Provisional Blog

Losing Top Candidates? Here Are 4 Reasons Why

January 22nd, 2019

Hiring? You’re probably focused on sourcing candidates, screening resumes and setting up interviews. But when you keep losing out on the top-pick applicants in the 11th hour, it’s a sign something’s wrong with your process. For instance, a few possible areas that could be sabotaging your recruiting efforts include:

#1: A poor candidate experience.

Not every candidate is going to get the offer. However, what they do expect is to be treated fairly and respectfully. So when they’re not kept in the loop or interviews are constantly rescheduled, it’s going to impact how they perceive your company. Not only will it affect their decision to accept your offer, but you can expect them to tell others about what their experience was like.

#2: You’re not selling the opportunity.

Don’t focus so much on your hiring needs that you forget about the candidate and what they want out of a job opportunity. In fact, hiring is a two-way street, which means you need to be transparent about the position, both its ups and downs. When a candidate feels completely informed about the details, including all the opportunities and challenges, it will improve your odds of finding the right-fit new hire.

#3: The process is taking too long.

Top candidates aren’t only interviewing with you. So when you have a process that’s tedious and time-consuming, they’ll likely accept an offer elsewhere. While you want to be thorough, you don’t want so many hurdles in place that you’re scaring off candidates. That means eliminating any unnecessary parts of the process, communicating regularly with candidates about next steps, and doing your best to extend an offer as quickly as possible.

#4: You’re not giving candidates they want.

Even if you have a positive hiring experience, if you’re not giving candidates what they want in a job, they’re not going to accept. So make sure you’re clear on the responsibilities and tasks; offer fair salary and benefits; and promote what makes your company unique, like flexible scheduling and telecommuting. If you’re still falling short, it could be because your offers aren’t as competitive as other companies.

In today’s job market, candidates have choices. Make sure the ones in the running for your job opportunities stay with you until the end by following the tips above.

Get help hiring your next top candidate.

If you don’t have the time to recruit and vet qualified employees for your company, turn to the team at Provisional. As a leading staffing services firm in the Spokane, Washington area, we can handle the job for you, while you focus on other priorities. Get started today.

New Manager Tips: Building Trust on Your Team

October 9th, 2018

As a new manager, you have a lot on your plate. You’re trying to get up to speed, get to know your new team, and strategize goals and plans, all while striving to build trust. The good news is that if you invest in the latter, then it will make your job as a whole a lot easier as your team members go above and beyond for you.

Here are some tips from Provisional – one of the top staffing services in Spokane, Washington – to help you get started and build trust among your new staff:

Be ready to learn.

Don’t pretend like you have all the answers. Your new team doesn’t expect you to. What they do want is honesty and authenticity. So instead of feeling like you have to act like you know everything, you can instead take an approach focused on learning. That means asking questions, learning about how work gets done from your employees’ perspectives, and finding out about any key challenges or concerns they’re grappling with.

Be open.

As a new manager, your employees are a little bit suspicious of you. They’re not quite sure how things will be different going forward. That’s why it’s important to be open and honest about your goals and the vision you have for your new team. Don’t let them come to their own conclusions. Instead, keep them informed, especially about key decisions that impact them, and welcome their feedback.

Be generous with praise.

When it comes to recognizing the hard work of your staff, be quick to offer praise and do it publicly. Not only will employees feel good about the work they’re doing, but others will see it and want to follow suit. However, when there’s an issue, never address it openly. Meet with your team members in private instead.

Don’t be a micromanager.

One of the quickest ways to create animosity with your team is to micromanage them and insist you need to know about every decision and step that they take. This sends the message that you don’t trust them. So why would they trust you in return?

Instead, give your staff some autonomy. Tell them what you expect and then step back and let them get to work. If there’s an issue, then get involved to determine the best course to follow. But don’t constantly look over the shoulders of your staff and still expect to build a team that’s engaged and motivated.

Are you a new manager in need of hiring help?

Call the experts at Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been one of the leading staffing services in Spokane, Washington. We can help you source, screen and hire the top people you need for your team, all while you focus on other priorities. Contact us today to learn more.

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.

Tough Call: How to Decide Between Two Employees for a Promotion

January 9th, 2018

You have a position to fill and are looking at two internal candidates to promote. Both are equally strong, but in different areas. You’ve mulled this for days and there’s no clear-cut winner. How can you decide which one is best to promote? Here are a few tips from Provisional – one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington – to help you:

Ask what’s most important for the position.

Is it great presentation skills? A detail-oriented number cruncher? Someone who can go out and secure new business? Your needs will depend on the specific position and only you can define your top one. But once you’re able to define what it is, you’ll be able to see which candidate is strongest in that area.

Give them an assignment.

Another path to go down when you’re weighing two strong internal candidates is to give them both a small assignment to complete. Offer each one clear instructions and a timeline for completion, then sit back and wait for their work to come in. Oftentimes, you will have a better sense of who can deliver higher quality work within the define timeframe.

Evaluate future potential.

You’re hiring for a particular position now. But is there one candidate who you can see advancing even further and making an even bigger contribution to the team? If there is, then they have more growth potential and can therefore offer you a bigger return on your investment in them. So think through who you can see really growing with the organization.

Follow up with the second choice.

Once you do make a decision and offer a promotion to an employee, make sure you immediately follow up with the individual who didn’t get the job. Have a private meeting with him or her and explain the reasons behind your decision. Also, discuss development plan that can help them obtain the skills or experience they need to get promoted in the future.

It’s vitally important that you handle this situation sensitively since your employee will likely be disappointed. You don’t want them to jump ship as a result of the news, so work with them to help them achieve their future career goals.

Don’t have employees you can promote internally? Looking for external candidates to fill an important role?

Provisional can help. 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.

4 Interview Essentials for Employers

May 23rd, 2017

Whether you’ve been hiring for years, or are interviewing your first candidate, the secret to success in an interview is asking the right questions. Ask great ones and you can expect to get behind the candidate mask and find the information you need to make a smart hiring decision. To help you in the process, here are a few tips to keep in mind during the process:

Identify a framework.

What are you hoping to learn from the interview? What key areas are most important? How will you evaluate skills? What about personality and cultural fit? Once you know what you’re trying to get out of the interview, you can plan for the types of questions that you should be asking during it.

Develop a list of questions.

The final questions you do ask are up to you. But some key ones to consider include:

  • Tell me about yourself. This is a good ice breaker. It can also give you some insight into what’s important to the candidate by what they talk about first.
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of? This will demonstrate their proven track record, but also give you an indicator of whether or not the candidate is a collaborator, problem solver, and focused on high quality.
  • What interests you most about working for us? Asking this question helps you evaluate how much research the candidate has done. It also can serve as a warning sign if it becomes clear they know little or nothing about your company.

Set the tone.

Be engaged, positive and curious during the interview process. Don’t answer your phone or check your email while you’re talking to candidate. Your attitude toward them will set the tone for the entire hiring process. And if they have a good experience with you, they’ll be far more likely to open up.

Listen to the questions they ask.

Don’t focus entirely on your questions. Make sure you listen carefully to the questions they ask too. This is important because it a) demonstrates their preparedness (or lack of); b) gives you some insight into what’s important to them based on the types of questions they’re asking; and c) showcases their level of insight and knowledge about your company and the industry.

Don’t have the time or resources for hiring and interviewing?

Leave it to 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.

Onboarding New Hires? Follow This Checklist

April 11th, 2017

How would you like to impress new employees and retain them longer? As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows you can when you onboard them properly. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, new employees who attended a well-structured onboarding orientation program were 69% more likely to remain at a company up to three years.

So what does a strong onboarding orientation program entail? Consider the following checklist:

  • Send out an email to your other employees before the new hire’s first day announcing they’re joining the company and their position. Encourage employees to welcome them in their first days and weeks on the job.
  • If your building has extensive security, make sure your new employee is able to gain access to park and enter the building.
  • Set up their desk before they arrive. That means making sure their computer is up and running and they have the right credentials to log into your system. It also means stocking their desk with some basic office supplies, as well as ensuring the phone is hooked up and working.
  • Don’t just wing it on a new hire’s first day. Have a schedule and a plan in place. While it can certainly be flexible if something comes up, it will give the day more structure and purpose. Make sure you include time for your new hire to fill out HR paperwork.
  • If needed, get business cards printed so they can be ready and waiting on your new employee’s first day.
  • Provide a tour of your building and also introduce your new hire around. Make sure they meet those they will be working directly with, as well as key players outside the department.
  • Schedule a welcome lunch with the department team so your new hire can get acquainted with new co-workers on a more personal basis.
  • Assign them with a buddy they can turn to for questions and advice during those early weeks on the job.
  • Spend some time with your new hire making sure they understand your expectations for the role and what success looks like in it.
  • Schedule new hire orientation and make sure your new employee gets a copy of the handbook. Also, review the company’s history and any important policies they need to be aware of.
  • Make sure to set up any training sessions if there is certain equipment or software programs your new hire needs to learn to use.
  • Check in on a regular basis to ensure your new team member is comfortable and understands what they’re doing. Encourage them to come to you with questions or concerns.

Sometimes a new hire doesn’t work out. But by taking the steps above, you can ensure your newest employee feels welcomed and engaged from the start – and is more likely to stay and make a positive contribution in the future.

Need more help recruiting and onboarding new employees?

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

Do your Employees Need Training? Here’s How to Find Out

January 19th, 2016

It’s the start of a new year – and with it comes new strategies and goals for your company. But in order for your people to bring these plans to fruition, they may need some additional training and support. But as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that’s a tall order. So where do you begin? Below are some areas that are most often problem spots for employees, along with questions to ask to help you identify training needs and skill gaps:

Customer service: Has there been a recent increase in customer issues or complaints? Are there any patterns or trends that are emerging, like being customers being kept on hold for too long? How can you use training to overcome such issues and improve the customer service experience at your company?

Employee performance: Take a look at the performance of each department within your company. Is there a particular one that’s underperforming? Talk to the manager and try to get to the root of the problem. Is it due to understaffing, a lack of other resources, or unforeseen challenges? How can employee training help get that department back on track?

Company restructuring or changes: Has your company recently restructured, or undergone significant change? If it has, your employees may need some additional support in order to keep up. For instance, are there new technologies they need to know, products and services you’re offering, or issues that are coming down the pike? If so, then your team needs to be brought up to speed on them and properly trained to help them handle each one.

Growing pains: Has your company recently experienced a major growth spurt? Is your company having issues finding its footing in this “new normal”? Why is that? Could employee training help to better manage company growth and the issues that have come along with it? Also, are there gaps in skills due to your company’s recent growth? Can you shore up these gaps through employee training, or do you need to recruit and hire additional employees to solve the problem.

Knowledge transfer: Are there mission critical functions handled by one person in your company? If so, this could put your company at serious risk should that person leave. Going forward, think about how you can use mentoring and job shadowing, along with technology and documenting processes to protect your company.

Workplace injuries: Did your company experience any accidents in the workplace last year? What caused the situation and how can you avoid similar ones going forward? What part does employee training play in the process?

Do you need additional HR and staffing help for 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.

Tips for Using Social Media to Recruit Great Candidates

December 15th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows in today’s day and age, social media is an important tool in shaping your employer brand. What messages are you sending to candidates? If you don’t know – or you’re unsure where to begin – here are a few tips to help you use the power of social media to recruit great candidates:

Discuss industry news.

As a company, you want to position yourself as an expert in the industry so you can attract the best talent. One way to do that is to regularly share industry news and then post your take and insights on it. Don’t simply post press releases; instead, discuss pertinent news and information and offer the company’s perspective and thoughts on it.

Offer how-to tips.

Don’t hoard information; share it instead. For instance, give candidates information on how to get hired at your company. Talk about what hiring managers look for in great candidates and the types of people you have working for the company. Not only will this information help candidates determine whether your company is a good fit for them, but it will also help you attract strong candidates.

Ask questions.

Don’t dominate the conversation on social media. Instead post questions and invite people to start a conversation. For example, ask candidates what the #1 detail is they’d like to know about working at your company. Once you’ve collected some questions, post a blog or put together a video featuring employees discussing that information.

Share job openings.

Your social media profile shouldn’t just be a list of job openings at your company. However, when you are looking to hire, it certainly should be promoted via social media. When you post an opening, be sure to go beyond the tasks and responsibilities and talk about why a candidate should want to work for your company.

Leverage your employees.

Your people can be your biggest brand advocated on social media. Invite them to author blog posts or post videos talking about what they like best about the company and what they’ve learned since joining the organization.

Tell stories.

People don’t want facts and stats. They want to hear stories. So if, for instance, your company is involved in the local community, share stories about the difference you’ve made. Post pictures and interesting information about the work you and your employees have done within the community.

The bottom line? The better job you do of creating a strong employer brand on social media, the stronger chance you have of attracting the best people. While it certainly takes an investment of time and effort, it’s well worth it in the long run.

Do you need help recruiting great candidates for your company? Call 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.

Communicating With Employees: When Email Isn’t Ok

September 16th, 2014

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that for most managers, it’s easier to fire off a quick email to an employee rather than picking up the phone or scheduling some face-to-face time. Typically, that’s fine. But there are some situations when email simply isn’t ok. You need to talk with your team member in person or over the phone. Here’s a look at a few of those scenarios:

• Avoid email when you need an instant response. For all you know, your employee could be away from their desk, or up against a tight deadline. Even if you assigned your email as “urgent,” there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation why they didn’t see it until hours later. If you need a quick answer, pick up the phone.
Avoid email when you need to confront an employee. Nobody likes to talk about sensitive issues or topics where an employee may have an emotional reaction (think turning them down for a raise or promotion, or talking about performance issues). However, you’ll be far better off doing so in person or on the phone. Email lacks both nuance and tone, which can cause tension to further escalate.
Avoid email when you need to discuss a complex project or a task where decisions need to be hashed out. Not only can details get lost in translation, but it’s much more efficient to have a discussion over the phone or in person than via email.
Avoid email when you need to communicate something confidential. Email is the least confidential method of communication. Just ask executives from Enron and Goldman Sachs. All of your past conversations and comments can be easily recalled by a novice IT person, even if you hit the “delete” button. So before you compose an email, consider whether you’d be ok with someone else who’s not the intended audience reading it.
Avoid email when you need to give constructive feedback. It’s one thing when you send an employee a quick “great job on ABC project!” email. But the reverse doesn’t hold true. When you need to offer negative feedback, you should do so in person, or at the very least, over the phone.

There’s no doubt email is a fast and easy way to communicate. However, it’s not always an appropriate method. Follow the tips above to avoid using email when it will undermine your message or cause conflict.

If you need help hiring effective communicators for your team, call 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.

6 Ideas for Budget Friendly Employee Benefits

December 17th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that these days, offering employee benefits certainly isn’t cheap. However, in order to attract and retain top talent, it’s also a must.

But did you know there are certain benefits that can help strengthen your retention efforts, without costing your company a lot. For instance, consider these ideas:

1. Offer voluntary insurance.

Offering access to voluntary insurance (like life insurance or disability insurance) is a win-win for employers. Not only does it allow you to provide a more robust and attractive benefit package, but you simply administer these insurance plans. Your employees actually pay for them at a discounted group rate.

2. Offer pre-paid professional services.

Similar to supplemental insurance, you can offer your employees access to pre-paid legal and financial planning services so they can get help handling matters like creating a will, planning for retirement, and more. With these types of services, employers typically deduct the monthly service fee from the paychecks of those employees who wish to participate.

3. Offer free lunch-and-learns.

You can offer your employees access to free lunch-and-learns with attorneys, health care professionals, financial planners, bankers and other professional experts at no charge. They can discuss issues ranging from how the new health care reform law will impact individuals and families to what to do if you are ever audited by the IRS.

4. Offer discounts at local merchants.

Negotiate with merchants in your area to get discounts for your employees. For instance, if you employ enough people, some auto dealers will offer your employees a discount for purchasing or leasing a car through them. A bank or credit union may be able to offer a program for your employees that provides special loan deals. Likewise, restaurants, gyms, hotels and other types of retailers typically offer corporate customer programs you can take advantage of. It costs you only the time and effort it takes to seek out and create these partnerships.

5. Offer little perks.

For instance, partner with a local garage to offer free transportation for employees who need to get their car serviced. Or you can ask a local dry cleaner to offer free pick up and delivery services to your employees. Many businesses are open to creating these kinds of relationships because they garner so many new customers through them.

6. Offer a weekly breakfast or lunch.

Once a week, provide a free breakfast or lunch for your employees. It can be as simple as bagels and fruit, or sandwiches. Eating together helps teams become more cohesive and can also inject some fun into the daily grind.

If you need more help with your employee retention efforts, call Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we use a consultative approach to provide customized staffing and retention solutions to our clients.

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