanitize your workspace

Smartphones and computer keyboards have more germs than a toilet seat. If you want to avoid being exposed to excess germs, clean your workspace regularly with disinfectant. Tools like Cyber Clean are great for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like the crevices of a keyboard.

6. Avoid smoking and alcohol

When not taken in moderation, alcohol weakens your immune system and doesn’t leave you feeling so great. Smoking can also make you more susceptible to harsher colds, because cigarette smoke increases lung inflammation and damage. Keep yourself healthy by avoiding over-drinking and cigarette smoke, at least until flu season passes.

If you’re already sick…

If you’re already sick, follow the steps above and see a doctor to find out if it’s a simple cold or something that needs stronger medication. Get the right treatment, and don’t go in to work to avoid getting others sick. Ask if you can work from home and do meetings via video call. If staying home isn’t an option, be sure to wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.

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Doing HR for the first time? Here’s what to look out for

Being in HR for the first time is especially challenging, because HR is responsible for the well-being of every other department. If you’re just starting out and looking for ways to make a meaningful contribution, here are some tips for HR beginners.

Get to know your team

These are the people you’ll be working with, relying on, and reporting to. As a newbie in HR, you should see your team as your allies. They can teach you valuable lessons about the company, industry, and role you’re undertaking.

Learn about the expectations of the role

In order to do your job well, define your responsibilities. It’s important for you to know what you’re accountable for, and what falls in someone else’s realm. When you know what you’re responsible for, you can take ownership and work to improve the processes for efficiency and effectiveness.

Study the company and industry

Study the HR industry to learn the trends and best practices for HR management. Doing this will help you pick up management methods and different ways you can handle problems that come up.

Study your company and the industry it’s in to get a good hold of rules and regulations you must observe. Knowing the pieces in play around you will help you advise employees when they come to HR for advice.

Don’t try to make waves immediately

It’s understandable to see inefficiencies and want to fix them immediately, but take some time to learn how the company works first. It’s possible that something you see as useless actually has a good use that isn’t apparent to a new employee. Make a list of recommendations and escalate them as suggestions before you try to muscle your way to changing the system.

Learn how success is measured

Understand how success is measured for your role and for the company. This will allow you to align your mission and the company’s so the entire team is working together for common goals. Knowing how your role’s success is measured will also help you to do a good job, and focus your energy where needed.

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3 Surprising Ways Mobile Communication is Improving HR

A staggering 97 percent of Americans text at least once a day, and that kind of smartphone attachment means that it’s easier than ever to reach people whenever you want and wherever they happen to be. Our society is on the move and to be efficient, our human resources departments have to start moving too.

The answer lies on mobile communication and the benefits are surprisingly diverse.

Better Efficiency Through Automation

Historically, there has always been one constant that applies to office work: employees have to be there to get anything done. The 9-to-5 grind has evolved into 40-50 hour work weeks that leave companies debating the merits of overtime versus the drawbacks of a soaring labor costs, and workers loathe the loss of work-life balance. Even more frustrating is the energy and organization it takes to manage bulk responses to company-wide invitations or surveys.

Enter automation. The same concepts that make mobile marketing automation work so well for converting consumers also apply to communication between HR departments and employees.

  • Regular, no-delay responses build up a sense of trust because messages never go unacknowledged
  • Automation means no one has to actively press the “send” button or sift through responses one by one
  • Bulk mobile messaging gets the word out quickly in case of emergencies or last-minute changes but targeted lists allow for small-batch communication tailored to specific groups as well

Streamlining the Hiring Process

HR managers hoping for a communication and recruiting solution that actually makes sense – rather than making more paperwork for everyone – have finally found the answer thanks to mobile communication.

Hiring is typically a complicated process that involves a number of tedious steps for the both the employer and the applicant, but responsive mobile websites and secure SMS allow people to do everything from uploading a resume to electronically signing a contract while on the go. Text messages have an impressive open-rate of 98 percent, so it’s almost guaranteed that a job offer sent via SMS will reach someone long before an offer submitted via email.

Building a Social Profile

Online profiles aren’t just for bored teenagers anymore. Companies fighting over top candidates have to find an edge somehow, and when salary and benefit packages are just about even, it’s often company culture and “fit” that skew candidates one way or the other.

Building out a business’s Facebook profile and shaping the brand story using Instagram and Twitter are just a few ways that HR departments use mobile communication to connect. From uploading pictures from the annual charity run to posting news about a major deal or merger, it really is possible to change public perception using just 140 characters and a smartphone. Those Snapchat stories and status updates are just as effective on current employees, too; people who feel highly engaged at work are 59 percent less likely to look for a new job.

Mobile technology is quickly becoming an integral part of human resources strategies across the globe, but the technical side of things can be overwhelming. By starting small and focusing on the efficiency and personalization possible with things like text, it becomes startlingly easy to see how very helpful mobile communication can truly be.


Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, a complete SMS software with mas SMS messaging, smart targeting and automation.

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Pre-Screen Employees to Make the Right Choice the First Time


When you pre-screen employees before hiring them, you’re investing time and effort to avoid wasting time and money later on. Every bad hire costs you and your team resources. Here’s how you can use pre-screening to hire right the first time.

Keep interviews simple

Your interviews should get to the heart of what you need quickly. Pay attention to how they handle hard questions, the language they use, and whether or not they shift blame. Here are a few questions you can ask to gain a better understanding of their behaviors and values.

  • What’s one time something went wrong at work, and how did you handle it?
  • What’s an example of how you demonstrated leadership?
  • What was your previous boss like?
  • Why did you decide to leave your previous job?
  • What steps would you take if a client was unhappy?

Pay attention to skills and qualifications

Careful screening and background checks can save you from headaches and hiring mistakes. However, the most difficult poor candidates to weed out aren’t always obvious. Sometimes, an applicant can seem great to work with, but lack necessary skills for their tasks.

It’s easy to believe that someone you like is inherently good at what they do as well. Fact of the matter is someone could be a great person, but not the best at what they do. Don’t let the charisma of a candidate affect your judgement of their skills and ability to do the job.

Use assessments to gauge fit and capability

Despite the best HR training available, there are some things that are hard to see from resumes, applications, and interviews alone. You need to know how a potential new hire will fit into your team. Will their personalities match the company culture? Will their teamwork skills fit in with the personalities that are already on your team?

Normally, you would need to work with a new hire for a few months to see how they interact and get along with the rest of your team, but if you find out they’re a bad fit after those months, you would have wasted time and money already training them. To avoid this, use assessments like a DISC personality overview to pre-screen employees. If you have your existing team members take the assessment, and ask your potential new hires to as well, you’ll be able to see how they’ll interact and make sure your team is balanced.

What are your tips for pre-screening employees? Share them in the comments below!

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Public Seminar: Strategic Innovation through Critical Thinking

From January 25 to 26, we’ll be hosting our popular two-day workshop on Strategic Innovation through Critical Thinking. This seminar is for business leaders, CEOs who want to re-evaluate their corporate strategy and enhance their thinking processes to achieve better results in business.

People and businesses aim to be the best in what they do. No matter the type of industry you run or associate yourself with, you always want to have the upper hand. The question is how do you get to the top? Strategic innovation will help you achieve competitive advantage against your rivals. In today’s globally competitive environment, it is imperative to constantly adapt to change to remain on top of the market. This two-day course is designed to help you re-define your business models and strategies by means of critical thinking.

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Participants will understand strategic innovation and its importance to business, the processes and dimensions of strategic innovation, identify the values that support your company, and be able to complete meaningful SWOT analyses. We will also go over tools and techniques to create a strategic plan that directs the organization from the executive to the front line.

This course will teach you how to implement, evaluate, and review a strategic plan, identify how related tools (strategy map and balanced scorecard) can help develop a strategic plan, define critical and non-critical thinking, incorporate critical thinking to strategic innovation, and redefine the business, market, product, and business models.

Course Outline

  • What is strategic innovation and why is it important?
  • The content of strategic innovation
  • Understanding critical thinking
  • Where do other types of thinking fit in? (including whole-brain and left and right brain)
  • The critical thinking process
  • Where are we now?
  • Performing a SWOT Analysis
  • Setting goals
  • Assigning roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities
  • The full picture
  • Gathering support
  • Making the change
  • How does it look?
  • Getting there
  • Mocking up the process

Register Now

An investment of P8,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, snacks and lunch, a specialized student manual, and a personalized certificate of participation.

About the Facilitator

Jean Pierre Tolentino is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts Major in Economics at the University of the Philippines Diliman and M.A. in Business Administration in De La Salle University, Manila in 1978. He received a certificate in Strategic Planning from Fukushima University, Japan. He started as a staff assistant at Economic Development Foundation and rose to full consultant because of a five (5) level promotion in three (3) years. In 1978, he was the Sr. Manager at CPJ Corporation and VP of Olympia International Philippines in 1980. Mr. Pierre became an Asia-Pacific Consultant for the Belgian Government in 1987 and in 2010 he founded Fil. Resource Consultants Inc. with 6 other consultants.

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Public Seminar: Establishing Integrity and Accountability in the Workplace

Join us for a one-day workshop on January 20, 2017 to learn about Establishing Integrity and Accountability in the Workplace. This course will be useful for anyone who wants to have a solid reputation as an ethical and accountable employee.

Employees recklessly act but refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Why do we spend so much time and energy looking to pin the blame on someone, usually anyone but ourselves? Fostering workplace integrity and employee accountability develops values and creates a strong company image resulting to a respectful workplace with professional employees.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that organizations who promote accountability and integrity are more successful and more productive. In this one-day workshop, you will learn about accountability and integrity, how to promote it in your organization, and how to become more accountable and virtuous to yourself and others.

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Participants will understand what accountability is and what events in history have shaped our view of it, understand the significance of integrity for success, identify the requirements for personal and corporate accountability, apply the cycle of accountability and the fundamental elements required to build an accountable organization, build skills required for accountability, including goal setting, giving and receiving feedback, and delegation, pinpoint ways to build ownership in your organization, and isolate areas for further self-improvement.

Course Outline

  • Defining integrity and accountability
  • Integrity: A way of life
  • Modes of behavior that reflect integrity
  • Dealing with workplace misconduct
  • Work ethics that promote integrity
  • What accountability and liability really mean
  • Creating an accountable organization
  • Admitting mistakes and avoiding cover-ups
  • Reporting acts of misconduct
  • Setting goals and expectations

Register Now

An investment of P4,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, snacks and lunch, a specialized student manual, and a personalized certificate of participation.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management”.

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Public Seminar: Retaining Workforce through Positive Motivation

Join us from January 17 to 18 for a workshop on Retaining Workforce through Positive Motivation. Anyone with a direct report can benefit from being able to effectively motivate people.

It’s no secret. Employees who feel they are valued and recognized for the work they do are more motivated, responsible, and productive. This is a two-day workshop to help supervisors and managers create a more dynamic, loyal, and energized workplace. This program is designed specifically to help busy managers and supervisors understand what employees want and to provide them with a starting point for creating champions.

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Course participants will identify what motivation is, learn about common motivational theories and how to apply them, learn when to use the carrot, the whip, and the plant, discover how fear and desire affect employee motivation, and explore ways to create a motivational climate and design a motivating job.

Course Outline

  • What is motivation?
  • Supervising and motivation
  • Motivational theories
  • The carrot, the whip, and the plant
  • Fear and desire
  • Setting goals
  • The role of values
  • Creating a motivational climate
  • The expectancy theory
  • Designing a motivational job
  • A motivational checklist

Register Now

An investment of P8,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, snacks and lunch, a specialized student manual, and a personalized certificate of participation.

About the Facilitator

Ms. Imelda Celestina Lee Monsale has twenty-three years of experience in designing and implementing behavioral training modules, administering psychological assessment, counseling clients with behavioral and emotional disorders, and conducting various research studies in the different fields of psychology. She is an Instructor for Personal Transformation and a consultant of corporate companies where she renders her expertise in training and counseling to address concerns that affect employees’ productivity and well-being. Ms. Monsale has completed all the coursework for a Ph.D. program in Guidance and Counseling at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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How to Hire Your Top Performers This Year

The success of a business relies on having a good team at your back. When you can delegate and rely on talented professionals, you’ll be able to grow your business well and sustainably. If you want to take things slow, here’s a plan you can follow to hire your top performers this year.

Month-by-month plan to hiring your top performers

This plan can be followed more quickly than is laid out, but we broke the steps down by month to keep from overwhelming your current, already busy team.

Caution: If you leave too much time between a candidate applying and a job offer, you risk losing that candidate to another opportunity.

January: Research job boards

Be proactive, rather than reactive in your hiring process. In addition to posting job openings on your careers page, go out and find where high performers are. Some platforms allow you to post jobs, and others allow you to peruse profiles to see who you’d like to reach out to.

Identify three or four job boards that you can scour for applicants, and then post your openings on five or six.

February: Put together your top 10 choices from each platform

Once you get all of your information together, put together your top 10 choices (profiles) from each platform, and select your top 10 applicants from the channels where you posted a job listing.

These will be candidates who meet all your minimum requirements on paper, and ideally who also meet your preferred qualifications. They should have relevant experience, and their resumes should demonstrate achievements you want.

March: Reach out to your prospects

Reach out or reply to your top prospects, and get the conversion going about their availability, work permissions in the country, and other factors that may not be stated in their profiles/applications. If everything checks out, and you’d like to move on, go to the next step.

April: Set up a quick interview with HR

Create a calendar where they can schedule times to come in or do a virtual interview with HR. Human resources should be able to gauge whether the candidate is a good cultural fit for the company, and whether his or her behaviors and personality would benefit the company.

May: Select your top candidates for a test task

From there, take your top 5 or so candidates to move to the next step. A test task is still work you’re requiring these candidates to do, so it should be paid.

Make sure the task is something you will use anyway, to avoid wasting time and money vetting these candidates. For example, if you’re hiring a writer, ask for a blog post you can put on your blog. If you’re hiring a developer, have them try to fix a bug or work on a dev task that has to get done anyway.

The test task will bring your candidates into contact with the teams they would be working with, and will demonstrate the candidates’ communication skills, teamwork abilities, and skills in action.

June: Get feedback from your internal teams

After your candidate has completed his or her test task, ask your internal teams for feedback. Anyone who came in contact with them professionally should have an impression of how they work, skill level, and how easy they are to work with.

July: Set up interviews with c-suite and the departments they would work with

Candidates who completed their test task successfully, delivered good work, and weren’t a nightmare to work with should get scheduled for an interview. They should talk to the departments and teams they’ll be working with directly in the position.

August: Make your selection

By now you’ll be armed with the feedback of HR, internal teams, and your candidate’s skill level, ability to deliver, and communication skills. This is enough to make your selection, put together an offer package, and send it out to your candidates.

September: Wait on their replies and signatures

Once you’ve sent your offer, expect negotiations to take some time. They may ask for a while to think on your offer, or accept right away. Some candidates will reject your offer.

For those who accept, get all the paperwork, NDAs, any required medical exams, and other legalities out of the way.

October: Onboarding and introductions

Your new hires should know who they will be working with, in what capacity, and they should understand the company structure.

Onboarding entails they have access to all the accounts they need to work, they are equipped with company email addresses, and understand their role and responsibilities.

November: Ensure they have everything they need for success

Once your new hires have gotten properly introduced and onboarded, make sure they have everything they need to hit the ground running. This could take some time as they settle in to their new roles, and figure out what else they need.

December: Follow-up on their progress, get feedback

When your new team member has been working in his or her role for a few weeks, follow-up and see how their progress is going. You could ask questions like “do you see any gaps in our processes?” or “is there any skill you have that we could be utilizing but aren’t?”

Getting a fresh pair of eyes in an organization is valuable for growth and innovation, and in no time your new hires could evolve into valuable team members.

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Public Seminar: Interviewing Techniques That Work

Join us from January 12 to 13, 2017 and start the new year right by learning interviewing techniques that work. This two-day workshop concentrates on the pre-interview preparation; developing questions and their value; the interview techniques that get specific, behavior-based examples of past performance; and the strategies that follow through on this process. This workshop takes the behavioral interview even further with a discussion of communication techniques and the use of other types of interview questions.

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This course is for business leaders who are responsible for conducting job interviews, hiring staff and/or recruiting volunteers, and anyone who works with teams and wants to be more confident and effective.

Participants will analyze the costs incurred by an organization when a wrong hiring decision is made, develop a fair and consistent interviewing process for selecting employees, prepare better job advertisements and use a variety of markets, develop a job analysis and position profile, and understand the basic employment and human rights laws that can affect the hiring process.

You will also learn to use traditional, behavioral, achievement oriented, holistic, and situational (critical incident technique) interview questions, enhance your communication skills, effectively interview difficult applicants, and check references more effectively.

Course Outline

  • History of the Interviewing Process
  • The Recruitment and Selection Process
  • Factors in the Hiring Process
  • Cost Analysis
  • Job Analysis and Position Profiles
  • Determining the Skills You Need
  • Finding Candidates
  • Advertising Guidelines
  • Screening Resumes
  • Performance Assessments

Register Now

An investment of P8,500 plus VAT includes instruction by an expert facilitator, small group workshops that provide “active learning” which is known to be the most effective method for adult learners, snacks and lunch, a specialized student manual, and a personalized certificate of participation.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management and was a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities. She authored three books on Psychology/HR Management namely “Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice”, “Uses of Psychological Tests”, and “Human Resource Management”.

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