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Provisional Blog

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.

6 Performance Review Mistakes to Avoid Making

December 12th, 2017

It’s the end of the year. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington. Provisional knows that means performance review time for many companies. If yours is one of them and you’re getting ready to conduct them, you might be dreading the process. But as long as you avoid a few key mistakes, you can ensure your reviews go off without a hitch. Here’s a look at some common ones:

Focusing too much on the negative.

During a review, you should bring up performance issues and mistakes. But don’t focus all your time and effort on them either. It’s important to offer employees a more well-rounded experience, including what they’ve done right over the past year.

Not talking at all about the negative.

On the other hand, don’t avoid talking about the negative just because it’s uncomfortable. Most managers don’t like offering criticism, so that’s certainly understandable. But if you don’t, your employees will never be able to correct course.

Creating a one-sided situation.

A performance review should be a conversation with both participants engaged. It shouldn’t be a one-sided discussion where you do all the talking. So make sure once you discuss an employee’s performance, you open it up to questions and ask for your employee’s point of view.

Not looking at the big picture.

Make sure during performance reviews you look at the full picture of the last year. It’s easy to get caught up in a recent deadline that was missed or current project that’s not going well. But the point of performance reviews is to give an overall evaluation of both the good and the bad of the past year. So don’t focus only on recent events.

Not offering specifics.

You’re not going to benefit your employees in any way if you don’t dig into details and get specific with them. Vague input and feedback simply doesn’t go very far, nor will it help your team in any way. For instance, rather than saying someone is a hard worker, give an example that demonstrates this trait and the impact it’s made.

Not following up.

In a perfect world, you’d be offering feedback and input on performance throughout the entire year. Sometimes, though, that’s not feasible. However, if you have an employee who’s performance you’re concerned about, it’s vital that you check in regularly and follow up. If you don’t, they could continue their downward spiral, further impacting your bottom line.

While performance reviews might not be your favorite task, make sure you avoid the above mistakes so both you and your people can get the most from them.

And if you’re looking to conduct even more reviews next year and add to your team in 2018, turn to the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing and hiring solutions to our clients all over the Northwest. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Top 6 Communication Mistakes Managers Make with Their Teams

November 28th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that just like in any relationship, the key to trust with your team is open communication. However, for many managers, it doesn’t come naturally. As a result, mistakes are made – ones that can impact your employees and your bottom line. What are they and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look at six:

#1: Using the wrong mode of communication.

When you have a controversial or complicated announcement, don’t send around an email. Meet with your team face-to-face. When you do, you’ll be able to immediately answer questions and provide more details– offsetting the rumor mill and any related anxiety that comes with it.

#2: You’re MIA and not regularly communicating.

Rather than connecting with employees regularly throughout the day, your door is closed and you’re MIA. But this sends the message that you’re not available to your employees, which can limit communication. Keep in mind, communication is a two-way street and if employees always see your door closed, then they’re going to be reluctant when it comes to communicating with you, even when issues that need your attention come up.

#3: Not being honest.

There are times when confidentiality is at stake. But lying to your team should be off-limits. If they find out, then it’s going to impact your team’s trust in you in the future, even if you thought you were looking out for their best interest. If there is really something you can’t say, then don’t lie. Simply let your team know you can’t comment right now.

#4: Thinking employees won’t understand.

Business can be complicated, especially when it comes to issued related to projections, financials and reorganizations. But don’t dismiss or underestimate your employees’ intelligence. Rather than assuming they won’t understand and not sharing important information with them, explain it in a way that they will understand. They deserve to know how issues and challenges are going to be impacting them today and in the future.

#5: Making promises you can’t keep.

You want to give your employees raises and promotions. But don’t make promises that you can’t keep – especially when you know the final decision in these areas doesn’t rest with you. Instead, explain to your people how valuable they are and that you will go to bat for them. At the same time, don’t make specific promises as to the outcome.

#6: Not offering enough praise and constructive criticism.

You might think your employees know you value and appreciate them. But unless you say it – often – they won’t. The same applies for offering feedback. Don’t wait until an employee gets so far off track that it’s tough to correct course. Regular and open communication with your team – with plenty of praise and criticism – will ensure you can consistently bring out their best.

Need more help with these and other HR-related issues?

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

4 Signs You Need a New Hiring Plan

November 7th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that hiring is critical for business success. Without the right people in the right positions, you can’t fulfill orders, meet deadlines, or innovate and grow. That’s why a hiring plan is so important. When you have a solid one in place, it acts as a guide as you bring more employees on board today and plan to hire in the future.

But what happens if your hiring efforts have been falling short lately? Then it’s a sign you need a new plan. Here are a few specific red flags that it’s time to review your hiring efforts:

You’re not getting quality applicants.

If most of the resumes you get for job postings end up in the recycling bin, there’s a problem. Most of the resumes you receive should be at least somewhat of a fit for the position. But if you’re wasting hours screening resumes – without much success – then reconsider your job postings. Take a look at them to ensure the language is clear and your hiring needs are thoroughly explained.

Your top pick candidates keep dropping out.

Getting down to the wire during the hiring process can be a relief for many hiring managers. But it can quickly turn into a nightmare if your top-pick candidates keep dropping out of the running. This is often a sign that you’re moving too slow during the hiring process and other companies are making offers sooner.

You’re seeing an increase in turnover.

Some turnover is a normal part of any business. But when you’re noticing an uptick in it, it could be a sign that the right people aren’t being hired for the best-fit positions. This is a big problem because turnover is expensive, with some numbers putting it at around six to nine months of an employee’s salary. If they make $50,000, that means it could cost anywhere from $25,000 to $37,500.

You’re making hiring mistakes.

The applicant you interviewed was enthusiastic and confident. The new employee you got is notoriously late, not meeting deadlines and has an attitude problem to boot. Part of the issue could lie in your interviewing and vetting process. Make sure you’re spending enough time with each candidate to carefully assess them. Also, don’t skip steps, like reference checking and skills testing just, to hire faster.

If you’re facing these issues – or other recruiting challenges – the team at Provisional can help. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we can get to the bottom of your biggest staffing and hiring problems all so you can hire high quality people who can add value to your organization. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

How Phone Screens Can Boost Your Hiring Efforts

October 17th, 2017

When it comes time to hire new candidates, the interview is one of the most critical aspects of the process. However, it’s also one of the most expensive and time-consuming. That’s why, if you don’t already conduct phone screens as part of hiring at your company, you should consider adding them now. Here are a few ways you can benefit:

Save money.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that interviews are costly – especially if you are recruiting candidates from out of state. But when you conduct phone screens first, you can actually interview more candidates in less time, all without having to pay for air fare and lodging. Phone screens also allow you to eliminate candidates that sounded like a fit on paper, but who fall short of your needs and expectations once you speak with them.

Save time.

With an in-person interview, you might spend a full hour or more with each candidate. But phone screens are just that – quick screens that enable you to get a better sense of whether you should call in the candidate for an interview. You can conduct several of them in the time it takes to prepare for and conduct just one traditional face-to-face interview. This allows you to cover more ground and find those candidates faster who are a good fit for your needs.

Move the process faster.

Interviews can be tricky to schedule with candidates, especially those already employed. They’ll need to find time in their schedule to fit the interview, and often have to take a morning or afternoon off from work. It can therefore take a while to get candidates properly scheduled for face-to-face interviews.

But phone screens can be conducted anytime, even during evenings and on weekends. As a result, you can move the hiring process along faster, while offering candidates the opportunity to assess whether the position is a good fit for them – without having to take time off from their existing jobs.

Provides more objectivity.

When you can’t see the candidate for yourself – what they look like, their clothing and facial expressions – it will give you the chance to simply assess their answers and how they’re delivered. This can provide for a more objective way to evaluate them.

According to the Society of Human Resource Management, only about 41% of organizations conduct phone screens for executive positions, while only 55% do so for hourly positions. Don’t be one of them. When you have structured and effective phone screens as part of your hiring process, you can benefit in a variety of valuable ways.

If you’d like more help with your hiring process – or you’re ready to outsource it to experts – please contact Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing solutions to our clients all over the Northwest. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

How to Tap Your Team to Help You Recruit

September 19th, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that when it comes time to hire, one of your best recruiting tools is your existing staff. In fact, there are a variety of ways they can help you hire your next great employee. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Talk hiring with your team.

It’s in your employees’ best interest for you to hire top-rated people. Not only will they have to work alongside them, but the quality of candidates you hire can impact your company bottom line. So it makes sense for your team to be involved in the process. Once you’re ready to hire, let them know about the job opening and ask them for insight into what key skills and qualities are important for a new hire to succeed.

Make job openings share-able.

Beyond keeping your employees in the loop about hiring, make sure that job postings are easy for them to share. Post them on your company website, as well as social media profiles, where employees can easily share them with their network. In addition, ask employees to include a link to your jobs listing page in their email signature so that it gets broadcast out whenever they send an email.

Create an employee referral plan.

Employee referrals are often one of the fastest and easiest ways to find new hires. So if you don’t have an employee referral program, now’s the time to start one. When employees know there’s a reward for them, they’re more likely to refer friends, family and past colleagues who would be a good fit for the job. If you already have a referral plan in place, remind your employees about it and the incentive that’s being offered.

Showcase culture on your company website.

When candidates are applying to jobs with your company, they want to know what working there is really like. Show them through blog posts authored by staff members, and photos and videos showcasing “a day in the life” of different employees. When your company can give candidates a sense of what it’s like to work at your company, you’ll not only attract more candidates, but better-fit ones, as well.

When it comes to hiring new employees, your existing ones are truly one of your greatest assets. Just follow the tips above for leveraging them.

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

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

August 15th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

With these tips:

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

Need more help with other management communication issues?

Read this post on 5 Ways to Improve Leadership Communication. Or, if you’d like staffing help, simply contact us. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source the best candidates for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Job Offers 101: When a Candidate Counters on Salary

July 4th, 2017

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

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

Your boundaries.

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

Your flexibility.

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

Your competitive advantage.

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

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

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

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

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

5 Ways to Improve Leadership Communication in the New Year

January 3rd, 2017

When you’re in charge, everything you do and say has the potential to impact your team. That’s why good communication is vital to business success. To help you communicate effectively with your employees in 2017 – and beyond, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:

#1: Ask good questions.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that communicating isn’t all about talking. Asking your employees insightful questions  – and proactively exploring what they’re saying – will help you foster more meaningful communication between you and your staff.

Not only that, but it gives your employees the opportunity to raise issues and concerns they’re worried about, providing you with vital information you might not otherwise know about. It also helps to create a team built on trust. In short, asking questions is one of the most powerful – but underrated – leadership tools you can put to use.

#2: Listen with careful consideration.

When you’re communicating with employees, don’t just listen to their words; listen for their emotions and also be mindful of their body language. What are they really saying to you? Listening with careful consideration is more than just hearing what someone is saying so you can respond in an appropriate manner. It’s what allows you to understand what’s really going on in a conversation.

#3: Stay present with your people.

When you’re communicating with your staff members, make sure you stay engaged with them. Don’t keep checking your email or take a phone call during a sit down with a staff member. If you do, you’re sending the message that they’re not important to you. They’ll walk away feeling disengaged and ignored. Instead, aim to be present with your people – whether you’re leading a team meeting, or having a water cooler conversation with an employee.

#4: Show empathy.

In other words, put yourself in the shoes of your employees. When you do, you’ll better be able to communicate in a way that shows you care. And when your employees know you care about their concerns, they’ll want to work harder for you.

#5: Speak plainly.

Messages can get muddled with complex terminology, or worse – if you go off on a tangent – your employees can lose interest when you’re speaking. That’s why it’s important to keep your messages as simple as possible when communicating with your staff. If you’re delivering a presentation, identify the three or four main points you want your people to walk away knowing – so you can speak clearly and concisely, yet with impact.

Are you a leader who’s interested in expanding your team in 2017? Call the staffing experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source the best candidates for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

How to Spot a Problem Employee Before You Hire Them

November 1st, 2016

Interviews are your opportunity to sift the weak candidates out of the hiring process, so you can hire the strongest ones. But what if a bad candidate is masquerading as your next great hire?

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows you can spot a potential poor performer before making the mistake of hiring them. You just need to know the right questions to ask and red flags to lookout for. Here are a few tips to help you:

Create a hiring team.

When hiring is done in a vacuum – by one person – it’s easy to make mistakes. However, when there’s a team involved in the hiring process – and multiple perspectives, it’s simpler to weed out the weak candidates and spot the great ones.

Ask behavior-based questions.

Don’t simply ask candidates about their work history and why they want the job. Dive deeper with behavior-based interview questions. These questions require that candidates give you real-world examples from their career and will give you a much more realistic sense of how they behaved in past work-related circumstances.

Ask about difficult situations.

When a potential new hire is toxic, then they’ll often give it away when you ask questions about how they handled a difficult situation at work that didn’t turn out as they’d hoped it would. That’s because they play the perpetual victim. So if a candidate points the finger at others or throws them under the bus – rather than admitting any fault – it’s a warning sign of what to expect if the person is hired.

Watch out for negativity.

If a candidate blasts a previous employer, or makes negative or sarcastic comments during the interview, then warning bells should be going off in your head. Remember, you need positive team players, not people who are going to be complainers or bring toxic energy to your team.

Don’t skip out on reference checks.

When you’ve found a great candidate, it’s tempting to skip out on reference checks. However, when you actually speak with references, it will pay off in the long run. Either the conversations will affirm your top choice, giving you peace of mind. Or they will give you more nuanced insight into the true nature of the person you’re about to hire. Either way, it’s well worth it.

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

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