Provisional Blog

5 Red Flags an Employee is About to Call it Quits

April 16th, 2019

As a manager, employee turnover is a part of life. However, when it comes to your best people, you want to keep them on board as long as possible. That’s why, if you’re noticing certain signs being exhibited by a key player, it’s important to take action. What are they? Provisional, one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, gives some insight into five common ones:

#1: A drop in production.

When a normally hard-working employee now is barely getting the job done, something’s wrong. Whether they’ve lost interest or aren’t feeling appreciated is up to you to find out. But when there’s resentment or apathy, it often takes a toll on productivity numbers.

#2: Becoming more reserved.

When an employee is looking to make a move, it can often impact their relationships at work. They might become more reserved, turned down opportunities to socialize, or don’t volunteer or want to commit to new assignments, especially if they’re long-term. Whatever the case, it’s often because they’ve mentally checked out as they’re searching for a new role.

#3: A hit in attendance numbers.

When an employee who’s never late or only takes a few sick days each year starts calling in regularly and missing work, it could be a sign they’re feeling increasingly unhappy at work. Likewise, they could be trying to use up sick and vacation days before they actually jump ship.

#4: A change in appearance.

Whether your once well-groomed employee is showing up dressed sloppily, or they’re suddenly donning new suits, either can spell trouble for you. One signals a lack of care and engagement, the other possible interviews. Either way, when there’s a noticeable change in what they’re wearing on any given day, it can be a sign they’re looking to leave.

#5: A shift in mood.

Your once-amiable employee is suddenly moody and difficult to work with. They grumble and complain about everything and seem unwilling to come up with workable solutions. Instead, they criticize the ideas of others, without offering their own thoughts. This is often a red flag that they’re unhappy, disengaged and looking for an excuse to quit.

If you’re noticing these and other signs, then an important first step to take is to have a conversation with your employee. Schedule some private time with them so you can talk about the situation and listen to their concerns and issues. They might have one foot out the door already; or there could be steps you could take to save the situation. However, you won’t know without asking.

Need help filling a newly opened position?

If it’s already too late and you’ve had an employee recently leave, get help finding the right-fit replacement by calling 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. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

6 Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

April 2nd, 2019

Mistakes happen at every company. But when it comes to hiring, they can be especially expensive. Not only are you back to square one, searching out candidates, but in the meantime, morale, productivity and profits can all take a hit. What can you do to lower the risk and ensure you get the people you need?

There are no guarantees; however, as one of Coeur d’Alene’s top staffing firms, Provisional knows there are certain steps you can take to help you conquer hiring mistakes and set your company up for more success in the future. Here’s a look at 6 of them:

Not having a plan in place.

What’s your ideal candidate look like? How many interviews will the hiring process entail? What kinds of questions will you ask? When do you need to make a hiring decision by? For your hiring process to be as successful as possible, it should be carefully designed ahead of time. This includes setting goals, mapping out steps, and providing ample time for sourcing, interviewing and background checks.

Not having clarity about the role.

If you can’t clearly define the role, the responsibilities and the challenges that come with it, then you’re not ready to hire. The last thing you want to do is extend an offer to a talented individual, only to have them quit because the job wasn’t what they expected. That will cost you plenty of time and money. Instead, invest that time upfront on defining the role and ensuring you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Skipping reference checking.

An interview that went well doesn’t mean you should skip out on other parts of the hiring process like reference checking. This is a valuable tool that enables you to identify any inconsistencies or red flags, as well as find out more specific details about a candidate, such as how well they perform under pressure.

Not testing candidates.

Whether it’s an online assessment or a small project assignment you give to your top-pick candidates, testing is a critical part of the hiring process. You’ll get a chance to ensure they have the skills you need, can deliver a quality product, and are able to meet deadlines.

Waiting for the perfect candidate.

You might have an ideal candidate in mind, but if you’re many weeks into your job search and still not finding them, you need to adjust your expectations. Don’t look for the perfect candidate; instead identify those who have a solid track record of experience and success and who meet most of your requirements.

Hiring the same kinds of people.

To be successful, your team should have a diverse mix of people with varying skills and abilities. However, if you keep hiring the same kinds of people, it’s going to impact innovation at your company. So during the process, look for those who can bring a new perspective and fresh ideas to the table.

Get professional help with hiring.

Contact Provisional, one of Coeur d’Alene’s top staffing firms. Whether you need to add to your team for the long-term or you require short-term, temporary assistance, we can give you access to the people you need, where and when you need them. Simply contact our team today 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 on 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 means 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

4 Top Techniques for Conducting Exit Interviews

December 26th, 2018

Losing a good employee is a painful experience. However, it can be an insightful one too when you conduct an exit interview. These can help you find out the reason behind the resignation, so you can create a better employee experience in the future. They also give your employee a chance to offer a review of their time at the company and for the relationship to end on a positive note.

To help you get the most from your next one, here’s some insight from Provisional – one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest – on how to approach it:

#1: Plan and prepare.

Plan to conduct your employee’s interview in the last day or two of employment. Give them ample time to prepare and gather their thoughts in advance. Explain too why you’re conducting one and what you’re hoping to gain. Also, make sure the interview is face-to-face, not over the phone or email.

#2: Put them at ease.

Exit interviews feel awkward. That’s why it’s important to do what you can to put your employee at ease. Assure them that they can speak freely and openly and let them know if there’s a question they’re uncomfortable with, they don’t have to answer. You can even consider taking the conversation out of the office and into a more neutral environment, like a coffee shop. Likewise, approach the situation more like a conversation and less like an interview.

#3: Ask the right questions.

There are several key points to touch on during an exit interview. Not only that, but it’s important to ask the same questions across interviews so you can identify trends and patterns. Some to consider include:

  • What was the biggest factor that led you to accept another job?
  • How did this job match your expectations? What did you like most about it? Least?
  • Did you feel you had the tools and resources to perform your work effectively?
  • What was your relationship like with your manager?
  • What did you enjoy most about working here? What areas could use improvement?
  • What skills and abilities do you think are most important for your replacement?

#4: Make use of their feedback.

Once you know why a candidate is leaving, it’s important that you put that information to good use so that you can make improvements in the company in terms of employee engagement. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing another key team member for the same reason. This is especially important if you’re noticing trends and patterns when it comes to retention issues.

Need help finding and retaining quality people for your team?

Call Provisional. As one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, we’ve placed over 18,000 professionals with growing companies since 1994 and we can help you too find and hire the people you need. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Year-End Performance Review Mistakes to Avoid

December 11th, 2018

From entry-level employees all the way up to top-level managers, no one likes performance reviews. However, they play an important role in giving feedback, setting goals, and keeping people on track. So how can you go about conducting them in a way that’s as painless as possible this year? Provisional – one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top staffing firms – has the answers you need. Here’s a look at a few common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Not preparing.

You owe it to your employees to invest the time and effort to prepare for each review. If you don’t, the conversation isn’t going to lead to the kind of meaningful insight you need it to. Instead, it’s going to be unstructured and unproductive. That’s why it’s important to prepare for any feedback well ahead of time.

Mistake #2: Not telling the employee until the last minute.

Employees should know in advance when their review will take place. In addition, you should create an agenda outlining the areas to be discussed, so they can fully prepare ahead of time, too. This will not only give them a chance to get ready mentally, but also think through any issues, questions or areas they’d like to discuss with you.

Mistake #3: Giving empty compliments.

Employees don’t want to hear they’re doing a good job. They want to know that you really liked how they handled the Smith account and you were impressed with their ability to persuade the client to sign on for more services. It’s a big difference and when you give specific feedback, it will do a lot more to motivate and encourage your staff.

Mistake #4: Conducting them once a year.

In reality, you should be keeping tabs on employee performance throughout the entire year. While you might have one, year-end formal review, you should also have many mini-feedback sessions in between. That way, employees are always clear on expectations, where they stand, and won’t have a chance to get too far off track.

Mistake #5: Not having them at all.

This is perhaps the biggest mistake of all. Not having regular performance reviews takes away an opportunity with you to connect with each team member on a personal level, revisit goals and expectations, and ensure you’re both on the same page. In terms of the big picture, it can also provide employees a time in which to discuss career development and advancement, which can go a long way in retaining them.

Need help hiring great performers for your team?

Call Provisional. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top staffing firms, we can help you source, screen, evaluate and hire the high-level people you need, so you can build the strongest team possible. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Deal with a Defensive Employee

November 27th, 2018

As a manager, giving feedback is a must. But sometimes it can feel like you’re walking through a minefield when you do. This is especially true when you have an employee who tends to get defensive when the input they’re getting on performance isn’t 100% positive. So how can you communicate your needs in a way that they’re more receptive?

Provisional, one of the Northwest’s leading staffing firms, has the answers you need. Follow these tips to get you started:

Be direct.

Don’t sugarcoat the issue or talk in vague statements. Simply tell your employee that whenever you give feedback, you notice they get upset. That’s not your intent; however, the feedback is necessary. Then sit back and listen. Your employee might not even realize they’ve gotten defensive in the past.

Be clear about what you need.

Once the issue is on the table, tell your employee you need to be able to bring up areas of concern with them without fear of them getting defensive. There’s always room for conversation and listening; however, you expect them to be open and not to push back.

Remember, tone matters.

If you come across as angry or critical in any way, then your employee will simply shut down. Instead, diffuse the issue by letting them know that feedback is hard for everyone to hear. You can even share your own personal story of getting difficult feedback, how it felt and mistakes you made when dealing with it. Talking about your own experience will also make them feel like accepting feedback is a skill to be learned.

Give them reassurance.

If your employee is strong overall, tell them that. You don’t want them walking out of the conversation feeling like they’re skating on thin ice. However, do let them know that you want them to perform even better, which involves being able to take in and incorporate feedback into their everyday work.

Continue to give feedback.

You might not notice a big change right away. But don’t let it stop you from giving feedback to your employee. They need to hear about areas to be corrected because if they don’t, they’ll simply get off track in their performance.

Keep in mind, defensiveness is survival mechanism. It’s the brain’s way of reacting to and defending against criticism. So when an employee gets defensive, don’t take it personally. Simply deal with it head on and work with them to overcome it.

Need help with these and other staffing and HR-related issues?

Call the Northwest’s leading staffing firm: Provisional. We can help you source, screen, hire and train the people you need, where and when you need them. Simply connect with us today to learn more or get started.