Provisional Blog

How to Improve Your Relationship With a Difficult Employee

June 4th, 2019

Dealing with a difficult employee is…well…difficult, to say the least. You already have a lot on your plate and simply need your people to do their jobs. But if there is one person in particular who’s making life hard for everyone, then you need to face the situation head on. Otherwise, it could escalate and spread, with the problem becoming worse and affecting morale on your whole staff.

So how do you deal with a tough employee and improve your relationship with them? Here are a few tips from Provisional, one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, to help you:

Have a private conversation.

Your first step should be to set up a formal meeting with the employee. However, it should be a conversation where you’re both talking and listening. Walking into it, don’t hold onto assumptions or negative perceptions. Instead, aim to keep an open mind so that you truly hear what your employee has to say. The goal is to have a relaxed and productive conversation about how to make things better.

Offer examples.

When confronted with this type of conversation, it won’t be surprising if your employee gets defensive. That’s why it’s important to have specific examples to back up your claims. When presenting them, don’t get angry or emotional in any way. Instead, explain the situation in a factual and logical way, giving examples of the problem behavior and talking about how it’s impacting the whole team.

Talk solutions.

This will depend on the outcome of the initial conversation. For instance, perhaps the employee is having problems at home that are causing them to be difficult at work. Or, they might not even realize how their behavior is being perceived and impacting the team. Whatever the case, work together toward a solution, such as providing assistance or any support needed to help them get on track.

Discuss the future.

In your conversation, also talk about your expectations for your employee and what you would like to see going forward. It’s important for you to be clear, so they understand what you need them to do to improve their performance. Discuss measurable goals and timelines, so you can check on progress.

Follow up.

Check in with your employee on a regular basis to monitor them and ensure they’re staying on track. If the behavior continues, then disciplinary action may be in order.

Want to add easy-to-manage people to your team?

Provisional has the people you need, whether on a temporary, temp-to-hire, or full-time basis. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source the best candidates – who are hard-working and positive – for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

4 Simple Steps to a Better Interview Process

May 21st, 2019

When it comes to interviewing candidates, you have your own process or techniques that work for you. But what if they’re not working so well lately? In other words, you’re not finding and hiring the high caliber people you need? Then it’s time to rethink your approach. To help you do that, here are 4 steps to keep in mind:

Step 1. Don’t expect perfection.

You have certain requirements for the job. But if a candidate seems like a good fit for most of them, don’t write them off because they don’t meet every single one. Remember, skills can be taught, so if a particular individual is strong overall, they’re worth considering.

Step 2. Evaluate how you interview.

Hiring mistakes can often be the result of weaknesses in the interviewing process. These can include conducting interviews too quickly or not being aware of common red flags. It can also include focusing entirely on technical skills and not assessing a candidate’s personality and soft skills. So step back and take a realistic look at your interview process so you can identify areas that could use improvement.

Step 3. Communicate openly and often with candidates.

If you tell a candidate you’ll get back to them with a decision in a week and they don’t hear from you, it sends a negative message about your company. This can impact the quality of the applicants you’re attracting. Instead, communicate openly and honestly. Get back to each candidate when you say you will. If they don’t get the job, let them know as soon as possible. If the process is taking longer than anticipated, keep them in the loop.

Step 4. Promote your opportunity.

The interview isn’t simply a chance for you to assess candidates. It’s also an opportunity for candidates to assess the job and your company. You therefore have to make an effort to win them over by explaining what makes your organization unique, why they should want to work there, and any perks or benefits that set you apart.

Even if you’ve had good results from your interviewing process, it’s always a good idea to evaluate it on a regular basis and look for ways to improve it. When you do, you’ll create a more positive experience for candidates, leading to higher quality new hires in the long run.

If you’d like expert help with your hiring process, turn to 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.

6 Mistakes Hiring Managers Make During Candidate Interviews

May 7th, 2019

Having trouble hiring the right people for your job openings? It could be due to missteps during the interview process. These can cause top-pick candidates to turn down offers…or worse, lead to expensive hiring mistakes. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few common errors to avoid:

#1: Making snap judgements.

When a candidate walks into your office, you immediately start to form an opinion of him or her. But wait until the interview is over before you solidify your judgement. Instead, stay open-minded throughout it to ensure you can best assess each individual’s overall value, abilities and experience.

#2: Not being realistic with candidates.

The job you’re offering is a great opportunity. Yet, it likely has some challenges too. It’s important to be upfront with candidates about these so they gain an accurate and realistic perspective on the position and your company. That way, they’ll be able to make an informed choice about whether the role is right for them.

#3: Not knowing what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have a clearly defined job description, it’s tough to know the key skills, traits and accomplishments you’re interviewing for. That’s why investing the time upfront to think through the role and write a well-developed description is so important. It will guide the interview questions you ask, making the time you spend with each candidate more productive.

#4: Giving vague answers.

During your interview, each candidate likely has a litany of questions to ask you. If you give them vague answers, it’s going to scare them away. Candidates expect clear information, not ambiguity. So if you aren’t sure about a particular detail, tell them you’ll find out and get back to them.

#5: Lack of preparation.

Making the most of interviews requires plenty of prep time. This goes beyond just coming up with a list of questions to also formulating a structure for the conversation. In addition, make sure you have a copy of each candidate’s resume with you during the interview that you can reference if needed.

#6: Failure to listen.

When a candidate is responding, don’t start thinking ahead about your next question. Instead, truly listen to what they’re saying, ask follow up questions so you can dig deeper, and assess their body language as they’re talking.

Hiring the right person for a role isn’t simple. It requires a lot of time and energy, not to mention preparation. However, when you take the right approach, and avoid the mistakes above, you’ll be well on your way to more hiring success.

If you’d like professional help with the job, connect with Provisional. As one of the top choices in local staffing firms in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area, we’re experts in recruiting, interviewing and assessing, all so companies like yours can gain access to the proven people they need. Contact us today to learn more.

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.