Connect With A Recruiter Now (800) 805-0361
MENU Access Timecard >
Search Jobs
Advanced Search

Provisional Blog

How to Get Your People to Speak Up & Add More Value at Work

August 15th, 2017

When it comes to managing a team, how open is communication between you and your staff? Most managers think their team members will speak up if they have something to say or a different opinion. But, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that’s often not the case.

For instance, many times, employees don’t want to speak up due to fears of retaliation or damaging their relationship with their boss in some way. Still other employees might simply think their voice doesn’t matter much and speaking up won’t change anything.

But, by creating a culture of openness and communication, your team and company can benefit in many ways.

For one thing, employees are more likely to come to you if there’s a problem or issue on the horizon, which means you can deal with it before it escalates. For another, they’re on the front lines each day – managing customer relationships and getting orders out the door – and can therefore offer you some valuable insight into what works and doesn’t work. Finally, with innovation being key to the success of any company, having an environment where people often speak up means there will a better flow of opinions and ideas.

So how can you get your people to be more candid with you?

With these tips:

  • Ask for ideas and thoughts before offering your own. In meetings and one-on-ones, ask your people to give their opinions, ideas and thoughts on a topic before you offer your own. Oftentimes, when you’re the first to speak up, employees will just fall in line with what you say. But by speaking last, you have a better chance at getting more honest opinions.
  • Be open to dissenting viewpoints. You’re not going to keep the dialogue and ideas flowing if you shut down employees with dissenting views. Your people will get the message. Instead, thank employees who offer opinions that differ from your own, even if you don’t agree with them.
  • Encourage people to share their opinions. Sometimes, it takes more than asking for an opinion to get one. You’ll have to draw staff members out in order to find out what’s really on their mind. You can do that by asking questions that are more specific. For instance, rather than just saying “what do you think?,” ask “what were your thoughts on how that last projected ended and the customer’s reaction to it?”
  • Don’t act like you have all the answers. When you are generally curious, ask questions and really listen to every employee, you’ll go a long way in creating a more open culture at your company. If you, however, you act like you know everything and have all the right answers, your people will simply shut down and avoid being honest with you.

Need more help with other management communication issues?

Read this post on 5 Ways to Improve Leadership Communication. Or, if you’d like staffing help, simply contact us. 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.

How to Deal When You Have to Fire Someone

August 1st, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that firing an employee is not an enviable task. Even if they have poor performance and don’t make any effort to change, it can still be awkward and uncomfortable. You may even have feelings of guilt afterward. However, if someone isn’t contributing – and is actually harming team morale and productivity – it’s time to cut the cord. Here’s how to do it:

Document the situation.

Before you make a move, make sure you document everything. This includes the performance improvement plan, warnings that were given and when, and any emails between you and the employee. Even if you had past meetings face-to-face, it’s important to document when they happened and what was communicated.

Create a plan.

Once the decision has been made to terminate an employee, it’s important to have a plan in place beforehand. For instance, you need to make a list of all the company property they have access to and make sure their passwords are de-activated and security badge turned in. Likewise, you want to ensure you have an employee or multiple employees in place to handle the increased workload until a replacement is found.

Act quickly.

Firing someone is uncomfortable. But don’t put it off because you don’t want to deal with it, or in the hopes that their performance will turn around. The longer you wait, the more time the person will have to continue dragging the whole team down.

Get to the point.

When it comes time to terminate an employee, don’t sit around, making small talk. Instead, get right to the point and be straightforward. Let them know you’ve got some bad news for them and then tell them they’re being let go. Be clear about the reason and avoid making any justifications about the situation.

Go over the essentials.

Once the news has been delivered, your employee is likely in shock. But it’s still important that you go over the essentials – including final pay and termination of benefits, unemployment, unused vacation time and how co-workers will be told about the situation.

Be respectful and gracious.

While you should aim to keep the emotion out of the equation, it’s important to be gracious and respectful during the process. Even if the termination stems from poor performance they weren’t willing to correct, it’s still a devastating experience for the employee. Be sensitive and keep that in mind during the conversation.

If you need more advice on staffing and recruiting for your team, contact the experts at Provisional.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we can help you quickly source, screen, and hire temporary talent for a variety of positions. Just give us a call today to learn more.

How to Avoid Hiring a Candidate with an Attendance Problem

July 18th, 2017

When it comes to your employees, the most skilled and talented individual just won’t cut it if they don’t show up consistently, or if they regularly call in sick to work. As one of the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows the trick is to avoid hiring someone like that in the first place. So how can you spot a potential problem employee – who has issues with attendance – before you extend an offer? By asking these questions:

If I called your last boss, what would they say about your attendance record?

You don’t want to put a candidate on the spot. At the same time, you need employees who will be able to show up on time, when you need them. So asking this question will give you a good indication of what the candidate’s attendance has been like in past positions. If they pause and stutter, it’s a sign you have someone who could end up being unreliable.

Our attendance policy is X. Would you have any problem meeting that?

Another way to assess a candidate is by discussing your attendance policy. Not only will their answer to this question be a good indication of what to expect if you hire them, but also their body language too when you’re talking about the company attendance policy. If they’re listening attentively, it’s a good sign. However, if they start to squirm or avoid eye contact, it could signal a level of discomfort with your attendance policy.

In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers a few other questions that you can legally ask to address the issue of attendance, including:

  • How many Mondays or Fridays were you absent last year on leave other than vacation?
  • How many days were you absent from work last year other than vacation?
  • Did you violate any previous employer’s attendance requirements?
  • Have you ever been disciplined or counseled at any previous job in the last x years for violating attendance requirements?

Beyond asking the questions above, another sure-fire way to check on attendance is to call references. That way, you can be sure the candidate you’re considering hiring didn’t have an attendance problem in a past position.

Ready for professional help recruiting and hiring talented and dependable employees?

Call the team at 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.

Job Offers 101: When a Candidate Counters on Salary

July 4th, 2017

You’ve been recruiting, screening and interviewing for months. You find what you think is your ideal candidate. You make the offer fully expecting an acceptance. But then the candidate counters back with a higher salary. What do you do?

Whether you move onto another candidate or counter back is your decision. However, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Provisional knows before you make a decision either way, it’s important to think through the following.

Your boundaries.

In other words, how much higher are you willing to go? If what you offered the candidate is truly all your budget allots for, then it may be best to move on. You don’t want to get into a financial crunch just to hire a new employee. On the other hand, if you have some wiggle room, think about just how much there is. Before you take a seat at the negotiating table, it’s important to know your limits so you don’t go beyond them.

Your flexibility.

You can’t offer more money. It’s just not in the budget. But you really want to hire a particular candidate. Do you still have to walk away? Not necessarily. Some candidates will be willing to negotiate additional perks instead of a higher salary. So think about how you can enhance your compensation package. Can you offer better benefits, more vacation time, or extra telecommuting days?

Your competitive advantage.

When you’re negotiating with candidates, it’s important they understand more than just the base salary – but also all the advantages of working for your company. For instance, if you offers 5% raises each year, plus pay for continuing education, then it’s important to make sure your candidate knows about and fully understands the financial value of these perks.

In addition to tangible benefits, communicate the intangibles, as well. If you offers an award-winning mentoring program or always promote from within, it’s important you convey these details to candidates.

If, however, a candidate continues to counter with a higher salary than you can afford, you have to know when to walk away. Hiring comes with risks and even if a candidate seems perfect, you never truly know what you’re getting until they start the job. So don’t blow your budget when you could hire a talented second choice for an amount you’re more comfortable with.

Are you struggling with hiring top candidates for your company? Don’t have the time in your day to recruit and screen?

Let Provisional do the work for you. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, we can help you fill a wide variety of positions, including temporary, full-time and contract, in a range of fields. From start to finish, we have you covered, so you get the people you need, without all the hassle of hiring. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Team-Building This Summer? Here’s How to Get the Most From It

June 20th, 2017

Without a strong team in place, you can’t build a successful business. That’s why team-building is so important. And if you’re like many companies, you’re planning team-building activities and events over the summer. How can you get the most from them? With these tips:

Plan an event that’s interesting to employees.

Do your employees generally like the outdoors and to be active? Or are they more indoor people? Whatever the case for you, plan an event that matches their interests. If you force them to do something you know they won’t like, or can’t participate in due to an illness or disability, then it defeats the entire purpose. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can take into account what the majority of your team would want to do for a team-building event.

Set goals.

Whatever activity you do choose, have defined goals in place for what you hope to get out of it. Whether you’re celebrating a big company milestone, integrating new employees onto the team, or overcoming workplace conflict, it’s important to have clear objectives in place. That said, don’t have too many. It’s best to have one or two and then plan the event around those.

Avoid awkward situations.

You want employees to step outside their comfort zone. However, don’t force them to do things that make them uncomfortable or feel awkward. If you do, they’ll simply dis-engage from the entire team-building experience. So if you’re thinking about having everyone do something like share their biggest career fear, skip it. Instead, plan on opportunities to interact with one another that are both focused and fun.

Talk about lessons learned.

When it comes to team-building, the best events are meaningful with a lasting impact. At the very end of the event, or right after, talk about the lessons everyone learned and how you can all leverage them in practical ways on a daily basis at work.

Don’t expect overnight results.

Team-building is a function that should be happening year-round. While it’s fun to plan dedicated events, don’t expect huge results from just one. Rather, when you regularly host team-building activities and also promote and encourage collaboration throughout the rest of the year, then you’re going to see the kinds of results that can really impact your bottom line in a positive way. Not only that, but making it a part of a larger, long-term strategy sends the message that team-building is a company priority.

Do you need more help building a strong team for your company?

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.

5 Quick Tips for Managing Seasonal Employees

June 6th, 2017

Summer is nearly here – and so is an increase in demand. For many business owners and managers, it’s also crunch time for finding and hiring seasonal employees. But once they’re on board, the work isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning.

As one of the Northwest’s leaders in specialized recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows that while seasonal employees are a great way to meet an uptick in demand, keep your customers satisfied, and grow your business, it’s still vitally important that you manage them properly. If you don’t, they could actually wind up harming your business and your reputation.

With that in mind, here are 5 quick tips for managing seasonal employees this summer:

Tip #1: Hire right.

If you want the best people, you need to have a properly structured hiring process. That means posting a clear and detailed job description, conducting thorough interviews with behavior-based questions, and checking references. Also, during the hiring process, make sure you’re clear about expectations. This includes the nature of the work, hours, dress code, and start and end dates for the position. If a candidate is truly looking for a full-time job, it’s important to set clear expectations from the start.

Tip #2: Treat workers well.

It’s important for morale that you treat seasonal employees like you would any full-time employee. Just because they’re only working for you for a few months doesn’t mean you schedule them for shifts or duties that no one else wants, not invite them to company or team events, or avoid praise and recognition. That’s a recipe for an unsuccessful relationship. Not only that, but clearly drawing a line between full-time employees and seasonal ones will make it harder for all your workers to bond and build camaraderie.

Tip #3: Don’t skip training.

It doesn’t make sense for a seasonal worker to go through the same six-week training period you put new full-time hires through. However, you can offer an abridged version. When you do, you can ensure they get up and running faster and also know how to deal with any challenges that come their way. This is especially important when you consider summer is often the busy season, which means added stress for employees, whether temporary or full-time. You don’t want workers who are poorly trained or don’t understand what they’re doing to hinder your team.

Tip #4: Know the law.

When it comes to hiring seasonal employees, it’s important to know and adhere to the law on issues from ranging from minimum wage to overtime pay. It’s also important to have all the proper state and federal paperwork filled out and if a worker is under 18, to know age-specific guidelines for employment.

Tip #5: Confront conflict immediately.

If there’s a problem with your seasonal worker, confront it immediately. Don’t hope it will work itself out. Instead, pull them aside and ask about any issues or challenges they’re facing. If you can, create a buddy system where they’re paired with a more experienced employee. Help them to feel comfortable and confident coming to you with issues and concerns. That way, you can head off minor problems before they escalate into major ones.

Hiring seasonal employees can be tricky. But with proper planning and preparation – along with following the tips above – you can get the team you need to handle your busy summer season.

Need help filling seasonal roles for your company? Call in the experts at Provisional.

Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing skilled temporary and temp-to-hire workers with companies in Seattle, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. We can help you with every aspect of hiring, from sourcing and screening to interviewing and reference checks.

Contact us today. We’re ready to help you find the people you need.

4 Interview Essentials for Employers

May 23rd, 2017

Whether you’ve been hiring for years, or are interviewing your first candidate, the secret to success in an interview is asking the right questions. Ask great ones and you can expect to get behind the candidate mask and find the information you need to make a smart hiring decision. To help you in the process, here are a few tips to keep in mind during the process:

Identify a framework.

What are you hoping to learn from the interview? What key areas are most important? How will you evaluate skills? What about personality and cultural fit? Once you know what you’re trying to get out of the interview, you can plan for the types of questions that you should be asking during it.

Develop a list of questions.

The final questions you do ask are up to you. But some key ones to consider include:

  • Tell me about yourself. This is a good ice breaker. It can also give you some insight into what’s important to the candidate by what they talk about first.
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of? This will demonstrate their proven track record, but also give you an indicator of whether or not the candidate is a collaborator, problem solver, and focused on high quality.
  • What interests you most about working for us? Asking this question helps you evaluate how much research the candidate has done. It also can serve as a warning sign if it becomes clear they know little or nothing about your company.

Set the tone.

Be engaged, positive and curious during the interview process. Don’t answer your phone or check your email while you’re talking to candidate. Your attitude toward them will set the tone for the entire hiring process. And if they have a good experience with you, they’ll be far more likely to open up.

Listen to the questions they ask.

Don’t focus entirely on your questions. Make sure you listen carefully to the questions they ask too. This is important because it a) demonstrates their preparedness (or lack of); b) gives you some insight into what’s important to them based on the types of questions they’re asking; and c) showcases their level of insight and knowledge about your company and the industry.

Don’t have the time or resources for hiring and interviewing?

Leave it to 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. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

5 Interview Questions to Help You Uncover the Real Candidate

May 9th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that during the interview process, you want to really get to know each candidate so you can make the best hiring decision. But that can be tough when candidates are so well prepared and practiced. In fact, candidates know you’re going to be asking questions, such as “why do you want the job?” and “what are your biggest strengths?” And, chances are, they’ve rehearsed their answers.

So how can you get behind the candidate mask and uncover the real person?

You need to go beyond the typical interview questions so that candidates have to think on their feet. That way, you’ll be able to better gauge whether they’re the right fit for you. Here are 5 questions to ask:

1. How did you end up as a [fill in their job title here]?

Asking this question serves a few purposes. First, it’s a good ice-breaker. It also gives you some insight into what motivates a candidate. In addition, it can reveal essential details about their strengths and weaknesses.

2. What’s your most significant career accomplishment?

This question forces a candidate to get outside of vague puffery and instead dig into details that can help you assess their fit. Asking a question like this is also a good way to get a candidate to open up and learn more about their work habits and how they went about achieving success.

3. Tell me about a time in your career when things didn’t go as planned.

By asking this question, you’re not necessarily looking for a candidate to point out their mistakes or weaknesses. After all, we all have them. What you should be looking for is a measure of accountability and self-awareness. A smart candidate will not only tell you about a situation, but also what they learned from it.

4. How do you think this opportunity will fit in with your overall career aspirations?

This question helps you gain insight into how a candidate operates, what motivates them, and where they’re looking to go in the future. It will also help you to evaluate whether your company can offer the kinds of opportunities for growth they’re looking for. If you can’t and they end up accepting an offer, they could wind up frustrated and disengaged.

5. How do you like to be managed?

Asking this question will help you to assess whether or not a candidate will fit with the team and their potential manager. So, if you’re looking for an employee who’s an independent thinker and doesn’t need a lot of hand holding, then someone who requires a constant stream of feedback might not be the best match.

If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring, turn to the experts at Provisional.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we can help you through every step of hiring – from crafting effective job descriptions to sourcing, screening and recruiting top candidates for your company.

Just give us a call today to learn more.

Hiring? Here’s How to Help New Employees Succeed

April 25th, 2017

Once you’ve made the hiring decision, the hard part’s over, right? Not true. As the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows the onboarding process – after an employee is hired – is just as important, impacting both engagement and retention.

In fact, according to a study by Aberdeen Group, 86% of respondents felt a new employee’s decision to remain with a company on a long-term basis was made in the first six months on the job. That means if new hires aren’t properly welcomed, trained and onboarded, you could start seeing a rise in turnover.

So how can you increase the odds of success among new hires? By following these tips:

Welcome your new hire.

This is the one of the most important – and easiest – ways to set the tone for positive engagement. If a new hire shows up on the job and their office isn’t set up, or no one greets them, it sends a negative message. But when you have a well-structured and welcoming process (including a tour, introductions around the office, taking them to lunch, etc.) in place for new hires, they’ll feel more comfortable and at ease with their decision to accept the job.

Train them.

If your new hire is expected to learn a new computer program, or piece of equipment, make sure you schedule ample time for training. Don’t take a sink or swim approach unless you want frustrated and disengaged employees. Plus, the better job you do at training them, the shorter the learning curve will be for them.

Define their goals.

Your new employee is ready to go on the first day. The trouble is, you haven’t thought through your tasks or expectations for them. But if new hires don’t have clearly defined goals from the start, they’re not going to stay engaged and motivated for very long. So before their start date, think through both short- and long-term objectives you have for them and be ready to talk about them during those first weeks and months on the job.

Clarify any uncertainty.

Beyond just defining goals, it’s important to make sure new hires are crystal clear about them. They might nod their heads and smile as you’re talking, but do they really get what you’re expecting from them? To ensure they do, ask questions about how they plan to go about achieving certain goals. You’ll quickly be able to tell whether or not they understand your expectations.

Communicate and give feedback.

Check in more regularly with a new employee than you would an existing staff member. Ask if they have any questions or need anything. Offer feedback and thoughts on their performance as they start turning work in. Praise a job well done and offer suggestions if an area needs improvement.

The bottom line? You’ve invested a lot of time and money into hiring the right people. Make sure you keep them in place with proper onboarding processes.

Don’t have the time or resources to successfully hire, train and onboard new people?

Turn to the team at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing over 6,000 direct-hire professionals with companies in Seattle, Spokane, and Coeur d’Alene.

Contact us today. We’re ready to help you find the people you need.

Onboarding New Hires? Follow This Checklist

April 11th, 2017

How would you like to impress new employees and retain them longer? As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows you can when you onboard them properly. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, new employees who attended a well-structured onboarding orientation program were 69% more likely to remain at a company up to three years.

So what does a strong onboarding orientation program entail? Consider the following checklist:

  • Send out an email to your other employees before the new hire’s first day announcing they’re joining the company and their position. Encourage employees to welcome them in their first days and weeks on the job.
  • If your building has extensive security, make sure your new employee is able to gain access to park and enter the building.
  • Set up their desk before they arrive. That means making sure their computer is up and running and they have the right credentials to log into your system. It also means stocking their desk with some basic office supplies, as well as ensuring the phone is hooked up and working.
  • Don’t just wing it on a new hire’s first day. Have a schedule and a plan in place. While it can certainly be flexible if something comes up, it will give the day more structure and purpose. Make sure you include time for your new hire to fill out HR paperwork.
  • If needed, get business cards printed so they can be ready and waiting on your new employee’s first day.
  • Provide a tour of your building and also introduce your new hire around. Make sure they meet those they will be working directly with, as well as key players outside the department.
  • Schedule a welcome lunch with the department team so your new hire can get acquainted with new co-workers on a more personal basis.
  • Assign them with a buddy they can turn to for questions and advice during those early weeks on the job.
  • Spend some time with your new hire making sure they understand your expectations for the role and what success looks like in it.
  • Schedule new hire orientation and make sure your new employee gets a copy of the handbook. Also, review the company’s history and any important policies they need to be aware of.
  • Make sure to set up any training sessions if there is certain equipment or software programs your new hire needs to learn to use.
  • Check in on a regular basis to ensure your new team member is comfortable and understands what they’re doing. Encourage them to come to you with questions or concerns.

Sometimes a new hire doesn’t work out. But by taking the steps above, you can ensure your newest employee feels welcomed and engaged from the start – and is more likely to stay and make a positive contribution in the future.

Need more help recruiting and onboarding new employees?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we use a consultative approach to provide customized recruiting and training solutions to our clients. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Copyright ©2013, Provisional Recruiting and Staffing Agency ¤ All rights reserved.
Design Copyright ©2013, Design Spike®, Inc. All rights reserved.