October 2nd, 2012
As a small business owner or manager, you may feel a significant disadvantage when it comes to recruiting compared to larger players in the industry. They have bigger budgets, dedicated HR departments, and stronger brand recognition.
However, did you know that your organization could actually be the one with the advantage?
Don’t believe it? Consider the facts.
According to a study by Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research company, and PayScale, nearly half – 47% – of all workers in the Gen Y demographic work for companies with 100 or less employees. That means that many of today’s most savvy Gen Y professionals are intentionally seeking employment not at the behemoth employers…but at smaller businesses.
As one of the leading staffing agencies in Spokane, Washington, Provisional can tell you that today’s Gen Y workers want to be a part of the daily decision making process, collaborate often with their fellow employees and make their own mark on the company. And they know that smaller employers can generally offer more freedom, more flexibility and more opportunity to do all that…unlike large corporations with loads of red tape.
So if you want to recruit top Gen Y workers or retain your existing ones, what can you do to make your small business more attractive? Here are a few ideas to consider:
It’s About Value & Ideas, Not Job Titles.
From newbies to veterans, everyone brings a unique perspective to the table. So encourage collaboration across job titles, not simply among those who work at the same level. In addition, enable employees to contribute in areas that are outside of their traditional job duties and responsibilities. Not only will they gain valuable experience, but they’ll also better understand how your organization works and the challenges it faces.
Flexibility is Key for Gen Y Professionals.
It’s a myth that Gen Y workers are lazy or uncommitted. In fact, they are a hard-working generation. However, they don’t want to be confined to working between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. For instance, an employee may want to leave early a couple days a week to pick up their kids, and then make up that time in the evening or on weekends. Offering this kind of flexibility not only enables you to attract top talent, but also to keep it.
Communicate Openly and Often.
This generation values transparency and openness like no other. So it pays to explain the big picture and how each worker fits in individually. They also value praise and feedback more so than older workers.
The bottom line is that as Baby Boomers retire, the number of Gen Y professionals in the workplace will increase dramatically. That’s why it’s important to be aware of how to appeal to this particular generation, so you can recruit and retain the best and the brightest.
Want Staffing Help from the Experts?
Let Provisional know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Spokane, Washington, we can partner with you to source and hire the top notch talent you need, whether it’s Gen Y professionals or industry veterans. Contact Provisional today to learn more.
September 25th, 2012
The good news: You’ve been offered a great new job opportunity with a different company.
The bad news: Your current employer counteroffers with the promise of more money – and now you’re not sure what to do. Take the offer or cut your losses?
As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional can tell you that there are certainly pros and cons when it comes to counteroffers. While the final decision ultimately rests with you, there are some thoughts to consider before you make your move. Here’s a look:
Pros of Accepting a Counteroffer
- You’ll make more money and perhaps get promoted into a position that will advance your career.
- Getting another job offer can serve as a reminder to your current employer of your worth. It also demonstrates that you’re in demand.
Cons of Accepting a Counteroffer
- Your reputation in the company could take a hit. You could be viewed by colleagues or higher-ups as less-than-loyal to the company.
- According to studies, employees who accept counteroffers only stick it out for less than a year. So you could be passing up a once-in-a-lifetime new opportunity with a different employer and be back on the job market in just a few months.
- If your colleagues find out you accepted a pay raise, then they might be envious or annoyed that by handing in your two weeks notice, you now earn more than them.
Now you know what some of the pros and cons of counteroffers are. But did you also know that there’s a way you may be able to avoid them altogether?
If you don’t like your job, rather than embarking on a job search, determine the source of your unhappiness. Meet with your boss to determine if there’s something that can be done to rectify the situation, whether it’s through taking on varied assignments, working more flexible hours, switching departments, or learning about what you need to do to get on track toward a promotion.
If, after this kind of conversation, nothing comes to fruition and you’re still miserable, then by all means move ahead with your job search. But if you do get a counteroffer once you’ve found a new position, at least you’ll know without a doubt your answer should be “no thanks!”
Need Help Finding a New Job That’s a Better Fit for You?
Let Provisional know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we work with top employers in the area and can match you with opportunities that are the right fit for your skills, background, and career goals. Contact Provisional today to learn more.
September 18th, 2012
As a job seeker, you probably already know the importance of networking. But are you doing it right? In other words, are you networking as effectively as possible?
As one of Spokane, Washington’s leading employment agencies, Provisional knows that a big part of effective networking is understanding what you should be conveying to your contacts. Otherwise, the time and effort spent could be wasted.
To help you, here are some essentials that every person you connect with should know about you:
Essential #1: How to Get in Touch With You.
Always carry a supply of business cards with you that include your name, title or job description, and contact information, along with a link to your company website or work portfolio. If you aren’t currently employed and don’t have a business card from work, there are plenty of websites out there that design and print affordable business cards.
Essential #2: What You Do in 30 Seconds or Less.
Your speech, also known as the “elevator pitch,” should leave your contacts understanding what you do and the value that you provide.
Essential #3: Why You’re Different.
Are you a specialist in a certain field? Do you speak a second language? Do you have some skill that is highly sought after? Then be sure to share this kind of information with your contacts. It will make you stand out in the crowd, whether you’re at a networking event or in a job interview.
Essential #4: Recent Projects of Interest.
Is there anything you’re working on – whether at the office or on your own time – that could be of value to a potential employer? For example, are you taking a class on public speaking to strengthen that skill, or spearheading a complex project at work involving a major client? Not only will this demonstrate your initiative to your contacts, but the people you meet may have some insight that could help you in your work.
Essential #5: You Have Great Listening Skills.
Remember, it’s not all about you! Be sure to ask everyone you meet questions about what they do and what they’re working on.
Need More Job Search Help?
Read this blog post about 5 Tips for Shortening Your Job Search, or contact Provisional. As one of Spokane, Washington’s leading employment agencies, we have the knowledge and connections to give you access to some of today’s top job openings. Learn more now!
September 11th, 2012
You might think that personality tests and behavior-based interview questions are the best tactics for hiring great employees. And they certainly play a part.
But as one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, Provisional can tell you that another component to helping you hire right is to evaluate the kinds of questions a job candidate asks you.
Unfortunately, many candidates either: a) ask a few boilerplate or generic questions just to look like they did their homework, or b) ask a few smart questions without really caring what the answers are, again, just to demonstrate they did their homework.
But the best candidates ask questions that they really want answers to. They know it’s just as important for them to evaluate you and your company, as it is for you to evaluate them.
So what are some questions that top candidates might ask? Here are a few examples:
What are some traits or strengths of your best employees?
Strong candidates know that it takes more than just skills to succeed in a new job…it also takes a fit between employer and employee. And asking about what strengths top employees share gives them a window into whether they would fit in with the organization, as well as what they would have to do to achieve the same success.
What do you like most about working here? Least?
Again, this is another question that enables the employee to determine if they’d fit well within the organization. And considering that most hires fail due to lack of fit, asking these kinds of questions is incredibly wise on the part of the candidate.
What kinds of goals or projects will you expect me to complete in the first few months?
This question indicates that the candidate is trying to dig deeper and evaluate if the position is a match for their skill set. They want to be able to get the job done and meet expectations – and need to find out what those expectations are in order to ensure their success.
The bottom line is that a great candidate will ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate not only a high level of interest in the position, but also in ensuring that the job and the culture are the right fit for them. So don’t just be evaluating a candidate’s answers to your questions…also evaluate the candidate’s questions for you.
Need Help Hiring?
If you do, let us know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in the Northwest, Provisional has the knowledge and experience (more than 18 years of it!) to help you uncover high caliber candidates; screen, interview, test and verify them; and guide you toward making the best hiring decision. Contact Provisional today to learn more.
September 4th, 2012
As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, Provisional knows it may seem silly to monitor your employees Internet use. But then you hear horror stories about employees watching pornography at work, harassing other employees via email, or posting discriminatory comments in public forms.
As a result, more and more companies are investing in spyware that enables them to monitor Internet use. The last thing they want is their reputation tarnished because an employee made a sexist comment on Facebook….on company time!
So if you decide to monitor your employees’ Internet use, how can you go about it without coming across as intrusive and sneaky?
First, be open about it. Employees will be more accepting of it if they know ahead of time that certain websites will no longer be available, or their email usage will be monitored. Not that they’ll love it, but most will understand it.
And don’t simply notify your employees about it…educate them about why it’s important. They may not realize that your monitoring policy is meant to protect the company (and its employees) from situations that could be embarrassing or result in an expensive lawsuit.
Next, explain the ground rules for Internet use. For instance, the Internet may not be completely off limits for personal use, but certain websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, might be.
Finally, be respectful of your employees. In other words, don’t make them feel like you’re looking over their shoulders every second. If employees are working late every night on a big project, for instance, give them some latitude to conduct personal business during work hours.
And remember, your Internet use policy isn’t meant to micro-manage your employees; it’s meant to protect your company. So it’s important to take both privacy and security into account.
In addition to creating an Internet use policy, another way to protect your company is to hire trustworthy people…and Provisional can help. As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, we can take the hassle and the guesswork out of hiring. Contact Provisional today to learn more.
August 28th, 2012
Did you ever notice how some people just seem to succeed with little or no effort?
While it might seem like that on the surface, it’s probably not the case in actuality. As one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that, behind the scenes, they’re likely networking harder, working longer hours, and taking on more responsibility, placing themselves in a position to succeed.
So how can you take a cue from such successful people – and put your own career on the fast track? Here are a few tips:
1. Set Clear Goals.
What are your goals for your career? Before you can do anything, you need to answer this question. For instance, do you want to get promoted, gain enough experience to open your own business, or go back to school and change career paths? Whatever your goals are will determine the steps you need to take to get there.
2. Create a Plan of Action.
Once you determine your goals, create a plan of action for achieving them. For instance, if you want to get promoted, then what skills do you need to learn in order to take the next step in your career? How will you go about learning those skills? And what kinds of results and accomplishments does your employer want to see before offering you more responsibility in the form of a promotion?
3. Get a Mentor.
Is there someone you look up to because of their career accomplishments? Then ask them to serve as your mentor. You don’t need to create a formal process, just meet with your mentor on a regular basis over coffee or lunch, and pick their brains for valuable information and guidance.
4. Make Your Goals Known.
Let your boss know you’re interested in enhancing your skill set and advancing your career. Many companies offer corporate training programs that enable their employees to expand their horizons.
5. Always Be Professional.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but don’t let a bad attitude, inappropriate language, or an unprofessional appearance hinder your career advancement.
Interested in Taking Your Career to the Next Level at a New Company?
If you are, Provisional may be able to help. In fact, as one of the leading employment agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we work with top employers throughout the area and can give you access to variety of rewarding leadership opportunities. Search jobs in Coeur d’Alene or contact Provisional today.
August 21st, 2012
Things have been going along swimmingly at work…or so you thought. But you just received word that your boss has quit. Now what?
Here are some thoughts to consider as you navigate your way through this uncertain situation:
Stay Above the Fray.
As one of the top Northwest employment firms, Provisional knows that when a manager unexpectedly leaves the company, there is oftentimes plenty of gossiping and even bad-mouthing going on. But don’t join in. Even if you and your boss didn’t see eye to eye, stay above the fray. After all, you never know who could be listening.
Talk to Your Boss.
You’ll want to do so for two reasons. First, offer your support and encouragement. Thank your boss for what you learned while working under their wing and wish them the best.
Also, if you feel comfortable doing so, ask them why they’re leaving. They may simply have wanted a change of pace, or have been offered a terrific opportunity. However, if it’s due to something negative going on within the company, then that’s a warning sign that you should perhaps start polishing your own resume.
Look for the Silver Lining.
If your boss left unexpectedly, then this could be your chance to step up and fill the vacancy. Don’t be afraid to express your interest in the position and share how you plan on filling your boss’s shoes. If you have a good attitude, solid relationships at work, and positive results to show, then you should be first in line for the promotion.
Expect Things to Change.
If you don’t want or get the promotion, then you’ll eventually wind up with a new boss. And while your old boss knew your work habits and your performance level, a new boss is just jumping into the mix.
As a result, some of your autonomy could be taken away, at least for the time being, as your new boss gets up to speed with what you do and how you do it. They may want to sign off on decisions you previously signed off on, or run meetings you used to lead; but give them the benefit of the doubt. Typically, after a time, you and your new boss will develop a trust level that will enable him or her to hand back the reigns to you.
And remember, regardless of whether you become the boss or you wind up with a new boss, there will likely be some growing pains along the way. So give it some time and be patient.
Want to Follow Your Boss’s Lead?
If you’re looking for a new job, give Provisional a call. As one of the top Northwest employment firms, we partner with leading employers in the region and can give you access to a variety of rewarding opportunities. Contact Provisional today to learn more.
August 14th, 2012
Ever had any of these situations happen to you?
You’re running a meeting when all of a sudden you look over, and one of your employees is on their cell phone, texting.
You check-in on an employee only to see them chatting away on their cell phone during an extremely busy period at work or when they’re on a tight deadline.
You have to wait five minutes while an employee wraps up a phone conversation with their spouse about where to go to dinner.
If you have, then you’re in good company. So what’s the best way to combat these new challenges presented by cell phone use in the workplace, without treating your employees like children?
As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, Provisional can tell you that the easiest answer is to have a clear cell phone use policy and strictly enforce it. Here are some critical issues yours should cover:
- Be sure to discuss basic rules of etiquette in your policy. For instance, some rules might include that employees must keep their phones on vibrate during working hours; phones are prohibited at meetings; and they must talk quietly when they are engaged in a phone conversation.
- Describe when employees are allowed to use their cell phones. For example, do you only want to permit cell phone use on breaks and during lunch time? Or do you feel comfortable leaving use up to employee discretion? Whatever you decide, it needs to be clearly defined so there is no room for interpretation.
- Since most cell phones come with cameras today, you need to explain where and how they can be used. For instance, you may want to forbid cell phone use when employees are engaged in activities related to company finances, or research and development.
- Ensure that you ban texting while driving when the employee is on the job or in a company car. Should they get into an accident, your company could be held liable.
- Since technology has made it easier for employees to harass each other, it’s important to include guidelines about sexual harassment. In other words, let employees know what to do in case they feel they’ve received inappropriate texts or emails sent via the cell phone of a co-worker or manager.
In addition, once you’ve created your policy, schedule a mandatory training session to review it with your employees. Discuss the rationale behind the key points and explain the consequences for non-compliance.
As one of the leading staffing firms in the Northwest, Provisional enforces a strict cell phone use policy for all of our temporary associates. So if you’re interested in bringing one on board, you can rest easy knowing they will respect the rules and reserve their phone use to emergency situations only. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our temporary staffing services.
August 7th, 2012
As one of the leading staffing agencies in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that effective communication is critical to business success. But the fact of the matter is that when you’re speaking, your employees may not be retaining what you’re saying.
In fact, according to studies, the average person retains only 10% to 20% of what they hear. As a result, even if your employees are listening earnestly, they may not be remembering all that you’re saying.
So if you ever get the feeling that employees either aren’t listening or retaining what you’re saying, here are some tips to help you solve this major communication problem:
Use Different Mediums.
When people hear, see, and read about something, then they are much more likely to retain it than if they just heard about it. So don’t only talk at your next meeting; also create visuals that highlight important points. In addition, put together handouts of these key points for employees to take with them. You may also want to send a follow up email detailing important topics discussed. The bottom line is that when employees experience the same information in different ways, they are much more likely to retain it.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
Repetition is critical when it comes to communicating important messages. So, for instance, if a key change has been made to an important company policy, then email your staff about it, have a company-wide meeting about it, post signs in common areas, and have managers discuss the changes with their teams. The more important the message, the more times it needs to go out.
Mix Positive and Negative.
If you’re constantly communicating negative news or information, your employees will tune out. There are obviously going to be times when communicating bad news is a must, but even in those times, try to mix your message with something positive as well. Your employees will be more likely to tune in and retain what they hear if it’s not all bad.
Want to Learn More About Improving Workplace Communication?
Read About 6 Nasty Communication Habits to Avoid.
July 24th, 2012
Have your accounting challenges become too great to handle on your own? Are financial statements incomplete or inaccurate? Is that accounting software you invested in just not cutting it anymore?
Then perhaps it’s time to hire a real, live accountant.
But, as one of the top staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional knows that hiring the right person for your team goes beyond just finding an effective number cruncher. It’s about understanding your needs – and then finding the professional with the right experience to fill it.
For instance, accountants can provide:
- Tax Planning Services – From setting up the books to conducting quarterly reviews, accountants can be an important part of the business year round, not just at tax time.
- Business Planning Services – Your accountant can be involved in as much of the business as you’d like. And in fact, a good accountant can act as a general business consultant, helping to negotiate leases and evaluating the financial implications of various business decisions.
- Personal Tax Planning – Especially with small businesses, personal tax issues and business tax issues can oftentimes be related. So this type of experience may be key for your needs.
So what should you look for when it comes time to hire an accountant?
First, look for someone with the right experience. A candidate may have a number of years of experience at a major corporation under his or her belt. But if you’re a small business owner and only employ a few people, then he or she may not be the best fit for you. You’d be better off finding an accountant who specializes in small business issues or who has experience in your particular industry.
Secondly, you need to feel comfortable with this person. If he or she looks great on paper and has all the right experience, but your gut is telling you to be careful, then you’d be wise to listen. You’re going to be giving this person access to your most sensitive data assets and financial information, so you need to make sure you feel comfortable with your final choice.
And finally, determine whether you need a CPA or non-CPA. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) has a certain number of years of experience and has taken tests to prove competency. There are specific situations where you’ll certainly need a CPA – such as if you’re being audited – but for day-to-day bookkeeping operations, a general accountant may be a better fit.
Need Help Recruiting & Hiring an Accountant?
Give us a call. As one of the top staffing agencies in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Provisional can work with you to source, screen, and recruit motivated and skilled accounting professionals. In fact, our specialized financial recruiting division, ACCOUNTINGPROS, is the #1 source for financial talent in the Northwest. Contact Provisional today to learn more.