Provisional Blog

How to Navigate Your New Employees’ First Week on the Job

October 15th, 2019

You found that great new hire. Your work is done, right? Actually, it’s just starting. In order to get them up and running and keep them engaged, you’ve got to take the right approach with your training and onboarding process. Here are a few tips for doing that and setting new workers up for more success down the line:

Assign them a buddy.

This should be someone they can shadow and turn to for questions and advice, essentially showing them the ropes so they get more confident and comfortable, faster. The buddy should be assigned to them from the start and should send them a welcome email with their contact information.

Set up their space.

There’s nothing more disappointing for a new employee than when they arrive on the job that first day and their employer isn’t ready for them. They’ll start to question whether they made the right move accepting the offer. Instead, make sure their workspace is fully set up and they have access to email and a phone line. Populate the employee’s contact list so they have easy access to important co-workers. Also make sure they have a company directory with names and contact information. 

Schedule meet and greets and feel-good activities.

During that first week on the job, schedule several meet and greets with key players that your new employee will be working with. This can include colleagues, as well as higher ups within the company. But this will give them a good foundation on which to start building important relationships in the company, as well as help them to feel more comfortable. 

In addition to these, consider taking your new employee out for lunch on that first day and host a happy hour in their honor during that first week. This again will help them get engaged with the entire group, so they adapt faster.

Communicate goals and expectations.

It’s critically important that your new hire knows what goals and expectations you have for them during that first month, six months and year. Talk to them about what successful performance looks like, what it means for the company and the customer, and leave the door open for them to communicate their own insight and ideas about doing the job. This will ensure they’re clear about what you need, but will also help them feel like they’re contributing in a meaningful way, as well. 

Touch base regularly.

During that first week, spend a few minutes at the end of each day touching base with your new team member. Make sure you address their questions and concerns. This will help to avoid any mistakes or issues early on, as well as show the new hire that you truly care about how they’re settling in.

Need help finding new hires to onboard and train?

Provisional can help. As one of Coeur d’Alene, ID’s leading staffing agencies, we have a pre-qualified and skilled network of candidates to turn to and can fill a range of roles quickly. Call our team today for help finding your next great hire!

5 Easy Prep Tips for Standing Out During Your Job Interview

October 8th, 2019

Unemployment is low. However, competition is still high for the top jobs in and around the Northwest. It’s why, when it comes to your interview, you need to make the best impression possible, so you get called back or offered the position. But how can you do that? It all comes down to how you prepare. Here are five easy tips to help you:

Tip #1: Research the company.

Do everything you can to get to know the ins and outs of the company you’re interviewing with. Start with their website, but also look to their social media profiles, as well as news articles about them. The more you know, the better questions you can ask and the more prepared you’ll come across. You’ll also feel more confident walking into the interview.

Tip #2: Know where you’re going.

You might think you know where the interview is located. But will there be construction along the way? What if there’s an accident? When do you need to leave to give yourself some extra time just in case? These are the kinds of questions you’ll want answers to with a clear route to the company mapped out ahead of the interview. This will help calm your jitters and ensure you get there with time to spare. 

Tip #3: Prep your attire well before the big day.

Make sure whatever you’re wearing – which should be a business suit in most cases – is cleaned and pressed. If you need to take it to the dry cleaners, then give yourself plenty of time to do that. Also make sure you choose something that’s more neutral and won’t distract the hiring manager as you’re answering questions. 

Tip #4: Pack the night before.

Bring with you a few different items and put them in your briefcase or bag the night before. This includes copies of your resume, as well as a notebook and pen. Also bring along a list of references in case the hiring manager asks for them. Finally, throw in some breathe mints to ensure you make the best impression possible.

Tip #5: Avoid common mistakes.

While you won’t know what questions you’ll get, there are some answers you should always avoid giving. These include “I don’t know.” If that’s the case and you’re not sure about something, then say simply instead “I’m not 100% sure about that. Let me get back to you.” Also, never talk in a negative way about your past employer or co-workers, or ask off the bat about time off or vacation days. These seemingly minor errors can knock you out of the running for the job.

Need more help finding out about job opportunities in the Northwest and preparing for interviews?

As one of the Northwest’s top employment agencies, Provisional knows what hiring managers are looking for in candidates and can help connect you with opportunities, as well as prepare for your interviews. Call us today to get started!

Interview Red Flags & How to Spot Them in a Candidate

October 1st, 2019

There’s a lot on the line when you’re interviewing a candidate. You’re trying to assess their skills and abilities, as well as their personality to see if they’re the right person for you. It’s a lot to get right and can get complicated quickly. However, whatever you do, just make sure you’re looking out for these red flags, which can indicate a potential hiring mistake:

Giving you vague answers.

When you’re assessing a candidate, you need specific information and details to determine whether they’re the right fit for you. But if they’re giving you vague, boilerplate responses to your questions, it could be due to lack of skills and confidence. Continue to dig deeper by asking follow-up questions. If, however, you’re still getting unclear answers, move onto another candidate. 

Not preparing for the interview.

A lack of preparation will become evident quickly after you ask a few questions. If they don’t know what your company does, or can’t give you specific insight into how they can contribute, then it’s clear they didn’t do much to prepare. Cross them off the list and instead consider those candidates who spent time learning about your company, its needs and how they’d fit in.

Speaking negatively about a past employer.

When a candidate is answering a question, the last thing you want to hear is trash talk about a past employer. This is a good signal that they lack maturity and professionalism. It’s also an effective indicator of what they might say about your company if you were to hire them. 

Poor body language.

Even if a candidate has all the right answers, if they’re fidgety, twirl their hair or don’t make eye contact, it’s difficult to believe in their abilities. While a little bit of nervousness is understandable and expected, poor body language overall can signal a lack of confidence. 

Making demands upfront.

If a candidate starts talking about salary and vacation time upfront, it’s a big warning sign that your opening is simply another job to them. They’re not truly interested in your company and the opportunity you’re offering. It also shows that they lack interview etiquette, which is just another red flag and mark against them. 

Bad listening skills.

No matter what job you’re hiring for, listening skills are critical for success in it. It’s why if they’re showcasing a lack of listening abilities – such as talking over you, not answering questions directly, or asking the same questions over and over – it’s a sign of what’s to come if hired. 

Interested in getting expert help with your hiring efforts?

Reach out to the team at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies, we can connect you to the talented people you need, where and when you need them, lowering your risk of a hiring mistake in the process. Call us today!

How to Advocate for Yourself – and Advance Your Career – in 4 Easy Steps

September 24th, 2019

When it comes to your career, you’re the only advocate you’ve got. If you don’t know how to properly promote your accomplishments and strengths to your boss or a future employer, it’s going to be much harder to get ahead. However, for most professionals, self-promotion can be awkward and uncomfortable. How can you make it easier, all while taking advantage of its power? Here are four simple steps to take:

#1: Know where you want to go.

If you’re not sure where you’re trying to go with your career, it’s tough to know where to begin when it comes to promoting yourself. Instead, take a step back and think about what you’re aiming for. Do you want to get promoted at work? Do you want to ask your boss to cover the cost of a continuing education class, so you can acquire new skills? Or do you think you’re ready for a different job entirely?

#2: Know your value.

When it comes to advocating for yourself and promoting your strengths, you need to get specific. Vague or generic statements won’t cut it when it comes to talking up your abilities to your boss or a hiring manager. So know the unique value you bring to the table and why it’s important for the company. For example, if you want a promotion, be ready to highlight specific accomplishments and the impact they’ve had.

#3: Know the decision makers.

When it comes to getting ahead at your own company, visibility it key. You’re not going to climb the ranks and acquire a higher position of company leadership doesn’t know who you are. That’s why it’s important to get on their radar. Seek them out and strive to make a connection with them, so they can learn about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of doing.

#4: Know when it’s time to look outside your company.

If you want to get ahead, sometimes you have to search for an opportunity outside your company. If there’s no room for advancement and you’re ready for a move, then now’s the time to take the plunge. But before you do, engage your network and reach out about any potential jobs they might know about. Also, stay on their radar by regularly posting on LinkedIn, sharing any work accomplishments, or offering your take on industry trends and news. You’ll stay top-of-mind, which could lead to a new opportunity.

Ready to advance your career by making a move?

Turn to Provisional, one of Spokane’s leading employment agencies. We can learn about your background, skills and accomplishments, then connect you with rewarding opportunities with top local employers. Contact us today to learn more.

Are You a New Manager? Here’s How to Build Trust

September 17th, 2019

As a new manager, you have a lot on your plate. Not only are you managing a team of different personalities, but there are tight budgets, hot deadlines and customer issues to deal with. How can you get control, develop a strong team, and achieve your goals?

You first need to build trust between you and your team members. When you do, they’ll work harder and smarter for you. Not only that, but they’ll be more comfortable coming to you with issues and concerns that you can address before they escalate.

That said, building trust isn’t something that happens overnight. Instead, you need to take the right steps over time in order to leverage its power. As a leading staffing service in the Northwest, Provisional can help you get there with these simple yet essential tips:

Set a good example.

If you’re late to meetings, but chide an employee for running behind, it makes you look like hypocrite. Instead, make sure you’re setting an example for the types of behaviors, habits and attitudes you expect. 

Be clear about goals.

One issue that undermines trust building is when employees aren’t clear about your expectations for them. This muddies the water and leads to disengagement. To avoid this, meet individually with staff members and as a group to discuss goals and deadlines. This will ensure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and where their work fits into the big picture. 

Keep an open door policy.

Communication is key when it comes to building trust. That’s why you should commit to an open door policy and encourage employees to come talk to you about issues and challenges. You should also be up and around, regularly walking the office or the floor and checking in on your staff. This will help you to better stay on top of progress and identify areas that need your attention.

Spend time getting to know your staff.

You’re not trying to become best friends. However, you are trying to learn about their unique personality, what motivates them, and what their expectations are for you as their boss. As a result, you’ll create closer bonds and form a stronger team. 

Give praise and credit.

Don’t ever take the credit for work that was a team effort. Instead, always be lavish with praise and recognition. Your employees will feel valued and will therefore be more loyal as a result. 

Building a team takes time. However, when you follow the steps above, you can ensure that trust becomes a part of its foundation. 

Need help hiring employees you can trust?

Call Provisional. As a leading staffing service in the Northwest, we know where to recruit and how to vet top candidates, all so you get dependable new hires you can trust.

Why You Need a Professional Photo on LinkedIn

September 10th, 2019

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, your photo makes a big difference. In fact, if you don’t have one, you’re going to come off as spammy and phony to recruiters and hiring managers. Not only that, but according to LinkedIn statistics, those with a photo get 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests.

Even if you do have one, if it’s not professional-looking, then they’ll also think twice about considering you for a new opportunity. You won’t come off as a credible, quality candidate they want to hire.

So short of spending an arm and a leg on a professional photographer, what can you do to improve your online profile? Here are some quick tips to help you:

Avoid the selfie.

It’s an all-too-common type of image across social media. And it’s fine for your personal Facebook page or the family photo album. But avoid a selfie shot for your LinkedIn profile if you want to come across as a mature professional. 

Use a headshot.

Don’t post a family photo of you at the beach. Or crop one that has you featured in a way where you look blurry or off-center. Instead, get a simple headshot taken from a friend or family member, where you’re posed in a place with plenty of light.

Dress professionally.

You don’t need to be in a business suit or dressed overly formal. However, you want to present a professional image and if you’re wearing a bathing suit sitting poolside, for instance, that’s not going to happen. So make sure you look polished in whatever picture you post. 

Keep the background simple.

Wherever your picture is taken, just make sure it’s in a place without a busy background. If it is, then it will distract from the overall professional image you’re trying to project. Instead, choose something simple and neutral to serve as the backdrop. 

Want professional assistance with your LinkedIn profile or your job search?

At Provisional, we can help with every aspect of it. We’ll give you guidance on your resume, LinkedIn profile, interview answers and all other aspects of your job search. This will help you find a new job in Spokane, one you’ll love, faster. Search our jobs now

The 5 Best Ways to Retain Your Team Members

September 3rd, 2019

70%. That’s how many respondents to a Workplace Health Survey by Mental Health America said they were looking for a new job or thinking about making a move. That’s a lot of people and translates into high turnover for many companies.

While some turnover is expected or even a positive, too much of it can have a negative impact on your company. For instance, morale, productivity and profits can all take a hit. So how can you protect your organization from too much and retain your top staff in the process? Here are five tips to help you: 

1. Recognize.

According to the survey above, a lack of recognition is one of the key reasons why employees quit. So now’s the time to turn things around. While you shouldn’t offer unwarranted praise, make sure you recognize employees for both consistent performance, as well as going the extra mile.

2. Advancement.

Top employees want to get ahead in their careers. If your company doesn’t offer the opportunity to do so, then they’re going to try to move upward elsewhere. However, promoting internal employees is a win-win for you. You’ll better retain them, all while lowering the chance of making a hiring mistake. 

3. Flexibility.

Today’s employees not only want a more flexible work schedule, they expect it. It’s easier than ever to offer this option thanks to technology. So consider options like telecommuting, flexible scheduling, and work sharing. This is an in-demand benefit that will help you to not only keep your core team, but attract top candidates in the future.

4. Culture.

You want your people to love coming to work each day. One way to achieve that is by focusing on creating a positive culture. This includes nipping conflict in the bud immediately, opening the door to regular communication, encouraging staff to share ideas and opinions, and treating your people like what they are: your most important asset.  

5. Challenge.

Your staff wants to feel like their work matters and makes an impact. They also want assignments that are challenging and rewarding. So make sure you’re regularly meeting with them on an individual basis so you can identify what motivates them and ways to best challenge them at work, helping them reach their potential in the process.

Looking for professional help hiring and retaining employees?

Look no further Provisional. As one of the top staffing agencies in the Northwest, we know what it takes to recruit and retain the high-quality people you need. Get started now with a call to our team.

5 Benefits of Working with a Recruiter

August 27th, 2019

Is your job search taking longer than expected? Are you tired of getting rejected or hearing nothing at all from hiring managers? It might be time to bring in the professionals in the form of a recruiter from one of Spokane, Washington’s employment agencies. When you do, you can take advantage of a few key benefits:

#1: Help with resume writing, interview preparation and more.

When you work with a recruiter, they’ll be able to learn about your skills, background and strengths, all so they can help you improve your resume. They’ll also work with you to better prepare for interviews, so you’re more confident walking into a hiring manager’s office. 

#2: Access to hidden jobs. 

Many times, employers work with recruiters to fill job openings that aren’t advertised to the public. When you also partner with a recruiter, you’ll be able to gain access to these opportunities, giving you a leg up over the competition.

#3: Learn more about potential employers.

When recruiters are hired to fill job openings for a particular company on a regular basis, they’ll have a better sense of the culture, leadership, mission and vision. They’ll be able to impart this knowledge to you, so you have more insight into the employer and what it would be like to work there. 

#4: Find a new job faster.

The job hunt takes a lot of time and energy. In fact, sometimes it can feel like a full-time position. However, when you work with a recruiter, it will not only be an easier process, but a faster one too. It’s their job to know which employers are hiring and how to match you with the right opportunities. 

#5: Get connected with the right-fit position.

Just because you have the skills to perform a certain job doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. But when you work with a recruiter, you can rest easy that you’ll be connected to opportunities that best align with your background and abilities, as well as a culture you’ll blend well with. 

Ready to work with professional recruiters to find your next job?

Call Provisional. As one of Spokane Washington’s top employment agencies, we can connect you with great jobs at leading employers. Search our jobs now.

Ways to Attract Top Candidates to Your Team

August 20th, 2019

Gone are the days when you published a job ad, screened a bunch of resumes and made calls for interviews. Instead, in today’s market, with low unemployment, you need to entice candidates to work for you. This is especially true if you’re filling roles in high-demand fields, like technology. 

So how do you go about doing that? By building a strong employer brand. When you have a reputation in the local market as a top employer, the best candidates will be far more likely to apply to positions at your company. Not only that, but you’ll:

  • Find good fit candidates faster, leading to lower hiring costs.
  • Retain your best team members easier since they’ll experience more job satisfaction.
  • Happy employees will also be more likely to refer those in their network to a job with you.
  • Experience increased offer-to-acceptance ratios.

In order to achieve these outcomes, though, you have to identify what makes your company a special place to work. You can do that by talking with your existing employees first. When you find out their opinions on what attracted them to work for your company, as well as what they like best about it, you’ll know how to position your organization in job postings and throughout the interview process. 

To best solicit feedback, you can simply create a questionnaire that asks about:

  • Their experience during the hiring process, including what they liked and areas that could use improvement. 
  • Why they chose your company over other opportunities and what made it different or stood out to them.
  • What they like most about being a part of the team and areas they would change.
  • What the company’s mission and vision are. 
  • What makes the company a unique place to work.

Once you understand how employees view your company, both as candidates and as existing staff, you’ll have more insight into fashioning your employer brand.  You can then promote it throughout your website, marketing materials, social media and during the hiring process.

Need more help with your recruiting efforts?

Turn to the team at Provisional. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s leading staffing services firms, we can connect you with top candidates for your job openings. You’ll be able to fill positions faster, with less stress.

The Best Step to Take to Get Your Resume Noticed

August 13th, 2019

Despite low unemployment, there are many candidates out there looking for the same kinds of jobs in the Spokane area as you. How are you going to stand out among them, so you get a call for an interview? The best way to do that is by customizing your resume.

When you do, that simply means you’re not sending in the exact same resume for every position you’re applying to. Instead, you’re editing it for each opportunity, so it best speaks to that particular hiring manager. Not only will this make you look like a better prepared candidate, but a better fit one to. 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some steps to take to tailor your resume:

Focus on your summary of qualifications.

In today’s world, you should be including a summary of qualifications at the top of your resume instead of an objective. This is simply a bullet list of your biggest strengths and best accomplishments. However, what you choose to include, as well as the order you list them in, should certainly change depending on the employer. 

Connect your tasks to specific outcomes.

Hiring managers don’t simply want to know what you were responsible for. They also want to understand the outcomes you achieved. So wherever possible, illustrate your background through specific examples and stories, quantifying them wherever possible. Also make sure you’re focusing on the accomplishments that make the most sense for the employer. 

Highlight the most relevant strengths and abilities. 

Each position comes with a unique set of requirements. Make sure that the skills and abilities you focus on in your resume are aligned with each opportunity. For instance, for one position, collaboration might be key, while for another, knowing a certain software program is critical. It’s up to you to read through the posting to identify the company’s specific hiring needs and then discuss how you can meet them thanks to your unique background. 

Include keywords.

While you’re editing your resume, make sure you’re also including keywords from the job posting. When you do, it will have a better chance of making it through the applicant tracking system, so you get a call for an interview.

Searching for a new job can be tricky. If you’d like help with the process, turn to Provisional. As one of the leading employment agencies in Spokane, we can help with every aspect of it, from tips and advice on your resume to access to hidden jobs with leading local employers. Contact us today to get started