Tips for IT Recruiting in Houston

February 17th, 2015

Recruiting and hiring the right IT talent for your Houston company can certainly be a challenge these days. However, you can drastically increase your odds if you take the right approach. To help you improve your efforts – and recruit top tech talent – here are some tips to follow:

Look to your current tech staff.

As Houston’s IT recruiting experts, Murray Resources knows referrals from existing employees are a great place to start when sourcing IT talent. Ask your team whether they have friends or colleagues looking for new opportunities. To enhance your referral program, offer enticing rewards and perks to employees who come through for you.

Search in the right spots.

When it comes to IT recruiting in Houston – from security administrators to network engineers – general job boards simply won’t cut it. You have to look in the right places in order to land the best talent. Using sites like Stack Overflow, a collaborative site for programmers, will not only help you spot tech talent, but also assess their knowledge and experience.

Create an easy candidate experience.

The top IT talent has their pick of job opportunities. So if you make it hard for them to apply to yours, you’re going to lose out on the best people. Instead, create simple and concise job descriptions that promote the benefits of working for your company (think flexible schedule, challenging projects, and opportunities for advancement). Keep in mind, a job description shouldn’t simply focus on your needs; it should also entice a candidate to want to work for you.

Also, make sure your application process is simple and intuitive. Otherwise, candidates will grow frustrated and you’ll lose them mid-way through.

Keep candidates in the loop.

There’s nothing candidates hate more than submitting an application and hearing nothing back. Even if they don’t get hired or offered an interview, a formal acknowledgement goes a long way in creating a positive candidate experience. So throughout the recruiting process, aim to communicate often with candidates.

Be proactive about recruiting.

Don’t simply recruit when you need to hire. Make your IT recruiting efforts ongoing so that when you’re ready to hire, you have a robust talent pipeline you can tap into.

If you’d like more help finding and hiring the best IT talent, turn to the Houston’s IT recruiting experts – Murray Resources. We can give you access to the people you need, where and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.


Does Your Houston IT Staffing Strategy Need Help?

February 12th, 2015

Consider these statistics:

  • By 2020, employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • According to Dice.com, tech workers are half as likely to be unemployed as workers in the general sector.

What does all this mean for you?

That staffing your IT department just got harder.

As one of the leading Houston IT staffing firms, Murray Resources knows there simply aren’t enough IT candidates to meet demand. That means recruiting top IT talent will be as fierce as ever in 2015.

Is there anything you can to improve your IT staffing strategy, so you hire the best people? Start with the following:

Up your game in terms of pay.

If a certain skill set is in high demand, the reality is that you need to pay more than your competition if you want to secure the best IT talent. Sure, the economy isn’t fully recovered. However, that doesn’t mean your top competitor won’t pay top dollar for leading application developers or database analysts in Houston.

Be proactive about IT staffing at your Houston company.

Many hiring managers make the mistake of recruiting only when they need to hire. However, considering the demand for talented tech professionals, it’s important you’re proactive with your recruiting efforts instead. That means treating it as an ongoing process, rather than trying to rapidly fill open positions as they arise. When you’re proactive about recruiting, you’ll be able to develop a robust pipeline of IT talent – from project managers to business system analysts to mainframe programmers – you can tap into when the need arises.

Don’t drag your feet.

When it comes to job offers, top IT talent have their pick of a variety of assignments. As a result, if you drag your feet in the hiring process, you’ll lose out on the best candidates. That’s not to say you should make hasty decisions. However, it’s also important to ensure your hiring process is as efficient and streamlined as possible.

Stand out.

IT professionals receive their faire share of solicitations from recruiters and hiring managers. It’s therefore up to you to stand out to them if you want them to consider your offer. Consider ideas such as inviting them to hacker challenges at your company or offering irresistible hiring perks.

And if you’re ready to outsource the IT staffing process at your Houston company, call Murray Resources.

As one Houston’s top IT staffing agencies, we can ensure you gain access to the best IT talent, whether you need developers, analysts, project managers or engineers. All candidates are meticulously screened to evaluate their technical skill set, as well as to ensure their personality is a match for your organization. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.




Advice for Managing Houston Oil & Gas Layoffs

February 3rd, 2015

Houston’s energy industry has been facing big layoffs and spending cuts due to plunging crude oil prices. While paying less at the pump is good for the consumer, it’s costly for companies and employees. Consider these statistics:

  • Schlumberger – 9,000 employees cut
  • Apache – 5% of workforce cut
  • Halliburton – 1,000 employees cut

In addition, as a top staffing and recruiting firm in the energy industry, Murray Resources knows the situation may actually get worse before it gets better. How can you manage well during layoffs – and keep your remaining staff productive and on task?

Start by following these tips:

Communicate often.

During difficult times it’s critical for your staff to know where they stand, even if the news isn’t good. Now is not the time to shut down the lines of communication. In fact, you should be communicating with your employees more than ever. You may not be able to offer any guarantees, but at least you can explain to them why you are making the decisions you are. Even if you don’t know what the future will bring, lay out a few possible scenarios so your staff can prepare.

Show compassion.

Whether an employee has been laid off, or left behind, the situation is difficult and both need time to let the news sink in. In addition, don’t think that your staff is simply “happy to still have jobs”; they’re likely mourning the loss of co-workers and friends and wondering what the future holds for them. So show some compassion and offer as much re-assurance as possible.

Cut the perks.

Nothing will upset and frustrate employees more than dealing with potential layoffs, only to see management going out for expensive lunches. Now’s the time to “walk the walk” and cut the unnecessary and expensive perks.

Thank employees.

Those left behind may have to take on more work to keep the company running. Make sure you show them appreciation for doing so, whether it’s bringing in lunch every once in a while or simply saying “thanks.” You want your team to understand that you’re all in this together and that you recognize and appreciate their contributions.

Prioritize work.

With fewer employees doing more work, it’s important to prioritize to ensure no one gets burned out. Meet with your team members and go over responsibilities to determine what isn’t mission critical. Create a list of priorities and make sure the most important tasks are focused on first.

Stay calm.

Your team is going to be taking cues from you. So it’s important to stay calm on the surface even if you’re stressed.

Layoffs are never easy. But if you manage them right, you can minimize damages and ensure your people survive and stay focused on the future of the company.

If you need additional human resources help for your company, call Murray Resources. As a top staffing and recruiting firm in the energy industry, we can help take the hassle out of HR. Contact us today to learn more.


Laid Off From Your Houston Oil Job? Here’s How to Cope

January 27th, 2015

Due to falling gas prices, layoffs having been widespread in Houston’s oil and gas industry. Consider these recent statistics:

  • Schlumberger: 9,000 layoffs
  • Halliburton: 1,000 layoffs
  • Apache: 250 layoffs

Those are just three examples – and there’s likely more to come. And it’s not just Houston that’s been impacted. In fact, there have been at least 31,000 cuts announced in North America alone.

That’s the bad news, especially if you’re one of the employees impacted by a layoff or you think you might get let go in the future. The good news, though? You can cope with the situation and survive. Here’s how:

Don’t rush.

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows the stress and anxiety of a job loss is hard to handle. This is therefore not the time to be making quick decisions and jumping into new opportunities you’re uncertain about.

Know your severance options.

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you fully understand and leverage all your severance options, including:

  • Do you have a non-compete clause preventing you from getting another job with a competitor? If so, can you be released from it?
  • What are the details of your health benefits and how long will they continue?
  • What will happen to your retirement account and can you access it if you need to?
  • Can you be compensated for unused vacation days?
  • Will your company help you find a new job?
  • Will they give you a reference?

If you’re not sure or have questions, it’s always a good idea to seek out legal counsel.

Tap into your support team.

During a layoff, you need a strong support network of colleagues, family and friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask for help and advice. If you know people who work at a company you’re interested in, reach out to them and ask if there are any openings. Don’t feel ashamed about being laid off. It’s important to deal with the stress in a positive way by tapping into your pool of resources to move forward and find a new job.

File for unemployment.

File for unemployment as soon as possible. The sooner you become eligible, the sooner you can start collecting funds. Even if you received a generous severance package, you should still file. When doing so, make it clear the job loss was not your fault. If it was, then you won’t receive compensation.

Review your financials.

It’s important to know where you stand financially. Examine your cash reserves so you can figure out how much you have and how long it will last. With severance and unemployment only lasting a limited time, now’s also the time to look at your budget and find areas where you can cut back.

Start your job search.

Sitting around day after day without any goals will only lead to depression. Instead, get back in the game by starting your job search. Set goals each week – such as updating your resume, attending networking events, and creating a LinkedIn profile – that will ultimately help you land a new job.

Need some help with the process? Call Murray Resources. As recruiters in Houston, TX, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today to learn more.


Get Off to a Great Start With Your Team in 2015

January 20th, 2015

What do your employees think about you? If you’re not sure, or if you suspect their impression isn’t a good one, then the New Year is an ideal time to take a step back, evaluate your performance and make improvements that will deliver great results. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Set clear expectations.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that more often than not, frustration and underperformance ensue when there are murky expectations. When employees don’t know what you want them to do – in terms of tasks, timelines, deliverables and goals – they’re going to flounder. They can’t read your mind. It’s therefore imperative that you work with each of your team members to set expectations and how you plan to measure their performance.

Don’t pay lip service.

If you tell an employee you’re going to do something, do it. If there’s a reason you couldn’t deliver, explain why. But when you consistently keep your word, even if the results or feedback aren’t what an employee hoped for, you’re going to create a high level of trust among your team members.

Ask for feedback.

Ask your staff to let you know when they have questions, concerns, or challenges they’re facing. When they do offer input, don’t get defensive. Remember, you’re all on the same team. And the information they offer can be invaluable in improving company performance. So strive to create an environment that promotes communication – one in which employees aren’t scared to come to you with ideas or issues.

Offer feedback.

Let your employees know where they stand. Give input – both positive and constructive – on a regular basis. Make sure employees know about areas that need improvement before they get too far off track. Don’t wait until year end performance reviews to assess the past year.

Make sure employees have access to the resources they need.

This goes hand-in-hand with offering feedback. If an employee isn’t meeting expectations, don’t simply tell them that. Make sure they have the resources they need to improve, whether it’s enrolling in a training seminar, shadowing a veteran staff member, or investing in newer equipment.

Concentrate on results.

Rules are in place for a reason. But if they’re hindering positive results and productivity, then they deserve a second look. Don’t be so committed to following the rules just for the sake of it. Look for faster, better, more agile ways to get things done.

Treat your people with respect.

Don’t yell, berate, insult, or embarrass your employees when you’re upset. There are far more productive ways to get the results you’re after. Instead, treat people with dignity and respect at all times.

If your people aren’t happy, they will eventually leave in search of a better opportunity. So follow the tips above to improve your management skills and create a healthier work environment in 2015 and beyond.

Has your company recently experienced turnover? If it has, and you need help with the hiring process, 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.


How to Boost Your Career in 2015 – and Beyond

January 13th, 2015

Is one of your resolutions for 2015 to boost your career? If it is, then it’s going to require a lot of hard work. Where do you begin? Start by following these tips:

Tip #1: Take some risks.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows it’s easy to play it safe, but that won’t get you promoted. Instead, you need to take a risk or two in order to advance your career. Suggest a new idea, ask for a stretch assignment or tell your boss you’re ready for some bigger challenges. Whatever the case, if you want 2015 to be “your year” in terms of career advancement, you need to take some initiative, even if it means getting shot down.

Tip #2: Be positive.

A positive attitude can do wonders for difficult situations. If you’re not happy at work, rather than grumbling, look for the good in your situation. First, you have a job. Second, you have options – namely to begin job searching. Remember, storms will pass; but the lessons they impart can be invaluable.

Tip #3: Take a class.

Is there a new skill that’s becoming more important in your industry? Do you want to enhance your existing knowledge base about a particular topic? Then enroll in a class or seminar, whether on site or online. Expanding your horizons and learning new things is critical for on-the-job success, whether it’s in your current position or a future one.

Tip #4: Toot your own horn.

It’s up to you to promote yourself and get noticed. So while hard work is important, you also need to communicate your successes to your boss. You also need to let him or her know when you’re ready for more challenging assignments. Otherwise, they might assume you’re happy where you are.

Tip #5: Look and feel your best.

Image is everything – even in the workplace – and the way you present yourself will impact how people perceive you. If you’re overweight, exhausted, or just plain unhealthy, it’s going to have a negative effect on your career. It’s a new year, and a great time to start making healthier choices. Eat right, exercise, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.

Tip #6: Focus on yourself.

If a co-worker is 10 minutes late every day, it might drive you nuts. But ignore it. Their behavior shouldn’t be of concern to you unless it’s impacting you directly. Instead, focus on yourself and what you can do to make a favorable impression. Get to work on time each day. Present yourself in a polished manner. Always be prepared at meetings. And strive to deliver the best results.

When you follow the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your career and achieving your goals in 2015 – and beyond!

Is one of your career resolutions to find a new 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 job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.



Creating a Resume for Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

January 6th, 2015

The first step toward getting a job in Houston’s oil and gas industry is creating a great resume. If you’re looking to secure an opportunity in the field, what should be on yours? Here are some tips to follow:

Keep Your Resume to 2 Pages or Less

As leading Houston oil and gas recruiters, we know that candidates are oftentimes concerned about the length of their resumes. But remember, the document is meant to give hiring managers a taste of your experience, knowledge and skill set. It’s not meant to list every position you’ve held since graduating from high school. In addition, if your resume is more than two pages, hiring managers will lose interest. A long-winded resume is off-putting and causes them to disengage. They want to be able to quickly scan the information you provide and make a decision about whether you may be a good fit for their opening.

Use Formatting to Your Advantage

Your resume should highlight your background, not explain every aspect of it from start to finish. So rather than writing dense paragraphs, use lists and bullet points. Your goal is to make your resume as easy to read as possible for a hiring manager. Also, make sure you focus on the most relevant and recent experience and accomplishments at the start of your resume to entice the hiring manager to keep reading. Keep in mind, they’re busy and will only spend a limited amount of time looking over your resume. You therefore want to communicate the most important information first.

Tailor Your Resume to Each Position

Before you hit the “send” button, make sure you’re customizing your resume for each position. This includes re-positioning or editing your experience, skill set, education and other aspects of your background so that the most relevant information is provided to each hiring manager. This will ensure your skills are as closely aligned to the Houston oil and gas job you are applying for and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Focus on What Hiring Managers Want to Know

When reviewing your resume, hiring managers want facts, not fluff. Skip the hyperbole, like “energy expert” or “energy professional” and instead offer relevant details, such as the names of rigs you’ve worked on, the types of equipment and technology you’ve used, and the pertinent skills you have that will add value to a potential employer.

In Houston, getting a job in the oil and energy industry is no easy feat. To put yourself in the strongest position possible, follow the tips above for crafting an effective resume. If you’d like job search help from experts, call Murray Resources. As leading Houston oil and gas recruiters, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting 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.


How to Keep Your Career Resolutions in 2015

December 23rd, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows making career resolutions is the easy part. Keeping them, on the other hand, can be quite a challenge. To help you stay on track – and achieve your goals in 2015 – here are 7 tips to follow:

Tip #1: Prioritize Your Goals

If you have too many goals, it’s easy to lose focus and get unmotivated toward achieving them. Instead, rank your goals in order of importance and focus on two or three key ones you’d like to achieve in the coming year.

Tip #2: Create a Plan of Action

Whether you want to find a new job, get promoted, or switch fields entirely, you need a plan of action to help you achieve your goals. While your end destination might be your ultimate goal, make sure you’re setting small goals along the way that will help you get there.

For instance, if you want to find a new job, set a goal of “creating a new resume within two weeks.” When you have smaller, bite-size objectives – with timelines attached – your goals are far easier to achieve.

Tip #3: Be Realistic About Your Goals

One of the biggest ways people sabotage themselves when it comes to goal setting is that they’re not realistic. When you create goals that are simply too big or too lofty for anyone to achieve in a short amount of time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. For instance, having a goal of going back to school and completing a degree in a year when you work full time and have three small children may not be attainable. However, perhaps taking one class per semester is.

Tip #4: Challenge Yourself

That said, don’t wimp out on the goals you do set. If they’re not challenging enough, you’re going to grow bored and never accomplish them. To stay committed, make sure the goals you do set inspire and motivate you to achieve more.

Tip #5: Check Yourself

In order to achieve your goals, it’s important to regularly monitor your progress. So take the time to take a step back and assess where you are on your way to meeting your goals and what additional steps you need to take to achieve them.

Tip #6: Talk About Your Goals

While it sounds scary, when you make it known you’re striving toward a certain goal, you’ll be far more likely to achieve it. No one likes to fail in front of others, so when you publicize your goals, it will be easier to hold yourself accountable.

Tip #7: Reward Yourself

When you achieve an important milestone, or complete a goal, reward yourself. It will help you stay motivated toward achieving your ultimate end goal or other goals in the future.

Is one of your goals for 2015 to find a new job in Houston? If it is, 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 opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


4 Strategies for Connecting With Top Candidates

December 16th, 2014

Sure, it’s an employer’s market when it comes to hiring. However, as a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows the best candidates are still in demand – which is why you need to build a talent pipeline, even if you don’t need to hire at the moment. When you do, you’ll have a robust network of proven talent whom you can bring in quickly when you do have an opening.

So how do you connect with top candidates and get them interested in working for your company? Here are 4 strategies:

Strategy #1: Join industry groups and online forums.

Do some research to determine the ones that most likely have the kinds of candidates you’re looking for on them. Make yourself seen and your voice heard. Answer questions, get involved in discussions, and engage with potential candidates who might be a good fit for your company.

Strategy #2: Author a blog.

Starting a blog can provide you with a variety of benefits. Not only can it help you enhance your company’s online visibility, but it can also attract talented candidates. Post articles of interest to potential candidates and respond to any comments they post. Strive to create a community around your blog posts and position your company as a great place to work.

Strategy #3: Get active on social media.

Build an online presence on social media websites and industry websites that are pertinent to your business. Share advice, re-post helpful content from other sources, and interact with potential candidates.

Strategy #4: Build a career website.

If your company website doesn’t have a careers section, or a stand-alone career website, now’s the time to create one. Today’s candidate expects to easily access information about your company’s culture and the benefits of working there. Make sure you post job openings, as well as other content of interest, like videos, articles, blog posts, and insider news and advice. You can even create a candidate newsletter and have individuals subscribe via your website.

Attracting the best candidates is all about building relationships. Follow the tips above to increase your accessibility and stay top-of-mind with your next top performers.

Need more help hiring for your company? Call 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.


6 Etiquette Tips for Your Office Holiday Party

December 9th, 2014

It’s the end of the year and holiday parties are just around the corner. It’s a time to relax and unwind with your colleagues. But, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that holiday parties can also be a minefield when it comes to proper office etiquette, especially when alcohol is served. How can you ensure you have a great time – and still leave behind a positive impression at work? Here are a few tips to follow:

Tip #1: Drink in moderation. It’s certainly acceptable to indulge in a drink or two at a holiday party. But anything beyond that could get you in trouble. The last thing you want is to do or say something inappropriate because you had too much to drink. Doing so can impact your reputation far beyond the holidays.

Tip #2: Mix and mingle. Holiday parties are a great time to meet and forge relationships with those you don’t regularly work with. So don’t be shy. Introduce yourself and try to expand your network beyond your typical mix of work friends.

Tip #3: Wear appropriate clothing. Use your company’s culture and the event venue as a guide on what to wear. For instance, if the holiday party is at an upscale restaurant, then be sure to dress accordingly, even if your workplace is typically more casual. Also, avoid anything too tight or revealing.

Tip #4: Keep the conversation light. It can be tempting to bring up work issues, but most people want to relax and enjoy themselves. Plus, a holiday party is the ideal time to get to know your colleagues on a more personal level, which can have a positive impact on your workplace relationships. So avoid talking about the stressful project you’re working on and instead keep the conversation positive and light – think holiday plans, books, movies and local news.

Tip #5: Don’t cut out too early. Sure, the company holiday party may not be your idea of a good time. But don’t show up for 15 minutes and leave early, or arrive during the last few minutes of the event. You might think your attendance is optional, but your absence will certainly be noticed.

Tip #6: Thank the party hosts. Before you leave, be sure to thank those responsible for organizing the event. They likely spent a lot of time and effort in coordinating the party and will certainly appreciate your gratitude.

The holiday party is a great opportunity for you to make a positive impression on the leaders in your company you haven’t yet met and reinforce your co-workers’ positive impression of you. Don’t blow your chances by drinking too much, showing up late, or not showing up at all.

And if you’re ready to make a positive impression on a new boss, 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.


How to Tell a Candidate “You Didn’t Get the Job”

December 2nd, 2014

When you find a candidate you want to hire, extending the offer is the fun part. But what about those candidates you have to say “no” to? How do you tell them that they didn’t get the job without burning any bridges? After all, some might be strong contenders for future positions at your company.

To help you reject job candidates the right way, consider these tips:

Tell Them Immediately

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources certainly understands that telling a candidate they didn’t get the job isn’t a task most hiring managers look forward to. But don’t drag your feet on it. Consider how you would feel if you were in their shoes. You’d want to know right away so you could move onto other opportunities. So once you know a candidate is out of the running for the job you’re hiring for, notify them immediately.

Whether it’s via phone or email is up to you – and dependent on how many candidates you need to contact. For instance, if the candidate was your second pick, then give them a call and let them know over the phone.

However, if you’re rejecting dozens of candidates who submitted weak resumes, an email works fine too. Your email can simply state the following:

Dear [First Name],

Thank you for your interest in the ABC position at our company. Unfortunately, we have selected another candidate for the job. We will keep you in mind for future opportunities and we encourage you to apply for other positions in our company, as well.


Your Name

Tell Them Why They Didn’t Get the Job

You can’t tell every candidate who applies for a position at your company why they didn’t get hired. But for those candidates who made it into the final round of the hiring process, you may want to offer some specific details as to why they weren’t the top pick.

For instance, if the candidate you did ultimately hire had five more years of experience, then share that information with the candidate you are rejecting. Not only will they appreciate knowing why they weren’t hired, but it will also create a more positive impression about you and your company when you’re honest and can offer helpful insight.

End on a High Note

Be sure to thank the candidate for interviewing with your company and wish them the best in the job search. Also, if you feel like they’d be a good fit for a position in the future, let them know you’d like to connect with them on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch.

And remember, informing candidates that they didn’t get the job should be a standard part of your hiring process. If it’s not, then candidates will become frustrated at the lack of communication – which will ultimately hurt your employment brand.

If you need more help hiring great candidates for your company, 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 top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


Advice on Applying for an Internal Job

November 25th, 2014

If you’ve recently applied for a new position within your company, don’t assume you’re a shoo-in for the job. In fact, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that since you’re already an existing employee, more will be expected from you during the hiring process. How can you obtain the new position? Follow these tips:

Tip #1: Learn all you can about the job.

If there’s an employee who currently holds the position you’re interested in, speak to them about it. Find out about the benefits and challenges they face, what a typical day looks like for them, and what they think it takes to be successful on the job. They may also be able to offer you advice on how to properly position your background during the hiring process.

Tip #2: Meet with HR.

Schedule a meeting with the HR representative responsible for filling the role. Explain to them that you’re interested in the position and why your background and experience are a good fit. Ask for feedback and input about whether they think you’d be a strong contender for the job.

Tip #3: Talk to your manager.

If you do decide to apply for the position, don’t keep your manager in the dark. In fact, depending on company policy, you may be required to notify your manager when you apply for an internal job.

When you do notify your boss, simply let him or her know there’s an opportunity in the company you’re interested in, why you feel like it’s a good match for you, and that you wanted them to know in advance. Keep in mind, having the support of your current manager will speak volumes to the hiring manager for the position. That’s why it’s also important for you to thank your boss for their help and guidance, and let them know you’re confident in pursuing this opportunity because you’ve learned so much under their wing.

Tip #4: Seek out the hiring manager.

After you’ve applied online for the job, walk your resume to the hiring manager. Let them know you applied online, but wanted to submit your resume in person too so they can put a face to the name and know where to find you should they have any questions.

Tip #5: Prepare for the interview.

Just because you already know a lot about the company, its products and services, and key players does not mean you shouldn’t spend time preparing for the interview. Approach the interviewing process just as you would if you were being hired from outside the company. Also, leverage any advantages you would have over an external hire, such as internal references and sponsors who can help you make the case for why you’re the best fit for the job.

Tip #6: Follow up.

Once you’ve interviewed for the job, make sure to send a thank you note to the hiring manager. In it, thank them for the opportunity and re-iterate why you’re the best fit for the job. Keep it short, simple and professional.

If you do get the job, be sure to also thank your current manager and any other sponsors or references who supported you during the process. If you don’t get the job, try to handle the situation as gracefully as possible and use the situation as a learning experience. For instance, reach out to HR and try to solicit some feedback and insight as to why you didn’t win the position.

If you’re ready to make a move – to an new opportunity outside your 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.


5 Quick Tips for Making a Great Job Offer

November 18th, 2014

You’ve found the perfect candidate. Your job is done, right? Wrong. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows if you haven’t made the offer yet, then you’ve still got some work to do. After all, how you present it could be the difference between an exceptional candidate accepting your offer – and rejecting it for something better.

To ensure you get the candidate you want, follow these tips:

Tip #1: Move Quickly

When it comes to making an offer, don’t drag your feet. The best candidates are in demand – and you don’t want to lose one to your competition simply because you waited a few days too long. If you know you want to extend an offer, then don’t wait.

Tip #2: Do Your Homework

Hiring is expensive. But low-balling candidates will cost you in the long run. The best candidates know what they’re worth. And if you’re not offering fair market value for their skill set, then they’re going to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. Before you make the offer, make sure you conduct enough research to ensure it’s on target – or better than your competition’s.

Tip #3: Present Your Offer Verbally First

Either call the candidate or get them into the office to present your offer. When you’re going over it with them, make sure you promote the perks and benefits, such as health insurance, retirement matching programs, flex schedules, and tuition reimbursement. You want to get the candidate excited about the opportunity so it’s their first choice when making a decision.

Tip #4: Get It in Writing

Even when a candidate verbally accepts the job offer your presented, it’s critical that you get everything in writing in an offer letter or contract. You’ll also want your company’s legal counsel to review the documents to ensure you’ve got your bases covered. Don’t forget to include details such as job title, start date, agreed upon salary and benefits, and full or part-time status.

Also, it’s vital that you include any contingencies, such as signing a confidentiality agreement or passing a background check.

Tip #5: Give the Candidate Some Time

Be glad that a candidate asks for a little time to review the document. One that signs on the dotted line without asking questions or thinking about it may be a little desperate. On the flip side, the best candidates will want some time to weigh the pros and cons of the offer before accepting it. Simply let them know a date by which you need a decision.

If you need more help with the hiring process, 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 quality talent. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


How to Ask for a Reference

November 11th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to asking for a job reference, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to do it. Considering that most employers require you to submit a list of references, it’s critically important you follow proper etiquette when asking for one. Otherwise, you’ll burn bridges and potentially lose out on job opportunities.

To ask for references in a professional way, follow these tips:

Select Relevant References

Sure, your past co-workers might have a lot of nice things to say about you. But employers are generally looking for references from past bosses. It’s ok to submit a reference from one colleague, but make sure at least two are from those who have supervised you in the past. Also, don’t ever submit a friend or a family member as a reference. You want those people who can talk up your strengths, value and accomplishments.

Get Permission

Don’t just submit someone’s name as a reference before you ask them for permission. First, you don’t want to irritate or offend them by not asking them if they would be willing to serve as a reference. Second, you don’t want them to be caught off guard by a potential employer who contacts them about you. When asking someone to serve as a reference, you don’t have to send them a long-winded email. Just ask: “Would you be willing to be a reference for me?”

Describe the Job

Give your references some information about the position and why you’re a good fit for it. You’ll also want to send them a copy of your resume, as well as the job listing you’re applying to. If you have any sense about the kinds of questions the employer will ask, then give your reference a heads up. You want to give your references as much information as possible so they can offer you the strongest recommendation.

Be Polite

Even if someone declines to serve as a reference, be polite and thank them for their time. Don’t get upset and offended. When someone does give you a good reference, be sure to thank them, regardless of whether you get the job or not. Send a quick email note to let them know you appreciate their effort.

Need more help finding a job that’s a great fit for you? 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.


Entry Interviews: Are You Conducting Them?

November 4th, 2014

You’ve certainly heard of exit interviews when a worker resigns. But what about entry interviews?

If you don’t know what they are, entry interviews are interviews you conduct with your new hires – after they’ve spent some time on the job – to get feedback. And, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources can tell you they provide employers with a variety of benefits.

For instance, conducting entry interviews increases retention. When it comes to engagement, those first few weeks on the job are critical for a new employee. If they have a negative experience – whether it’s due to a lack of training and support, issues with their manager, or expectations going unmet, then it’s going to lead to frustration and a lack of loyalty.

When a conduct entry interviews, however, you can spend some time with your new hires to learn about and nip any issues in the bud early on. You can also find out about their experience with the hiring and onboarding process and hone in on areas that need improvement in your company. As a result, you can boost overall employee satisfaction and morale, while at the same time ensuring each new hire stays on track.

Another reason for conducting these kinds of interviews is that it sends an important message to new hires. It shows you value their opinion and care about their happiness within their jobs and at the company as a whole.

When you’re conducting entry interviews, what kinds of questions should you ask?

Here are a few idea starters:

  • Are your performance goals clear?
  • Are the expectations you had for your new job being met? If not, how is your job different from what you thought it would be?
  • Do you need additional training or support in any areas?
  • What was your opinion of the hiring process?
  • Are there any areas that need improvement?
  • What was your opinion of the onboarding process?
  • Are there any areas that need improvement?
  • What do you look forward to most about your job each day? Least?

Before conducting an entry interview, it’s important to wait at least 30 days (if not 60) so the new hire can get their bearings in the role and at the company. Also, keep in mind that these interviews are really just conversations. You shouldn’t be trying to interrogate an employee. You should be focused on learning as much as you can so your company can improve its hiring and onboarding process, as well as boost the whole employment experience for all staff members.

If you’d like more help hiring, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, 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.


Informational Interviews: How They Can Help Your Career

October 28th, 2014

If you’re looking to make a move in your career – to a completely different field – conducting informational interviews is a great first step. So what are informational interviews…and how can they help you? Here’s a look.

Informational interviews are simply interviews that you conduct with those who work in a field you’re interested in. Your purpose in conducting them isn’t to secure a job (though that may be a byproduct); it’s to learn more about an industry, a field or a certain kind of position. Conducting these types of interviews are helpful for a variety of reasons, including you can:

  • Learn valuable information and details about what it’s really like to work in a particular career field, industry or company.
  • Get advice and tips, and find out about lessons and obstacles, from people in the know.
  • Hone your interviewing skills, which you will need regardless of the field you decide to pursue.

Clearly, if you’re happy in the field you work in and just want to switch companies, you don’t need to conduct informational interviews. However, if you’re looking to break into a new career field or industry, or you just graduated from school and are searching for your first job, then informational interviews are a great way to gain the insight you need. Here’s how to schedule one:

Determine the people you’d like to connect with. Perhaps you already know someone who has your dream job, or an individual who works at a company you’re dying to break into. Those are the kinds of people you will want to connect with. If not, though, ask family, friends and your alumni network for referrals. Also, look online to social networking sites like LinkedIn to find individuals with jobs you’re interested in.

Once you have a list of individuals, send each an email inquiring about whether they’d be willing to help you gain some insight into their career field through an interview. Highlight your background, where you’d like to go in your career, and what you hope to gain from them. Let them know it will only take about 30 minutes and that you’ll meet with them at their convenience.

When you do schedule an interview, make sure you prepare your questions ahead of time. If you just wing it, you won’t wind up getting the information you need. Some idea starters for questions include:

  • Why did you choose this field to work in?
  • How did you get your first job in the field?
  • What do you like best about working in it?
  • What do you like least?
  • What surprised you most about it?
  • What have been your biggest career obstacles?
  • What advice would you give someone trying to break into the field?
  • What skills and education are most important for securing a job in the field?

Finally, once you’ve completed your informational interview, be sure to send a thank you note within a few days to the person you interviewed. Let them know how much you appreciate their time and perspective.

And if you need more help finding a job that’s the right match for you, 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 to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.



How to Make the “What Are Your Weaknesses?” Question More Effective

October 21st, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that many employers ask the same question in job interviews – “tell me about yourself,” “why do you want to work here?,” and “what are your weaknesses?” The problem with the latter question is that most job candidates are prepared to answer it, oftentimes with a less-than-genuine response. Think “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist.” It’s no surprise; after all, individuals don’t want to give you any ammunition that would make you reconsider their candidacy.

But the purpose of every interview question you ask is to get behind the candidate mask; to uncover the true professional, revealing each job candidate’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills and abilities. Questions that elicit a canned response are not a good way to do that.

If you want to learn about a candidate’s weakness, instead rephrase the question in a way that will produce a more genuine response. According to Leadership IQ, a research and management consulting firm, that means instead of asking “what are your weaknesses?,” you should ask them to describe what their last boss considered their weaknesses. That forces people to be less scripted and helps you better assess their emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

What are some other questions you can ask to get to the bottom of a candidate’s true strengths and weaknesses? Here’s a look:

  • What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?
  • What changes have you made over the course of your career to be better at what you do?
  • When have you failed on the job? Describe what happened and what you learned from it.
  • What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people? How do you rate yourself in those areas?
  • If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?
  • What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

The best interview questions aren’t ones that provoke a cookie cutter response. Rather, good questions give each candidate an opportunity to sell themselves – with real-world examples – and highlight why they’re the strongest contender for the job.

Need more help interviewing candidates and finding your next great hire? Call 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.


Why Your Resume Isn’t Getting Noticed

October 14th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources understands there’s nothing more frustrating than sending out scores of resumes and getting the silent treatment in return. Whoever said “no news is good news” was dead wrong when it comes to your resume. It would be better to get a “thank you, but no thank you” reply so that you could at least move on from the hopes of a potential opportunity working out.

If you’re looking for a new job and your resume just doesn’t seem to be cutting it, what can you do to refine it? Here are some tips to help you:

  • Adjust expectations. Don’t expect to hear back from every employer you apply to. If you hear back from half of them, then you’re doing well. That said, if you’re applying to dozens of jobs you know you’re qualified for, and not hearing anything back at all, then your resume isn’t doing its job.
  • Talk results. It can be hard to convey what you do and the value you bring in a resume. However, it’s also essential if you want to land an interview. You need to show your track record of achieving success in past and current positions. Employers should be enthusiastic about bringing you in for an interview. If you don’t give them a reason to get excited over your candidacy, then they’re not going to call you for an interview.
  • Edit yourself. Your resume should not include every job you’ve held since high school. Nor should it go into exquisite detail about the tasks you were responsible for on a daily basis. Carefully assess whether your early career experience is relevant to the position you’re applying for now. If it’s not, then don’t include it. Also, while it’s ok to talk about everyday duties a bit, you should be more focused on what you achieved in each position. So if your resume is longer than two pages, you need to break out the red pen and start editing it down with that in mind.
  • Proofread. All it takes is one glaring error to undermine your credibility. So before you hit the “submit” button, make sure you proofread your resume, proof it again and then ask a family member or friend to proofread it for you.

Need more help with your resume? Read this blog post about crafting a resume that gets results. And if you’d like professional help with your job search, 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.


Keeping Morale Up After Your Team’s Been Downsized

October 7th, 2014

As a manager, there’s nothing worse than having to lay off some of your staff. But what’s almost as challenging is dealing with the aftermath of being downsized. Remaining employees are stressed, wondering who’s next, and many are quite honestly probably starting to look for new jobs. How do you keep morale, productivity and retention up after layoffs? Here are a few tips:

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you keep them in the dark, the rumor mill will undermine any effort you’re making to keep your team together. It’s therefore critically important to tell employees what you know, admit what you don’t, and answer their questions and concerns.

Too many times, organizations try to tightly manage the flow of information that gets out – but the end result is employees who wind up stressed and frustrated. Employees would actually rather hear bad news than no news at all in these kinds of situations. They appreciate a manager who will answer the hard questions and provide as much information as possible.

Make yourself more accessible than ever.

For some employees, the fear of a layoff is a motivator; for others, though, it leads to disengagement. Don’t ignore this very common reaction. While it’s true that employees left standing might be grateful to have jobs, they’re also, in all likelihood, drained of energy after months of uncertainty. That’s why it’s so important for you to be visible and make yourself as accessible as possible to them. Talk with your people, show some compassion and acknowledge that the situation is a difficult one.

Start setting goals.

As you move forward, you have fewer resources to achieve your goals. While that’s certainly not ideal, it’s helpful to get your team re-focused on what those goals are and assigning new responsibilities to your remaining employees. That said, don’t just randomly assign work to people; otherwise, you’ll end up with an extrovert doing an introvert’s job and misery will ensue. However, do evaluate the strengths of each individual on your team, assign measurable goals and make your expectations clear.

Be an example.

If you’re acting stressed and freaked out because you’re in crisis mode, then your employees will mirror your behavior. Instead, provide a model for how you want your employees to act by offering genuine concern, outlining clear-cut goals and providing guidance, and communicating to your staff how valued they are.

Managing after layoffs is never easy. But with the right attitude – and the right approach – you can keep the rest of your team together and help them bounce back.

If you need help hiring for your team, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies 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 if you’d like to learn more.


Surviving a Killer Houston Commute

September 23rd, 2014

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average daily commute one way for U.S. employees is 25.5 minutes. However, for many Houstonians, a 25-minute commute would be a dream.

In fact, according to a study from Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Houston ranks 6th among the 10 most congested cities in the nation. In addition, the average Houstonian wastes 23 gallons of gas sitting in traffic. The study also found that drivers in our area waste more than two days a year on average in traffic congestion, costing nearly $1,100 in lost time and gas.

If you’re one of those workers trying to survive Houston traffic each day, here are some tips for making your commute a little less painful:

Think about timing.

As Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that timing is everything, especially when it comes to morning and afternoon traffic. If you were to leave 15 minutes earlier, or later in the morning, would you be able to head off some of the traffic? Traffic tends to go in waves, so leaving just a few minutes earlier can seriously cut down on your commute time. Try leaving your house at different times of the day and check out the traffic patterns so you can optimize your commute.

Use public transportation.

If public transportation is available to you, consider using it. That way you can read, check email or get work done on your commute – making the time you spend traveling to and from work at least somewhat productive. If public transportation isn’t an option, check whether other co-workers live nearby so you can take turns carpooling.

Telecommute one or two days a week.

If you truly have a killer commute – and you’re not willing to or can’t afford to move, find out if you can telecommute one or two days a week. While you’ll certainly want some face time in the office, there may be certain days of the week you know are slower or quieter, and therefore ideal for you to be working from home. You’ll also cut down on your commuting expenses and stress level in the process.

Ask for support.

If you’re married, have kids and pets all vying for your attention the second you walk through the door after a miserable commute, it can be especially stressful. Communicate with your family about how you’d like to be greeted – whether you want immediate hugs or need two minutes to decompress.

Find a job closer to home.

Of course, if your commute is truly onerous – and you really don’t love your job anyway – then it may be the perfect time to polish your resume and start your job search. Now that you know what a long commute is like, you can add “shorter commute” to your list of non-negotiables in a new job.

Need more help in your job search? Contact Murray Resources. As Houston recruiters, we will work to get to know you, your background, skills and personality – all so we can match you with job opportunities that are a terrific fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.


When You Find Out an Employee is Job Hunting

September 16th, 2014

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that for most managers, losing a key employee is a major headache. Typically, though, when a team member comes to you with their resignation, the decision has been made and there’s not a lot you can do about it. What, however, should you do if you inadvertently find out an employee is looking for a new job…but hasn’t committed to making a move yet? Should you confront them, or wait until they come to you?

If it truly is someone who is a valuable employee, then try to head the situation off at the pass. Invite them in for an honest discussion – not to berate them about their job search. Here are some tips to help you hold this somewhat awkward, but completely vital conversation:

Prepare ahead of time.

Spend some time thinking about why this person is potentially leaving the organization. Do you think it’s due to more money, more challenging work, or a change of pace? If you’re their boss, then you should have some sense of why they’d want to move on.

Schedule a face-to-face chat.

Conversations like this must happen in person, not via email. There’s too much emotion involved and meaning that can get lost in translation. Schedule your discussion for a time you know you can give your employee your full attention.

Be open about how you feel.

That doesn’t mean yelling, insulting or threatening. Instead, you should let them know how valued they are and that you don’t want to lose them. You can say something like: “I have a strong sense that you’re thinking of leaving. You don’t have to confirm it. But I just want you to be aware that I truly value your contribution here. Is there anything we can do to keep you happy – and keep you here?”

Really listen to your employee.

Once you’ve said your peace, listen to what your employee has to say. There are two sides to every story and you may be surprised by what you hear or find out.

Learn from the experience.

Even if the employee still wants to leave, you may be able to find out where you missed the mark so you can avoid losing other key employees in the future.

A bonus tip: If the employee that’s thinking of leaving isn’t a strong performer in your organization, then don’t confront them. There’s no point since you don’t want to retain them. Instead, start thinking about who you’d like to fill the position in the future and start lining up potential candidates.

If a key employee has resigned – or is planning on leaving – and you need help filling the position, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your business success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your company and staffing needs, but we can also connect you with the top talent in a variety of fields.

Contact us today to learn more.


4 Factors That Impact How People Perceive You at Work

September 9th, 2014

While you might think your skills speak for themselves, you could be sending other – less positive – signals without knowing it. What are some factors that impact how people perceive you at work? Here’s a look at 4:

Your Behavior During Meetings

Do you arrive late and spend meetings looking at your laptop or cell phone? Are you quiet and disengaged, even when you’re one of the key project stakeholders? Do you roll your eyes and sigh loudly when meetings run too long?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you if this sounds familiar, then you’re sending the signal that you don’t care. Nobody likes meetings. But if you want to be perceived as professional, you need to show up on time, prepared and ready to offer your opinion or assessment when necessary. If a meeting is running long and you really do need to leave, then apologize and excuse yourself.

The Way You Treat Others

Do you say “good morning”each day to the receptionist and admin staff, or barely acknowledge them? Do you kiss up to your boss, or act out in a hostile way toward him or her? How you treat others makes a difference at work. If you come across as intimidated by authority, or as rude to subordinates, you’ll send the wrong message. Always treat people with respect – and that means everyone, whether it’s your boss or the mailroom clerk.

The Work Hours You Keep

Fair or not, your arrival and departure time at work still matters. If you arrive at 9 and leave at 5 on the dot, while everyone else slugs it out until 5:30, you may be perceived as a slacker – even if you’ve gotten all your work done for the day. On the flip side, if you’re the first one at the office and last to leave, you’re probably viewed as more effective and harder working.

Who Your Work Friends Are

Do you hang around with those who are constantly complaining, gossiping or acting like divas? Even if you don’t emulate their behavior, by spending time with those who are toxic to the workplace, you can risk being seen the same way. People will assume if your best workplace buddy is a gossip, then you are too, even if that’s not really the case. Likewise, if you are friends with those who are known to work hard and produce great results, then you’re going to be perceived in a similar light.

Are you ready to send great signals in a new job – with a new company? 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.


Advice for Recruiting Candidates on Social Media

September 2nd, 2014

Whether you know it or not, you shape your employer brand each day by communicating (or not) with candidates via social media. What message are you sending them? If you’re not sure or don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips to help you promote your company and its culture online:

  • Talk about industry news. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows one way to position your company as an industry expert – and attract top talent – is to share insights about industry news. Don’t just re-post a news press release, though. Talk about issues and offer your company’s perspective.
  • Share how-to tips and tricks. Offer information that will help people apply at your company. For instance, talk about what you look for in candidates and what hiring managers at your company expect candidates to bring to their first interviews.
  • Ask your friends and followers questions. Don’t be the only one doing the talking. Ask your prospective candidates questions. For instance, inquire what the #1 thing is they’d like to know about working at your company.
  • Post job openings. When you have an opening, broadcast it via your social media networks. Don’t just offer a laundry list of duties and responsibilities; be sure to focus too on all the perks of working at your company.
  • Let employees be your advocates. Invite employees to author blog posts or post videos about what they like best about working at the company and then share those on your social media profiles.
  • Tell stories about your company. For instance, if your company is involved in community philanthropy, tell stories about the organizations and people you’ve impacted. Post pictures of employees giving back and provide interesting tidbits about their experiences.

By educating people about what it’s like to work at your company, you can develop a pipeline of great candidates before you even have a job opening. But you have to go beyond just saying you’re a company devoted to “giving back to your community.” You need to actually show it. When you do, your recruiting efforts will be easier, more effective and less expensive.

That said, if your culture could use some work (i.e. you have unhappy employees and high turnover rates), then focus your efforts there first. It won’t matter how engaging your employer brand is online; if your culture is weak, focus on fixing that first.

If you need more help recruiting great candidates for your organization, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


How to Answer the Most Dreaded Interview Question

August 26th, 2014

What are your weaknesses?

When asked this question – or any variation of it (i.e. tell me about a time you failed on the job; if we talked with a past boss, what blind spots would he or she mention?; or what are your problem areas?) – it can make you feel like you’re in the interrogation room. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources understands that no one wants to reveal their weaknesses in a job interview, let alone talk about them at any length.

But the question often comes up, nonetheless. When it does, how do you deal? Here are a few tips to help you:

Be Aware of Your Weaknesses

“I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist” are not good answers to this interview question. Hiring managers know everyone makes mistakes and has weaknesses. Trying to disguise a strength as a weakness won’t fool them. Instead, know what your weaknesses are (your real ones) ahead of time so you’re prepared to talk about them.

Be Honest…But Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot Either

Hiring managers can spot a phony answer a mile away. But while you want to be honest and authentic, you don’t want to offer a weakness that can hurt your chances of getting the job. For instance, if you’re a bookkeeper, saying you’re bad at spelling likely won’t hurt your chances of getting the job. The employer is looking for someone who’s good with numbers, after all. Before your interview, take a look at the job description to ensure you don’t bring up a weakness that will take you out of the running for the job.

Put Your Weakness Into Context & Talk About How You’ve Overcome It

Rather than saying you’re impatient – and making it sound like you get annoyed and exasperated easily and all the time – put your weakness into a certain context. For instance: “I get impatient during meetings. But over the years, I’ve realized that they’re essential to ensuring projects stay on target. To make sure we don’t get off track during them, I’ve since started keeping them to 45-minutes or less and I always have an agenda prepared.”

The above example shows how you can explain how you’ve conquered your weakness – i.e. impatience during meetings. Don’t bring up areas you’re still working on or in the process of fixing.

Hiring managers don’t expect any candidate to be perfect. They simply want to take as much risk out of the hiring equation as possible. Knowing about weaknesses ahead of time helps them do that.

Need more help landing 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.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog, Interviewing, Tips

Survival Tips for New Managers

August 19th, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows taking a job as a manager of an existing team is tough. Not only are the employees used to the old manager’s approach, but they might not be open to your way of doing business. If you’re the new boss, here are 5 survival tips to overcome this tricky situation and gain your team’s respect:

Tip #1: Don’t insult their former manager.

You’re walking into a situation where you may not know much about the politics or past loyalties. Even if you disagree with the old boss’s approach or policies and see glaring errors, be diplomatic when discussing them. The last thing you want to do is insult a former, well-loved manager and create a sense of animosity among your new staff members.

Tip #2: Take change slow.

You can’t possibly learn about the team and all the challenges they face in a few days. So don’t take over the reigns and start implementing change immediately. Go slow. Take some time to get to know the situation and why things are done the way they are before making big changes.

Tip #3: Get to know your people.

Take an interest not only in your team members as employees, but as people. Ask about their work, get their view of the department’s strengths and weaknesses, and find out what they need from you. Plan to meet with each employee individually so you can ask questions like:

  • What are your career goals for the year? Are you on track to achieve them?
  • What are some obstacles to success you’re experiencing?
  • What do you think that’s working that we should be doing more of?
  • Is there anything I can do that would help you do your job better?

Tip #4: Communicate your approach and expectations.

Talk about your objectives for the team and the way that you like to work – for instance, do you like in person updates, or progress reports via email? Ask what questions they have about your goals and expectations.

Tip #5: Expect some resistance.

You’re the new kid on the block and your employees are probably comfortable in the way things are. So if you start going around, changing processes and procedures, expect some resistance. Don’t take it personally or get defensive. Just clearly explain your reasoning and how the changes will benefit the team as whole.

Need help hiring for your team? Call 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.


5 Ways to Find More Time in Your Work Day

August 12th, 2014

Constantly rushing to get things done? Don’t ever feel like you have enough time to accomplish your goals? Then you may need to rethink how you organize your day. Here are 5 tips to help you get started:

#1: Identify priorities every week.

At the start of each week, identify what you must get done in order to have a successful week. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that far too often, people get caught up in unnecessary and mundane tasks, while hot projects sit waiting until the absolute last minute. As a result, you’re left scrambling to get work done. Don’t put yourself in that position. When you identify high priorities, do all you can to complete them first. Don’t let non-urgent tasks get in the way.

#2: Schedule in your own projects.

If you let it, time for meetings and brainstorming sessions can take up most of your work day. That’s why it’s important to schedule in your own time for getting work done. For instance, if you have a big project that’s due at the end of the week, then set aside several hours each day to work on it, so you’re not left cramming it all in the day before.

#3: Guard your time.

Don’t treat yourself like a second-class citizen. If you have a priority project you’re working on and a colleague comes to you with a non-urgent issue, let them know you’ll get back to them shortly. Don’t set aside your work to get theirs done. That’s not to say you should leave them hanging. But you should protect your time so you’re not left rushing to get your work done. If you need to, close your office door or go into a private conference room where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.

#4: Delegate where you can.

If you have an assistant who can perform certain tasks, then delegate responsibilities to them. If there’s a co-worker who can complete a project more efficiently than you, then ask them to take it on. You may feel more comfortable doing it yourself, but if there’s someone else who’s better suited for the task, then you’re simply wasting your time.

#5: Invest in a time management system.

Whether you use an app, online software, or an old-fashioned paper calendar, pick a system for managing your time and stick with it.

Looking to find more time in a new job? 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.


Why You Should Just Say “No” to Counteroffering

August 5th, 2014

One of your top employees just turned in their two weeks notice. Now what? Should you let them walk out the door, or make them a counteroffer instead to try and get them to stay?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, we can tell you that once an employee has gotten to the point of handing in their resignation, you should probably let them go. They’ve been searching for a new job for weeks, or even months, under the radar and so have had ample time to think about whether or not they really wanted to leave.

Here are a few more reasons why you should just say “no” to counteroffering:

When you make a counteroffer, typically you’re just throwing money at a problem – i.e. giving an employee more money so they don’t leave and you don’t have to fill their position. But oftentimes, employees don’t leave just because of the money. If that’s all they were after, they would have asked you for a raise. Instead, many employees leave because of problems with their bosses, unfulfilled promises from their employers, and seeking a healthier work life balance.

In addition, when you make a counteroffer, you’re simply prolonging the inevitable. Sure, if they accept, the employee is going to stay on board…for now. But you can pretty much bet that their time at the company is limited. Most employees who accept counteroffers don’t last for more than a year. That’s why you’re better off making a clean break and starting fresh with a new hire.

Finally, another reason to avoid the counteroffer is the message it sends to your other employees. If they know an employee is leaving, but then that employee decides to stay, it signals all they need to do is threaten to jump ship to get a raise. You don’t want one counteroffer to result in multiple employees leaving.

So next time an employee decides to quit, let them go. Congratulate them and talk about how you can work together to fill the gap until you find their replacement.

Have an opening you need help filling? Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies 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 if you’d like to learn more.



5 Tips for Overcoming the Job Interview Jitters

July 22nd, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows job interviews are nerve wracking. Not only do you feel like you’re being interrogated, but there’s also a lot on the line…especially if you’re unemployed. Unfortunately, for many job seekers, their nerves can sabotage their best efforts in an interview. To ensure it doesn’t happen to you, here are some tips for overcoming job interview jitters:

#1: Do Your Research

Knowledge breeds confidence – and if you aren’t that knowledgeable about the company or the position, then you need to do some research. Learn about the industry, their products and services, the competition, and the challenges they are facing. Find out the people you will be interviewing with and research them on LinkedIn. Know the company’s mission and vision and how you can contribute to them.

#2: Practice Ahead

If you get nervous answering interview questions, then write down some common questions and practice your answers to them. If your nerves have really gotten the best of you in past interviews, then conduct a mock interview. Have a friend or family member interview you and then give you honest feedback about how well you performed. If you can’t conduct a mock interview, then at least practice in front of a mirror.

#3: Be Prepared

Don’t wait until the morning of the interview to print out copies of your resume or figure out what you’re going to wear. What if your printer runs out of ink, or your best suit has a stain on it? Don’t let these kinds of frustrations send you into panic mode the morning of your interview. Instead, prepare ahead of time. Have copies of your resume printed and your suit dry cleaned. Also, have directions ready and check the traffic before you go.

#4: Arrive Early

One of the biggest mistakes you can make before a job interview is not giving yourself enough time to get there. When you’re running late, you’re going to be in a state of frenzy by the time you arrive at the interview. Don’t worry about getting there too early. You can always sit in your car or in the office lobby and relax before your interview.

#5: Be Positive

Speak positive words to yourself and visualize success during the interview. See yourself doing a great job, answering questions precisely and impressing the interviewer. Remember, there’s a reason you were invited in for an interview in the first place.

If you’re stressed, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous before a job interview. But by taking the steps above, you can ensure your jitters don’t get the best of you.

Need more help preparing for job interviews? Contact 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.



Screening Candidates on Facebook? Beware the Pitfalls

July 15th, 2014

Thanks to social networking sites, it’s easier than ever for hiring managers to get the dirt on job candidates. In fact, according to a Career Builder survey, 12% of 1,150 hiring managers said they have used social networking sites to screen potential candidates. Of that 12%, 63% said they did not hire a person based on their profiles.

Specific reasons included:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photos
  • Drinking or drug use
  • Bad mouthing a company or employee

In addition, in a survey published in April 2013, SHRM found 77% of its members reported regularly using social networking sites for recruiting, up from 56% in 2011.

As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows social media posts can certainly help you get behind the candidate mask. For instance, you can gain a clearer sense of a candidate’s personality and better discern whether they’d be a good fit for the company’s culture.

However, it can also cause you to lose out on top candidates if you’re too reliant on information gained on social media sites. Keep in mind that many social media profiles were created by users to stay connected with friends and family…not to land a job. In addition, many times people post information that may be embellished or inaccurate simply to build a certain image of themselves. A candidate also may not control an image posted of them on a social media site, so consider the overall context.

The bottom line?

The picture presented could be misleading in terms of whether a candidate would be a good fit for the position. Just because a profile post doesn’t exactly get you excited about a candidate, that doesn’t mean they aren’t the right person for the position.

On the flip side, just because a candidate posts about volunteer work and exercising – positive activities – doesn’t mean they are a better fit for the job than someone who spends their weekends partying with friends. Remember, relying too much on social media sites for candidate screening can foster an overly positive or negative image of a candidate.

It can also land you in legal hot water. For instance, a candidate might allege that your use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn uncovered protected class information (such as race or religion) that was then used to disqualify them for the job.

When using social media to screen candidates, tread carefully. It’s a great tool for gaining deeper insight into a candidate, but it shouldn’t be used to make any final employment decisions.

Ready to outsource your candidate screening process to the professionals? Call Murray Resources. As leading Houston headhunters with 30 years of experience, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates. Not good candidates who may have the adequate skills. But people who are truly top performers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make smart hiring decisions, contact Murray Resources today.


5 Tips for Creating a Great Team That Gets Results

July 8th, 2014

As a manager, you have to rely on your staff to meet goals and expectations. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Objectives can go unmet, deadlines unfulfilled and projects sit idle all because a team isn’t operating at peak efficiency.

To help ensure yours isn’t one of them, here are 5 tips to help you make the right moves and lead your team to success:

1. Look to another successful team.

If there’s another team at your company that is the model of efficiency and positive results, then look to them as a prototype of how to build your team. Talk to the manager of that department and ask them about how they built their team, lessons learned, mistakes made, and any advice they can give you. You can even ask to sit in with them on team meetings to observe how they communicate and interact with each other.

2. Know each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Get to know all your team members on a more personal level so you can learn about where they shine – and areas that need improvement. That way, you can ensure that 1) they’re in the position best suited for their capabilities and 2) you can better manage and motivate them.

3. Create shared and individual goals.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you it’s important for your team members to know what the shared vision of the department is, as well as how they each fit in individually. So communicate the common goals you have for your team so everyone is on the same page and working together.

But also be sure to define individual goals, as well, so each person is clear on your expectations of them. This reduces ambiguity and ensures everyone is working in agreement with one another.

4. Show your team some love.

Employee recognition is priceless, and yet it’s also free. You don’t need to give team members big bonuses or expensive gifts to make them feel appreciated.

Instead, when you do offer recognition and rewards, make sure it’s timely, not a month after your team completed a big project. Also, when you’re rewarding someone individually, be specific. Point out the particular behavior you’re recognizing and tell them why you appreciate it and the impact it made.

5. Cut ties with weak links.

No manager likes to fire an employee; however, sometimes for the good of the whole team, it’s a must. Remember, if you make a hiring mistake, or someone is underperforming, they can truly sabotage a project, hurt morale, and impact customer satisfaction.

Have a vacancy in your company you need help filling? Contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we  can help your organization find the skilled and dependable people you need, who are also a fit for your team. Contact us today to find out more.


4 Quick Tips for Screening Resumes

July 1st, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to the hiring process, one of the most labor-intensive tasks is weeding through all the resumes you’ll be getting. You might get a few dozen – or a few hundred, depending on the job and where you’re located.

However many you do get, it’s important to keep a few key points in mind when you’re screening resumes so the process is both efficient and effective. Here’s a look:

Tip #1: Know what you’re looking for before you start.

Before you begin the resume screening process, know what kind of candidate you’re looking for to fill the position. Have a list ready of the four or five non-negotiable skills you require and use that as a tool to screen out candidates who don’t fit the bill. When you have a clear picture of who a strong contender is for the job, you’ll have a much easier time screening resumes.

Tip #2: Wait until you have all resumes before you begin the screening process.

It’s tempting to review each resume as it comes in, but you’re simply making the process more time-consuming. Instead, wait until the end date of your job posting and then start reviewing all the resumes you receive.

When you do it all at once, or at least break the task into a few chunks, the process is going to be far more efficient than if you screen resumes one at a time or in a piecemeal fashion.

Tip #3: Don’t look for the perfect candidate.

The resume screen is only the first part in what’s going to be a more extensive hiring process. And you’re not making a hiring decision on a person’s resume. You’re simply deciding whether or not to move that person on into the interview process.

If you’re really uncertain about a particular candidate, pick up the phone and conduct a quick screen. After speaking directly with them, you’ll have a clearer sense of whether you want to pursue them further.

Tip #4: Do look for strong candidates.

When you’re screening resumes, look for those candidates who present a neat and professional resume free from typos and errors. Also look for candidates that go beyond listing out all their daily tasks on their resume and demonstrate a track record of accomplishments. And finally, when screening resumes, try to identify an upward trend in career path. Advancement is a good sign of a solid candidate.

Taking the steps above is your first line of defense in avoiding a bad hire. However, if you simply don’t have the time to screen resumes, call 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.



Don’t Let These Networking Mistakes Sabotage Your Job Search

June 24th, 2014

You know how important networking is to your job search. But did you also know you can really hurt your efforts of finding a new opportunity if you take the wrong approach?

Don’t let networking mistakes impact your ability to land your dream job. Make sure you avoid the following 5 blunders:

Mistake #1: Thinking Only About Yourself

Networking is like a conversation; it’s a two-way street. And if the only thing you’re thinking about is yourself when you’re networking, then it’s going to come through loud and clear.

Instead, approach networking not as a way just for you to find a job or achieve your career goals. Approach it as a way to form relationships, make new connections and even help someone else out in their job search. Remember, offering to help is often the best way to get it in return.

Mistake #2: Not Following Through

Someone asks you to introduce them to one of their contacts, or pass along their resume. You promise to, but never actually follow through.

Keep in mind that the other person is expecting you to do what you said you would. When you don’t, not only do you look bad, but it could come back to haunt you in the future.

Mistake #3: Not Networking

You have the skills and experience to get a job, so why network? Because you could be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Sure, you might be able to get a job. But many times, openings aren’t advertised – which means you’ll never hear about them or have access to them if you’re not putting yourself out there.

Mistake #4: Focusing on Quantity, Not Quality

Good networking isn’t about amassing hundreds of contacts. It’s about forming real relationships with real people.

When you go to a networking event, or are just out and about, don’t focus on the number of people you’re connecting with. Instead, focus on making quality contacts with people you’d genuinely like to build a relationship with.

Mistake #5: Acting Ungrateful or Offended

When someone offers to connect you, don’t act entitled to their circle of contacts. They’re doing you a favor and it’s important to be grateful for it.

Likewise, if you ask a contact for a favor and they do turn you down, don’t get offended or upset. There are plenty of other people out there who are willing to offer help.

A final note: Whatever comes of your networking efforts, always say “thank you” to those who have helped you along the way. Even if nothing pans out from a lead, it’s still important to let your connections know how much you value their efforts.

Looking to network your way to a new 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 to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.





6 Do’s & Don’ts for Job Hunting While Still Employed

June 17th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that searching for a new job while still employed is simply part of the process for many candidates. But considering that you don’t want your current boss to know you’re looking for greener pastures, you have to be careful.

To help you, here are some tips to follow to find your next great opportunity without risking your current one:

1. Don’t Tell Your Colleagues

No matter how tempting it can be, don’t tell your co-workers that you’re looking for a new job. You never know whom they may tell or who may overhear you. That means staying quiet on social media too if you have work buddies in your network. The last thing you need is your boss finding out about your search before it’s even begun.

2. Do Schedule Interviews Before or After Work

Some employers will allow you to come in for an interview early in the morning or toward the end of the day. If that’s the case, take advantage of it. It’s far better to come in a bit late then to leave halfway through the day for a few hours. There are only so many “doctor’s” and “dentist’s appointments” you can have before your boss starts asking questions.

3. Do Keep Your Job Search Out of the Office

That means not using any company time or equipment (such as email, phone, fax, printers, or copiers) to conduct job hunt activities. If you do, not only is it not ethical, but you’ll be constantly looking over your shoulder and won’t be able to focus on what you’re doing, whether it’s updating your resume or emailing a hiring manager about an interview.

4. Don’t List Your Current Employer as a Reference

Simply let the companies you’re interviewing with know that your present employer isn’t aware of your job hunt. Instead, think about past employers and colleagues you can use as a reference. Also, if you have any recommendations or references on LinkedIn from your current place of business, then direct hiring managers to those.

5. Do Stay Engaged at Work

One of the biggest red flags for employers is a rapid decline in engagement. All of a sudden it doesn’t seem like you care much about getting the work done.

While it’s only natural for your enthusiasm for your job to slip when you’re hunting for a new one, don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Continue showing up on time each day, working hard, and diligently completing your tasks.

6. Do Tell If You’re Caught

If your boss asks you outright if you’re job hunting, then tell the truth. You’ll jeopardize your credibility and the chance of your boss serving as a reference if you lie once confronted.

Need more help finding a new 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.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.




Temporary Employees: How to Make the Most of Them This Summer

June 10th, 2014

If you’re busiest during the summer months, then hiring temporary, seasonal workers is a way of life for you. That said, it’s certainly not always smooth sailing.

Having employees who deliver great customer service and get the job done is critical to business success. But, as a leading temp agency in Houston, Murray Resources knows that between burnout, turnover and just plain bad hires, getting through the summer can certainly be a balancing act.

To help you make the most of your seasonal workers this summer, here are a few tips to consider:

#1. Explain the value of the job they’re doing.

For a temporary worker, they may be cleaning hotel rooms. For your customers, though, they are playing a critical part in providing an exceptional experience.

When hiring seasonal, temporary workers, don’t just explain to them their daily job duties; tell them why what they’re doing is so important. When you do, they’ll feel more invested in their work and accountable for it.

#2. Get them familiar with your company and core team.

Many times, temporary workers arrive on the job and have to get to work immediately without getting to know the company, the culture and the employees. The results can be overwhelming for the worker. Instead, get them familiar with your company; for instance, invite them to a company social event.

Also, make sure all your temporaries are required to go through a training session. This can be anything from a seminar, where they learn about what you do and meet key staff members, to having them come in and work alongside a veteran staff member for a day.

Regardless of the approach you take, when temp help is properly trained and onboarded, they’ll feel more comfortable during their time with you.

#3. Check in often.

Do spot checks of temporary employees during those first few days. If all seems to be going well, then follow up with them on a weekly basis to monitor progress and address any questions or concerns.

#4. Be mindful of scheduling.

Don’t let your summer help get burned out. Be mindful when you’re making up schedules. For instance, don’t schedule a person to work the closing shift on a Tuesday and then open on a Wednesday. Provide them with plenty of time to rest in between shifts, so they’re eager and refreshed once back on the job.

#5. Give thanks.

Don’t forget to recognize the contributions of temporary employees. They need praise too. So when they do a good job, acknowledge them. And if you find ones that are especially exceptional, invite them back to work for you next year.

If you need help finding great temporary employees for your business this summer, contact Murray Resources. As a leading temp agency in Houston, we can help you find and hire the skilled and dependable people you need, where and when you need them. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



Managing Your Office Intern

June 3rd, 2014

If your business is like many, you’re looking to hire summer interns this year. In fact, according to Internships.com, 56% of companies plan to hire more interns in 2014 than they did in 2013.

What’s more is that there’s an increase in the number of students in search of internships, likely due to the challenging economic climate. Last year alone, 67% of the college class of 2013 completed at least one internship during college – a 6% increase over the previous year.

In addition, both interns and employees report positive experiences: 84% of employers say hiring interns was a positive experience; similarly, 87% of students say that their internship was a positive experience.

Clearly, hiring interns can be a win-win situation, providing vital opportunities for college students and new grads to get their “foot in the door,” while providing employers with eager young talent to help them in the workplace.

But – just like any new hire you’d bring on board – interns need to be managed properly so both parties can maximize the experience. To help you, here are a few tips:

Set guidelines.

You don’t need to tell your employees what to wear or when to show up. But interns may need a little more guidance in this area.

Before their first day, be sure to give them the rules of the road: what to wear, when you expect them at the office, how long they will be working each day, what appropriate Internet use is, and the rules on office socialization.

Expose them to beneficial experiences.

Sure, you may need your intern to perform some mundane tasks. But, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that you must mix that up with real-world, valuable experiences that will help them learn and grow as a future professional.

For instance, if you’re having an important meeting with your staff, ask them to sit in and take meeting notes. Then schedule some time afterward to talk about what was discussed during it; ask for their opinion on decisions made and whether they have any questions. That way, they’re helping you record the meeting, while also learning how the business world operates.

Provide plenty of feedback.

College students and new graduates are used to getting a lot of feedback from their professors. It’s important that you’re prepared to offer both constructive and positive input on their strengths and weaknesses throughout the internship experience.

When you do, be ready to give them specific feedback as to areas where they performed well – “You did a great job creating that presentation for our sales meeting.” – and areas where there is room for improvement.

The most important thing to remember when managing your intern is that the intern is not free labor. The experience is a learning one. And when you approach it with that attitude, you’ll both reap the benefits in the end.

Need more help hiring new college grads or seasoned professionals for your team? 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 top talent across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



When Your Resume Has No Focus

May 27th, 2014

You’ve held a whole smorgasbord of jobs over the years. Now you want to find “the one” that’s just right for you. But you’re having some trouble putting together a resume that makes you sound focused and professional.

Sound familiar? If it does, you’re certainly not alone. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you there are plenty of candidates out there who simply haven’t found their footing in their careers – and their resumes and job searches suffer as a result.

If you’re one of them – and need some help putting together a sharper resume – here are some tips to help you:

Determine what you want to do.

You’re never going to create a polished, focused resume if you’re not really sure what career direction you’re headed in. So think back to the jobs you’ve held over the years and identify the one or ones you’ve really enjoyed and were good at. If there isn’t one in particular that stands out, then think about what specific aspects of past jobs you liked most.

Focus on the jobs most relevant to your chosen path.

Once you have some job leads, it’s time to sit down, roll up your sleeves, and customize your resume for each one. That means focusing on the past experience you have that is most relevant for the position.

For instance, if you really love administrative work and want to pursue a career in that field, then including half a page about your foreign language teaching experience just doesn’t make sense. Instead, focus on the positions you’ve held that have allowed you to put your administrative skills to good use.

Include unique details about your experience.

Rather than including a bullet under a job title about being “proficient in Microsoft Word” (who isn’t these days?), include information that is unique to you. For instance, what tasks did you handle on a daily basis and what were the measurable results of those actions.

Here’s an example of how to get specific:

“Researched new venues for company-wide events that saved 30% in expenses.”

The bottom line is that being generic won’t get you anywhere. If you want to get noticed by a hiring manager, then you need to show that you really want the job and you have the skills and experience to do it.

And if you’d like to pursue multiple career paths, then you can certainly create a resume for each. Just be sure when you apply to a job, that resume is as focused and detailed as possible.

Looking for more resume tips and advice? Give Murray Resources a call. 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.




Looking for a New Job? Don’t Forget About Company Culture

May 20th, 2014

As leading Houston, TX recruiters, Murray Resources knows when looking for a new job, most job seekers tend to focus on the position – is it a good fit, do they have the right skills, is it work they will enjoy? However, did you know that it’s just as important to assess the culture of the company when determining whether an opportunity is right for you?

The culture is the company’s personality. And not every company culture is a fit for every candidate. Consider the formal, structured culture of many large corporations and pair that with a laid back, free spirited individual.

So if you’re searching for a new job, how can you evaluate the culture – so you’ll end up somewhere you love? Consider these tips:

Determine what’s important to you.

Is it flex time? A company dedicated to helping others? A smaller, more family friendly environment?

When looking for a company that’s going to be a match for your needs, determine what’s most important to you and what the deal breakers are. Once you know, you can look and ask about those traits (and traits you don’t want) on your interviews. It will make finding a good employer/employee match a lot easier.

Find out why the last person left.

If you ask this question and hear a lot of stumbling, stuttering and a vague answer, then there’s a problem. The hiring manager should be able to tell you clearly why the last person left. Also, if you find out the position is a revolving door for people, then that’s a good indication of what’s to come should you accept the offer.

Dig deep during the interview.

Sometimes, hiring managers will exaggerate an ideal company culture during the interview. Then, when a new hire is on the job, they quickly become miserable because the position and culture don’t match up with reality.

That’s why it’s important to get specific with your questions – i.e. “What things do you wish you’d known before starting to work here?” Or “What one thing don’t you like about the culture?”

Ask around.

If you know someone who works for the company, or has in the past, ask them directly about what it’s like to be an employee there. Use sites like LinkedIn or your network of contacts to reach out to those who are “in the know.”

The bottom line is that the more you understand about a particular company, the better shot you’ll have at finding an employer that’s right for you.

Need more help with your job search? Contact Murray Resources. As leading Houston, TX recruiters, we work with top employers all over the city and can match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.



Don’t Sink Your Ship! The Perils of Hiring Based on Emotion

May 13th, 2014

Hiring is kind of like dating. You meet someone and you click…or you don’t. Either way, it’s easy to let how you feel toward that candidate cloud your judgment when it comes time to make a hiring decision. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows too many managers make their choice with the thought in their head that “I just really liked that candidate.”

Unfortunately, hiring based on emotion has some perils.

Many times, it blinds people to the red flags that show up during the interview process. Whether they know it or not, managers tend to scrutinize candidates they don’t necessarily connect with far more than those they do. As a result, they think a candidate is great…only to be sorely disappointed when that new hire doesn’t work out. And then they’re back to the hiring game.

If this has ever happened to you, don’t get fooled again. Do what you can to take the emotion out of your hiring process and you will reap the benefits in the end.

To start, avoid these common mistakes:

Hiring out of desperation.

When you’re under pressure to hire, not only are you more likely to make a mistake, but you’re also more likely to let certain issues slide, like the fact that the candidate you really like doesn’t have a certain important skill set, but “hey, I really like them and I need to hire now.”

Don’t put the wrong person in a position just because you’re short-handed. Keep your standards high and take your time.

Hearing what you want to.

Most managers are quick decision makers and risk takers. These are great qualities for leading a team; but not so great for the hiring process. In fact, these traits can cause major hiring mistakes.

Effective hiring and interviewing takes times, patience, and exceptional listening skills. Just because a candidate looks great on paper and presents well in an interview does not mean they are the right fit. It’s critical to dig deeper, push harder and find out the real story behind each candidate.

Thinking you’re a good judge of character.

You may be when it comes to your team; but when it comes to hiring candidates who are often not putting their true selves forward, don’t assume you know it all. Choosing a candidate to bring on board isn’t like picking a new company to deliver office supplies. Hiring right takes a careful, thoughtful approach that may involve other’s opinions as well.

When faced with a hiring decision, your first step should be to recognize – not ignore – that there are emotions involved. Then take deliberate steps to think through the hiring process, create a plan and stick to it, and not rush into any decisions.

Need more help hiring for your team? Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help ensure you have the right people – whether contract talent or full-time staff – in the right positions at the right time. Contact us today to learn more.



Mentoring Programs 101: 7 Traits of a Good Mentor

May 6th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows having a company mentoring program sounds great in theory. But not every employee is cut out to be a mentor, even your key players.

So if you’re wondering how to identify those employees who can serve as strong mentors to other staff members, what should you look for? Here are 7 traits of a good mentor:

Honesty. Some people have a hard time being direct and stating the facts. A good mentor, though, is unafraid to tell the truth. This is a critically important attribute considering an employee will never develop if they don’t have a sense of areas that need improvement.

Motivator. A good mentor knows how to push people to take risks, aim higher and achieve more. They strike the right balance between honesty and inspiration.

Listener. Being a mentor isn’t all about communicating knowledge; most of it is about listening, offering advice, and encouraging the mentee. In the beginning too, it’s about listening to the mentee’s wants, needs, goals, feelings, and fears.

Committed. Being a mentor takes a big time commitment. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, otherwise the mentee will become disengaged and demotivated. A good mentor is one who does what they say they’re going to do and takes a personal interest in the mentee – who they are, what their goals are, and strengths and weaknesses.

Open minded. Mentoring goes both ways. And a good mentor should be open to learning from the mentee, as well. They shouldn’t approach the relationship as if they have nothing new to learn.

Patient. The best mentors allow mentees to make mistakes and use those missteps as opportunities to teach them. Sometimes, too, the relationship can get a bit heated, particularly when it comes to constructive criticism, requiring a patient personality to diffuse the situation.

Positive Reputation. A mentor is a role model, which is why good ones generally enjoy a positive reputation in their field and are held in high regard by their peers.

When you choose employees to mentor who demonstrate these traits, you have a far better chance of facilitating successful mentor/mentee relationships. This, in turn, will help employees being mentored learn and develop into high performers.

Looking for a few, good mentors to join your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain skilled, dependable and knowledgeable employees for their teams. We can help you too. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



How to Make Employers Want to Hire You

April 22nd, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that you have put yourself in the shoe’s of an employer if you want to secure your dream job. What are they looking for in their next new hire? If you’re not sure, here are a few factors that can influence whether or not you get the offer:

Dress Well

Image is everything in today’s world – and that includes when you’re in the hot seat in front of an interviewer. You can have all the right skills and be the most experienced candidate; however, if you’re dressed inappropriately or sloppily, you could lose the offer. While “dress for success” may sound cliched, it’s important you actually do it to make the best impression.

Be Eager, Not Desperate

Employers want to hire those who are enthusiastic about the job and the company. However, there is a fine line between being eager and appearing desperate. Trying not to cross it can be a challenge when you’re out of work or have been searching for a while. But appearing needy will only make you look bad and impact your chances of winning the offer.

Show Some Vision

You don’t need to have the next five or 10 years of your career mapped out. But you should walk into an interview able to articulate your vision for your future. Employers don’t just want candidates who want “a job”; they want those with growth potential and a sense of how their opportunity fits in with your overall career goals.

Have the Right Skills

This should go without saying, but you must be able to back up your claims and be able to do the job you’re applying for. If a job title just sounds interesting to you and you “think” you could do it, don’t even bother submitting your resume. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

Promote Those Accomplishments

Employers don’t want to hear vague statements and promises of what you could do. They want to learn about facts and accomplishments to persuade them why you’d be a good hire. Be prepared to be specific and give real-world examples that are most relevant to each position you’re interviewing for.

Most companies aren’t looking for the “perfect” candidate. What they are looking for are people who are skilled, dependable, a fit for their culture and who can deliver on expectations. When you demonstrate those factors, you should be well on your way to a successful job interview and an offer.

If you’d like more help with your job search, 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.



After the Job Offer: 4 Steps to Easier Salary Negotiations

April 15th, 2014

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources understands salary negotiations is a dreaded part of the hiring process for many job candidates. While you want to secure the best offer, going about it can feel like walking on a high wire. Ask too much and you’ll get shot down; too little and it can impact your quality of life, as well as your future earning potential.

So when you’re doing the salary negotiation “two-step,” what strategies should you take to make the process go as smoothly as possible?

Step #1: Know the Numbers

Too many job candidates rely on employers to determine a fair compensation for the job. But if you want to secure a better offer, then you need to spend some time researching how the employment market values someone with your skill set. Just a few thousand dollars more can make a big difference over a period of time. And when you know the facts and numbers, you can justify your case for your salary expectations.

Step #2: Know Your Bottom Line

Before you buy a home, for instance, you know what your budget is. Before you walk into salary negotiations, you need to know what your bottom line is. In other words, what are willing to accept if you don’t get the exact offer you want? You’ll need to crunch some personal financial numbers to come up with the right figure. But think it through ahead of time so you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation, left accepting an offer that’s too low.

Go beyond salary too to vacation time and benefits. Are less days off more important than a bigger paycheck for you? Or is a more flexible lifestyle an important objective? Identify what you’re aiming for before you walk into any negotiating sessions.

Step #3: Know the Right Questions to Ask

Once the offer is made, you’re going to want to feel it out by asking some questions. For instance:

• Is the job offer negotiable? This is a tactful way of inquiring whether or not there is wiggle room in the offer. In most cases, there is. However, there are certain instances where there may not be much, if any, room to negotiate and it’s best to know immediately. Asking this gets the ball rolling into negotiations.

• Does that include base pay only? Total compensation includes benefits; base pay is salary only. Asking this question is an easy icebreaker into talking about benefits.

Step #4: Know the Benefits

When negotiating salary, many candidates assume benefits are firm. But, in fact, they’re often negotiable too. So don’t leave any on the table. Inquire about health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, vacation time, and flex scheduling. This is especially important if the base salary is lower than you’d like because you may have more leverage to negotiate a a better compensation package.

The point to remember is that as a job candidate, you have the power to negotiate what you want to earn. Don’t concede it. Take your time, stay focused and confident, and know when to walk away from the table.

Need more help negotiating your way to a new job offer? Let Murray Resources know. As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can not only help you find out about great job opportunities, but we can also help you navigate your way through all aspects of your job search. Contact us today to learn more.


4 Lessons for Avoiding Hiring Mistakes

April 8th, 2014

Technical skills can be taught; attitude, on the other hand, is not something easily changed. And when you hire a new employee with an attitude that doesn’t mesh with your company culture or their role, either they wind up quitting after a few months, or you end up having to let them go.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that the good news is both scenarios are avoidable when you screen for attitude during the hiring process. To help you, here are a few tips to follow:

Lesson #1: Identify the Types of People Who Thrive at Your Company

There’s not going to be one certain kind of personality that fits in well at your organization or even in any one department. However, there will definitely be certain types of people who seem to thrive there. So ask yourself:

• What kinds of personalities and work styles currently exist in the organization?

• What adjectives best describe the people who have been successful?

• What makes them tick and how are they different from the average employee?

• What types of personalities work well with other stakeholders in the organization that the new hire will interact with?

Lesson #2: Ask the Right Questions

Rather than the typical “what are your weaknesses?” type questions, ask behavior-based questions that can elicit more telling information, not canned answers. For example “tell me about a time you failed on the job.” When you ask these kinds of questions, candidates are forced to give real-world examples, offering you genuine information and experiences you can base your hiring decision on.

When you ask these questions, resist the urge to lead candidates – e.g. “tell me about a time you failed on the job…and what you learned from it.” If you don’t, you’re tipping your hand and signaling to candidates the kind of information you want.

Lesson #3: Inquire About Work Environment

You know what your company’s work environment is like; most candidates will not. So one way to identify those that will fit is to inquire about what their ideal work environment looks like. Some examples of questions you can ask include:

• How do you get your work done most productively? Collaboratively? Independently? A combination?

• How do you prefer to communicate? Verbally or in written form? In person or via email?

• What type of office space do you prefer? Open? Private?

Lesson #4: Dig for More

Many candidates will prepare ahead of time for the interview, which typically involves rehearsing answers to commonly asked interview questions. That’s why it’s important to prod candidates a bit. Don’t let them get away with artificial answers like “my biggest weakness is that I’m a workaholic.” The best way to do that is to ask follow up questions:

• Why?

• How?

• Tell me more?

• What happened next?

Hiring for attitude can be challenging. It demands that you spend more time evaluating your company’s culture and the people who work there. However, by doing so, you can gain greater confidence that you’ll hire a candidate that’s the right person for the job and for your company.

If you’d like more help from the hiring experts, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies 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 if you’d like to learn more.



What Happens To Your Resume After You Send It?

April 1st, 2014

You found the perfect position, polished off a strong resume and cover letter, then hit the “send” button. Now you wait. But did you ever wonder what happens to your resume after that? If you have, here’s a look:


As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that at many companies, your resume will typically be screened through some form of technology before human eyes see it. The software uses different types of criteria, including keywords, to target the candidates that seem the best fit for the position. For that reason, when submitting your application, be sure to check the job posting first and include keywords and phrases directly from it in your cover letter and resume.

Once resumes go through the filtering process, the hiring manager will begin the process of screening every one. Most spend only a few seconds on each resume, which is why it’s so important to ensure yours is in an easy to read format, without tight margins and dense paragraphs. It’s also important to make sure your job titles and past and current employers are clearly called out.


If the hiring manager likes what they see in your resume, they will call you to conduct a phone interview. More and more companies are conducting these today. It may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. But at the end of it, the hiring manager wants to make a decision whether to invite you in for a face-to-face interview. So don’t wing it; treat the phone interview as seriously as if you were going to the employer’s office to meet with your potential boss.

For some employers, the interview is the final step in the process. For others, it’s just the beginning, with multiple interviews, testing and background checks to follow. Again, make sure to prepare, show up on time and dressed professionally, bring copies of your resume, and be ready to sell yourself and your accomplishments.

What if you don’t get a call?

If you don’t get a call or hear back beyond the standard “thank you for applying” email, then the hiring manager probably decided that you weren’t a good match. You’ll likely never know the reason why; however, many companies do keep resumes on file should a better fit position open up.

If you’d like more tips and advice for your job search, 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.



Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

You, Inc.: How to Promote Yourself – and Your Career – Without Sounding Arrogant

March 25th, 2014

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows when it comes to career success, a little self-promotion can go a long away.

For many professionals, though, they don’t know how to toot their own horns without coming across as bragging ego-maniacs. But if you want to advance your career and get noticed by decisions makers, you need to demonstrate your worth.

To help you do it effectively and with grace, here are a few tips to put into action:

Don’t be afraid to share your success.

You shouldn’t feel fearful or dirty about sharing your achievements with your boss and higher ups at your company. And yet, finding the middle ground between coming across as arrogant and too humble is a challenge.

The key? Just to stick to the facts. When talking up your accomplishments, don’t use a lot of exaggerated language unless you want people to tune out. Cut to the key points instead. Talk about the accomplishment – what you did, how you did it, obstacles that were overcome – and the impact it made.

Keep track of your accomplishments.

Create a document where you list achievements big and small so you don’t forget any. Jot down an entry each time you achieve something new – whether it’s completing a large project ahead of schedule and under budget or receiving great feedback from a customer. Write down too why you think this achievement was important and how it contributes to the overall success of the team.

Use this log when you’re preparing for your performance reviews with your boss and also send him or her occasional progress emails with the good news (don’t badger them though with a constant barrage of emails). After all, your boss is not a mind reader; it’s up to you to inform him or her what you’re working on and the positive results you’re achieving.

Accept recognition gracefully.

Don’t ever belittle your achievement when someone recognizes your work. Instead, simply say “thank you.”

Only take credit for your work.

Don’t take credit for the work of others or work you completed in collaboration with others. Not only is it going to upset those you’re throwing under the bus, but it’s also going to undermine your credibility and reputation.

Recognize the accomplishments of others.

When you’re regularly praising others, and recognizing them for a job well done, it’s much easier to bring up and promote your own accomplishments. In addition, other people will be far more likely to offer you public praise when you consistently hand it out yourself, making it a win-win for all.

Ready to promote yourself to a new job? 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.



6 Signs It’s Time to Supplement Your Staff

March 18th, 2014

You don’t have the budget to hire new people, but your core staff is completely swamped. If this sounds familiar, then it could be time to supplement your team with contract staff. Here are 6 signs to help you tell for sure:

#1. More Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. But when you notice a significant uptick in errors, then it could be a sign that a) your staff is so burnt out they are growing disengaged and cutting corners; b) they simply have too much to do and don’t have time to check their work; or c) your deadlines and expectations are causing your team to move too quickly, resulting in sloppy work. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that mistakes cost you money and customers.

#2. More Stress

When the work environment is tense each day, your employees will eventually begin to wear out. You may see it in any number of ways, from increased costs in healthcare and workers’ compensation, to more sick days and lowered morale in the office. The end result is a negative impact on productivity.

#3. More Turnover

More stress naturally leads to higher turnover. Employees don’t want to come into an office where they’re constantly unhappy. They’ll eventually end up looking for a new opportunity in a healthier environment. This is especially true for key talent with in-demand skill sets.

#4. More Missed Deadlines

When your company is understaffed, you’re always focused on putting out the latest fires without a lot of thought to the big picture. As a result, it’s difficult to prioritize and complete work on time. And just one missed deadline is a huge deal for the customer expecting work done on time. It seriously harms your company’s credibility and ability to win new customers in the future.

#5. More Unhappy Customers

Whether it’s due to a missed deadline, a mistake, or poor customer service, being understaffed eventually hits the customer – which is where it’s going to hurt you the most.

#6. More Missed Opportunities

When you’re struggling to complete day-to-day work, chances are you’re not responding to new business opportunities or thinking about how you can maintain or sharpen your competitive edge.

The consequences of understaffing are clearly damaging. Don’t let it happen at your company. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help ensure you have the right people – whether contract talent or full-time staff – in the right positions at the right time. Contact us today to learn more.



Change is Inevitable: Get Your Employees On Board

March 11th, 2014

Change is good, right? Tell that to your employees. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows embracing change is critical for business success. But it can certainly be tough to get your employees to buy into that notion.

To ensure they’re on board when you need to make a change, here are a few tips to help with the transition:

Explain why the change is needed.

Too many times employers simply implement changes and expect employees to accept them. But when staff doesn’t fully understand why the change is needed – and the impact it will have – they will be far less likely to embrace it.

That’s why, before implementing any major changes, communicate the reasoning behind the change and the vision you have for the future. Show employees what will happen if changes don’t occur and why this matters to the company and their jobs.

Make it personal.

It’s far more difficult for employees to accept change when they don’t know how it impacts them individually. And, as you know, uncertainty leads to fear and disengagement.

Instead, communicate to your staff how the changes will impact each one of them personally and individually. Explain how tasks will change or processes will be altered moving forward. Even better if you let your staff offer some feedback about the changes. They will be more likely to buy-in when they feel like part of the decision-making process.

Deal with resistance immediately.

No matter how good you are at managing change, you’ll still always have a few employees who are less than willing to accept it. When you do, you need to deal with them immediately. If you don’t, the attitude could quickly spread to the rest of your team, undermining all your efforts to usher in effective changes.

Make yourself available.

During times of change, your employees will have questions and concerns. It’s important to make yourself even more available to them so you can ensure everyone is clear on new goals, tasks and responsibilities, and also help to manage their fears and uncertainty.

If you don’t have an open door policy, then start keeping one. It’s important your staff knows that you’re there for them, open to their feedback, and willing to work with them to find solutions. Change is a lot easier when employees feel like “you’re in it together,” rather than you’re keeping them at an arm’s length.

Need to change things up with your company’s staff? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

March 4th, 2014

When it comes to your job search, “no news” certainly isn’t good news. In fact, one of the most frustrating parts of the process is waiting to hear back, especially after an interview. Is there anything you can do to speed things up or stay in the loop?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows there is one important step you can take:

Do yourself a favor at the end of your next job interview and ask the hiring manager about next steps. They may have a target date in mind when they plan to make a hiring decision. Or things could be up in the air. Whatever the case, when you ask the question, at least you’ll know. You won’t be left sitting by your phone wondering when and if you’ll ever get a call back.

If the hiring manager said they would be contacting you within a week and it’s day 10, then it’s absolutely appropriate for you to follow up with them. You want to be diplomatic, not pushy, with an email like:

“Hi Mike, I hope you’re doing well. Last we spoke, you said you and your team would be making a decision about the job opening. I was wondering if you had an update? Please let me know if you need any more information from me. Looking forward to hearing from you.”

What do you do if you forgot to ask about next steps? Can you still follow up? Absolutely, just say something along the lines of:

“Hi Mike, I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to connect with you about the job opening. I’m still very interested in the position. Do you have a timeframe you can share for the next steps in the hiring process?”

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to find out whether you got the job with your follow up (ok, maybe you are, but that’s secondary). You’re simply trying to get a sense of where the decision makers are in the process.

A few more tips when you follow up:

• Don’t send a letter, send a note. In other words, keep it brief. A few quick lines to inquire about progress and that’s all you need.

• Also, be conversational, not stiff and formal. You want the hiring manager to view you as a real person, not just another boilerplate candidate.

• Don’t be pushy. No matter how much you want to scream “Did I get the job?!,” don’t do it. Hiring managers operate under their own time constraints and you’ll hurt your chances of landing the job if you’re too aggressive.

Looking for more expert help with your job search? Let Murray Resources know. 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.



Not Landing Any Interviews? Check Your Cover Letter

February 25th, 2014

For most job candidates, cover letters are the least important part of the job search process. After all, there’s networking, resumes, interviews, and a host of other activities to undertake.

But, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that if you’re not taking the opportunity to put your best foot forward in a great cover letter, then you’re missing out. Your cover letter can actually be the one detail that sets you apart from a sea of other candidates with similar experience. And it could be the reason you get called in for an interview.

Why? Because hiring managers are scanning a vast number of resumes everyday, which can begin to blur together. However, when a candidate showcases a distinct personality, strong motivation and unique experience through their cover letter, it piques the interest of the hiring manager. Simply put: They want to learn more about you. Don’t pass up the opportunity!

To help you put together an engaging cover letter, here are a few tips to follow:

Tell them why you want the job.

What made you apply to the position in the first place? Why are you interested in working for the employer? What grabbed your attention most about the job posting?

Showing a personal interest in the company and the job is your first step in getting noticed by the hiring manager.

Don’t regurgitate your resume.

The cover letter is not another place to simply re-recite all the facts and details available on your resume. It’s your opportunity to let your personality shine through. The hiring manager is perfectly capable of scanning your resume and learning about your background.

Use your cover letter as a way to add something new about you – a fresh angle, a different perspective, dynamic work habits, or personal feedback from a manager.

Don’t make vague or exaggerated statements.

Ever start your cover letter with something like: “I feel I am the best candidate for the job”? Stay away from these kinds of statements! They’re empty, mean nothing to the hiring manager, don’t set you apart, and take up valuable real estate on your cover letter.

Keep the tone conversational.

Your cover letter does not need to be written in the most formal tone possible. Instead, be conversational, engaging, and warm. While you don’t want to use slang words, or be too causal, you do want to sound like a real person, not some robotic candidate.

Write a new cover letter for every job you apply to.

Cue collective groans. But really this is time well spent. Hiring managers have seen enough cover letters to spot a form one or template in a second. So when you take the time to craft a unique letter, you will stand out in a positive way.

Need more help writing a cover letter that gets results? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can help you with your cover letter, along with the entire job search process – from preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.



How Your Staff Can Help Grow Your Business in 2014

February 18th, 2014

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows growing your business isn’t all a matter of acquiring new customers. In fact, by taking a step back – and focusing on your existing resources – i.e. your people, you can achieve more business success in 2014 and beyond.

To help you, here are a few tips to consider:

Ramp up customer service.

It really is true that it costs a lot more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. That’s why, when it comes to training your employees, it’s crucial that they understand how important it is to maintain those client relationships. Having a loyal base of clients is key to a steady and healthy business.

Invest in your employees.

When you’re looking to grow your business, it’s important to commit resources to the professional development of your staff. You can’t expect your managers and employees to learn new skills and achieve their growth potential without training and education opportunities.

So whether it’s regular brown bag lunches that focus on important topics each week, or professional development seminars, ensure your employees have access to plenty of learning opportunities.

Create a culture of empowerment and collaboration.

Don’t micromanage every detail of your staff’s day. Instead, empower them to make decisions and act on them. Even if they make mistakes along the way, they’ll learn far more than if you are constantly looking over their shoulders, trying to do the work for them.

Also be sure to instill a strong spirit of collaboration in your team. Promote internal communication and encourage employees to forge ties with those outside their teams and departments. Some of the most innovative and profitable solutions come from cross-departmental collaboration.

Take hiring slow.

When you do need to hire, take the process slow. The last thing you need is to bring someone on board who isn’t a fit for the job and the culture. That said, if a hiring mistake happens, then you need to take swift action and part ways with the employee. Poor performing staff members erode morale and impact productivity. The longer you leave them on the team, the more they will harm your company.

Need more help ensuring you have the right people in the right positions at your company? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX – and one of Houston’s top 25 recruitments firms, 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 if you’d like to learn more.



Get More from Exit Interviews

February 11th, 2014

As a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that no one likes to conduct exit interviews. After all, who wants a valuable employee to leave?

That said, when you conduct effective ones, you can actually garner information that will help your company in the long run. So rather than looking at an exit interview like something to check off your “to do” list, instead approach it like an opportunity to learn.

To help you, here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

Always conduct them.

Exit interviews should be standard operating procedure at your company. Employees will know to expect them and won’t think you’re trying to interrogate them when you ask to schedule the meeting.

Don’t schedule the interview right after the employee resigns; give both parties some time to prep. But do conduct an interview a few days before the employee’s last day. If you conduct it on their last day, they might not be as focused since they’re trying to tie up a multitude of loose ends.

Have a manager from a different department conduct the interview.

One of the primary reasons people leave their jobs is because they are having issues with their direct managers. If that manager conducts the interview, the employee will hold back their honest opinion as a result.

Instead, have someone who isn’t directly connected with the employee conduct the interview. That way, the employee will feel more comfortable about being open and honest about their experience at the company.

Ask good questions.

Just like any interview, you shouldn’t walk into an exit interview with plans to simply wing it. You need to ask pointed questions in order to garner valuable information.

For instance, ask the employee about why they wanted to work at your company in the first place and why they changed their minds about staying. Also, ask about their new opportunity, how they heard about, what they will be doing, and what they are most excited about at their new employer. These kinds of questions will give you some additional insight as to why they’re leaving.

Leverage the intel.

Don’t just let the feedback the employee gives you languish. Instead, put it to use by addressing the issues and concerns they brought up. If you don’t, then conducting exit interviews at all is simply a waste of time.

About Murray Resource

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. When you need help hiring – whether for contract, temporary, direct-to-hire, or full-time positions – give us a call. We can help.

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