Provisional Blog

6 Top Tips for Being a Great Interviewer

December 3rd, 2019

Hiring new employees is more than just another to-do. It’s crucial to the success of your company. And much of it hinges on the interviewing process. So whether you’re new to it or want to improve your skills, here are some tips from Spokane, WA’s recruiting team at Provisional Recruiting:

Tip #1: Know what you’re looking for.

Before the interview, go back to the job posting and review it, so it’s fresh in your mind. Also, highlight those qualifications that are absolutely essentials, while still keeping those that would be nice-to-have in the back of your mind. In addition, identify what kinds of personality traits are critical for success in the position. Once you have these details in place, it will be easier to spot who’s a good fit and who’s not.

Tip #2: Spend time preparing.

Beyond the work above, it’s also important to spend some time preparing, including structuring the flow of the interview, reviewing each candidate’s resume beforehand, and developing a list of questions. Also, jot down notes and questions that are specific to each applicant on their resume and bring it with you to their interview, so you don’t forget to cover these.

Tip #3: Ask questions that help you assess specific abilities.

While it’s important to ask some general questions, like why they want the job and why they think they’re a good fit, it’s also important to get more specific with the questions you ask. When questions are based around certain skills and qualifications you’re looking for, it will be easier to screen for them. So, for instance, if you’re looking for someone with experience with a particular software program, then ask about how long they’ve used it, what challenges they’ve experienced, and how it’s helped them in their work.

Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to dig deeper.

Some candidates will offer you a ton of details. Others are less forthcoming. It’s therefore important to get comfortable digging deeper and asking follow-up questions – such as “Can you tell me how you approached that?” or “What happened after that?” – until you get the answers you need. Perhaps you’ll come to realize that a particular candidate doesn’t have the right experience or abilities. But, as a result, you’ll be able to make a more informed hiring choice.

Tip #5: Treat each candidate respectfully.

If you want to provide a positive candidate experience and truly be able to assess each one, treat them like you’d want to be treated. That means showing up on time, giving them your full attention and turning your phone off, so it doesn’t distract you. This way, you can focus on what they’re saying – and how they’re saying it – all so you can get a better sense of whether they’re the right candidate for you.

Tip #6: Assess their skills in a real-world situation.

Once you’ve interviewed a candidate and believe they’d be a good match, create an opportunity to see them in action. This can include anything from conducting mock phone calls with them if you’re looking to hire a customer service representative, or giving them a homework assignment that enables you to assess a certain skill, such as writing. This will help you filter out those candidates who have polished resumes and interview skills, but not the abilities and experience to back them up.

Interested in help with your interviewing and hiring process?

Turn to the Spokane, WA recruiting team at Provisional Recruiting. We can handle all aspects of it, while you focus on other priorities. You’ll get great-fit candidates, faster and more affordably.

Should You Hire Someone Who’s a Family Member or Friend?

November 12th, 2019

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you’re in an especially generous frame of mind. But if you’re also in the hiring process, does that mean you should hire a family member or a friend of they’re looking for a job?

The answer: It depends.

If they’re highly skilled, qualified and the exact-right personality you need, then you should definitely put them on your short list to consider. However, if you know they’re not a match, but simply want to help them out, then hiring them can spell trouble.

Either way, the decision is up to you. But you could face some challenges, even if they are the right fit. Here’s a look at three of them, so you walk into the situation with eyes wide open:

Challenge #1: Goals and expectations.

When it comes to hiring someone you know and that you’re close with, there’s a lot more at stake than if they were a stranger. It’s why you need to be especially careful when it comes to defining goals and expectations, making sure you’re being clear and that they fully understand what you need from them.

Challenge #2: Rules and regulations.

If your company is like most, it likely has many formal processes and policies in place. You need to make sure your friend or family member follows them in the same way as everyone else. And if they get off track or step out of line, there should be specific consequences just as there would be for any other employee.

So, for instance, if they’re five minutes late every day, don’t give them a break because they’re a friend or family member. You need to have a conversation with them, so they understand what you expect and why their behavior isn’t professional or appropriate.

Challenge #3: Conflicts and performance issues.

What happens if your new employee, who also happens to be a family member or friend, doesn’t get the job done? What if there are performance issues or behavioral problems? How will you approach the situation? Before you extend an offer to someone you know, you need to consider these kinds of circumstances and whether you’d be able to hold this person accountable in a fair and effective way. If you can’t, then maybe they’re not your next great hire.

Need help finding skilled and reliable people that are an ideal fit for your company?

Turn to one of Spokane, WA’s leading staffing agencies: Provisional. We can handle all aspects of the recruiting and hiring process, so you can focus on other priorities. Contact us today to learn more.

4 Scary Phone Interview Mistakes Companies Make

October 29th, 2019

Phone interviews are a great way to get to know candidates without investing a lot of time into the process. You should walk away from one with a clearer sense as to whether a particular individual is a good fit for the job. If, however, you make some of the following common mistakes, you won’t get the most of the opportunity and instead could wind up regretting your hiring decision. Here’s a look at 4 to avoid:

Mistake #1: Lack of preparation.

Just because this is a phone interview, not an in-person one, doesn’t mean you can or should wing it. This will get you in trouble because you won’t ask the most insightful questions or be able to thoroughly assess each candidate. It’s therefore important to take some time before the screening to identify the exact traits and qualifications you’re looking for, as well as learning as much as you can about each applicant.

Mistake #2: Conducting it in a place that’s too noisy.

If your desk is in the middle of an open office environment or you work in a warehouse environment, then it’s going to be tough to concentrate on what a candidate is saying to you. You’ll have a hard time focusing and could potentially miss out on some red flags or important points. Instead, make sure you’re in a quiet place where you can offer 100% of your attention.

Mistake #3: Checking your phone or answering texts.

Get rid of any distractions during a phone interview. This means ignoring calls and texts, and fighting the urge to check Facebook while you’re on the call. Hiring a new employee is a critical decision and you want to ensure you give every candidate your complete focus.

Mistake #4: Talking too much or not enough.

Keep in mind that a phone interview is a conversation. You shouldn’t be doing all the talking; nor should you expect the candidate to keep the conversation going. Instead, it should be more balanced with both you and the candidate talking in approximately equal amounts. You should be giving the candidate a good deal of background information about the job, while also carefully listening to the interview question responses.

Another topic to be sure to cover in the phone interview is next steps. Make sure you inform the candidate about what to expect and when, so there aren’t any surprises.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring?

Turn to the team who does: Provisional. As one of Spokane, WA’s leading staffing agencies, we can handle the process – start to finish – so you get the exact right people you need.

6 Workplace Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

October 22nd, 2019

When it comes to being a top employee, it’s more than just about your performance on the job. You need to be a team player too, one that’s consistent, easy to work with and brings positivity into the workplace. How can you best do that? Start by following these 6 do’s and don’ts for workplace etiquette:

1. Do be mindful of your calls and texts.

If you’re constantly getting texts, alerts and phone calls from your child’s school, your spouse, or friends and family, it will get annoying for colleagues working nearby. So be sure to keep your phone on vibrate and also to avoid personal calls as much as possible. If you do need to take a call, step away from your desk and into a more private area. 

2. Do be careful when it comes to smells.

Whether it’s what you’re bringing in for lunch or the cologne or perfume you’re spritzing on, be aware that you work closely with others. What you find appealing, others might not. 

3. Do show interest in your co-workers.

You might be an extreme introvert. However, that doesn’t mean you should always keep to yourself. Make an effort to get to know your co-workers on a personal level. You might not have to go to every lunch or happy hour you’re invited to, but attend at least a few. Building strong relationships with your co-workers will make work more enjoyable and also help you to create a solid network. 

4. Don’t gossip or talk badly about others.

It might be tempting to have these kinds of conversations with your co-workers. But really, they’re negative and childish. Avoid gossip at all costs and don’t say unkind things about others behind their backs. If you hear a rumor, don’t pass it onto the rest of your team. Just keep quiet about it, especially since you don’t know if it’s true or not.

5. Don’t dress sloppily.

As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” While what’s appropriate varies from one company to the next, make sure whatever you are wearing is cleaned and pressed. Avoid items, like flip flops and clothes that are too tight. 

6. Don’t use foul language.

In your personal life, you might regularly swear and use profane language. However, don’t bring it into the workplace. It’s not appropriate and it makes people uncomfortable. Not only that, but it sends the wrong message to company leadership about your professionalism and maturity. 

Ready to practice these tips, but with a different employer?

Call Provisional.  As one of Spokane, WA’s leading employment agencies, we can connect you with the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

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.