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Expert Interview

How Claudia Creates Work-Life Balance at Terminal

June 10, 2021

This week we spoke to Claudia, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Terminal. She shares her best tips for work-life balance, finding time for team building, and managing a busy schedule.

Corine Tan & Annie Yan
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5 min
This week we spoke to Claudia, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Terminal. She shares her best tips for work-life balance, finding time for team building, and managing a busy schedule.

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We’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best and brightest remote managers in the world. These leaders not only move their company forward in leaps and strides, but they also live by values of empathy and radical candor. Every Thursday, we share their learnings and stories.


This week we spoke to Claudia, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Terminal. Terminal is a platform trusted by engineering leaders to recruit, onboard and manage teams. Her team helps customize Terminal’s hiring process to the Latin American region, and so far these strategies have closed candidates 40% faster than other methods. Beyond an expert talent acquisition manager, Claudia is a fantastic remote manager. We spoke to her to learn about how she leads her team.


What’s your role and how many direct reports do you manage?

I am Manager of Talent Acquisition for the LATAM region in the 3 countries we have built our market: Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Right now, my direct team is composed of 4 Talent Acquisition Partners and 3 Technical Sourcers, working remotely from Mexico and Colombia. 


What’s your typical day look like? Got any favorite tools? 

Since the whole company is fully remote, sometimes my day looks fully booked for Zoom meetings. The awesome part is that all meetings are always productive! I work closely with my team on the position we are working on; maintain close communication (via Slack and video calls) with clients, Customer Success team, and the other Managers in the TA Team; and get involved in different projects to optimize our TA processes. We spend a lot of time in Google Docs and Slides. Keeping a direct and open communication with my whole team through regular standups and 1:1s is essential. We often step up our workload and collaborate to have the best results on the recruitment field! 


When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?

I spend most of my free time with my family. I have a lovely 4-year-old stepson. The three of us tend to play different things, watch movies, and homeschool my son at the moment. I also enjoy going to the theater, visiting the cinema, building Lego sets (mainly from Star Wars), and listening to music.


Get your questions answered.

You became a Manager in February! What was the biggest difference between being a Lead Talent Partner and a Manager?

Yes! It’s been fantastic my time at Terminal. I joined almost two years ago as a Senior Talent Partner, a few months later became a Lead Talent Partner, and after one year, got promoted as Manager of TA for the LATAM region. 


One of the biggest differences in the level of responsibility. I have to stay on top of escalation points, find ways to increase and optimize our workflow, work alongside other managers on developing strategies to achieve our team goals, and participate in leadership meetings to have a better understanding and insight of the projects and upcoming clients. 


Has your remote workflow changed during the pandemic? If so, how?

We became a fully remote team. Our workflow is still the same, but an advantage is that the teams were able to diversify. Instead of hiring people only in the cities where we have offices, we have expanded to hire around all the countries we work in.


Another change was managing our internal meetings through Zoom and getting used to sharing information. It took a bit to feel comfortable with our remote tools, learning to talk about non-work related things was not super intuitive. Terminal is an incredible company that offers ways to ensure we are having all the equipment we need, tools, and providing us a monthly Wellness Day to disconnect from work. 


What was the most important/hardest lesson you learned while managing?

That’s a great question, the most important lesson I have learned is that everyone has different personalities and it’s important for me to recognize them, get to know them, and adapt my management style to each individual to build trust, collaboration and a healthy environment. As well, I’m still learning to be involved in different activities that add value to the whole company. 


What are you trying to improve about your leadership?

I’m always in constant learning: how to build a team that relies on each other, being someone that supports, helps, and is there for the team; being approachable; and having constant feedback from my team as well as my manager. It’s important to keep in continuous growth and movement on the leadership side to really add value to the team, the company and to yourself. 


How do you create work-life harmony/wellness while remote?

I am a person who likes to plan. I have my calendar updated both on work related matters and personal time. I have my own space to work and concentrate on what requires my attention. I take breaks to keep up with some cleaning at home, or to help out my kid. One thing I’ve learned is to disconnect myself from work after it’s done and to properly have quality time for me and for my family. I avoid reviewing Slack or my email, just in case it’s an urgent matter. 


Tips for folks struggling with remote management/feeling disconnected from their team?

Kona has been an amazing tool for this topic. All of us being able to share how we feel in any aspect of our lives has increased trust, communication, and getting to know and support each other


Amazing. And finally, any recommendations for readings, blogs, or podcasts?

Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask, Revised and Updated by Michael J. Marquardt is a great book to ensure the right leadership and evolving your teams to the next level of ownership and accountability.

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Meet the Author(s)

Corine Tan

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Corine is Co-Founder of Kona. She writes regularly on emotional intelligence and empathetic remote leadership. Her work has been featured by Yahoo, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Harvard Business School, Forbes, and more. She’s a speaker at remote work conferences like GitLab Commit 2021 and she’s advised Fortune 10 companies on remote strategy.

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