Provisional Blog

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.

Seeing Employees Burnout? Here’s What to Do

November 13th, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And yet, for many of your workers, it’s also the busiest. You need them to get projects completed and out the door before December 31st. But at the same time, they’re strapped for time and energy between all their work and personal obligations.

What can you do when you start to see them crumble? Here are some tips from Provisional – one of Coeur d’Alene’s top staffing firms – for dealing with burnout, so it doesn’t sabotage your team:

Provide clear expectations.

If employees are taking on too much and stretched too thin, meet with them to help recalibrate. Talk about year-end goals and what’s a priority. Also discuss those tasks and initiatives that can wait until next year. Finally, make sure they have the resources and support needed to meet your expectations.

Show your appreciate.

Sometimes, all employees need is for you to show them a little appreciation. They’ve been working hard and if it’s unnoticed, they’re not going to want to keep it up. That’s why it’s so important to offer regular feedback and praise. Get specific when you recognize them and tell them in detail how their contributions have helped the company. They’ll feel more engaged and motivated as a result.

Encourage time off.

You might have a lot of work to get done. But you don’t want your employees there around the clock. It will hurt both them and your team in the long run. It’s therefore important to encourage reasonable work hours and for employees to take the time off that’s due to them. This will create a healthier culture, one with less stress and more productive employees.

Keep off-hours communications to a minimum.

When employees don’t ever feel like they can fully unplug, it’s going to add to their stress level. Instead, make sure you only contact them outside of work hours when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, aim to keep workplace communications going just during standard business hours and give your employees the break from the office they need.

Build more flexibility into their schedule.

Another way to combat stress is to enable employees to take advantage of more scheduling flexibility during the holidays. Create flex hours or let them work from home more often than you typically allow. Offer an extra day of paid vacation between Thanksgiving and year’s end where employees can get holiday activities done, so they don’t feel stressed. This will help to alleviate anxiety so when they’re on the job, they can truly focus.

Is your company dealing with a lack of manpower during the holiday season?

Let Provisional, one of Coeur d’Alene’s top staffing firms, help. 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.

6 Do’s and Don’ts to Keep Your Team Motivated at the End of the Year

October 23rd, 2018

It’s almost the end of the year. As a result, your team might be dragging in the motivation department. How can you get them back on track, especially with so many different personalities motivated by varying factors? Here are some do’s and don’ts from Provisional – one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies – to help you:

Do be clear about goals.

If employees are becoming unmotivated and disengaged, it’s time for individual meetings to talk about year-end goals and expectations for each employee. When they’re clear on what’s needed from them through the end of the year – including what’s a priority and what’s not – they’ll be more likely to succeed in getting the job done.

Don’t schedule time-consuming meetings.

These can be an energy suck during any time of the year. But they can be especially wasteful at the end of the year, when employees are trying to complete projects before deadline or wrap up loose ends. Instead, schedule meetings only on an as-needed basis and invite only those who truly need to be there. Send out meeting notes for the rest of the group afterwards.

Don’t hover.

One of the biggest ways to kill motivation is through micro-managing. When your team members feel like you’re constantly nearby, hovering over their shoulders, it destroys trust and loyalty. Instead, make sure you give your staff clear directions for your needs and expectations. Then let them go about meeting them in the way they think is best.

Do offer rewards for team success.

If you’ve got an important project or initiative that needs to be completed before year’s end, then motivate your team with a reward for achieving it. It doesn’t need to be monetary in nature. However, it should be something that will entice and motivate each personality on your team to work together, such as visibility and recognition within the company or a chance for more career growth.

Don’t punish mistakes.

If you want your team to be innovative problem solvers, then you need to leave room for mistakes. Not that you have to welcome them. But when a failure does happen, don’t punish your employees. Instead, talk about what was learned from the situation and encourage your team to try again.

Do cultivate a happy culture.

When people want to come to work each day – because they enjoy the culture – they’ll be far more motivated to achieve and succeed. Not only that, but they’ll be happier on the job, an attitude that can spread to other team members and create a more positive place to work.

Need help finding motivated team members for your organization?

Connect with the experts at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies, we’ll learn the ins and outs of your hiring needs, then get to work meeting them with high-quality, hard-working people. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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 tips from Provisional Recruiting, a leading staffing service firm in Spokane, Washington.

#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.