Furloughed? Displaced due to COVID-19? Let’s find you a new work today!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Saying that we are in a really crazy time right now is an understatement these days. Some people are lucky, and that includes myself, because they get to keep their jobs amidst the pandemic. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for most people around the world right now.

I had two things in mind when I was thinking things through:

  1. What if it’s me who is looking for job? To whom should I reach out to if my role becomes redundant because of business decisions? What would I do? Where do I begin?
  2. Within my network, I can see that at least two people are looking for a new work after getting displaced. As a recruiter and a champion of Talent Attraction and Marketing, what’s stopping me from connecting them to a work that I know?

Then, this mission finally happened.

I want to help.

I have the tools. I can build the audience. I can write. In a millennial term, I need to find out “What’s not clicking, Brenda?”

Now that I have renewed faith in my passion (and a renewed subscription of my domain lol), expect that over the next weeks or so (every fortnightly, if not weekly) I will be sharing my expertise and some tips on how to land and ace your interview, improve your resume, or simply share some of my newly discovered work-at-home hacks and essentials to get things going for your remote work.

Every blog that I will publish will also feature leads (mostly work-at-home jobs) to help anyone who is looking for new work (whether because of job change, displacement… that’s on you). Leads will not be country or location-specific because I will share them as I see fit. So that means I could be sharing an opening in the Philippines today and an opening in the US next week.

Job market is stalling? Not for my company!

You know, it’s really scary when we hear people talk about how the job market recovery is stalling and when we see more people claim unemployment benefits these days not just in the United States but as well as globally. On the contrary, the company that I work for is nowhere near slowing down.

Did you know that even before the pandemic hit TTEC has already been employing thousands of work-at-home phone agents across the globe? Yes, unlike typical outsourcing companies out there, our goal is to make customer service-related work available for people globally. Working from home is not easy. However, if you have some of our minimum requirements we can help and set you up for success – internal career mobility, full-time benefits, outstanding work culture, transparent leadership… you name it, we have it!

Oh, if you happen to be in the United States (minus California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and New York – so sorry!) you may want to check out this Work From Home Customer Service Representative work that we have. I once asked why we couldn’t hire to those states right now and my boss’s answer was simple: it’s because of state legislations that they have in place right now. Soon, when things might be different, we will be able to hire from those states, too! Over the next four weeks, we are hiring 3500 representatives to join us and if you wish to be one of them, let me know!

From the Philippines: if you’re looking for a career under Human Resources and Talent Acquisition, check out this Global Talent Acquisition Co-Ordinator post that we have for you. Potentially, we need someone who is agile and flexible schedule-wise. If you’re someone who loves collaborating and discovering news ways to effectively support your market and region this role could be for you.

Now, if you’re unsure about what to pursue but is keen to hear more from TTEC, you can join the Talent Community to hear the first dibs from us. We send some cool stuff, watch out!

Let’s help each other. If you know someone who is looking for work right now, connect them with me and we can help them find a job, which means it’s not only limited to TTEC. My email is always open to connect with you if you have questions or opportunities to share.

What is Happy Hour and why is it important to our company culture?

Getting stamped to claim free food and booze.

According to a study, 79% of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. This claim backs up our quarterly Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys at TaskUs when we asked teammates about their reasons to leave the company and their top five (5) most common answers were: (a) unmanageable workload; (b) undefined metrics and goals; (c) incompetent salary and benefits, (d) lack of opportunities to grow, and; (e) change in the workplace culture.

This is where the idea of Happy Hour comes in.

The history of Happy Hour at TaskUs

Some lovely Mexican treat for everyone.

TaskUs started hosting Happy Hour in 2014 where we allow our colleagues to down a bottle or two of booze, serve some healthy snacks and encourage everyone to bring their ridiculously good self to work. A little caveat that TaskUs has other rewards schemes, such as the group-based and individual-based referral promos, and LizardBear Club for our top performers, but the goal for these Happy Hours is to extend gratitude to everyone who has been consistently performing and to recognise people who have significantly contributed to the development of their team and helped the company reach its goals for a particular timeline.

TaskUs’ 11th year x Fort Excellence’s 1st year

Last Friday, we celebrated two anniversaries at our office in Bulacan. We celebrated TaskUs’ 11th year and the 1st year anniversary of Fort Excellence, our Bulacan site’s moniker. It’s my first time attending Happy Hour in the office this year and I was able to witness and capture on photos how talented our teammates are!

With the help of our HR team and operations leaders, we commended those who joined and represented Fort Excellence at the LizardBear Cup, TaskUs’ annual sports fest, last month. Everyone who participated was recognised and applauded by the team, whether they made a podium finish or not. They all got exclusive TaskUs merchandises and the winners received more.

Special thanks to our lovely hosts that day, Barbie and Daisy, for making sure everyone’s engaged and welcomed throughout the program! We look forward to many more Happy Hours with you. Thanks for sharing your time and hosting skills!

Some more photos from the event…

Why Happy Hour?

The good thing about hiring outstanding people is we could always expect high performance from them. In order for colleagues to stay engaged at work, the business should help colleagues unlock their true potential and never see them as dispensable resources of the company, and this is where I’m proud of TaskUs.

I like how Jaspar Weir, the President and Co-Founder of TaskUs, explained our greatest commitment on this article. By promoting a good employee experience journey, we uphold the People-First culture of TaskUs. Hence, we are rewarded by over-the-top performance from our colleagues and we are confident that our clients are in good hands. By creating a culture of collaboration, we are encouraged to treat everyone with respect and to listen to crazy but amazing ideas which will help us disrupt our current processes and discover new ways to do things.

We do not see the ideas of working hard and having fun as mutually exclusive from each other. Through Happy Hour – a simple, cost-efficient and engaging way of recognising people – we’re able to keep our employee satisfaction high, our attendance have drastically improved and voluntary attrition has went down. In turn, more teammates are producing more quality outputs through increased productivity at work.

There is no hidden formula and no perfect way to do employee engagement. The thing that sets TaskUs apart from the competition is how our team was able to realise what works best for the business and how the leaders pushed the limits and boundaries for us to remain a ridiculously good place to work at.

The biggest mistake I ever did in an interview


Photo credits to Luxebag.com.

Last year, prior joining my current company, I got contacted by my dream company. What I meant with dream company was that it’s my employer of choice; that when I finished college in my university I see myself working there for the rest of my life. Fate has different plans and brought me to different industries and employers, but last year was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for a very long time.

My dream company wants me. They. Want. Me.

They were very discreet about my application because I honestly told them that I didn’t want my employer (former) to know that I’m exploring opportunities outside early on. They agreed. We went on with the processes. I got endorsed to the next steps. I was feeling it. I was close. It was a home run, so I thought.

“Correspondence… we regret to inform you, Kim, that we won’t be moving your application to the final step which is the interview with our boss based in UK. Thank you for your time!”

What happened? We were all positive and head on with the interviews, so what went wrong? How could this happen? I was so close. I even asked the manager about the feedback and he said,

“Hi Kim,

Thank you for going through the interview process. We appreciate the fact that you were consistently early for your interview schedules and demonstrated a clear grasp of the subject matter. We also appreciate your being very transparent with your accomplishments, challenges and how you overcame them to get results. We also believe that you’ve demonstrated a strong passion for Employer Branding across industries – this was very evident in our conversations about your work. Finally, we have observed that you are a very driven individual, and you have a strong desire to achieve / excel in any role you take on.

We did however find that there were certain topics where you could have been more concise, and answered more directly – while we appreciate the nuances of your processes, we would have wanted more insight into the solutions you had proposed / the results you generated.

It was a pleasure to meet you, and we hope to work with you again in the future.

Thanks!”

I didn’t respond to the manager after but I sent my regards. It was my first interview for a very long time. I got so used to being the one conducting the interviews that I forgot how it feels like to be questioned. Now the lingering question is, what went wrong?

As a Recruiter, I’ve dissected every step of the application process and I was able to find out the big mistakes I did during the course of the interviews and assessments. Here are my takeaways:

I was not giving any solution.

While I was able to present myself confidently to the manager and the rest of the team, I was not able to articulate the solutions that I have formulated and implemented. It should be 30-70 take – 30% you should appear strong and adept all the time, 70% you should discuss what you did to address a problem/situation in your team.

The manager’s question to me was to ‘Tell me about a time when you had to face a difficult situation.’ I kept mentioning things about undefined process, difficult manager to work with, unbelievable hiring timeline vs. the number of hiring requirements being raised. Sure I was able to mention my above the average organisational skills and impeccable intuition to prioritize things, but I was not able to present to them anything deeper than that.

As a candidate, it is very important to always mention the steps you did in order to attain certain result. The more specific, the better. My answers were vague and lacked clarity. It has a structure but it lacked thought and meat; hence I was speaking gibberish. I sounded like a whiner more than an advocate of change and improvement.

If I was the interviewer, that’s already a flag.

Over excitement.

I could not contain my emotions. Whenever I’d go to their office, honestly, my heart is jumping for joy. This over excitement spilled over to my interviews. Later I realised I was talking and sharing too much information. It benefited the interviewer but it wasn’t the case for my application with them. I was sharing information which should not be shared to my potential employer – strategic plans for next year, future campaigns, failed marketing strategies… anything they’d ask from me, I’d give them.

The thing about this is that I should have filtered the things I should be sharing to them. It’s okay to be transparent, indeed, but it really pays to carefully curate words in your mind before sharing; thus, limited information would be shared but those would’ve been the more important, more relevant ones than sharing the whole of everything.

Less is more, keep in mind!

Over confidence.

I was cool and I easily have established rapport with the Manager and his team, I could tell that with the way we were exchanging jokes as if they’ve known me for a long time already. Perhaps I saw that as a good thing, but maybe not to them. Did you know that most of the companies’ hiring process these days would incorporate unique methods for candidate selection, such as group interviews, video interview/selection, and behavioral assessments will provide a diverse, robust, and comprehensive idea of the character and passion of the individual? Meaning, there would be companies where their assessment starts right when the candidate entered the building and interacted with the Receptionist and Security Personnel. Who knows, I might have been watched all the time, right when I first came to their floor/building?

Pro tip: Always, and never forget, to treat everyone right. I didn’t miss this mark but it might have been better if I toned down the interaction level I’ve had with them and it might’ve come across to them as being too over confident. It would always pay off to temp check the atmosphere building showing your giddy-easy-going-side.

Overall, here’s my assessment and scoring per competency:

  • Communication: 3.5/5
  • Thought process: 2/5
  • Behaviour: 4/5
  • Technical knowledge: 4/5
  • Organisational skill: 3/5
  • Results-driven: 2/5
  • Culture fit: 2/5
  • Attention to details: 2/5
  • Overall score: 2.8125/5 – failed

What do you think was your biggest mistake ever in an interview? I’d love to hear more of your thoughts and experience! X