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Pamela Ilieva, Director of International Recruitment at Shortlister

Pamela Ilieva is the Director of International Recruitment at Shortlister, a platform for connecting employers to wellness, benefits, and HR tech vendors. Pamela's experience covers recruiting, hiring, and people management. One of her main focuses within her role is on building teams that work better together. In this accomplished peeps interview, we dive into what a typical day looks like for Pamela, and share some of her views on the future of work in the remote and hybrid space.

What does a "typical" workday look like for you?

My workday starts way before I have even woken up. I usually make a plan/ list of activities and tasks for the next day because I need to have everything set up before I wake up.

Once there's a plan, I can have my large coffee, peacefully read emails and catch up on notifications while listening to the morning radio show that gives me a feeling that I'm in the car driving to the office.

A huge part of my work as a Director of Recruiting is talking with people and constantly keeping track of the talent market. Depending on the ongoing hiring processes, I usually schedule 3 interviews per day. That gives me more time to review applications, source candidates, and research the talent market.

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I follow up with hiring managers and teammates regarding the potential candidates and openly discuss what we can do to reach our goals.

I wrap up my workday when there is nothing on my list to do, and I can finally plan the next workday.

What about your workplace setup contributes to your productivity and ability to better manage your day?

Shortlister and the entire team at the moment operate fully remote, so having a space at home that you can turn your work mood ON is essential.

I am one hell of a lucky person because I live in an apartment with big windows, so having that fresh air and a view boosts my productivity during the day.  Another thing I am grateful for, which gives me more energy to be more productive in a remote environment, is cooking my own meals during the workday. There is always a little boost of happiness and joy between the meetings when I can eat my homemade risotto.

What are your staple non-negotiable routines and rituals that you believe make you a more successful leader?

1) Get up straight out of bed

I'm a very energetic person. Therefore, my number one routine is that I ultimately get out of bed as soon as I wake up after a night of sleep. If you lie awake in bed, your brain links being awake to being in bed, and you will need more time to adjust and focus on your tasks and planned activities.

2) I do self-pep talks when is needed

I'm also a firm believer that you should always practice positive self-talk. It's a great way to relieve stress, increase your self-esteem, and gradually strengthen your mind. This is an effective way to train my brain to think positively, which will be the source of my attitude to every obstacle that gets in my way.

When I practice this ritual, my favorite line is: "Pam, if anyone can do it, it's you!"

  • Might sound cliché, but it works for me every time.

3) Keep in touch and talk with your people

A huge part of me and who I am today are the people I am constantly surrounded with. People shape you, make you grow, inspire you, and motivate you to be better, bolder, and try new things. Therefore, keep in touch and talk with your people and make as many more friends as possible. That way, you will always have diversity in your surroundings. So, to all my people reading this interview, a big thank you for being there for me and my journey!

What's one piece of unconventional advice you would give to your former self?

Do not take anything personally – It is the ultimate advice I give to myself even today and the people around me! Whatever happens around us, we shouldn't take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of us; it's because of themselves.

What's one fun fact about you?

I don't know if other people will find this fun, but I love Sharks and their existence. In my free time, I enjoy watching TV shows, videos and read about them. For example, did you know that Sharks have been around for over 400 million years? Long before dinosaurs? Hopefully, one day I will take that trip and get the experience of shark cage diving.

What are some of the best and worst workplace initiatives you have heard of to help promote improved remote communication and collaboration?

A very thoughtful question indeed!

If I have to name one of the worst workplace initiatives for remote work, it would be micromanagement. There is nothing worse than managing your team by asking them to create an Excel spreadsheet of how they spent their day.

On the other hand, the best initiative to improve communication in a remote work environment is embracing open communication by saying it as it is. Honesty is the best policy, and I stand behind it!

I know it sounds easier than it is, but I truly believe that if the leadership is open to say things out loud, whether it is good or bad, the rest of the teammates will follow.