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.

Management 101: Mistakes to Avoid When You’re the Boss

October 3rd, 2017

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that when you’re new to managing a team, you have a lot of responsibility on your plate. You’re going from taking care of your work to managing and overseeing the work of others. It can be exciting, stressful, nerve wracking – and full of potential pitfalls.

And in fact, the first year in a manager’s role is often littered with mistakes; so, you’ll likely make your fair share. However, there are some common ones you can avoid with a little planning and know-how. Here’s a look at a few:

You don’t ask for help.

If you’re a new manager, you have a lot to learn on the job. And that’s ok. Don’t pretend you have all the answers or know how to do something when really, you don’t. It’s best to ask for input, advice and feedback – whether from your staff or your boss – to ensure you’re making the right moves and decisions.

You micromanage.

Another common problem among new managers involves micro-managing. There’s a lot that’s at stake and you’re still getting to know your team, so this can be understandable. However, keep in mind that when you micromanage, you’re sending the message that you don’t trust your team. This, in turn, can undermine your relationship and create a toxic culture. So give your people room to do their jobs.

You don’t have boundaries.

When your employee comes to you with a request, or your boss asks you to take on a new project, your first instinct is to say “yes.” After all, you don’t want to disappoint. But if you don’t have boundaries – and can’t turn down projects that are clearly a bad fit for you – you’re going to wind up stretched thin and burned out. Likewise, if you agree to everything your employees ask of you, you’ll end up making promises you can’t keep. So establish clear boundaries from the start.

You don’t get to know your team.

As a manager, your success now depends on your team. That’s why, if you want them to produce optimal results, you need to get to know each one individually and what motivates them. So rather than sweeping in and making changes overnight, take some time to learn the ins and outs of your staff and its unique dynamic. Schedule personal meetings to listen and learn from each one, as well as group-wide meetings to talk about big picture goals and get their thoughts and input. The better you know your team, the easier it will be to manage them.

If you find that you’re struggling in any of these areas, take a deep breath and relax. No new manager hits the ground running and delivers an error-free performance. So ask for help when you need it, set clear boundaries and get to know your people.

If you’re struggling with finding good people for your team, the experts at Provisional can help. 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.

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.

How to Get the Most from One-on-Ones With Your Employees

March 15th, 2016

When it comes to communicating with your team, it’s important to have one-on-ones with each employee. These shouldn’t be once-a-year events either. Rather, one-on-ones, whether a quick chat or a more extended meeting, should be a regular occurrence throughout the year.

But, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Provisional also knows that time is limited. So how can you make the experience a win for both you and your people? Here are a few tips to follow to help you get the most of out one-on-ones with your staff:

Prepare ahead.

You don’t need to spend hours preparing for these meetings. However, you should ask your employee to create a quick agenda ahead of time and email it over to you so you’re both on the same page in terms of what will be discussed. If you walk into the meeting without any preparation, it’s not going to be the most productive use of your time, or your employee’s.

Let your employee lead.

You want your employees to be independent and accountable. So you need to let them take ownership over their work. Having them run these one-one’s is a great way to do that. Let your employee lead the conversation and set the pace of the meeting. This will encourage them to be more thoughtful and strategic about what they want to discuss. It will also help them become more engaged team members and more loyal to the company when they know they have a venue in which to voice their opinions.

Tall about the past, present and future.

Don’t simply talk about pressing projects and work coming up. Encourage your employees to also reflect on past projects and what worked well, along with what didn’t. If you don’t talk about past work, you’re losing an opportunity to rectify any performance issues or struggles the employee may be having.

Place a high priority on meeting.

You think one-on-ones are a great idea for your team. But you’re busy, so you keep canceling them or you don’t schedule them at all. These kinds of meetings will take time. However, if you don’t place a priority on their importance, then you’re not going to reap all the benefits they have to offer, including giving you and your team members time to reflect on successes and challenges, provide input, and talk about bigger project goals and issues.

Need help hiring top people for your team? Call the experts at Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, we use a consultative approach to provide customized staffing solutions to our clients, whether for virtual teams or on-site staff. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

When Your Relationship With an Employee Sours

June 2nd, 2015

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Provisional knows there’s nothing worse than having someone on your team that you have a rocky relationship with. You might not fully trust the person and avoid making contact with them altogether. But, as a manager, it’s up to you to try and repair the relationship so you can get back on track with your team member. To help you, here are some tips to consider:

Think about how you’ve contributed to the situation.

For example, have you grown frustrated with an employee but never voiced your concerns because you’re uncomfortable with giving negative feedback? If that’s the case, your employee is likely picking up on your tension, but doesn’t know where things went wrong. As a result, they grow frustrated and disengaged. But really, it’s not fair to the employee if you’ve never had a conversation with them about their performance.

Have a conversation with the employee.

It can be helpful to clear the air with a conversation that gives your employee a chance to express where they see things going wrong. You too can explain your perspective in the situation and should communicate to your employee the behavior you’d like to see going forward. Think of the conversation as a way to re-set your relationship.

Be fair.

It can be easy to fall back into the trap of your negative thinking because you’ve already decided what you think about the employee. But if you’re really going to be fair, it’s important to deliberately strive to give them a fresh start. When you work with them, try to assume the best. Also, be patient and don’t expect huge results overnight. Relationship transformations take time.

Be realistic.

If the person isn’t the right fit for the position or for your team, then you’re just spinning your wheels by trying to salvage the relationship. It’s important to be realistic – and honest with yourself – about whether the issue is a fit one, rather than a relationship one. If there is an issue with fit, then it’s up to you to deal with the situation promptly. Don’t make excuses, or put it off.

If you apply these tips when you have a difficult employee, then no matter how things turn out, you’ll end up knowing that you’ve done your best in a tough situation.

Do you have a recent opening you need help filling? 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.

Saying Good-Bye: Asking the Right Questions in an Exit Interview

October 1st, 2013

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that saying good-bye is never easy (unless, of course, it’s to a really difficult employee). However, if done right, exit interviews can provide you with a host of information and feedback that can help the company improve in the long run.

For instance, information gleaned from an exit interview can:

• Increase retention of valuable employees
• Provide valuable insight as to how to better train and onboard new employees
• Offer an opportunity to mend the fences with disgruntled employees

So what kinds of questions should you be asking during an exit interview? Here’s a look at some examples:

Basic Questions

• Why are you leaving?
• Is there anything that could have been done to prevent you from leaving?
• Was there a certain process or procedure that contributed to your decision to leave?
• Do you have any suggestions as to how to improve it / them?
• What’s your impression of the company as a whole?
• What did you like about working here?
• What didn’t you like?
• Is there a way the company could have made better use of your skill set?
• If a different opportunity came along, would you consider working with us again?
• What made you want to accept this new job?
• What are they offering that we currently do not?

Training & Development

• Do you think you were given adequate training to do your job?
• Are there any areas in the training program that need improvement?
• Was there any kinds of training you would have liked to get, but didn’t?
• How effective were the training sessions?
• Do you think the performance evaluation process is fair? Are there any areas that need improvement in it?


• Do you think company leaders communicated well with the staff?
• What about within your department? Do you think the communication level was effective?
• Are there any areas in terms of communication you think need to be improved?


• How would you describe the culture of the organization?
• What one thing would you change about the culture if you could?
• Did you feel motivated to do your job?
• Did you get along with your supervisor?
• Do you think high stress levels are an issue at the company?
• Do you have any suggestions for improving working conditions?
• Were you ever discriminated against or harassed in any way?

Obviously, you may not want to ask every question listed above; you can simply pick and choose from the categories that suit your needs. However, regardless of the questions you do ask, keep in mind the purpose of an exit interview isn’t to put a soon-to-be former employee in the hot seat. It’s to help the company improve.

Need more help conducting exit interviews – or recruiting interviews?

If you do, let Provisional know. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington – with more than 20 years of experience – we can help you handle your biggest staffing challenges, including conducting effective interviews.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.