How to Spot a Great Boss in an Interview

It is a very common saying that “Employees leave managers, not companies.” A boss can make your working life comfortable or toxic. To have a healthy working relationship with your boss is essential for your professional success.

Finding a manager who will respect your work and help you achieve your goals by providing constructive feedback is not an easy task. Your boss’s inputs act as an essential contributing factor at the time of annual review and promotions. It is your reporting manager who makes or breaks your professional life. It is, thus, important to figure out at the time of the interview itself if your prospective boss is the leader you are ready to follow.

The following are some tips to help you spot a good manager during the interview.

  • Authenticity in Communication: Try to judge the hiring manager through his or her body language and approachability. A self-centric manager will not be transparent in his communication.
  • The chief qualities: The fundamental qualities of a good boss are integrity, kindness and competency. Look for the natural exposition of these traits during the conversation as they are critical attributes of a healthy work environment.
  • Ask questions related to your Personal Development: During the interview, you must ask questions related to your personal development. If the person plays with words rather than providing you with concrete answers, you need to understand that getting opportunities for personal growth would be least likely in that position.
  • Observe his listening capabilities: Observe if your hiring manager is a good listener. Identify if he is paying attention to your words during the interview process. If Yes, then it is a great sign because good bosses are always open to new ideas, no matter where they come from.
  • Discover your employer’s vision: A great boss will always convey the vision of their company during the interview process. They will inspire you through their contribution to organisational success.
  • Flexibility and open-mind: If you had some real problem-solving questions during the interview, and your ideas and opinion are being valued, it reflects the flexibility and open-minded approach of the hiring manager.
  • Empathetic Attitude: A caring boss will always ask genuine questions to understand how you are as an individual. He will go deep asking questions related to your long term career planning.
  • Look out for emotional intelligence: The primary way to know someone is by paying attention to the kind of questions they ask and how they answer your questions. Jumping to conclusions is not a good sign. An emotionally intelligent leader would always be open to understand people’s emotions and step into their shoes.
  • Mental strength and security: Critically observe the interviewer, know as to how secure and strong he is mentally. A calm approach hints at the mental strength of the interviewer as opposed to any signs of superiority complex.
  • Language Style: A great leader or boss reflects empowerment, commitment and ownership in their tone and their usage of words.
  • Observe the management skills: Ask questions about the ways of management on the part of the manager. Getting insights into the manager’s behaviour towards its employees in situations of crisis gives you a glimpse of his character.
  • Try to understand their value alignment: Questions like their future goals or company’s vision can help you to assess your future leader and his value system.

Conclusion:

For your career growth, it is crucial to have a leader you value, respect and can follow. A good manager is someone who assists you develop good skills and contribute to your professional success.

A good boss creates a conducive workplace. A peaceful and enjoyable work environment brings out the best in you. You can easily figure out what kind of manager someone is simply by paying a bit more attention during the interview process.

It is essential to know beforehand if your new boss is the guide and the leader you are striving for. Utilise the above-mentioned tips and make an informed decision.

Aiming to Create an Inclusive Workplace? Here is What You Can Do.

An inclusive workplace is a working environment that promotes acceptance of diverse individuals with different values to make them feel integrated and included. It talks about creating a friendly atmosphere and discourages toxic fault-finding habits. This concept rejects the act of isolating individuals from the rest of the team. This way, each employee is given equal access to career progression.

An inclusive workplace is characterised by motivated individuals with enhanced productivity. Such a workplace enables co-operation and collaboration amongst co-workers. Inclusion is built on the root of belongingness amongst the employees where they feel accepted, respected. Such workplaces encourage equal participation by all employees. This makes the employees feel that their opinions and ideas matter and they feel comfortable to express themselves freely.

An inclusive culture in an organisation truly appreciates every employee’s unique contributions. Employees understand that their opinion counts in the organisation.

A company culture of inclusiveness and diversity can be evaluated by analyzing the levels of trust in the organisation. Workplace inclusion results in better relationships with employees, customers, along with increased financial performance.

Here is what you can do to facilitate an inclusive work culture in an organisation:

Define mission and value: The first step towards creating an inclusive working environment is defining its mission and value. An organisation needs to identify an environment and culture they want to offer to their employees. Assessing an inclusive culture needs both quantitative as well as qualitative information.

Acknowledge difference of opinion: To acknowledge and promote acceptance towards diversity, policies and practices should be set in place.

Create a flexible working environment: Management should provide an environment for employees to design and personalize their workplaces. It instils a sense of belonging amongst the employees.

Conduct diversity and inclusion training: Employee training, along with open conversations, can inculcate best practices in a workspace. It helps educate employees about cultural differences at workplaces and promotes cultural communication. Organizing such training programs can bring long term benefits to an organisation. It should be looked at as an investment rather than an expense.

Have an impartial Recruitment Process: The recruitment process should be bias-free. The hiring process should be conducted irrespective of age, gender, social background and physical disability.

Motivate employees: Employees can be motivated towards inclusion by organizing workshops and cultural events, and by providing equitable treatment.

Celebrate multicultural religious events: Respecting different religions and celebrating diverse religious events at the workplace help create awareness about diversity and foster inclusivity amongst employees.

Treat all employees equally: Equal treatment makes employees feel accepted and valued. It builds an equitable and positive environment with zero discrimination and harassment. Employees feel encouraged to speak up and share their ideas. Creating a respectful and trusting environment makes employees feel confident. Considering employee perspectives critically makes them feel satisfied and motivated, thereby contributing to organisational success.

Promote strengths-based culture: When employees are valued for their strength; it creates a culture of inclusion. Such an environment results in higher employee engagement, improved performance and retention of employees.

Bring thought into action: Assign an Inclusion Executive for coordinating and checking on how people behave with each other. This helps the outliers feel connected with larger groups and develop a more inclusive culture.

Bring open-door policy: An open-door policy plays a vital role in answering employee concerns and problems. Recurrent informal meetings with employees create a positive and constructive workplace. When employees perceive that their leaders trust and value them, they come out as highly satisfied individuals.

Write thank-you notes: Something so insignificant on the outside, such as writing a thank you note to each of the employees, can massively contribute to creating a positive workplace. Bring it on as a habit to do this quarterly or half-yearly to make your employees feel appreciated and honoured and strengthen their bond towards the organisation.
Employees who are working in an inclusive workplace experience appreciation and respect. They are recognised and valued for their unique traits as they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and views with transparency and confidence.
Creating an inclusive work environment is highly appreciated in the corporate sector. It not only reflects good on account of an organisation's reputation but is also a significant factor impacting employee performance and organisational productivity. The happy and motivated work culture enables innovation by the workforce. Inclusiveness eliminates the toxicity from the working environment and fosters growth and expansion.
It helps an organisation to become more progressive and creates synergy. Inclusive work culture develops a bond amongst all employees and reduces competition. Inclusiveness also helps in increasing the goodwill of an organisation.

Role of AI Application in reducing Recruiting Timelines- Pros and Cons

In today’s technology-driven era, the role of Artificial Intelligence in the industrial, as well as the business sector, is at its peak. Companies have realised the disrupting power of artificial intelligence in the recruitment process. Artificial intelligence has the potential to redefine the traditional process of recruitment as a recruitment tool.

First coined in 1956 by John McCarthy, the term Artificial Intelligence is referred to as the “science and engineering of making intelligent machines”.

Artificial Intelligence or AI is a branch of computer science that focuses on making intelligent machines that adapt to their surrounding environment and act accordingly. In other words, they learn from their encountered environment and perform tasks similar to human beings.

Today, every organisation wants to acquire the best talent so much so that it has become a top priority. The role of the recruitment sector is very challenging as the job is not limited to hiring only; rather, it is much more than that.

It is quite evident that a recruiter’s job is laborious, wherein he is constantly coerced to reduce the time taken to recruit a new hire. The current average time-to-hire is one month which means it approximately takes one month in the whole boarding process for any candidate. This does not guarantee a long term partnership with the candidate.

Undeniably, the invasion of artificial intelligence has made a recruiter’s job easy. But is it?

This blog focuses on the pros and cons of artificial intelligence during the recruitment process. Use of AI in the recruitment process is not only advantageous to the recruiters but also the candidates. Here’s how:

For the recruiters

Quick candidate sourcing – Posting and marketing the jobs becomes an easy and less time-consuming task with the help of AI-powered software. Textio is one such tool which helps in better and quicker job postings as the postings are done on multiple platforms.

Fast screening of resumes – Shifting huge piles of paper resumes becomes exhaustive and time taking exercise. For this, various AI applications such as ClearFit, Filtered, Harver, Ansaro, and ATS have come to the rescue. These tools find and rank candidates depending upon educational qualifications, work experience, location, salary bracket, languages spoken, etc. According to research conducted in 2017, the cost per screening dropped by 75% in the organisations using AI tools.

Speeds up pre-employment screening – Background checks, employment verification and assessment of candidates have become a cakewalk with the help of AI tools. If done manually, these processes can take a few days, but Chatbot and GoogleHire speed up the process. AI enables auditory or textual means of interview with multiple candidates at any given point in time. In addition to this, it also enables video conferencing as well as video recordings.

Time-efficient candidate matching – Utilisation of candidate matching tools such as PhenomPeople and Textkernel allows the recruiter to conduct candidate matching in a time-efficient manner. In 2018, LinkedIn used the Recommended Matches tool which made the algorithm 20% better.

Ease of tracking passive job seekers – Manually, it becomes difficult to store the data of candidates not recruited. The tool such as Clearfit finds out and ranks those candidates for future references.

Time and energy saved of top management – All the pre-interview stages are handled by AI Applications, thus, saving time and contributing to organisational success.

Reducing hiring time – The hiring process is quite elaborate and cumbersome. Bigger the company, the longer the hiring process. The cost per hire escalates with the increase in time and further pushes down the Recruiter metric. According to a Recruiter Box article, it takes up to 22.5 hours to review a candidate and four more for pre-employment screening. Artificial Intelligence has unquestionably made the entire recruitment process cost-effective and time-saving manner.

Benefits for the Candidates

AI Apps play an important role in making a candidate’s job hunting process easy.

Unbiased – Many times, candidates face opinionated and biased interviewers. However, with automation, it has become a fair and impartial process for them.

Reliable data-driven decisions – AI apps help justified and logical selection of candidates as the candidates undergo many machine-based interactive sessions. This allows the candidates to be aware of every stage in the selection process and make well-informed decisions.

Two-way communication–  Automated and personalised messages keep the candidates in loop, keeping them updated throughout the process. With such two-way communication, thus, organisations are able to ensure that the candidates are joining them as the process ends.

Long-distance candidates’ participation – AI tools like video recording/conferencing cut short the barrier of distance and allows candidates sitting at remote locations to apply for a job role.

Happy and confident candidates – Every individual does not feel confident enough in facing the interview panel in person. Artificial intelligence allows them to interact with the interviewer from a different space and put their best foot forward.

Waiting time gets reduced – As the AI tools speed up all the steps in the hiring process, the waiting time too diminishes.

Drawbacks of AI Applications-

Despite so many pros, artificial intelligence comes with a lot of challenges as well.

Lack of human touch – Recruitment is a human-centred activity and requires the involvement of a human hand unavoidably. However, machines lack an understanding of human emotions and lingo.

Unreliable – The AI recruitment tools rely on the information provided by the candidate-database. If the data is not up-to-date and accurate, then authenticity poses a challenge.

Influenced by humans – The information provided is updated by individuals, which could be biased due to personal prejudice based on gender, caste, race, etc. This makes the entire process inequitable and discriminatory.

One such limitation was posed by Amazon’s tool. It came to light in 2015 that the tool was biased against women as the fed data fed was preferential towards men, and the algorithm could not do anything about it.

Inaccuracy in the selection process – AI poses as a challenge as it allows participation of the candidates who are socially active and let go of others.

Communication mismatch – The AI tools also give rise to miscommunication and sometimes candidates face rejection due to a mismatch in the format of CVs and the machine language.

Conclusion-

Despite many drawbacks, the future of AI Applications is bright. Dealing with high costs and timelines becomes relatively easy with the use of AI applications such as ATS, Chatbot, etc. This is because these automated tools provide time reducing and cost-cutting solutions. Some organisations, including Uber and Unilever, have found the activity cost-effective as well as time-saving.

Hence, bringing artificial intelligence into use would prove to be beneficial for an organisation’s success. Organisations may also gain a superior advantage over others in the competitive market with the assistance of such AI applications.

Applying The Pareto Principle Can Ameliorate Your Time Management Skills

Introduced by Vilfredo Pareto, the Pareto Principle has lately gained popularity worldwide in the field of business. He discovered that all economic activity was based on the Pareto Principle. This principle gave birth to the new concept of personal time management. 

The well-known economist put forth the theory that 80 percent of all the problems that people face results from 20 percent of causes. The term “Pareto 80- 20 rule” has proved to be very beneficial when applied to problem-solving of any form. Identification of “vital few” and “trivial many” with the 80/20 Pareto Principle has paved the way for the desired results. It has provided the idea of yielding 80 percent by accelerating 20 percent of high-value activities. 

It implies that 20 percent of the activities will account for 80 percent of the results, and 20 percent of the customers will account for 80 percent of the sales. In addition to this, we can also say that 20 percent of the products or services will account for 80 percent of the total profits. 

In day to day life, a person effectively uses only a few hours. Thus, Pareto Principle guides to increase work efficiency and the right usage of time.

Discovered more than 100 years ago, the Pareto Principle has helped shape the modern world when caught in the hands of the innovative thinkers. It has become a valuable tool for making and maintaining business structures. The success of IBM, the industrial revolution of Japan and the immense wealth of Warren Buffet are a few examples. The ‘80/20 analysis’ and ‘80/20 thinking’ together can benefit professional as well as a personal domain by bringing out more output with less effort. By eliminating time-consuming low-value activities enhances the skill and presents 80 percent of the rewards with just 20 percent of time enforced.

Let’s explore the 80/20 path to be richer with time and get more productive:

An essential step

For effective utilization of time, the Pareto Principle is very useful. It guides a person to identify the repeated patterns in his daily schedule hampering his productivity. Once he is aware of the right use of the Pareto Principle, he can make necessary changes in his daily routine. The Pareto Principle prompts an individual to start his day in a better way and helps to identify the possible time takers along with the ones slowing down the process.

Basic rules

Pareto Principle helps in bringing about the right solutions in an individual’s life. A person can increase his personal productivity up to 80 percent if he is able to fix 20 percent of his problems. If a person judiciously uses his time, he can work better, faster and stay inspired for longer. Pareto Principle guides a person to utilise his time in a productive manner and authenticates the use of 15-minute blocks of time to add value to the specified tasks.

Here is how one can benefit from the Pareto Principle:

  1.     Helps to prioritise work

Pareto principle streamlines the work and guides in prioritising the tasks to be completed. It, thus, becomes a smooth sail for a person to have clarity and hold the right approach towards his work.

  1.     Assists in achieving the desired results

Pareto principle is goal-oriented. Following this principle, one can easily accomplish complex and difficult tasks easily. It has a motivation factor of reward and punishment wherein a person strives hard and increases his efficiency towards his work above 80 per cent. Hence, the Pareto principle is a guiding force for task achievement.

  1.     Keeps up the motivation

It is tough, to begin with, a task in the first instance, but the toughest part is to keep going even after losing the initial drive. Pareto Principle helps in boosting one’s motivation for the completion of the work. The human brain loves to remain busy working on significant tasks that make a difference, and one’s job is to feed this part of the brain continuously. Pareto Principle helps one to remain motivated.

  1.     Initiate action

Pareto Principle helps in jotting down one’s daily goals. It disciplines the mind to start with the most important task and helps differentiate the important ones from the non-important ones. Accordingly, it enables the brain to schedule tasks.

  1.     Create ranking

Pareto Principle helps to divide the amount of effort as per the value of the potential results and helps get a priority ranking. For example:

  •   Task 1: Write a report on a business meeting
  •   Effort = 10, Result = 2, Priority = 5
  •   Task 2: Prepare a presentation for the business meeting
  •   Effort = 4, Result = 4, Priority = 1
  •   Task 3: Call business clients for referral
  •   Effort = 1, Result = 10 , Priority= 0.1

Analysing the above data and dividing the time available becomes easy with the Pareto Principle in place.

Hence we can see that the Pareto Principle of  80/20 rule is one of the most helpful concepts for not only time management but all the aspects of one’s life. Irrespective of the number of tasks one has to undertake each day, there will always be a handful that will contribute to achieving extraordinary results. All we have to do is employ the right tact and identify those activities instead of focusing on the time-wasters.