Try Before You Buy: A Smart Way to Hire!

by Sara Bennett | September 7, 2023

0 Author-Jeanne, Hiring.Best Practices, Lead Gen Content - Candidate Selection, Temp-to-Hire Staffing get connected

New to the temp to hire audition as a hiring model? Here's a step by step way to introduce this model to your team. … Read More »

Fit Finding Made Easy – Candidate Screening

by Sara Bennett | May 26, 2023

0 Author-Jeanne, Lead Gen Content - "Fit" get connected

What You Need to Know About a Candidate to Decide If They are the Right Fit!

The goal of FIT FINDING is to find and hire an employee who not only does the job well, but enjoys doing it.  FIT FINDING is a way to enhance the productivity of your team, retain team members and improve morale all by more carefully selecting who you hire based on their "fit" for the job and your work environment. The process of FIT FINDING is all about matching up those elements of a job that impact an employee’s performance and their retention with the intrinsic qualities of a candidate that makes them able and willing to do the job well. This blog is about the candidate side of fit finding – what you need to know about a candidate to determine if they are the “right fit” for the job you are hiring for.  It assumes you’ve already taken the time to understand the job, its content, and all those things about the work environment that make a difference to the employee’s performance.

Here's FIVE factors you need to explore when screening and evaluating candidates for "fit"...

#1  The Candidate’s CAN DOS - the SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE they bring to the table.  

  • Do they have the specific skills and knowledge to do the work?
  • Does their work history show that they have done the same or similar work? In what ways will what they have already done transfer to what they will be doing?
  • What on the job training are they going to need? How will you provide it?
  • Do they have enough experience doing the same or similar work to know when they need to ask questions? Or reach out for help?  IOW, are they smart enough to know what they don’t know?
How will you know?
There’s nothing like a comprehensive skills assessment program to see for yourself if the employee has the skills and knowledge they claim to have.  If you haven’t invested in skills testing software, reach out to PACE.  We have a comprehensive library of skills assessment exercises that we can make available at an affordable cost.

#2  The Candidate’s WANNA DOS – those  intrinsic talents and motivators that will make them successful "at this job"

  • Will the kind of work the employee will be doing each day something they will enjoy and be good at? IOW, is the work content the “right fit” for the candidate’s intrinsic strengths?  OR are there several components of the job that will require the employee to change their “stripes”?
  • Is the job going to be challenging enough to keep the employee engaged? For how long?   
How will you know?
This is where your behavioral interview comes into play, focusing your questions on….
  • Things the candidate liked or didn’t like about previous jobs, what they have been good at or not so good at in previous jobs?  Why?
  • Their personal hobbies or activities they do outside of work, and WHY they enjoy them?
(HINT:  people tend to enjoy doing things that are easy for them to do to the point where they want to do them well.  If they’ve struggled with a certain type of work in the past, chances are it turned into work they didn’t like doing.)

#3 The Candidate’s Extrinsic MOTIVATORS (or DeMotivators) - things that will turn them on or off about where they work.        

  • What are the factors likely to motivate the candidate to do the job at high levels and enjoy doing it?
  • Is your recruiting story about why a candidate would like this job relevant to what the candidate needs to achieve thru their work - or do they tend to be motivated by things you or your job doesn’t have to offer?
  • Is the candidate likely to be motivated by the actual work content? The pay and benefit plan?  An opportunity to be promoted?  Learn more?
  • What is their level of interest in what the company does? Is anything about what you do that would be a turnoff to the candidate once hired?
How will you know?
Your interview needs to include an analysis of the candidate’s work history from a motivational perspective.  Ask questions about each job in a candidate’s work history –
  • Why did they take each job? Why did they leave?
  • Why have they liked or disliked about each job ?
  • How long have they stayed at each job – that they liked? Didn’t like?
  • Is there a pattern of personal or job satisfaction issues that just seem to crop up and prompt a job change?
  • What is the candidate’s perception of the current job – how, from their point of view, it compares with jobs they have had in the past?
NOTE: Focus on the historical facts rather than asking what the employee wants to get out of their job now.  Hiring for fit is based on the facts.

#4  The LOGISTICS -  More Can and Wanna Dos

  • Are the physical logistics of the job (things you can’t easily change about the work or the work environment) doable/acceptable by the candidate?
  • Do they have the transportation to get to and from work as needed?
  • Are they able to get to work during regular work hours?
  • Are you able to allow them to work from home periodically if that is what they are requesting?
  • Is the actual work setting (ex. that lone desk in the back office) going to become an issue?
How will you know?
Questions about the candidate’s logistics are typically part of candidate screening so that interviewers don’t waste time interviewing candidates that are not the right fit in terms of the basic logistics – where the job is performed?  Workplace rules and boundaries? .
Most logistics relevant questions have simple yes no answers  (ex.  are you able to work in our Renton office 3 days a week?) but don’t be afraid to ask for reasons behind the yes’s nos or probe more deeply.  (ex.  You indicated that you didn’t like working from home in your last job?  How will you deal with the 2 days you will work from home in this job?)
A tour of your physical facility and an opportunity to observe teammates in action, is always the “best way” to uncover pre- hire issues with a work environment.

#5 The Candidate’s Typical or Preferred WORK STYLE ..…. 

…is all about uncovering a candidate’s preferred way and the work style of the environment where they will find themselves post hire.
  • Do they prefer work environments that require a lot of meetings and 1/1 collaborations, or do they prefer working alone, without a lot of interaction with others?
  • Do they prefer to work for a hands on supervisor, or someone who guides from a distance – not always there to answer questions?
  • Are they good dealing with work or environmental changes or do they prefer work that is more stable, less likely to change?
  • Do they enjoy interacting with teammates socially or do they tend to leave work and relationships behind when off the clock?
  • More?
How will you know?
Again, you have to ask for concrete examples, using behavioral terms to probe into the  employee’s past work history as your benchmark.
Example 1.  You mentioned that you left your job at ABC because the work environment wasn’t a good match for you.  Can you be more specific about what about that work environment didn’t measure up?  How did you handle the things that were issues for you when they first came up?  How did that work for you?  What would you differently if that issue came up again?.     
Example 2.  You indicated that you liked working at ABC because they didn’t micromanagement your work.  Can you give me an example where you believe you have been micromanaged while at work?   How did you address that issue?    
Including an opportunity for the candidate to observe the work and work environment and/or  speak with future teammates is a common step in a multi step hiring process.  It is a step that not only minimizes hiring errors, but starts the process to orient a new team member to the team.

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 45 years. A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction. PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditionsdirect hire professional recruiting servicesEmployer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of hiring help and candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.

If you’re a hiring manager who is looking to improve their hiring results, contact us at 425-637-3312.  You can also fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!

[gravityform id="56" title="false" description="false" ajax="false"]

Its May30th – Love Your Recruiter Day!

by Sara Bennett | May 26, 2023

0 Author-Jeanne, HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, Lead Gen Content - "Fit" get connected, main whats happening, Whats Happening

Don’t ask who decided but we’re being told that Tuesday May 30th has been designated National Recruiter Day.  What a great way to shine a light on these important contributors to business success, folks who so often don’t get the applause they deserve.  And yes, talent shortages have put them on the hot seat for quite a while now, so its about time we said “we see you!” and value “what you do! “ … Read More »

What Makes PACE Such a Great Partner!

by Sara Bennett | February 20, 2023

0 About Staffing Agencies, Agency Pricing Practices, Author-Jeanne, Best Practices /Flexible Staffing, FEATURED BLOGS, Lead Gen Automation Campaign - Q1 2023.24, Lead Gen Content - Selecting/Managing A Staffing Partner, PACE News!, STAFFING AGENCIES - SELECTION & MANAGEMENT get connected

We don’t like to brag, but one of the things we think is really special about PACE Staffing Network, is our track record of success when it comes to retaining clients.  In an industry where client relationships are historically fickle with client turnover across the board exceeding 50% a year, the fact that so many PACE clients have been with us 20 years or longer is something we think is worth talking about.

How do we do it?

I think it starts with how we view ourselves – as partners not vendors – avoiding all those mistakes we see our competitors making that can’t help but believe causes their clients to look elsewhere for more or better.

Here are 6 things we do (that most of our competitors don't) that we know makes us a great partner....

  1. We work in teams which creates the consistency in service and outcomes our clients can rely on!  At PACE how you experience our services is not dependent on you being assigned to work with one of our staffing superstars!   When someone on one of our client teams is absent or, god forbid, gets hit by a truck, there is always another member of the team who can slip into their spot, assuring our clients that their service from PACE doesn't miss a beat.   PACE clients never get one of those “Hi – Im your new Account Manager and would like to get to know you” e mails – first of all because we have very low levels of internal staff turnover, but more importantly our clients already know their team, people already familiar with who they are and what they do.  Our team approach purposefully creates a better and more consistent service for PACE clients!
  1. Our mindset is not on selling our clients anything, but helping them solve their staffing problems.  And there is a big difference.  Our interactions with clients are all about uncovering what's unique about them - their pain points, finding the solution that fits them, not us.   If that solution happens to be one of the services we offer, we’re all in.  But even if it isn't, we don't stop until we know there's a solution in place.  That's why we built the network in PACE Staffing Network, which refers to the partnerships we’ve formed with other staffing agencies and companies, who, in aggregate can offer our client’s specialized solutions in all facets of their business that PACE doesn’t personally provide.   We’re serious about providing solutions even if those solutions aren't something we can personally deliver! 
  1. We’re really good with feedback.  While a lot of vendors ask for feedback, very few actually make changes based on that feedback.    It’s a big deal for us to get a suggestion from a client and turn that suggestion into a change in process that works better not just for the client who made the suggestion, but other clients as well.  Many of our best partnerships started with a problem that our vendor level competitors wouldn’t or couldn’t solve because they couldn't move out of their "cookie cutter" mindset.  It was not by mistake that we made it one of our key differentiators to be “world class” at customization.
  1. We are always transparent – particularly when it comes to pricing. Our pricing models are rationalized based on one thing – the costs we incur to deliver something our client’s value compared to the costs of alternative solutions.  And for us transparency is all about at least once a year laying out all the costs we incur to deliver our services and asking our client’s if we are delivering the value we promised or they expected.   One of our most popular blogs was created to help potential clients understand all the elements that get factored into a temporary staffing bill rate.  We followed that up with a blog to help employers negotiate more effectively with their  staffing vendor.
  1. We do our homework. When we help a client find that “just right” employee for either a temporary, direct hire, or temp to hire staffing model, our conversations with clients are anything but one and done.  We go in depth into any facet of your work environment or needs that we know from experience that will impact the success of the person you hire!  While many vendors in the staffing industry sound like “do you want fries with that burger”, when you ask us to find your an employee our order taking process is more like a discovery, a peeling back of the onion so to speak, to reveal what matters really.  Yes, it takes longer, but that’s an investment in a partnership we know has big payoffs both short and long term.
  1. We keep a diary. Yep, we’re like the FBI when it comes to taking careful notes and turning those notes into something actionable…either now or in the future. Every conversation we have with a customer or candidate gets captured; every nuance about how a recruiting project is being organized gets documented.   When we say “we keep an up to date profile” of each client, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
  The difference between a vendor and a partner couldn’t be more obvious than how you experience the different ways staffing or recruiting vendors work with their clients.   PACE clients have come to “experience the difference” in the way we do partnerships so different from what others do.  Experience the difference has been our motto from the first day of our founding and has served us well.      For more information about what PACE does, how we set ourselves apart from our competitors, and our focus on the unique needs of small to medium sized Northwest business, we’d love to have a personal chat. You can reach us by using the contact form below, emailing us at partnerservices@pacestaffing.com  or calling us at 425-637-3312.[gravityform id="56" title="false" description="false" ajax="false"]

Wondering if you have a QUIET QUITTER on your team?*

by Sara Bennett | October 27, 2022

0 Author-Jeanne, FEATURED BLOGS, HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, Lead Gen Automation Campaign - Q4 2022.23 Disengaged Employees, get connected, Hiring/Firing, Is it Time to Fire a Quiet Quitter?, main whats happening, quiet firing, quiet quitting

Do you find yourself wondering if you have some "quiet quitters" on your team?   Has the team's morale suddenly taken a turn for the worse?  Are you no longer confident that the team has the same enthusiasm for its mission that it once had? … Read More »

Firing – A Tough Decision? An Easy Process?*

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 28, 2022

0 Author-Jeanne, Lead Gen Automation Campaign - Q4 2022.23, MANAGEMENT. SUPERVISION, Management.Supervision get connected

Hiring and firing are not just the opposite ends of the staffing spectrum, but together represent the two most important staffing decisions managers make when building their teams. … Read More »

Finding the GREAT in the Great Resignation!*

by Sara Bennett | June 6, 2022

0 FEATURED BLOGS, Lead Gen Automation Campaign - Q4 2022.23


Whatever you call it - the The “Great Resignation”, the “Big Reset" - it doesn't appear to be going away soon!

As we turned the corner on 2022, employees were still leaving their  jobs at record setting levels.  This left us close to a million jobs short of where we were pre pandemic with workforce participation rates not close to fully recovered.  Current data shows that over 11.5 million jobs go unfilled each month - more than 2 jobs for each job candidate. Make no mistake - with candidate shortages a challenge for most sectors of the workforce, turnover, losing the employees you have, is a serious issue.  This is particularly true in the Northwest where the dominance of the "bigs" in our marketplace has always meant that the availability of candidates to be hired by small to medium sized employers has been dicey. But keep in mind that up until the end of 2022, the Northwest "bigs" (Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft etc.) were hiring.  Now they're laying off, even while the record setting quitting has only slightly moderated.
We're wondering how all these very publically announced layoffs and the underlying dynamics of the "Great Resignation" might actually be a good thing for small to medium sized employers? 
In this blog we’ll share what we think has led to the Great Resignation PLUS offer up some ideas for small to medium sized companies who can take advantage of a marketplace where quittings, lay offs and hiring are out of sync.   We've got some ideas about how to make the best of this very strange marketplace....

...but first, let’s look at a few of the dynamics in our current marketplace - reasons why employees are still quitting; reasons why recruiting is still such a challenge!

#1. "I QUIT because I can"

At the end of the day, with all the data sliced and diced, in all "candidate driven” environments,  employees tend to quit because they can- and they can easily!   If something goes wrong on Friday, a disgruntled employee can post their resume on Saturday, and have a new job within the week.  It may not be the “right job” but in a job market that still has some kick to it, the perception that employment gaps can be long standing has still not been dispelled.

#2.  The era of "I think I'll Take a Break from working" can't go on forever!  

In late spring 2022, we started to see a trickle of employees coming back into the market who had not worked since leaving their jobs during the pandemic.  Employees who used the pandemic as a reason to take a break or to dabble in entrepreneurship started to return to the marketplace in early to late March of last year....but not at the levels we would normally expect after an economic recession.  Downticks in workforce participation during economic downturns has been a predictable trend for the last several recessions,  but this time around the "returners to work" didn't come back as anticipated.  They may have been fearful of coming back into a physical work setting, they might have gotten comfortable with a simpler lifestyle.  Whatever the reason, this emloyment cycle was different.

#3.  There's No Longer Any Shame in Quitting

It’s been true for some time, even before the business shutdowns, that career enhancing “job hopping” is no longer frowned upon - not even a lot of it.  Today’s employees don't get into “forever jobs” and are clearly not afraid to tackle the unknown – particularly if the unknown is packaged up to look better than what is which is what a lot of recruiting has turned into. Resumes showing good job tenure were once a prerequisite for hire.  No longer.

#4.  Changing Jobs is Easy Peasy!

An important factor that we believe indirectly impacts the high rates of quitting is the impact of digitally based hiring processes on employee job satisfaction.   Recruiters working for large employers who had high volume hiring quotas had to be so focused on finding candidates with the right key words on their resumes that the importance of "fit" to job satisfaction and employee retention has slipped thru the cracks.
  • Jobs were not accurately profiled creating mismatches between what employees want to achieve thru their work and what a specific job or employer has to offer.
  • Employees were not thoroughly vetted to make sure that all the critical dimensions of "fit" were  part of the hiring decision.
  • Once reality set in and more choices surfaced, the formula for "turnover" and the decision to "quit" kicked in.
We think job/employee mismatches is always a serious issue with how the bigs hire, and was exacerbated by the post pandemic hiring frenzy.  

#5.  Life changed! 

 ....and since the shut down in 2020, many employees have not just changed when and how they work but where they live and decisions they've made about how they do life.   Mothers with small children were one of the first to leave the job market and they haven't returned and many predict they won't won't until their children can care for themselves OR employers adapt new ways to allow women to make sure their children are cared for without costing three quarters of their income.   Employees are still leaving jobs to care for aging parents.  Husbands and wives are still leaving jobs to follow their spouses to new locations, new states, new ways to do life.          

#6.  What's in it for me?  

What we experience is that many of today's employees (not all) are choosing to leave even high paying jobs if they don’t sync up with “who they are”, “what the like to do” and “what’s important” to them about their work.  Here's what we hear....
  • My supervisor’s management style didn’t work for me.
  • The company’s culture is too cliquish. I felt left out.
  • I thought this job would give me a challenge, but I just didn’t enjoy the work.
  • The company is demanding more from me than I want to give. I am not willing to sacrifice my personal life just to get ahead.
  • I can’t see how my work is making a difference.
  • I just don’t see the opportunity to “grow” that I am looking for.
These are the issues we think create opportunity for small to medium sized Northwest employers can take advantage of the Great Resignation to do things their larger competitors can’t (or won’t)!

Here’s EIGHT ways Northwest companies can turn the "turnover culture" into a competitive advantage….

#1 Use the availability of candidates in the current marketplace as an opportunity to add new talent to your teams.   

Yes, it may take a while, but don’t be afraid to troll the current candidate marketplace just in case there is someone who left their job with a fortune 500 company either because of a lay off or purposesfully to look for the kind of “make a difference” opportunity your small to medium sized company has to offer! Don’t have time to troll?  Ask us to do it for you – searching the marketplace for great talent is what we do daily!    

#2.  Create hiring criteria based on RETENTION not just here and now performance!    

Three things come to mind.  1) Make sure you start every recruiting process with a clear view of what the job entails – its core tasks, demands, opportunities plus its everyday work environment; 2) carefully screen candidates for their talent and long term “fit” not short term performance;   3) Get clear about what makes you different as an employer - what you can offer a prospective employer - and find candidates who want to buy what you have to sell. One of the core services PACE brings to our service table is comprehensive job and candidate profiling- an essential ingredient of sucessful hiring focused on long term retention.  We help you do that well.
  • Job auditions, where a candidate gets a chance to try out a job and the work environment for 1-2 months before making the final commitment.
  • Working interviews, where a candidate (typically a finalist) finalist is invited in to sit with the team for 2-4 hours before a job offer is made.
  • Realistic recruiting campaigns that help companies lean into what they do best and attract candidates that "fit" what they really have to offer and avoid disappointments.
#3 Take a realistic look at your pay and benefit plans. It goes without saying, that pay rates are going up not down.   We tell our clients that their pay plan doesn’t have to come in at the "top of te market" but it has to be at least comparable to competitive offers.  Increasing the upper end of your pay range and communicating that range in your job postings is likely to give you access to a broader range of candidates.  This doesn’t mean your offer has to reflect the top of your pay range, but as a smaller employer you have the flexibility to avoid the rigid pay structures that are turn offs for employees looking to get ahead. And if your benefit offerings aren’t quite up to par with your larger employers you might want to consider increasing your pay rates to accommodate that short coming.

#4.  Make sure you management team communicates clearly and regularly the link between your current employee’s good work and their contribution to the team.  Make "good work" mean something to your team.

One of the things that keeps employees engaged in their work is their belief that what they do matters…. that they make a difference.   As a leader, communicating the link between what employees do on a daily basis or as the result of extra effort, is one of things that makes a big difference in their retention.  It keeps them motivated to contribute to their current team, rather than looking around for a new team where they believe they will be more appreciated or valued.

#5 Take advantage of your small company FLEXIBILITY wherever and however you can. 

Expanding pay scales, adjusting job content, elevating job titles, offering work from home privileges, even the flexible ways you can configure staff - are all ways small to medium sized companies can set themselves apart from their larger or "less flexible" counterpart.   You would be amazed at how much impact you can have on an employee once they realize that you are willing to make changes, do things differently just to create a more positive, employee centric work environment.

#6 Stay connected with each and every employee on your team…. both professionally and personally.

Employers who rely on exit interviews to tell them about their turnover aren't going to do well in 2023.   We believe it’s much easier (and smarter) to have ongoing conversations with current employees designed to stay current re: how they’re feeling about their role, the team and your company - keeping you prepared for what lies ahead.  “Stay interviews”, the term used in larger organizations to describe how this is done on a formal process, can be done more frequently and in less formal ways in smaller companies.

#7 When turnover strikes, find ways to create new opportunities for others on the team – new reasons for them to stay.

   Your larger competitors are not as able as you are to move quickly to reconfigure work.  Take advantage of that opportunity to give your remaining team members new life, new challenges!

#8 If a “team member leaves" introduce a new and more invigorating vision for your team. 

We know your first step is to come up with your plan to replace a leaving team member, but it can also be a time for you to share your vison of how the team will be “even better” once the transition is completed.  Yes, you need to stay tactical for the moment – reassigning work quickly and clearly – but also take this time to re invigorate your team around its vision for the future.

Have you been impacted by a valued employee's leaving or higher-than-usual turnover? 

We’d love to help. If you are an employer who needs to replace a valued employee or looking for the right solution to fix a short term turnover issue, give our Partner Services team a call at 425-637-3312 or complete the form below for a direct connect.

Who Are We?

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 45 years. A 5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction. PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte. To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees,  contact our Partner Services and Solutions team at 425-637-3312, email us, or complete the form below.[gravityform id="56" title="false" description="false" ajax="false"]

It’s All About the Logistical Fit

by Sara Bennett | September 9, 2021


In this blog, we are going to focus on one of the five components of fit - Logistical Fit. … Read More »

Is Your Recruiter a Vendor or a Partner? Why it Matters!

by Sara Bennett | June 8, 2021

0 About Staffing Agencies, Author-Jeanne, HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, Lead Gen Automation Campaign - Q1 2023.24, STAFFING AGENCIES - SELECTION & MANAGEMENT, What Makes PACE Different get connected

Just like personal relationships, business relationships, including relationships with staffing providers, come in all different sizes, shapes, and packaging.  … Read More »

The Search for the “Right Fit” in a Tight Candidate Marketplace

by Jeanne Knutzen | April 15, 2021

0 Best Practices /Flexible Staffing, FEATURED BLOGS, HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, Hiring.Best Practices, Lead Gen Content - "Fit", RECRUITING/CANDIDATE SOURCING

What a great question! Once you’ve decided that you need to hire, there is always time between when you make that decision and when you actually put a new hire in place. … Read More »

Interviewer Bias Can Derail Your Commitments to Diversity and Inclusion

by Sara Bennett | March 20, 2021


Some important “must dos” for Northwest employers renewing their commitments to diversity and inclusion! … Read More »

HIRING HELP / A Byte Sized Menu of Affordable Recruiting Support Services

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 16, 2021

0 FEATURED BLOGS, Lead Gen Content - Candidate Selection, PACE Services - A Menu of What We Do

For employers who want to purchase specific services to improve or speed up their existing hiring process, HIRING HELP offers several customized options. … Read More »

Thinking About Quitting Your Job? Read This First.

by Sara Bennett | October 12, 2020


Thinking about quitting your job or looking for a new job? Here are some important considerations to think about! … Read More »