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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

Tips for Keeping Your Late Night Workers Healthy

August 6th, 2019

When it comes to your late-night workers, you need to ensure they’re able to fulfill orders and get them out the door. But if they’re tired and lacking motivation, this is tricky to do. The good news is that by encouraging them to practice better habits, you can help them to boost their overall health and their quality of life, as well. Here’s a look at a few tips to get started:

Keep healthy snacks on hand.

Treat your employees by stocking the lunchroom with healthy snacks, including water, juice, fruits, nuts and vegetables. This will not only keep their energy up, but also help them to remain more productive.

Give workers more flexible breaks.

While it might sound counter-productive, encouraging your workers to take plenty of breaks throughout the night is important to their overall ability to get their work done. After a break, they’ll return to work refresh and recharged, ready to tackle more without getting tired and burned out.

Implement a wellness program.

In order to maximize employee wellness, institute a program that helps workers deal with the night shift and the potential adverse conditions that come along with it. Also, educate them on how to overcome them, such as by eating nutritiously, getting plenty of rest before their shift, drinking water during it, and exercising on their time off. Schedule regular sessions that periodically remind your team of these important to-do’s.

Put safety measures into practice.

Especially during the night shift, it’s important to keep safety in mind and create conditions that keep people alert. For instance, make sure the area where your staff is working is well-lit and free from clutter. You should also keep the room temperature in mind. Keeping the room too warm, for example, can lead to sleepiness.

Keep workers in the loop.

Since they’re not in the office or building during standard business hours, night-time workers might not stay in the know about important company happenings. But for them to be as motivated and productive as possible, it’s important to keep them connected and in regular contact with other team members. One way to do that is by scheduling company leaders to come in regularly to discuss the business and hear about challenges or areas of concern the employees are having.

Night work can often be tricky for both businesses and workers. However, when you follow the tips above, you’ll go a long way in keeping your team healthier and on track.

Need help adding to your team?

As one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies, Provisional has access to highly skilled and hard-working people to fill a variety of roles. Simply contact our team today to learn more or get started.

4 Questions to Ask Before You Hire

July 2nd, 2019

Don’t simply ask questions during the interview process. Instead, it’s important to also ask yourself a few key questions before you even begin the hiring process to ensure it’s as streamlined as possible and you get the right-fit candidate, the first time. To help you, here are four questions to ask:

What will the role entail?

You might have a general sense of the job duties. But what are the specifics? You need to dig a little deeper and define the role for several reasons. First, this helps to inform the job description and job posting you write. In addition, it also helps you to better communicate and promote the role to candidates. Finally, this can serve as a checklist of sorts as you’re evaluating candidates to help you find the best-fit ones. 

What qualities and skills will make a candidate most successful in this role?

This includes both hard and soft skills, as well as personality attributes. For instance, if you’re looking to hire someone who will interact with customers often, then you want someone with more of an extroverted personality. Or, if you need to hire a candidate to crunch numbers and maintain the budget, then you’ll need someone with exceptional math and accounting skills. Your goal here is to define all that’s needed to be successful on the job.

How will I screen candidates?

Now that you know what you’re looking for in a candidate, how will you screen each one who comes your way? You have to ask the right questions, ask good follow-up questions, perform background and reference checks, and also create a skills testing process, whether it’s through an online test or by providing candidates with a simple project to complete. All this combined will give you more insight into each candidate’s abilities, enthusiasm and motivation.

How will I promote the job?

Part of finding the right-fit person for the job involves communicating to them about it in a clear way. You want to play up the perks, benefits and opportunities, while also being honest about the challenges. This will help to ensure every candidate has the information they need to make the best decision about the role. 

Want more help with the hiring process?

Contact Provisional, one of Coeur d’Alene’s top staffing firms. Whether you need to add to your team for the long-term or you require short-term, temporary assistance, we can give you access to the people you need, where and when you need them. Simply contact our team today to learn more.

First Impressions Count in Your Job Postings

June 18th, 2019

When it comes to hiring, it’s not all about your needs. You have to position the opportunity in a way that’s appealing to a candidate, as well. And the first place to do that in is in the job posting. To help ensure yours makes the best impression possible, here are some tips from Provisional, one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, to put into practice:

Grab their attention.

Candidates are busy and after a while, job postings all start to sound the same. It’s up to you to grab their attention and pique their interest so they continue reading.

Strike the right balance.

Don’t only focus on your needs as the employer. Make sure you’re also talking about why a candidate would want to work for you.

Be transparent about the opportunity.

Don’t paint the position in a rosy light if you know it’s not the truth. Instead, make sure you’re honest about the job, what it entails, and the skills and qualifications you need. This will help you to attract the best-fit people.

Discuss day-to-day.

Candidates want to know what life would be like on the job. That’s why it’s important to go beyond the tasks and duties and discuss what a typical day is like. This will give candidates more insight into the position, your company, and whether it’s all a good fit for you.

Talk about culture.

Beyond discussing the actual role, talk about your company as a whole. Give candidates a sense of what the culture is like, so they can assess whether it’s the right match for their personality and interpersonal skills.

Keep it short.

Don’t include dense paragraphs and create a long-winded job posting. Instead, it’s important to keep it concise. Remember, you don’t have to delve into every detail of the job or your company. You’re simply trying to give candidates a high level overview.

Following the tips above will not only help you to attract high quality candidates, but also those who are a better fit for you. If, however, you don’t have the time to get postings right, turn to the experts at Provisional. A one of Spokane’s top employment agencies, we can help you with the entire hiring process from start to finish, making it easier and more affordable for you. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Improve Your Relationship With a Difficult Employee

June 4th, 2019

Dealing with a difficult employee is…well…difficult, to say the least. You already have a lot on your plate and simply need your people to do their jobs. But if there is one person in particular who’s making life hard for everyone, then you need to face the situation head on. Otherwise, it could escalate and spread, with the problem becoming worse and affecting morale on your whole staff.

So how do you deal with a tough employee and improve your relationship with them? Here are a few tips from Provisional, one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, to help you:

Have a private conversation.

Your first step should be to set up a formal meeting with the employee. However, it should be a conversation where you’re both talking and listening. Walking into it, don’t hold onto assumptions or negative perceptions. Instead, aim to keep an open mind so that you truly hear what your employee has to say. The goal is to have a relaxed and productive conversation about how to make things better.

Offer examples.

When confronted with this type of conversation, it won’t be surprising if your employee gets defensive. That’s why it’s important to have specific examples to back up your claims. When presenting them, don’t get angry or emotional in any way. Instead, explain the situation in a factual and logical way, giving examples of the problem behavior and talking about how it’s impacting the whole team.

Talk solutions.

This will depend on the outcome of the initial conversation. For instance, perhaps the employee is having problems at home that are causing them to be difficult at work. Or, they might not even realize how their behavior is being perceived and impacting the team. Whatever the case, work together toward a solution, such as providing assistance or any support needed to help them get on track.

Discuss the future.

In your conversation, also talk about your expectations for your employee and what you would like to see going forward. It’s important for you to be clear, so they understand what you need them to do to improve their performance. Discuss measurable goals and timelines, so you can check on progress.

Follow up.

Check in with your employee on a regular basis to monitor them and ensure they’re staying on track. If the behavior continues, then disciplinary action may be in order.

Want to add easy-to-manage people to your team?

Provisional has the people you need, whether on a temporary, temp-to-hire, or full-time basis. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we know where to look to source the best candidates – who are hard-working and positive – for a wide variety of positions and fields. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.

4 Simple Steps to a Better Interview Process

May 21st, 2019

When it comes to interviewing candidates, you have your own process or techniques that work for you. But what if they’re not working so well lately? In other words, you’re not finding and hiring the high caliber people you need? Then it’s time to rethink your approach. To help you do that, here are 4 steps to keep in mind:

Step 1. Don’t expect perfection.

You have certain requirements for the job. But if a candidate seems like a good fit for most of them, don’t write them off because they don’t meet every single one. Remember, skills can be taught, so if a particular individual is strong overall, they’re worth considering.

Step 2. Evaluate how you interview.

Hiring mistakes can often be the result of weaknesses in the interviewing process. These can include conducting interviews too quickly or not being aware of common red flags. It can also include focusing entirely on technical skills and not assessing a candidate’s personality and soft skills. So step back and take a realistic look at your interview process so you can identify areas that could use improvement.

Step 3. Communicate openly and often with candidates.

If you tell a candidate you’ll get back to them with a decision in a week and they don’t hear from you, it sends a negative message about your company. This can impact the quality of the applicants you’re attracting. Instead, communicate openly and honestly. Get back to each candidate when you say you will. If they don’t get the job, let them know as soon as possible. If the process is taking longer than anticipated, keep them in the loop.

Step 4. Promote your opportunity.

The interview isn’t simply a chance for you to assess candidates. It’s also an opportunity for candidates to assess the job and your company. You therefore have to make an effort to win them over by explaining what makes your organization unique, why they should want to work there, and any perks or benefits that set you apart.

Even if you’ve had good results from your interviewing process, it’s always a good idea to evaluate it on a regular basis and look for ways to improve it. When you do, you’ll create a more positive experience for candidates, leading to higher quality new hires in the long run.

If you’d like expert help with your hiring process, turn to the team at Provisional.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we provide customized staffing solutions to our clients all over the Northwest and can help you with every aspect of the screening, interviewing and hiring process. Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.