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Provisional Blog

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.

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.

Find Your Next Great Hire With These 6 Interview Questions

August 16th, 2016

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows the best interview questions are ones that enable you to dig deeper and get behind the candidate mask.

That said, with so many options available – and a limited time frame in which to ask them – how do you determine which are the most effective? Here’s a look at the top 6 you should always ask a candidate during a job interview:

1. Why are you interested in this job?

This question is important to ask for a couple of reasons. First, it demonstrates that a candidate did their homework and knows particulars about the job and your company. It also gives you an opportunity to gauge a candidate’s interest and enthusiasm about the job.

2. What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Asking this question gives you a chance to assess a candidate’s self awareness and track record. It also requires they explain an accomplishment that you might not be familiar with in a succinct way you can understand, so you can analyze their communication abilities, as well.

3. If you obtained this job, what would you want to accomplish in the first 60 days?

When you ask this question, you can measure how well they’ve researched your organization and the needs and expectations that come with the position. Either they get it, or they don’t. And asking this question will help you spot the strongest candidates.

4. What type of work environment do you work best in?

If you have a more formal corporate culture with traditional hours and a lot of red tape, then a candidate who works best in a laid back, casual environment might not thrive. That’s why this question is so important – it lets you assess the candidate to ensure they’re a good match for your culture.

5. What do you think the biggest issues are in our field today?

Look for candidates with original thoughts and perspectives. This question will also help you evaluate how tuned in they are to current industry trends and challenges.

6. Why are you leaving, or did you leave your last job?

Asking this question will give you some insight into what the candidate is looking for in their next job. If their current job lacks room for advancement – and that’s why they’re leaving, then just make sure you can help them meet their career goals before extending the offer. If you can’t, but you offer them the job anyway, then they’re not going to stick around for long at your company.

Need more help finding, interviewing, and hiring the best candidates? Look no further than Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know how 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.

7 Questions to Help You Assess Cultural Fit in a Candidate

May 3rd, 2016

When it comes to hiring, you know technical skills are important. But are you also assessing cultural fit?

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows if you aren’t, you’re missing a critical opportunity to determine whether or not an individual is the best fit for the job and your company.

Why? Because when you ask interview questions that focus on cultural fit, you’re better able to hone in on individuals who share your organization’s values and principles and can operate within your workplace norms. As a result, you can make stronger hiring decisions.

Next time you’re looking to hire, make sure you ask the questions below to evaluate candidates for cultural fit – and help ensure they can work successfully within your organization:

1. When you’re applying for a job, what attributes are important to you in a potential employer?
Asking this question will help ensure each candidate’s personal values, goals and performance styles are in alignment with your company’s.

2. Describe what makes a great workday for you. Talk about the type of environment in which you would function best.
This question encourages a candidate to think about what inspires them and what it would be like to work for you. It will also help you evaluate whether the candidate is well suited for your unique workplace and its culture.

3. What personality traits do you have a hard time working with?
The candidate’s answer will reveal the type of person they won’t get along with and if they’ll have a hard time connecting with people within your company.

4. Tell me about a workplace challenge you faced and how you handled it?
Asking this question helps you identify the candidate’s performance style and how well they handle pressure. It also helps to reveal their thought process and whether their approach to problem solving aligns with your company’s management style.

5. Tell me about a time you were tasked with something you didn’t know how to complete. What did you do?
With technology and a rapidly changing business environment, it’s important to find candidates who can adapt quickly, have strong problem solving abilities and can land on their feet.

6. How well do you adapt to change?
Change can be anything from an expanded office staff to a broader set of responsibilities. You just want to ensure you hire someone who’s open to evolving alongside your business.

7. What are you passionate about?
You want to find someone who is mission driven and has a can-do attitude. Plus this question will help you get to know each candidate on a more personal level.

Do you need more help hiring candidates who are a great fit 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 – including those just right for your hiring needs. Simply call today to learn more about how we can help you.

Are You Making These 7 Common Management Mistakes?

April 19th, 2016

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows one of the main reasons people quit their companies is because of a bad boss. This might conjure up images of a micro-manager or a bully.

But did you know that there are little things you could be doing each day that lead to disengaged and frustrated employees? What are they – and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

1. Blaming others.

When things go wrong, your self-preservation instincts kick in. As a result, you might point the finger of blame at your employees and throw them under the bus to the higher ups. But doing this can lead to disaster. Not only will it undermine productivity, but it will kill trust and morale on your team.

2. Taking the credit.

When you work together as a team to reach a common goal, you should praise your employees – not take all the credit. Sure, you may be the one in charge and guiding the team. But they did the actual work and deserve a measure of praise, as well.

3. Setting a bad example.

If you expect your employees to be on time, be prepared at meetings, and have a positive attitude, then you need to do the same. As the boss, you set the tone for your employees.

So if you’re always running late, constantly critical, and always take shortcuts to get work done – but don’t let employees do the same – you’re setting a bad example.

4. Being impatient.

If you have a short fuse and regularly vent your frustrations on your employees, your behavior is likely impacting employee performance. The stress of dealing with an impatient boss can cause your employees to rush and make more mistakes then they typically would.

5. Lacking flexibility.

Today’s employees expect some flexibility. However, if you’re unwilling to budge or give workers a hard time when they need to work from home once in a while, or need to leave early to pick up their sick child, then it’s going to lead to a disenfranchised team.

6. Indecisiveness.

Your team looks to you to make quick decisions. But if you tell them to do one thing – then question them for doing what you asked – it’s going to be a frustrating experience that can lead to distrust. Employees will wonder if there’s anything they can do to please you.

7. Playing favorites.

Sure, there might be people on your team who are stronger performers than others. But when you constantly tell one or two workers how great they are and ignore everyone else, it’s demoralizing for the rest of your employees.

Becoming a great manager is a learning process. When you strive to improve and learn – as well as overcome the mistakes above – you’ll be well on your way to becoming a strong leader.

Are part of your management issues due to understaffing? 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 Quick Tips for Better Onboarding

April 5th, 2016

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that many companies approach onboarding as a process that should be completed within a week or two of the start date. But really, it should last the entire first year.

When new hires feel welcomed and prepared to do their jobs, they’ll become stronger contributors and stay with the company longer. If they leave, though, it’s going to wind up costing you – up to several times the individual’s first-year potential earnings.

With that in mind, how can you improve onboarding at your company? Start by following these 4 quick tips:

#1: Plan for their first day.

Before your new hire starts, send an email around to your staff with the person’s name, start date and background about them. Set up a lunch for the first day so they can meet and get to know their new colleagues. Also, make sure you have their office and computer set up and a welcome basket with ingredients such as company paraphernalia, an employee directory, and a listing of local restaurants.

#2: Don’t forget about the details.

Just because a new hire will be managing a department and leading a team of 100, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell them where the copier is or how to dial an outside line. It’s these little details that can be most frustrating when an employee is new to a team, so try to make it easy.

#3: Introduce them around.

Beyond those they’ll be working with, make sure you introduce them to individuals outside their department. Take them around and explain the key functions and players within each department so they have a bigger picture perspective on the company. Make sure they understand the formal hierarchy of the company, as well as the informal hierarchy, including the gatekeepers and go-to people.

#4: Keep in touch.

Just because a new employee is doing well doesn’t mean you should leave them alone. Schedule regular meetings with them throughout their first year to touch base and answer any questions or address concerns they may have. Make sure they’re on the right track with projects and that they don’t feel abandoned or unsupported in any areas. Remember, the first few months on the job will shape your new hire’s perspective and morale for years to come.

Do you need more help finding, hiring and onboarding employees at your company? Call Provisional. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we can help you source, screen, hire and train top talent for a variety of positions. Just give us a call today to learn more.

Hiring Remote Workers? Don’t Make These Mistakes

March 1st, 2016

Think hiring remote workers is the same as hiring in-office ones? Think again. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows you can’t simply take the same process you use to hire traditional employees and apply it to the virtual hiring process. Instead, you need to tailor your approach to the actual needs of the virtual workforce. To start, avoid these common mistakes:

Mistake 1: Not evaluating soft skills.

It’s a lot harder to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills when they’re not sitting right in front of you. After all, you can’t assess their body language or nonverbal communication. But just because it’s harder doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. If the candidate can come into your office for an interview, then schedule it. If not, then use video conferencing technology so you can connect and gain a true sense of the candidate, their personality and cultural fit.

Mistake 2: Not asking the right interview questions.

When it comes to remote workers, you need a different skill set than for those who work in the office. Virtual workers must be more motivated and need less direction than a typical employee. That’s why it’s so important to ask behavioral questions during the interview. What should you ask about?

  • Ask about their past experience working remotely and specific examples of projects they’ve worked on.
  • Ask about their organizational skills and how they stay motivated when working on their own.
  • Ask them to describe a project they worked on and how they succeeded, or what they would have done differently.

You’re looking for more than just the typical, boilerplate answers. You want candidates who can give you specific details of their organizational and communication skills and how they stay motivated.

Mistake 3: Not testing skills.

When a candidate says all the right things and has great credentials, it can be tempting to skip the skills testing process. But before you hire any new team members, you should give them a skills-related test to ensure they have what it takes to get the job done. If you’re hiring someone for a tech position, you may want to give them a coding test. If you’re hiring a candidate for a PR job, then give them a writing assignment. Whatever test you do conduct, just be sure to take the time to evaluate skills so you can make the best hiring decision for your company.

A final word of advice: Even if you need a new worker for a project in a few days, don’t hire in haste. It can be tempting to do so, especially if a great candidate comes along. But make sure you take the time to properly vet them. If, on the other hand, you hire too quickly and skip vital steps in the evaluation process, you may not make the best move for the project or your company in the long run.

Do you need more help hiring virtual workers for your team? 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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