Provisional Blog

New Manager Tips: Building Trust on Your Team

October 9th, 2018

As a new manager, you have a lot on your plate. You’re trying to get up to speed, get to know your new team, and strategize goals and plans, all while striving to build trust. The good news is that if you invest in the latter, then it will make your job as a whole a lot easier as your team members go above and beyond for you.

Here are some tips from Provisional – one of the top staffing services in Spokane, Washington – to help you get started and build trust among your new staff:

Be ready to learn.

Don’t pretend like you have all the answers. Your new team doesn’t expect you to. What they do want is honesty and authenticity. So instead of feeling like you have to act like you know everything, you can instead take an approach focused on learning. That means asking questions, learning about how work gets done from your employees’ perspectives, and finding out about any key challenges or concerns they’re grappling with.

Be open.

As a new manager, your employees are a little bit suspicious of you. They’re not quite sure how things will be different going forward. That’s why it’s important to be open and honest about your goals and the vision you have for your new team. Don’t let them come to their own conclusions. Instead, keep them informed, especially about key decisions that impact them, and welcome their feedback.

Be generous with praise.

When it comes to recognizing the hard work of your staff, be quick to offer praise and do it publicly. Not only will employees feel good about the work they’re doing, but others will see it and want to follow suit. However, when there’s an issue, never address it openly. Meet with your team members in private instead.

Don’t be a micromanager.

One of the quickest ways to create animosity with your team is to micromanage them and insist you need to know about every decision and step that they take. This sends the message that you don’t trust them. So why would they trust you in return?

Instead, give your staff some autonomy. Tell them what you expect and then step back and let them get to work. If there’s an issue, then get involved to determine the best course to follow. But don’t constantly look over the shoulders of your staff and still expect to build a team that’s engaged and motivated.

Are you a new manager in need of hiring help?

Call the experts at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been one of the leading staffing services in Spokane, Washington. We can help you source, screen and hire the top people you need for your team, all while you focus on other priorities. Contact us today to learn more.

Boost Retention with These 5 Easy Tips

September 25th, 2018

When it comes to your company, success depends on your team. That’s why holding onto your A-players is so important and should be a top priority. But if you’re not investing in employee retention strategies, then you’re missing an opportunity to keep your top talent happy and on board. What are some ways to do that?

Here are 5 from one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional:

#1: Make sure salaries are competitive.
If employees aren’t getting paid what they’re worth, then they’re going to jump ship. It’s just a matter of time. That’s why it’s so vital to invest some time, do your homework and ensure what you’re paying – from entry to executive-level – is fair and market value.

#2: Focus on work-life balance.
If employees feel overworked and burned out, it’s eventually going to impact profitability, as well as productivity. That’s why you need to recognize that your employees have personal lives and support them in keeping them well-balanced.

Encourage them to take all their vacation time. Offer flexible scheduling. Let employees work from home one day a week. When you provide these perks, you’ll go a long way in keeping your team in tact.

#3: Build relationships with your staff.
Don’t be the boss that sits behind closed doors in your office everyday. Instead, make sure you get to know your people on a personal level.

Ask about their weekends. Talk to them about their concerns and issues on the job. And offer an open door and helping hand whenever they need it. When you have a good relationship with your team, it builds more loyalty in the long run.

#4: Offer growth opportunities.
No one wants to stay in the same job year after year. Once an employee grows bored, however, that’s often when they start looking for a new position. But you can ensure it’s one within your company when you offer opportunities for training and development, as well as advancement.

#5: Recognize and reward.
If employees feel like their hard work goes unnoticed, they’ll grow frustrated and disengage as a result. That’s why it’s critical to praise your people and even offer other recognition and rewards when warranted. Your team will feel more appreciated and be more apt to stay on staff, as a result.

Need more help hiring and retaining 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Workplace Safety: Why You Need to Review Your Policy

June 26th, 2018

Trips, slips and falls might sound seemingly minor. But, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that accidents and injuries at work are expensive. In fact, OSHA reports that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone. Direct costs include things like medical expenses and legal services.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce the injuries and accidents in your workplace and their associated expenses. With strict safety practices in place, organizations can cut down on these situations and their related costs by as much as 40%. That’s why it’s so important not only to have protocols implemented, but to review them on a regular basis and modify them when needed.

To help you during the process, a few steps to take include:

Determining any new hazards.

What new hazards or problem spots have been identified since the last time you reviewed your safety program? If you’re not sure, it’s time to do some digging. Walk around your facility and look for any threats to safety or risks. Some specific areas to keep on the lookout for include rugs that are curled up in corners, electrical hazards, obstructions in walkways and faulty machinery. Also talk to your employees and ask about what safety issues they’ve noticed.

Educate your people.

You can’t look over the shoulders of your employees every day to ensure they’re operating in a safe manner. You need to able to trust and rely on them. It’s therefore important they understand the expectations you have for them in terms of safety and what specific safety-related tasks or duties they’re responsible for. On top of that, you should also consider annual refresher courses on safety to talk about the company’s specific rules, why they’re important, and the role employees play in ensuring a safe workplace.

Make sure it’s all in writing.

Beyond communicating expectations and rules to employees, you should also put everything in writing in an up-to-date safety handbook. This offers employees a resource they can reference whenever an issue or question arises. Information in it should include how to communicate workplace hazards, what to do in the case of an emergency, the company fire prevention plan, and the policy on personal protective equipment.

It’s always wise to invest in safety measures at your company. When you do, you’re protecting your people and your business bottom line. But beyond a policy, you need safety-minded employees to ensure your workplace remains as secure as possible. That’s where Provisional can help.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, 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.

4 Ways to Keep Your Employees on Track & Motivated During Summer

June 12th, 2018

Between traveling and kids out of school, summer can certainly be a busy time for everyone, including your employees. As a result, it’s can be easy for them to lose focus, impacting your productivity numbers in the long run. To ensure you keep your people on track during the hot summer months, here are a few easy tips from Provisional – one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest – to put to use:

#1: Set challenging goals.

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean employees should be slowing down in terms of performance at work. To keep staff motivated, it’s even more important during this hectic time of year to meet with your people individually and make sure they understand their performance goals and expectations. Just make sure that whatever objectives you do set, they’re both challenging and attainable.

#2: Offer flexible work hours.

A flexible work schedule can be a small step that shows employees you care in a big way. Not only does it help your staff maintain a better work-life balance, but numerous studies have shown that it positively improves morale. In fact, according to one such study by PGi, 80% of employees reported higher morale when working from home.

A flex work schedule can mean a range of different options. For instance, it could include telecommuting one day a week. Or it could simply offer employees the option to come in at 8 and leave at 4, instead of working 9 to 5. Other possibilities include letting employees leave early on Fridays. It’s really up to you in terms of what works best for your team and your company.

#3: Encourage time off.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s important to encourage your employees to take vacation days. If they don’t, they’ll risk burnout, which can negatively impact productivity, not to mention increase absenteeism and the risk of mistakes. In today’s culture, many people think it shows their dedication to not take time off. But if you want your employees to stay healthy and motivated, then they need a dedicated chunk of time to relax and unwind away from the office.

#4: Invest in training.

If summer is your slow time of year, look at it as an opportunity to ramp up your employees’ knowledge base. Send them to seminars, bring in speakers, host brown bag lunches, and offer online training opportunities they can take advantage of. It will be a change of pace from their daily tasks, while also enabling them to refresh and polish their skills, as well as gain new ones.

Need extra hands on deck during summer?

If summer is your busy time and you need more manpower to get the job done, Provisional can provide it. As one of the leading Northwest staffing agencies, we can help you find and hire the people you need on a seasonal basis. We can handle the sourcing, screening and reference checking, all so you get high-quality, hard-working temporary employees. Contact Provisional today to learn more.

Screening Resumes? Get Tips on a More Effective Process

May 22nd, 2018

As the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows that screening resumes is no easy task. It can be hard to get a true sense of a candidate from a one-page document. On top of that, there are many variables that can affect the process, from your mood that day to how many resumes you have to screen. Add to that a tight timeline and a few moments only to devote to each resume and it can lead to hiring mistakes.

The good news is that when you have a solid process in place, you can screen resumes more effectively and improve the quality of your new hires. To help you in the process, here are some tips to consider:

Make sure your job posting is clear and concise.

Your job description has a huge impact on the quality of applicants you attract – and the amount of time you’ll have to spend reviewing resumes. That’s why it’s so important to invest the effort into creating accurate ones. Before you start the hiring process, review your description to ensure it clearly depicts the position and the skills and requirements necessary for success in it.

Wait a few days to start reviewing resumes.

Once you start receiving resumes, resist the urge to schedule interviews with the first ones that come in. Someone might seem like a good fit at first, until you get a dozen resumes from candidates over the next few days who are better suited.

In addition, when you screen resumes as they come in – one by one – your energy and attention could diminish, giving the first applicants an unfair advantage. Instead, wait a few days to start the screening process until you have a good number of resumes. Then set aside a chunk of time to start the screening process.

Schedule enough time to screen resumes.

Don’t cram in the task in between meetings and breaks. Instead, schedule in a block of time where you can truly devote adequate time to each one. Once you find a few applicants who are a good fit, don’t be tempted to rush through the remaining resumes. Give each one the same level of attention.

Look for the positive qualities in each candidate.

It’s easy to only focus on red flags and negatives. But when reviewing resumes, make sure you’re not picking each one apart in a hyper-sensitive way. Remember, you’re not making a hiring decision based on a resume, you’re simply deciding whom to interview. So be sure to also look for reasons to consider an applicant.

If you’re not sure about a particular candidate, then schedule a 15-minute phone screen with them. That way, you can learn more about their skills and background, all without a huge investment of time.

Need more help with the hiring process?

Call Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing over 6,000 direct-hire and temporary professionals with companies in Seattle, Spokane, and Coeur d’Alene. Contact us today. We’re ready to help you find the people you need, whether on a part-time, temporary or full-time basis.