3 Quick Tips for Handling a Panel Interview Like a Pro

February 4th, 2014

If you’re searching for a new job, then you’d probably like to just skip the interviews altogether. They’re stressful, awkward, and can leave you feeling uncertain. But while a face-to-face with one hiring manager can be hard enough to prepare for, how can you possibly handle a panel interview?

First, take a deep breath. It might feel like you’re in the line of fire. But, as one of the top recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows companies have several reasons for conducting panel interviews.

For starters, there are often multiple decision makers involved in the hiring process and it makes sense to get them all in one room at the same time to evaluate a candidate. Secondly, with a panel interview, employers get a variety of perspectives on each candidate, which can often make the hiring decision easier.

Now that you know the reasons companies conduct panel interviews, here are a few tips for helping you handle your next one like a pro:

Tip #1: Find Out Who’s on the Panel

When you’re scheduling the interview, ask who will be on the panel conducting the interview. Once you know the answer, you can then gain a clearer sense of the kinds of questions you’ll be asked. For example, if the panel mainly consists of people from HR, the questions you get asked will be different from thos a potential new manager and colleagues will ask.

In addition, you can do some leg work online to learn more about the backgrounds of each person on the panel (e.g. looking them up on LinkedIn). This will help you feel more in control and confident.

Tip #2: Tell Stories

Rather than walking into a panel interview feeling like you’re about to be interrogated, be prepared to bring your experience to life through different stories of your accomplishments. For example, if someone asks you what your biggest strength is, don’t just say “my positive attitude” or “my strong technical skills.” Illustrate your answer with a real-world example. Doing so will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates.

Tip #3: Engage Everyone

There may be a few people on the panel who seem “safer” than others. It appears they’re on your side. But when answering questions, don’t just make eye contact with them. In fact, it’s the ones who are more aggressive or don’t seem sold on your candidacy that you want to make more of an effort to engage. These are the people who are still on the fence and you need to do all you can to convince them you’re right for the job.

A final note: Don’t forget about the basics when it comes to a panel interview. Dress professionally, arrive ahead of schedule, bring several copies of your resume and smile and make eye contact.

If you need more help preparing for your next interview, 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.



Why You Need Strong LinkedIn Recommendations – and How to Get Them

January 28th, 2014

By now, you probably know that most recruiters and hiring managers are going to look at your LinkedIn profile when assessing you. So, of course, you want to put your best foot forward there. One way to do that is through recommendations from previous clients, bosses and colleagues.

But, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that just any old recommendations won’t do. Hiring managers want to see ones that go into specifics as to why your past boss loved working with you; how you helped a customer save money and ramp up productivity; and how your problem-solving and creative thinking abilities were a huge benefit to a project you and a colleague worked on.

So when asking for a recommendation via LinkedIn, consider the following:

Recommendations don’t need to be long.

It used to be that recommendation letters were full page letters. Today, though, a substantial LinkedIn recommendation can consist of just a couple of paragraphs – as long as there is specific detail. You don’t want vague statements or fluff. So when asking someone for a recommendation, remind them that it’s not the quantity of what they write, but they quality.

Recommendations do need to be specific.

If you worked with a colleague on a specific project that produced terrific results, remind them of it. Ask them flat out if they would mind discussing that “project” in the recommendation they write for you.

For instance, “Our company was working on ABC initiative and we almost missed the deadline. But Mike stepped in and was able to take on some of the additional work so we could complete the project on time. Thanks to his willingness to go the extra mile, we got the job done on time…and the client was thrilled.”

By giving them a firm starting point, it will help them overcome any writer’s block. It will make the process a lot easier for them, plus you’ll get a more effective recommendation in the process.

If there wasn’t a specific project you want someone to focus on, then ask them to write about certain personality traits. For instance, if you’re looking for a leadership level position, ask them to discuss your leadership abilities, and interpersonal and organizational skills.

LinkedIn is a great place for hiring managers and recruiters to start when they are assessing candidates for a position. By having strong recommendations, you’ll ensure you are putting your best foot forward, standing out from the competition, and making a great first impression.

If you need more help with your job search, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, 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.



Why Athletes Make Great Employees

January 21st, 2014

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner. Whether you’re into skiing, skating, or the luge, there’s no doubt you’ll walk away from your TV, tablet or computer with much admiration for the athletes that compete.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, what’s interesting to us is that many of the traits that make athletes great are the same ones that top performers bring to the workplace everyday.

So next time you need to hire, look for some of these traits in your candidates:

Goal oriented.

Not only do athletes set specific, measurable goals, but they are relentless in achieving them. If they encounter obstacles that are in the way of meeting their objectives, they quickly figure out how to overcome them.


Athletes rarely give up. You usually don’t see a skater walk off the ice after a fall. Even when the worst happens, they persist. They’re knocked down; they get back up again.


When a skier falls on the slopes, you don’t hear about them blaming the coach or the conditions. Typically, they are far harder on themselves and don’t point fingers. They know if they want to win, they will need to work harder, practice more, and not make the same mistakes again.


Athletes will often watch videos of themselves performing to identify their weak spots and other areas that could be improved. By shoring up their vulnerabilities, they become stronger and are far more likely to win next time they’re in the game.


Having a competitive spirit pushes people to excel in extraordinary ways. The desire to excel produces excellence in tasks ranging from the simple to the complex. Not only does being competitive drive the athlete-employee, but it also drives those around them to reach new heights – and new levels of success in the process.

A team mentality.

Even if an athlete is in a solo sport like skiing, they still have coaches, trainers and a variety of other professionals on their team. They’re used to working with others in order to achieve one common goal: to win.

Does hiring an athlete guarantee success at your company? No. No matter how accomplished they are in sports, a candidate needs to have the hard skills to get the job done. But when someone does have an athletic background – plus a track record of success in their careers – the sky’s the limit in terms of potential.

If you need more help hiring, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can take the hassle out of hiring – helping you source, screen and hire talent for your Houston area company.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.



When Your Top Candidate Rejects Your Salary Offer

January 14th, 2014

The good news? After months after sourcing, screening, interviewing and reference checking, you’ve finally made a hiring decision. The bad news? Your top pick candidate just countered your initial salary offer with a higher one.

First, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that top candidates are going to demand higher compensation. Not only do they have the track record to back up their demand, but they also have access to extensive salary information and negotiation tips via the web.

To reach a fair compromise, here are a few tips to consider:

Know your limit.

While you don’t need to offer the maximum compensation during the first go-around at the negotiation table, you do need to know how high you are willing to go.

Obviously, when determining this number, you’ll need to know what you can afford. But beyond that, consider how hard the position has been to fill (the harder it’s been to fill, the more leverage the candidate has) and whether you have other candidates who are equally qualified. If the latter is the case, then you certainly have more power at the negotiating table.

Know your options.

You can’t fulfill the candidate’s salary request – but you know they’re the ideal fit for the position. Then get creative! Offer other perks and benefits that aren’t going to be costly to your company and will make new hires happy. Think extra vacation days, the ability to telecommute and bonuses for achieving specific goals.

Know when to say “no.”

If the negotiations having been going back and forth for some time and you’re making little or no headway, know when to walk away. Hiring is always a gamble. And the last thing you want to do is hire someone who winds up being a bad fit and who also commands a hefty salary.

So if the risks are starting to outweigh the benefits in terms of hiring a particular candidate, then it’s time to draw the line.

A final note: Make sure the candidate understands all the perks of working at your company. For instance, if you offer regular 3% pay raises each year, then let them know. A candidate may reconsider a job at your company when they look at the bigger, long-term financial picture of working there. They may be able to make more at your company if you offer regular raises vs. accepting a higher paying position at a company that does not.

If you need additional help with the hiring process, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

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




New Year, New Resume

January 7th, 2014

If “find a new job” tops your resolution list in 2014, then your first step should be to ensure you have the right resume in place. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows your resume is your ticket into the interviewing process. To help you polish yours, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Consider each position.

It’s easy to just create one resume for every job opening; but when you do, you’re losing out on an opportunity to set yourself apart. Instead, before you apply for a certain position, identify and list the key requirements the employer is looking for. These should be readily available via the job posting.

Consider how your experience matches up.

Once you have a list going of the main requirements for a job opening, consider your career and background – and how it matches up to the requirements.You want to make the hiring manager’s job easy so when they look at your resume, they can quickly see what a great fit you are for the position.

Again, that’s why you must tailor your resume for every opening. What’s important for one employer may be less so for another.

Go beyond job responsibilities.

Sure, it’s important for hiring managers to know what you did in past positions. However, don’t make lines like “Responsible for…” the main focus of your resume.

Instead, you should be promoting past accomplishments that are most relevant to the position. If you earned the highest sales in a month, highlight it. If you won an industry award, talk about it. If you were promoted after only six months on the job, let hiring managers know.

Real world accomplishments speak volumes when compared to day-to-day job duties.

Know that presentation matters.

You can have a resume chock full of accomplishments and awards, but if the font size is tiny, there’s no white space and it’s completely disorganized, you’re not going to impress the hiring manager.

Before submitting your resume, make sure it’s formatted in a clean, concise manner. That means no flowery fonts or dense paragraphs.

In addition, before hitting the “send” button, print out your resume and review what it looks like on paper. Also, take a look at it on a mobile device to make sure it’s readable.

In this day and age, there’s no telling how a hiring manager will review your resume – whether in print, online or via a mobile device. Your resume needs to be ready for all three scenarios.

And if you need more help creating a resume that gets results, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from resumes to salary negotiations – all so you can secure job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


Posted in: Job Search Tips, Tips

Dealing With a Demotion at Work

December 24th, 2013

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that a demotion can feel worse than getting laid off or fired. At least in the latter two scenarios, you get to leave behind the situation and embark on a new path. With a demotion, however, you have to not only deal with office gossip, but also less responsibility along with a potentially lower salary as well.

Talk about a kick in the gut!

But keep in mind: demotions happen for many reasons, some of which may have nothing to do with your skills and abilities, such as downsizing or reorganization.

Regardless, a demotion still hurts. Below are some tips to help you deal:

Don’t Get Emotional (at Least Not at Work)

Getting demoted will stir up a lot of emotions – most of them negative. As a result, you might feel the need to get angry or lash out. But don’t do it. If you play your cards right, and prove yourself, then a demotion can be a temporary situation. You need to focus on staying motivated, producing high quality work, and achieving goals.

Also, remember, even if you do decide to seek employment elsewhere, you’re going to need positive references from your current employer and colleagues and getting angry and emotional is not a way to garner them.

Ask What You Can Do to Improve

Perhaps a demotion wasn’t due to company restructuring, but rather poor performance on your part. If that’s the case, then find out what you need to do to improve.

For instance, if you were promoted into a management role only to find your leadership skills lacking, then do what you can to shore up that skill set – if you want to get promoted again.

Don’t Wallow in the Past

Don’t think about all the “what ifs” and things you should have done differently. The fact is that the higher ups have made their decision and you need to live with it. The question is: what are you going to do about it?

Only you can make the decision whether you should move on or stay put. But whatever you do, don’t look at the past; only look to the present and the future.

Keep Your Job Search Quiet

If you do decide to quit and find something new, don’t make a move until you’ve secured a new position. The reality is that a steady paycheck – even if it’s a job you don’t want – is better than unemployment. So go ahead and start networking under the radar, polish your resume, enhance your LinkedIn profile, and apply for new jobs. But keep it quiet until you find something new.

Need some additional help with your job search? Call Murray Resources.

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


Is Your Next #GreatCandidate on Twitter?

December 17th, 2013

When it comes to Twitter, you probably know it’s a good way to market your company’s products and services. But did you also know it’s a great place to recruit candidates?

In fact, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you if Twitter isn’t in the mix of your recruiting efforts, then you could be limiting your ability to recruit the best candidates – especially when compared to your competitors that are on Twitter.

Consider these statistics:

According to a recent national survey from Jobvite, 39% of all job seekers are on Twitter, 23% of all job seekers have leveraged Twitter in their job hunt, and 8 million Americans credit Twitter as the source for finding their current job.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to consider Twitter when you’re looking to hire:

You can connect with company followers.

When you post a job opening on your company website or on a job board, you are reaching people who are searching for jobs. Not a bad place to start, right?

But when you use Twitter to promote job openings, you’re going beyond job seekers to people who actually use your products or services, or who are familiar with your company. As a result, the applicants you do attract through this medium will oftentimes be a better fit for not only the job, but the company culture as well.

While you shouldn’t use the company Twitter account to only post job openings, doing so occasionally can bring in higher quality candidates.

You can expand your reach.

When you do post job openings on your Twitter account, not only will you be communicating with your followers, but you can also take advantage of their networks by asking them to re-tweet your post. So, for instance, consider something along the lines of:

“Looking for an experienced accountant. Great pay, generous benefits. Please RT.”

You can learn about a candidate.

You can look to a candidate’s Twitter profile to gain a better sense of their personality and whether they’d be a good fit for the company. While you shouldn’t base your hiring decision on that information alone, it can offer some valuable insight. For instance, if a candidate is tweeting inappropriate or vulgar material, then you may want to reconsider their candidacy.

Need more help sourcing great candidates for your job openings?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we use both traditional and high tech methods to source, screen and hire the very best talent for Houston area companies.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.



4 Quick Tips for Creating a More Flexible Workplace

December 10th, 2013

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows flexibility is an important demand for many of today’s top talent – especially those in the younger generation. But, if you’re like most employers, you probably fear a decline in productivity if you implement a flex schedule.

The good news, though, is that if you do it right, you can get the best of both worlds: happier, more loyal employees without a drop in production. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Tip 1: Create a Policy

Don’t just let one person start coming in at 8 a.m. and leave at 4 p.m., or work from home certain days. You’ll create chaos in the process. Instead, plan out and execute a flex schedule that works for your company and your employees.

For instance, you’ll need to determine which employees can work a flexible schedule (it won’t be conducive for all positions), what those scheduling options will be and who can approve flex schedules.

Also, be sure to determine how you will measure productivity once flex schedules are implemented to ensure it’s not having a negative impact.

Tip 2: Roll It Out Slowly

Rather than allowing the entire company to work a flex schedule at once, roll out the new program slowly. Do a trial run in one division or department for a month or two so you can work out any kinks and address any concerns before making it accessible to everyone else.

Tip 3: Focus on Communication

One of the downsides of flex scheduling is that communication and collaboration can take a hit without a plan in place. So determine ahead of time how teams with employees working from home and coming in and out at different hours will remain cohesive and continue to communicate effectively with one another. Thanks to technology, there are many online collaboration tools you can use to boost communication among your team members.

Tip 4: Make Sure Managers are Properly Trained

Managing employees who are all in the office at the same time vs. employees who are scattered and working difficult schedules will be a challenge at first for even the most adept manager. So ensure your managers are trained properly to supervise these more flexible teams. For instance, since they can’t see their employees actually at work, they need to be checking in with them on a regular basis – either via phone, email or text – to get status updates.

A final note to keep in mind:

Companies with more flexible work arrangements typically have lower employee turnover and increased employee loyalty if – and only if – those schedules are properly devised and implemented well.

If you need help creating a flexible workforce to go with your flexible workplace, 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 permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

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


Why Do Companies Use Houston Staffing Agencies?

December 3rd, 2013

If you’re out there searching for a new job, you may have come to the realization that many of the positions you’re applying for aren’t actually posted by employers…they’re posted by staffing agencies. And if you’re new to the world of recruiting and staffing, you may be wondering why.

To educate you as to why companies use staffing agencies – and how working with one can benefit you – here are a few thoughts to consider:

Staffing agencies help companies save time.

There are a lot of people out there looking for new jobs. And many companies simply don’t have the internal resources to handle the applicant screening process. So they call in staffing agencies to help.

A staffing agency will essentially work with the employer to learn about the position, create job postings, screen applicants via their resumes and phone interviews, and conduct face-to-face interviews with a handful of candidates.

The staffing agency will then present the top 3-5 candidates to the employer, who will conduct additional interviews and make a hiring decision.

Staffing agencies help widen a company’s talent pool.

When most companies need to hire, they generally don’t have a robust talent pool to tap into. That means they’re essentially starting from scratch.

But a staffing agency’s job is to build strong candidate networks. So when an employer comes to them with a certain need, they already have relationships with many different candidates who can fill that need.

Staffing agencies can help company’s dig deeper into a candidate’s background.

An employer may want to learn more about a specific aspect of a candidate’s background, but may not have the time to investigate. A staffing agency can take the directive from the employer and run with it. The employer gets the information they need to make a hiring decision, without having to spend a lot of time verifying details and learning more about each candidate’s background.

Now you know a few primary reasons why Houston companies use staffing agencies. The question: how can you benefit from a relationship with one?

First and foremost, staffing agencies can help you expand your access to job opportunities.

Oftentimes, they’re the ones who know about jobs not advertised or positions about to open up. When you work with a staffing agency, they will be able to connect you with such opportunities.

Staffing agencies can also help you polish your image as a job candidate.

Staffing agencies know what employers want in candidates. With that in mind, they can help you craft a stronger resume, prepare for interviews and give you tips and advice on how to answer tough interview questions. It’s essentially like having an expert career counselor coaching you through the process so you find the job that is just right for you.

If you’d like to learn more about how working with a Houston staffing agency can help you advance your career, give Murray Resources a call. As one of Houston’s top 25 recruitment firms, we can assist you with the entire job search process – and connect you with rewarding opportunities throughout the area.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

When NOT to Accept a Job Offer

November 26th, 2013

If you’ve been searching for a job in Houston for a while, getting an offer is certainly exciting. However, proceed with caution! As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you before you accept it, think about how your potential new boss treated you in the interview.

If he or she showcased any of the following “bad behaviors,” then those are signs of what’s to come – and you could be setting yourself up for job failure should you accept the offer:

They Offer Only Vague Answers

You did your research and came armed with plenty of questions about the position, the company and the culture. Trouble is: the interviewer can’t seem to give you much information.

Many of their answers are vague and leave you wanting to know more. If that’s the case, then they’re likely hiding something. Even if they’re not, it then shows how unprepared they are, which isn’t good either.

They Don’t Give You the Attention You Deserve

You’re giving the interviewer your undivided attention. You just wish they would do the same for you. But they keep checking their emails, answering texts and seem distracted throughout the interview.

There could be an innocent answer – like maybe the interviewer got some bad news dropped on them right before your interview. However, in most cases, it’s simply rude behavior – something you might have to get used to if you take the job.

They Ask Personal Questions

There are certain questions that interviewers are not allowed to ask. These include questions about whether you’re married, have kids, plan to have kids, your religion, etc.

So if you feel like an interviewer is getting too personal with you, it could be a friendly attempt to get to know you…or an attempt to discriminate. Either way, a savvy interviewer will know better than to ask these kinds of questions.

They Criticize You

If, for instance, an interviewer criticizes the way you formatted your resume, or offers some other petty disapproval, it’s going to leave you feeling pretty crummy. And just imagine how you’d feel day in and day out working for someone who treats you that way?

There’s No Opportunity for Growth

The job posting said the company offered advancement opportunities and room for growth. But when you ask for specifics, all you get is a blank stare and some vague statement about how the company strives to support employee growth.

If they can’t give you detailed information – on a mentoring program, tuition reimbursement, stretch assignments, training opportunities, etc. – then all that “room for growth” talk is likely just wishful thinking on their part.

Want Help Finding Your Next Great Boss?

Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find a job and a boss that are a great fit for your background, personality and career goals.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

5 Deadly Interview Mistakes

November 19th, 2013

You’ve scoured the Internet for job opportunities. Spent countless hours polishing your resume and cover letter. And conducted days of research before an interview to learn more about the company. But alas, you’re simply not getting any call backs after the interview.

Where are you going wrong?

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources can tell you if you’re making any of the following mistakes during the job interview, then you’re making a bad impression on the hiring manager:

1. Answering Your Cell Phone

Before an interview, make sure you turn your phone or tablet off. The last thing you want to do is instinctively answer it when it rings…just as the hiring manager is trying to get an important point across. If you do, you will most likely wind up in the “do not hire” pile.

2. Dressing Unprofessionally

You don’t need to go out and buy a designer suit in order to look sharp during a job interview. What you do need to do is ensure your suit fits well, is in a muted or neutral color and is ironed and ready to go the morning of your interview. Nothing says “sloppy” or “unprofessional” better than clothes that are too casual or ill fitting.

3. Not Appearing Interested

If you’re really not that into the job opportunity – you’re more interested in the perks and benefits – then that attitude is going to come through loud and clear to a hiring manager. It’s important to show some energy and enthusiasm during the job interview. That doesn’t mean you need to be bouncing off the walls, but it does mean you need to appear eager and inquisitive.

4. Bashing a Past Boss

You could have had the worst boss in the world in your last job. But if you bash him or her during a job interview, you’re the one that’s going to wind up looking bad.

So if a hiring manager asks about why you left, be as diplomatic as possible. Instead, focus on what you learned and how you grew during your time at the company.

5. Not Getting Specific

Sure, you can say you’re the best at what you do. But what examples can you offer to back that up?

Hiring managers are looking for people with a proven track record of success and positive results. And when you can offer several strong ones in your job interview – that are relevant to the position – your chances of getting hired are far greater.

Need more help polishing your interviewing skills and landing a great job in Houston? If you do, let Murray Resources know.

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality and help you prep for interviews, 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.



4 Interview Questions That Make You Look Out of Touch

November 12th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that today’s top job candidates are savvy and want to work for companies that are one step ahead. But if you ask boilerplate, standard questions during the job interview, it’s going to reflect poorly on your company.

Think of it from the candidate’s perspective: Employers expect employees to stay-up-date and in-the-know about important issues; so why are you asking the exact same interview questions you did 10 years ago? Enough said.

To help you, here are some questions to avoid – and what can you ask instead:

1. Tell me about yourself.

This is such an open-ended and vague question and really serves no purpose. If you want to know something about a candidate, then ask them specifically.

For instance, if you want to learn more about their leadership role in an industry association, ask about that. If you want to learn more about how they got started in the industry, ask that directly. Skip the “tell me about yourself” intro question; it simply wastes time.

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

While you might think this question uncovers a motivated candidate, it really begs for a canned answer. Most people don’t know where they’ll be in five years, let alone in five weeks.

A better question to ask would be what they hope to accomplish if they got the job, or what aspects of the job interests them most.

3. What’s your biggest strength / weakness?

Again, this is another question that candidates expect and prepare a canned answer for. However, if you’re going to ask this question, then be sure to follow up.

When a candidate talks about a strength, then ask them to give you a specific example of a project that enabled them to put that strength to use. If it’s a weakness, then ask them how they plan on improving. You really need to dig deeper for true insight on these issues.

4. Describe a project you recently completed.

This question again is too vague to really solicit the kind of useful information that will help you make a sound hiring decision. Instead, get specific.

If they listed a certain accomplishment on their resume, then ask them about it – e.g. “What are you most proud of about the ABC project you mentioned on your resume?” Also be sure to ask follow up questions, like “What would you have done differently?” and “What did you learn from the project?”

If you need more help hiring smart, savvy candidates, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we use both traditional and high tech methods to source, screen and hire talent for Houston area companies.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.



Tips from Engineering Recruiters: How to Hire Top Engineering Talent

November 5th, 2013

Every firm wants to hire the best and brightest engineering talent. But how you actually get there can be a challenge. As leading engineering recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources has sourced, screened and helped hire hundreds of engineering professionals for companies in Houston and beyond. Below are a few tips we’ve acquired along the way:

Ask for Referrals

During the resume screen and interview process, you really only get a piece of the candidate picture. But when you get a personal referral from someone you know and trust, you gain access to a level of information (regarding capabilities and personality) that you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. This can be invaluable during the hiring process.

For instance, any candidate can seem like a good listener and collaborator during an interview, but once they’re on the job, is that really who they are? With a personal referral, you’ll have far more confidence in the answer.

Conduct Great Interviews

Regardless of the type of engineer you’re trying to hire, there are a few important competencies to be on the lookout for. These include: ability to learn and adapt, ability to solve problems, ability to deliver positive results, and pro-activeness.

In order to evaluate candidates for each of them, you need to conduct interviews in a thoughtful manner. That means no winging it or showing up unprepared. For instance, in order to assess problem solving ability, give each candidate a real problem to solve. To evaluate results, ask the candidate to describe a past project they are proud of. And when a candidate makes a claim, don’t just take it at face value. Push them on it – and ask follow-up questions – to ensure there is substance behind their initial answer.

Once you’ve gone through the interview process, ask yourself a few important questions about each candidate that help you further evaluate the above competencies – e.g. Is a candidate able to quickly think on their feet? Are their answers coherent and confident? Did you learn something new when talking to them?

Focus on What Engineers Want

When interviewing candidates, it’s important to focus on what many engineers want in order to sell the opportunity to them. For instance:

• Top engineers want to work for companies that have leading edge technology. So promote yours, particularly if it’s ahead of the competition’s.

• Besides technology, most engineering candidates are also highly ambitious and want to get ahead. So talk about opportunities for advancement and professional development at your company.

• In addition, many engineers want to make a difference and help someone or benefit the bottom line. So explain to them how their work at the company could potentially do one or all of those things.

• And of course, good engineers demand competitive pay and benefits. A strong compensation package can certainly tip the scales in your direction when recruiting engineers.

Give Candidates a Positive Experience

Even if you don’t wind up hiring a candidate, you still want to provide a great experience with your company. Why? Because they likely hang around with other engineers and will talk to them about how you treated them – the good, the bad and the ugly. So provide all candidates with a positive experience, including:

• Reading their resume before the interview and showing a personal interest in them.

• Giving the candidate some time to ask questions at the end of the interview.

• Staying in contact with candidates and letting someone know as soon as they are out of the running for the job.

Need More Help Recruiting Engineers?

Let Murray Resources know. As leading engineering recruiters in Houston, we have access to some of the top engineering professionals in Houston and can help you find the one that’s right for your job opportunity. If you’re ready to make the hiring process easier – and find the engineers you need – contact Murray Resources today.



Job Search Tips from Expert Accounting Recruiters

October 22nd, 2013

Looking for a job in accounting? These days, you’re in luck. In fact, accounting is actually a job market that’s experiencing significant growth.

But, as leading accounting recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that just because there are ample opportunities out there, doesn’t mean getting a job in accounting is easy. To help ensure you position yourself in the best light possible – and get noticed by a hiring manager – here are a few tips to consider:

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter

Cover letters that scream “canned” and resumes that haven’t been updated in two years are not going to impress any hiring managers. Instead, you need to tailor your resume and cover letter for each job opening. That will take some extra time and effort, but it will be worth it in the form of a better impression on hiring managers.

Consider the Big Picture

If you’re just starting out in your accounting career or only have few years of experience, then consider taking a job if it can offer you the right experience, even if the money isn’t ideal. That might mean taking on a job or a new assignment that isn’t exactly what you want to do, but that will help you obtain an important skill, make you more marketable in the future and help you achieve your long-term career goals.

Become a CPA

More and more employers are looking for accountants with a CPA designation. So if you are thinking about getting yours, go for it. You’ll open yourself up to higher paying, more secure job opportunities, not to mention the CFO career track.

Get Active in an Accounting Association

Many times, accountants will write a check for their membership fee, but not actually get active with the association. But the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. As a member of industry associations, whether local, statewide or national, you’ll be able to meet new colleagues and learn about opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise hear about.

Promote Unique Skills

Sure, you’re being hired for your number crunching abilities. But if you have other attributes, such as management experience or you speak a foreign language, be sure to tout those, as well. Employers are looking for those who are well rounded and can bring the most value to their organization.

If you’re a skilled accountant looking for a new opportunity, let Murray Resources know. As leading accounting recruiters in Houston, TX, we work with a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations – and we can connect you with opportunities oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.



5 Tips for Working With Woodlands Recruiters

October 15th, 2013

Searching for a new job opportunity? Connecting with a recruiter could be your ticket into a great company. However, when it comes to working with Woodlands recruiters, there are a few tips to keep in mind so you can get the most out of the relationship. For instance:

Tip #1: Be truthful.

Don’t ever exaggerate your background, like your job title or educational degrees. Most recruiters will conduct a thorough background check before offering you as a candidate for one of their job openings, so your “little white lie” will likely be uncovered. Plus, if you’re not honest with your Woodlands recruiter, they’re not going to be able to help you find the job that’s the best fit for you…so you’re really just hurting yourself in the process.

Tip #2: Be sure.

Before signing on to work with a recruiter, be sure you’re really ready for a new job opportunity. If you back out of interviews or turn down offers for no good reason, then your recruiter may discontinue working with you.

Tip #3: Be specific.

If there are certain things that are deal breakers in a job offer, then let the recruiter know. For instance, if you’re not willing to travel or if the job means a longer commute. While this may limit the opportunities available to you, you’ll know that the offers that do come your way fit within your parameters.

Tip #4: Be curious.

When your recruiter tells you about a new opportunity, ask lots of questions before agreeing to an interview. Ask about the company, it’s culture, why they’re hiring and why the recruiter thinks you’d be a good fit. You’re wasting your time, the recruiter’s time and the employer’s time if you know a position or an employer isn’t right for you. So ask some questions ahead of time that can help you better understand what the job is all about.

Tip #5: Be accessible.

Don’t make your recruiter have to call you or email you continuously to try and get in touch. Instead, be easy to get a hold of. An exciting opportunity may come along that needs to be filled ASAP, but if you’re hard to reach or don’t return your recruiter’s calls, you could miss out.

Bonus Tip. One more tip when working with a Woodlands recruiter: If you interview for a job and are offered the position, but decide to reject it, be upfront with your recruiter as to the reason why. That way, they can gain a clearer understanding of what you’re looking for in a position.

Ready to put a Woodlands recruiter to work for you? Give Murray Resources a call. As leading Woodlands recruiters, we can help you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews – all so you can find a job opportunity that is a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.


Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

What’s In (or Not in) Your Job Posting?

October 8th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows your job posting is a candidate’s first interaction with your company. It’s going to give them a sense of who you are and what you need.

Unfortunately, many hiring managers post openings that don’t reflect well on the company. They’re either vague and difficult to understand or, on the other end of the spectrum, offer way too much information.

But a job posting doesn’t need to represent every in and out of the job and the company. It simply needs to give candidates a snapshot so they can discern whether it’s the right opportunity for them.

So what should your job posting say to potential candidates? Besides the basics – job title, duties, full or part-time status and requirements – here’s a look at a few key ingredients to include in yours:


Your job posting should not be full of legalese and corporate jargon. You’re talking from one human to another. Also, the tone of your posting should reflect the company’s culture. If you offer a more creative, laid back environment, then a more formally written post isn’t right for you…and vice versa.


Most employers offer plenty of detail in their job postings. The trouble is, most of the detail is about their requirements for the candidate. But remember, you’re trying to attract top-notch talent. And to do so, you need to educate them about what’s in it for them.

So be sure to include the unique perks that your company offers. Have an on-site cafeteria and fitness center? Promote it. Offer a flex schedule? State it. Pay for advanced degrees for employees? Tout it. These are the things that make your company different and special – and will help you stand out among your competitors vying for the same candidates.


You’ve written a captivating job posting, chock full of details about why your company is so great and why a candidate should want to work there. But if you forget to include keywords, no one’s going to be able to find it. So if, for instance, you’re hiring an accountant, then be sure to use that keyword, along with other relevant ones, like CPA, throughout the job posting.

Another tip? Don’t forget to put social sharing buttons in each of your job posts. Someone may be looking for a job for their spouse or a friend and when you make it easy for them to share, you’re expanding your reach.

Need more help attracting high quality talent? If you do, let Murray Resources know.

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 to find out more.



Top Interview Blunders Small Business Owners Make

October 1st, 2013

You know that hiring right is critical for any successful business; but it’s particularly crucial for small businesses. Why? Because the smaller the environment, the greater the impact a hiring mistake is going to make on it. So next time you’re looking to hire an employee, be sure to avoid these all-too-common interview mistakes:

You don’t prepare properly.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources understands that most small business owners are not necessarily trained in all the techniques of the interviewing process. But just because you lack formal education, doesn’t mean you can’t properly prepare for interviews.

First tip? Don’t wing it. Be sure to develop a list of thoughtful questions that help you determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the position. This can include some general questions (i.e. “tell me about yourself”). But to truly evaluate a candidate, you have to dig deeper. This means asking behavioral questions (e.g. “tell me about a time you failed on the job,” and “give me an example of a goal you reached and how you achieved it.”)

Also, before each interview, be sure to review a candidate’s resume so you a) know their name, b) have a good understanding of their background and c) can develop a list of questions specific to them. For instance, perhaps there is a gap in work history you want to ask about, or maybe their duties at their last job seem vague. Whatever the case, the interview gives you a chance to clarify these kinds of issues that can impact your hiring decision.

You don’t get too specific about the job’s responsibilities.

One of the biggest mistakes employers make when hiring is offering vague details about the demands of the job. If the job comes with a lot responsibility, then there’s a fear that the candidate will be scared away by talking about the long hours required and the high expectations.

However, when you gloss over these details, you’re actually shooting yourself in the foot in the long run. When a candidate gets on the job and realizes the position is not what they thought it would be, they’re going to get back to work…finding a new job.

So be open, honest and clear about the demands of the job. You may scare away some applicants; but the one you ultimately do hire will be well aware of what’s expected of him or her.

You get too personal in a job interview.

Asking personal questions during a job interview is a no-no for two reasons. First off, the questions you ask could be illegal. For instance, asking about marital status, whether someone has kids, or how old they are are all off limits.

Secondly, when you do ask personal questions, it could garner information that biases your hiring decision. For example, if you’re a huge baseball fan and by making small talk with a candidate, you find out that they too have a love of the game, then that knowledge could cause you to favor that candidate over another – even if they’re less skilled and experienced. So leave the small talk at home.

Are you a small business owner that needs more help hiring great employees?

Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, small businesses 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.



Posted in: Blog, Interviewing

Phone Interviews: How to Prepare for and Ace Your Next One

September 24th, 2013

You post an opening for a new job. An hour later you’re flooded with dozens of resumes. While many of these candidates are unqualified, many aren’t. And it’s your job to determine the best person for the opening.

Welcome to the life of a hiring manager.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows there’s simply not enough time in the day to bring in every good candidate for a face-to-face interview. As a result, phone interviews have become a standard part of the hiring process. They’re a good way for a hiring manager to evaluate the people behind the resumes that landed in the “yes” and “maybe” pile, without having to spend an extensive amount of time on in-person interviews.

Now you know why phone interviews are so prevalent today. But do you also know how to properly prepare for one?

If not, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Approach it like a face-to-face interview.

Many job candidates make the mistake of thinking of the phone screen as a quick chat or that it’s not a big deal. But the phone interview is a test. And if you pass it, you will move onto the next phase of the hiring process.

So prepare as you would if you were going on location to interview with the hiring manager. Research the company, the position, and the hiring manager. Think about the accomplishments you want to highlight during the interview. And have answers ready to common interview questions.

If you don’t prepare, it will come through loud and clear to the hiring manager.

Set up a time for the phone interview.

If a hiring manager calls without warning, and you’re at home with your three kids and the dog, then simply explain you’re in the middle of something and ask when they are available to re-schedule. You might be tempted to try to accept the call, but you’ll regret it the second your kids starts screaming and the dog begins barking.

Pick a quiet time and place for the interview.

Have a quiet room or area where you can be alone set aside for your scheduled phone interview. Not only do you want to minimize background noise, but you need to concentrate on the conversation, not on what your kids or spouse are doing.

Walk around while you’re talking.

Doing so will make you feel energized. In addition, it will help you stay focused  – rather than drifting off – while the interviewer is talking.

Don’t say too much.

Phone interviews are difficult because you can’t read the non-verbal cues of the other person. Plus, if you’re talking and the other person doesn’t respond with a comment like “tell me more” or a follow up question, it can be easy to just keep talking. But babbling will get you in trouble. So say what you need to say and then keep quiet.

Ask about next steps.

Just as in a face-to-face interview, be sure to ask the interviewer about the next steps in the hiring process. If they say they will get back to you in a week and don’t, then it’s perfectly appropriate to follow up with them.

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.



Houston Recruiters on How to Make Sure Recruiters Can Find You

September 19th, 2013

Houston recruiters, such as Murray Resources, are busier than ever and are constantly on the search for qualified candidates. So it pays to do everything in your power to ensure you’re the candidate they find. But first, you need to be THE candidate. The one who recruiters find. The one who gets the interviews. And gets the job. Have you made sure you’ve left no stones unturned? Here’s how to find out:

1. Make sure recruiters can find you

You may be the perfect candidate for that hot position recruiters need to fill now, but if they can’t find you, it’s like you don’t exist. Don’t waste time thinking it’s a recruiter’s job to find you. It’s your job to make sure they do.

2. Use keywords
One of the key ways to “get found” is by using keywords. They’re the words used most by people searching online for what they’re looking for. In this case, those people are recruiters and you are the perfect candidate.

So, do you know the words most used in your industry? Have you baked the words most commonly referring to your profession into your online resume? Did you ensure you’ve used them multiple times (but not too many to be considered “keyword stuffing”)? If not, now’s the time to do so. Think of keywords as breadcrumbs that lead recruiters to your door.

Not sure where to start? Check the major search engines like Google and Bing for advice and tools on finding and using keywords.

3. Brush up your bio

Quick, describe what you do in 30 seconds. Now, do it in 140 characters. You need to be able to show who you are and what you do in a variety of online accounts. And show professionalism and value while doing it. Make sure you’re standing out and showcasing your personality, both professionally and personally, in all those places where your bio appears.

4. Keep your information updated

If you haven’t updated your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts since you first created them months or years ago, it’s time for some housekeeping. Make sure you’re adding important professional and personal changes and updates (you can skip what you had for lunch unless you’re in food services). Review your job descriptions and make sure they’re current and accurate. And share relevant content to not only show you know what’s going on in the industry you’re in, but also to keep yourself top of mind.

5. Make your presence known

Being found online these days means taking an active part in online communities. So be sure to post to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts when you have something professionally relevant to share. And it wouldn’t hurt to put your resume up on your Pinterest account along with images that reflect the kind of work you do and who you are as a professional.

Along those lines, if there are photos on your Facebook profile that show you at less than your best, it’s a good idea to remove them. You wouldn’t want anyone to judge you based on that long weekend in Cabo you can’t remember most of anyway.

The net takeaway? To ensure you don’t get overlooked during your job search, play the part of a recruiter trying to find qualified candidates. Does your name come up in all the right places using all the right words? Do you look like the one to talk to about the job that needs to be filled? If not, take the time to ensure that it does and help recruiters find the candidate they’re looking for—namely, you.

Need More Help Getting Noticed By Hiring Managers?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, 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.


Why Houston is #1 for Engineering Jobs

September 17th, 2013

The numbers are in and Houston takes the top spot in the nation for the highest demand for engineers, according to a new Monster.com survey.

The online job board service ranked the top engineering job opportunities by region, and discovered that Houston had the highest volume of engineering jobs listed across the nation. Houston even trumped San Jose, California, for the number of opportunities. Dallas and Austin also took top spots, with Dallas listed at number seven in the nation, and Austin at number ten in terms of ranking.

No wonder the Houston employment market is constantly on the search for skilled engineers to fill its job needs. In fact, energy, manufacturing and technology companies are all demanding more engineer candidates, according to the Houston engineering recruiters at Murray Resources.

New initiatives aim to fill the engineering pipeline

A variety of new initiatives have been put in place to increase the influx of engineers in the Houston market, which is good news to Houston engineering recruiters throughout the area.

The Greater Houston Partnership started a regional task force to help employers attract skilled technical workers to Houston, and Microsoft created YouthSpark Houston, a program designed to increase the number of skilled science, math, technology and engineering students in the region.

Yet all this activity will take a while to bear fruit. Meanwhile, the demand for engineers in Houston is at a high.

What makes Houston the top spot seeking engineering talent?

Not surprisingly, the Bayou City’s prosperity rests strongly on its role as the center of energy production for much of the country. The presence of major energy companies such as Exxon and Conoco Phillips in Houston’s Energy Corridor lead to high demand for engineers in the energy sector. So much so that, while the nationwide hiring demand for engineers has declined by almost 10% since March 2012, demand in the Houston metro area has grown by 11%.

What kind of engineering talent do companies seek?

Research by Houston engineering recruiters and others keen on following the engineering job trends in Houston point to these roles as the 10 most in-demand engineering job titles:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Reservoir Engineer
  • Senior Process Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

Related to this, the five skills are most commonly highlighted in ads seeking engineering talent in the Houston metro area are:

  • Project management
  • Microsoft Office
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

A great lifestyle sweetens the deal

All this growth in the oil and gas industries, not to mention every sector of Houston’s economy, has had the benefit of turning Houston into a thriving cultural mecca, with housing, dining and entertainment options galore.

Along with this, all Houston engineering recruiters note that Houston’s highly affordable housing market, combined with improved job availability and business opportunities, a lower cost of living and a warmer climate will keep bringing more new transplants to Houston, in engineering roles and beyond.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.


What to Do When You Realize During the Interview “This Job’s Not for Me!”

September 17th, 2013

It’s happened to the best of us. You land an interview for what you thought was a great new opportunity. You spend hours researching the company, preparing thoughtful questions, and getting ready for the big day…only to realize a few minutes into the interview:

“This job is NOT for me!”

What do you do? Run screaming? Get up and politely excuse yourself? Sit through the rest of the interview and waste everyone’s time?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows this situation is certainly an unpleasant one. But there are a few things you can do to ease the awkwardness of it. For instance:

Be inquisitive.

Rather than bolting during an interview, dig deeper to try to gain a better sense of whether the job really isn’t for you. Perhaps the interviewer simply isn’t representing it well.

So ask a lot of questions about the tasks, duties, and responsibilities. Ask about the common personality traits of those who have held the position before. And ask about any areas the interviewer brought up that you are unclear or unsure about. For instance, if travel is a requirement and that’s a concern for you, ask just how much travel there will be.

Be diplomatic.

If, after learning all you can about the job, you know it’s not for you, then still be polite. Don’t walk out mid-interview. After all, the interviewer may know of other positions opening up at the company in the near future. So you still want to make a good impression – that means not constantly checking your watch or your phone for the time.

Also, finishing the interview gives you a chance to practice your interviewing skills, which may serve you well next time you sit down with a hiring manager.

Be upfront.

If, at the end of the interview, the interviewer asks if this is a position you’re interested in, be honest about your feelings. Let them know – in as polite a way as possible – that you don’t think the job is the right match for your skill set.

That said, if you really like the company, just not this particular opportunity, express your admiration and that you’re open to future opportunities there. The interviewer will appreciate your honesty.

Be thankful.

Even if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, thank the interviewer for their time. Also, ask them to let you know if any future jobs open up at the company that you think you’d be a better fit for.

In addition, even if the job was completely misrepresented in the job posting and you’re feeling frustrated and annoyed, don’t turn to the likes of Facebook and Twitter to publicly blast the company. It’s best to keep those thoughts offline so that future employers don’t find them.

Need more help getting interviews for jobs that are a good fit for you? Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – including giving you access to job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.




5 Hiring Tips that Won’t Break Your Budget

September 10th, 2013

Face it. With all that sourcing, screening, interviewing, testing and assessing, the hiring process can get expensive…fast. But, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows you can cut costs – without cutting corners – if you invest a little extra time and effort upfront in the process.

To help you, here are 5 tips to consider:

#1: Evaluate Your Top Performers

Hiring for a sales position? Look to your top performer or top few performers in your sales department and think about their common personality traits, skills and attributes. Then, with those attributes in mind, create a persona that outlines the kind of individual you’re looking for.

#2: Appeal to High Quality Candidates in Your Job Postings

Once you have a sense of the kind of candidate you’re looking for, you can craft a stronger job posting that better appeals to them. Skip the long-winded job requirements and include only the “must-haves” for the position, as well as a compelling message that will attract top candidates.

So how do you do that? Before you put pen to paper, talk to your current employees and ask them what they like best about working for the company. Their perspective on the advantages may be very different from your own.

#3: Think Outside Typical Talent Pools

When employers are looking to hire, they typically look to the same talent pools that consist of mid-level career professionals. However, some of the most talented individuals are those who are semi-retired and looking for part-time or consulting work; mothers returning to the workforce after staying home with their kids; and military veterans transitioning into the private sector for the first time. So look outside the typical talent box when you need to hire.

#4: Promote the Opening in a Variety of Places

Don’t simply create your job posting, publish it on a big job board, and sit back and wait for candidates to roll in. Instead, advertise your job opening in a variety of places. For instance, if you need people with strong technical skills, partner with vocational schools to find the candidates you need.

In addition, invest some resources into developing your own company’s career website or web pages. Candidates applying through your website – who are seeking your company out – will generally be better qualified than the average person applying through a job board.

#5: Work With a Staffing Agency

Sometimes you have a position that’s hard to fill, or you simply don’t have the time to spend on sourcing candidates. When this happens, consider working with a staffing agency to find and hire the people you need.

A reputable staffing agency will spend the time to get to know your company and your hiring needs – and then get to work finding great candidates for you. Best of all, they can oftentimes help you hire in a more cost efficient manner than doing it on your own.

Interested in learning more about working with a staffing agency?

Contact 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.



Creating a Website that Attracts the Best Talent

September 3rd, 2013

When a job seeker learns about a position at your company, the first place they’re going to look is your website. When they get there, what will they find?

As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that if it’s a confusing, overwhelming, or disappointing experience, then that’s going to reflect poorly on your employment brand as a whole – and impact your ability to attract quality candidates. In order to attract the best talent, your company needs to communicate clarity and innovation.

To help you make a great first impression on your website, here are a few tips to follow:

Polish Your Careers Section

For too many companies, the Careers section of their website is an afterthought. The information is sparse and the job postings are outdated – sending a message of disorganization to job candidates.

Instead, spend some time thinking about the information you want to present to job candidates. Sell your company and offer details as to why it’s a great place to work. Most importantly, keep the job postings current.

Understand Your Audience

In order to provide information that speaks to top talent, you need to know what they want in an employer. For instance, are you looking to target millenials? Then provide information about your flex schedules and the ability to telecommute. Do you want to attract those with growth potential? Then highlight your mentoring program and all the opportunities for advancement at your company. Before you craft your website message, know what it is your audience wants to learn about your company.

Keep Your Site Fresh

When your last press release was posted in 2010, it makes your company look stale. So make an effort to keep the dynamic sections of your website current. Post regular and fresh content to your company news and events section and keep your blog updated.

Make Your Site Functional

There’s nothing worse on a website than confusing navigation, information that’s hard to find, or a homepage so chock full of bells and whistles that you don’t know where to look first.

Instead, keep things simple. Make sure the site is easy to navigate and important information is simple to find. Also, when it comes to using your site as a recruiting tool, the Careers section should be a main area of focus. So promote it throughout.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out

Your company and all its offerings are unique. Then why does your site look like everyone else’s?

When developing an effective website, don’t just copy what your competitors are doing. Make an effort to stand out and do something different. This may be through the information presented (such as videos of employees talking about what they like about working for the company), custom photography, or an employee penned blog.

Your website is the online face of your company. So when it comes to attracting the best talent, it’s important to ensure you’re communicating the right message.

Need More Help Recruiting the Best Talent?

Let Murray Resources know. As leading recruiters 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.




Finding a New Job When Your Spouse Gets Relocated

August 27th, 2013

You love your job – and you never planned on leaving. The trouble is, your spouse got offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that’s in a different city. In order to accept it, you need to find a new job, fast. What steps should you take? Here are some tips:

Do Your Homework

As top Houston, TX recruiters, Murray Resources can tell you that you should not wait to move to the new location before researching it. As soon as the decision is made and the location is set, start researching the market, the employers and the job areas that are growing.

Ask for Help

Reach out to and leverage the power of your connections on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Talk to those who live in your new city and try to get a sense of the employment landscape, including the challenges and opportunities there. Once you actually re-locate, connect with them in person and ask for introductions to others who may be of assistance in your job search.

Also, ask for referrals to different kinds of associations and business groups to join that may help you in your job search. If you already belong to a professional and networking group in your current area, ask them if they have a chapter in your new area.

Another area of assistance may be your spouse’s new employer. Some will offer assistance in terms of career counseling or may even have job openings within the company that would be a good fit for you. They understand that in order to keep their new hire happy, they also need to provide some support to the relocating spouse as well. So be sure to ask. Some candidates are even able to negotiate job search help for their spouses in their compensation package.

Take Your Time If You Can

Don’t jump at the first job offer you get. If you can’t find the right job immediately, then consider taking on volunteer, part-time, or temporary work to stay busy and make connections. You want to take your time to find just the right opportunity for you. Doing so may mean getting to know your new location and all its offerings a little better before you accept a position.

Relocating to Houston?

If you’re considering making the move to Houston to seek full-time, part-time, or temporary employment, it’s important to stay on top of the job market in the Bayou City. Read our article about the Houston job market to help you in your search.

And if you’d like expert help from Houston, TX recruiters, give Murray Resources a call. We work with top employers all over the city and can match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

What a Hiring Manager REALLY Wants to Hear from You

August 20th, 2013

You’ve got a big interview coming up. You’ve been researching the company online, practicing your answers, and coming up with a list of thoughtful questions to ask about the job. But do you know what the hiring manager really wants to hear from you when they’re asking a particular question? In other words, do you know the exact areas, skills, and experiences they are most interested in…and what responses will get their attention?

If you don’t, not to worry. We’re here to help! Below is a list of questions hiring managers typically have about each candidate and what they really want to know about each. When you keep these things in mind, you can boost your confidence, answer questions more effectively, and stand out from the sea of other applicants applying for the same job as you.

Here’s a look:

Do You Have the Right Mix of Hard & Soft Skills?

Having the right technical skills to do the job is a no brainer if you want to move forward in the hiring process. So you need to convince the hiring manager that you have the chops.

But as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows there’s more to a great candidate than hard skills. That’s why you also need to indicate you have the soft skills that are a fit for doing the job as well.

For instance, if the position is for an accountant, you need to showcase you accounting skills, as well as your ability to collaborate with others to ensure the company stays on track financially. So if someone has a little less experience than you in accounting, but shows a stronger ability to collaborate effectively with others, they may have a leg up on you.

Are You a Cultural Fit?

When a hiring manager starts asking questions about the kinds of environments you work best in, they’re probing for a cultural fit. They want to ensure that if you were to come on board, you have the personality that not only fits with the position and the department, but the company as a whole.

What’s Your Attitude Like?

You may have the most experience of all the job candidates, but if your attitude comes across as anything but positive, then you could be out of the running. Employers want to hire people with positive attitudes, who are ready to tackle problems and devise solutions; people who don’t need to have their hand held and don’t complain every time things don’t go their way.

Do You Really Want the Job?

Sure, you want a job. But do you want this job? That’s what hiring managers want to know. The last thing they want to deal with is a candidate who gets hired and then leaves after six months. So if you come across as eager to learn and enthusiastic not just about the job, but about the company as well, you’re more likely to get hired.

Need More Help Getting Noticed By Hiring Managers?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, 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.





Why an Ex-Employee Could be Your Next Great Hire

August 13th, 2013

You’ve been searching high and low for just the right candidate for a particular position. You’ve screened dozens of resumes, interviewed a plethora of candidates, and still aren’t happy with the prospects.

Have you considered rehiring a former employee?

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that many hiring managers think ex-employees are off limits. After all, why would you hire someone who left the company? But in reality, past employees can be a rich source of referrals, as well as potential new hires.

So if you haven’t thought about rehiring former employees, here are a few reasons you may want to reconsider:

The person is a known entity.

When you’re interviewing a complete stranger, you have to base your decision on what they’re telling you and the information their references are giving you. Sometimes, it’s a shaky foundation to stand on.

However, when you rehire former employees, you know what you’re getting. You know their personality, work ethic, and attitude. Even better, they may come back to you far more skilled than when they left.

They can get up and running faster.

When someone has worked for the company before, they understand the nuances, the red tape, the policies and procedures. They know their colleagues and are aware of how management works. All this knowledge means that they’ll experience a shorter learning curve, even if you’re hiring them for a completely different role than what they previously held.

They know the culture.

Did you know that a cultural mismatch is actually one of the biggest reasons why new hires leave? In the case of hiring past employees, they know exactly what they’re getting in terms of the culture. And they know they operate well within it, otherwise they wouldn’t want to come back.

It can positively impact morale.

When you bring ex-employees back into the mix, especially if they were laid off, it can have a positive effect on the entire team. Colleagues who previously worked well together can be reunited, while the new “rehire” can share the fresh perspectives and ideas they learned from other work experiences.

Obviously, you’re not going to want to rehire every employee. There are some who aren’t a good fit, didn’t leave on good terms, or wouldn’t necessarily be welcomed back into the fold for a variety of reasons.

However, if you have an opportunity to rehire a past employee who did a great job and left on good terms, then you should certainly explore the option. It could be a win-win in the end!

Know You Need to Hire, But Don’t Have the Time?

If that’s the case for you, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.





Benefits of Working with a Houston Staffing Agency

August 7th, 2013

Employers and candidates work with Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources for a variety of reasons. For many companies, staffing agencies provide vital services for which they don’t have the time, expertise, or resources to perform. They find the outside recruiting expertise, additional candidate reach, and reduction in hiring time crucial to running their businesses effectively.

For job applicants, a recruiting firm can widen their networks, while exposing them to prospective employers and positions they may not have found on their own. Applicants enjoy the resources dedicated to identifying the kind of employment, salary, and benefits they’re seeking. Let’s look further into the details.

Houston staffing agencies have unique insight

Being in the trenches every day, staffing agencies have deep knowledge about industry employment trends and recruitment practices. For example, Houston staffing agencies, such as Murray Resources, are in constant contact with HR leaders and hiring managers across a broad range of companies, allowing them unique insight into the city’s job marketplace. A good recruiter can provide valuable insight into salary trends, as well as the supply/demand for particular positions.

If you’re a prospective employee considering relocating to Houston, having a Houston staffing agency like Murray Resources in your court can be an asset. Staffing agencies not only know who is hiring, but they also have insight into how companies treat their employees, opportunities for advancement, and a “behind the scenes” perspective.

Access to top recruiters – at a lower cost

If you’re an employer planning recruit applicants internally, consider that Houston staffing agencies such as Murray Resources manage the entire employment process for you, from pre-employment testing to drug screening. You’ll also save the expense of payroll processing and, potentially, benefits administration. What’s more, you can rest easy knowing that recruiting firms such as Murray Resources are up to date on HR compliance issues related to hiring. All of this adds up to dramatic savings for small and large employers alike.

For job applicants, there is typically no cost for using a staffing agency (Murray Resources, for example, does not charge applicants a fee). Recruiters can assess your skills and experience, while working diligently to match you with the right employment opportunity. That can save you hours of time researching. What’s more, recruiters will focus you on positions that are still viable. There’s no time wasted applying for jobs that are already filled.

Vast networks of qualified candidates and jobs

Whether you’re an employer or job candidate, it pays to have a thriving network. For employers, a good recruiter provides efficient access to top talent, substantially cutting down on the time to fill. And would-be employees know they have access to many of the most desirable positions in Houston.

A wide variety of positions help boost retention

Staffing agencies like Murray Resources place top candidates in roles that include temporary, temp-to-hire, part-time, full-time, contract, and direct hire (permanent placement) positions. For employers, hiring temporary or temp-to-hire employees gives them a chance to observe performance and work habits on the job, before committing to full-time hire. This helps reduce the hard costs of turnover and training while lowering intangible costs of turnover, such as employee morale.

According to a recent study by the American Staffing Association, 80% of clients felt that working with an employment agency was important because “staffing companies offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees.”

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.


In a Recruiting Slump? It’s Time to Get Back to Basics

August 6th, 2013

Despite the fact that the country is still experiencing high unemployment, employers are having a tough time hiring. Finding the people they need – where and when they need them – seems more challenging than ever.

Sound familiar?

If it does, there is a solution. And you don’t need to purchase expensive software to access it. Instead, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you it involves getting back to basics in order to recruit great employees.

Here’s a look at a few recruiting best practices you should always keep in mind, whether recruiting a C-level executive or an entry-level employee:

Ask In House

One of the best – and most cost-efficient – ways to recruit is through employee referrals. Referrals can help accelerate the hiring process and also give you the inside scoop on a candidate’s work ethic and personality.

So if you need to hire a developer, for instance, ask your in-house developers for referrals. Like-minded people travel together and if you have a strong staff, then they should be your first stop on your journey to recruit top talent.

Refine Your Job Description

The job description can be an afterthought in the recruiting process – something quickly thrown together to post. But in order to attract the right kind of candidate – and make the hiring process a lot easier on you – it’s important to spend the time to craft a clear job description. Also, if there are certain skills or qualities you don’t want, don’t be afraid to state that clearly. The more accurate your description, the better fit the candidates will be who come your way.

Network Online

Social media can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re recruiting. But sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can also prove invaluable when it comes to finding the best talent.

But your social media efforts shouldn’t be a scattershot deal, one you turn to only when you need to hire. You should be regularly investing time in creating a strong social media presence so that when you do need to hire, you have robust networks to tap into.

Network In Person

Sure, social media is great and can give your company a global presence. However, nothing can replace the power of face-to-face networking. People want to do business with – and work for – those they know. And the more you can put a face on your employer brand, the better off you will be when it comes time to recruit. So get out there by attending trade conferences, job fairs and networking events.

Stay Connected

Once you do start developing a network of potential candidates, stay in contact with them. Even if you don’t hire one for a current job opening, he or she may be perfect for a future opportunity. Also, if they interview with you and you know they’re not a good fit, let them know right away. They’ll appreciate your candor and quick response.

Need Expert Help Finding Top Candidates?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



Top News in the Houston Job Market

July 24th, 2013

If you’re considering making the move to Houston to seek full-time, part-time, or temporary employment, it’s important to stay on top of the job market in the Bayou City. As a leading recruiting firm and temp agency in Houston the news is good across the board. Here are some highlights.

Houston tops the nation for job creation

For the first half of 2013, Houston earns the distinction as top job creator among US cities, according to reports taken directly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, Houston’s made the best recovery from the Great Recession of 2008, and by no small margin. H-Town regained jobs lost in the economic downturn and added more than two jobs for every one that evaporated when the economy hit the skids.

The city also tops the state of Texas for job growth overall. It boast an impressive 112,000 new jobs added between the period of April 2012 to April 2013, according to statistics gathered by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Energy sector fuels job growth

Not surprisingly, the energy industry leads the field when it comes to job growth. Responsible for 21% of Houston’s new jobs over the last three years, Houston is among several regions welcoming energy jobs coming back to the US. The energy industry job surge is due in large part to how affordable energy manufacturing has become, thanks to more efficient fracking and output by oilrigs.

Other job growth areas abound

Not only is energy in full swing, nearly every sector of Houston’s economy has seen gains in jobs, which is great news for prospective employees in all industries. Part of this job growth success is due to the fact that jobs in Houston’s energy sector help create jobs in other fields. It’s estimated that for every exploration job in Houston, for example, another seven jobs are created in other regional areas. Likewise, every oilfield services position supports a whopping 11 jobs in other industries.

At the head of the pack, healthcare dominates the job growth arena in the largest cities nationwide, according to a study by the Brookings Institute. Houston is seeing almost one in ten jobs belonging to the healthcare market as of early 2013.

Likewise, employment sites show an increased demand for service industry jobs in Houston, with 154,000 jobs available in May of 2013, which is twice the number available the same period the previous year.

Manufacturers’ News, Inc.’s city data shows Houston remains the nation’s top city for manufacturing employment, up 4.3% over the survey period from April 2012 to April 2013, with big name manufacturers such as Toshiba and Dover planning expansions in the area.

Real estate development is also feeling the upswing, with large employers such as Chevron constructing massive new facilities in the Houston area. And among the many industrial expansions in the region, the Gulf Coast has 28 chemical plants expansions in the works.

A great lifestyle to boot

All this job growth—along with Houston’s steady decrease in unemployment, currently dipping well below the nation’s average—would be enough to tempt would-be employees. Yet that’s not all Houston has to offer. Add in the nation’s lowest cost of living, low taxes, and a flourishing cultural scene and Houston the place to be if you’re seeking your next job opportunity.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm and temp agency Houston, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.


Take Your Cover Letter From Dull to Delightful

July 23rd, 2013

Cover letters. Ugh! As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that nobody really likes to write them. But the fact of the matter is your cover could be your ticket into the interview process. So don’t treat it as an afterthought to your resume. Instead, approach your cover letter as if it will make the difference between getting the job – and getting rejected.

To help you take your cover letter from dull to delightful, here are few tips to keep in mind:

Avoid starting your cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madam.”

This automatically sends the message that your letter is generic. Instead, do all you can to find out the name of the person you’re sending your resume to, whether it’s an HR specialist or a department manager.

So, for instance, if the job posting asks for resumes to be sent to “HR Director, XYZ Company,” use the company’s website or social media sites like LinkedIn to find out just who that person is. Or you can call the company to inquire about who holds a particular position.

Don’t make it all about you.

Sure, the hiring manager wants to know about your background to see if you’re a good fit for their needs. But when you focus your entire letter on what you’ve done in the past versus what you can do for the company should you get hired, you’re missing an opportunity to stand out to a hiring manager.

Instead, make a list of the key pains / challenges the hiring manager is facing and then include examples in your cover letter of how you can help them address those issues and what relevant experience you have doing so. That way, the letter becomes less about you and more about what you can do for them.

Don’t regurgitate your resume.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be a direct copy of all the information you include on your resume. Instead, it should have a little more personality. Share a story or unique insight, or write about a goal met and how achieving it has given you the knowledge to do the job you’re applying for. Your aim here is to hook the hiring manager, so they want to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

If you’re stuck in the writing process, one way to get your creative juices flowing is to “talk out” what you want to say. Pretend you’re speaking directly with the hiring manager. What do you want them to know about you? Thinking out loud is a great launching pad for getting your cover letter written.

And if you’d like some professional help with your cover letter and resume, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from crafting a strong resume to preparing for interviews 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 Land Your Next Engineering Job in Oil and Gas

July 21st, 2013

In a competitive job market, such as Houston’s thriving oil and gas sector, even if you’re a highly-trained, qualified engineer, you need to go above and beyond  to land the job you want. As one of the leading firms in its field,  Murray Resources and its team of Houston engineering recruiters understand the importance of finding novel ways of capitalizing on every available opportunity to stress your uniqueness as a candidate.

Advice from Murray Resources’ Houston Engineering Recruiters

In order to rise above other job seekers, apply these creative job seeking techniques to ensure you’re the applicant who gets noticed.


You’d be surprised how many candidates know little about the companies with whom they interview. Don’t be that interviewee. Know the company’s business – because your competition will. Doing so will enable you to ask more specific questions and help you impress the employer. Spend time on the web uncovering as much information as you can about the company. Likewise, mine your network to find out who you know that may be able to introduce you to current employees or offer insider insight for an edge over other candidates. Also, find out whatever you can about the job. Know where you can add value by thoroughly understanding the job description, what makes you unique, and how you can hit the ground running.


Any employer wants to know that a prospective employee is passionate about what he or she does. The best way to show your passion is to understand what excites you and why. So identify the fundamental themes that occur when you feel energized and engaged. Make a list of the things that have ignited your passion in your personal and professional life. Then ask yourself, why does this get me going? What about it makes it so energizing? Keep asking why until you reach the underlying reason. It’s a great way to reverse engineer what fuels your passion and show it to prospective employers.


To set yourself apart, consider creating a personal presentation and delivering it during the interview. Instead of merely answering questions as they come your way, delivering your own presentation enables you to set the tone for the discussion and point out skills and experiences that you want to ensure the hiring manager gets to hear. Use examples from your work and use elements that highlight your public speaking abilities and presentation skills. A word of advice: your presentation should run no longer than five minutes or you risk monopolizing the time that interviewers need to evaluate you.

Competitive Times Call for Exceptional Measures

Murray Resources’ team of Houston engineering recruiters will tell you that while there is certainly a hot market for engineering talent in Houston, there’s a lot of competition for highly-sought engineering jobs in the oil and gas sector. In order to succeed, you must strive to make an impression that simply can’t be ignored. Land your next engineering job by displaying a little creative thinking and bit of extra effort.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.


Considering Relocating to Texas? Why Houston is Booming for Job Seekers

July 16th, 2013

Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston staffing agencies, has been based in Houston, Texas since its founding in 1988. And while the city has enjoyed its share of peaks (and suffered through two recessions) in the last 30 years – the Houston job market is as hot as ever. Are you considering relocating to Houston? If so, below are just a few reasons to love this city.

Job opportunities galore

The challenging national economy has many job seekers eyeing Texas – and Houston in particular – as a potential place to relocate. The economy is booming in the Bayou City.

Houston is one of the leading U.S. cities in both domestic and international business, with economic and cultural ties reaching across the globe. Of course, the city owes much of its current good fortune to its role as the center of energy production for much of the country.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Houston created 95,800 jobs from October 2011 through October 2012, giving the Bayou City the greatest job growth out of all top metropolitan areas in the country. No wonder Houston staffing agencies are placing qualified applicants into jobs into areas such as energy exploration and production, oil field services and equipment manufacturing.

Industries beyond energy

The presence of major energy companies such as Exxon and Conoco Phillips in Houston’s Energy Corridor lead to jobs not only in the energy sector, but it also provides incentive for other major companies to conduct their business in the area. Top Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources can help you explore opportunities in other growth industries, such as real estate, construction, and healthcare. As one of the largest cities in the country, Houston is home to most every industry found in a major city. The difference? Houston is hiring.

Your dollar goes farther

When Forbes conducted a study analyzing wages in major cities, as well as the cost of living in those cities, Houston took the top spot. Cost of living, which includes factors such as consumer prices and services, utilities and transportation costs, and housing prices, gave Houston the lead in how far your dollar can take you overall, no matter your salary. In fact, the ratio of the median home price to median annual household income in Houston is only 2.9; in San Francisco, for example, a house goes for 6.7 times the median local household income. Not only can you afford to maintain a comfortable standard of living, as a Texas resident, you’ll pay no state income tax, which automatically boosts your personal buying power.

As if all this isn’t enough to tempt you to Texas’s biggest city, add in the fact that Houston tops the list for fastest growing wages of any city in the US and you’ve got even more incentive to consider making a move.

Thriving cultural scene

In 2012, Forbes named Houston America’s Coolest City to Live In for good reason. The city has jobs, and jobs have meant nearly 50,000 Americans moved there — many of them young professionals who prefer a more vibrant lifestyle. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33. This has led to a transformation of Houston’s dreary corporate cityscape, which now offers up stylish housing developments downtown, restaurants residing in former factories and art galleries roosting in artsy warehouse environments.

Not only is the Houston region the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the country, surpassing even New York City, it’s also one of the safest cities in the US, according to a survey released by Mercer, an international Human Resources and financial advisement firm. They measured crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness, and internal stability to determine the cities with the top personal safety rankings.

The city’s melting pot of backgrounds offers a wealth of culture and cuisine. Even so, everyone seems to agree on one food item: the great American hamburger. Houston has the country’s best burgers, according to Travel + Leisure magazine’s Favorite Cities survey that asked its readers to pick among 35 major US cities.

A better life

With good paying jobs in a variety of industries, an affordable cost of living, and a vivid cultural scene, Houston offers a lot.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today at 713.935.0009 or apply to one of our open Houston jobs to get started.


Is It Time to Quit Your Job? 6 Signs That Scream ‘Yes’!

July 16th, 2013

You’re good at your job, get along with your boss and feel a strong sense of job security. So why in the world would you want to quit your job?

As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to career advancement, one of the decisions you’ll have to make along the way is how long to stay in a particular job before moving on. If, for instance, you’ve plateaued and there is no sign of new opportunities at your current employer, then it may be time to jump ship – even if things are going ok.

So what are a few telltale signs that it’s time to quit your job? Here’s a look:

1. You’re feeling disengaged and unmotivated to get your work done.
2. You find yourself awake at night, having anxious thoughts about your job.
3. You aren’t being given challenging assignments.
4. You dread going to the office each day.
5. You’re butting heads with your boss or the relationship has changed in a negative way.
6. You’re being kept out of the loop or out of important meetings.

Keep in mind too that if you have plenty of experience, than staying in one position for too long without a clear increase in your level of responsibility can actually hurt your career. Unless you have a good reason – such as having a young family – it will look like your career has stalled out.

That said, if you haven’t been on the job long, then you may want to rethink resigning. Having short employment dates on your resume can impact your ability to get a new job in the future. One short tenured job likely won’t hurt you, but several can lead a hiring manager to conclude that you’re a job hopper.

So should you quit your job? There’s no clear answer. You need to make the decision based on your unique situation. Just keep in mind that the decision you do ultimately make can have a long-term impact on your career.

If you know you’re ready to quit – but would like expert help finding your next opportunity – give Murray Resources a call. As leading recruiters in Houston, TX, we’ll get to know you – your background, skills, and career goals – then match you with opportunities that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.




4 Tips for Interviewing ‘Green’ Candidates

July 9th, 2013

Now that school just let out, you’re probably being inundated with resumes from new graduates. But, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows this demographic can be tough to assess because they typically don’t have a lot of work experience.

So when it comes time to interview them, how can you tell whether or not they are a good fit for you? Here are a few tips to consider:

Tip #1: Determine your goal for hiring.

When it comes to an entry level position, your goal for hiring should be something along the lines of bringing in a new hire who has the ability to learn new skills quickly and who can develop into a valuable contributor. However, if your goal is to hire someone who can hit the ground running, then an entry level employee isn’t right for your needs.

Tip #2: Look beyond skill set.

A new grad is likely lacking in the skill set department. So instead of skills, look for those who are eager to learn, seem enthusiastic about your company, and have a personality that will mesh well with your company culture (you can assess this by conducting a personality test). Your goal should be to hire someone who is a good fit for the company and has the potential to develop into something great.

Tip #3: Assess the basics.

Again, since you can’t really evaluate skill set, look at other areas that can demonstrate to you whether or not a candidate is worth considering. For instance:

  • Did they show up on time to the interview?
  • Are they dressed professionally?
  • Are they articulate and able to answer your questions?
  • Do they ask meaningful questions about your company and the culture?
  • Do they seem enthusiastic about the position?
  • Will they be open to new ideas and receiving instruction?

Tip #4: Assign homework.

Yes, they’re out of school. But that doesn’t mean they’re done with homework. And since you don’t have a lot of information to go on to evaluate them – in the form of work experience and references – then assign them a task and see how they perform.

Don’t set them up for failure and give them a project that’s completely out of their league. But do give them a challenging assignment that enables you to assess their abilities, as well as their commitment to getting the job done.

And if you need additional help finding your next great hire, let Murray Resources know. 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.




4 Tips for Internal Hiring

July 2nd, 2013

Hiring is an expensive proposition. Not only do you have to spend a large amount of time recruiting candidates, but then you’ve got to devote weeks – and sometimes even months – to interviewing and screening them.

One way to shorten your search for talent is to hire internally. However, as one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that some employers make the common mistake of taking short cuts during the hiring process because the “candidate” is already a known entity as an existing employee.

So how should you go about hiring internally? Here are 4 tips to help you:

#1. Don’t Make Any Assumptions.

Just because an employee has been with the company for 10 years, doesn’t mean they’re highly skilled or ready for a new position. So don’t make any assumptions about their capabilities and potential.

#2. Only Interview Candidates You’re Seriously Considering.

Don’t interview an employee for an internal position as a favor to their boss, when really they don’t have a chance in landing the job. You’re wasting everyone’s time and giving the employee a sense of false hope.

Plus, if they find out you were stringing them along, they’ll grow resentful toward you and the company. Remember, this is an employee who will be around well after the job search is over and may be privy to gossip and talk about who got hired and why.

#3. Evaluate Readiness By Asking the Right Questions.

Even if the employee comes to you with glowing references from superiors and co-workers, it’s still important that you assess their fit for the job by asking a mix of behavioral and competency based questions. Some examples include:

  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • What was your biggest accomplishment in that position?
  • What was your biggest failure?
  • Give an example of how you handle challenges.
  • What other positions have you held in the company?
  • What do you know about the position? The department?
  • If you were to get the job, what would your plans be for the first 60 days in the role?
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.
  • What kind of training would you need to be successful?
  • Why do you want the job?
  • What will you do if you don’t get the job?

#4. Let Them Prove Themselves.

You’re only going to get so much information out of a job interview. Instead, give the employee an assignment related to the new role they’re interviewing for and assess how they do. People can fake interview answers; they can’t fake results. Even better, you may want to put the employee in the actual role for a day to see how they perform.

And if you need some external help with the hiring process, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



When to Quit Without Notice

June 25th, 2013

Giving two weeks notice is standard practice that most workers follow and most bosses expect. And really, walking off the job without notice could hurt your career in the long run.

However, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows there are some situations when leaving without giving notice is a must – and in fact, the faster you get out the better. Here’s a look at a few of them:

• The working environment isn’t safe or you’re being asked to carry out unsafe tasks.

• You’re being asked to do something illegal or unethical.

• You’re being physically or verbally abused, or you’ve been sexually harassed by your boss or a co-worker.

• Your mental health is being endangered by your job and related stress. (That’s doesn’t mean you’re stressed about a hot project or difficult customer. It means that your health is truly in danger because of your job.)

• You’re not being paid on time or being paid the agreed upon salary or compensation.

However, if you’re not experiencing any of the above situations or issues – you just really hate your job or your boss – then stick it out. You never know when a potential employer might contact your current employer for a reference check, so you want to leave on the best terms possible. The satisfaction of walking off the job isn’t worth the headache you may face if future opportunities are impacted by that decision.

In addition, company policy may require you to give two weeks notice in order for you to receive full benefits, like pay for vacation time you didn’t use. And when you quit without notice, you’re likely forfeiting what you’re owed.

Finally, when you quit without notice because of an issue with your boss or company management, keep in mind that you’re leaving your co-workers – who may be innocent bystanders – in the lurch. You never know when your paths may cross again some day and you don’t want to leave behind a bad impression.

So unless you are in danger, not being paid, or being asked to do something illegal, then suck it up and stick it out. You’ll be glad you did in the end.

Ready to Hand in Your Two Weeks Notice in Favor of a Better Job?

If you are, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, 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.




5 Ways to Make Friends With Your New Co-Workers

June 18th, 2013

As recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows the job search process is certainly stressful. And unfortunately, all that anxiety doesn’t end once you’re offered the job. In fact, it’s really just the beginning as you navigate your way in your new position and your new workplace.

And while you should be focused on learning all you can those first few days on the job, it’s just as important to start making connections with your new co-workers. After all, these are the people you will likely be spending more time with than your own family! And having strong workplace relationships will not only enhance your job satisfaction, but also help you advance your career at the company in the future.

That said, if you’re not the most outgoing person around, breaking the ice can be stressful. But you can make a great impression and hopefully forge some friendships if you play your cards right. Here’s how:

Open Up.

This can be especially difficult if you’re more of a private person. But it’s essential if you’re going to start forming the foundation for strong relationships at work. So, for instance, if you hear a co-worker sharing a story about their kids, and you’ve got kids of your own, share your own similar experiences. Opening up will help you find common ground with colleagues and foster trust and a sense of camaraderie.

Listen Too.

While you need to open up, it’s even more important to be a good listener. So don’t constantly butt into a co-worker’s story with your own thoughts. Instead, sit back, listen, and ask questions. Not only will you actually learn more, but taking an active interest in what a co-worker has to say will make a more positive impression instead of engaging in a constant stream of chatter.

Get Social.

You may hate the thought of lunches and happy hours with colleagues, but make an effort to attend all the events you’re invited to. Not only will you be exposed to more people and information about the company, but you’ll appear more friendly and less standoffish than if you declined.

Give Off Good Vibes.

Negativity is a turnoff, while a positive attitude will attract people to you. Not only will your co-workers want to be around you, but they will also want to work more with you, which could result in new and exciting opportunities coming your way.

Be Yourself.

While you want to make a positive first impression, it’s also important to be yourself. Remember, you’re going to work with these people day in and day out, so if you act phony, you will eventually get found out.

Ready for New Co-Workers?

If you’re ready for a new job opportunity, and the new co-workers that come along with it, let Murray Resources know. 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.



Tips for Keeping Temp Workers on the Job This Summer

June 11th, 2013

Summer is your busiest time of year. So when a temporary worker walks off the job, it can have a huge impact. But just like you invest time and effort into retaining your full-time staff, it’s also important for to do the same with summer temp workers. As a leading temp agency in Houston, Murray Resources knows that if you don’t you might find your company understaffed and overwhelmed.

Here are 5 tips to help you retain your temp help this summer and make the most of your busy season:

Tip #1: Training & Orientation is a Must.

It might not be as long or in-depth a process as for your full-time employees, but it’s still important to put your summer workers through a training and orientation process, as well. Doing so will not only help welcome seasonal hires and ensure they’re comfortable with their role, but it will also prompt any questions or concerns they may have before they actually start on the job.

Tip #2: Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team.

Sure, your summer workers are probably high school or college kids, or workers looking to supplement their income. But that doesn’t mean you should treat them as grunt workers. Instead, make them feel like a part of the team. Doing so will keep them engaged, motivated, and on the job during the duration.

Tip #3: Communicate Openly and Often.

Check in with your summer hires on a regular basis to see if they have any questions or concerns and to make sure they’re performing well. If there’s an issue, some workers may not feel comfortable coming to you with it; but if you ask them about it, they’re more likely to open up.

Tip #4: Thank Them.

When a summer worker shows up on time, does a good job and becomes a dependable part of the team, thank them. Doing so takes little effort on your part and will go a long way in keeping your seasonal workers motivated and happy.

Tip #5: Find Out What’s Important to Them.

At the end of the summer, gather your temporary workers and talk to them about how the season went. Ask about what they liked most about the job and what they liked the least. Doing so will not only make them feel like they’re making a valuable contribution, but the information you gather will help to improve retention efforts in the future.

Looking for Temporary Help This Summer?

If you need to hire fast for the summer season, give Murray Resources a call. 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.




6 Easy Ideas for Boosting Morale at Work

June 4th, 2013

Motivating employees is easy if you have plenty of cash to burn. But did you know you can actually motivate your team without impacting your overhead? In fact, as leading recruiters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that there are plenty of simply morale boosters you can put into place that don’t cost much – or anything at all. Here’s a look at 6 of them:

#1. A Pat on the Back

Do you regularly praise your employees for a job well done? If not, then you’re missing out on the most effective and the least expensive way to boost morale in the workplace. It’s easy to ignore such a small gesture, but it can make a big difference in an employee’s engagement level at your company.

#2. Private Meetings With Key Employees

How often do you meet with your star performers? If you don’t meet regularly, then now’s the time to start. Not only will regular meetings with them make them feel more important, but it will also open the lines of communication and bring out any areas of concern or that need attention.

#3. Development Opportunities

When companies invest in their employees by enabling them to develop or enhance skills they’re sending the message that they value their employees. And when employees are trained in the most advanced skill sets or techniques, it will serve to benefit your company as well in the long run.

#4. Encouraging Participation

Create an environment in which employees are encouraged to offer their opinions and feedback. Not only does this result in a fresh perspective, but it also motivates employees because they feel good about the contributions they’re making to the company.

#5. Flexibility

In today’s day and age, work life balance has become more and more important, especially for the younger generations with children. Offering more flexibility through perks like flex time and the ability to telecommute shows that your company cares and will earn greater loyalty as a result.

#6. A Choice in Projects

Do you have an employee that’s doing an exceptional job? Then allow him or her to choose their next project or take on more responsibility in an expanded role. New challenges and opportunities will not only keep them engaged, but will also serve as a great motivating force for them.

As you can see, rewarding your employees isn’t all about spending money; it’s about making sure they feel like a valued team member and keeping them engaged.

Need More Help Hiring & Retaining Top Talent?

If you’ve been experiencing higher turnover than you’d like and need help in the retention department, give Murray Resources a call. As leading recruiters 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.





3 Interview Myths That Could Hurt Your Chances of Getting the Job

May 29th, 2013

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to job interviews, there are some commonly held beliefs that aren’t necessarily true. But to ensure you perform well and stand out among other candidates, you need to know the truth.

To help you in your job search, here are a few of those myths debunked:

Myth #1: You can’t show any weaknesses.

Most interviewers ask you about weaknesses or mistakes made. Try to answer these questions honestly, without the typical “I’m a perfectionist” response (which a good interviewer will see right through). When you do, though, keep in mind that you shouldn’t just be talking about a weakness. You should be talking about how you’re working to improve it or lessons learned from a mistake you made.

Everyone has weaknesses and flaws; even the best candidate. But it’s what you learn from them and put into practice that will truly make you stand out in the eyes of an interviewer.

Myth #2: You have to wait “your turn” to ask questions.

It’s true that you should go into a job interview with a list of questions that will help you to learn more about the opportunity. But you don’t necessarily need to wait until the end of the interview to ask them. Instead, if the interviewer brings up a topic related to one of your questions, ask it then.

Remember, a job interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Both you and the interviewer are trying to determine whether you’re a good match for the position.

Myth #3: You need to be ready to talk about a litany of skills.

When the interviewer undoubtedly asks why they should hire you, don’t respond with a list of skills and strengths, like “I’m a hard worker, I’m a team player, I work well independently, etc.”

Instead, before the interview, think about the one or two skills or strengths you have that are most important for the position and then expand upon them with specific examples.

For instance, “I’m a team player. In my last position, I was an integral member of a team tasked with launching the company’s new website by an ambitious target date. Not only did we beat expectations, but we were also able to begin on Phase II of the project earlier than anticipated as a result.”

Need More Help Nailing Interviews?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, we can help you with the entire job search process – from preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a good fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.



Avoid ‘Fluff’ On Your Resume! Here’s How

May 21st, 2013

Imagine you’re a hiring manager for a minute. You post a job opening and within 24 hours, you’re flooded with resumes from job candidates. You do your best to efficiently filter out the bad candidates and hone in on the good. But realistically, you can only spend a few moments scanning each resume.

Discouraged? Don’t be.

As one of the top Houston staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that while today’s job market is certainly challenging, you can put your best foot forward via your resume…if you know how to grab attention and make the case that you’re the best candidate.

Unfortunately, many job seekers fill their resumes with “fluff” – that is, vague and unsubstantiated claims that may sound good, but really mean nothing. For instance:

• Dynamic visionary
• Independent thinker
• Committed team player
• Driven team player
• Proficient multi-tasker
• Strong communication skills
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Highly organized with meticulous attention to detail

Filling your resume with these kinds of phrases typically means it winds up in the trash bin. Instead, stick with the facts. If you want the hiring manager to know you’re a “dynamic visionary,” then offer them relevant accomplishments (quantified by numbers, statistics, percentages, etc.) that support your claim.

For instance:

Spearheaded and executed a direct mail campaign that resulted in improved awareness, a 5% increase in leads, and $10,000 in new sales.

Another type of fluff to avoid on your resume is listing your hobbies or interests. If they’re directly related to the position you’re applying for (for instance, you love to bike and you’re applying for a job at a sporting goods store), then include them. If they’re not, however, then skip them. You don’t want a hiring manager wasting valuable time reading about your passion for yoga instead of your skills and experience. In addition, if a personal hobby or interest doesn’t appeal to a hiring manager, it could actually negatively impact your chances of getting an interview.

Need More Resume Help?

Let Murray Resources know. As one of the top Houston staffing agencies, we can help you craft a strong resume, making you more marketable, as well as match you with job opportunities that are a great fit. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started.


Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

5 Tips for Using Social Media to Recruit for Your Houston Company

May 14th, 2013

More than half of today’s job candidates are using some form of social media to search for jobs. So as leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources can tell you that if your organization doesn’t have a social media recruiting strategy, then you could get left behind in terms of sourcing the best talent.

To help ensure you’re leveraging the power of social media in your recruiting process, here are 5 tips to get you started:

Tip #1: Start with a strategy.

Just as with any new endeavor, having a plan in place will make execution a lot easier. So identify which social media outlets you’re going to use and why you’re going to use them. For instance, if you’re looking for a veteran candidate in accounting, then think LinkedIn rather than Twitter.

Tip #2: Consistency is key.

As Houston recruiters, we often see hiring managers create a LinkedIn profile page or start a Twitter account, only to let it fall by the wayside after a few weeks. Or, they will post one or two job openings, not get a good response, and assume social media is a waste of time.

However, to use social media to your full advantage, consistency is key. You need to be posting informative and interesting content on a regular basis.

Tip #3: Engage, don’t advertise.

Your social media activities shouldn’t revolve simply around blasting out job openings. Instead, they should be focused on building your employer brand – and building relationships with active and passive job candidates. Also, avoid “corporate talk” in your social media posts; have conversations instead.

Tip #4: Monitor results.

Ok, so you’re posting on social media sites and actively seeking to build relationships with candidates. But all those efforts will go to waste if you’re not monitoring and tracking their effectiveness.

In other words, are there certain sites where the best quality candidates are coming from or where you’ve hired the most number of candidates from? Or are there sites that are delivering disappointing results? Whatever the case, you should be tracking results and adjusting your social media recruiting strategy accordingly.

Tip #5: Be patient.

It will take some time to see positive results from your social media activities. Keep in mind that your efforts are about building awareness and relationships; that’s certainly something that doesn’t happen overnight.

Don’t Have Time to Recruit Using Social Media?

If you need to hire, but simply don’t have the time, let Murray Resources know. As leading Houston recruiters, we can take the hassle out of hiring – using both high tech and traditional means – 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 Select a Houston Accounting Staffing Agency

May 8th, 2013

The demand for talented accounting professionals is as strong as ever, with Houston, Texas being a particularly hot market. So how do companies attract the Houston accounting professionals they need? While we may be biased, enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies can be an effective method for locating the talent your company needs in a cost effective, timely manner.

Below are a few tips on finding the perfect Houston accounting staffing agency.

Inspect a firm’s online presence

Accountants are in hot demand all over the country, so it is important that Houston accounting staffing agencies be up on local job opportunities and update postings accordingly. Before enlisting the help of a staffing firm, look at the firm’s online job postings and pay attention to post dates. Agencies that frequently replenish job opportunities are more likely to be piped into the local accounting community – and adept at filling their jobs – than firms that show out-of-date job openings.

A firm’s online presence goes beyond its website job postings. Many agencies will also have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. Pay attention to the firm’s frequency of accounting-related posts. The more mentions pertaining to the industry, the more the firm will know about available job opportunities and qualified candidates looking for new positions.

Ask around

Reputation is everything in the recruiting world. Companies and candidates can learn a lot about Houston accounting staffing agencies by simply asking hiring managers who’ve recently posted jobs and candidates that landed roles at local companies. Longevity in the market is a good barometer of success. For example, Murray Resources, a leading Houston staffing agency, has been serving the market since 1988.

If you are new to the area and have yet to make reputation-informing contacts, try attending a local networking event. You can also check your local HR chapter for recommendations.

Focus on firms with multi-disciplinary specializations

If you are looking for qualified candidates, consider enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies that specialize in a variety of industries. For example, Murray Resources’ team includes recruiters with deep experience in the fields of accounting, finance, engineering, human resources, marketing, sales, manufacturing, operations and administration. Contacting agencies that have multi-disciplinary specializations can help companies looking to fill positions beyond accounting roles.

Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.

Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.


How to Find the Best Staffing Agency in Houston to Work With

May 7th, 2013

Gone are the days of the traditional 9-5 schedule and employing the same people for 10, 20, or 30 years. Today’s workforce is ever-changing – with both employees and employers looking for more flexibility.

Enter the staffing agency.

Staffing agencies can help employers deal with the evolving demands of the 21st century workplace – and offer a host of benefits along the way, including:

• Access to a flexible workforce to meet fluctuating needs

• Access to a wide range of of full-time talent

• Time and cost savings in terms of the recruiting and hiring process

That said, not all staffing agencies are created equal; the trick is finding the staffing agency in Houston that’s best for your organization.

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

Look for a Staffing Agency With the Services You Need.

For instance, if you strictly need temporary employees, then an executive recruitment firm isn’t going to be right for you. So when researching potential staffing agencies in Houston to work with, make sure the one you ultimately choose offers the range of services you need.

Look for a Staffing Agency With Experience in Your Industry.

Each industry has nuances and obstacles specific to that industry. Ideally, you should work with a staffing agency that has experience in your industry or in placing candidates in a specific field. So if you have a need for accounting professionals, for example, an agency that has experience working in the accounting field will be more effective at meeting your needs than an agency that doesn’t have that same industry-specific experience.

Find Out How a Staffing Agency Qualifies Its Candidates.

Every staffing agency is different in terms of the screening process. Likewise, a staffing agency may also have a different process depending on the type of position they’re filling – whether it’s a temp job or full-time opening. So ask each you interview what their process entails. You can ask questions like:

• Do you conduct phone screens?

• Do you conduct background checks?

• Do you verify references?

• Do you conduct drug tests?

• How do you test skills?

• Do you conduct personality tests?

You want to make sure the staffing agency’s selection process is one that works for your company.

Find Out How the Staffing Agency Will Get to Know Your Company.

Staffing is not all about finding great candidates; it’s about finding great candidates that are a fit for a particular organization. That’s why it’s so important to work with a staffing agency in Houston that will spend the time to get to know your organization – and it’s unique culture and staffing needs.

Check References of Each Staffing Agency.

Hiring a staffing agency is kind of like hiring an employee. You’re going to want to interview several, whittle your list down to a chosen few, and then check references to find out what it’s really like to work with each. You can do that by asking for a list of references and verifying each.

Looking for the Best Staffing Agency to Work With in Houston?

Put Murray Resources on your list. As a leading staffing agency with more than 30 years of experience, we can help you gain access to the area’s top talent – and take the hassle out of the staffing process so you can focus on other priorities. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.




Job Search Facts vs. Fiction

April 23rd, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows there are a lot of myths out there when it comes to job searches. But in order to ensure your hunt is as effective as possible, you need to know the facts.

So what are some of today’s most persistent tall tales? Here’s a look at 5:

Myth #1: The most experienced person always gets hired.

Not true. Yes, experience is important in order to get hired; but it’s certainly not the only factor evaluated. Today’s employers are looking beyond that – to soft skills and personality – during the hiring process. They want to ensure new hires can do the job and mesh well with the culture. That approach doesn’t always translate into the most experienced person getting hired.

Myth #2: You need to go to great lengths to stand out.

Some job candidates think that pestering a hiring manager will help them secure an interview. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Not always and not in the case of a job search. Likewise, some candidates think that engaging in outrageous stunts or “creative” strategies will help them get a job. While it may make them stand out, it’s usually not in a good way. Want to really stand out? Write a great cover letter and resume that showcases your accomplishments.

Myth #3: Your resume can’t be more than a page.

A recent college grad may have a resume that’s only a page. But if you have extensive experience, your resume can – and should be – more than a page. So stop trying to cram all that information into a page in 8-point type. A two-page resume is completely acceptable.

Myth #4: Networking is the only way to find a new job.

Networking is in fact a proven way to find a new job. But it certainly isn’t the only way. Plenty of candidates find jobs simply by applying to openings, garnering an interviewing, and impressing the hiring manager.

Myth #5: Hiring managers will respond within a few days.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, even if you’re an ideal candidate. Some hiring managers don’t respond to any job candidates until the application process has officially ended, which could be a few weeks or longer. Others are busy hiring for multiple openings and handling internal company tasks that responding to job applicants isn’t their top priority. So if you don’t hear back in a few days, don’t assume you’re out of the running.

Need More Help Finding a New Job?

If you do, you’ve come to the right place. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests, whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.



Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Should I Put Short-Term Jobs on My Resume?

April 16th, 2013

You lost your job a year ago and in the meantime, have taken on a couple short-term jobs to pay the bills.

The question is: should you include those filler gigs on your resume? Or skip them?

On the one hand, if you don’t include them, it might look like you’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing while unemployed. On the other hand, if you do include them – and they’re not relevant to the position you’re applying for – it could detract from your chances of landing an interview.

So what should you do?

First, stop sweating it so much. As Houston recruiters, Murray Resources can tell you that hiring managers know the past few years have been ugly, even for the most talented among us. And, as a result, they’re more judicious than they were in the past when it comes to short-term jobs and resume gaps.

In addition, if you’ve had a stable work history up until the economic collapse, than you’re simply a victim of circumstances. Your short-term jobs are a blip in an overall steady background. If you’re really good at what you do, a hiring manager will see that.

That said, if you’ve held a half dozen temporary jobs or short-term jobs in the last year, you may not want to list every single one. Their sheer number will overshadow all that great experience you accumulated in the past.

So rather than listing all the short-term jobs you’ve held and looking like a job-hopper, choose one or two to promote. Select the ones that are most relevant to the positions you’re applying. The ones you list may be different, depending on the job opening, but that’s fine. You’ll want to tailor your resume for each position you apply to anyway.

Also, when it comes to short-term work, you may want to avoid listing the months and years of your tenure in your work history and list the years only. This will give you a little wiggle room.

And finally, when you do get an interview, be prepared to answer questions about your spotty work history over the past year. Just let the hiring manager know you’ve been taking short-term work to pay the bills, but didn’t include it all on your resume because it was outside your area of expertise. There’s nothing wrong with taking a less-than-ideal job to support yourself in tough times; in fact, the hiring manager may respect you more for it.

Want More Job Search Help from the Experts?

Let Murray Resources know. 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. Contact us today to learn more.


Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Why You Need to Keep Employee Favoritism in Check

April 9th, 2013

As top Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that favoritism is one of those things that doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, in fact, it can have a big impact in the workplace. Sometimes, though, it’s hard not to favor employees who do better work or are easier to deal with. That said, it’s important to keep favoritism in check; otherwise, you’ll create a sense of animosity among your team, which can tear it apart.

In addition, favoritism can actually cause you to make bad decisions, which can harm your company and your career. For instance, if there’s a particular person on your team you have a lot in common with, get along great with, and consider a friend, then you may be more inclined to favor them. You could recommend them for a promotion when an opportunity arises based on your feelings for them, not on whether they’re the best person for the job. That’s why it’s so critical to be mindful of favoritism.

So what are some signs favoritism is a problem in your workplace? Here’s a look at a few:

• You regularly invite certain employees to your home or social events.
• You let only certain employees have privileges, like company laptops or cell phones, based on your relationship with them…not on their job duties.
• You hand out perks to the same employees or take the same employees to lunch over and over again.
• You have certain employees that you don’t even know their last name, and others that you know their kids’ middle names.
• You make promotion decisions based on your relationships with employees, not based on value added or work produced.

If the above signs sound familiar, then you’ve got a problem with favoritism on your hands. To combat it, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Mind the rules.

It’s easy to let issues slide when it involves a favorite employee; but don’t let it. Even your favorites need reminders. So be consistent with how you apply the rules.

Tip #2: Be conscious of how you communicate.

It’s easy to talk up a favorite and talk down to one that’s less favored. But be inclusive with your language rather than exclusive. Don’t always be touting the work of one particular employee and not acknowledging others.

Tip #3: Create boundaries.

Don’t let your personal and business lives collide. Create boundaries with your employees, even if it means not hanging out with a favorite employee on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’ll communicate the message that that employee is more important than your others.

Tip #4: Remember, you’re not their friend…you’re their boss.

So avoid always rewarding the chosen few and start looking at how you manage your team with a more critical eye so that everyone feels like they’re treated fairly. When you do, you’ll keep your employees happier and more productive.

Need Help Hiring For Your Team?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. 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.



4 Reasons to Give Your Top Pick Candidates Homework

April 2nd, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources hears horror stories about it time and again. A candidate looked great on paper, performed well during the interview, and fell apart once on the job.

What gives?

It’s scary but true that there are many job candidates out there who are really good at interviewing and selling themselves. But once they’re actually hired, they simply don’t meet expectations. Clearly this isn’t the kind of person you want to bring on board. But how can you avoid it?

While there are no guarantees in the recruiting game, there are some things you can do to minimize the chance of making a hiring mistake. One of them involves handing out homework to your top pick candidates.

Here are a few reasons why this will help you when it comes time to make your final hiring decision:

Reason #1: Assess a candidate’s eagerness.

If you hand out a homework assignment and the job candidate rolls their eyes, sighs, or protests that they have a “really busy week,” then this is a good indication that they’re not as eager to get the job as you thought. On the flip side, if a candidate takes on the assignment with a smile, asks some insightful questions about your expectations for it, and then submits it on time and done well, then you just likely found yourself your next hire.

Reason #2: Overcome any biases.

Everyone has biases; we’re only human after all. But biases can be seriously harmful when it comes to hiring. They can lead you down the wrong path because someone “seemed” like they’d do a better job. But when you ask candidates to actually complete a homework assignment, you can push biases aside. The work they submit will help you gain a much better sense of whether their skill set matches up with their resume and interviewing abilities.

Reason #3: Evaluate a candidate’s quality of work.

When you receive homework assignments from candidates, you’ll likely be able to tell in a few seconds who put in a lot of effort and who just plain didn’t. When you receive work that is well thought out and insightful vs. sloppy and poorly planned, you’re hiring decision just got a whole lot easier.

Reason #4: Serves as a tie-breaker.

Have two candidates you’re equally interested in and just not sure whom to hire? Giving them a homework assignment will offer you real, tangible pieces of work that you can compare side by side…and gain a better understanding of which one is the right hire for you.

Need Help Hiring Top Candidates?

Hiring is hard work, plain and simple. And if you need some help with the process – whether because you don’t have the time or the resources – let us know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can handle the hiring process for you, from start to finish. And you can rest easy knowing your chances of a hiring mistake have been minimized greatly. Contact us today to learn more.


5 Tips for Interviewing Top Houston Accounting Professionals

March 26th, 2013

Attracting qualified Houston accounting talent has become increasingly difficult in recent years, as demand for CFO’s, controllers, accountants, AP managers, payroll managers, and bookkeepers continues to grow. If your company has open accounting positions, you may only have a short window in which to evaluate candidates and make a decision. Take too long and you risk losing top talent to other opportunities.

So how can ensure you’re not only attracting qualifying accounting candidates, but that you’re also getting them interested in your company? One commonly overlooked way is to use your interviewing time for both evaluating the candidate and selling the opportunity. You may only have one shot in front of a talented accounting candidate – be sure to make the most of it.

Below, Murray Resource offers 5 tips for interviewing Houston accounting professionals:

Understand the market & explain job details

As discussed above – with the accounting field being so competitive, talented Houston accounting professionals have options. Rock star candidates are less likely to leave positions than they were during pre-recession times, so those who are on the market are typically looking for very specific attributes in a job. Make sure you have a well-prepared job description that is clear, concise, and demonstrates that the company knows what  it’s looking for in the position. Appearing unorganized is a clear ‘turn off’ to most candidates, particularly more structured accounting professionals.

Talk up your corporate culture

As with most candidates, accountants are interested in companies where they are likely to fit in. During the interview, discuss the specifics of your company’s culture and why you think they could be easily integrated. You want to get the candidate excited about working for your company, so give examples of employees with extensive tenure and why they’ve decided to stay over the years.

Discuss a candidate’s career path

Stereotypically, accountants are very process-oriented, but don’t underestimate the aggressive growth plans of many Houston accounting professionals. It is important to explain future opportunities to grow within your firm, if granted the position. Point to employees who were able to move up quickly as a result of their hard work.

Stay away from negative commentary

While there are certainly exceptions, accountants as a group tend to more risk averse than other candidates. Be honest about your company’s situation, but don’t dwell on negative attributes of previous employees or disappointing turnover statistics. Instead, share positive information and growth trends, with an eye towards future growth plans.

Express your interest

Accountants tend to be straightforward and, like most candidates, they want to know where they stand. If you’re interested in pursuing the candidate, before the interview is over express your interest. Outline the process going forward and let them know when they should hear back – and then make sure you follow the timeline, or at least communicate when if’s there’s a deviation.

Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.

Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.


To Call or Not to Call: Should You Reach Out to a Hiring Manager Before Applying?

March 26th, 2013

You know you’re up against dozens and even hundreds of job applicants every time you apply for a new opening. So is there anything you can do to stand out in the mind of a hiring manager – and get a call for an interview?

One idea you may have heard of is to contact a hiring manager ahead of time so you can make a connection and they can be on the lookout for your resume. So is this a good idea, or bad one?

If you know the hiring manager, then by all means, contact them. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that any leverage you can employ to get your foot in the door is certainly worth using.

However, if the hiring manager is a perfect stranger, then be careful about reaching out to them, even if you have a legitimate question about the job opening. Here’s why:

#1. They’re busy. Hiring managers are at their busiest when it’s hiring season and the last thing they want to do is field calls from job applicants. They’ve included all the detail they wanted to in the job posting and now they expect you to submit a resume based on that information.

#2. They’ll question your abilities. If you call a hiring manager with a question or in need of clarification, they’ll wonder if you’re going to need a lot of hand holding if hired. It’s best to just apply and leave your questions for the interview process.

So if you simply want to learn more about the position before applying, don’t bother the hiring manager. Just apply. Same goes if you’re not sure if you’re completely qualified; that’s what the interview process is for.

However, if you’re convinced that you have a good reason for calling the hiring manager ahead of time, then be sure to follow proper protocol. Be professional not pushy; don’t call a dozen times and keep hanging up because you get voicemail (hiring managers have caller ID too); don’t call at 4:57 pm on a Friday; and be sure to get the hiring manager’s name right.

Are You a Highly Qualified Professional Looking for a Great Job?

If you are, we want to know! Whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule, our Houston headhunters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.



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