Provisional Blog

Want to Work from Home? Here’s What You Need to Know First

September 18th, 2018

Most employees dream about working from home. It sounds like the ideal scenario: you don’t have to get dressed up, you can take a break whenever you want and you can avoid the lengthy commute. But as a leading employment firm serving Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows there are also cons that come with all those pros. So if you want to work from home, or going to be asking your boss about it, make sure you consider the following first:

You might have a hard time staying focused.

That annoying co-worker won’t be distracting you any longer. However, you could be pulled away from work by other diversions, from laundry and cleaning to TV and nap-time. As a result, it’s important to make sure you’re the kind of person who can stay focused and on track just as you do in the office.

It could hurt your chances of advancing.

The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely holds true when it comes to working from home. While it offers you more flexibility and balance in your life, your career advancement could take a hit. A co-worker who’s in the office more than you and regularly interacts with your boss could be the one who wins the promotion simply because they’re at the forefront of your boss’ mind.

You’ll have to work a lot harder to stay connected.

When you’re in the office, you’re always in the loop just because you’re physically present and a part of more office communications, as a result. However, when you telecommute, you’re going to have to work a lot harder at communicating with your boss and co-workers. If you don’t, deadlines and tasks can easily fall through the cracks. You’ll also get left out on important company news and information if you don’t proactively strive to stay connected.

Keep in mind, working from home is not for everybody. Just because you want to do it doesn’t mean you should. You need to truly evaluate your personality and the kind of work you do to assess whether telecommuting is in your best interest overall.

Interested in finding a better place to work, whether in the office or from home?

Call the experts at 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.

How to Put Your Job Postings to Work for You

September 11th, 2018

When it comes to hiring, your job postings play a vital role. They’re the first impression a candidate will have of your company and they need to successfully sell the opportunity, as a result. However, as one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies, Provisional knows if yours are long-winded, complicated, or vague, then you’re not going to attract top candidates. To help you boost the impact of yours, here are a few tips to follow:

Discuss what daily life is like at the company.

In addition to the list of requirements and responsibilities, make sure you paint a picture of what life is like at the company. What’s the office environment like? What kinds of personalities work successfully there? What’s the schedule like? Is there any travel required? This way, candidates can gain a better sense of whether the opportunity is the right fit for them.

Use clear language.

Skip the corporate jargon and legalese. Instead, make sure that the language you use is simple and straightforward. You don’t need to include details about every aspect of the opening, just the highlights. Also, make sure your job posting isn’t too long. Otherwise, top candidates will lose interest and move on.

Be candidate-centric.

Don’t simply focus on your hiring needs in the job posting. Also be sure to talk about the perks and benefits of working for your organization. Discuss the corporate culture and the leadership team. Talk about technology, innovation and awards. In addition, discuss anything special or unique that will make your company stand out as an employer.

Get help from experts.

If you don’t have the time or resources to write a strong posting, turn to experts who do. At Provisional, we’re one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies and know what local candidates look for most in job openings. We can work with your company, get to know your hiring needs and the corporate culture, and craft a persuasive job posting that gets noticed by top candidates.

Interested in learning more?

Give Provisional a call today. Since 1994, we’ve been Spokane’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, employing over 15,000 contract workers and placing over 8,000 direct-hire professionals with area companies. We can help you with every aspect of the hiring process, from job posting to candidate sourcing, interviewing and more.

5 Common Job Seeker Mistakes that Will Sabotage Your Search

September 4th, 2018

When you’re looking for a new job in Spokane, you know you need to network, customize your resume, and prepare for interviews. But did you know there are mistakes you might be making right now that could be hurting your chances of finding a new opportunity, sabotaging all that hard work in the process? Here’s what they are and how to avoid them:

You’re sending in a resume that’s too long.
Hiring managers only spend a few seconds on each resume. So if yours is three or four pages long, it’s not going to get read. Keep in mind that your resume should simply offer the highlights of your career, it shouldn’t go into detail about every aspect of it. If you have a ton experience, a two-page resume is acceptable. If you’re entry level, though, keep it to one page.

You’re using a generic cover letter.
When you’re looking for jobs in Spokane and sending in the same cover letter to every company, hiring managers will notice. You’re not going to make a favorable impression when it’s obvious you’re submitting a cover letter that 20 other employers have received. Instead, take the time to tailor yours. Research the company, identify their hiring needs and challenges, and think about what specific skills and accomplishments you have that are most relevant. Then talk about them in your cover letter.

You’re casting too wide of a net.
When you apply to too many jobs, you’re stretching yourself thin and therefore won’t be able to focus your efforts on those Spokane jobs you’re truly qualified for. Instead, pick and choose. If you’re not sure about a position, don’t apply. Only send your application in for those opportunities you’re truly interested in.

You’re not preparing for interviews.
There are plenty of job candidates in and around Spokane who want the same jobs as you. That’s why you need to set yourself apart. One way to do that is through preparation. Make sure you learn about the company, what they do, whom they serve, and where you can fit in and make a contribution. This will help you to answer questions more intelligently, so you stand out in the process.

You’re going it alone.
Sometimes, you need expert help when it comes to a job search. This is especially true if you’re changing careers or aren’t having any luck on your own. That’s when it’s time to get help from an employment firm. They’ll be able to offer objective advice and guidance on your resume, cover letter, interview skills and more. As a result, you can often find a better-fit job faster.

Ready to learn more about the difference a professional can make in your job search?
Contact Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every step of the job search process, from resume and cover letter writing to finding job leads and getting interviews. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

Why Use Social Media When Recruiting?

August 28th, 2018

When it comes to recruiting top talent in and around Spokane, Washington, you have a lot of competition. You therefore need proven and efficient strategies for sourcing and screening, all so you can hire the best-fit people for your team. And part of your recruiting strategy should involve social media. Here’s why:

It raises the visibility of your job postings.
You’ll find top-quality candidates on social media. In fact, most candidates are actively searching for jobs online on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not reaching out to them on these platforms, you’re therefore missing out on a huge  network of candidates.

It enables you to attract high quality candidates.
When candidates are applying to your company via social media sites, it typically means they’re tech savvy, which is a vital skill to have for jobs in a range of industries. Not only that, but you can put your existing staff to work reaching out to their networks via social media about your job openings. Through these types of connections, you’ll often find candidates that are a better fit for your company.

It reduces the cost of hiring and time to hire.
With social media, you can broadcast your job openings faster and to a wider range of candidates. As a result, you’ll be able to create a talent pipeline of candidates at a lower cost than more traditional recruiting methods. In addition to cutting down on costs, social media recruiting also reduces the time it takes to find quality candidates, meaning you can hire faster.

It allows you to target candidates better.
When it comes to recruiting on social media, one of the big advantages is that you can target very specific groups of candidates for your job openings. For instance, when you’re using LinkedIn to recruit, you can share your job openings with industry-specific groups. You can also use tools such as Twitter hashtags to target the types of professionals you’re looking for.

It helps you build a stronger employee brand.
Overall, when you’re online recruiting on social media sites, you can not only raise the visibility of your job openings, but your employer brand as a whole. Current and future candidates can therefore gain a better sense of what it’s like to work at your company, all so you can attract better-fit candidates for your team.

Don’t have the time to take advantage of social media recruiting?
Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know how to source the best candidates, using both advanced and traditional methods, all so you find and hire the best people for your team. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

3 Reasons Why You Need a Custom Cover Letter

August 21st, 2018

When it comes to your job search, you’ve probably spent a lot of time writing the perfect resume. But what about the cover letter? It’s a lot more important than you think. And if you don’t customize it for each position you apply to, it can impact whether or not you get a call for an interview. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, Provisional explains why:

It tells a story.

Your resume offers an overview of your background, skills and experience. But your cover letter is where you can truly let your personality and accomplishments shine through. Not only that, but beyond simply focusing on your career history, it gives you an opportunity to discuss where you see your career headed and why you think you’re a great fit for the job. You can do all this in a way that helps you to come off as warm, friendly, capable and confident, rather than just another job candidate.

It demonstrates enthusiasm.

If you send in a boilerplate cover letter, then a hiring manager isn’t going to be impressed, nor will they take much time reading it. However, when it’s personalized and specific to the job opening, it shows them that you’re excited about the company and the opportunity. It tells them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to learn about their organization, so you can best speak to the value you can offer. As a result, you’ll stand out and be more likely to get noticed.

It digs into more detail.

Your resume lists your skills and accomplishments. But if there’s one in particular that’s especially relevant to the job, you can dig in and explain the details of it in your cover letter. For instance, if you won an award at work, you can talk about how you achieved it and what it meant to you. Again, this simply provides another opportunity for you to set yourself apart in the eyes of the hiring manager.

Clearly, a customized cover letter is important for every job you apply to. And creating one is easier than you might think. Simply write a standard letter and then tweak some details in each one you send out so they’re as pertinent as possible to every company and opening.

Need more help with any aspect of your job search?

Call Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we’re highly experienced in helping our candidates craft top-notch cover letters and resumes, all so they secure more interviews in the process. Connect with our team today to get started.

When You Have to Reject an Employee for a Promotion

August 14th, 2018

As a manager, you want to see all your team members succeed. For some, it might take longer than for others. And when an employee who’s not quite ready wants a promotion, it can be hard to get them to see the reality of the situation.

So how do you go about breaking the news? And what can you do to help them achieve their career goals going forward? Provisional, one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, WA, has the answers you need. Here are some tips to help you:

Be honest.

It doesn’t pay to try and avoid the situation or lie to your employee in the hopes they’ll stop asking for a promotion. Instead, be upfront with them. Not only will they appreciate it more, but when you’re as candid as possible, you’re actually helping them in the long run. What doesn’t help them is if you sugar coat the truth.

Focus on the positive first.

When your employee hears the news, they’ll likely be discouraged. What you don’t want is them to become disgruntled too. That’s why it’s important to also focus on the positives and the value they bring to the company. Talk too about the long-term and how you think their specific strengths can play a part in bringing the company vision to life.

Talk about specific next steps.

If your employee wants to get promoted, but doesn’t know what they need to get there, help them identify which areas to work on. Otherwise, if you cut short their dreams without a path forward, they’ll feel like they’re simply spinning their wheels in their job.

So, whether it’s taking classes, signing up for an online seminar, or reading industry publications, map out a plan so they understand what they need to do to get promoted and how they’ll go about developing their abilities, all so they can ultimately achieve their career goals.

Follow up with them regularly.

With a plan in place, follow up regularly with your employee. If they’re eager to achieve and they have potential, this will give you an opportunity to touch base and ensure they’re staying on track. If, however, you don’t see much of a possibility for them getting promoted, then it’s important to be honest about that too. You don’t want to leave them with a sense of false hope.

Need help hiring high potential candidates?

Call the experts at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in Spokane, WA, we can handle every aspect of hiring for you, from sourcing and screening candidates to vetting them through background and reference checks. You’ll get high-potential new hires without all the hard work and hassle. Contact us today to learn more.

Common Grammar and Spelling Errors to Avoid on Your Resume

August 7th, 2018

When it comes to your resume, nothing sets off red flags for a hiring manager quite like spelling and grammar mistakes. One or two aren’t a big deal; however, multiple ones will typically take you out of the running for the job.

But if you’re not a grammar guru or spelling specialist, what can you do to ensure your resume is error-free? As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, Provisional has the answers you need:

Don’t assume spell check will catch everything.

When it comes to your spell checker, it’s a great first place to start when you want to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. However, it shouldn’t be the last technique you use to assess your resume. Oftentimes, it can miss mistakes and won’t flag issues like “from” instead of “form.” That’s why you can’t totally rely on it.

Print out your resume and proofread it.

Once you’ve run spell check on your resume, make sure you print out the document and proofread it. When you have a hard copy of it, it’s much easier to check for problems than it is on the screen. It’s always best too to step away from the document for a few days before you proofread it on paper.

That way, you’ll have some distance from it and it will be easier to find errors and mistakes than if you review it right after you write it.

Read it out loud.

To check for any grammar errors or awkward sentences, read your resume out loud too. Reading it out loud forces you to slow down, so you catch more errors with spelling and style in the process.

Ask a friend to review it.

Once you’re sure your resume is as perfect as possible, give it to a trusted family member or friend and ask them to take a look at it. They will likely catch issues you overlooked. They’ll also be able to give you feedback in terms of how effective it is at positioning yourself as the strongest candidate.

Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will have of you. Make sure yours is as professional as possible by following the tips above.

Need more help with the job search process?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading employment firms in Spokane, WA, we can work directly with you to craft a great resume, prepare you for job interviews, and match you with opportunities that are a great fit for your background, skills, personality and career goals.

Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.

Does Cultural Fit Really Matter When You’re Hiring?

July 24th, 2018

When it comes time to hire, you’re largely looking at technical skills, experience and the right track record. But focusing on cultural fit is just as important. After all, even if a new hire has the strongest skill set, they’re not going to mesh well in the workplace if their personality and work habits aren’t a fit for it.

So how can you make sure that cultural fit plays part in the hiring process in order to make the best hiring decisions possible? Here are a few tips from Provisional – one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, WA – to help you:

Be open about your company culture.

On your website and throughout your social media posts, discuss what your company’s culture is like. What’s your mission and vision? What does your company value most? What’s the workplace and working environment like? What types of people tend to thrive there? When it’s something you promote and talk about regularly, it’s easier to attract the right-fit talent when you’re hiring.

Talk about culture during the interview.

Don’t simply focus on the daily duties and responsibilities when you’re interviewing a candidate. Make sure you further discuss company culture and answer any questions a candidate might have about it.

In addition, evaluate for cultural fit by asking questions related to it. For instance, inquire about what management style they work best under and whether they like working alone or as part of a team. Some other questions include:

  • What do you like most about the culture at your current company? Least?
  • How do you like to get feedback? Through informal meetings each week or more formal performance reviews?
  • What kind of work environment are you most productive in?

By asking these kinds of questions during the hiring process, you’ll be better able to discern whether a particular candidate is the right fit for your company.

Focus on diversity.

While it’s important to hire for cultural fit, don’t aim to hire those who are all exactly alike. The strongest team will have people from diverse backgrounds with varying degrees of experience and many different perspectives. This will serve to enhance and strengthen your company, providing a competitive advantage. So even if you’re are focused on hiring those who are a cultural fit, they shouldn’t all be like you and your existing team members.

Need more help hiring for cultural fit?

Call the experts at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in Spokane, WA, we can handle every aspect of hiring for you, from sourcing and screening candidates to assessing their background for cultural fit. Contact us today to learn more.

Stay or Go? Signs It’s Time to Leave a Job

July 17th, 2018

Your job has a huge impact on your quality of life. Even when you’re not at work, it’s still on your mind. If you’ve been in your position for a long time, it’s tough to make a change. You’re inside your comfort zone, which is a safe place to be. However, if you’re noticing any of the following signs, then it’s time to consider making a move:

You’re unhappy.

As an experienced employment agency in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that everyone hits rough spots in their careers. However, if yours has been lasting weeks or months, then it’s a sign you’re not in the right job. If you dread Monday mornings and are consistently unhappy throughout the work week, don’t deny your feelings. Instead, start taking a look at what’s available on the job market to see if anything sounds intriguing.

You’re working in a toxic environment.

No matter what industry you’re in, you deserve a healthy workplace where you’re respected. But if gossip runs rampant, if you’re constantly at odds with your boss or co-workers, or you don’t feel like you’re fairly recognized for your contributions, then it’s time to move on.

You don’t like what you do anymore.

This can happen especially if you’ve been in the same job for a long time. You can do the work, you’re just bored or disengaged. If you like your employer overall, then this is a good time to talk to your boss about opportunities for a promotion. If, however, you’re simply not happy at the organization, then it’s time for a step up in responsibility at another company.

Your work feels meaningless.

Everyone wants to feel like their work matters. But if it seems like you’re just another cog in the wheel and that you’re replaceable, then it’s going to be hard to stay engaged and committed to your company. You deserve a job where you feel like you’re contributing something of value and that you’re delivering a positive good to customers.

Do these signs strike a chord with you? It may be a matter of talking with your current employer and asking about other available opportunities within your company. Or it could be time to start up a job search. If it’s the latter, let the team at Provisional help. As a leading employment agency in Spokane, WA, we work with companies all over the city and beyond, connecting rewarding opportunities with talented job seekers. Contact us today to learn more.

Hiring? Here Are 5 Signs of a Potential Mistake

July 10th, 2018

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that a poor hiring decision can cost you a lot of money and lost time in the form of productivity and morale issues. As a result, it’s best to take a careful approach when screening and interviewing candidates, all so you can avoid a misstep. To help you in the process, here are a few red flags to look for that a candidate could be a potential mistake to hire:

They ask about vacation time and working hours.

If the first question they ask you is related to how many hours the job requires them to work and how much vacation time they’ll get, then it’s certainly a concern. Top candidates will be more focused on the details of the opportunity and your company. While these perks are a part of the equation, they shouldn’t be the first priority to find out about in a job interview.

They don’t offer detailed answers.

When you ask a specific question, you expect a detailed answer. But if all you get is vague generalities, it could be a sign that the candidate lacks the communication skills you need to perform the job or isn’t being completely honest with their responses.

They show up late or behave unprofessionally in some way.

You need new hires who take their jobs seriously. That’s why when a candidate arrives late, treats the receptionist disrespectfully, or isn’t wearing appropriate interview attire, you should take it as a sign that they’re not the strongest hire. If this is how they treat the interview process, then you can expect the same kind of behavior if hired.

They speak negatively about a past boss or co-worker.

When a candidate trashes their boss, or speaks poorly about a co-worker, it’s not only unprofessional, but foolish too. For all they know, that person could be a friend or family member of yours. In general, it also reflects a lack of good judgement, which is concerning.

They give you a family member as a reference.

Smart candidates know you want past managers and co-workers as references, not family members. If, however, you get a list of family and friends, there’s a reason they don’t want you talking to an old boss.

If you know what to look for and ask the right questions, you can almost always spot a potential hiring mistake before extending an offer. However, if you’d like expert help with the process, call the team at Provisional.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing solutions to our clients all over the Northwest and can help you with every aspect of the screening, interviewing and hiring process. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.