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Provisional Blog

When You Have to Reject an Employee for a Promotion

August 14th, 2018

As a manager, you want to see all your team members succeed. For some, it might take longer than for others. And when an employee who’s not quite ready wants a promotion, it can be hard to get them to see the reality of the situation.

So how do you go about breaking the news? And what can you do to help them achieve their career goals going forward? Provisional, one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, WA, has the answers you need. Here are some tips to help you:

Be honest.

It doesn’t pay to try and avoid the situation or lie to your employee in the hopes they’ll stop asking for a promotion. Instead, be upfront with them. Not only will they appreciate it more, but when you’re as candid as possible, you’re actually helping them in the long run. What doesn’t help them is if you sugar coat the truth.

Focus on the positive first.

When your employee hears the news, they’ll likely be discouraged. What you don’t want is them to become disgruntled too. That’s why it’s important to also focus on the positives and the value they bring to the company. Talk too about the long-term and how you think their specific strengths can play a part in bringing the company vision to life.

Talk about specific next steps.

If your employee wants to get promoted, but doesn’t know what they need to get there, help them identify which areas to work on. Otherwise, if you cut short their dreams without a path forward, they’ll feel like they’re simply spinning their wheels in their job.

So, whether it’s taking classes, signing up for an online seminar, or reading industry publications, map out a plan so they understand what they need to do to get promoted and how they’ll go about developing their abilities, all so they can ultimately achieve their career goals.

Follow up with them regularly.

With a plan in place, follow up regularly with your employee. If they’re eager to achieve and they have potential, this will give you an opportunity to touch base and ensure they’re staying on track. If, however, you don’t see much of a possibility for them getting promoted, then it’s important to be honest about that too. You don’t want to leave them with a sense of false hope.

Need help hiring high potential candidates?

Call the experts at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in Spokane, WA, we can handle every aspect of hiring for you, from sourcing and screening candidates to vetting them through background and reference checks. You’ll get high-potential new hires without all the hard work and hassle. Contact us today to learn more.

Does Cultural Fit Really Matter When You’re Hiring?

July 24th, 2018

When it comes time to hire, you’re largely looking at technical skills, experience and the right track record. But focusing on cultural fit is just as important. After all, even if a new hire has the strongest skill set, they’re not going to mesh well in the workplace if their personality and work habits aren’t a fit for it.

So how can you make sure that cultural fit plays part in the hiring process in order to make the best hiring decisions possible? Here are a few tips from Provisional – one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, WA – to help you:

Be open about your company culture.

On your website and throughout your social media posts, discuss what your company’s culture is like. What’s your mission and vision? What does your company value most? What’s the workplace and working environment like? What types of people tend to thrive there? When it’s something you promote and talk about regularly, it’s easier to attract the right-fit talent when you’re hiring.

Talk about culture during the interview.

Don’t simply focus on the daily duties and responsibilities when you’re interviewing a candidate. Make sure you further discuss company culture and answer any questions a candidate might have about it.

In addition, evaluate for cultural fit by asking questions related to it. For instance, inquire about what management style they work best under and whether they like working alone or as part of a team. Some other questions include:

  • What do you like most about the culture at your current company? Least?
  • How do you like to get feedback? Through informal meetings each week or more formal performance reviews?
  • What kind of work environment are you most productive in?

By asking these kinds of questions during the hiring process, you’ll be better able to discern whether a particular candidate is the right fit for your company.

Focus on diversity.

While it’s important to hire for cultural fit, don’t aim to hire those who are all exactly alike. The strongest team will have people from diverse backgrounds with varying degrees of experience and many different perspectives. This will serve to enhance and strengthen your company, providing a competitive advantage. So even if you’re are focused on hiring those who are a cultural fit, they shouldn’t all be like you and your existing team members.

Need more help hiring for cultural fit?

Call the experts at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in Spokane, WA, we can handle every aspect of hiring for you, from sourcing and screening candidates to assessing their background for cultural fit. Contact us today to learn more.

Hiring? Here Are 5 Signs of a Potential Mistake

July 10th, 2018

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that a poor hiring decision can cost you a lot of money and lost time in the form of productivity and morale issues. As a result, it’s best to take a careful approach when screening and interviewing candidates, all so you can avoid a misstep. To help you in the process, here are a few red flags to look for that a candidate could be a potential mistake to hire:

They ask about vacation time and working hours.

If the first question they ask you is related to how many hours the job requires them to work and how much vacation time they’ll get, then it’s certainly a concern. Top candidates will be more focused on the details of the opportunity and your company. While these perks are a part of the equation, they shouldn’t be the first priority to find out about in a job interview.

They don’t offer detailed answers.

When you ask a specific question, you expect a detailed answer. But if all you get is vague generalities, it could be a sign that the candidate lacks the communication skills you need to perform the job or isn’t being completely honest with their responses.

They show up late or behave unprofessionally in some way.

You need new hires who take their jobs seriously. That’s why when a candidate arrives late, treats the receptionist disrespectfully, or isn’t wearing appropriate interview attire, you should take it as a sign that they’re not the strongest hire. If this is how they treat the interview process, then you can expect the same kind of behavior if hired.

They speak negatively about a past boss or co-worker.

When a candidate trashes their boss, or speaks poorly about a co-worker, it’s not only unprofessional, but foolish too. For all they know, that person could be a friend or family member of yours. In general, it also reflects a lack of good judgement, which is concerning.

They give you a family member as a reference.

Smart candidates know you want past managers and co-workers as references, not family members. If, however, you get a list of family and friends, there’s a reason they don’t want you talking to an old boss.

If you know what to look for and ask the right questions, you can almost always spot a potential hiring mistake before extending an offer. However, if you’d like expert help with the process, call the team at Provisional.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing solutions to our clients all over the Northwest and can help you with every aspect of the screening, interviewing and hiring process. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Workplace Safety: Why You Need to Review Your Policy

June 26th, 2018

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

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

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

Determining any new hazards.

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

Educate your people.

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

Make sure it’s all in writing.

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

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

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source smart and careful candidates for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

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

June 12th, 2018

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

#1: Set challenging goals.

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

#2: Offer flexible work hours.

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

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

#3: Encourage time off.

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

#4: Invest in training.

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

Need extra hands on deck during summer?

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

Screening Resumes? Get Tips on a More Effective Process

May 22nd, 2018

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

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

Make sure your job posting is clear and concise.

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

Wait a few days to start reviewing resumes.

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

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

Schedule enough time to screen resumes.

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

Look for the positive qualities in each candidate.

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

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

Need more help with the hiring process?

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

4 Seasonal Staffing Tips for Spokane Companies

May 8th, 2018

Are you about to enter your busy time of year? If so, then you’ve likely been recruiting and hiring seasonal employees to handle the uptick in demand. But once they’re on board, how can you ensure you get the most of them for a summer of productivity and success? Here are 4 tips from Provisional – one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington – to help you:

Tip #1: Treat them like employees.
Even though they’re seasonal, temporary workers want to be treated like part of the team. When they’re welcomed and engaged, they’ll be more loyal to your company and work harder for it.

So make sure you extend invitations to your seasonal staff, not just your full-time people. Include them in meetings and other activities, so they become an integrated part of the team. Also, don’t give them the shifts or hours no one else wants, cutting a clear line between seasonal and full-time staff. Rather, respect them, recognize them, and treat them like you would any employee. They’ll be happier and more productive as a result.

Tip #2: Don’t skip out on training them.
You might need your seasonal staff members up and running quickly. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on training them.

In fact, when you invest some time and effort into the training and onboarding process, you’re going to get a stronger seasonal workforce. If you don’t, however, seasonal workers could slow the rest of your team down, not to mention impact customer retention due to mistakes. Teaching them a little now can help you avoid major headaches down the line.

Tip #3: Be clear about goals and expectations.
One of the main reasons seasonal employees fail on the job is due to unclear expectations. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, talk to each employee about their goals, what you expect from them and when. Also discuss logistics, such as hours, shifts, pay and any other details they need to know about.

Tip #4: Communicate often with them.
You want to ensure seasonal employees are on track and that you uncover any issues with work quality quickly, rather than when a problem escalates. That’s why it’s important to communicate regularly with your workers.

Ask them if they have questions and let them know your door is always open if any issues come up. Help them to feel comfortable coming to you or other experienced co-workers to ensure the job gets done right. You can even pair them with a buddy or mentor so they have a dedicated go-to person to turn to for guidance and support.

Seasonal employees can offer a host of benefits. But they can also be a challenge to manage without the right approach. Simply follow the tips above, or give Provisional a call if you’d like professional help with the process. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we are your local source for high-quality, hard-working seasonal workers. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Should You Hire a Former Employee? A Look at the Positives & Negatives

April 24th, 2018

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that when you’re looking to fill an empty seat, it’s always nice to know as much as possible about the candidates you’re considering. If one of them is a past employee, you’ll certainly have a good sense about their personality, work ethic and how well they fit in with the team.

However, is it always a good idea to bring a former employee on board? And if you’re thinking about it, what are some of the positives and negatives? Here’s a look to help you make a smart hiring decision:

Benefits of hiring a former employee:

  • They can often get up to speed faster. They know the company, the culture, the policies and the key players. As a result, they’ll naturally feel more comfortable and won’t require as much training and onboarding, or as much time until they’re productive.
  • When it comes to hiring, cultural fit is vitally important. When you bring a former employee on board, you already know they’re a good match for the team. As a result, you won’t have to worry about extending an offer, only to have them leave after a short time due to a conflict with the culture.
  • Beyond personality and culture, you have an understanding of their skill set that you don’t have with other candidates you’re not as familiar with. While they may have gained new abilities during their time away, this is something that can offer you peace of mind that you’re hiring someone you know can do the job.

Negatives of hiring a former employee:

  • There’s a reason your former employee left and if you’re not really sure why, this might be something to dig into during the interview process. After all, you don’t want history to repeat itself after only a few short months. So it’s important to understand the reason they originally resigned and why they think that won’t become an issue again.
  • There could be a stigma among other staff members. If they see an old employee back on board, they could question their loyalty and commitment, impacting morale and productivity.

At the end of the day, whether or not you hire a former employee is a call only you can make. But before you make a decision either way, it’s important to consider the pros and cons above.

Have an opening you need to fill fast? Need help finding the best local talent?

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 for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

5 Common-Sense Prep Steps for Conducting Better Job Interviews

April 10th, 2018

Don’t wing it and hope for the best during a job interview. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows these are a vital part of the hiring process and can have a big impact on the quality of new employees you bring on board. Not only that, but conducting effective ones can help you avoid the costly and frustrating risk of a hiring mistake. With that in mind, what steps can you take to improve your job interview process? It’s simpler than you might think and it all comes down to good, old-fashioned preparation.

Step 1. Read through the job description.

If it’s been a few weeks, or even days, since you last looked at the job description, then now is the time to review it. Make a list too of the key traits and skills you’d like to talk about during the interview. That way, you can ask the right questions and better evaluate each candidate’s responses.

Step 2. Review each candidate’s resume.

There was a reason you contacted a candidate for an interview. But if it’s been a while since you last reviewed their resume, it can be tough to remember. That’s why it’s important to take a fresh look at their resume. Also, doing so will help you to develop more insightful questions, so you can better get to know each candidate and what they bring to the table.

Step 3. Create a structure.

An interview is a conversation, so you don’t want to schedule every second of it. However, you should have a loose format that you’re following. This will ensure you maximize every moment of your time and also follow a consistent process for each candidate you interview. It will also help you to begin and end your interviews on time, which candidates will certainly appreciate.

Step 4. Develop a list of questions.

When it comes to asking questions in an interview, it’s important to use your key qualifications and hiring criteria to develop a solid list. This will not only help you to dig deep into each candidate’s background and uncover the details you need, but also get a good sense of whether they’re abilities and background are right for the job.

Step 5. Set the stage.

If you work in a setting with an open floor plan, reserve a private conference room for your interview. You want to ensure already-nervous candidates are as comfortable as possible, so you get the information you need to make a smart hiring decision. Also, during each interview, give the candidate your full focus. Don’t answer phone calls, texts or emails unless it’s an emergency.

Need more help with your interviewing and hiring process?

Call 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, interviewing and recruiting top candidates for your company. Just give us a call today to learn more.

5 Tips for Turning a Phone Screen into a Job Interview

April 3rd, 2018

As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that in today’s world phone screens are often the first step of the hiring process. If you successfully make your way through one, your chances of getting a call for an interview increase greatly. But how make the best impression possible, especially when you don’t like talking on the phone? Here are some tips to help you:

#1: Schedule it at a good time of day.

Do you perform better in the morning? Is afternoon the time that you’re on your “A” game? Do you feel like you get your second wind toward the end of the day? Whatever time is right for you, try to schedule your phone screen then. That way, you’ll have a better chance at answering questions articulately, coming across as more energetic, and impressing the hiring manager.

#2: Get dressed and stay focused.

You might think you’ll do fine during a phone screen in your pajamas or yoga pants. But you’ll actually feel more professional and focused if you’re dressed for the interview. The hiring manager might not be able to see you; however, you’ll be more confident, which will come through in your interview answers.

#3: Be prepared.

Make sure that wherever you sit for your phone screen, it’s an area that’s distraction-free. Ideally, you should be at a desk or table with the job posting in front of you, as well as your resume and a pen and notebook handy to jot down thoughts and questions. In addition, keep any important points about your background you want to bring up in a list beside you so you don’t forget them.

#4: Don’t ramble.

One of the hard parts of a phone screen is that you can’t see the interviewer and therefore can’t read their body language. Therefore, you’re not sure if a pause in the conversation is an invitation for you to continue talking, if they’re simply jotting down notes, or if they’re taking a moment to review their interview questions. As a result, candidates tend to talk too much to fill uncomfortable gaps. However, if you answer a question to the best of your ability and you don’t have much more to say, then stay quiet and wait until the interviewer asks their next question.

#5: Smile and watch your body language.

Even though the hiring manager can’t see your face, they can hear your tone. And your positive attitude and energy – or lack of – will come through loud and clear one way or the other. So make an effort to smile, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting when you’re answering questions. It will make a difference in how you come across to the hiring manager over the phone.

Need more help landing interviews or preparing for them?

Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search, including the interview process. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more about the difference we can make in your job search.

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