Provisional Blog

Are You Letting These 4 Common Resume Mistakes Sabotage Your Job Search?

March 19th, 2019

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that hiring managers across the area receive dozens of resumes each day. They scan them quickly and are trained to be on the lookout for red flags. So whether yours is filled with them – or you only have one or two – they can take you out of the running for the job quickly, sabotaging your hard work.

To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few common mistakes and how to avoid them:

#1: Poor writing and spelling errors.

Ultimately, your resume needs to be professional. So if grammar is sloppy and your writing is full of typos, hiring managers won’t give the document a second glance. If this isn’t your strong suit, then make sure you ask a friend or family member to proofread your resume carefully for you.

#2: Exaggerated language.

Dynamic problem solver. Visionary leader. Strategic thinker. It all might be true. But when you call yourself these names, you’ll quickly turn off hiring managers. Instead, lose the clichés and focus instead on supporting your claims with specific examples. For instance, rather than saying you’re a “problem solver,” talk about a problem you solved and its successful outcome.

#3: A disorganized format.

Your resume needs to be well organized so hiring managers can quickly get a sense whether you’re a good fit. If, however, it doesn’t follow a clear structure and make the case for why you’re qualified for a particular role, then the hiring manager will move onto the next candidate. Rather, make it easy for them to connect the dots by following a traditional reverse chronological format and promoting those strengths and abilities most pertinent to the job.

#4: Unexplained gaps.

Career gaps are common. However, if you don’t explain yours, then a hiring manager will assume the worst. They’ll think you’re hiding something or are a hiring mistake waiting to happen. If you have any in your background, make sure you use your cover letter to explain them. Do so in a way where you’re focusing on the positive and what you learned from the experience.

Recruiters and hiring managers can spot mistakes and warning signs quickly on resumes. Make sure yours doesn’t include the ones above and set yourself up for more success in your search.

Do you want more professional help and advice on finding your next job?

Contact Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, including giving you feedback on creating a more persuasive resume, one that gets better results on the employment market. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

5 Retention Mistakes Managers Make

March 12th, 2019

Your employees are with you for the long haul. Or so you think. But then one quits and another. This is a natural part of doing business…unless, of course, turnover numbers are getting too high. If that’s the case, then it’s a red flag of something bigger going on. For instance, some contributing factors that could be leading to more churn include:

Mistake #1: Poor hiring practices.

When you hire in a hurry or don’t assess cultural fit, then it’s going to impact the quality of the people you bring in board. Even if they have the right skill set, their attitudes, habits or personal traits might not be a good match for your team.

Mistake #2: Stagnant salary and compensation.

While money certainly isn’t everything to all employees, it’s still important. And if salaries have stayed low and no additional perks or benefits are offered, your people are going to start looking elsewhere for better opportunities. It’s therefore important to stay on top of what’s competitive for your industry and for the different levels of employees you have. You should also be focusing on offering other perks and benefits in areas like insurance and flexible scheduling.

Mistake #3: A toxic work culture.

When employees come to work each day, they want it to be in a healthy environment. However, if there’s constant change or regular gossip, then it can be tough to stay connected and want to remain on staff. Instead, people need to come first in your culture and that mean working to ensure it’s forward-thinking and positive.

Mistake #4: No room for advancement.

When an employee is first hired, they’re full of energy and enthusiasm. However, after a while on the job, their feelings might fade. Offering training and advancement opportunities is one way to offset this. When workers are encouraged to gain new skills and knowledge, they’ll not only stay engaged and more loyal, but also feel like you value their careers.

Mistake #5: There’s no feedback.

Employees want to know where they stand, even if they need to improve. If, instead, they’re unclear about goals and expectations, or only hear the negative, they’ll grow disconnected over time. It’s therefore important to commit to regular feedback, including both constructive criticism and praise.

Between tight deadlines and big projects, it can be tough to work employee retention into your schedule. But if you’re noticing a sudden jump in turnover, then you can’t afford to ignore the issue.

Need help hiring and retaining great people for your team?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source the best candidates for a wide variety of positions and fields, and can offer you the insight you need on how to retain them. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Attention Candidates: Ask These Questions During Every Interview

March 5th, 2019

As you’re preparing for a job interview, you’re likely focused on the questions you’ll be asked, from “what are your strengths?” to “why should we hire you?” But are you also thinking about the kinds of questions you want to ask? After all, an interview should be approached like a two-way conversation, one in which both you and the employer are trying to assess fit. You can’t do that if you don’t ask good questions to gain the insight you need about the position.

So beyond finding out about day-to-day responsibilities, what else should you be asking? Provisional, one of the leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has the details you need. Here are a few possibilities to add to your list for every interview:

What’s important about this position? What kind of impact does it have on the company overall?

This will give you a sense of where the role fits in and the kinds of contributions you’ll be expected to make. It will also offer you some insight into the company itself and the hierarchy of it.

What’s the most challenging part of this job?

It’s vital to have a clear understanding of what the job entails and how success will be measured in it. Part of this includes the challenges the position comes with. While a hiring manager might focus on the more positive side, asking this question will give you a more accurate account of what you can expect if hired.

Who will I be working with? What’s the team like?

Gaining a sense of the dynamics of the team you’d be a part of can play a critical role in your decision-making process about the position. For instance, if you work better on a smaller, more casual team and the department is large and formal, it might not be the best fit for you. This is a detail that you’ll want to find out ahead of time.

What do you like most about working for this company?

Asking a hiring manager this question will offer you plenty of insight. Not only will they get specific about perks, company-wide values or benefits, but you can also assess their body language. If it’s clear they’re not enthusiastic about what they’re saying, it’s a red flag for you.

Does the company offer opportunities for professional development?

A company that invests in its employees’ growth is a good sign that they care about their team and see the value in development. When you’re ready to take the next step in your career – whether it’s within that same company or with a different one – these kinds of opportunities can make you more marketable.

While there are literally dozens of other questions you can ask, these are some to get you started. Keep in mind, too, these will not only help you get the information you need to evaluate whether a role is the right fit for you, but it shows the hiring manager that you’re informed, interested, and engaged.

Looking for expert help with your job search?

Call Provisional. As a leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, our recruiters have placed over 18,000 professionals with growing Northwest companies since 1994. Contact us today and experience the difference for yourself.

5 Tips for Improving Hiring Before Summer Time Seasonal Hiring Begins

February 26th, 2019

Spring is around the corner and it’s a great time to take stock of how you recruit and hire. When you do, you’ll not only be able to make seasonal staffing more effective, but attract those applicants who are higher quality, too. Here are 5 easy tips from Provisional,  one of the top temporary staffing firms in the Northwest, to help you get started:

#1: Evaluate your job postings.

If you post the same temporary jobs every year, you might simply make a few updates to the descriptions before you advertise them. But this year, take some time to really read through what each says and make any refinements or changes that will enhance clarity and make your openings more attractive.

#2: Create a standard process for interviews.

When it comes to seasonal hiring, it’s tempting to speed up the process with fast interviews and offers. However, you should have a standard interview format in place that’s the same for each applicant. You’ll be able to evaluate them individually in a more efficient way, as well as compare them so you can more easily identify the right-fit people for your team. Even better, you can create and use a hiring score card to ensure those you hire check all the boxes in areas such experience, skills, education and certifications.

#3: Look for technical skills and cultural fit.

While it’s important that those you hire have the technical skills you need, personality is critical to assess, as well. After all, these workers will be interacting with your other employees, as well as customers. If they’re not a good match for your culture, it can have a big impact on how well they’re able to do their job, the impression they make on your customers, and the overall morale of your team.

#4: Check references.

Verifying references will take some time. But you’ll be glad you did it when you can hire with confidence and peace of mind. So make sure you check references for each applicant before you make an offer. It’s well worth it in the end in the form of seasonal workers who perform better on the job.

#5: Make sure you’re training.

Once you’ve identified temporary workers to hire, don’t skip out on training. Even if it’s an abbreviated version of what you offer full-time employees, training offers loads of benefits. Not only will your seasonal employees become productive faster, but it also reduces the risk of expensive mistakes.

Need help hiring this spring or in the summer-time?

Now’s the time to be gearing up for seasonal hiring. If you need help, call Provisional. As one of the top temporary staffing firms in the Northwest, we can give you access to the short-term or project-based people you need across a variety of fields. Contact us today to get started.

Declining a Job Offer? Here’s How to Do It Without Burning Bridges

February 19th, 2019

Getting a job offer can be thrilling. Yet, once you realize it’s not the right one for you, it’s also deflating. You want to turn it down, but what if another opportunity comes along at the same company, one that is a fit for you? First, don’t panic. There are easy steps you can take to decline an offer and still position yourself in a positive light. Here are four of them:

Reply as soon as you’ve made your decision.
However you respond and whatever you say, be prompt in terms of letting the hiring manager know your decision. Not only is it the professional thing to do, but they also have second and third pick candidates they’re entertaining. If you wait too long to reply, they could lose out on those.

Be heartfelt and appreciative.
Hiring managers spend a lot of time reviewing resumes, screening and interviewing candidates, and making final decisions. When you reject their offer, it can therefore be disheartening. You can soften the blow by simply being appreciative of their time and giving them a short, simple reason behind your decision.

Consider responding by phone.
If you’ve spent a lot of time with the hiring manager, then pick up the phone to tell them of your decision. It sounds awkward and a little bit scary. But in reality, it doesn’t have to be a long conversation and it will make a far more lasting and positive impression.

If not, you can send an email that states something like:

Thank you for the offer and taking the time to answer all my questions and consider me for this role. This position seems like a great opportunity. As flattered as I am, after some time thinking about it, I’ve decided to accept an offer elsewhere with another company where I can pursue my interests in XYZ. Again, thank you so much for your time and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Stay connected.
Even in Spokane, Washington, it’s a small world and you never know when you might cross paths again. So aim for a good ending to the experience. Reach out to the hiring manager on LinkedIn and try to connect. Or let them know that you’d be interested in future, better-fit opportunities with the company if one came along. You never know where your career is headed in the future and you want to ensure you don’t burn any bridges.

Looking for your next job offer in Spokane, Washington?
Let the team at Provisional help. It’s our passion and our mission to connect talented candidates with top jobs in Spokane, Washington. So if you’re tired of struggling on your own with your search, contact us today or search our Spokane jobs now.

Should You Hire a Referral Faster? Here’s What You Need to Know

February 12th, 2019

Getting a referral for a job opening is one of the most cost-effective ways to hire. However, as one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, Provisional knows that not all are created equal. Just because you got a recommendation from a source you trust doesn’t mean the person referred is the right fit for you. So should you hire them faster, or should you vet them like any other candidate?

Employee referrals are a great source of potential new hires. They can cut down on recruiting costs because you’re not left advertising your job opening and reviewing dozens of resumes. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to still screen the individual. In fact, they should go through the same process as any other candidate that applies.

You never know how trustworthy or skilled they really are until you vet them yourself. And you don’t want to be left holding the bag should they turn out to be a hiring mistake.

So, even if you have what seems like the best-fit recommendation from one of your top employees, make sure you still:

  • Read through their resume carefully and research their online reputation.
  • Set up a phone screen so you can do a quick check of their background and skills, and also gauge their level of interest in your job.
  • Schedule an interview and thoroughly prepare for it with plenty of behavior-based questions.
  • Get a list of three to five references and verify each one.
  • If necessary to the job, conduct a background check.

Getting referrals from existing staff can certainly speed up the recruiting process. But it doesn’t necessarily guarantee the right-fit new employee. That’s why you should never skip any steps in the process and hire referrals faster. Instead, take the time to fully evaluate them so you can extend an offer with total peace of mind.

Need help finding and hiring your next great hire?

Let the team at Provisional help. As one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, we know that sourcing top talent can be tough in today’s competitive market. But we have the extensive network of both active and passive candidates to give you faster access to the people you need, all in a more cost-efficient way. You’ll be able to build a stronger team that delivers the exceptional results. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

6 Ultimate Tips for Preparing for Your Next Job Interview

February 5th, 2019

Gone are the days of answering a job posting, going to an interview and getting the offer within days. Instead, today interviewing can feel like a contact sport. There’s so much preparation to do ahead of time with the interview itself stressful and nerve-wracking. With so much at stake, how can you best prepare and increase your odds of landing your next Spokane job? Here are 6 tips to consider:

1. Spend some time researching the company and the hiring manager.

Look to several different sources, like their website, industry sites, news websites and social media, for a well-rounded picture of the company. Likewise, if you know the name of your interviewer, then do some background research on him or her too. This will help you to identify any areas of mutual interest that you can use as an icebreaker. It will also help you better prepare questions to ask them based on their background with the company.

2. Research common interview questions and prepare answers.

Chances are, you’ll be asked about your weaknesses or why a company should hire you. You’ll feel more confident walking into an interview when you’ve thought about the answers you’ll be giving. Wherever you can, quantify your responses with facts, figures, numbers and percentages. Your responses will be more persuasive and impressive to hiring managers.

3. Think about stories that best reflect your relevant skills and strengths.

You’re going to be talking a lot about yourself and your background during the interview. One way to bring your experience to life is by sharing specific stories about the skills and strengths you have that are most relevant to the job. For instance, don’t simply say you “go the extra mile.” Give a specific example of a time that you went above and beyond and the positive outcome that came about because of it.

4. Have a friend or family member perform a mock interview with you.

If you’re especially nervous before an interview, ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock one with you. That way, you can practice answering questions and get feedback, all of which can help you to improve your performance and your odds of landing the offer.

5. Plan ahead for what you’ll wear and bring to the interview.

You don’t want to be rushing out the door the morning of your interview only to realize you forgot to make copies of your resume. That’s why planning ahead is so important. Some specific areas to focus on include your interview outfit and making sure it’s dry cleaned and pressed. Also, bring with you several copies of your resume, a pen and paper, a list of your questions, and directions to the interview site.

6. Take good care of yourself the day before.

Make sure you eat right and get a good night’s sleep. Also, try not to stress too much about the interview, especially if you’ve spent plenty of time preparing. Instead, focus on doing something fun that will take your mind off the next day. When you’re well-rested and relaxed, you’ll perform better in the interview.

Need more help with your job search or getting ready for your next interview?

At Provisional, our goal is to help you land the Spokane job you want. To get there, we can assist with your resume, interview preparation, salary negotiations and more. Simply contact us today to get started.

Losing Top Candidates? Here Are 4 Reasons Why

January 22nd, 2019

Hiring? You’re probably focused on sourcing candidates, screening resumes and setting up interviews. But when you keep losing out on the top-pick applicants in the 11th hour, it’s a sign something’s wrong with your process. For instance, a few possible areas that could be sabotaging your recruiting efforts include:

#1: A poor candidate experience.

Not every candidate is going to get the offer. However, what they do expect is to be treated fairly and respectfully. So when they’re not kept in the loop or interviews are constantly rescheduled, it’s going to impact how they perceive your company. Not only will it affect their decision to accept your offer, but you can expect them to tell others about what their experience was like.

#2: You’re not selling the opportunity.

Don’t focus so much on your hiring needs that you forget about the candidate and what they want out of a job opportunity. In fact, hiring is a two-way street, which means you need to be transparent about the position, both its ups and downs. When a candidate feels completely informed about the details, including all the opportunities and challenges, it will improve your odds of finding the right-fit new hire.

#3: The process is taking too long.

Top candidates aren’t only interviewing with you. So when you have a process that’s tedious and time-consuming, they’ll likely accept an offer elsewhere. While you want to be thorough, you don’t want so many hurdles in place that you’re scaring off candidates. That means eliminating any unnecessary parts of the process, communicating regularly with candidates about next steps, and doing your best to extend an offer as quickly as possible.

#4: You’re not giving candidates they want.

Even if you have a positive hiring experience, if you’re not giving candidates what they want in a job, they’re not going to accept. So make sure you’re clear on the responsibilities and tasks; offer fair salary and benefits; and promote what makes your company unique, like flexible scheduling and telecommuting. If you’re still falling short, it could be because your offers aren’t as competitive as other companies.

In today’s job market, candidates have choices. Make sure the ones in the running for your job opportunities stay with you until the end by following the tips above.

Get help hiring your next top candidate.

If you don’t have the time to recruit and vet qualified employees for your company, turn to the team at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in the Spokane, Washington area, we can handle the job for you, while you focus on other priorities. Get started today.

What Hiring Managers Really Want to Know About You

January 15th, 2019

Headed for the hot seat in an interview? You’re probably wondering what kinds of questions you’ll be asked. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment firms, Provisional knows it’s certainly up to the discretion of the hiring manager. However, there are a few key things most will want to know about you. Here’s a look at four of them, so you can better prepare and boost your chances of getting the offer:

#1: You know about the company.

By learning about the company ahead of time, it shows the hiring manager that you’re motivated, interested and have the drive to succeed. It also enables you to ask more intelligent questions, as well as offer better interview answers, improving your odds of impressing the hiring manager.

#2: You want the job.

When they’re interviewing you, hiring managers are looking for more than a warm body to fill a seat. They want to know you’re enthusiastic about the opportunity. Don’t make them second guess your interest. For instance, one way to do that is through the questions you ask about the company, the position and what to expect going forward. When they’re insightful and well-researched, they’ll stand out in a sea of generic questions other candidates ask.

#3: You can be successful in the role.

All the enthusiasm in the world won’t get you the job if you don’t have the right mix of skills. So make sure you’re prepared to talk about your relevant strengths, backed by specific examples, during the interview. Likewise, be ready to discuss weaknesses, too. Hiring managers want to know that you’re self-aware and can realistically assess areas where you might need improvement.

#4: You’re a good cultural fit.

Beyond your technical skills, hiring managers want to ensure your background and personality are going to mesh well with their team. That’s why they’ll ask you questions about the environment you operate best in, or whether you like to go solo on projects or work collaboratively more. It’s important for companies to hire people who will fit with a particular department, boss and culture.

So what don’t hiring managers want? Long, rambling answers. Personal information. Bad-mouthing a past boss…and the list goes on. Instead, when you’re headed to your next interview, stick to the showcasing the above and you should be well on your way to job search success.

Want professional help launching your next search?

Turn to the team at Provisional. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top employment firms since 1994, we’ve placed thousands of talented individuals like you in great Northwest companies. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

6 Ways to Keep Your People Safe in the Workplace

January 8th, 2019

In today’s world, workplace accidents and injuries are expensive. In fact, in 2016, it was estimated by a Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index that they amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct workers compensation costs. These expenses, paid by employers, can have a significant impact on bottom line results, not to mention the overall health of your company.

So in the year ahead, how can you keep costs down and your workplace safer? Start with these tips from Provisional, one of the Northwest’s top staffing services:

1. Create a culture of safety.

Don’t run your safety program on autopilot. Instead, it should stay top-of-mind for your team with policies, information and tips conveyed often through regularly scheduled training. In addition, there should be clear goals in place for your employees with the primary one being a zero-incident workplace. Likewise, safety training should always be a part of the onboarding process for new employees.

2. Put labels and signs to use.

When you need to communicate critical information about a particular area or piece of equipment, put up labels and signs. These are simple yet effective ways for you to showcase proper use, as well as potential hazards, providing the reminders everyone needs to stay safe.

3. Clean things up.

Even the smallest messes can lead to big accidents. That’s why it’s important to place a heavy emphasis on workplace clean-up, with tools organized, cords untangled, boxes put away, spills taken care of, and any other issues addressed as quickly as possible. Regular inspections should also take place.

4. Encourage breaks.

Train your people on ways to sit correctly and easily stretch to loosen tension and joints, so they’re not at risk for a repetitive motion injury, like carpal tunnel. This is especially helpful when employees are working overtime and more prone to accidents and injuries. Beyond that, make sure your employees are taking the time off needed to combat stress and stay refreshed.

5. Keep communication open.

Your employees should feel comfortable coming to you with safety issues and concerns. Make sure they know where to report hazards and issues. This not only empowers them, but ensures safety problems that you don’t notice are being taken care of.

6. Offer rewards for meeting goals.

If your employees are on track and meeting safety goals consistently, reward them for a job well done. You don’t have to do anything expensive; something small that will keep them engaged and motivated to maintain a good safety record.

As an employer, one of your most basic responsibilities is to protect your people. Follow the tips above to ensure they have what they need to stay safe and healthy on the job.

Need help hiring hard-working, safety-minded people for your team?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the Northwest’s top staffing services, we know where to look to source smart and careful candidates for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.