Didn’t Get the Job Offer? Here’s Why

June 23rd, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Reason #3: You seem negative or disinterested.

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

Reason #4: You really weren’t qualified.

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

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

How to Find Your Next Great Hire

June 16th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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


Are You Hurting Your Job Search With This Bad Advice?

June 9th, 2015

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

Your resume can only be one page.

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

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

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

Companies only advertise when they have an opening.

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

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

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


Why Proper New Hire Orientation is Critical for Success

June 2nd, 2015

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

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

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

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

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



What Are the Best Questions to Ask in an Interview?

May 26th, 2015

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

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

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

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

What constitutes success in this position?

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

How would you describe the culture here?

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

Who previously held this position?

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

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.





Don’t Overlook This High Quality Talent Pool

May 19th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tips for Finding a Volunteer Job

May 12th, 2015

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

Look online for opportunities.

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

Be open.

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

Be discerning.

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

Be direct about the work you want to do.

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

Be realistic about the amount of time you can volunteer.

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

Be prepared for some tedious work.

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

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





Is Your Underperformer Worth Saving?

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

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

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

Talk to your employee.

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

Make goals and expectations clear.

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

Provide support.

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

Monitor progress and hold your employee accountable.

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

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

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



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

April 28th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t repeat your resume.

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

Keep it short.

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

Customize it.

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

Personalize it.

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

Proofread it.

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

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.




Can I Be Friends With My Employees?

April 21st, 2015

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

You’ll lose some credibility.

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

You’ll favor those you’re friends with.

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

You might say something you shouldn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

Do you need help staffing your team? If you do, call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.



Can I Provide Only Co-Workers as References?

April 14th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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



4 Ways to Attract High Achievers to Your Company

April 7th, 2015

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

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

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

#1: Write clear and concise job descriptions.

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

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

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

#3: Be professional and respectful.

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

#4: Be upfront with candidates.

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


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

March 24th, 2015

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

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

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

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

Because there’s not enough time in the day.

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

Because they don’t want to give negative feedback.

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

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


How to Retain Relocated Employees

March 17th, 2015

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

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

#1. Be upfront about the opportunity.

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

#2. Get their spouse on board.

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

#3. Provide plenty of support.

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

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

#4. Communicate often.

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

Need help hiring great people for your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining top talent. Contact us today to get started.



6 Job Interview Tips for IT Professionals

March 10th, 2015

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

Tip #1: Research the company.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #4: Arrive early.

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

Tip #5: Sell yourself.

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

Tip #6: Follow up.

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

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


How to Keep Your Staff Motivated After Layoffs

March 3rd, 2015

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

Meet with your staff.

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

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

Show concern.

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

Help employees prioritize.

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

Celebrate successes.

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

Recognize employees.

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

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

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



Interview Tips for Houston Oil & Gas Workers

February 24th, 2015

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

Tip #1: Prepare ahead of time.

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

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

Tip #2: Present yourself professionally.

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

Tip #3: Promote your experience.

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

Tip #4: Ask meaningful questions.

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

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


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.



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