6864

How Your Houston Company Can Hire Top Employees (Hint: It’s All About Sourcing)

March 1st, 2016

Your interviewing and skills-testing abilities might be top-notch. But if your sourcing process is less-than-stellar, recruiting top people to your team is going to be a challenge. Why? Because if your candidate pool is weak, it will impact your ultimate hiring decision. You need to ensure you’re sourcing the strongest candidates from the start, so you can interview, test and eventually hire the very best. Here’s how:

Consider what the job entails.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that sourcing the best candidates needs to start with a vision of what the job entails. So ask yourself this: What will a candidate need to do in order to be successful on the job? What are your goals and expectations for them within 90 days and six months of being hired? What will their specific tasks and responsibilities be?

Don’t just rely on what you think you know about the position. Talk the department head, as well as the people who will be working alongside the new hire so you can gain a clear sense of what this person will need to accomplish.

Focus on what makes your job better.

In other words, why should someone want to work for your company? In order for a candidate to want to make a move, you need to offer a compelling pitch. Most traditional job ads only focus on what the employer is looking for. Make yours stand out and advertise what you can offer to the candidate.

Sharpen your marketing skills.

Broadcast this message in your online job posts, as well as when you’re communicating directly with candidates. Make sure they understand not only what they will be doing, but what they also can be learning and becoming if they accept your offer.

Leverage your resume database.

Don’t forget about the resumes you keep on file. When you’re looking for your next great hire, now’s the time to tap into your resume database. You may have the ideal candidate right at your fingertips. Reach out to the strongest contenders with an email describing the opportunity and why they should consider making a move.

Tap into your network.

Candidates aren’t the only ones who should be networking during the job search process. When you’re sourcing potential employees, networking is one of the most effective tools in your arsenal. When someone refers a contact to you, call them immediately to find out whether they’d be open to a discussion.

Do you need more help sourcing and hiring Houston’s top talent? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

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5 Tips for Climbing the Career Ladder

February 23rd, 2016

If you’re ready to make a career move, you may be wondering what you can do to speed up the process. While you can’t jump into a new position and get promoted within a month, there are some steps you can take that – over time – will increase your odds of getting ahead. To help you in your quest for success, here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you climb the career ladder:

1. Get to know your boss.

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that bosses want to promote those they know and like to work with. So learn how your boss prefers to communicate. Figure out how to make his or her job easier. Try to anticipate any potential problems or pitfalls and make suggestions for avoiding them. Show your boss that you’re on their side and work hard to gain their respect.

2. Keep tabs on your accomplishments.

Your boss is busy and likely doesn’t monitor everything you’ve accomplished throughout the year. It’s up to you to keep tabs on your achievements and promote them to your boss when the time is right. For instance, if you receive a positive email from a happy customer, forward it to your boss along with a short note. A win for you is also a win for your boss.

3. Step up.

You can’t expect to do the bare minimum and get promoted at work. You have to step up – and step beyond your role in order to get noticed. That means getting to work early, arriving to meetings on time and well prepared, and volunteering for extra work during peak periods, all while getting your work done on time or ahead of schedule.

4. Stay in the know.

Today’s workplace is evolving rapidly. To be successful, you have to remain flexible. That means staying abreast of the latest industry trends and technology so you’re not blindsided by upcoming issues. It also means becoming a resource and the go-to person at your company for a hot topic. You should also strive to grow your expert status and credibility within your field, not just within your job.

5. Show your gratitude.

Show your gratitude and appreciation for any guidance or opportunities from higher ups at your company. Also, be generous with the praise and credit you give to others. Showing gratitude and sharing credit will truly make you stand out in the workplace.

If you’re seeking a promotion, then the steps above will help you get there. Even if you get passed over once, if you keep working at it, your manager will eventually take notice – and reward you as a result.

If you’re ready to get promoted into a new job with a different company, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding Houston job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to get started.

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5 Steps to Retaining Your Best Employees

February 16th, 2016

You finally have the right mix of personalities and skill sets on your team to deliver great results. But then, it happens: One of your top performers hands in their resignation. You didn’t see it coming. Where did you go wrong?

First, as a manager, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to some reports, approximately half of U.S. workers are actively seeking new job opportunities. That means even if your people seem happy and engaged, that doesn’t mean they’re going to stick around if a better opportunity comes their way.

The good news is that there are some steps you can take to keep your top performing employees on staff. Here’s a look at five of them:

Step #1: Find out what’s important to them.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows competitive compensation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retaining top employees. Today’s workers want flexibility, challenging assignments, and a healthy work life balance. However, when it comes to your unique situation and your top employees, they may want something different altogether – and it’s up to you to find out what that is, whether it’s a bigger paycheck, or the ability to work from home.

Step #2: Help them grow.

Many times, employers eliminate or avoid offering training and development programs because they cost money. However, these kinds of programs will benefit your company in the long run not only through a more skilled workforce, but a more loyal one, as well. Also, these programs don’t have to break your budget. It may be a matter of finding the right mix of free and paid training opportunities, or getting creative, such as developing a mentoring program at work.

Step #3: Give them opportunities to get ahead.

If there aren’t opportunities to move up the ranks at a company, then your top performers aren’t going to stick around. It’s important to offer them new opportunities, stretch assignments, and a shot at getting promoted.

Step #4: Offer advice.

Take top performers under your wing. Offer them advice and guidance. Become a sounding board for their ideas and visions. Don’t be afraid to give them constructive criticism. In most cases, these are the types of people who want to know what they’re doing right and areas that could use improvement.

Step #5: Manage well.

When an employee resigns, it’s often because they didn’t get along with their manager. So when you’re leading your team, strive to offer clear goals and expectations, recognize and praise good performance, nip problems and conflict in the bud, and model the kind of behavior you expect from your employees. When you’re a great manager who’s honest, hard working and who has a strong vision, the best people will want to work for you.

Would you like help finding and hiring top people for your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, 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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Why People Lie on Their Resume (and Why You Should Never Be One of Them!)

February 9th, 2016

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows most people are tempted to stretch the truth on their resume at one time or another. In fact, estimates report that over half of all resumes contain some fibs. However, if you lie on your resume and get caught, two scenarios could play out:

1) If the untruth is uncovered during hiring, you will be quickly dismissed from the hiring process, which would be truly unfortunate if you were a great fit for the job.

2) If you’re hired and then the lie is discovered, you could get fired. You also might forfeit certain legal rights because you lied during the application process.

Either way, it’s not a pretty picture. So it’s best to avoid lying altogether. But what are some areas that candidates commonly exaggerate, invent, and flat out lie about altogether on their resumes? Here’s a look:

1. Employment dates.

If you were at a company for 11.5 months and say you worked there for a year, that’s close enough. However, if you worked somewhere for six months, don’t try to stretch your employment dates to make it look longer…or worse, lie about gaps in employment. It’s easy enough for hiring managers to verify this information.

2. Job titles.

Job titles are one of the most common areas candidates lie about. They might exaggerate their title by adding a “senior” in front of it, or invent a position they never held. In any case, most hiring managers will verify your work history before they offer you the job. So your lie will likely be uncovered.

3. Education.

If you don’t have the educational requirements to get the job, don’t lie about it on your resume. All it takes is one quick phone call or email to your “alma mater” for a hiring manager to verify your educational background.

4. References.

Reference checking is one of the last steps in the hiring process. So if you’ve made it to this point, don’t sabotage all your efforts by providing the potential employer with fake references (for instance, by coaching family and friends to lie on your behalf).

5. Skill level.

When you lie about your skill level on your resume, you could really be setting yourself up for failure. Should you get hired, you may not have the knowledge and experience to actually perform on the job.

Hiring managers typically don’t expect perfection. What they do expect, though, is for candidates to be honest about their background and experience. If you’re not, and you do get hired, you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder. It’s just not worth it.

Are you trying to create a clear, compelling, and accurate resume, but need some help? Call the employment experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

6831

What Day of the Week Should I Fire an Employee?

February 2nd, 2016

You have an employee with serious performance issue. You’ve offered plenty of warnings. You’ve tried to help them get back on track and improve their performance. But the fact of the matter is this: It’s not working out. You know you have to fire them.

So when should you do it?

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows there are actually a lot of theories surrounding the best day of the week to fire someone. Here’s a look at them:

  • Generally speaking, it’s thought you should terminate an employee in the beginning or middle of the week, later in the day. That gives the employee time to take action to handle their situation, such as filing for unemployment, and submitting their resume to a staffing company or to other job openings.
  • In addition, by waiting until the end of the day, it gives the employee the chance to leave the office at their regular time, so they don’t call attention to the matter. They can even wait until colleagues are gone for the day to pack up their personal items so they don’t have to engage in any uncomfortable conversations.
  • If, however, you fire them at the end of the day on a Friday, they basically have two whole days where their hands are tied. They can’t make any forward progress and all they can do is worry and wait…and potentially get angry.
  • That said, there are some who do believe the end of the day Friday is a good time to fire someone because it gives them the weekend to digest the news and to make a plan for their job search.

In the end, the decision is completely up to you. Nobody likes to be fired. And whether someone is fired on a Monday vs. a Friday won’t make a huge impact on their reaction. They are going to be upset and emotional.

However you do decide to deal with the situation, always be respectful and kind. You’re delivering a major blow here and so it’s important you handle the circumstances very carefully. People may not remember exactly what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel – good or bad.

Also, once you decide to terminate an employee, take action quickly. Don’t let the situation linger on. You’re not only doing your company a disservice, but the employee, as well.

Do you have a job opening you’d like help filling? Call 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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How to Search for Your Next Job…In Secret

January 26th, 2016

Looking for a new job? Then you probably don’t want your existing employer to find out. However, as experienced Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that in today’s world of social media and online connections, that can certainly be a challenge, especially if you work in a smaller industry. So how can you keep your job search a secret, until you get offered your next great position? Here are 3 quick tips you can put into action:

Quick tip #1: Take care with your LinkedIn profile.

One red flag to your employer that you’re searching for a new job is if all of a sudden you make dramatic changes to your LinkedIn profile. If they’re connected to you via LinkedIn – and get emails about changes to their network’s profiles – then they might assume you’re searching for a new job. The good news is that you can change your settings on your profile to avoid this scenario. Simply visit “Settings” and then select the “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” under Privacy Controls. That way, you can fly under the radar of your boss and co-workers.

Quick tip #2: Take a planned approach to network.

You probably know that networking is the fastest way to find a new job. But it can be tricky when you’re already employed and don’t want to broadcast your search. That’s why you need to take a more strategic approach to networking. For instance, if you work with someone who knows the hiring manager at the company you want to work for, don’t automatically ask them to connect you. You need to assess your relationship with that person to ensure they are someone you can trust not to leak your job search news.

In general, when you’re in this position, you need to evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis and network only with those you know you can trust to keep your search in the strictest of confidence.

Quick tip #3: Take aim at the right opportunities.

If you don’t like your current job, it’s tempting to apply to any position that sounds ok or to take the first offer that comes your way. But this is a recipe for disaster. Instead, take the time to research opportunities and the employers to ensure the ones you’re applying to are the best fit for you. It’s better to search for job for six months to a year and land the one that’s a great fit and a terrific next step in your career, then get a new job in a month and find out you dislike it soon after.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to keeping your search a secret. No matter how careful you are, your boss still might find out about your hunt. That said, you can greatly reduce the odds of that happening by following the tips above.

Would like you expert help with your Houston job search? Call the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources. When you work with us, you can rest assured that your job search will always be kept completely confidential. At the same time, we can offer you access to a variety of rewarding opportunities that may not be always be advertised. Contact us today to learn more or get started!

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5 Steps for Successful Technical Recruiting

January 19th, 2016

If you’re hiring for technical roles, then you know there’s a serious demand for talent. There are far more openings than there are candidates to fill them. However, your company doesn’t need to get lost in the gap. As experienced technical recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows you can get – and stay – ahead of your competition by following a few key steps during the recruiting process.

Step #1: Speak their language.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Mysql, CGI, Android, iOs. Technical candidates understand these terms, but do you? If you’re recruiting technical professionals to your company, it’s important to be familiar with these types of terms. In addition, depending on the specific position you’re looking to hire for, it’s vital you know the applications and programs candidates should be versed in. If you can’t speak their language, you can’t effectively recruit and vet candidates.

Step #2: Know what motivates them.

For tech candidates, choosing a position and a company that’s right for them goes beyond the one offering the biggest paycheck. While compensation is clearly important, so are offering perks and benefits that satisfy their values and personal interests. In addition, it’s also important to understand your audience. If you’re targeting and recruiting from a younger generation, then offering flexibility and a healthy work life balance are keys to attracting them.

Step #3: Know where the talent pools are – and dive in.

There are plenty of hot spots for tech talent. For instance, according to an article on the official LinkedIn blog, nearly 1 out of every 3 new residents who moved to San Francisco in 2013 had technology skills. In addition to recruiting in different locales, use a variety of industry specific websites, like Dice.com, to help you recruit tech candidates.

Step #4: Tap your current talent.

The person you need could be right under your nose. When you’re looking to recruit, don’t forget about considering existing staff. When you’re open to promoting from within, you don’t have to work so hard to sell the company and there will be far less of a learning curve for your employee.

Step #5: Move quickly.

While you shouldn’t move so fast you don’t have enough time to thoroughly assess each candidate, you can’t spend months trying to make a decision. Your top pick will be long gone by then. The companies that are recruiting the best talent are also those who are moving quickly.

If you’d like more help finding and hiring the top IT talent, turn to Houston’s IT recruiting experts – Murray Resources. Our Houston technical recruiters are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class information technology (IT) talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

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Create a Great Resume for Your 2016 Job Search

January 12th, 2016

Is one of your 2016 career resolutions to find a new job? Then, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows your resume is a critical tool in the process. But if you haven’t looked at your resume in a while, then it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you create a great resume so you can land your dream job in 2016, here are 5 tips to help:

Tip #1: Brainstorm about your background.

When you’re first starting out, don’t filter yourself. Instead, write down everything you can think of regarding your career, including past jobs, accomplishments, awards, new skills, certifications earned, continuing education, and any other relevant facts. You can edit all this information and tailor it later.

Tip #2: Concentrate on the wins.

For each position you’ve held, don’t just define your tasks and responsibilities. Hiring managers want to know more than you just “Ordered office supplies.” Instead focus on the positive impact your work had on the company, as well as any important accomplishments. For example, state that you “managed the office budget and office supply contracts, re-negotiating with vendors and saving 15% on supplies in the process.” Hiring managers want to see a track record of success backed up by facts and figures.

Tip #3: Look for help from other sources.

Writing a great resume isn’t easy. Instead, look for inspiration from other sources around the web to jumpstart your thought process. For instance, a site like LinkedIn could be helpful when you look for other professionals with a background similar to yours to see how they market themselves. That’s not to say you should be copying and pasting from the web; but it’s a great place to go as a guide.

Tip #4: Take a look at past evaluations.

You can also look at your past performance evaluations as another source of inspiration when you’re writing your resume. If you have copies of yours, look for your areas of strengths and positive comments from your past bosses. It will also help ensure you don’t overlook any important areas in your background.

Tip #5: Tailor your resume every time you apply.

Don’t send the same resume to every job you’re applying to. Instead, tailor and tweak it for each unique position. For one position, knowing a certain computer program could be critically important. If that’s the case – and you’re literate in that program – then tout that detail at the top of your resume in a “Summary of Expertise” section. Remember, you’re trying to not only give hiring managers an overview of your background, but also stand out in a sea of other candidates.

Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. By following the tips above, you can ensure you create a great one that gets results.

If you’d like more help creating your resume, or finding job leads, call Murray Resources. As one of the top recruiting 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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Are You Setting Clear Expectations for Your Staff?

January 5th, 2016

One of your people isn’t getting the job done. They keep missing deadlines. They constantly come to you with questions. Goals are falling by the wayside and work quality is slipping.

Sound familiar? While a weak employee may be the culprit, another possibility is that your staff member is operating on unclear expectations. As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows when your people don’t fully understand what they’re supposed to be doing and when, they’re never going to be able to perform well.

So how can you go about setting crystal clear expectations – so your employees can deliver? Here are some steps to take:

Step #1: Assess the job.

Are the right people in the right roles? Do their job descriptions actually align with their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? While a job description won’t define every aspect of a job, it does set forth an outline as well as basic expectations. So if you hire someone to perform a certain job, but that position doesn’t match at all what they’re currently doing, then that lack of alignment could be the cause of weak performance.

Step #2: Define goals.

As a manager, an important part of your job is to define goals for yourself and for your employees. In addition, you need to ensure the goals you do set match up with larger, organizational strategies and objectives. But before you assign certain objectives to your staff, work with each one in the goal setting and strategizing process. When they have a voice in it, they’ll be more vested and motivated to succeed.

Step #3: Set the tone.

Your people look to you to set the tone. So if you expect your employees to arrive at work by a certain time, or dress in a certain way, then you should live by those same rules.

Step #4: Talk often.

Don’t wait until year-end performance reviews to talk with your employees. You should be checking in with them regularly, even if it’s on an informal basis. It’s also much easier to touch base throughout the year to learn about issues, concerns, or questions they may have and deal with them before they become emergency situations. During these talks, you can let your staff members know too where they stand – areas in which they’re performing well and those that could use some improvement.

Step #5: Get new hires on board.

When you hire a new employee, make sure you define clear expectations from the start. You’ll reduce the chance of performance issues down the line if you explain what you expect, when you expect it by and how success will be measured.

When you don’t set clear expectations, it can result in a dysfunctional team that gets little done. Instead, take the steps above to define goals and expectations so your employees produce the best results.

Do you need help hiring for your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Are You Making These Career Resolutions for 2016?

December 22nd, 2015

When it comes to resolutions, everyone who makes them has the best of intentions. Unfortunately, they typically fall by the wayside just a few weeks into the New Year. So whether you’re happy in your current job, or are looking to make a leap in 2016, what are some realistic career resolutions you can make for the New Year – ones you’ll actually keep? Here’s a look:

#1: Evaluate where you are.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows it’s important to take a step back and think about where you are in your career – and where you want to go. Ask yourself: What do you like about your job? What don’t you like? How can you improve those areas? Is it time to make a move to a new job? If so, what does the ideal position look like? Based on your answers to these questions, set career goals and create a timeline for achieving them.

#2: Strengthen your resume.

You never know when the ideal job opportunity is going to come along. When it does, you want to be ready for it. Also, it’s much easier to keep your resume updated regularly, when important accomplishments are fresh in your mind.

#3: Increase your visibility.

Yes, you need to refine your paper resume. But it’s also important to have a solid online presence, as well. So don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile – as well as any other social media profiles you may have – with accomplishments and skills you’ve acquired in 2015.

#4: Expand your network.

Network whether you’re looking for a new job or not. Having a solid network in place will not only help you when you’re looking for a new opportunity, but it’s a great source to tap into when you need career advice or inspiration.

Despite what you might think, networking doesn’t simply involve going to events and handing out business cards. It can be reaching out to old colleagues to set up a lunch date or go for drinks after work.

#5: Enhance your skill set.

Whether you’re content in your current job, or looking for something new, you should be regularly investing in yourself and your skills. For example, sign up for a class to learn about new technology impacting your field or industry. If you don’t have the time to take a class, read books and magazines about your industry and issues pertaining to it so you can stay in the know.

If one of your career resolutions for 2016 is to find a new job, Murray Resources can help. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

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How to Recognize Great IT Candidates

December 15th, 2015

As Houston technical recruiters, Murray Resources knows when it comes to IT, hiring isn’t easy. While you may have a good amount of candidates apply for a position, spotting the strongest ones can be a challenge. And, as you know, a high performer is going to have a far more positive impact on your bottom line than someone who’s just mediocre. So how can you recognize great IT talent next time you’re looking to hire for your tech team? Here are some tips to help you:

Tip #1: Define Your Ideal Candidate

Don’t start the hiring process without knowing precisely the kind of candidate you’re looking for. Before you begin, define their role and the skills, experience and personality that best fit it. Identity not only the tasks, duties and responsibilities associated with the position, but think too about goals and how success will be measured. The more you can define the role and who your ideal candidate is, the better chances you’ll have of spotting them.

Tip #2: Don’t take a hard line on experience.

For example, if you’re looking for a candidate with at least five years of programming experience, but you find a great candidate with only three years, don’t overlook them. If they’re smart, passionate and eager to learn, they may become a more valuable asset to your company than someone with more experience. Hard skills can always be learned; attitude usually cannot.

Tip #3: Don’t focus on imperfections.

It’s true that some of the best candidates don’t have the perfect resume, a flawless GPA, or a degree from a prestigious university. But don’t let these details get in the way of you finding the best candidate. Strong candidates don’t always come in neat packages with perfect resumes; some may have a more unorthodox background. Don’t overlook these “diamonds in the rough” when you’re hiring.

Tip #4: Perform your due diligence.

That said, don’t skip important steps in the hiring process just because you like a certain candidate. It’s always important to check references, verify credentials, and performs skills and personality testing to ensure you make the best hiring decision.

Tip #5: Promote the opportunity.

Once you have a handful of candidates you’re interested, it’s up to you to promote the position and your company to get them excited about coming on board. Some ways to do that include talking about the interesting and challenging work, the company’s commitment to investing in the latest technology, opportunities for advancement, and any other perks and benefits you think would appeal to them. Get them excited about working for you.

If you’d like more help hiring tech talent for your IT team, call Murray Resources. Our Houston technical recruiters are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class information technology (IT) talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

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How Can I Improve My Odds of Finding a Job on LinkedIn?

December 8th, 2015

While LinkedIn may still seem new to the employment marketplace, it’s actually more than a decade old. Over the years, it’s evolved from a niche social networking website to an essential tool for every kind of professional.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that today, it’s also one of the go-to sites hiring managers use when researching a candidate. As a result, it’s important that you a) have a profile on LinkedIn and b) make sure it’s as effective, up-to-date and polished as possible.

To help you, here are some tips:

Post a professional photo.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be a professional headshot from a pricey photographer. But it shouldn’t be a blurry photo of you on vacation either. You need to make sure whatever image you do post looks professional and appropriate for the LinkedIn environment. While you may think you can skip over this step, it’s critical that you do have a photo because you will get far more page views from recruiters with one than without.

Polish your content.

If you are actively searching for a job, then research relevant job opportunities on LinkedIn. You’re looking for keywords and phrases that are used in the postings you’re interested in. Once you have a list, be sure to incorporate them into your own profile so there’s a higher chance of recruiters finding you when they’re searching.

Follow companies you’re interested in.

If there are certain organizations you’d like to get your foot in the door at, then follow them on LinkedIn. You’ll learn about what’s going on there, as well as potential job opportunities. You can also share and comment on their posts, and get on the radar of the hiring manager.

Focus on your connections.

Connections are the mainstay of your LinkedIn profile – and you can leverage them in your job search. For instance, if there’s a certain company you want to work for, then use LinkedIn to search and see if you know any of their current employees. If you do, reach out and ask whether there are any openings on the horizon, as well as for advice on getting hired at the company.

Also, when you send a new request via LinkedIn, don’t use the canned “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message. Rather, write a personal note inviting someone to your network. It will make a much more positive impression.

Join groups.

Recruiters look for strong candidates via LinkedIn groups. They search for those with the skills and expertise they need within a particular skill set. So make sure you join relevant industry groups and get involved in the conversations going on there. You’ll increase your visibility and your chances of landing on the radar of a hiring manager.

Would you like more help finding your next great job? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Spot a Weak Candidate

December 1st, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that hiring mistakes are expensive. But the good news is that many times, they can be avoided. To help ensure you filter out the weak candidates – and focus on the strong ones – be on the lookout for these negative traits:

They give you ambiguous information.

When you ask a candidate a question, they should be able to offer you detailed information and examples from past work experiences that highlight the skill set and experience you’re interested in. However, when a candidate can’t go into a specifics, it’s a sign they lack the background you’re after.

They give long-winded answers.

Sometimes a candidate may ramble due to nerves. But in many cases, it’s a sign that they don’t really understand what you’re asking. In addition, not being able to offer a concise answer means their communication skills need improvement.

They’re too informal about the interview.

They may show up a few minutes late, dress in attire that’s not completely appropriate and keep their cell phone in hand during the interview. These types of behaviors shows a total lack of regard for both you and your company…and it’s also a sign of what’s to come should you hire this person. A strong job candidate doesn’t need to be overly formal, but they should know how to act professionally during the interviewing process.

They aren’t prepared.

It’s important for candidates to spend some time before the job interview researching your company. Doing so enables them to ask insightful question to assess whether the position is a good fit for them and also shows their enthusiasm for the job. However, when a candidate shows up ill-prepared, it demonstrates they’re not willing to put in the work…even during the interview process.

They focus on the negative.

Most people have had a boss or co-workers they didn’t care for at some point during their careers. However, when a candidate focuses on negative experiences like these, it’s a sign that they lack judgment and professionalism.

They focus on the money.

It’s only natural for a candidate to want to know about the compensation, benefits and perks associated with the position. However, if their first few questions revolve around salary and vacation time, then the candidate likely doesn’t care much about the job or the company.

When a candidate demonstrates the traits above, then it’s time to cross them off your short list. If you’d rather outsource the process to the experts, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, 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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Why You Should Be Hiring Gen Y Workers

November 24th, 2015

When you ask most people, they’ll say that the typical Gen Y worker (born between 1980-2000) is entitled and lazy. However, as Houston software recruiters, we know that this stereotype isn’t necessarily true. And in fact, if you overlook this up-and-coming age group when you’re recruiting, it could negatively impact the strength of your IT team, and your company as a whole. So why are Gen Y-ers worthy of your attention when you need IT talent? Here are a few reasons:

They grew up with technology.

As a result, they are more tech-savvy than any generation that came before them. For them, the use of technology – and the pursuit of the latest and greatest – is second nature. And the proof is in the numbers. In fact, according to Monster.com, Gen Y-ers are three times more likely than employees in other generations to hold IT certifications.

They are budget friendly to hire.

Since most Gen Y-ers are still early on in their careers, you can tap into their technical knowledge without breaking the budget. That’s not to say you shouldn’t offer competitive compensation, or try to hire them for a lower-than-market value price. You should always offer fair compensation.

They are growing in numbers.

With Baby Boomers retiring or just about to, this generation can more than fill the gaps. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that more than one in three new hires today is a milennial. That’s a lot of potential new hires!

They are driven.

Sure, there are lazy individuals in every generation. But overall, this group of the workforce is ambitious and driven to succeed. Sure, you might have to manage them a little differently. For instance, they require performance feedback and input far more than previous generations. But you can put their ambition to work at your company and positively impact your bottom line.

They stay in-the-know.

More than other generations before them, Gen Y employees aim to stay on top of emerging trends and developments, so they can keep their skills fresh and current. This attitude and ethic can serve to positively shape your company’s culture, as well as your bottom line with fresh ideas and creative insights.

If you need to hire top IT talent, follow the tips above so you don’t miss out on the technically skilled and ambitious Gen Y generation. However, if you’re interested in outsourcing the process, call the Houston software recruiters at Murray Resources. Our IT staffing division specializes in in recruiting technology professionals, ranging from software engineers to desktop support. We know where to look to find the most talent tech people, but also how to rigorously screen and evaluate them – all so you find your next great hire. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Tap Into Hidden IT Talent in Houston

November 17th, 2015

If you’re looking to hire IT talent, you know it’s not simply business as usual. Competition is fierce. The good news is that, as IT recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that if you rethink your approach to recruiting, you can uncover hidden technical talent and hire the IT people you need, where and when you need them. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Ask for Referrals

When you need talented IT professionals, the first place you should start is by asking your existing IT staff for referrals. They’ll likely know people not only looking for jobs, but those with the right technical skill sets and background. You also may want to create a referral program or offer financial incentives if you do end up hiring someone an existing employee refers. Doing so will help you build a pipeline of qualified technical talent when you need to hire.

Create a a Twitter Search

Another question to ask your tech team besides whether they have any colleagues to refer is which Twitter hashtags to look out for when you’re sourcing candidates. Once you create a list, set up accounts with social monitoring websites, such as HootSuite, to learn about online conversations using those keywords.

Narrow Your Search

LinkedIn is a great place to start when you’re looking for IT talent. However, you need to go beyond the site in order to be effective with your efforts. One way to do that is by using online collaboration sites to narrow your search. These sites speak to a specific skill set such as Google Code, Working With Rails and Stack Overflow. When you narrow your search, you’ll have a much better chance of uncovering candidates with the skills and experience you need.

Create a Recruiting Program With Local Colleges

Your next best IT hire may still be in college. So don’t overlook these up-and-comers when you’re searching for technical talent. To tap into new college recruits, set up an internship program with your local college or colleges. Also, connect with any IT or computer engineering clubs at the schools so you can get on the radar of the members there and try to forge relationships with them.

Go to Competitions

Find out when technology and programming competitions in your area are and plan to attend. When you do, these contests give you a front and center peak into the IT talent within your community and an opportunity to network with them. To find out about events in your area, look to websites like Meetup.com.

If you need more help uncovering hidden technical talent – so you can build the strongest IT team, give Murray Resources a call. As experienced IT recruiters in Houston, we can give you access to the highest quality talent, whether you need a programmer, project manager, or desktop support personnel. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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Why Outsourcing to Technical Recruiters in Houston Can Save You Money

November 10th, 2015

The economy has changed dramatically in recent years, making recruiting the right technical candidates more challenging than ever. From fierce competition due to skills shortages to ever-evolving business conditions, finding and hiring the right people in this new recruiting environment requires a different approach.

However, when you outsource the task to an expert – in other words, technical recruiters in Houston – you can find the best technical candidates, avoid the risk of hiring mistakes, and save time and money in the process. Here’s how:

Less Time-to-Hire

When you work with technical recruiters in Houston, they have a proven process in place based on years of industry experience and insight. So when you need to fill a position – whether on a contract or full-time basis – they immediately know where to look and may even already have relationships with candidates who would be a good fit. Rather than spending your valuable time searching for strong candidates, you can focus on other priorities and leave the task to the technical recruiting experts.

Increased Access to Candidates With Specialized Skill

Finding technical candidates can be a challenge, but sourcing those with a specialized skill set can be downright impossible…unless, of course, you’ve partnered with reputable technical recruiters in Houston. Recruiters are always doing just that…recruiting. So they come across a wide array of technical talent with various competencies across all levels, including those who may suit your unique needs.

A More Efficient Process

Between advertising fees and time to interview candidates, there are many direct and indirect costs to hiring. And they can add up quickly. But when you work with technical recruiters in Houston, you pay one fixed fee, so you know the expenses walking into the partnership. An experienced recruiter is also far more efficient with the process in terms of both cost and time.

Top Technical Candidates

In many cases, a new hire will quit after just a few months on the job, oftentimes due to lack of fit. However, when you work with a technical recruiter who understands the industry, you can gain access to better fit candidates, make a better hiring decision and avoid the costly risk of a hiring mistake.

Finding the right technical talent for your job opening be both challenging and expensive. But when you outsource the task to a technical recruiter, you can lower costs, gain access to top talent, and reduce the hassles of hiring.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working with a technical recruiter in Houston, call Murray Resources. As top Houston technical recruiters, we can give you access to the highest quality talent, whether you need a programmer, project manager, or desktop support personnel. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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How to Hire the Right Personalities For Your Team

November 3rd, 2015

When you’re hiring – regardless of whether it’s for a big corporation or a small family business – you need people who are a fit for your company. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows the best employees go beyond having strong hard skills. They have the soft skills that enable them to adapt well to the company culture and their positions, and are therefore able to perform at their best.

So if you’re ready to hire, or are considering doing so, how can you make sure you recruit those who have the right personality for your team? Before you start, ask these questions:

#1: What kind of personality are you looking for?

For instance, if you’re hiring a receptionist, being friendly and outgoing are significant traits for the job. However, if you’re hiring a bookkeeper, being detail oriented is far more important. So think about the position you’re hiring for – as well as the types of personalities that thrive within your company culture – and make a list of the key traits that you should be looking for in candidates.

#2: What questions will you ask to screen for the traits most important to you?

Once you’ve defined the traits most important to the position, make sure that the hiring and interview process will effectively screen for them. For instance, if you need someone who can think on their feet, ask a curveball question – such as “If Americans were the tallest people in the world, how would you go about proving it?” – when you’re interviewing them.

#3: How will you demonstrate the company’s personality during the interview?

Another way to find candidates with the right fit personality is to make sure you educate each individual about the company’s culture. If you communicate that your culture is laid back and informal, for instance, and a candidate knows they work better in a more structured environment, it’s likely they’ll filter themselves out of the running for the job, or not accept an offer should you extend one.

#4: How will you approach the interview?

It’s important to approach the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation. The more comfortable a candidate feels, the more likely it will be that they will open up and share more details about themselves. As a result, you’ll better be able to assess whether or not they’re a good fit for your opportunity.

Do you need more help hiring candidates that are the fit your organization? Call Murray Resource. As leading Houston recruiters, we can take the hassle out of hiring  – all so you can focus on other priorities while still gaining access to quality talent. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

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How to Get Job Search Help From Your Network

October 27th, 2015

You likely know that networking is an important component to any job search. After all, most jobs are filled through referrals and by word of mouth. But reaching out to those you know can sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable. What you can do to properly approach the situation – and leverage your network to find a new job in Houston? Here are some tips to help you:

Contact people one at a time.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources certainly understands it can be tempting to save time by sending out a mass email. However, don’t do it. Instead, reach out to people in your network on an individual basis. When you do, they’ll be far more likely to respond than they would to a mass email.

Get specific.

When you talk to those in your network, be as specific as possible with what you’re looking for in terms of a job. Otherwise, they won’t be able to guide you to opportunities that are the best fit for you. So rather than saying you’re looking for a job as a project manager, let them know you’re looking for an IT project manager position at a medium or large company.

Get outside of your comfort zone.

You may work within a certain industry, but your next ideal job could be in a different industry altogether. So when networking, don’t limit your contact to only those who work in a certain field or industry. Reach out to those outside your comfort zone; they may be able to tell you about opportunities at companies you may never have considered.

Be mindful.

If you try to connect with someone and they don’t get back to you, don’t get offended or pester them. Let it go. You never know what could be going on at work or in their personal life. So if you called twice and haven’t heard back, simply cross that person off your list and move onto to someone else.

Say thank you.

When someone assists you or provides you with a lead, don’t forget to thank them. Also, make sure to keep them posted about your job search progress, especially if their tip or information helped in your search. And, of course, it never hurts to return the favor to those in your network when they’re searching for a job.

Looking for a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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Think You Made a Hiring Mistake? Here’s How to Fix It

October 20th, 2015

You’ve screened hundreds of candidates, interviewed dozens and made your final decision. However, now that the employee is on the job, you’re second guessing your choice to hire them. If this sounds familiar, you’re certainly not alone. Every employer has made a hiring mistake at one time or another. The question is – what should you do about it? First, you need to be able to spot a few red flags. They are:

Red flag #1: An inability to learn from mistakes.

Expect new hires to make mistakes. It’s going to happen. However, if your new hire is making the same mistake again and again, there’s a problem. Either they aren’t listening, don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing, or they simply don’t care.

What to do: When this happens, schedule a casual sit down chat with them. Don’t be harsh or overly critical. Simply state the problem and ask the employee what’s going on. Maybe they’re not clear on their role, or perhaps they need some extra training and support. Whatever the case, it’s important to find out what’s causing the issue so you can properly rectify it.

Red flag #2: There’s an attitude problem.

Your new hire was charming during the hiring process, but now they’re crabby and negative on the job. It could be that you made a hiring mistake, or they simply might be under extreme stress and acting out because of it.

What to do: If this is happening at your company, you need to fix the situation as soon as possible. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that a toxic attitude can quickly spread like a virus to other employees, negatively impacting morale and your company as a whole. Schedule some time with your new hire to find out what’s going on. Be prepared with specific examples of their attitude and explain the impact it’s having on the team. In many cases, the person may not even realize they are being overly negative.

Red flag #3: They’re acting like a lone wolf.

Some positions require people who can act more independently. However, they still need to collaborate and be a part of the team. If your new hire isn’t making any effort to get to know others or join forces on projects, it could be a sign of a poor cultural fit.

What to do: When this happens, make an effort to get the new hire more involved in activities at the company and with their co-workers. They may simply need a little nudge, as well as more time to adjust. Another option is to pair them up with a company veteran who can act as a buddy and make them feel more comfortable and welcome.

Just because a new hire isn’t producing within the first few weeks on the job doesn’t mean you made a bad hiring decision. However, if you spot the red flags above, it’s a sign that the situation could deteriorate – and it’s up to you to act.

Do you need help replacing a bad hire? If you do, call Murray Resources. As leading Houston recruiters, we can take the hassle out of hiring  – all so you can focus on other priorities while still gaining access to top quality talent. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

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Hiring IT Talent? Here’s What You Need to Know

October 13th, 2015

You likely already know that technical talent is in high demand these days. As a result, you need to understand a few essentials if you’re going to beat out the competition for the best people. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

#1: Understand the Market.

What’s the market rate for the type of technical talent you need in the Houston area? What are your top competitors paying their people? What kinds of perks and benefits are they providing? As Houston technical recruiters, Murray Resources knows that if you want to recruit and retain top IT talent, then you must know the answers to these questions. So if you’re looking to hire – before you even begin the process – make sure you find the answers to these questions so you can offer the most competitive compensation when great talent comes along.

#2: Understands how candidates perceive your company.

If your company doesn’t have much of an online presence, then IT candidates likely won’t know much about you or perceive you in a positive light. On the other hand, if you’re regularly engaged on social media and on IT industry websites and forums, then you can positively shape the perception candidates have about your company and what you offer to employees.

#3: Understand what motivates IT candidates.

Obviously, salary and benefits are important to every candidate. But tech talent are also highly interested in – and motivated by – challenging assignments, the opportunity to learn new technical skills, and companies that invest aggressively in technology. In addition, they want clear goals and to be given the independence to achieve those objectives without a lot of hand-holding.

#4: Understand why past employees left.

When you understand why a past IT employee left, you’ll have a better chance of not losing top employees in the future. Once an employee gives notice, conduct an exit interview to find out why they resigned. Sometimes, it’s a situation you can do nothing about – such as if a spouse gets re-located. But in other cases, there may be trouble areas in your corporate culture or retention efforts that need some attention.

#5: Understand what you’re doing right…and areas that need improvement.

Every few months, evaluate your IT retention efforts by asking questions about how technical employees are performing, the training and development opportunities they have access to, and their thoughts on the company’s technology investments, as well as work culture. If there’s an issue coming to head, you can hopefully handle it before you lose a top performer.

Do you need more help recruiting and retaining top technical talent? Call Murray Resources. Our Houston technical recruiters are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class information technology (IT) talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

 

 

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5 Pre-Interview Steps Every Employer Should Take

October 6th, 2015

You’ve spent hours defining the job, advertising the position, and scouring the employment marketplace for just the right candidates. Don’t blow it by not properly preparing for the job interview. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that being well prepared will help you make the most of this vitally important hiring tool. Here’s how to get started.

Step #1: Make sure you have enough time for the interview.

Don’t try to squeeze in a candidate between meetings, or schedule only a half hour for an interview. You need to set aside enough time to not only interview the candidate, but also give the candidate time to ask questions. Also, make sure that wherever you conduct the interview, it’s private and quiet and that you’re not constantly checking your email or text messages.

Step #2: Read each candidate’s resume again.

Even though you’ve read the candidate’s resume before, make sure you review it again before the interview. Make any notes on it about facts you want to check or questions you may have. Knowing the resume ahead will also give you more time to dig deeper – beyond the basics – during the interview.

Step #3: Keep the job description handy.

Make sure you also review the job description ahead of the interview and keep it nearby in case you need to reference it. Doing so will make it easier for you to assess each job candidate. Also, create a short list of the traits and qualifications that are absolutely essential and those that are simply nice-to-have. Besides specific hard skills and experience, think too about the type of personality you’re looking for in a candidate. Do you need someone who works well under pressure, some who’s an extrovert, or someone who can take a project and run with it? Identifying these intangibles ahead of time will make it easier for you to spot the candidates with them.

Step #4: Write out your questions ahead of time.

Have a standard set of 10 to 12 questions you plan to ask each candidate (so you can easily compare them later), but also be sure to ask some questions that pertain to each individual’s unique background. That doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t ask any questions off the cuff. You’ll know when it’s time to move off script.

Step #5: Be prepared to answer questions.

A good candidate will arrive at the interview with their own questions about the job, the company, and its culture. Be ready to answer their inquiries. Typically, most candidates ask about what the expectations for the position are, how their performance will be measured, what the company culture is like, the advancement opportunities available, and the benefits and perks offered.

Do you need more help finding and interviewing the best candidates? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, 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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Have to Take a Personality Test for a Job? Here’s How to Approach It

September 22nd, 2015

The hiring process used to consist of the application, the interview, and the decision about whether or not you got the job. Today, however, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows the process is a bit more complex and can oftentimes include a personality test.

You might wonder what implication your personality has on your ability to do the job. But employers know that personality makes a difference in whether or not a particular employee can deliver on the job or flounders and fails. In fact, personality can oftentimes have a bigger impact vs. hard skills on whether a person is successful in the company.

And, as a candidate, you actually stand to benefit too from these personality tests since they help an employer better assess whether you’re a good fit for their culture. So if you do get offered the job, then you have peace of mind knowing that your personality will likely blend within your new employer.

As a result, don’t approach a personality test with a sense of dread. Instead, view it as a tool that can help match you with the right opportunity.

So if you’re asked to complete a personality test, how should you approach it? Here are some tips to help you:

  • Don’t lie. Always be honest when answering questions on a personality test. You might be tempted to exaggerate the truth, but you’ll only be doing yourself a disservice. Why? Because you don’t want to wind up in a position or at a company that isn’t right for you. So answer each question as candidly as possible.
  • Take a sample test. There are plenty of free tests online you can use to practice taking a personality test. While the actual questions probably won’t be the same, you’ll familiarize yourself with the process and the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. As a result, when the time comes for you to take the real test, you’ll be more comfortable and confident.
  • Change what you can for the better. Your personality is your personality – and you can’t change much of it. What you can change, though, is how you present yourself via your resume and the interview. So make sure you always strive to put your best foot forward in those areas.

Are you looking for a new opportunity in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

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When a Candidate Turns Down Your Salary Offer

September 15th, 2015

After much screening, interviewing and assessing, you’ve finally found the right candidate for the job. The trouble is they just turned down your salary offer and countered with a higher one. Whether you counter back, or consider your second choice candidate is up to you. But before you make a move, consider the following:

Define your boundaries.

How high are you willing to go for a candidate? As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that you must know your boundaries before you even start negotiating. Think about the maximum compensation you can offer and then if a candidate demands more, it’s time to walk away. If, however, their demands are higher than your initial offer but still well within your boundaries, then countering back certainly makes sense.

Get creative with your offer.

If you simply cannot offer more money, but still want a particular candidate, then get creative with your offer. Add extra vacation days, more generous health insurance, or extra perks, like the ability to telecommute. Those benefits may be more attractive to a certain candidate than a higher salary.

Clarify the advantages of your offer.

Make sure the candidate knows about and fully understands all the perks of working at your organization. For instance, if your company offers regular salary raises every year, communicate that. You want to ensure the candidate recognizes the big picture benefits of working at your firm, not just the details of the immediate offer.

Convey the value of a job offer beyond compensation.

Top caliber candidates want jobs that are challenging and rewarding. So make sure you convey what you’re truly offering to a candidate in terms of their ability to learn on the job, grow professionally and advance their career.

Be prepared to walk away.

Unfortunately, there are times when negotiations are stalled and neither party can make headway. If that’s the case, then it may be time to walk away and contact your second choice candidate. Hiring is always a risk and the last thing you want is to bring someone who’s a bad fit on board at a salary you can’t really afford. So it’s better to walk away and explore other options at this point.

Do you need more help hiring top pick candidates for your Houston company? Call 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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What Happens To Your Resume After You Submit It?

September 8th, 2015

Did you ever wonder what happens to your resume after you hit the “submit” button? Does the hiring manager automatically review your application, or do they hold off until they’ve received all submissions? And does an applicant tracking system filter your resume based on certain keywords, or does a human handle the resume screening process?

To answer your most pressing questions, here’s a look at what happens to your resume after you submit it:

It’s true that many companies, particularly larger ones, will use some sort of software application to screen your resume before a human lays eyes on it. The software uses different types of criteria, such as keywords, to target the individuals who seem like the best fit for the position. For that reason, when you are applying for a certain position, take a look at the job posting first and highlight any keywords in it. Then, before submitting your cover letter and resume, make sure some of those keywords and phrases are incorporated into both.

After your resume gets filtered – and if yours makes the cut – it then goes to the hiring manager. The manager will begin the process of screening each one so they can hone in on those who are the strongest fit for the job. Most hiring managers will only spend a few seconds scanning each resume; after all, there are typically a lot to get through. That’s why it’s vital to ensure your resume is in an easy-to-read format, with generous margins, a font size of at least 10.5, bullet points, and bolded job titles. Skip the tiny font size and dense paragraphs. It’s far better to submit a two-page resume that is clear and easy to read, then a resume on one page that’s crammed and cluttered with information.

If a hiring manager thinks you could be a fit for the job, then they’ll call you to schedule a phone screen. More and more, employers are conducting these because they take less time than a face-to-face interview and enable them to create a strong short list of candidates to bring in for interviews. A phone screen may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. The end goal, though, is to make a decision about whether or not to invite you in for an interview. So don’t just wing it; prepare for a phone screen just as you would for an in-person interview.

The interview is the next step in the process; although if the employer requires multiple rounds of interviews, skills testing and background checks, it certainly won’t be the last. However, if you’ve made it to this step, then you’re likely on the short list of candidates to hire. So again, make sure you’re well prepared for the interview and present a polished, professional image.

If you don’t get a call or hear back after the interview, but just get a standard “thank you for applying” letter or email, then the hiring manager may have decided you weren’t the best fit for the job. However, most will keep your resume on file for at least a year should another similar opportunity arise.

Do you need more help polishing your resume and finding great job opportunities? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to learn more.

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The ABCs of Recruiting IT Candidates

September 1st, 2015

Recruiting is a tough job, whether you’re looking for your next IT project manager or an expert programmer. Not only do you need to source top candidates, but you must vet them properly to ensure you make a smart hiring decision. And considering the cost of a bad hire, there’s a lot at stake. To help you with the hiring process, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Keep postings up-to-date.

If you regularly fill similar positions, don’t re-use the same job postings again and again. Each time you need to hire, review the description and look for areas where you can better explain the job, or better promote your company. The end result will be a more effective job posting and better fit IT candidates that apply for it.

Be proactive.

Many times, organizations only recruit when they need to fill an opening. But when you’re proactive about technical recruiting – and doing it on a regular basis whether you have an opening or not – you’ll develop a healthy pipeline of candidates.

Look in the right places.

When you’re looking to hire, go to the places where top candidates spend time. That means joining industry groups, networking where they are, and raising your company profile in their professional community. If you don’t know where to start, ask technical employees who work in positions that are similar where they network online, or go to in order to “talk shop” with other professionals.

Take a candidate-focused approach.

When it comes to hiring right, it’s important to focus on the needs of the candidate, as well. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hire an individual who’s a fit for your company and the position. So ask about future career goals, what their ideal job looks like, and what the right culture and schedule is for them. That way, you’ll have a strong sense of whether their needs and goals – and your company needs and goals – are a good match.

Test them out.

Once you have a short list of top candidates, give them a homework assignment to complete. This should be a short project that can help you assess their technical skills and enthusiasm for the job.

Stay connected.

If you find a great candidate, but don’t end up hiring them, don’t just send them a rejection letter. Reach out to them and let them know you were impressed by them. Also, ask if the two of you can stay connected via LinkedIn. That way, if an opportunity comes along in the future you think they’d be a fit for, you already have an established relationship.

Would you like more help from experienced Houston technical recruiters? Call Murray Resources. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help.

6645

Attention IT Candidates: How to Ace Your Next Phone Screen

August 25th, 2015

As leading Houston IT recruiters, Murray Resources knows that in today’s employment landscape, the phone screen is oftentimes the first step in the interview process. But if you’ve never been through one before, how can you approach it successfully – so you’re invited in for a face-to-face interview? Start by following these tips:

Treat it like an in-person interview.

Some IT job candidates approach phone screens too casually. They don’t think they hold as much weight as more formal interviews and therefore don’t require a lot of preparation. But a phone screen can be your ticket into the hiring process. If you bomb it, then don’t expect a call back.

Choose a good time and place.

Don’t schedule a phone screen during a time when you know all the kids will be home. You need to be able to focus not only on what the interviewer is saying, but also on promoting yourself and your technical accomplishments. So be sure you set it up at a time and in a place where you know you can have some peace and quiet.

Do your homework.

Make sure that before your phone screen you do your homework. That means researching the company online so you understand who they are and what they do. Also, review the job description and make a list of your strengths, skills, and accomplishments that are most relevant to the position. During a phone screen, you can even keep a “cheat sheet” of the career highlights you want to communicate right next to you since the interviewer can’t see you. Also be sure to practice your answers to some commonly asked interview questions.

Be prepared.

Before the phone screen begins, be sure to have a copy of your resume nearby so you can reference it if needed. Also keep a notebook and pen handy so you can jot down any important details or thoughts during the interview. In addition, if your cell phone regularly drops calls, have the interviewer call you on a land line. The last thing you want are technical difficulties that can cause you to lose focus. And finally, have a glass of water on hand in case your throat gets dry from talking.

Be professional.

That means no chewing gum or eating during the phone screen. Also, make sure you don’t interrupt the interviewer or try to talk over them. And speak slowly and clearly.

Before the end of the conversation, don’t forget to ask about next steps. That way, you know what to expect – and when.

Do you need more help acing interviews or finding great IT job opportunities? Call the experts at Murray Resource. As leading Houston IT recruiters, we can connect you with jobs and employers that are the right fit for you. Send us your resume or contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Interviewing, Tips
6628

Are You Making These Mistakes When Screening Resumes from IT Candidates?

August 18th, 2015

When it comes time to hire new IT talent, their resume is typically your first point of contact with them. You can use it as a way to spot the top candidates and filter out the weak ones. But as leading Houston technical recruiters, Murray Resources knows there are some mistakes employers make when screening resumes from IT candidates. What are they? And how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

Mistake #1: Focusing too much time on the first batch of resumes.

It’s tempting to evaluate that first batch of resumes you get and move on to an interview with the promising ones. But if you posted a job opening for a one-month period, then don’t dismiss the candidates who apply later. In fact, your ideal candidate might apply the day before your job posting closes. So give every resume your focus and attention; not just the first few that come your way.

Mistake #2: Picking apart every resume.

Many times, recruiters look for reasons not to bring in candidates for a job interview instead of looking for good reasons to bring them in. But nitpicking every detail of the resume is an easy way to miss out on top candidates. Sure, there will be candidates who clearly aren’t a good fit for the role or your company. But if there are candidates you’re not sure about, don’t automatically dismiss them. Email them to schedule a 15-minute phone screen, which will give you a much clearer sense of the candidate.

Mistake #3: Not knowing what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have a strong sense of the kinds of skills and experience you need in a candidate, then it’s going to be difficult to screen resumes. So before you start, make a list of the few must-have skills, requirements, or traits a candidate has to have so you know where you’re willing to compromise…and where you’re not.

Mistake #4: Not verifying details.

Certain candidates may look great on paper. But in reality, they don’t have the skills and experience you need. That’s why it’s so critically important to verify the information a candidate presents to you. That doesn’t mean checking every candidate you get a resume from; but once you’ve narrowed your list to three to five candidates, then you need to verify their education, past employment and credentials. If a candidate isn’t honest about their last job title, how honest do you think they’ll be once on the job?

Avoiding these mistakes is a great first step toward successfully screening resumes, bringing in the strongest technical candidates for an interview, and ultimately making a great hiring decision.

Do you need more help hiring top IT talent for your company? Call Murray Resources. Our Houston technical recruiters are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class information technology (IT) talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

 

 

6620

How to Improve Your Technical Staffing Strategy

August 11th, 2015

As one of Houston’s top technical staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows recruiting IT talent is no easy task. The supply of tech talent simply cannot keep up with demand – and it’s only going to get worse.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Employment and output in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow rapidly over the next decade, outpacing similar professional, scientific, and technical industries and the economy as a whole. Between 2010 and 2020, output in computer systems design and related services is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 6.1 percent, compared with 3.6 percent for the broad industry category – professional, scientific, and technical services – and 2.9 percent for all industries.”

So if your company needs access to technology stars, how can you find and hire them?

Make technical staffing a top priority.

Technical staffing shouldn’t be something you’re doing only when you have a position open. When you wait to recruit, you’re only putting your company in a position of desperation. Rather, it should be an ongoing effort that takes precedence in your organization. After all, where would your company be without great talent?

One way to find and hire top talent is to build a strong employer brand that people want to work for. Use social channels to post about your company, your culture, and why employees love working there.

Move quickly.

One of the benefits of focusing on technical staffing – and developing a robust network of talent – is that when you do need an app developer, programmer, or IT project manager, you already have relationships built. All you need to do is reach out to your network. As a result, your hiring process will move more quickly, enabling you to make offers faster. This is critically important considering IT professionals typically have multiple job offers from which to choose.

That being said, don’t try to move so fast that you don’t properly vet candidates. Still follow a process of interviewing, testing, and verifying credentials to ensure you identify the right people for your positions.

Pay more for tech skills in high demand.

If you need to hire for a position that’s calls for a high-demand skill set, be prepared to pay more for it. If you don’t, your competitors will – and they’ll wind up with the best tech people as a result.

Measure your efforts.

Dig dip into your technical staffing strategy so you can measure its effectiveness. For instance, find out how many interviews it takes to close a candidate and how long it typically takes to make an offer. When you have data like this in hand, you can use it to improve the technical staffing process.

Would you like to outsource your technical staffing function to the experts? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top technical staffing agencies, we are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class technical talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

 

6601

Why You Should Answer a Call From a Technical Recruiter

August 4th, 2015

You’re not looking for a new job. But then you get a call or an email from a Houston technical recruiter with an opportunity that sounds like a great fit. Should you ignore it – especially considering you’re gainfully employed – or pursue the opportunity? In the end, it’s up to you; however, there are a few thoughts to consider before you make your move.

A Technical Recruiter Can Give You Access to Houston Jobs That Aren’t Advertised

Many job candidates think that when a company has an opening, it automatically gets posted online on a job board or on the company website. But, as Houston technical recruiters, Murray Resources knows this certainly isn’t always the case. In fact, many of the best positions aren’t advertised at all, which is why it can be incredibly valuable to work with an IT recruiter.

Credible ones with experience have strong relationships with their clients – that is, the hiring companies – and they’re often the first ones to hear about exciting new opportunities. As a result, there could be an ideal position for you that you wouldn’t otherwise learn about.

Also, Houston technical recruiters spend a significant amount of time networking with employers and candidates. Through these connections, they have extensive contacts. So even if the original opportunity doesn’t work out, they may be able to find a different – and even better – job for you.

A Technical Recruiter Can Give You Access to Houston Jobs That Are a Good Fit for You

When it comes to career advancement and job satisfaction, technical recruiters understand the need for fit. Even if your background and skills are ideal for a position, they’re only going to present you as a candidate for an opportunity if they know you’re a good fit for the job, the company and the culture.

Technical Recruiter Will Know What the Going Rate is For Someone With Your Experience

Are you being paid what you’re worth? You may not know the answer to that question, but an experienced IT recruiter certainly will. They can help ensure you find job leads that are only paying top dollar for someone with your skill set.

Technical Recruiter Understands the Importance of Confidentiality

If you’re currently employed, you don’t have to worry about an IT recruiter contacting your current company. They understand the need for discretion and will keep your job search completely confidential.

Would you like to learn more about what an IT recruiter can do for your job search and your career? Call the Houston technical recruiters at Murray Resources. Whether you are a programmer, project manager, or desktop support personnel, we can give you access to top technical jobs with leading edge organizations. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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7 Steps to Finding Top IT Talent

July 28th, 2015

As leading Houston IT recruiters, Murray Resources knows finding top technical talent isn’t always easy. Whether you’re looking for a company CIO or help desk staff, technical professionals are some of the hardest to source. To help you in your effort to hire the best IT talent in Houston, here are a few steps to follow:

Step #1: Ask your current team.

One of the easiest – and most cost-effective – ways to recruit IT talent is to ask your existing tech employees for referrals. Many may have friends or colleagues looking for an opportunity just like yours. And you won’t know unless you ask. You may even want to develop a formal referral program that rewards employees who refer top candidates to you.

Step #2: Take a targeted approach.

If you want to find top technical talent, you need to look in the right places. Large job boards are too generic; instead take a targeted approach and look to online communities that attract IT people – such as Github and Stack Overflow. Not only will they serve as a good source for potential candidates, but you’ll be able to assess an individual’s knowledge and experience too.

Step #3: Define the job clearly.

The last thing high potential candidates want to do is wade through a long and confusing job description. Instead, keep it short and simple. List a few key requirements and don’t forget to promote the benefits of working for your company. Remember, it’s not just about your needs; you must focus on what you can offer to potential employees.

Step #4: Make it easy to apply.

When the application process is long and cumbersome, you’re going to lose out on top candidates. Instead, make applying to your company as seamless as possible. Keep in mind, you’re not using the application to hire an employee; you’re simply using it to source candidates. So you don’t need to know every detail about their background and abilities.

Step #5: Don’t hire in a hurry.

When you have work that needs to get done, it can be tempting to hire in a hurry. But take your time screening and hiring your next IT employee. Each candidate must be thoroughly vetted and tested to ensure they are the right individual for your needs. Otherwise, if you move too fast in the process, you may wind up with an expensive hiring mistake.

Step #6: Keep candidates in the loop.

Keep your list of top pick candidates in the loop about where you are in the hiring process. If they’re in the dark too long, they’re going to assume you made a hiring decision and move on.

Step #7: Make recruiting an ongoing effort.

Don’t simply try to fill a job opening. Make recruiting IT talent an ongoing effort. When you take this approach, you’ll have a robust network of candidates to tap into next time you need to fill an empty seat.

Do you need more help finding and hiring top IT talent? Call the Houston IT recruiters at Murray Resources. Whether you need a project manager, desktop support, or an expert programmer, we can give you access to top technical professionals where and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

6587

Are You Paying Your People What They’re Worth?

July 21st, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows when it comes to employee loyalty, salary isn’t the only reason people stay with a company. However, it’s still vitally important and can impact your ability to recruit and attract the best talent. If, on the other hand, you don’t pay people what they’re worth, they’re not going to stay with you for long and your company will develop a negative reputation as an employer. So how can you tell if your salary is competitive? Here are some tips:

Look to the competition.

If you’re assessing salary and find the competition pays more, you’re going to be on the losing end of the war for talent. It may take some time and effort to determine what other similar companies pay, but it’s certainly well worth it. Use resources such as Payscale.com or Salary.com to start your search. You can also look to sites such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find salary averages for certain positions. And finally, you can tap the expertise of a Houston recruiter to gain a sense of what other companies are offering.

Make sure pay grows with responsibility.

If you’ve expanded the roles of employees without offering them more compensation, you’re going to eventually lose them. People don’t mind taking on more for temporary periods of time, but if this is the new normal, they are going to look for better opportunities – with better pay – elsewhere. Don’t make your people feel underpaid and undervalued; make sure their compensation aligns with the level of work they’re doing.

Evaluate company turnover.

Turnover happens at every company and is even healthy in some cases. However, if your organization is experiencing a high level of it, then your compensation may be to blame. But the reality is that turnover will actually wind up costing you more (in the form of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees) then simply paying your existing staff more.

That said, offering an across the board raise might not be in your budget. If that’s the case, then identify your key players and offer raises to them. Down the line, when you can, you may then be able offer raises to your other staff members.

Do you need more help hiring and retaining top talent? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, 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 Keep Job Search Perspective

July 14th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that starting a search for a new job can be exciting. Who knows what will come your way. But when the third and fourth weeks pass – and you still haven’t gotten a call for an interview, it can be discouraging. But if you have the right perspective to start with, then it’s a lot easier to deal with a stressful and uncertain hiring process. To help you, here are a few thoughts to consider:

You must customize your cover letter and resume.

One reason you may not have gotten any interviews is because your resume is too generic. It’s critically important to customize every cover letter and resume for each opening you apply to. That doesn’t mean you need to rewrite these documents from scratch; but it does mean you need to invest the time and effort to showcase why you’re the best person for a particular position.

You probably won’t get a response right away.

You submit your cover letter and resume…then you wait and wait. What gives? This is actually a pretty normal occurrence during the job search. Most hiring managers are so busy reviewing responses to the job opening that it may take a while for them to get back to you. Don’t take it personally; it’s not necessarily a bad sign.

You might not get a response at all.

In some cases, you might respond to a job opening and never hear back. This can certainly be disheartening, but it’s the reality of the situation when searching for a new job. If this happens, shrug it off and move on. The position probably wasn’t a good fit for you in the first place.

Keep searching until you’ve been offered the job.

Don’t stop your search just because you think you’re going to get the job. So many issues can get in the way of a job offer – and the last thing you want is to quit your search before an offer is concrete. So keep looking until you sign on the dotted line.

Don’t compare yourself to other candidates.

If you find out your neighbor found a new job in two weeks – and you’ve been looking for two months – don’t get upset. They may work in a field that has a shortage of job candidates, or they may have known someone at the company they were hired at. Whatever the case; don’t compare yourself to others.

If you’d like more help with your job search, call the professionals at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

6576

How to Spot a Bad Candidate

July 7th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows it’s every employers worst nightmare to hire a candidate who performed well during an interview, only to find out they’re not a good fit for the job. Whether they don’t have the right skills, personality or attitude is irrelevant; it’s still going to cost you. The good news is that there are some red flags to look be on the out for – before you make a hiring decision – that can help you avoid a bad hire. What are they? Here’s a look:

They offer unclear answers.

When you ask for specifics, and the candidate can’t give them, that’s a clear sign that they may have overstated their abilities on their resume. Someone who actually did the work you’re asking about will be able to discuss it in detail.

The candidate has no failures.

When you ask the candidate to tell you about a time they failed on the job or made a big mistake, and they can’t give you one example, it leaves you wondering what they’re hiding. Everyone has made mistakes on the job in the past, so either they’re afraid to answer this question for some reason or they have absolutely no self-awareness.

They act unprofessionally.

Whether it’s showing up late without a reasonable explanation, being rude to the receptionist, or answering a call in the middle of an interview, unprofessional behavior is one clear sign you need to scratch a candidate off your list. You have to ask yourself: If someone can’t act professionally for even an hour during an interview, what’s it going to be like once they’re on the job five days a week, year-round?

They focus on the benefits.

You’re asking the candidates about their education and experience. But when it’s their turn to ask questions, all they want to learn about are the advantages and perks of working at your company. Every candidate wants to know this information; but there’s a right time and a wrong time to bring it up. During the first interview, a candidate should be more focused on whether they are a fit for the job and the company than how many vacation days they’d get.

Do you need more help hiring the best candidates? Give Murray Resources a call. 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.

6570

Didn’t Get the Job Offer? Here’s Why

June 23rd, 2015

Job searches are frustrating and stressful, plain and simple. But one of the most difficult parts is when you land the interview – think you aced it – and then don’t get the job offer. A different candidate secured the position. It can certainly be a bitter pill to swallow; however, it can also be one that you learn from. So what kinds of reasons could there be that you didn’t get the job? Here’s a look:

Reason #1: You didn’t have any rapport with the hiring manager.

Managers are fearful of making mistakes when it comes to hiring new employees. As a result, factors such as personality and soft skills have become almost as important as the hard skills. So if you had all the right abilities and experience, but you simply didn’t click with the hiring manager, that could be a reason you didn’t get the offer. They may be afraid you won’t mesh well within the company culture once hired. That doesn’t mean you’re not a great candidate, it simply means you weren’t the right one for this particular job.

Reason #2: Your online identity could use some editing.

You may have done a great job in your interview. But if, after the fact, the hiring manager Googled you and didn’t like what they saw, then that could have hurt your chances for landing the position. In the future, make sure your online profiles are professional or at least set to private. You don’t want something like social media to have a negative impact on your job search efforts.

Reason #3: You seem negative or disinterested.

Did you bash a former employer or colleagues during the interview? Did you not have any questions about the company and position for the hiring manager? When you’re interviewing for a job, it’s important to be positive and enthusiastic. That means no talking about past jobs – unless it’s in a positive way, such as what you learned from an experience – and demonstrating your eagerness to land the job through asking meaningful questions. Otherwise, the hiring manager will think you’re not taking the job seriously.

Reason #4: You really weren’t qualified.

In some cases, another candidate may have had more experiences or a background that was a better fit. In other cases, the hiring manager may not have thought you were truly qualified for the position. For instance, if you exaggerated on your resume, but couldn’t back up your claims in the interview, that’s one warning sign to hiring managers.

So you didn’t get the job. The good news is that there are still plenty out there. And with the right approach, next time you’ll be the one getting the offer.

If you’d like job search help from the experts, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting 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.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips
6560

How to Find Your Next Great Hire

June 16th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that in a perfect world, you’d have a crystal ball when it came time to hire. In the real world, though, you’re always taking a risk when you bring a new employee on board. You never really know whether or not they’ll work out – even if they looked great on paper, aced the personality test, and performed optimally during the interviews.

So what can you do to avoid hiring mistakes in the future? One solution is to put contract-to-hire staffing to good use.

Simply put, contract-to-hire staffing enables you to “try before you buy.” You bring in an individual on a trial basis, typically around 90 days. During this time period, you can evaluate the quality of their work and whether they’re a fit for your company culture; likewise, they can assess whether you’re the best fit employer for them. Once the trial period ends, you can choose to hire them – or not. It’s completely up to you.

If you do choose to bring on contract-to-hire employee, how can you make the most of this staffing option? Here are some tips:

  • Make sure employees go through an effective training and onboarding process. Just because they’re a contract-to-hire worker, instead of a full-time one – yet – don’t put them at a disadvantage. You want them to be able to get up and running as quickly as possible so they can start delivering positive results.
  • Provide them with ‘real’ assignments. That means give them assignments that would be part of their position if you did choose to bring them on full-time. Otherwise, you won’t truly be able to assess their performance and abilities.
  • Welcome them. Don’t cordon them off simply because they’re not officially hired. Introduce them around, give them a tour and make sure they feel like a part of team. Remember, soft skills are just as important as hard ones; so you need to ensure they fit with your culture and the rest of your staff.
  • Ask for input before you decide to hire. Ask your employees their thoughts and feedback on the employee before you make a decision. They’ve been working alongside this person for a period of time and should be able to offer you some valuable insight so you can make the best hiring decision.

Do you want to put contract-to-hire staffing to work at your company? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, from contract-to-hire to full-time. Contact us today to find out more.

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Are You Hurting Your Job Search With This Bad Advice?

June 9th, 2015

Are you searching for a new job? If you are, it can seem like everyone under the son has a piece of career advice to help you during your hunt. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that some of the opinions offered can certainly be valuable; others, on the other hand, can actually hurt your job search and negatively impact your ability to land a great new position. So what advice should you simply ignore? Here’s a look:

Your resume can only be one page.

Sure, this was the rule of thumb years ago. But today, it’s no longer the case. Your resume can be – and should be if you’re highly experienced – more than a page. It’s much better to have an easy to read and well formatted resume that’s two pages long, than a cramped one with tiny print that’s one page long. That said, don’t go overboard and submit a resume that’s more than two pages long.

A job search is a numbers game. Apply to as many positions as possible.

A hiring manager can discern fairly quickly whether or not you’re a good fit for a position. So if you’re sending your resume to any job – just because “hey, you never know” – a hiring manager will be able to tell. You’re only wasting your time – and their time too – by applying to every position that sounds good. Instead, spend your time crafting customized resumes and cover letters for the few positions you truly are a fit for.

Companies only advertise when they have an opening.

Considering that most job openings are filled through referrals, not ads on job boards, this certainly isn’t the case. So if there’s a company you’re interested in working for, apply anyway – even if they haven’t posted a position. In your cover letter, be sure to communicate why you want to work for the company and what types of skills and talents you bring to the table that could make a positive impact there.

Staffing agencies are for people without any real skills or experience.

Gone are the days when staffing agencies were simply used to fill administrative and industrial type positions. Today’s staffing agencies place highly skilled professionals in fields ranging from accounting to IT to human resources. So if you’re someone with plenty of experience under your belt, and you’d like some professional help finding your next job, a staffing agency can certainly help get you there.

If you’re ready to tap into the expertise a staffing agency can offer you, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

6548

Why Proper New Hire Orientation is Critical for Success

June 2nd, 2015

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that for many new hires, their orientation experience consists of watching outdated company videos and completing an overabundance of administrative forms. When you think about the level of effort that just went into securing these new employees, this approach to orientation simply doesn’t make sense. It often causes the employee to wonder whether they made a mistake leaving their old job. In addition, poor orientation processes also slow the time to productivity, increase error rates and cut retention rates.

But good orientation processes can have a positive impact in many ways. They can:

  • Cut Costs: Effective orientation can help the new hire get up to speed far faster, reducing costs associated with learning the job as a result.
  • Lowers Anxiety: Every new hire experiences some level of anxiety. But when you offer a proper orientation program, it can help lower anxiety and make employees feel more welcomed in a new situation. In addition, it encourages employee confidence and helps the new employee adapt faster to the job.
  • Reduces Turnover: When employees don’t feel valued, or aren’t clear about goals and expectations for their jobs, they’re not going to be successful. However, an effective orientation program is the start of showing a new hire that they are indeed valued and giving them the tools necessary to do their jobs.
  • Helps Managers: The more effective the orientation program, the less time managers will need to spend on training new employees.
  • Help New Hires Develop Realistic Job Expectations: For employees to be successful in their new roles, they need to understand what’s expected of them and what to expect from others. They also need to learn about the prevailing attitude and values of their new employer. New hire orientation is an important first step in this process.

Clearly, having an effective orientation process in place is critical for success. Your organization benefits from factors such as reduced turnover and improved productivity. New employees, likewise, benefit from feeling more valued and “fitting in” to the new job faster. And fewer mistakes are made by the new hires who are more relaxed.

Do you need help hiring and onboarding new employees? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining top talent. Contact us today to get started.

 

6542

What Are the Best Questions to Ask in an Interview?

May 26th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that most candidates are so focused on the questions they’re going to be asked, that they forget to prepare any questions to ask the hiring manager. But asking questions during an interview is very important. Not only can it confirm to the hiring manager that you have the right abilities for the job, but it can also help decide whether or not you want the job.

So what kinds of questions are most helpful to ask during an interview?

What kinds of challenges will the person in this job face?

Sure you want to know about all the benefits and perks. But knowing about the challenges is just as – if not more – important. If you walk into the position with no idea what challenges you’ll be facing, you’ll likely be blind-sided. Instead, you want all the information – the good, the bad and the ugly – when it comes time to make a decision about an offer. In addition, asking this question shows the hiring manager that you recognize that there are difficult elements to every job.

What constitutes success in this position?

This question not only shows that you’re interested in being successful, but also helps you discern whether or not you the position is right for you – and you can, in fact, achieve success in the role.

How would you describe the culture here?

If you’re not a good fit for a company’s culture, you’re not going to thrive in your job. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions about culture and what it’s really like to work at a potential employer. If, for instance, the culture is laid back and you like a more structured culture, then the job likely isn’t an ideal fit for you. It’s important to know this before you accept an offer.

Who previously held this position?

The answer to this question will also help you dig into the culture at the company. It will tell you whether the person left or was promoted, which will give you an indication as to what kinds of advancements opportunities there are there.

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

This last question is essential to ask. It not only shows your interest in the position, but it also gives you access to important information, such as when a final decision will be made about the job.

Do you need more help finding great job leads or preparing for interviews? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

 

6536

Don’t Overlook This High Quality Talent Pool

May 19th, 2015

Can’t find the people you need for your job openings? As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows there might be one demographic that you’re overlooking when recruiting: Stay-at-home parents.

Once the kids are in school, there is an entire community of parents who either do work part-time or want to work part-time. In fact, according to Pew Research, nearly 50% of moms with children under 18 report that part-time work is their ideal situation. While this includes both moms that work full-time and stay at home, many of the stay-at-home moms are highly skilled and educated – there’s just not willing to take on a full-time job while the kids are at home.

So how do you tap into this untapped pool of talent?

You’re going to have to do some leg work. These potential employees aren’t actively seeking employment because they know there are few high quality part-time jobs out there. But you can connect with them in the same way you find other high value recruits: through networking.

  • Talk to parents at school gatherings, or at community volunteer programs – essentially anywhere where parents and kids come together.  Strike up a conversation and conduct your own informal interview with those you meet.
  • Advertise part time jobs on websites that stay-at-home moms use.
  • Use social networking tools and ads in national parenting magazines and local publications aimed at parents.
  • Encourage existing employees to refer you to candidates. Ask them to spread the word through local schools, PTAs, neighborhood associations, and any other type of pertinent organization.
  • Be aware of legal pitfalls, though. In most cases, it’s not legal to advertise specifically for a woman or a mother for a particular job. However, you can craft your job description in such a way that’s most appealing to the demographic you’re after.

Recruiting stay-at-home parents for part-time works also makes a lot of business sense for small employers or start-ups that may not be able to afford the cost of a full-time staff member. With a part-time employee, you don’t have to wait to get someone on board with the expertise you need. You can afford to hire a professional by simply offering a more flexible schedule.

Do you need more help recruiting high quality talent? Call 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.

6527

Tips for Finding a Volunteer Job

May 12th, 2015

Whether you want to give back, build contacts, or fill a gap in employment, there are many good reasons to volunteer. But as one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that finding a rewarding volunteer job isn’t always easy. To help you in your quest, follow these tips:

Look online for opportunities.

Check online for leads for volunteer opportunities. Many local governments have databases of organizations in need of volunteers. You can also check out sites like volunteer.gov for a variety of jobs around the country.

Be open.

When you’re looking for an organization to volunteer with, those you’ve already heard of are most likely to come to mind. But don’t cross of smaller, less established organizations from your list. Those are the ones that probably need help the most. So keep an open mind about where you’d be willing to work.

Be discerning.

That being said, if an organization seems chaotic or not well run, then move on. Some organizations really do need volunteers, but are unprepared to train or supervise them.

Be direct about the work you want to do.

Many organizations need volunteer help in a variety of areas. But if you don’t speak up about the area you’d like to work in most, you’ll likely get placed where there’s the most need. Instead, be direct about what you’re interested in doing. You’ll wind up doing the right kind of work for you, and delivering better results.

Be realistic about the amount of time you can volunteer.

You might have every intention of devoting 20 hours a week to volunteering. But if that doesn’t realistically fit into your schedule, don’t offer to do it. You’ll wind up overworked and miserable, as well as unlikely to follow through with the volunteer experience. It’s better to start off with just a few hours a week. After a while, if you’d like to volunteer more time, then do it.

Be prepared for some tedious work.

Many organizations have experienced volunteers calling it quits after just a few days, or not showing up at all. As a result, in order to test out volunteers before assigning them important work, an organization may give you some menial work to perform right off the bat. But don’t be insulted. Understand they just want to ensure that you’re going to stick around.

If you’d like help finding a full-time, paying job, call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding Houston job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background. Contact us today to get started.

 

 

 

6511

Is Your Underperformer Worth Saving?

May 5th, 2015
As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that most companies have at least one: An employee who’s hard working and intelligent, but simply not cutting it in their role. While everyone has a bad week or bad month, if your employee is consistently under-producing, it’s time to take action. The question is:
Do you try to save your staff member or simply let them go?

It’s certainly a decision you need to make. But, keep in mind, sometimes it’s not worth firing an underperformer. In fact, according to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), it costs an average of two and half times an employee’s salary to replace them. For someone in a specialized field, it can be up to four times their salary. That’s what makes firing so expensive.

With that said, if you’d like to give your employee a second chance, there are some steps you can take to improve their odds of getting back on track. For instance:

Talk to your employee.

Most managers don’t like having awkward discussions with their employees, especially about poor performance. But if you want them to improve, it’s an absolute must-take first step in the process.

Make goals and expectations clear.

Too many times, an employee’s poor performance is, at least in part, due to a manager not defining goals and expectations. But if an employee doesn’t know what you expect from them, how can they deliver? The simple answer is: They can’t. And to anticipate them to isn’t fair to your employee. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your goals and expectations for all of your team members are crystal clear.

Provide support.

What support does the employee need to improve? Training seminars? Coaching and mentoring? Online courses? Whatever it is, make sure they gain access to the right resources to boost their performance.

Monitor progress and hold your employee accountable.

It’s important that you regularly check in with your employee to monitor their progress and make sure they are improving. If not, then it’s your job to hold them accountable.

That being said, sometimes it’s not worth giving an employee a second chance. In some cases, a person who was the right fit three years ago isn’t so today. It’s up to you to evaluate the situation and make the best decision.

Do you need help adding high performance employees to your team? Call 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.

 

6503

Should I Be Asking for the Interview in My Cover Letter?

April 28th, 2015

It’s up to you. But, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that by applying for the position, you’ve already indicated your interest in an interview. However, some experts believe that you increase your odds of landing an interview by asking for one in the cover letter.

If you choose to do so, you can say something like:

“I’m excited about the Operations Manager position with your company and would appreciate an opportunity to speak further with you about my qualifications. Please call me at 123.456.789 to schedule an interview at your convenience.”

What you shouldn’t say is something really forceful, such as “I’ll be contacting you within the next few days to set up an interview.” It’s the job of the hiring manager to contact you to set up an interview – if, that is, they want to interview you. Stating otherwise is crossing a line.

What are some other tips for a successful cover letter? Here’s a look:

Don’t repeat your resume.

So many candidates make the mistake of regurgitating all the details already offered on their resume. But this simply wastes space – and the hiring manager’s time. Instead, your cover letter should show employers why you want the job and what unique value you can offer them.

Keep it short.

There’s nothing worse than a three-page cover letter. No hiring manager has time to read all this. Plus they’ll question your ability to organize your thoughts and communicate in a concise matter. Instead, keep your cover letter down to one page or less.

Customize it.

You shouldn’t be sending the same letter for every position. You need to customize it depending on the unique requirements of each company.

Personalize it.

If you can, address it to the manager responsible for making the decision. If need be, research online or make a phone call to find out who that person is.

Proofread it.

Before you click the “send” button, make sure you review your cover letter and also ask someone else to proofread it with fresh eyes.

Your cover letter is an important component of the job search process. Make sure yours is in great shape by following the tips above.

Do you need more help with your job search? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong cover letter to preparing for interviews – all so you can find job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

 

6495

Can I Be Friends With My Employees?

April 21st, 2015

It can be difficult when you have a group of co-workers that you’re friends with. Then, when you’re promoted to manager, they stop inviting you to lunches, after hours drinks and other social events. But as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows it’s not you; it’s your new job. And as a manager, you shouldn’t be aiming to be friends with your staff. Why? Here are a few good reasons:

You’ll lose some credibility.

You need your staff to take you seriously. But when you’re friends with them, they won’t. For instance, rather than implementing an idea of yours they don’t like, they’ll just roll their eyes at you.

You’ll favor those you’re friends with.

It’s only normal to develop friendships with those you like and like to be around the most. But that’s not going to include every member of your staff. And those left out will view you as favoring the people you’re friends with. And, it’s more than likely you will end up favoring your friends / employees even if you have every intention not to. This could especially become an issue when you’re doling out promotions or raises. Without meaning to, you could offer better opportunities to those you’re friends with.

You might say something you shouldn’t.

When you’re the manager, you have a lot of difficult and sometimes painful decisions to make. And it can be a lonely job. As a result, it might be tempting to share some of these details with one of your friends / employees. But doing so could land you in trouble, especially if you’re talking about issues with other employees.

You’ll have a harder time dealing with performance issues.

It’s hard to tell a friend that their work isn’t up to par, or worse, fire them. If it was another staff member you weren’t friends with, you might not have any issues replacing them. But if they’re your friend, it will be much harder to do.

All that said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be warm and friendly with your staff. But you should avoid stepping into “best friend” territory and sharing too much personal information with any one staff member.

You might think being friends with your employees makes your job easier; but in the long run, you’re asking for trouble. There are simply too many complications that can arise when you get too close to your staff.

Do you need help staffing your team? If you do, call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, 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.

 

6446

Can I Provide Only Co-Workers as References?

April 14th, 2015

If you’re searching for a new job, then you know you’re likely going to need to supply some references to a potential employer at some point. But did you also know that some references are better than others? In fact, employers oftentimes will request you to submit at least two former managers as references. Why does it matter? After all, don’t the people you work alongside each day have a better sense of your work ethic, diligence, and abilities?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows employers generally ask for managers as references for a variety of reasons. For instance:

  • It’s up to a manager to evaluate your job performance. As a result, they are going to have a stronger sense of where you’ve been…and where you’re going. They’ll be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas where you’ve made significant strides – more so than a co-worker would.
  • In addition, a manager is going to have a much better sense of the results you’ve delivered and whether you’re performing to expectation. A co-worker, on the other hand, likely isn’t going to know the specific performance goals that have been set for you. So even though they see you working hard, they won’t know whether you’re doing what you were hired to do.
  • You’ve probably had a lot of co-workers over the years, but only a few managers. If you’re only submitting peers as references, you can easily pick and choose only those who you know will offer positive remarks. It’s not so easy do that with managers.

If you submit a list of references to a potential employer, and you don’t include a single manager on it, it’s going to be a red flag to a hiring manager. They’re going to automatically wonder why you don’t want them calling those who have supervised you in the past. However, if you provide a list of references that includes both peers and past managers, then hiring managers won’t think twice.

A final note: Don’t submit people as references that you’re related to or friends with. When a hiring manager asks for references, they are looking for ones from those you’ve worked alongside or under in the past.

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

 

6437

4 Ways to Attract High Achievers to Your Company

April 7th, 2015

Your company has a rewarding and challenging opportunity, offers generous benefits, and is on the cutting edge of industry. You’ll have no problem attracting great candidates for your job opening, right?

Wrong. As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows attracting the best candidates is a challenge for every company, even the top ones. Why? Because high quality talent has options when it comes to where they want to work, even in this uncertain economy. As a result, they can be choosy when it comes to evaluating job opportunities.

So how can you go about attracting high achievers to your team? Start by following these tips:

#1: Write clear and concise job descriptions.

If your job description is four pages long and focus only on your needs, then it’s going to turn off many of the best candidates. Instead, make sure your description of the role and its requirements is crisp and easy to understand. Also focus some of your attention on why a candidate should want to work for you.

#2: Create an easy-to-use application system.

Top candidates are going to give up if your application system is clunky, hard to use, or takes too long to apply through. Remember, you’re not using the system to actually make a hiring decision; you’re simply trying to find the best candidates and filter out the weak ones. In addition, top talent aren’t going to waste their time struggling with an antiquated system riddled with technical issues; they’re going to move onto another opportunity.

#3: Be professional and respectful.

If you cancel a candidate’s interview at the last minute with no explanation or apology, don’t expect them to stick around, waiting for you to reschedule. Likewise, if you told a candidate you’d be making a hiring decision by Friday and it’s now Wednesday of the following week, they’re going to feel like they’re being strung along. The smartest candidates know that if they are treated poorly during the hiring process, then they will likely be treated in the same manner once hired.

#4: Be upfront with candidates.

Many employers withhold critical information, such as salary and challenges the new hire will face on the job, until they’ve made an offer. But those details are important to candidates who want to know the good, the bad and the ugly of the position before making a decision. If you’re guarded about talking about these realities of the job, then top candidates will see it as a red flag and move on.

Need more help hiring high achievers at your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

6428

Why Employers Don’t Tell You the Reason You Weren’t Hired

March 24th, 2015

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows getting a rejection letter or email is never fun, especially if you really wanted a particular job. But what can make matters worse is when a hiring manager doesn’t let you know the reason you weren’t chosen and sends out a letter chock full of vague statements. So why don’t employers want to just tell you the real reason you weren’t hired?

Because that’s what their lawyers told them to do.

In many cases, lawyers advise their clients not to share the reason a person didn’t get hired in case the candidate decides it’s discriminatory. Consider this example:

What if an employer tells you they didn’t hire you because you didn’t have enough Microsoft Office skills. Then four months later, after still not being able to find someone with the right skill set, the employer decides to hire someone they can train. That person happens to be a different gender, race or age than you are. So you decide you weren’t hired because you are white, or black, or male or female, or pregnant or disabled…and the list goes on.

Because there’s not enough time in the day.

A hiring manager’s job is to find the right candidate for the position. It’s not to write personalized rejection letters to every single candidate. It may not seem fair, but remember: You’re not the only candidate who applied. In fact, when you consider that hundreds of people oftentimes apply to a single job, you’ll realize that writing personalized letters to that many people simply isn’t reasonable.

Because they don’t want to give negative feedback.

No one likes to give negative feedback, including hiring managers. So if the reason you weren’t hired is an awkward one – your social skills weren’t up to par, or you didn’t act professionally or communicate clearly – then don’t expect a letter detailing your weaknesses from the hiring manager. Keep in mind, the hiring manager is not a professional career coach. If they give you some feedback, take it to heart. If they don’t, realize it’s not their obligation to do so.

With that said, if a hiring manager doesn’t offer any specifics, you can certainly reach out to them and ask the reason you weren’t hired. Just make sure you do so in a polite and professional manner.

If you need more help finding a job that’s right for you, contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

6417

How to Retain Relocated Employees

March 17th, 2015

Have to look outside Houston for the right candidates? As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows hiring those who need to relocate can be more complicated then bringing a local on board. Not only do you have to deal with the logistics of the move, but sometimes even the best candidates can leave after a short while because they’re simply not happy in their new location. How can you ensure the individual you ultimately do hire doesn’t jump ship soon after?

While there are no guarantees, there are some steps you can take during the hiring process that will contribute your success. Here’s a look at 4 them:

#1. Be upfront about the opportunity.

When hiring, many times employers will paint a rosy picture of the situation. But if you aren’t honest with a candidate about what it’s like to work at the company – and live in Houston – then you could be setting yourself up for failure. Think of it this way. You’re asking a potential employee to not only change jobs, but change homes too. If they feel lied to or like you misrepresented the opportunity in any way, they’re going to feel betrayed.

#2. Get their spouse on board.

Considering that someone’s spouse plays a big role in whether they want to stay or go, you need to focus some efforts on the other half. If you’ve found a top-notch candidate, invite them to come out along with their spouse. Arrange for someone to take them on a guided tour of Houston and talk about housing, schools, and nightlife so they can get a sense of the area. Making sure a spouse is supportive of the decision will go a long way in retaining your new hire.

#3. Provide plenty of support.

The process will be different when an employee is relocating to Houston vs. when you hire someone local. For instance, they’ll need time to get their new home set up, as well as complete other tasks, like finding new doctors and a daycare for their kids. Some companies specialize in helping new employees get settled, so hire a firm like that if you can.

Also, be sure to introduce them and set up social meet-and-greets with their new co-workers and send them to local networking events. If you can try to find out what they like to do outside of work, you can then match this interest up with another co-worker with a similar interest.

#4. Communicate often.

In addition, communicate frequently during and after the relocation process. The first few days after the move are critical in employee retention. Provide a contact person or team for the relocated employee and their family. This communication can nip potential issues in the bud before they become deal-breakers.

Need help hiring great people for your team? Call 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.

 

6409

6 Job Interview Tips for IT Professionals

March 10th, 2015

There may be plenty of IT jobs in Houston, from network engineers to business analysts. But if you don’t ace the interview, then you’re not going to get the offer. How can you increase your odds of landing the technology job you want? Here are some tips to help you:

Tip #1: Research the company.

Learn as much as you can about the potential employer ahead of time. Find out about their history, products, services, industry awards and reputation, clients, and technology. The company website should be your first stop, but go beyond that and look for news articles and postings that can give you a more comprehensive perspective on the organization you’re interviewing with.

Tip #2: Prepare for common questions ahead of time.

You never know exactly what a hiring manager will ask during a job interview; however, there are a few common questions that are typical, such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What’s your greatest strength / weakness?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What has been your biggest professional challenge?

Prepare ahead of time for these kinds of questions so you can answer them confidently and with specific examples. You don’t need to rehearse your answers over and over and deliver them verbatim. But you do need to think ahead about the overall message you want to get across.

Tip #3: Be ready to ask your own questions.

If you don’t ask any questions during the interview, a hiring manager is going to view you as either unprepared or disinterested. To demonstrate your interest in the opportunity, prepare some questions head of time. Don’t ask about salary and benefits unless the hiring manager brings up the topic. But do ask more about the position, the goals and expectations of it, and the company culture.

Tip #4: Arrive early.

You may need to complete paperwork, or there could be a traffic accident on the way. Whatever the case, prepare for the unexpected by planning to arrive at least 15 minutes early.

Tip #5: Sell yourself.

The hiring manager wants to know whether you’re looking for just any job, or their job. That’s why it’s important to show enthusiasm for the opportunity and communicate how your skills and accomplishments are a match for it. Even if the job doesn’t sound ideal at first, make every effort to sell yourself. You never know if another opportunity could open up within the same company that is the perfect fit for you.

Tip #6: Follow up.

After the interview, be sure to follow up with a “thank you” letter or email. Reiterate your interest in the job and why you should be hired. This is your last opportunity to promote yourself; don’t waste it.

If you’d like expert help finding your next technology job in Houston, call Murray Resources. As one Houston’s top IT employment agencies, we can ensure you gain access to the best IT jobs, whether you’re a developer, analyst, project manager or engineer. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.

6390

How to Keep Your Staff Motivated After Layoffs

March 3rd, 2015

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” If you work in Houston’s oil and gas industry, then the latter can certainly seem true…especially if it’s part of your job to lay off those employees your company can no longer afford to keep. When downsizing occurs, it’s easy for your team to disengage and lose motivation. How can you keep them productive? Start by following these tips:

Meet with your staff.

It’s critically important that you deliver a message of stability and communicate specific plans for how the business is going to move forward. While the forecast might be negative, or unclear, it’s important to be transparent.

In addition, meet with your team members individually and talk to them about their career plans and how they fit into the big picture of the company. Doing so will help show employees that there’s a place for them within the company and that their role impacts the larger business strategy.

Show concern.

Be understanding when dealing with those that remain on staff. Ask them about how they feel about the situation and give them an opportunity to vent frustrations and concerns. Remember, you’d rather have your employees communicating openly with you then talking behind your back and feeding the rumor mill.

Help employees prioritize.

After downsizing, your employees will likely have additional responsibilities and added stress as a result. Work with them to help them handle the changes and prioritize tasks. Make every attempt to streamline processes and eliminate unnecessary duties.

Celebrate successes.

At this point, employees desperately want good news. So share any positive information with them, such as new contracts or higher sales.

Recognize employees.

Employee recognition is always important, but even more so after layoffs. Your people want to know their hard work is appreciated, so make sure you provide recognition and praise wherever possible. It can go a long way in keeping employees motivated and on target toward achieving goals.

The true test of an effective leader is in how they handle the hard times. Follow the steps above to keep your team motivated and productive during them.

If you need help getting work done – without the permanent overhead – call Murray Resources. As a leading temp agency in Houston, we can give you access to a large network of qualified and skilled temporary employees who are ready to go to work. Contact us today to learn more.

 

6383

Interview Tips for Houston Oil & Gas Workers

February 24th, 2015

As top energy recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows the statistics aren’t pretty these days when you look at the oil and gas industry. However, if you were recently laid off or are looking for a job in Houston’s energy industry, there are steps you can take to put yourself in a better position to succeed, including acing the interview. To help you bring your ‘A’ game to your next job interview, follow these tips:

Tip #1: Prepare ahead of time.

Even if you’ve worked in the industry for years, you still need to do your homework before you walk into an interview room. That means conducting thorough research of the company you’re applying to, including visiting their website and social media profiles; learning about their history, vision, goals and challenges, and where they fit in the overall oil and gas supply chain; reading through their annual report; and knowing the job description so you can talk about how your background is a good fit for it.

Additionally, if you know someone who already works at the company, reach out to them and ask for any tips on getting hired. Most times, people are glad to help out.

Tip #2: Present yourself professionally.

When you’re interviewing for a new job, you need to dress the part. Image is everything in today’s culture and if you show up in jeans and a t-shirt, you’re not going to make the best impression, regardless of your experience. Remember too, the first impression is often the last one. So dressing smart, being on time, acting professionally, and speaking articulately are all critically important to your success in landing the job. It sends the message to the potential employer that you care about the opportunity.

Tip #3: Promote your experience.

If you already have experience in the oil and gas industry, then leverage it. Promote it by giving specific examples of relevant projects you’ve worked on, the results you’ve delivered, and how that experience can help you in the role you’re interviewing for. If you’re looking to land your first job in oil and gas, then talk about how your skills are transferable from another industry. Give the hiring manager specific examples of how you can successfully switch from a different industry and what you can bring to the table that’s unique as a result.

Tip #4: Ask meaningful questions.

Remember a job interview is a two-way street. You’re trying to determine whether or not the position is a good fit for you, just as much as the employer is trying to find out whether you’re right for the job. In addition, asking questions shows the hiring manager that you are enthusiastic about the position and want to know more. Generally, candidates ask questions at the end of an interview, but depending on how the interview involves, you can certainly ask questions throughout.

If you’d like expert help finding your next Houston oil and gas job, call Murray Resources. As leading energy recruiters in Houston, we can connect you with top employers and top jobs. Contact us today to learn more.

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