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Ask a Houston Sales Recruiter: How to Best Interview Sales Candidates

July 18th, 2017

Your sales department is mission critical to your company’s success. After all, without an effective one, you’re not going to have enough cash flow to operate your business. That’s why when you’re hiring for a sales position, you need to find talented individuals who can contribute to the team – and the bottom line. How can you do that? Start with these interview tips from our experienced sales recruiters in Houston:

Ask good questions.

When it comes to interviewing sales candidates, you can’t walk into the room, wing it and expect to get the information you need. That’s because you need to dig deep to get specific details that will help you hire the right person for the role.

Not only should you ask about their sales track record and biggest accomplishments in past position, but other essentials that are important to the position. For example, if 50% of the job requires travel, then you need to discuss what that entails and ask questions that will help you get a sense of whether candidates are comfortable with that type of demand.

Role play with the candidate.

Beyond interview questions, it’s also important for you to get a sense of each candidate’s style and tactics when it comes to selling. After all, if they can’t sell while role playing, how can you expect them to be a top performer in other high-pressure situations? Role playing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as asking the candidate to sell you the tie they’re wearing or purse they’re carrying.

Assess their personality.

Skills and track record are critically important, but so too is personality. That’s why it’s important to assess each candidate’s personality while you’re interviewing them, as well as through a personality test. There are endless options online, or you can hire a testing company to conduct the assessment for you. Either way, you can ensure you’re hiring someone with the right personality for the job – and your culture.

Give them an assignment.

Once you have a short list of candidates narrowed down, give them an assignment or ask them to come back and make a sales presentation so you can assess their performance. That way, you can evaluate their skills and abilities in a real-life scenario and ensure you’re hiring the best-fit person for the job.

One hiring mistake on your sales team can cost your company big time. Why not outsource the recruiting and screening process to top sales recruiters in Houston?

At Murray Resources, our experienced sales recruiters can help you locate leading sales talent across a broad range of industries and job levels. From VP of sales to account executives, we’ve helped many of Houston’s top companies build their sales teams with A-level talent. And we can help yours too. Contact us today to learn more.

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Ask a Houston Headhunter: What Should I Consider Before Deciding to Relocate for a Job?

July 11th, 2017

As experienced Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that making the decision to relocate for a job is a big one. You don’t want to pass up a golden opportunity out of fear of change. At the same time, it’s a gamble – and what if you don’t end up liking your new position?

To help you choose, here are 7 questions to ask yourself before you make a move.

1. Have you done your homework on the new location?

Before you make a decision, it’s important you do some research not only on the new job and company, but also your potential new hometown. Where would you want to live? If you have kids, where would you send them to school? What’s the cost of living and quality of life like? It’s important to do some leg work and answer these questions so you can make an educated decision.

2. Who will pay for moving expenses?

Moving within the same town or city is expensive. But moving to a completely different state or part of the state is even more so. That’s why it’s important to find out who foots the bill for moving expenses. Are you expected to pay or will your new employer?

3. Do I have a good handle on the job and company culture?

If you’re vague in terms of the job details, or if what you’ve learned about the culture doesn’t sit quite right with you, then is it really worth uprooting your life for the job? Probably not. Also, make sure you’ve had a chance to meet your potential boss and co-workers so you can gain a clearer sense of what your work environment and work relationships will be like.

4. Is the compensation package competitive?

If you’re leaving your hometown behind, you want to make sure the salary is worth it. When you’re pondering this question, you’ll also want to take into account cost of living in the new area. For instance, if the cost of living is much higher, then you could actually wind up taking home less money after you pay your bills – even with a larger salary.

5. Does the company have a strong reputation and track record?

If you’re giving up your job and moving your family, you want to ensure it’s to work at a reputable company with plenty of growth potential. So do your due diligence and research them online. Also, talk to anyone you know who has worked at the company or currently does.

6. What does my family think?

If you’re single, then this may not be a consideration. However, if you’re married and especially if you have kids, you’re going to want to get input from your family.

7. What’s my gut instinct?

If the job offer checks all the right boxes in terms of responsibilities, company reputation, and compensation – plus your gut it telling you to accept it – then congratulations! It sounds like you have a new job. If, however, your instincts are holding you back, then it’s either not the right job for you or you need to do more research before making a decision.

Whether you live in the Houston area, or are looking to move here, we’re your local job search experts.

As experienced Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Our clients are always looking for talented individuals for a wide variety of positions that oftentimes aren’t advertised. Ready to learn more? Search our jobs now or contact us today.

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Ask a Houston Recruiter: What to Look for in Top Finance Candidates

July 4th, 2017

When it comes to hiring for finance positions, you need those with more than just an ability to crunch numbers. They also need strong ethics, as well as business and leadership skills. As leading finance recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows it can certainly be a tough bill to fill. That’s why accounting and finance positions are consistently ranked some of the toughest jobs to hire for.

So how can you enhance your chances of finding the right finance professionals for your needs? By looking for these qualities in candidates:

They love the work.

Many professionals get into the field because of its stability and compensation. However, if you want to hire real innovators, then you need those who are passionate about their work. They’re the ones who will drive bottom line results at your company; not the candidate who’s just in it for a comfortable lifestyle.

They’re learners.

As top finance recruiters in Houston, we know the field is constantly evolving with more sophisticated tools and technology, along with new regulations. It’s therefore important to find those people for your team who are naturally curious and always learning. You can assess this quality in a number of ways; for instance, asking about what industry-related books they’re reading, or about any new certifications or licenses they’ve acquired.

They have a quantifiable track record.

Don’t let candidates get away with talking about their skills and experience in a broader sense or qualitatively. Instead, dig deeper. Specifically, ask candidates to quantify their accomplishments. In other words, what results did they deliver for past employers? You’ll have a much clearer sense of whether a candidate is right for the role.

They have career goals that align with your company.

When interviewing candidates, strive to find out what motivates each one individually. Is it money? Career advancement? A more flexible schedule? If you want to find candidates whose goals align with your company, it’s important to understand what drives them.

They have strong soft skills.

So much in finance is about technical capabilities. But while you’re assessing those, don’t forget to evaluate soft skills. A candidate might have an impressive resume and background. Yet, if their personality doesn’t mesh with your culture, they’re not going to last long. Likewise, if they have poor communication skills or bad workplace etiquette, they’re going to negatively impact morale.

Don’t forget to test your top picks.

Don’t be afraid to test out your top candidates for skills and abilities. Give them a short online test, or homework assignment that can help you gain a clearer picture of what they bring to the table. At the very least, you can verify they’re capable of performing on the job.

Do you need help finding qualified finance professionals for your team?

Call Houston’s proven finance recruiters at Murray Resources. From CFOs to financial analysts, we have the knowledge and experience to source the finest candidates for both full-time and contract job openings. Contact us today to learn more.

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Top 3 Places Engineering Recruiters Find Job Candidates

June 27th, 2017

It’s certainly a good time to be an engineer. The field offers a positive job outlook with several specialty areas expected to grow substantially:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 27% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Likewise, employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 20% from 2012 to 2022, which is also much faster than the average for all occupations.

Despite this rosy future, finding the right engineering job still takes a lot of time and effort. And if you’re focusing on major job boards alone, you could wind up spinning your wheels and not finding the best-fit opportunities out there. The good news is that if you understand how engineering recruiters at companies fill their openings, you’ll have a much better chance at finding and securing the right job for you.

Referrals.

Even with today’s technological advancements, employee referrals are still the top source at many companies for job candidates. When a trusted employee can talk up your skills and experience and vouch for your character and professionalism, it’s going to go a long way with an engineering hiring manager and give them far more confidence in the prospect of hiring you.

What you can do: If you’re launching a new job search, reach out to your network of professional colleagues and let them know you’re in the market for a new job. Also, if there’s a company in particular you’re interested in working for – and you know someone who is employed there – give them a call and ask about openings.

Networking.

Another way engineering recruiters find candidates is through networking, both in person and online. Not only do many of them turn to their personal network of contacts and colleagues to find prospects, but also to online engineering communities.

What you can do: From electrical and mechanical to civil engineering and beyond, there are online forums, message boards and communities devoted to these specialty fields. Find one in your field and get active on it.

Recruiting companies.

Many engineering firms outsource their hiring function to a professional recruiting company. That’s why forging a connection with one will expose you to career opportunities that you might not learn about otherwise.

What you can do: Do some research and find engineering recruiters who can help you find the right career next step for you. For instance, at Murray Resources, we have an engineering division that is exclusively focused on recruiting for the field. For over 30 years, we’ve recruited engineering professionals, from chemical, drilling and civil engineers to geophysicists and gas schedulers, for leading companies all over Houston and the country.

If you’re interested in making a move in your engineering career – and connecting with top employers – we have the knowledge and expertise to help you. Contact us today to learn more or get started, or search our engineering jobs now.

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How to Get the Most from Your Accounting Recruiter in Houston

June 20th, 2017

Your business is built on numbers. And you need reliable, skilled and ethical accounting professionals to stay competitive. But recruiting and hiring them can be a challenge. That’s where professional accounting recruiters in Houston can help you. To get the most from the relationship, keep these tips in mind:

Educate your recruiter on your business.

You understand your business hiring needs and challenges. And it’s vital that your accounting recruiter does too. That’s why it’s important to partner with a firm that will take the time to learn about your organization. During these initial conversations, talk about the big company picture, as well as its unique culture and the skills and traits that are most essential for your accountants. The more a recruiter understands about your company, the better job they can do in finding top-fit accounting talent for your team.

Be detailed.

Working with a recruiter is a two-way street. And you’ll only get out of the relationship what you put into it. That’s why when it comes time to fill a position, you have to provide as much detail as possible. Just because a recruiter is experienced in filling accounting positions, don’t assume anything. Provide a thorough description of your job and needs, talking not only about daily tasks, but also performance goals and expectations.

Keep your recruiter in the loop.

Do you know a position is opening up in a few months? Is your department or company expanding in the near future? Even if nothing is set in stone, keep your accounting recruiter in the loop about hiring plans for your Houston company so they can set the candidate search in motion. That way, once you’re ready to start the interview process, they can have a pipeline of high quality accounting talent ready for you to consider.

Be reachable.

Things can move quickly in the world of recruiting. So if your recruiter needs a question answered or is missing a key piece of information, get back to them in a timely manner. In some cases, they can’t continue their search until they have the details they need. Don’t hold them up by keeping them waiting.

Interested in partnering with client-focused accounting recruiters in Houston?

Call in the experts at Murray Resources. We can provide your business with game-changing talent that can drive bottom line results. From CFOs to staff accountants, we have the knowledge and experience to source the finest candidates for both full-time and contract job openings. Contact us today to learn more.

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5 Simple Steps for Working with Houston Job Recruiters

June 13th, 2017

Are you spinning your wheels with your job search? Are you applying for endless openings without getting a call for an interview? Or are interviews coming in, but no offers? Then it may be time to call in professional Houston job recruiters. But if you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, how can you get the most from the relationship? By following these 5 steps:

#1: Be honest.

First and foremost, it’s important to always be honest with your recruiter. Tell them what you’re looking for in your next job, what your salary expectations are, and whether you’re willing to travel. If you lie, exaggerate, or say you’re open to traveling or accepting a certain salary – when really you’re not – then it’s only going to sabotage the relationship from the start.

#2: Keep it confidential.

Throughout the job search process, you’ll be meeting with various employers and hiring managers. Just as you would expect your recruiter to keep your job search quiet, you should likewise make confidentiality a priority. Your family may ask about certain details, but if it involves a sensitive matter, stay quiet about it.

#3: Talk about communication.

Every recruiter is different. Some might call you as opportunities arise; others will email you each week to check in. Just make sure you understand how your specific recruiter plans to communicate with you and when you should follow up with them. Throughout the process, be open and polite, but not pushy. Also be sure to respond to their messages and emails as quickly as possible.

#4: Be open to feedback.

If your recruiter tells you your resume needs polishing or that you need to sharpen your interview skills, don’t take offense. Take their advice to heart. At the end of the day, they want to connect you with a great job. However, if you have questionable interviewing skills or a weak resume, then they’re not going to give you access to the companies they represent.

#5: Take advantage of any resources offered.

Some recruiters in Houston offer training and education for their candidates in areas ranging from software to job interview etiquette. Take advantage of these opportunities. You can learn something new, connect and network with others both inside and outside your field, and also make yourself a stronger candidate in the process.

Interested in learning more about how a professional recruiter in Houston can help you?

Give Murray Resources a call. As a leading job recruiters in Houston, we can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests – whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule.

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5 Secrets to Recruiting from a Top Headhunter in Houston

June 6th, 2017

As leading headhunters in Houston, Murray Resources knows that hiring the right candidate is both a challenge and an opportunity. You’ve got to weed through dozens or even hundreds of resumes and get behind the candidate mask during the interview. Plus, there’s all the legwork: scheduling phone screens, checking references, performing background checks, and more. At the same time, hiring also presents an important opportunity to help your company innovate and grow – which is why it’s such a critical function.

So how can you recruit and hire the absolute best for your team? As experienced headhunters in Houston, Murray Resources has you covered. Start with these 5 tips:

#1: Tell a story in your job posting.

Don’t post a lengthy job description full of company jargon. Keep in mind, the job posting is a candidate’s first interaction with you. And if you want to attract top talent you need to tell a story. What makes your company great? Why should a candidate want to work for you? What’s does the role entail and what’s unique, inspiring and challenging about it? Take your time in creating a job posting that’s going to make an impact and resonate with top talent.

#2: Be thoroughly prepared for interviews.

When interviewing and hiring candidates, the fundamentals still matter. That means being prepared with meaningful questions for the interview. Don’t simply wing it and expect to get the information you need. Also, before the interview, conduct some research on the candidate. Check them out on LinkedIn, review their resume again, and take a look at their online portfolio. That way, you’ll be able to delve deeper with questions that are specific to a candidate’s skills and experience.

#3: Provide a great candidate experience.

Throughout the recruiting and hiring process, make sure you treat every candidate with respect. You don’t owe them a job. But in today’s day and age of social media, one bad candidate experience can go viral or get Tweeted around the world – tarnishing your employer reputation in the process. Remember, even if you don’t extend a job offer, a little respect goes a long way.

#4: Nurture connections.

So you didn’t hire a particular candidate. But maybe they’d be a great fit for a future opportunity at your company. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch when you’ve identified those who could be a potential asset to your team down the line. Stay connected with them and nurture the relationship for future opportunities.

#5: Always be improving.

You might have a thorough recruiting and hiring process in place. But as top Houston headhunters, we recommend you should still always be improving and tweaking. Look to other organizations as to what they do during their hiring processes. Read about best practices and industry trends in hiring and recruiting. And always be on the lookout for ideas or tips that can help you boost your hiring success – and help your company grow.

Don’t have the time or resources to handle all your hiring needs in-house?

Call in the the experienced Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing world-class recruiting services to leading companies in and around Houston. Contact us today to learn more or get started with our firm.

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5 Tips for Interviewing New Grads

May 23rd, 2017

As Houston staffing experts, Murray Resources knows that interviewing new graduates can be more challenging than veteran candidates. That’s because they’re light on experience, which can make them hard to evaluate. How can you pick out the strongest asset to add to your company roster? Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the process:

Tip #1: Use a checklist when hiring.

Before you begin the interview process, create a checklist of qualifications and traits that you’d most like to see in your new hire. Take a look at the job posting again and think through what it takes for success in that particular job. Once you have a checklist in place, it will be far easier to hone in on the candidates who make the cut and those who don’t.

Tip #2: Set the tone.

The candidates you interview will probably be more nervous than those with experience. After all, they’re most likely used to an academic setting, not a professional one. That’s why it’s important to set the right tone. You want to gain their trust so they open up. At the same time, you want to send the message that you’re a professional organization with high standards.

One good way to begin is with some ice breakers. Ask the candidate about their hobbies or why they chose a certain degree program. Try to find a common ground to keep the conversation flowing and natural. This is a good way to make them more comfortable and also gain more insight into their personalities.

Tip #3: Steer clear of industry jargon.

Remember, you’re not interviewing a candidate with 10 years of experience. So stay away from company or industry jargon they may not be familiar with. If you have to use it, then explain what it is. If you don’t, they’ll assume they should know what it is and will feel more nervous because they don’t. Keep in mind, the more comfortable you make the candidate, the more honest their answers are going to be.

Tip #4: Don’t make snap judgements.

The interviewing process is stressful for even the most experienced candidates. So expect those new to the workforce to be even more anxious. So don’t judge them too harshly over seemingly minor mistakes. Give new graduates a little more leeway than you would to those with years of experience.

Tip #5: Ask behavioral questions.

The candidate might not have work experience to relate. However, they can certainly use academic, volunteer and internship experience when answering behavioral questions. This will help ensure the candidate you ultimately do hire is a good fit for the position and the company.

Need more help with your interviewing and hiring process?

Call in the experts at Murray Resources. As Houston’s top staffing experts, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

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Getting Ready for a Temporary Assignment? Here’s How to Succeed

May 16th, 2017

Gearing up for your first temporary assignment? Just as with a full-time job, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. To help you get the most from it, here are 5 tips to follow:

Listen carefully.

As one of the leading temporary job agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that one of the challenges of working on a temporary basis is that each company you’re assigned to has a different set of rules. That’s why it’s important to listen carefully and ask for clarification. Don’t ever assume that one company operates the same way as another.

So when your boss is giving you direction, take notes and ask questions. If you’re not clear about something, don’t be afraid to ask for more details. It’s better to ensure you fully understand what’s expected from you – even if it takes longer – then to be unclear and make a mistake.

Be friendly, but steer clear of drama.

Make an effort to introduce yourself around and make as many connections as you can. Always be friendly and respectful to everyone you meet. That said, don’t get involved in office politics or gossip. If people around you are talking about others, ignore them and focus on your work instead. If there’s conflict at work that’s making it difficult to get your job done, let your recruiter know immediately.

Bring your best to every job.

Just because this isn’t a full-time position doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it your best. In fact, many temporary workers turn positions into permanent opportunities by demonstrating a good work ethic and positive attitude. So show up on time. Be prepared. Don’t whine or complain. And, above all, do your job well.

Take on more.

If you’ve finished your work for the day and there’s an hour left before closing time, then ask for another assignment. When you do, you’ll earn the reputation as a go-to person and hard worker. Keep in mind, those who are proactive and productive are the first ones offered full-time employment when the opportunity comes around.

Stay in touch with your recruiter.

Throughout your assignment, be sure to stay in touch with your recruiter. Before you begin, make sure you’re clear on the assignment details, including hours and location. Also, if you’re going to be out sick, are encountering issues on the job, or are offered a full-time job, contact your recruiter immediately. They’re there to help you!

Interested in learning more about temporary jobs in Houston?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading temporary job agencies in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from crafting a strong resume and preparing for interviews to giving you access to job assignments that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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5 Biggest Hiring Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

May 9th, 2017

As top Houston staffing experts, Murray Resources knows a hiring mistake isn’t just a drain on morale and productivity. It can actually cost you up to 30% of the first year’s potential earnings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s why it’s so important to avoid missteps in the first place. To help you in the process, here are some common pitfalls that can lead to hiring mistakes:

1. Vague details.

When it comes to the job description, it’s important to have a clear-cut sense of the duties and responsibilities. Not only that, but it’s also important to have a good understanding of the type of person who will be successful in the role. How many years of experience should they have? What skills and competencies are essential? Before you start searching for the perfect candidate, it’s vital to have these details ironed out first.

2. Skipping steps in the process.

From the phone screen to reference and background checks, every step of the process has a purpose. And if you skip steps during it, then you’re putting yourself at risk. So though it might take some extra time to perform phone screens and call references, it will produce better results in the form of higher quality candidates.

3. Not asking behavioral interview questions.

It’s important to ask the basics in an interview, including “why do you want to work here?” and “what do you know about the position?” But if you want to truly gauge a candidate’s skill level, it’s important to dig deeper with behavioral interview questions. This means asking candidates to give you specific examples of their behaviors, abilities and past accomplishments. When you do, you’ll get a much clearer picture of whether the candidate is right for the role.

4. Not evaluating for cultural fit.

Just because a candidate has the right skills and abilities doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for the job. Keep in mind, you’re hiring the whole person, not simply their hard skills. That’s why it’s so important to check for cultural fit. To do so, ask questions about the environment a candidate most likes working in and talk about what your company’s culture is like. A mismatch between culture and personality, on the other hand, will lead to disengagement and turnover.

5. Going it alone.

In today’s competitive marketplace, hiring the right people can be tough. That’s why it’s important to have a staffing partner that knows where to find talented, hard-working professionals. They can also reduce your time to hire, while improving the quality of those you do bring on board.

If you’re ready to outsource your hiring process to professionals, give Murray Resources a call.

As one of Houston’s top staffing experts, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

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How to Nail Behavioral Interview Questions

May 2nd, 2017

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that during an interview, you’re going to be asked a lot of questions. Why do you want to work for us? What do you know about our company? How do you see yourself contributing in this role? But beyond these common questions about the basics, you’ve also got to be prepared to answer behavioral interview questions.

These are the questions that dig deeper and require you to give specific examples of your past experience. For instance:

  • Tell me about a career goal you set for yourself and how you achieved it.
  • What’s the biggest mistake you ever made on the job? How did you handle it?
  • What career success are you most proud of? Why?

These questions can certainly take more thought to answer and make candidates more nervous as a result. But here are some tips to help you answer them more effectively:

Understand why they’re asked.

The purpose of asking behavior based questions is that employers believe past success is a predictor of future success. And in many cases, they’re right. So if you can demonstrate with your answers that you have a track record of positive results, an employer will feel more confident in hiring you.

Do your homework to prepare for them.

Preparation is essential to get your answers right. But how can you prepare if you don’t know what you’re being asked? A few ways:

First, learn all you can about the company – their history, vision and mission, products and services, key company players, and industry trends affecting them. That way, you’ll have a better chance of tying in your background with their specific needs.

Second, re-read the job description and focus on the key essentials the company is looking for. Make a list of them and think through how your background fits in. For instance, if the company is looking for someone with experience with a software program and you have five years working in it, you’ll want to highlight that.

To prepare even further, you can also research common interview questions associated with the requirements they’re looking for. This will not only help you prepare, but also feel more confident walking into the interview.

Have numbers ready to go.

Did you increase sales? Save money? Save time? Manage a team? Acquire new clients? Whatever your past roles, think of the numbers associated with your accomplishments in them so you can quantify your track record. Solid numbers to back up your answers always goes a long way in impressing an interviewer.

Create a stockpile of examples.

What work accomplishments or projects are you most proud of? Think of three to five and then flesh them out. Consider the problem you were tasked with solving, how you went about doing it and why you chose that method, and the results it produced. This is a surefire way – with a beginning, middle and end – to effectively answer interview questions.

Need more help preparing for interviews or finding job leads?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the top job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can not only help you locate the opportunities that best match your skills and interests, but also prepare for interviews. Contact us today to learn more, or search our Houston jobs now.

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How to Deal with a Job Candidate Who Lies

April 25th, 2017

You might think that resume or interview lies are few and far between. But according to Career Builder, 58% of hiring managers say they’ve caught a lie on a resume. Some of the most common areas that candidates lie about include:

  • Dates of past employment – making it seem like they were at a company longer than they really were.
  • Educational or career credentials – listing a college diploma when they didn’t graduate.
  • Salary history – inflating their most recent one in the hopes of getting a higher offer.
  • Job title – exaggerating past ones, such as adding “senior.”
  • Claiming credit – making it seem like they solely achieved something while it was really a team effort.

So if this just happened to you, you’re certainly not alone. Once you get over your shock and disappointment, how can you deal with the situation?

If the lie was a big one, then you can just put their resume in the recycling bin and move onto the next candidate. After all, if someone isn’t going to be honest during the hiring process, they certainly won’t be once on the job.

If, however, you’re not completely sure the candidate lied – and there seems to be a discrepancy – ask the candidate about it. If they’re honest, then they’ll have a good explanation or it simply could have been an error on their part.

If you’re not satisfied with their answer, though, then cut them loose. The last thing you need is to hire someone and be constantly questioning whether they’re being straightforward with you or not. Moving forward, make sure you:

  • Flag any possible falsifications or inconsistent details when reviewing candidates. Then question the candidate about them during the phone screen.
  • If it’s a question about skills or abilities, perform a skills test to verify the knowledge the candidate claims to have.
  • To check credentials, ask for official proof and documentation, for instance transcripts from college.
  • Also, don’t skip the all-important step of checking references. This is your opportunity to verify that what the candidate has told you about their skills and abilities, as well as their past positions, is really true.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring, and reference and background checks?

Call in the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining top talent. Contact us today to get started.

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7 Questions Every Candidate Should Ask in an Interview

April 18th, 2017

As one of Houston’s top job agencies, Murray Resources knows it’s every candidate’s worst nightmare. You accept an offer and eagerly await your start date. But once on the job, you realize the position just isn’t for you. What can you do? Avoid this situation in the first place by asking plenty of questions during the hiring process. If you don’t, you could wind up in a position that’s not a good fit.

So with that in mind, what are some key questions to ask – and why? Here’s a look:

#1: Can you explain the daily tasks and responsibilities of this job?

If the hiring manager doesn’t communicate clearly about what the role entails, it’s up to you to ask. Otherwise, you won’t know whether or not you really want the job. By learning about the daily tasks, you can also get a better grasp on whether you have the right skills and experience to perform the job.

#2: What are your expectations for this role in the first three, six, and 12 months?

Beyond duties, you want to gain a big picture sense of what you’d be expected to accomplish in your first months and year on the job. You also want to ensure that what the hiring manager is asking seems reasonable. If, on the other hand, they start outlining goals that are beyond your capabilities, that’s a red flag the job might not be a good fit for you.

#3: What’s the culture like at the company?

This is one question that many candidates neglect to answer – but it’s just as important as inquiring about the position. If you don’t have a good grasp on the culture and it winds up not being a good fit for you, then you’re not going to be happy in it.

#4: Where do you think the company is headed in the next few years?

You want to work for a company that’s growing and innovating. Otherwise, it will remain stagnant and even begin to shrink. On the other hand, when a company has big plans – and a big vision – for the future, you have a better chance at accessing opportunities for advancement there.

#5: What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in the department?

When making a decision about a potential job opportunity, it’s important to have an accurate sense of both the good and the bad. You shouldn’t only look at the upside of a job – and ignore the down side – unless you want to be blindsided once you start. That’s why it’s important to get a good handle on both the challenges and opportunities you could be facing.

#6: What do you like about working here?

Asking this question can give you further insight into the culture. Also, if the hiring manager pauses and stumbles over their answer, then you might want to think twice before accepting an offer.

#7: What’s your timeline for hiring?

Before you leave an interview, be sure to ask this question so you know what to expect going forward. That way, you’re not sitting around, wondering and waiting for your phone to ring. You’ll also have a sense of when to follow up if you don’t hear back.

Have more questions about the hiring process?

We have answers. As one of Houston’s top job agencies, we can help you with every aspect of the job search process, from start to finish – all so you land the rewarding job you want. Contact us today to learn more.

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5 Tips for Problem-Free Temporary Hiring

April 11th, 2017

You need temporary workers for your summer rush or a seasonal demand. What you don’t need are potential problems that can come with a contingent workforce. As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources understands this. Below are some tips to keep in mind when you’re hiring on a temporary basis – so you get dependable workers, not difficult ones:

#1: Start early.

One of the biggest mistakes employers make when hiring temporary employers is waiting too long. But if you need seasonal staff for summer, now’s the time to start recruiting. The best candidates will get offers quickly. You also don’t want to have to making hiring decisions under pressure. Give yourself the time you need to find and hire top-notch temporary workers.

#2: Take a multi-generational approach to recruiting.

When looking to hire temporary workers, many companies will look for younger or college-age individuals to recruit. But keep in mind there are many other talent pools out there you should be tapping. For instance, moms returning to work who want a flexible schedule, as well as retired seniors. So when you’re recruiting, focus on a mix of different ages, so you can find the best workers among them.

#3: Train workers.

Letting temporary workers either sink or swim is not a good approach to managing them. Instead, make sure you train them thoroughly and that they understand your expectations for them. After all, if a customer receives poor service, they’re not going to care whether or not the person is a full-time employee or a temporary worker. Also, make sure you’re keeping the lines of communication open with temporary workers and follow up regularly to ensure you can nip any problems in the bud early on.

#4: Know the rules around temporary hiring.

If you’re not working with a professional provider of temp services in Houston, Texas – and hiring on your own, make sure you know all the rules and regulations surrounding the paperwork, from temporary employment agreements to tax forms. Remember, you want to ensure everything is legal and binding.

#5: Consider bonuses.

Ever had a temporary worker not show up or leave halfway through the engagement? This can leave you in a lurch. To avoid this happening, consider offering an incentive for meeting certain performance goals by the end of the engagement. Not only will temporary workers be motivated to stay on the job, but also to perform their best.

If you’d rather outsource temporary staffing to the experts, call the team at Murray Resources

As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, we know hiring temporary or contract workers can sometimes be a struggle. But we’re here to help. We have the expertise, proven processes, and network of candidates to ensure you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. We can do all the legwork and minimize hiring missteps and risks, all so you get the skilled, dependable, enthusiastic people you need.

If you need help hiring temporary workers for your company this summer – or any time of year, call us today. We can help.

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6 Easy Ways to Update Your Resume

April 4th, 2017

You want to find a new job. But when’s the last time you looked at your resume?

If the answer is “a few years ago,” or worse, “I don’t remember,” then you have some work to do before you can submit it to potential employers. As one of Houston’s leading placement firms, Murray Resources knows a great resume is like a ticket into the interview process. And if you don’t have one, then you’re going to miss out on top opportunities.

To help you in the process, here are 6 easy ways to update your resume:

#1: Think about goals.

While your resume gives an overview of your career history, it should also be about future goals. That means when you’re thinking about what to highlight, consider it through the lens of where you want to go in your career. If job duties at a past position don’t align with future career goals, then don’t put a lot of emphasis on them. Concentrate your attention, instead, on the experiences and credentials that relate to your current career objectives.

#2: Eliminate the objective.

Unless you’re changing careers, get rid of the objective. This simply takes up valuable space without offering a lot of return. Instead, replace it with a summary of qualifications that offers a few key highlights of your professional career.

#3: Focus on the “wow” factor.

The strongest resumes promote results, not just duties and responsibilities. Some questions to ask yourself to find your “wow” factor for each position include:

  • What have you been best at in past positions?
  • What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
  • Which achievements can you back up with figures, dollars, and percentages?
  • What information would make a hiring manager want to call you in for an interview?

#4: Refresh the look.

Most hiring managers scan resumes. So make yours easy to quickly skim. Use bolded job titles and three to four bullet points under each. Also, don’t use a tiny point size for your font; 11 or 12 are standard. In addition, make sure there’s plenty of spacing so your resume doesn’t look cramped.

#5: Update your contact information.

If you just have your name and address, it’s time for an update. Your cell phone number and email, as well as a link to your LinkedIn profile, should be front and center instead.

#6: Use keywords.

Most companies today use an applicant tracking system to find candidates. So if you don’t use keywords from the job posting, you could get filtered out – even if you’re the right fit.

Need more help polishing your resume for better job search results?

Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top placement firms, we can learn about your background and career goals, then get to work helping you create a powerful resume and matching you with rewarding new opportunities. Contact us today to get started.

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6 Ways to Improve Your Corporate Career Website

March 28th, 2017

People are your most important asset and at the core of what you do. And yet, your biggest recruiting tool for them – your career website – hasn’t been updated in 10 years beyond new job postings. Sound familiar? If it does, there’s good news. Simply follow these tips for improving your career website and putting it back to work for you:

#1: Don’t hide job postings.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows when a candidate goes to your career website, it’s most likely to look for job openings. Don’t make it hard for them to find listings. Put jobs front and center, not hidden under About Us or some other section. A good rule of thumb is that job seekers should be able to find your openings with one click.

#2: Use your career website to build a talent pipeline.

Your career website isn’t just a medium for broadcasting job openings. It’s also a tool you can put to use to build up a talent pipeline. That means if a job candidate doesn’t find an opening that’s a good fit, provide them with an option to submit their resume and a cover letter anyway. That way, you can create a bank of talent you can tap into as positions open up within your company.

#3: Make your site dynamic.

Beyond simply explaining your company’s corporate vision and mission, infuse some personality into your career site. Add a blog authored by employees with a focus on workplace culture. Upload videos that demonstrate your company’s innovation in the industry. And populate the site with images that give candidates a sense of what it’s really like to work at your company.

#4: Make it mobile friendly.

With many job candidates using their phones and tablets to search for openings, it’s vital that your site is mobile friendly. If it’s not, then you could be missing out on your next great hire.

#5: Add social sharing buttons.

Throughout your site – on job listings, videos and blog posts – add social and email sharing buttons so that candidates can spread the word about your company. Not only that, but these buttons make it easy for existing employees to share and refer their own network to job openings.

#6: Simplify your online application process.

If you have an online application system – versus just having candidates submit their resume via email or uploading it to the site – make sure it’s easy to use. You’re going to lose out on the best candidates if the system is long and convoluted, or if you make candidates register before they can apply.

Have a career website in place, but don’t have time to manage the screening, interviewing, and vetting?

If that’s the case, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on us for help with the hiring process, from start to finish. And we can help you too! Contact us today to get started.

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Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes

March 21st, 2017

Gone are the days of the initial interview being a face-to-face one. Most employers today first conduct a phone screen. These are usually shorter and less in-depth than a full in-person interview. But they give the employer enough to go on to decide whether a candidate should move forward in the hiring process.

That said, as one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we see some candidates make the same common mistakes in phone interviews, which impact their job search success. What are they – and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

1. Not setting aside a quiet, private time to talk.

When it comes to successful phone interviews, it’s important to schedule them at a time when you can focus and will have total privacy. That means doing phone screens while you’re driving, or while your kids are all at home isn’t a good idea. Nor is it wise to schedule one while you’re at work, sitting at your desk. Keep in mind, if the environment isn’t quiet and distraction-free, you’re not going to be able to focus and provide the best answers.

2. Not preparing.

Just as you would for an in-person interview, it’s important to prepare for a phone screen. That means researching the company ahead of time and developing a list of questions you’d like to ask. That also means reviewing the job postings again ahead of time so it’s fresh in your mind and thinking through how your background and skills are a good fit for the position.

3. Eating and drinking during the interview.

It’s ok to keep a glass of water next to you in case your throat gets dry. But other than that, don’t eat or drink during the interview. Nothing makes a worse impression in a phone screen than the sound of chewing or slurping.

4. Using call waiting during the interview.

If another call comes in during your phone screen, ignore it unless it’s an emergency. You should never put a hiring manager on hold, unless you want to send the message that you don’t really want the job.

5. Talking too much or too little.

It’s up to you to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the job. That means providing persuasive answers that showcase your strengths and proven record of success. That does not mean droning on, or giving one-word answers to interview questions. If there’s a pause in the conversation, don’t jump to fill it with mindless chatter. Let the hiring manager take control.

Phone screens are the new interview. So avoid the mistakes above so you can ace yours – and move onto the next step in the hiring process.

Are you a hard-working, experienced professional looking for your next job?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

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5 Smart Interview Strategies for Job Candidates

March 14th, 2017

You’ve managed a successful career and earned plenty of accolades along the way. But job interviews still make you nervous. You’re not alone. Whether you have five or 30 years of experience, interviews are stressful situations for most job candidates, no matter how high up on they corporate ladder they are. But the reality is, if you want the job, interviews (and sometimes many rounds of them) are a process you’ll have to endure.

That said, as one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, Murray Resources knows there are some steps you can take so you’re more comfortable during interviews and perform better as a result. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

1. Be confident; you already got an interview.

It’s normal to be nervous. There’s a lot at stake. However, keep in mind you’ve already passed an important first milestone – getting the interview. Not all candidates are called in for one. So when you are, there’s a reason.

2. Memorize information about the company.

The more you know about the company, the more confident you’ll feel walking into the interview. Read about and memorize a few key facts about the company so you can weave those details into your interview answers and questions. You might say something like, “I noticed on your website your company is acquiring XYZ firm. Can you tell me how that would impact this role?”

3. Know your audience.

Before the interview, know the format (e.g., is it a panel interview or a one-on-one?), the players, and the position details. Then create a list of questions you’ll likely be asked and practice your answers. Also, consider any weaknesses or gaps in your experience and how you’ll address them with interviewers.

4. Sell your accomplishments.

When you’re in an interview, don’t simply tell the interviewer about your accomplishments. Sell them. That means being able to quantify specific accomplishments, as well as talk about the impact they had on the overall company bottom line.

5. Re-frame any negatives into positives.

Even when an interviewer asks you about a skill you don’t have, or a weakness, turn the negative into a positive. For instance, when talking about an area where you fell short, make sure you talk about what you learned from the experience and how you were able to apply that knowledge at work. Or, if a particular project got off track, explain the corrective action you took and the end result you were able to achieve.

In addition, a few other tips to keep in mind for interview day success:

  • Keep your answers concise and on target.
  • Be mindful of your body language.
  • Don’t crack jokes.
  • Smile and be engaging.
  • Ask about next steps before leaving.
  • Follow up with a thank you note to those you interviewed with.

If you’d like more help acing interviews and finding your next job, turn to the experts at Murray Resources.

As one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, we can connect you with top employers in the city, as well as rewarding jobs in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more.

 

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How to Disagree with Your Boss – Without Offending Them

March 7th, 2017

As a top Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows it’s an uncomfortable situation for most employees. You think your boss is going down the wrong path, or isn’t considering all angles. But you’re afraid of offending them by offering your opinion. Here’s how you can you disagree with your boss, but still be diplomatic:

Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Your opinion matters and it’s your job as an employee to offer it up, especially when it can make a crucial difference in an important decision. Not only that, but if you want to move ahead in your career, you need to get comfortable with voicing your opinion in a mature and rational way.

Don’t get emotional.
You might be passionate about your position. But the best way to get your boss to tune out or be unreceptive to your message is to get emotional. Keep your feelings in check and simply view yourself more in a consulting role. In other words, strive to simply collaborate and offer advice that will lead to the best possible solution.

Let go of your ego.
You might think you’re right. But don’t let your ego get the best of you. Instead, rather than making the case for why you’re spot-on, talk about how your idea or solution would better benefit the company. Frame it in a way that takes “you” out of the equation.

Don’t nitpick.
It’s important to be assertive at work. That said, you don’t want to nitpick every single thing that you disagree with your boss on. As the saying goes, “choose your battles.” But it’s especially important to speak up when your performance will be impacted, or the company’s bottom line.

Talk privately.
If you’re in the midst of a big brainstorming session and everyone is voicing their opinion, then it’s fine to let yours be known. However, if it’s a sensitive situation, or you adamantly disagree with a decision your boss made, don’t call them out in front of everyone. Timing is everything and it’s important to pick the right moment to challenge your boss.

Be diplomatic.
Don’t just come right out and say you disagree. If you want your boss to be receptive to your comments, it’s important to phrase your opinion in a softer way. You can say something like, “Can we look at this another way? For instance, at X.” or “I understood that a little differently. My take was that Y and Z.”

In the end, once you’ve voiced your disagreement, if your boss chooses to ignore it, it’s their decision. You need to accept the situation, though you may continue to respectfully disagree.

Interested in more tips to help with your career? Check out our resource center. As a top Houston staffing agency, we can also help connect you with new opportunities in the area, so you can advance your career and achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.

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The Best Interview Questions to Ask to Find Top Talent

February 28th, 2017

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows when it comes to successful interviews, it’s all about the questions you ask. The wrong ones can lead to a hiring mistake, while the right ones can help you uncover your next top performer. But with so many options out there – and limited time during an interview – which ones are an absolute ‘must’ for you to ask? Here’s a look:

Why did you apply for this job?

This is a good ice-breaker question to ask. It gives the job candidate a chance to explain what interested them about the opportunity and the company, without being too aggressive or hard-hitting. It will also give you a chance to learn a little bit about what makes them tick.

Why do you think you’re the best fit for the job?

It’s important to ask this question for multiple reasons. First, it will showcase whether or not the candidate has done their homework. If they don’t understand what your company does or who it serves, they’re not going to be able to demonstrate fit. Second, it gives them an opportunity to talk about their unique strengths and abilities in relation to your job opening. So, if a candidate tells you about specific skills or accomplishments that relate directly to the role and your needs, it’s a good sign of a strong, well-prepared candidate.

What job on your resume did you like the most? The least?

Asking these kinds of questions will help you get a sense of what drives an individual candidate and whether that aligns with your company’s unique needs and culture. If their favorite job or company has similar qualities as the position you’re offering, then that’s a sign they could be a good fit. But the reverse is also true. If the job they liked least sounds like the role you’re hiring for, then it’s a good indicator the candidate wouldn’t stick around for long if hired.

Show me how you would…(fill in the blank).

When you ask a candidate to explain to you how they would complete a certain task or fulfill a certain goal that’s in the job description, it will give you some serious insight into how they think. It will also help you understand how they’d perform if offered the job.

Why do you want to leave your current role?

Finding out why a candidate wants to leave their current job can tell you a lot about their expectations, how they see themselves, and what’s important to them. It will also give you a chance to evaluate whether you can offer them what they’re seeking in a new role.

Every interview and every interview question is important. That’s why, if you’re not comfortable with the process or don’t have much time to invest in it, you should consider outsourcing it to the experts.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources has worked with the city’s leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Get Employers to Hire You

February 21st, 2017

Nobody likes the job search. And for good reason. You send in dozens of resumes, sit around and wait, then wonder why you’re not getting called. Or you set up an interview for what sounds like an ideal position – only to find out halfway through they’re paying 20% less than what you’re already making.

Finding a new job is certainly a struggle. And when you consider the competition – for instance, for every corporate job available, there are about 250 applicants – the situation can seem even more hopeless.

However, as one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, we can make the process a little easier (and hopefully more successful) for you with these strategies:

Don’t apply to positions that aren’t a good fit for you.

It sounds like a no-brainer. But all too often, candidates have a “hey, you never know” approach to applying for jobs that they’re really not a good fit for. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, recruiters report that over 50% of candidates for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job. That’s not to say you should never apply for a dream job that you’re slightly under-qualified for. You just shouldn’t apply for every position out there – and then wonder why you’re being ignored.

Make your resume easy to scan for humans and ATS programs.

Many studies today find that hiring managers only spend a few seconds reviewing each resume they receive. That’s not much time to take in your full background and experience. So, what do they look for when they’re screening? Job titles, past employers, start and end dates, and education.

That means, when you’re creating your resume, it’s vitally important to make these categories easy to find and scan with bold-faced type and bullet points. In addition, with many companies today using a computerized applicant tracking system (ATS) to screen resumes, it’s important to make sure you customize yours with keywords from the job posting.

Get referrals.

The single best way to get hired is still through personal referrals. For hiring managers, these are the most reliable source of good quality, good fit candidates. That’s why, if you know someone who works at the company you’re applying to, you should leverage that relationship. Ask them to either walk your resume to HR, or ask for permission to use their name as a referral source in your cover letter.

Need more help getting hired by a great employer?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, we can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

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The #1 Secret to Better Hiring in 2017

February 14th, 2017

Hiring just got a whole lot harder. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment was at 4.8% in January 2017. That means it’s not a buyer’s market anymore and candidates have a lot more opportunities to consider. As a hiring manager or employer, what can you do? The answer’s easier than you might think: bring in the experts at a Houston staffing agency.

Here’s how a staffing agency can help you:

#1: They have in-depth knowledge of the candidate market.

While you might only hire a few times a year, recruiters at staffing agencies are constantly networking, sourcing candidates and hiring them – all year round. As a result, they know what kind of talent is available, how to best attract and recruit the best professionals, and what competitive compensation you should be offering them. This insight and information will help you recruit better candidates, faster.

#2: They can recruit hard-to-find or specialized talent.

Hiring today is challenging enough. But when it comes to a demanding position that requires hard-to-find skills, it can seem almost impossible to fill. But recruiters at a staffing agency know how to source active and passive candidates who are more selective about opportunities. They spend a lot of time recruiting top talent, including those with specialized skills, so you can leverage their network to find people with the background you need.

#3: They can speed up the hiring process.

When you’re inundated with resumes and cover letters, it can be hard to properly screen every candidate and also get your daily work done. But a recruiter at a staffing agency is trained to screen resumes and hone in on the skills you’re looking for. Not only that, but they can conduct phone screens and interviews to further qualify candidates. That way, the candidates you do end up seeing are those who are all a good fit for the job you’re offering.

#4: They can help you create a strong employer brand.

Your reputation in the candidate marketplace can have a big impact on the quality of talent you’re able to attract. A good staffing agency partner can help you develop an appealing employer brand. They’ll know where to advertise your company and openings, and how to position you as an employer of choice, including what it’s like to work at your organization, including culture, as well as perks and benefits.

If you need to hire – but are hard-pressed for time or resources – consider outsourcing the recruiting process to professionals who do it all day. You can benefit from the reach, network, and proven processes of a trusted staffing agency partner.

Interested in learning more? Let the experts at Murray Resources help you. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, we’ve worked with the city’s leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.

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4 Quick Tips for Stand Out Cover Letters

February 7th, 2017

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that having a polished resume and LinkedIn profile are both critical for job search success. But so is a great cover letter. Your cover letter is your opportunity to show some personality, demonstrate your interest in the company, and explain why you’re a terrific fit for the job.

The trouble is, so many candidates simply send in a boilerplate cover letter that doesn’t make much of an impression on a hiring manager. The good news for you, though, is that in a sea of standard cover letters, yours can stand out and get noticed. Here’s how:

1. Talk about how you can help the employer.

Your resume is all about your background. Make the cover letter all about the employer. In other words, talk about what you can do for them, how you can help them overcome specific challenges, and what unique value you can bring to the table. Use your cover letter to convince the hiring manager you are their answer to everything they need in a new hire.

2. Address specific points from the job description.

Most cover letters are bland and generic. That’s why, if you dig into specifics, you’re going to stand out to a hiring manager. To do so, choose a few requirements from the job description and explain how your background meets those needs.

For instance, if the company needs an office manager to supervise other administrative staff, then talk about a specific example of how you have experience leading a team and the results you delivered in this role. You want to demonstrate that you understand the job, and then relate to the hiring manager how your background is a fit for it.

3. Don’t presume you’re the best.

You’re applying for a job that sounds tailor made for you. But don’t assume you’re the best fit candidate and make statements along those lines. After all, you don’t know who else is applying for the job and making saying that you’re “the best suited candidate” has no basis. Instead, focus on the facts and why your background is a strong match for the role.

4. Infuse some enthusiasm in your cover letter.

Employers want to hire those who are enthusiastic about their opportunity. So use your cover letter to talk about why you want to work there and what’s most appealing to you about the job.

For instance, perhaps you’re a fan of the company products and already buy them; or you know how involved the organization is in the community and admire them for that. Don’t be phony here; but do articulate why you’re excited about the potential for working at the company.

Creating a great cover letter certainly takes some time. But in the long run, it’s one element of the job search that can truly help you stand out.

Need more help with your job search? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Resume Not Getting Responses? Here’s What to Do

January 24th, 2017

As one of Houston’s top job agencies, Murray Resources knows you only have a few seconds to make a positive impression on a hiring manager. It’s not a lot of time to stand out and get noticed. The good news is that just a few small tweaks can lead to big improvements on your resume. Here’s a look at 5 you can make right now:

#1: Stick to standard.

In other words, unless you’re applying for a job in a creative field, don’t get flashy on your resume. Instead, format it in a traditional way, with bolded job titles and bullets underneath. In addition, when emailing your resume, always send a PDF. That way, the formatting will look the same regardless of the computer it’s being opened on.

Also, stick to traditional fonts on your resume. That means no Comic Sans or script fonts. Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Arial are always good choices.

#2: Keep it concise.

Get rid of unnecessary verbiage. This includes stating that “references are available on request.” It also means ditching the objective at the top of your resume. In addition, don’t include more than six or seven bullets under each job title. And make sure each one is succinct and makes sense for the reader.

#3: Pull out that personal information.

Details such as your marital status, the number of kids you have, or your religion don’t belong on your resume. In fact, it’s illegal for an employer to consider these factors when hiring and including them makes you look out of the loop.

#4: Concentrate on accomplishments.

The single best way to get noticed by a hiring manager is to promote your proven track record. That means highlighting awards, successes, achievements, praise, and positive comments you’ve received over the years – and that are most relevant to the job you want. Add numbers and percentages to quantify accomplishments wherever you can.

#5: Phone a friend.

Once you’ve polished your resume and think it’s as good as it’s going to get, ask a friend or colleague to review it. Not only can they check for mistakes and typos, but they can also offer you some insight and inspiration into how to position your background.

Need more help creating a strong resume – and finding a new job? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top job agencies, we can help you with your job search from start to finish – all so you land the rewarding job you want. Contact us today to learn more.

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Considering Hiring a Staffing Agency in Houston? Ask These Questions First

January 17th, 2017

You know the benefits of working with a Houston staffing agency. But, with more than 6,000 across the country – and dozens in Houston alone, it can be hard to find one that’s right for you. If you’re interested in a partnership, but don’t quite know where to start, here are some questions to ask to ensure you hire the right staffing agency:

What can I expect from the relationship?

You might think that all staffing agencies are the same. While it’s true the end goal might be similar – to recruit the best talent – how they get there isn’t identical. So if you’re researching agencies, make sure the one you choose comes to your location to get a feel for your corporate culture, meets with hiring managers across departments, and takes the time to learn about your hiring needs and challenges. Look for an agency that views the relationship as a strategic partnership, not simply as a way to fill empty seats.

What kind of experience do you have?

How long has the agency been around? What kinds of companies do they work with? Who specifically will be working on your account and how long have they been recruiting for? It’s important to ask these kinds of questions to ensure the staffing agency you do choose can back up their claims with proven experience.

How do you screen candidates?

When it comes to recruiting and screening candidates, it should be all about quality. That’s why you need to ask about the specific steps a potential staffing partner takes in screening and vetting candidates. You need a company you can trust to focus on high quality, not just on sending the most candidates your way. Also, ask about background and reference checks and make sure the staffing agency you work with offers them.

What services do you offer?

If you have a range of staffing needs, make sure the agency you choose has the services to meet them. For instance, if you need temporary employees, as well as full-time ones in a variety of positions, you should be able to rely on the same staffing partner to fulfill those needs.

What are your rates?

It’s important to ensure you’re on the same page in terms of the costs. So ask each agency what they charge and how they structure their fees prior to signing an agreement.

Interested in partnering with an experienced staffing agency in Houston? Call Murray Resources. For more than 30 years, we’ve been helping companies in the area source, recruit and screen top quality candidates – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more.

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Unemployed? Here are 4 Things You Should Be Doing

January 10th, 2017

You’re unemployed. So obviously, you should be looking for a job. But beyond that, what can you do to make this scary and frustrating time a little more manageable – and increase your odds of finding a new opportunity? Here are 4 tips:

#1: Network.

As one Houston’s most experienced job agencies, Murray Resources knows there’s almost always a collective groan when the topic of networking comes up. However, it really is one of the best ways to uncover potential opportunities. To effectively network when you’re unemployed, make sure you:

  • Connect with existing contacts. Reach out to old and existing contacts, including former co-workers, fellow alumni, friends, family, former professors and college advisors, and old bosses. Ask them to lunch. Get together over coffee. And inquire about job opportunities opening up in their companies and organizations.
  • Make new contacts. Attend networking events and industry conferences and seminars. Network online, network in person. Go to a lecture. Sign up for a class. Or join the local chamber of commerce. Not only can you significantly expand your network, but you can have some fun in the process.

#2: Develop a routine.

Your job gave your days and weeks structure. Without it, it can feel like you’re floating aimlessly in a giant abyss. That’s why it’s so important to develop a regular routine.

For instance, get up and dressed at the same time each day. Spend the first half of the day job searching and the second half networking. Designate certain days – such as every Tuesday – as days to follow up on job leads. Be sure to make time for getting out of the house, as well. For instance, a couple mornings a week, bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and work on your resume and job search there.

#3: Volunteer.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a U.S. federal agency that promotes volunteerism, those who volunteer have a 27% better chance of finding a new job when compared with those who don’t. Not only is volunteering a productive way to spend your time, but you can acquire new skills and meet new people along the way. In addition, it makes a positive impression on hiring managers when they see it on your resume.

#4: Get a temporary job.

Worried about income or long employment gaps on your resume? Then consider temporary work through a job agency. That way, you can earn money, gain new skills, expand your network – and perhaps even find your next full-time job.

Interested in learning more about the possibilities available with temporary work? Contact Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, we can connect you with top employers in the city, as well as rewarding temporary jobs in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more.

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4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring More Employees in 2017

January 3rd, 2017

It’s a New Year – and that might mean you have to add to your team. But how can you be sure that hiring more staff is really the right move? As a leading temp services provider in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that either way, it’s a big decision to make. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether or not to bring more people on board in 2017:

#1: Do you have enough cash flow to pay for new hires?

You might be anticipating an uptick in orders. But if you’re hiring in advance of sales, you could end up with a strained cash flow if those orders don’t come in as planned. When you hire, you need to ensure your sales and revenue can support a new employee. If they can’t, but you truly need the extra help – so you can devote more time to selling – consider bringing in temporary or contract workers.

#2: Are you prepared for all the costs of hiring?

When you hire a new employee, it’s going to cost your company more than the salary you pay them. For instance, there’s payroll tax, health insurance, and HR laws you have to comply with when bringing new people on board. That’s why, before you make a decision, you have to ensure you’re prepared to handle both the financial and practical implications of new full-time employees.

#3: Can you tap into outside help?

You might find that it makes more sense to outsource business processes to a third party company, rather than hiring people in-house to perform certain functions – such as staffing and HR, accounting, and IT. That way, your company can remain more flexible, while still being able to respond to market demands. It can also free up your core staff to focus on other priorities.

#4: What are the costs of not hiring?

In other words, could you miss out on a lucrative opportunity or impair your business in some way if you don’t bring on more staff? Are existing employees going to be spread too thin and fall behind as a result? Will the quality of your service drop if you don’t hire more people? While it’s vital to consider the short- and long-term costs of hiring more employees, it’s also important to think about what can happen if you don’t hire more people.

If your cost benefit analysis is telling you that now’s not the time to hire more full-time people, but you need to add to your team to stay ahead of the competition, consider the use of temporary staffing. That way, you can hire people on a per project basis, or for a short-term period to get an important task off your plate, all without adding to your permanent overhead.

Interested in learning more about how your business can benefit from temporary staffing? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading temp services provider in Houston, Texas, we can give you fast access to the skilled, qualified, and dependable temporary employees you need for a variety of positions. Contact us today to learn more.

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3 Quick Tips for Listing Accomplishments on Your Resume

December 27th, 2016

As one of Houston, Texas’s top staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that hiring managers spend, on average, six seconds scanning resumes. That means you need to grab their attention and make an impact…quickly. How can you do it? By focusing on accomplishments. Hiring managers want strong performers who deliver results. Highlighting your achievements is the best way to prove that you have a track record of success. Here’s how:

Brainstorm your accomplishments.

Accomplishments don’t necessarily mean industry awards or big recognitions. They’re simple ways you’ve contributed to past employers. For instance, did you complete an important project ahead of time? Turn angry customers into happy, loyal ones? Improve a process that ended up saving a past employer time or money? These are all ways you’ve contributed and added value.

So take a few minutes and write down a list of accomplishments – big and small – for your most recent position. Once you’re done, move onto past positions and list accomplishments for those as well. Don’t filter anything out in the process. If you’re having trouble coming up with examples, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What are you known for in the company or department?
  • Did you serve on any special committees or receive any commendations from past bosses or customers?
  • What accomplishments or projects are you most proud of? Why?

Focus on the best examples.

Now that you have a full list of accomplishments, consider the ones that are most relevant to the job. Take a look back at the job description and read through it again if you’re not sure. Then decide on which accomplishments from your current and past positions best showcase the skills and abilities the employer is most interested in.

Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments.

Finally, on your resume, when you’re describing your accomplishments, use high impact, action statements, such as “re-engineered account reconciliation process to provide a more systematic and efficient process.” Whatever industry you work in, or jobs you’re applying for, use action verbs like executed, spearheaded, led, and initiated when explaining your accomplishments.

If you’re still having a hard time coming up with good examples, ask a trusted colleague or co-worker. They may be able to offer you some perspective on what an employer will value most about you.

If you need more help with your resume – or any aspect of the job search process – contact Murray Resources. As one of Houston, Texas’s top staffing agencies, we’re able to provide you with access to jobs that you will not find anywhere else. Contact us today to learn more or search our Houston jobs now.

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How to Pick the Best Temp Services in Houston, Texas

December 20th, 2016

Whether your company operates in oil and gas, or IT, you need people with strong skills and a strong work ethic to ensure it runs smoothly. But with fluctuating demands, it can be hard to stay optimally staffed at all times.

Enter temporary staffing services.

Temp staffing services in Houston, Texas can give you fast access to a rich network of talented and skilled professionals – where and when you need them, whether on a temporary, contract, part-time or full-time basis. The question is: How do you find one that’s right for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you make a move:

What are my needs?

Make sure you have a full understanding of what your staffing needs are. Do you need access to a full team of temporary workers during specific peak periods? Do you need a contractor on a per project basis? Do you have full-time hiring needs, as well? Some temp staffing services in Houston, Texas – like Murray Resources – have the experienced recruiters and proven processes to meet all those needs and more.

Who should I consider?

Not all staffing services firms are created equal. And you want to work with one that not only has the right skills and experience, but the right service team to meet your needs. The best way to find great options is to ask for referrals from your business contacts. They will be able to give you the real scoop on what it’s like to work with a particular firm so you can ensure they’re the right fit for you.

What can each one offer me?

When you’re interviewing options, make sure you ask questions about their candidate database, how they recruit and attract strong applicants, and how they evaluate them. Do they conduct skills testing? What about reference and background checks, as well as drug testing? And what happens if you’re not satisfied with a particular candidate? You need to know the ins and outs of each temp services firm before you make a decision on one.

How did they treat me?

Beyond services and guarantees, it’s also important to assess how you were treated in your talks with each firm. Were they knowledgeable and responsive? Did you feel respected and well taken care of? Or were they rude and abrasive? A firm can look like an ideal match for you on paper, but it’s important to ensure they will truly work hard to meet your expectations.

The good news is that with the right temp services firm, you’ll have a valuable partner in place who can help your business grow. If you’re interested in learning more about how your Houston, Texas company can benefit from temp services, contact Murray Resources today.

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Answering Interview Questions When You Don’t Know the Answer

December 13th, 2016

Have you ever been in a job interview and asked a question you didn’t know how to respond to? It can be an embarrassing and awkward situation. As the candidate, you want to have all the right answers for the hiring manager who’s interviewing you. But when you don’t, what should you do? Here’s some advice to help you:

When You Can’t Answer a Behavioral Based Interview Question

Behavioral based interview questions are simply those that ask you to give an example; for instance, “explain a time when you handled a conflict with a customer.” As one of Houston’s leading job placement agencies, Murray Resources knows the purpose is to get away from the “what-if” scenarios in an interview and talk about real world situations. Employers want to know how you handle conflict, communicate with others, and deal with change. These kinds of questions help them delve deeper into how you respond and operate – so they can understand how you might perform in the future.

Behavioral questions should be easy to answer when you have a specific example. But if you don’t, then just be truthful. It’s ok to say something along the lines of:

“Honestly, I can’t think of a time when that happened. I haven’t encountered a situation like that in the workplace. I can tell you how I would approach it if I had, though.”

When You Can’t Answer a More Traditional Interview Question

When you can’t answer a behavior based question it’s because you’ve never faced a certain situation before. But what about when you’re asked a more traditional interview question – and you’re stumped? Here are some tips to help you handle the situation:

Take a deep breath and calm down.

Getting asked a question you don’t know the answer to can make you look like a deer caught in headlights. But don’t let your nervousness get the best of you. Otherwise, you won’t be able to think clearly and work through an answer in your head.

Ask a follow up question.

The reason you don’t know how to answer may be that the hiring manager didn’t ask a clear question to start with. So follow up with your own question to ensure you fully understand what they’re asking you. It’s better to ask for clarification then try to make something up.

Explain what you do know.

If there’s a part of the question you do have a good answer to, then start there. You might be able to work through the rest of the answer as you’re talking.

Be honest.

Don’t fake your interview answer. A hiring manager will be able to see right through it. So if you can’t come up with an articulate answer, then be honest. Tell them:

“That’s a great question, but I don’t know the answer off the top of my head. Can I follow up with you on that after the interview?”

Remember too, it’s not always the details of an actual response a hiring manager is interested in. They want to know how you think on your feet and respond under pressure. And when you follow the tips above and you’ll be able to handle any interview question that comes your way.

Need more help with resumes, interviews, and finding a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s leading job placement agencies, we work with employers all over the city to fill positions in a variety of fields on a contract and full-time basis. If you’re ready to put our expertise to work for you, contact us today.

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How to Hire the Best Temporary Workers During the Holidays

December 6th, 2016

The holidays are here – and if your business is like many, it’s a hectic time. You have an increase in demand and projects that need to be wrapped up before year’s end, while employees are requesting vacation time off. It’s certainly a balancing act, one made easier with the help of temporary workers. To help ensure you hire the best ones – and can get the most from them – here are a few rules to keep in mind:

Rule #1: Get referrals from employees.

As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows the best temporary workers will come from employee referrals. Not only can referrals give you a quick source of talent, but it’s also a great way to find candidates who will likely be a better cultural and performance fit. After all, who knows better what it takes to succeed at your company than existing staff members? You can even consider rewarding your employees for successful referrals through bonuses or other incentives.

Rule #2: Take time to interview each candidate.

Don’t hire temporary workers on the fly. Take the time to properly screen and interview candidates to ensure the person you hire is the best fit. Keep in mind, too, you need people who can get up and running quickly. You don’t have the luxury of weeks of training and onboarding like you do with full-time employees. That means, during the interview, you have to ask good questions so you can rest easy that you’re hiring those who can truly thrive. Some questions include:

  • Tell me about your related experience.
  • Give me an example of how you handled a difficult customer in the past.
  • What makes you a great fit for this job?
  • Why do you want this job?

Rule #3: Look for a positive attitude.

A positive attitude can make a huge difference when you’re hiring workers. Someone who’s happy to show up at work and driven to deliver will infuse energy into your workplace. On the other hand, someone who’s bored or unenthusiastic will do barely enough to get by. So look for those candidates who seem excited about the opportunity.

Rule #4: Undercut the competition.

If your competitors are offering a certain hourly wage for temporary workers, offer a dollar or two more, if you can. The extra money will be well worth it in the form of better temporary workers and higher productivity.

Rule #5: Partner with a temporary staffing agency.

As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, we know hiring temporary or contract workers can sometimes be a struggle. But we’re here to help. We have the expertise, proven processes, and network of candidates to help ensure you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. We can do all the legwork and minimize hiring missteps and risks, all so you get the skilled, dependable, enthusiastic people you need.

If you need help hiring temporary workers for your company during the holidays – or any time of year, call us today. We can help.

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Job Search Stuck? Here’s What to Do

November 22nd, 2016

You’ve been searching for a job for several months now. You’ve had some good leads, but nothing that’s actually panned out into an offer. You’re spending hours each day sending out resumes. But more and more, you’re feeling like you’re just spinning your wheels.

Sound familiar? If your job search isn’t yielding the results you want, here are a few tips for jump-starting it:

Take a break.

As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows when you’re spending hours each day searching for a job online and submitting resumes – with no results – it means something isn’t working. It could be your resume or your cover letter. Or it might the kinds of jobs you’re applying for.

Whatever the case, it’s time to turn off your computer and take a break to gain some perspective. When you give yourself some needed time off from your search, you’ll come back with fresh eyes – and hopefully be able to spot what needs fixing.

Make sure you sound like a human.

Sometimes candidates can take a too-formal approach to writing cover letters and resumes. The end result is that they sound more robot than human. So avoid boring and overly corporate language. Instead, strive to infuse some personality into your cover letter and resume.

Get out into the world.

Rather than spending your entire job search online, go to an event and network. Check out your local chamber of commerce or attend industry seminars or conferences. Whatever you do, just aim to meet new people, make connections and expand your network. It will energize you and can open the door to exciting new possibilities.

Set small goals.

Your goal is to get a job. But sometimes that can seem overwhelming. Instead, divide that larger focus up into smaller daily goals – for instance, to send out three resumes a day. Not only will this help you prioritize and structure your day, but it will make you feel more productive, as well.

Market yourself to hiring managers.

If you’re not getting call-backs for interviews, then revamp your resume and cover letter. When you do, keep in mind that hiring managers are more interested in relevant accomplishments and results then a list of job duties. So the next time you apply for a job, make sure you focus on outcomes rather than responsibilities.

Do you need more help igniting your job search? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, it’s our mission to connect great people with great jobs. Contact us today to learn more or search our jobs in Houston now.

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5 Signs an Employee is Job Searching

November 15th, 2016

Your employees’ days may be numbered. Just consider a few of these recent statistics: 51% of U.S adults are regularly searching for new jobs, even though they’re currently employed, according to Gallup. Indeed put that number closer to 58%. Either way you look at it, that’s still potentially half of your employees who could be looking for new jobs…today, right now. So how can you tell for sure if an employee has one foot out the door? Here are a few signs:

#1: They’re not motivated.

An employee used to be engaged and excited. They got involved in heated discussions and debates and always showed great initiative. Now they’re doing just enough to get by. They’ve lost that inner drive and they don’t seem happy at work.

#2: They’re taking a lot of sick days.

When you have an employee on staff for a long time, you get a general sense of their attendance. So when an employee starts taking a lot of half days off, or full sick days, it could be a sign they’re interviewing with another company.

#3: They’re not as productive.

As Houston staffing experts, Murray Resources knows a decline in productivity is a clear sign that an employee has lost focus. It could be an indication they have something going on at home – or that they’ve started a job search. When an employee is looking for a new position, or has already found another one and just hasn’t informed you yet, then they might not be putting in as much effort as you’re used to.

#4: They’re updating their LinkedIn profile.

You’re connected on LinkedIn and all of a sudden, you’ve noticed regular updates to an employee’s profile. For instance, they’re adding new skills and accomplishments, along with a portfolio of their work. It could be that they’re polishing it for potential employers.

#5: They come into the office dressed up.

When your culture is casual or business casual, and an employee shows up wearing a business suit for no apparent reason, it could be a sign they’re interviewing. This is even more likely true if they’re taking long lunches, leaving early, or arriving late to the office.

Now you know the signs. But what should you do?

If your employee is already job searching, then it might be too late. However, it’s still worth having a conversation if it’s someone you truly want to retain. During your conversation do more listening then talking to try and get to the bottom of their behavior. It may be due to an issue that you can help overcome, like more flex hours or training and support. Or, you may determine that it is, in fact, time to part ways. Either way, you should gain insight as to how to strengthen your company culture and boost retention in the future.

Do you need more help hiring and retaining top people for your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As Houston’s top staffing experts, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

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Found Your Dream Employer? Here’s How to Get Your Foot in the Door

November 8th, 2016

It’s a sad reality. But so many people aren’t happy in their jobs. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, only around 13% of employees report being engaged and feeling a sense of passion for their work. Don’t be one of them!

When you come across an employer who checks all your boxes, you have to do what it takes to get your foot in the door. As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources is here to help. Below are several tips to keep in mind when you’re trying to get a job at your dream company:

Leverage your network.

The best way to get an interview is through people you already know. From former colleagues to past classmates, reach out to anyone you know and trust who already works there or who has a connection at the company. Ask if they’d be willing to put in a good word for you or walk your resume over to the hiring manager. Having a contact in the company is the best – and fastest – way to get noticed.

Ask for an introduction on LinkedIn.

Do some online digging to find out who heads the department you’re interested in. Ideally, they’ll be on LinkedIn, so you can see if you share any connections. If you do, ask your mutual connection for an introduction. If the hiring manager is not on LinkedIn, try to find out their email address and then reach out to them directly with your resume. When you do, you have to make a strong case for why you’d be an asset to the company.

Connect on social media.

Whether the company has a blog on LinkedIn, or an active Twitter presence, find out where they are on social media…and follow them. If they post a tip on their blog that inspires you, comment on it. Re-tweet posts you want to share with your network. And ‘like’ their Facebook page if they have one.

Not only can this potentially raise your visibility and send the message that you’re interested in the company, but you’ll also gain insight and understanding about the organization that can help get you hired. While it may take some time, you can get your foot in the door at your dream company with some persistence and creativity.

If you’re interested in a new job, but don’t know where you’d like to work, we can help. As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can give you access to a wide variety of rewarding temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities at dream employers across the area.

Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

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Why Your Job Postings Aren’t Working – and What to Do About It

November 1st, 2016

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that job postings are a critically important component of the hiring process. And yet, too often they’re treated as an afterthought…or worse, a legal document chock full of corporate jargon.

Just consider job posting phrases like “coordinate with key stakeholders in applicable departments” and “improve overall operation and compliance with appropriate program compliance requirements.” These don’t do anything to sell the opportunity and get top talent to want to work for you.

Instead, think of your job posting as an advertisement. In other words, it’s a marketing tool that should:

  1. Broadcast your opportunity;
  2. Appeal to your target audience; and
  3. Get them to act by submitting their resume.

So if your job postings could use some work, how can you take them from dry and formal to friendly and effective? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Talk about a day in the life.

Whether you’re hiring a receptionist or an engineer, one easy way to appeal to candidates is to talk about what a typical day is like in the role. Give them a glimpse as to what it’s really like to work in the position – and in your company. When you do, they’ll either get excited about it, or determine it’s not the right fit for them. Either way, it’s a win for you.

2. Be straightforward in your text.

Just because you work in a large corporation doesn’t mean you need to talk in corporate speak or internal acronyms. Instead, strive for clear and concise language that’s easy to understand. A candidate shouldn’t have to read your posting three times just to get a sense of what the job is about.

3. Focus on the candidate.

Don’t solely focus on your needs as an employer. Talk about why a potential candidate would want to work for your company. What would get them excited about the job? What’s unique or special about your company? Why do your existing employees like their jobs so much? You need to tell candidates what’s in it for them.

4. Get expert help if you don’t have the time.

Don’t let a weak job posting get in the way of recruiting today’s top talent. If you don’t have the time or resources to invest in creating job postings that get the results you’re after, then work with a staffing agency that can help you.

Interested in learning more? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on us for help with the hiring process, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Working With a Job Placement Agency? Here’s How to Succeed

October 25th, 2016

As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that partnering with a recruiter is a great way to find a new job. However, if you want to enjoy successful results, you have to take the right approach from the start. To help you in the process, here are 6 tips to keep in mind:

Always be honest.

If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, it’s tempting to exaggerate to make your background look better. But whatever you do, don’t lie or overstate your background or experience to your job placement agency or recruiter. After all, how can they truly help you find a new job that’s a good fit if you’re not giving them accurate information? Plus, if they find out you lied, you’ll look unprofessional and burn bridges.

Be clear about expectations.

When you’re meeting with a recruiter from a job placement agency – and they ask about salary and travel – be completely upfront with them about your goals, needs and expectations. If you absolutely cannot travel, don’t say you’re open to some light traveling. If you expect a certain salary, communicate the amount to your recruiter. There’s nothing more frustrating then telling a recruiter you’re open to a certain salary, when really you’re not.

Keep your recruiter in the loop.

If you have an interview or anything changes with your situation, contact your recruiter as soon as possible. It’s their goal to help you find a new job – and they can’t do that if you don’t communicate with them openly and often. That doesn’t mean you need to call them daily. But if you haven’t touched base in a while, then it’s important to reach out.

Take their advice to heart.

If a recruiter has suggestions about improving your resume, or interview skills, then take it to heart. It’s never fun to get constructive feedback. But keep in mind, your recruiter simply you wants you to find a job that’s a great fit – and the advice they’re giving you can improve the odds of that happening. So take it!

Help them out.

If your recruiter calls you about a position – and you’re not interested, but know of someone who’d be a good fit – pass along their name and information. Your recruiter will be grateful and won’t forget the favor.

Maintain confidentiality.

Keep confidential any sensitive information you learn about a potential employer or that a recruiter shares with you about a company.

Are you interested in working with a professional recruiter to find a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top job placement agencies in Houston, TX, we can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

Posted in: Job Search Tips, Tips
7268

5 Biggest Hiring Regrets Managers Have

October 18th, 2016

Have you ever made a big hiring mistake? As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you’re like most experienced managers, the answer is “yes.” And you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to one study by CEB Global, hiring managers admitted that 20% of their employees shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That’s one in five new hires! That’s also a lot of time and money wasted.

So how can you avoid making expensive hiring mistakes? Start by avoiding these 5 regrets:

1. Not checking references.

Just because the candidate is your best friend’s cousin doesn’t mean you should skip the reference checking process. This is your chance to ensure everything they told you aligns with reality. It’s also an opportunity to gain deeper insight into their background, skills and results. It’s a step you don’t want to miss out on.

2. Not checking skills.

For positions where skill checking or employment testing is appropriate, do it. You won’t regret it. Plus there are literally hundreds of different types of tests available online that don’t cost a lot. Requiring these kinds of tests will not only help ensure you hire the best person for the position, but it will also give you more peace of mind about your decision and the process.

3. Not evaluating attitude.

Sure, the person you hire needs the right technical skills to do the job. But don’t focus solely on hard skills and forget to evaluate soft ones. These includes skills such as communication, collaboration, conflict resolution and organizational abilities. Even when a candidate has the strongest skills, they won’t thrive at your organization of they don’t have the right personality and attitude.

4. Letting personal biases get in the way.

Maybe the candidate is from the same hometown as you, or they went to the same college. This can make you feel more of affinity for them then you typically would. But don’t let these personal feelings get in the way of your hiring decisions. Remember, you need to hire the person who’s the strongest fit and most likely to succeed; not the one you like best.

5. Not going with your gut.

Something a candidate’s reference said caught you off-guard. Or a candidate said all the right things, but their body language communicated a different message. Whatever the case, your gut is telling you not to hire this person. Don’t ignore the warning bells. Reach out to others on the hiring committee and talk to them about your reservations before making a move. Perhaps there’s a good explanation, or maybe the candidate just isn’t the right fit for you.

Would you like expert help avoiding hiring mistakes in the future? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has worked with Houston’s leading organizations since 1988 to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Contact us today to learn more and find out how we can help you.

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How to Deliver a Great Performance in a Phone Interview

October 11th, 2016

Phone interviews seem like just something to get through on your way to the main event – the in-person interview. However, as one of Houston’s top placement firms, Murray Resources knows if you don’t take these screens seriously, you’re not going to get very far in the hiring process.

How can you deliver a great performance and move onto the next step? Here are 6 tips:

Tip #1: Be prepared.

Just like you would for an interview at an employer’s office, you need to prepare for your phone screen. That means reading through the job description again and researching the company and the position. It also means developing a list of questions you’d like to ask, as well as bullet points of your own relevant experience to highlight.

Also, be sure to have a hard copy of your resume and cover letter by your side. The beauty of a phone screen is that you can reference these documents as needed throughout the interview. In addition, you can take notes while the interviewer is talking and jot down any important questions or points that come to mind so you can bring them up later in the conversation.

Tip #2: Have a quiet time and place set aside.

Scheduling a phone interview at 3 pm, when your kids get off the bus at 3:30 isn’t a good idea. Even if the interview is only supposed to last 20 minutes, what happens if the interviewer is running late or the conversation goes over? Nor is it wise to have the interviewer call you when you’re at work, or at a place where there’s loud noise or the potential for disruption. Instead, ask the interviewer to call you at home during a time when you know you won’t get interrupted.

Tip #3: Smile when you’re answering questions.

The interviewer can’t read your body language. But when you smile during some of your responses, it infuses more energy and life into your answers. Also, be mindful of the pace you’re speaking at during a phone interview. Don’t talk so quickly that the interviewer has a hard time understanding you.

Tip #4: Use the mute button as needed.

If you need to take a drink of water, or you want to type in the company’s web address into your browser, take advantage of the mute button. Your interviewer will never know you hit it – and you can minimize any potential noises or distractions. Just make sure you remember to un-mute your call once you start answering questions.

Tip #5: Promote yourself.

It’s up to you to convince the hiring manager that you deserve an interview. So take every advantage you can to promote your experience, skills and successful accomplishments throughout the conversation. Show your enthusiasm and be prepared to explain why you’d be a good fit for the job.

Tip #6: Follow up with a thank you note.

A few hours after the interview, send a follow up thank you email. Reiterate your interest in the job and why they should consider hiring you.

Need more help preparing for interviews and finding your next job? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top placement firms, we can learn about your background and career goals, then get to work matching you with great new opportunities. Contact us today to get started.

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3 Quick Tips for Finding the Best Houston Staffing Agency

October 4th, 2016

In the past, companies turned to Houston staffing agencies to fill administrative and light industrial roles. Today, though, those same agencies are filling positions ranging from IT and engineering to accounting, legal, healthcare and beyond on a full-time, part-time, contract or temporary basis.

So if your company is facing staffing challenges, you may want to consider partnering with a staffing agency. That way, you can hand off to the experts the task of recruiting, screening, interviewing, and reference checking, while you focus on other core business responsibilities. But with so many staffing agencies to choose from, how can you find one that’s right for you?

Here are 3 quick tips to help you:

Do your homework.

You wouldn’t hire an employee without interviewing and checking references. Likewise, don’t hire a staffing agency without doing the same. You want to ensure the firm you partner with has the experience and proven processes in place to help you, as well as a strong reputation in the recruiting field.

So ask your network for referrals and request references from each staffing agency you’re considering. Also, when you’re evaluating various agencies, keep your eyes and ears open. Visit their offices, assess how you’re treated on the phone when you call, and ask questions that help ensure they’re a good fit for you.

Make sure candidates don’t pay.

Most reputable staffing agencies require the employer pays the fee for the hiring process, not the candidate. Why does this matter? Because if a candidate is required to pay for staffing services, then the top talent is likely going to look elsewhere. After all, who would want to pay in order to apply for jobs? Working with such an agency can therefore limit your ability to attract the highest quality talent.

Put communication first.

Just like any business relationship, communication is key. If you’re not clear with a staffing agency about your needs, challenges and the role you’re trying to fill, they’re not going to be able to provide you with the best candidates. So always make communication a priority. If your recruiter reaches out to you with questions or concerns, get back to them with answers in a timely manner. That way, they can do their job efficiently and effectively – which benefits you in the long run.

Interested in learning more about how partnering with a staffing agency can help you? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top staffing agencies, we’re committed to providing the best recruiting services to both companies and job seekers, while delivering the highest quality experience for everyone we work with. Contact us to learn more.

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How to Respond to Job Interview Questions (When You Don’t Know the Answer)

September 27th, 2016

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows interview questions aren’t necessarily hard. Yet, they can sometimes be hard to answer. For instance, when a hiring manager asks about your weaknesses, why you’re leaving your current job, and where you see yourself in 10 years, it can stump even the best candidates.

For starters, you’re afraid to talk about weaknesses that could impact your chances of landing the job. As for why you’re leaving, you really don’t like your current boss, but you know not to bash an employer in a job interview. And when it comes to your career aspirations, you have no idea where you’ll be in 10 years, let alone next year.

But obviously, you don’t want to say all this in an interview. So what should you say? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1: Be honest.

Sure, it’s tempting to gloss over weaknesses that could impact your ability to get the job. But be honest with both the hiring manager and yourself about challenges, weaknesses, skills and strengths. For instance, if you’re really bad at numbers and you’re interviewing for a bookkeeping job, then there’s an extremely good chance you’ll end up in a position you hate or struggle in. And if you don’t perform well, this can impact your reputation, as well as your ability to find a new job in the future.

Tip #2: Don’t rush your answer.

When a hiring manager asks you a question that you’re not really sure about, don’t immediately start talking just to fill empty space. It’s ok to take your time to articulate your answer. Buy yourself a few extra moments by saying something like “That’s a great question, let me think about that for a second.” It’s better to take a beat to gather your thoughts than to blurt out a half-baked response.

Tip #3: It’s ok to say “I don’t know.”

The hiring manager just asked you a question about your experience with Excel, which you don’t have any in. You know the software isn’t critical to the role, just a skill that’s nice to have. And you know you can get up to speed quickly if you’re offered the job. So what do you say?

Be honest, but sell yourself too. For instance: “Honestly, that’s not really an area I have a lot of experience. But in my last job, I learned a new project management and timekeeping software system within a matter of weeks. So I’m confident if I get the job, I can get up and running with Excel quickly. Actually, I’m excited for the opportunity to learn it.”

Sometimes it’s hard to walk the line between being candid – and not throwing yourself under the bus during a job interview. But follow the tips above to ensure you respond gracefully to every question you’re asked.

Need more help with your interview or job search process? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can help you craft a great resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews, and locate the opportunities that best match your skills and interests. Contact us today to learn more, or search our Houston jobs now.

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How to Get Full-Time & Temp Employees To Work Together…Seamlessly

September 20th, 2016

There are so many benefits to bringing on temporary workers. They can help you get more done, without adding to your overhead. They can keep you flexible, agile, and staffed at an optimal level year-round. And they can help you avoid expensive overtime and employment costs…while still giving you access to the right-size workforce.

But, as a leading Houston temporary staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that one stumbling block that you might come across is with your current staff. In some cases, not everyone will be as welcoming as you’d like. And this can impact morale and productivity. So how can you prepare your core staff, so they can work effectively hand-in-hand with your temporaries?

Here are three tips:

The Why: Be clear about why you’re bringing temporary workers on board.

With layoffs and downsizing the norm in today’s economy, it’s no wonder your employees are worried when you bring temporaries on board. It’s up to you to play up the benefits and explain why it’s necessary. Be clear about your reasons – such as the ability to take on a lucrative new client or project – so they can stop wondering about job security.

The What: Talk about what role the temporary workers will fulfill.

Before your temporary team starts, talk to your existing staff about the work they’ll be doing. Keep in mind, if your staff understands the situation, then they’re likely going to be more comfortable with it. At this point, you can ask whether there are any questions and talk about issues or concerns they may have. This way you can diffuse any awkward situations before they start.

The Who: Connect each temporary worker to a buddy on your team.

When you assign a full-time employee to a temporary worker, you are essentially giving your temps a lifeline to fast answers and information…without having to come to you. Both temporaries and full-time workers will also have a chance to get to know each other better. In addition, assigning a buddy will help your temporary team members get situated faster and up and running quicker – which will benefit your company in the long run.

Do you need temporary employees for a big project or to cover an employee on leave? Call Murray Resources. As a leading Houston temporary staffing agency, our extensive database of over 8,000 candidates allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to your growth and productivity goals. Contact us today to learn more.

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6 Cover Letter Rules to Follow When Searching For Houston Jobs

September 13th, 2016

Are you spinning your wheels trying to write a cover letter that’s going to stand out? You’re certainly not alone. In fact, as one of Houston’s top job placement agencies, Murray Resources knows most job candidates struggle with composing the perfect cover letter. It’s one of the most dreaded parts of the job search process – right up there with an interview.

So if you’re having trouble, what can you do? Start by following these tips – and increasing your odds of landing an interview:

Tip #1: Don’t repeat yourself.

This is one of the biggest mistakes job candidates make – simply repeating what’s already on your resume. But your cover letter is an opportunity to provide new information to a hiring manager. And it can be the difference between winning an interview and getting passed over. So focus on something fresh, or expand upon a point you made in your resume.

Tip #2: Don’t focus too much on education.

Sure, you might hold a pricey degree from a fancy institution of higher education. But what hiring managers really want to know is: What can you do for them. So don’t focus too much on your education credentials. Instead, talk about your work experience and how you can make an impact at the company. Even if you have limited work experience, highlight volunteer or internship positions you’ve held.

Tip #3: Do focus on relevant experience.

You might have worked on a big project in your last job. But if it has nothing to do with the position you’re applying for, don’t write about it. Instead, think about the accomplishments that are most relevant to the job – and highlight those in your cover letter instead.

Tip #4: Start with a story.

Having a hard time getting the creative juices flowing? Start your letter with a story. For instance, why are you applying to the company? Have you been a fan of it for years? Do you dream about one day working there? Stories are a great way to stand out and bring your background to life.

Tip #5: Throw in a few numbers.

Hiring managers love numbers. So if you can quantify an accomplishment, all the better. For example, rather than just saying you managed a team, talk about how you managed a team of 10 people and were responsible for a $100k departmental budget.

Tip #6: Be mindful of your tone.

Don’t write in a way that’s too formal, or robotic. You want to come across as a human being. So be engaging, approachable, and friendly – but still professional.

Need more help with your cover letter or job search? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top job placement agencies, we can help you create a stellar resume and cover letter, as well as locate positions that best match your skills and interests – whether you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.

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Why Your Newest Team Members are Either Failing or Quitting

September 6th, 2016

It’s your worst nightmare come true. You spent months recruiting qualified candidates; weeks screening and interviewing them; and hours on the phone conducting background and reference checks. And while your new hire starts off enthusiastic and engaged, you realize after just a short time that you’ve made a terrible hiring mistake.

How could this have happened – and what can you do to avoid a repeat going forward?

First, as one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that you’re not alone. In fact, according to a study by Leadership IQ, around 46% of new hires fail on the job. That’s nearly half!

Second, in order to fix the problem, you need to know why new hires fail in the first place. According to that same study – based on 5,247 interviews, here are a few reasons:

  • Lack of coachability. Twenty-six percent of new hires failed because they couldn’t accept and positively implement feedback on their performance.
  • Lack of emotional intelligence. Twenty-three percent were unable to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as accurately assess the emotions of others.
  • Lack of drive. Seventeen percent failed because they didn’t have the necessary motivation to excel and achieve their potential on the job.
  • Wrong temperament. Fifteem percent of new hires failed because their attitude or personality weren’t well suited for their work environment or position.
  • Technical incompetence. Only 11% failed due to a lack of the necessary technical skills.

Based on this study, clearly attitude, personality and cultural fit all play a pretty big role in determining whether or not a new hire will succeed on the job. That means, next time you’re hiring, don’t simply focus on technical competence and skill set. It’s not the best predictor of job success.

Instead, look at the issues above – coachability, emotional intelligence, drive/motivation and temperament/personality. When you assess these areas during the hiring process – in addition to skill set – you’re far more likely to find and hire those people who are a good fit and truly have what it takes to succeed on the job.

Another area to focus on if you want to retain your new hires is onboarding. It’s vital you have an effective and well-designed onboarding process in place to welcome new employees and educate them about their place within the larger culture.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to recruiting or onboarding new employees? Let the experts at Murray Resources help you. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, we’ve worked with the city’s leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.

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6 Tips for Surviving Your First Day as a Temporary Worker

August 23rd, 2016

So you just landed your first temporary assignment. Congratulations! To help you survive your first week – and beyond, here are 6 tips to follow:

Tip #1: Know your stuff.

Before the first day, make sure you know important details, such as where you have to report to and when, who you supervisor will be and what time your shift will begin. Also, make sure you find out about the proper work attire and how you’re supposed to track your hours.

Tip #2: Be prepared on your first day.

If you interviewed with a temporary job agency in Houston – rather than the actual employer, make sure you know the location and how to get to the company you’re assigned to. Also, give yourself some extra time to get there in case of traffic or construction, so you’re not late. Finally, bring a pen and notebook with you in case you’re not given these items so you can take notes throughout the day. Bring a lunch, as well, in case there aren’t nearby restaurants or a company cafeteria.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Before your first day, take some time to read through the company website so you can learn about their mission, vision, services and executive leadership team. Formulate questions you have about the company and your assignment. Don’t just ask a question for the sake of it. But do ask insightful questions that will help you perform your job better. When you do, you’ll get up and running faster.

Tip #4: Be friendly and strive to connect with others.

It’s easy to feel shy and awkward during your first days on the job. But make an effort to put yourself out there and try to meet and get to know your new colleagues. Always be friendly, polite and helpful to everyone you encounter and participate in social activities when you’re invited.

Tip #5: Work hard.

Even though this is a temporary assignment, work just as hard as if it was a permanent, full-time job. Complete tasks to the best of your ability and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need extra help. Be positive and demonstrate a good attitude through your words and behaviors. And go the extra mile so you make a great impression.

Tip #6: Follow up with your temporary job agency.

Stay in touch with your temporary job agency so you can ask about any performance feedback they’ve received about you. Also, if you have any questions or concerns, bring them up to your agency immediately.

Working as a temp can be a great experience. Just be sure to follow the tips above so you put your best foot forward when you start your new assignment.

Interested in learning more about temporary jobs in Houston? Contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading temporary job agencies in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from crafting a strong resume and preparing for interviews to giving you access to job openings that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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5 Secrets to Hiring Great Temp Employees

August 16th, 2016

Permanent is better than temporary, right? Not so for the millions of companies looking to ramp up their temporary hiring efforts. They, like you, know that temp workers can offer some very real benefits – along with a competitive advantage.

But, just like your full-time positions, you can’t just hire anyone for your temporary job openings. You need to ensure you bring the right people on board from the start. How can you do that?

Here are the 5 secrets you need to help you succeed:

#1: Create great job descriptions.

You need skilled, reliable workers. But, as a provider of temp services in the Houston, Texas area, Murray Resources knows if your job descriptions are vague, too long, or poorly worded, you’re not going to attract the best applicants.

Instead, you need to make sure your descriptions are short, sweet and crystal clear. Also, for the sake of brevity, avoid any descriptions or language that a temporary worker doesn’t really need to know.

#2: Start small.

Before you bring on a team of 10 temporary workers for a mission critical project, start off smaller. Bring on a couple workers for a specific project and see how it works out. That way, you can assess their skills and abilities – as well as your need for them – without having a huge impact on your company if it doesn’t work out.

#3: Break the ice with employees.

One of the biggest obstacles to temporary hiring can be your full-time staff. If you bring in temp workers, they may feel threatened and worry that their job security is in jeopardy.

That’s why it’s important to talk with your people ahead of time to explain why you’re bringing in temporary workers and what you expect from your full-time staff (a welcoming attitude, cooperation, etc.) during the process.

#4: Make sure you’re protected.

If you’re not working with a temp staffing service in Houston – one who would handle all the legal documents and paperwork for you – then you need to ensure you have a contract in place with any workers before you bring them on board.

Your contract should include the scope of the work you’re going to have them do, agreed upon start and end dates, payment, and how they’ll be paid. Before you have them sign anything, be sure to consult with your business attorney to ensure key points are covered.

#5: Partner with a temp staffing service.

That said, it’s much easier to partner with a staffing service right here in Houston, Texas, when you want to bring temporary workers on board – especially if it’s on a regular basis. They can handle all the recruiting, screening, interviewing, testing and training – so you can focus on running your business.

Interested in learning more about how a temp staffing agency can help you? Call Murray Resources. As a provider of temp services to Houston, Texas businesses, our extensive database of over 8,000 candidates allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to your growth and productivity goals. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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How to Answer – Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employer?

August 9th, 2016

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to the interview, there are a lot questions that might make you squirm. “Why are you leaving your current employer?” is probably top on your list. After all, you aren’t leaving because you’re happy, engaged and motivated. So how can you be honest and authentic, without sounding bitter or resentful?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when answering this tough interview question:

Tip #1: Don’t badmouth your current employer…

If your instincts are telling you not to talk badly about your current employer – even if you’re leaving because of weak leadership or a toxic work environment – then they’re definitely right. Even if you’re miserable at work, save the negativity for your spouse or best friend.

Tip #2: …But be honest.

It may sound contradictory to be honest without being negative. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Start by considering what you’ve learned from the experience. Even if it wasn’t a good one, it probably taught you about the kind of leadership or work environment you should be looking for in your next job.

You can say something along the lines of:

“I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given at my current employer. However, it’s a small business environment and I’ve learned that I work better in a larger work culture with more room for growth. So I’m really looking for an opportunity where I can continue to learn different things and acquire new skills.”

Also, if you were fired from your last employer, it’s important to be honest about that situation, as well. If you’re not – and the hiring manager calls the company – they will quickly find out you lied. Instead, give an answer to show what you learned from the experience and how it will benefit you in this new position.

Tip #3: Practice your answer.

It’s important you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it ahead of time. Your goal is to come off as self-aware and open. You don’t want a hiring manager to have any questions or red flags in their minds as to why you’re leaving your current employer. So assume this question will be asked and be well prepared to answer it in a positive way.

Whatever you do say, don’t talk about how you simply want to make more money or are looking for a more senior job title. These kinds of statements will sound shallow and self-serving to a hiring manager.

Need more help finding great job opportunities and preparing for interviews? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Responses to Off The Wall Interview Questions

August 4th, 2016

We’ve all heard stories about interview questions ranging from the mundane (“What do you know about our company?”) to the ridiculous (“Tell me five things you can do with a pencil besides write or erase”). And as one of the leading placement firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has seen our fair share of off the wall interview questions.

(For the most part) Interviewers don’t ask these questions for their own amusement. They’re trying to get to the heart of who you are and if – and how well – you might fit into their organization. Some questions are simply to understand how you deal with unexpected situations. Almost all jobs require the ability to think on your feet and to act when you don’t have all the information you would like. An atypical interview question might help the interview understand how you may react in such a situation.

Some examples…

Antonella Pisani, a former executive with JCPenney and the founder and CEO of Official Coupon Code, likes to ask  ‘What’s a common misconception about you?’”

This question allows you, the interviewee, to explain yourself and it also demonstrates your level of self-awareness. For example, if you understand that you come off to people you first meet in a certain way, it’s a great opportunity to clarify your true nature.

Just bear in mind that you want to reinforce the reasons why you’re a great fit for the role, so if you’re applying for a role that requires significant social interaction and / or networking, you probably don’t want to go with an answer like “I come off as stern, but I’m really just a quiet person.”

Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal, says his best interview question is, “Tell me something you’re passionate about.” Caballero isn’t looking for a stock or “perfect” answer; rather, he’s looking for a genuine response, “whether it’s [the candidate’s] Sunday night bowling league or his son’s Boy Scout group.”

Caballero’s approach with this question focuses on you, the person, rather than specifically on the professional you. You’ll still want to give an appropriate and professional response, and we always recommend tying your answer to the job, whenever possible. If you have volunteer experience that relates to the job, that would be the perfect opportunity to mention it.

Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources, likes to ask, “If I could create the perfect career opportunity for you what would it look like?” Marsha uses that question to make sure the person is committed to the position they’re interviewing for.

Another question Marsha asks is, “Everyone in their life has personal adversity and challenges. Give me an example of an adversity you’ve been faced with and how you overcame that.” Marsha explains, “With this question I’m looking for someone who faces adversity and challenges head on. I’m looking more for an attitude. How they look at it, relate to it and changed their life as a result.”

“Of all the positions you’ve had, what is your favorite and why?” Marsha likes to ask this question because in her firm, culture is critical to success and you’ve got to be sure you’re making a good fit.

So how do you prepare for non-traditional questions – or can you? Believe it or not, you can. Ask a friend to come up with 2-3 off the wall interview questions and then practice giving your answers. Like anything else, once you’ve practiced, the actual game (the interview) will seem much easier. You’ll be amazed by how well you can respond to even the most out of the box questions.

The bottom line is that sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect in interviews, but it all boils down to a few basic tenets: be honest, be professional, and be yourself. Oh, and what are five things you can do with a pencil besides write and erase? The interviewer is looking for creativity more than the right answer. So get creative and you’ll do fine!

 

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4 Signs It’s Time to Fire an Employee

August 2nd, 2016

As one of the leading placement firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that not every person is a good fit with your company. Sometimes you don’t realize it until after they’ve been working with you for a period of time.

While firing an employee is never fun, keeping someone on staff who isn’t contributing positively can seriously hurt your bottom line. So if an employee is demonstrating the following signs, it’s time to say good-bye.

Sign #1: Not meeting expectations after repeated warnings.

Sometimes when an employee isn’t performing well, it’s due to a miscommunication, a lack of training, or unclear expectations. However, when you’ve communicated your expectations, set clear goals and repeatedly provided training opportunities – and the employee is still underperforming – then it’s clear they’re not a fit for the role they’re in. Not only is this situation wasting time and money, but it’s also causing tension within your company.

Sign #2: Inability to handle change.

Times are changing fast – and when an employee can’t or won’t do what it takes to keep up, it’s going to slow your company down. To stay competitive, your organization needs to be continuously improving and evolving – as do your employees. If an employee isn’t comfortable with change or improving their abilities, then it may be time to move on.

Sign #3: Zero drive or enthusiasm.

When an employee first gets hired, they’re full of excitement and enthusiasm about the opportunities that lie ahead. As time goes on, those who aren’t committed to the company’s values and mission can easily lose their drive. While this might be a temporary situation due to a challenging project or a difficult client, it becomes a big problem when it’s an ongoing issue.

Sign #4: A lack of cultural fit.

Oftentimes during the hiring process, companies focus on the hard skills of each candidate they interview. However, the soft skills – the ones that will determine whether or not a candidate will blend with the culture – are just as important. And if you’ve got someone on staff who isn’t a fit culturally speaking, then it will become clear very quickly. The faster you cut ties, the better.

Firing an employee can be a difficult prospect. However, keeping someone on staff who isn’t doing a good job, or isn’t the right fit, can cause serious damage to their career and your company in the long run.

Do you need help finding great candidates – ones who are the right fit – for your job openings? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading placement firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining the best people for your positions. Contact us today to get started.

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4 Red Flags When You’re Searching for a New Job in Houston

July 26th, 2016

If you’re searching for a new job, you’re likely focused on cover letters, resumes, and preparing for interviews. But don’t get so absorbed in these details that you lose sight of a potential employer’s red flags. If you do, you could wind up accepting a position you’re not a good fit for. To help ensure that doesn’t happen, here are 4 red flags to be aware of:

You’re not sure you can do the job.

You’ve heard about the details of the job – now you’re not sure you have the abilities to perform well in the role. You may be desperate for work, buts as one of the leading job placement agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows accepting an opportunity that you won’t thrive in can only result in frustration and misery. So if you’re concerned you don’t have the skills and experience to get the job done, then it’s probably best to keep up your search.

You only get vague job details.

You’re asking questions about tasks and responsibilities, short- and long-term goals and how your success will be measured. All you’re getting in response are vague answers. If the hiring manager can’t or won’t get into specifics about the job, then take it as a big warning sign that things could change significantly after you’re hired.

You had a poor interview experience.

You met with the hiring manager – who would be your boss if you accept the job – and the experience wasn’t great. They were rude, judgmental, critical, or just didn’t seem to understand the value you could offer. Keep in mind, if you walked away from the interview feeling badly, just imagine having to work there each day. Your boss is going to make a big impact on your job satisfaction and ability to get ahead. So if you’re not comfortable with them, then it’s not the right job for you.

It just doesn’t feel right.

Whenever you think about the job, you get an uneasy feeling. You can’t exactly put your finger on it, but something about it just doesn’t sit right. If this sounds familiar, it’s your intuition kicking in and you should listen to it.

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, it’s tempting to take the first job offer that comes your way. But before you make a move, make sure the employer isn’t showcasing any of these big red flags.

Need more help finding a job – and an employer – who’s right for you? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job placement agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests – whether you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.

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Hiring Temps? Make Sure You Ask These Interview Questions

July 19th, 2016

Temporary staffing is on the rise in companies across the country, as well as right here in Houston. In fact, the number of jobs in the temporary help services industry reached an all-time high of 2.9 million in May 2015, accounting for 2.4% of all private sector jobs in the U.S. That’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If your business is one of the many hiring on a temporary basis, how do you go about finding the best candidates?

Just like you would for a full-time, permanent employee, it’s important you properly vet each person you’re considering. Keep in mind, a customer isn’t going to care if someone was full-time or temporary if they aren’t treated well. As one of Houston’s top temporary staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows part of finding the right temporary workers includes asking the right questions during the interview process.

To help you make the best temp hiring decisions, here are several questions to ask in the interview:

Can you tell me why you want to work in a temporary job? Are you looking for a long-term or short-term assignment? If a full-time job opened up, would you be interested in applying?

Why ask: These questions are important to ask because they help you gauge the candidate’s career goals – and whether they align with your needs. For instance, say your company is increasing a big increase in sales and subsequent orders. But you’re not sure you can sustain it, so you want to bring in temporary workers to handle the demand without increasing overhead. It’s important to hire those who may be interested in full-time work should it become available. Asking these kinds of questions can give you a better sense of whether the candidate is open to such an opportunity.

What hours would you like to work? Are there certain days of the week you can’t work? Are you able to work different shifts?

Why ask: A candidate may have all the skills you need. But if they can’t work around your schedule and be available when you need them to be, then it’s a no-win situation. It’s important, instead, to find those candidates who can meet your scheduling needs and who can also be flexible should those needs change.

Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a new workplace situation.

Why ask: When it comes to temporary work, a lot of adjustment is involved. Every time a worker starts a new assignment, it’s with a different company, a different culture and a different set of rules. That’s why, to be successful, a temporary worker has to be able to quickly assimilate.

If I called your last boss, what would they say about you?

Why ask: You’re likely going to call references and asking this question gives you the chance to see if what a candidate tells you matches the information the references give.

Just because you’re hiring a worker on a temporary basis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t thoroughly interview each candidate you’re considering. The questions above are a good place to start – so you can make the best hiring decision.

Do you need expert help hiring temp workers – and taking your company to the next level? Call the team at Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top temporary staffing agencies, our extensive database of over 8,000 candidates allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to our clients’ growth and productivity goals. Contact us today to learn more.

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