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.



Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

What Happens To My Resume Once I Submit It To A Recruiter?

March 25th, 2013

Have you ever sent your resume to a recruiter and then waited – sometimes for several weeks – before hearing back? Fear not, your resume hasn’t fallen into a black hole. Here’s some insight from Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources, on what happens to your resume after you click ‘send’ or ‘submit.’

Step #1: The Six-Second Once-Over

It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive hundreds, even thousands, of resumes for a single job posting. While ATS’s (applicant tracking systems) are commonly used by larger companies to sort through resumes, most external recruiters still view each resume manually (some recruiting firms employ junior recruiters or researchers to help screen and sort the influx of resumes).

So how do recruiters possibly review that many resumes? According to a recent study performed by TheLadders.com, recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning resumes for fit. But don’t let that short amount of time fool you – most recruiters are highly-experienced professional resume screeners and know exactly what they’re looking for. According to the study, 80% of those six seconds are spent on the following information:

  • Name
  • Current Title / Company
  • Previous Title Company
  • Current position start and end dates
  • Previous position start and end dates
  • Education

Tip: Increase your chances of getting through this step by making sure your resume is clear, concise, and easy to follow – and that you are applying for a job that fits your qualifications. If a recruiter is unable to easily find the information they’re looking for, they’ll move on.

What if I haven’t heard back at this point?

Don’t panic if you don’t hear right away. For some jobs the process of sorting through resumes and setting up interviews can take a few weeks. It’s also not uncommon for employers to make changes to a job’s requirements, which can delay the process. If you haven’t heard from a recruiter in 2-3 weeks, feel free to call or email the firm to follow-up.

Step #2: The Short Phone Call

If the recruiter is optimistic about your chances of being a good fit for the particular job for which you applied – and/or they believe you may be a good candidate for other jobs for which they recruit – the second step is typically a phone call with the recruiter. Treat this like a formal phone interview and make sure to be prepared with questions about the job and reasons that you’d make the perfect candidate. The call is usually short, but may last as long as 15 or 20 minutes.

Tip: Stay positive when talking about past employers and experience. This call serves as your first real contact with the recruiter and is a chance for them to get to know you. Make sure to put your best foot forward. Murray Resources’ Phone Interview Preparation document can help you get ready.

Step #3: The In-Person Meeting

For many recruiting firms, including leading Houston staffing agency Murray Resources, the next step is to meet the candidate in person. This allows both the recruiter and the candidate to learn more about the candidate’s potential fit for the position. Arrive for this meeting in professional dress and with extra copies of your resume, as you would for an interview with a potential employer. Be prepared to walk the recruiter through your background, your current work situation, and discuss why you are the perfect person for the job.

Step #4: Recruiter Presents Candidate’s Resume

If after the in-person meeting, the recruiter and candidate both feel there is a strong fit with the position, the recruiter will then present the candidate’s resume to the client as someone they would recommend for the position. If, however, either party thought there wasn’t a strong match for the particular job, recruiters will keep the resume on file for when a better fit comes along.

How often to check in? Unless a recruiter has specifically asked that you call to check in about job openings or to inquire about a position, try to resist the temptation to consistently call recruiters. Murray Resources, a leading Houston staffing agency recommends that if you are looking for a temporary position, to call no more than once per week. For permanent or direct hire positions, the firm recommends calling to check in every few weeks. Another approach is, instead of calling, periodically email the recruiter to let them know you are still in the job market. Outline steps you have taken to build your resume or to otherwise improve your marketability. For more tips, view our tips for working with recruiters.

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.


4 Best Things A Temporary Employee Can Do On the Job

March 25th, 2013

You’ve recently landed a temporary job and can’t wait to get started. Here are a few tips from Murray Resources, one of the top Houston temporary staffing agencies, on how to make your new boss love you.

Show up on time

Punctuality is key in any job, but it is absolutely vital when working on a temporary assignment. Before you even start, drive or take mass transportation to your place of work just to clock how long it will take you to get there. That way, you will know how much time to give yourself on your first day.

Be cordial to every person in the office

Even if you are working with only one person in a department, it is important to treat every person in the office with the same level of respect. You never know, the receptionist may have a say in the hiring of the next full-time employee. If you like your position and have exhibited warmth to the entire staff during your temporary assignment, your name may float to the top of the list for the next salaried job.

Take initiative

Your boss is a busy person; the best thing you can do as a temporary employee is to make his or her life easier. Houston temporary staffing agencies, such as Murray Resources, can help give you the inside scoop as to your manager’s work style, which can be helpful when asking for extra duties at the office. Ask to take on additional responsibility where needed (and only if your core work is done first). The more you ask, the more you will learn.

Stay positive

Attitude is everything at work. The more positive you are, the more likely an employer will be drawn to you. While, deep down, you may really want a full-time job, try to look on the bright side while in your temporary role. Regardless of the role at hand, embracing a smile and cheerful outlook at work will take you far.

Extra tip: If you’re interested in signing on as a full-time employee someday, ask your staffing firm to keep you abreast if such opportunities become available.

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 Seamlessly Integrate a Temporary Employee Into Your Team

March 21st, 2013

At leading Houston temporary staffing firm Murray Resources, we understand the importance of a strong and positive company culture. Here are a few ways to keep your culture alive while welcoming in temporary workers.

Schedule a Staff Discussion

Make sure your staff is on the same page before bringing on a temporary employee. Schedule a department or company-wide meeting to discuss the purpose of hiring someone on a temp or project basis and, if necessary, reassure your staff that their jobs are all safe.

Spend Time on Introductions

During the first week a temporary employee is on the job, take time to facilitate meaningful introductions to members of your team. These introductions can be in the form of coffee get-togethers, lunch dates, or conference room meetings. While certain staff members may not have direct contact with the temp on a day-to-day-basis, it will be hugely beneficial to sustaining the overall culture of your workplace. The more your staff feels comfortable with the new person, the less workflow will be disturbed.

Check In Regularly

Schedule weekly meetings (maybe just 10-15 minutes each) with your temporary employee to see how he or she is doing. Meet, head-on, any concerns regarding company culture and try to explain how your workplace operates. Make sure to touch base on a regular basis with your current employees to see how they are feeling about the new person and if there are any issues to be addressed.

Here’s a tip: Check in with your staffing firm, as they can typically provide guidance before issues escalate. For example, Houston temporary staffing firm Murray Resources offers to help resolve problems that should arise relating to their clients’ temporary hires.

Experiment with Cross-Project Integration

Not sure if your lead sales person will get along with your new temporary sales assistant? Try rotating your temp in and out of different projects to see how he or she handles a variety of scenarios. That way, you will see which parings produce the best results.

Make Time For Socialization

Consider scheduling a company-wide team building activity to help bring your temporary employees into the fold. Try volunteering at a local food shelter, helping with clean up at a local park, or simply meeting after work for coffee. The socialization will help break the ice.

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.


Not One But Two! Tips for Handling Multiple Job Offers

March 19th, 2013

You’ve sent out countless resumes, networked at event after event, and interviewed your heart out. Finally – all that hard work paid off. You got a job offer!

But just when you’re about to accept it, another offer comes in – one that you’re equally interested in. You weren’t expecting this situation. What should you do?

Here are some tips to help you:

Delay the decision.

As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources understands that when multiple employers call to extend job offers, it can be an overwhelming experience. You don’t want to make a decision right away. Instead, take some time to think about the situation and to decide which position is right for you. To delay them, simply say something like “I’m really excited about this opportunity, but I need a few days to talk it over with my family. I’ll get back to you on Monday.”

Take stock of the situation.

Take some time to really think about each company and each position. Ask yourself if you have a preference toward a certain position and what it is. If you’re not sure, then make a list of the pros and cons of each position. Don’t just think about the actual work you’ll be doing, also look at compensation, location, culture, size, room for advancement, and other elements important to your career and your life.

If making a list isn’t working for you, then close your eyes and visualize yourself in each position. Then ask yourself this, “where do you think you’d be happiest?”

Actually talk it over with your family or someone you trust.

When trying to make a difficult decision, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels. But when you articulate the pros and cons of each opportunity out loud – to someone you trust, it may become much clearer which one’s really right for you.

Say “no” in a professional and timely manner.

Saying “yes” to the position you decide to take is easy; however, saying “no” to the other employer can be awkward. But the faster you get it over with, the better you’ll feel. So give them a call and simply say something along the lines of:

“I appreciate the offer, but I’ve decided to accept a different position that’s more in line with my goals and vision for my career. I just want to say, though, how impressed I was with your company and your team. It was great meeting you.”

Are You a Qualified Professional Looking to Land Just One Job Offer?

Let Murray Resources 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 recruiters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

5 Behaviors to Avoid When You Are A Temporary Employee

March 18th, 2013

Congratulations, you just landed your first temporary job! Whether you found your job on your own or through a recruiting firm such as Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston temp agencies, take note of the following practices to avoid in the office.

Showing up Late

Temporary positions can turn permanent, but only if your supervisor knows they can depend on you. Building trust starts with being on time every day. On the rare occasion that will be a little late for reasons outside your control (you are caught in heavy traffic or had to run to the doctor unexpectedly, for example), call your boss to give them a head’s up. Note, in many cases your recruiting firm will ask that you call the firm directly so that they can notify your employer.

Sharing Personal Information

It is never a good idea to over-share personal information with co-workers, regardless if you are a temporary worker or operating or a full-time employee of the firm.

“People have a tendency to make judgments,” says Cathy Reilly, author of The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Employment for Staffing Services, Clients and Temps. “Especially when you are new and/or temporary, revealing too much isn’t a good practice. It is better to let your co-workers warm up to you first.”

Looking for Jobs at Work

Maybe a temporary job wasn’t your top choice; maybe you wanted a full-time job instead, but the temp position was all you could find. The quickest way to lose that opportunity is by looking for full-time roles while on the clock. Even on your phone. Just don’t do it.

Giving Your Resume to Your Boss

Handing your resume to your boss on a temporary assignment is a big no-no. While you may love the idea of joining the company full time, this action undermines the agreement you have with your staffing firm. If you are interested in a more permanent position, go to your recruiter first. Top Houston temp agencies such as Murray Resources routinely work with temporary workers to find them permanent positions.

“As an employer, I’ve been offered resumes by temporary employees,” says Reilly. “It turned me off to them right away. If I hired the person directly, I would not be paying a hiring fee to the staffing firm I was using to find them in the first place. The act of giving me a resume shows disloyalty to the staffing firm, which looks poorly on the employee.”

Failing to Take Initiative

After a staffing agency places you in a temporary role, you may find the work to be less challenging than what you initially thought. If you find yourself finishing work early on certain days, ask to take on extra projects. Doing this will show your employer that you posses initiative and can be trusted with more complex tasks.

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 Your Next Temporary Job

March 13th, 2013

Temporary work can be an excellent option for job seekers, allowing flexibility, freedom to enter new industries, and the ability to expand one’s professional network. A top Houston temporary staffing agency offers the following tips for finding your next temporary role.

Tap into Your Network

Hiring managers tend to first look at candidates who’ve been referred by trusted colleagues and friends. How can you gain entrance into the circle? Try contacting your previous employers and colleagues. Ask them where they are working and if they know of any job openings. If so, request an email (or in-person) introduction with the hiring manager.

LinkedIn is another great place to find connections. Simply use the search tool bar to type in the name of a company to find people in your network who may be connected to your target company. Communicate with them on LinkedIn (and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date) to discuss temporary job opportunities.

Read Industry Publications

Every industry has a number of trade publications. Search online for magazines and newspapers in your target industry and then search the online job listings. Not only will you find opportunities, but reading up on the industry will help you formulate questions to ask during the interview process.

Utilize Web Tools

There are hundreds of places to find a job on the Internet—some feature industry-specific positions while others include a range from a variety of specializations. FlexJobs is a great site for persons looking for part-time work and work from home. Indeed is another site where job seekers can find everything from temporary and temp-to-perm to full-time roles.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can also be valuable resources to find temporary work. Pinpoint your companies of interest, follow them on all three social networks, and pay attention to when jobs are posted.

Contact a Recruiter

Often the most efficient way to find a temporary job is to contact a staffing firm. A top Houston temporary staffing agency, Murray Resources, places candidates in the fields of accounting, administrative, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, sales, manufacturing, marketing and operations.

Why staffing firms, you ask? When you sign up with a staffing agency, recruiters spend time helping you determine the type of job you are looking for, the company culture you prefer, and your ideal temporary role. Recruiters can then match you with opportunities that match your qualifications and interests.

Tip: Remember, recruiters don’t initiate job postings, their employer clients do – so be patient if your recruiter doesn’t have a job that fits what you’re looking for right away.

Looking for a Houston temporary staffing agency?

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 Effective is Your Employee Training Program?

March 12th, 2013

In a perfect world, new hires would hit the ground running, delivering positive results almost immediately.

In the real world though, your investment in the hiring process doesn’t (or shouldn’t) stop once a new hire is on board. In fact, it’s really just the beginning. New hires need proper training, resources, and support in order to learn the ropes and ensure they’re clear on expectations.

And, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that if you don’t invest in training, you could be putting your new hire’s future at risk. Employees who aren’t trained well wind up confused, frustrated, disengaged, and ultimately, back on the job market.

So how can you ensure new hires are well trained? Start by avoiding these common new hire training mistakes:

Mistake #1: Looking at Training as an Expense, Not an Investment.

Many times, when the budget needs to be trimmed, employee training can be one of the first programs on the chopping block. But this is a huge mistake! Studies support common sense – the better trained employees are, the better they perform on the job.

Mistake #2: Assuming a Highly Qualified Employee Doesn’t Need to Be Trained.

Just because a new hire has plenty of experience and exceptional credentials doesn’t mean they should skip the training process. In fact, all new hires should be required to go through some level of training.

Mistake #3: Not Following Up With a New Hire After Training.

You’ve spent weeks training your new hire. They’re good to go, right? Possibly. But don’t let your investment in training go down the tubes by not following up. Just because they say they know what to do, doesn’t always mean they do. So check in with them on a regular basis to see how things are going, to answer any questions, and to address any concerns.

Mistake #4: Not Evaluating Your Training Program.

It’s imperative that you evaluate your training program regularly to ensure it’s as effective as possible and delivering measurable results. Doing so will help you identify what’s working and what’s not – and tweak the program so it’s even stronger.

Mistake #5: Limiting Training to Only New Hires.

Training shouldn’t only be for new hires. In fact, your company should support all of your employees’ efforts to gain new knowledge or skills. When you do, you will not only help employees enhance their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses, but you’ll generate a better skilled workforce in the process.

If you have questions about employee training – or other HR-related concerns, give us a call. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX with 30 years of experience, Murray Resources can take some of the hassle out of your staffing and HR function, so you can focus on running your organization. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.


7 Retention Mistakes Employers Make

March 5th, 2013

Millions of capable people are out there, unemployed and looking for work. As a result, your employees aren’t going anywhere, right? After all, who would want to risk taking the plunge to a new company in such an uncertain economy?

Wrong! In fact, according to a 2012 survey by Jobvite, 3 out of 4 workers (75%) are actively looking for or open to new jobs. So retention is a serious issue for every employer!

Unfortunately, as a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that too many employers are just sitting back, assuming it’s a buyer’s market and they don’t have to do much to retain their top employees. This is a huge – and ultimately costly – mistake.

So what are some other mistakes employers make when it comes to retention? Here’s a look at 6 more:

Mistake #1: Thinking no one else is hiring.

Your company may not be hiring. But that doesn’t mean your competition isn’t. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean your competition isn’t trying to woo your top talent away from you with all kinds of perks and offers.

Mistake #2: Not investing in retention.

During tough economic times, it’s tempting to cut areas – like retention strategies – that don’t seem like a priority. Don’t do it! The first employees to leave during tough times can often be your best ones. Then, not only will you be battling a difficult economy, but you’ll be doing it with your B-team, not your A-one.

Mistake #3: Assuming unhappy employees will speak up.

Do you say something every time you have bad service at a store or are disappointed with a product? If you’re like most people, probably not. You simply stop patronizing the store or buying the product. Employees are the same. They’re not always going to speak up when they’re unhappy; they’re just going to look for greener pastures elsewhere.

Mistake #4: Not holding managers accountable for retention.

Most employees don’t leave because they don’t like the company; they leave because they don’t like their boss. That’s why it’s important to tie employee retention to incentives for your managers and ensure it’s a top priority for them, just as productivity is.

Mistake #5: Failure to communicate.

A failure to communicate clear goals and expectations is a retention killer. Employees will wind up feeling confused, uncertain, and ultimately unmotivated and disengaged. This is especially true for new hires; so make sure you communicate early, often, and clearly about your expectations for each and every employee.

Mistake #6: Assuming employees are loyal to your company.

Employee loyalty is a thing of the past. In fact, employee loyalty is at a seven-year low, according to a March 2012 MetLife survey of employee benefits, trends and attitudes. So don’t think you can rest on your laurels when it comes to retention; it’s something you must be aware of and actively invest in on a regular basis. If you don’t, it will cost you.

Need Help With Your Hiring & Retention Process?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we’ve delivered extraordinary recruiting and staffing solutions to Houston’s leading employers for over 30 years. Let us help you too! Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.


4 Tactics Hiring Managers Use to Get You to Crack in a Job Interview

February 26th, 2013

If you’re in the middle of a job search, then you know that performing well in an interview is critical in order for you to land a new position. As a result, if you’re like most job candidates, you probably spend your fair share of time researching common interview questions and preparing your answers.

But did you know there’s more to interview prep than that?

In fact, as leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are a variety of tactics hiring managers use in order to get behind the mask – and find out the truth about each job candidate. And some of these strategies can cause a weak or unprepared candidate to crack.

So what are they? And how can you best handle them? Here’s a look:

Interview Tactic #1: They Don’t Lead.

Many hiring managers today use behavioral interviewing. This is where they ask you to offer specific examples of your track record, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. But they’re not just looking for examples, they’re also looking for what you learned from those situations…they just don’t tell you that.

What to do: If, for instance, a hiring manager asks you something like “Tell me about a time you failed on the job,” you shouldn’t simply offer any old example. You need to tell them about the situation, but also what you learned from it and why you’re the stronger job candidate as a result.

Interview Tactic #2: They’re Silent.

Silence can be deadly during a job interview for the simple reason that most job candidates find it awkward. As a result, they try to fill the void with a stream of mindless chatter and can reveal damaging information as a result.

What to do: When there’s an awkward pause in the conversation, wait for the hiring manager to speak first. If the time is still steadily ticking by, prompt the hiring manager with a question of your own – such as “Did you have another question about that last topic?”

Interview Tactic #3: They Engage in Small Talk.

You may think a hiring manager is especially warm and friendly. But what they really may be doing is using small talk to get you to reveal additional information about yourself.

What to do: Don’t ever let your guard down. And don’t reveal personal information, such as details about your home or family life. While employers aren’t allowed to use information such as marital status and whether you have children in their hiring decision, that kind of information could still unconsciously influence a hiring manager’s opinion of you.

Interview Tactic #4: They Evaluate Your Language.

According to Leadership IQ, language usage is far different between high performers and low performers, if you know where to look. For example, high performers generally speak in the first person (“I” and “we”), whereas low performers tend to speak in second (“you” and “your”), and third person (“he,” “she,” or “it”). Low performers also tend to speak in absolutes (“always” and “never”) and adverbs.

What to do: When you’re answering questions, focus on the individual contributions you made and the unique value you brought to the table. Don’t use a lot of flowery adjectives; speak in clear, concise, and confident terms.

Are You a Confident Candidate in Search of Your Next Opportunity?

Let Murray Resources 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.


5 Ways to Hurt Your Reputation in a New Job

February 19th, 2013

As Houston recruiters, Murray Resources can tell you that when you’re starting out on the job, your goal should be to “wow” your boss. But sometimes, things can get in the way of your very best efforts. Some of them aren’t in your control – but others certainly are. Below is a look at 5 ways you could hurt your reputation in those first, very important few days of the job.

1. You’re late.

Adhering to the basics of office etiquette is critical when you’re just starting out. And getting there on time is one of those basics. So don’t let a traffic jam, or construction get in your way of making a great first impression. Start off well ahead of schedule on your first few days so you can get a sense of how heavy traffic is and if there are any additional delays you’ll need to factor in.

2. You’re overly assertive at meetings.

You want to develop a reputation as a contributor and “go getter.” But at this stage of the game, you may not have a whole lot to contribute. So instead of asserting yourself and looking foolish in a meeting, ask lots of questions so you can get up to speed faster – then offer opinions and ideas of value.

3. You kiss up to your boss.

It’s important to have a healthy, productive relationship with your boss. However, if you think getting there involves kissing up, you may want to think again. Not only will your boss lose respect for you, but your new co-workers will, as well.

4. You spend time gossiping.

It’s only natural to want to connect with your co-workers as quickly as possible. However, gossiping isn’t the way to get there. Not only will you develop a reputation as having a big mouth, but gossiping about co-workers – before you really get to know them – will cloud your judgment of them. It’s not fair to your co-workers and could harm your ability to develop long-term, productive relationships with them.

5. You make comments on Facebook about how much you hate your new job.

Remember, whatever you post on a social media site like Facebook is never private, even if you have your account set to private. And a fast way to fall out of favor with your new boss is to be lamenting to all your friends about your boss, co-workers, or new job. It’s best to keep it zipped; if, after some time on the job, there are some things you don’t like or that are unexpected, then talk to your boss directly about them. Don’t post them on Facebook first.

Need Help Finding a New Houston Job?

If you do, let Murray Resources 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 recruiters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.


Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Top 4 Reasons to Hire Temporary Employees

February 12th, 2013

The economy is picking up, consumer confidence is on the rise, and sales numbers—in companies large and small—are looking healthy. With such positive signs, hiring managers are faced with an exciting challenge: to hire full-time staffers or to consider temporary (or temp-to-hire) employees.

While hiring full-time (also referred to as “direct-hire”) employees has its own advantages, for some situations hiring temporary help makes financial and strategic sense. In fact, the American Staffing Association reports staffing companies (including leading Houston temporary staffing firm Murray Resources) employ nearly 2.8 million people in the U.S., and that number is increasing. In Q3 2012 alone, more than 2.95 million temporary workers were employed every business day.

Hiring temporary employees is a popular practice for several reasons.

Affords Flexibility

Are you in need of a few extra hands around the holiday season? Or is the summer your busiest season? Temporary employees are an excellent option for employers who typically experience a seasonal spike in demand for their products or services.

Helps Determine Cultural Fit

There are few things more frustrating than hiring a candidate you think will be a rock star, only to realize two months later that they don’t quite ‘fit in’ personality-wise with the rest of your team. Bringing on an employee in a temp or temp-to-hire scenario can be a great way to alleviate future cultural fit issues.

“It’s best to try before you buy,” says Cathy Reilly, author of The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Employment for Staffing Services, Clients and Temps. “You can do multiple rounds of interviews and assessments, but until you get the person into your company culture, relating to employees, you aren’t going to know how they do. If you don’t hire for fit, you will definitely fire for fit.”

Companies are increasingly turning to outside help, such as Houston temporary staffing agency Murray Resources, for identifying the right type of candidate ahead of time.

Saves Money

While the pay rate for a temporary employee may be comparable versus that of a permanent employee with the same qualifications, temp employees typically do not require the same benefit commitment as full-time workers. Health insurance, vacation time, and disability allowances can add up.

Fills a Specialized Need

Imagine your company just signed a contract for a new project that will require specialized skills in a technology program where your firm’s relative depth of experience is shallow. While a small set of existing employees have experience in the area, you may have a need to supplement the project with additional hands. Projects such as these can be the perfect opportunity to evaluate temporary talent for potential permanent roles at your company.

Is your company in need of temporary employees?

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, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales.

The company 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.


27 Questions to Ask During an Exit Interview

February 12th, 2013

Winston Churchill once said, “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.”

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to the workplace, one of the biggest difficulties an employer can face is when a valuable employee decides to leave. You’re left wondering where things went wrong.

The good news is that you can turn this difficulty into an opportunity for organizational improvement. But first you need to conduct an exit interview. After all, you won’t know why the employee is leaving unless you ask. And even if they’re a little vague with some of their answers, there is some valuable information you can glean from the process.

So what kinds of questions should you be asking? Here’s a look at 26:

The Basic Questions:

• Why are you leaving?

• Is there anything that could have been done to prevent you from leaving?

• Is there any one event or issue that resulted in your leaving?

• What was the most satisfying aspect of your job?

• What was the least satisfying aspect of your job?

Questions About Culture:

• How would you describe the culture of the company?

• What did you like about it most?

• What did you dislike about it most?

• Did the culture factor into your reason for leaving?

• How do you think we could improve our culture?

• Did you ever feel harassed, bullied, or threatened in any way?

Questions About Communication:

• Do you think your department’s team members communicate effectively?

• Is there anything you would do to improve communication within and between departments?

Questions About Management:

• Did you feel motivated on the job?

• Were there areas where employee motivation could have been improved?

• Were there any areas of responsibility that you were interested in taking on that you weren’t given?

• Were there any areas of responsibility that you had to take on but didn’t want to?

Questions About Productivity:

• Do you have any feedback as to how we could improve productivity?

• Did you feel you were able to make good use of your time here?

• Was there anything that got in the way of your personal productivity?

Questions About the Competition:

• Why did you decide to take a job with this particular employer?

• What is your new employer offering you that we’re not?

• Would you ever be interested in coming back to work for us?

Questions About Development:

• Did you feel like you were given the training and support you needed to do your job?

• What is one area where we could improve upon in terms of training and development?

• What was the one most valuable resource you were given access to?

• Is there anything you would do to improve our performance evaluation process?

While you may not get clear answers or feedback from every question you ask, conducting an exit interview – and asking meaningful questions like the ones above – can be a productive start to learning why good employees leave…and breaking the cycle in the future.

Need Help Hiring & Retaining Good Employees?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources has been providing world-class recruiting services to top companies in the city and beyond for 30 years. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.





4 Tips for Conducting a Skype Interview

February 5th, 2013

A Skype interview is likely never going to replace the face-to-face interview.

However, as leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can tell you that more and more companies are using video interviewing during their hiring process to take the place of the phone screen or first-round interviews.

In fact, according to market research firm Aberdeen Group, 42% of companies use video as part of their hiring process for senior executive, management, and entry-level positions.

So if you’re interested in integrating video technology into your interview process, where do you begin? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Tip #1: Prepare Ahead of Time.

Just like you would for an in-person interview, make sure your prepare ahead of time. For instance, don’t wait until the last minute to add a candidate to your Skype account; instead exchange usernames a couple of days before the scheduled interview.

Also, so you don’t lose time, ask the candidate to connect a few minutes ahead of time. This gives you the opportunity to see who’s really excited about the opportunity and is early…and who shows up with just seconds to spare.

Tip #2: Conduct the Interview in a Professional Space.

If you work out of a cubicle, then that’s not a good place to conduct a Skype interview. Instead, find a private space, such as a conference room, where it will be quiet. Also, make sure there’s a plain background behind you; anything else could make it hard for the candidate to focus.

Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your Conduct.

Bright colors and bold patterns might look great in person; but on video, they’ll simply serve as a distraction. So be sure to wear solid, neutral colors.

Also, make sure that you’re always facing the camera during the interview and looking into the camera when directing a question to the candidate. Otherwise, it won’t look like you’re making eye contact with him or her.

Tip #4: Do a Practice Run.

There’s nothing more annoying or unnerving to a job candidate than a video feed that keeps cutting out just when they’re trying to make a key point. So do a practice run ahead of time to ensure your equipment is up to par. You want it to help you during the interview process – not hinder you.

Want to Outsource Your Hiring Process to the Experts?

If you simply don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring the people you need, let Murray Resources know. As leading Houston headhunters, we can handle the process for you – sourcing, screening, interviewing, and testing candidates – all so you make a great hiring decision. Contact us today to learn more.



How to Find the Right Recruiter

January 25th, 2013

It’s not difficult to find a recruiter. Some estimates put the total number of recruiters in the U.S. at over a million. Finding a recruiter that fits with your career goals and work-style – that’s a bit more challenging. Recruiters come in various forms, from independents working out of their homes to public corporations employing thousands of recruiters. How can you find one that works for you? Here are some tips.

Have a clear idea of the position you are seeking.

It’s important to start with a good understanding of the type of position(s) you’re targeting. Calling a recruiter and offering to take any job is not an effective approach. (yes, this happens…a lot). While flexibility is not a bad thing, not having any idea about the type of job you’re seeking will come across as undisciplined and unfocused – two traits that don’t excite a busy recruiter.

Do your research

Recruiters tend to specialize by industry and/or function. Some basic Google searching can help you identify recruiters in your area who work in the industry or function you’re targeting. Are you an engineer in Houston? Search “Engineering Recruiters in Houston” and you’ll get results for several local firms that work with engineers. For example, for Murray Resources, you’ll be directed to a page dedicated to Houston engineers. If the types of jobs they have listed match what you’re looking for, contact the firm and set up a meeting with a recruiter. The same approach works for Houston accountants, Houston administrative assistants, or any position.

LinkedIn is another great tool for identifying recruiters who match up well with your target position. You can use the site to browse jobs, many of which are published by recruiters. If a job matches what you’re looking for, seek out the recruiting firm that posted it and start following them on LinkedIn. Chances are they’ll post similar jobs in the future. Murray Resources uses our LinkedIn profile to post jobs, job seeker advice, and interviewing tips.

Look for a track record of success.

Your ideal recruiting agency has strong relationships with a range of hiring organizations within your target market, as well as a track record of placing top-notch talent in positions like the one you’re seeking.

How do you research that information? Start with the recruiter’s own website. Do they have a blog? If so, read through it and learn more about the firm before you contact them. Check the Better Business Bureau  – do they have a number of unresolved complaints? You should be able to learn the following online:

  • How long has the recruiting firm been in business?
  • What types of companies do they work with?
  • Do they have testimonials or case studies on their website that you can browse through?

Set up an introductory interview.

Any reputable recruiting firm will want to meet with you (in person, if possible) before presenting you to a client. This is also your chance to find out more about them. Ask about the types of jobs they work on and if someone with your experience and background fits well with the types of positions they place. Treat the meeting as you would any job interview. If you show up in a t-shirt and torn jeans, the interviewer will likely assume that’s how you’re going to represent the firm to their client. Dress appropriately and be prepared to discuss your experience and what type of position you’re seeking.

Ask for referrals.

If, after meeting with a recruiter, you determine that your goals and their recruiting sweet spot are not a match, ask if they can refer you to another agency that would be a better fit. The recruiting world, while large in numbers, is an small one. They should be able to refer you to another firm that can help.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?
As top Houston recruiters, Murray Resources can help you explore your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Increase Your Odds of Getting “Found” by a Recruiter

January 22nd, 2013

Companies are still hiring, despite high unemployment. And one of the best ways to get your foot in the door with them is through a recruiter. That said, many recruiters tend to focus their efforts on sourcing passive candidates, those who are already employed.

But don’t despair.

Even if you are unemployed, there are strategies you can use that could put you on the radar of top Houston recruiters.

Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Get Active on LinkedIn.

More and more Houston recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to search for good quality candidates for their job openings. So if you’re not on LinkedIn, now’s the time to create a profile and get active on the site. Join industry groups, ask and answer questions in the “Answers” section, and regularly update your profile with relevant information, content, and keywords.

Get Active on Twitter.

To get on a recruiter’s radar using Twitter, you have to find the right ones first. So research Houston recruiters that recruit in your field, such as “IT recruiters” or “accounting recruiters.” Once you’ve found some good possibilities, follow their postings, comment back, and re-tweet their tweets that you find interesting or helpful. Also be sure that important keywords relevant to your field are included in your bio so recruiters can find you when they’re looking for someone with your skill set.

Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations.

When a recruiter comes upon your LinkedIn profile, and you have multiple recommendations from credible sources, it will only serve to paint you in a positive light. So think about a list of former bosses, colleagues and connections who would offer good recommendations, then reach out to them and ask for one.

Make Your Voice Heard.

Whether you decide to start your own blog, or pen an editorial for a local business publication, start generating content that will raise your profile. Make sure your name’s on whatever is published, along with your job title.

Public speaking is another way to put yourself out there and build your personal brand. Start off small; for instance, if you’re a member of a local non-profit organization, offer to give a talk in your area of expertise. This will give you an opportunity to hone your message. Once you feel more comfortable, try to book larger venues – such as conferences and trade shows – and be sure to promote the upcoming event via LinkedIn and Twitter.

Let Murray Resources Help You Find Your Next Great Opportunity!

As leading Houston recruiters, we can connect you with top employers and rewarding opportunities that aren’t always advertised. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.



5 Tips for Being a Dynamic Thinker at Work

January 15th, 2013

When it comes to the workplace, those who are the most dynamic thinkers are generally the ones who get the attention, the accolades, and the promotions.

But what if you’re just not that dynamic of a thinker?

Not to worry. Most people aren’t born full of ideas and creative energy. It’s a skill they’ve learned and honed over the years.

And, as leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows it’s a skill you can likely learn, too.

So what’s the secret to being a dynamic thinker at work – and leveraging its power in the form of promotion and advancement? Here’s a look:

Tip #1: Watch.

Are there super-star performers around you? People who come to meetings brimming with ideas and enthusiasm? Those are the ones to watch.

Observe how they work; how they go about solving problems and contributing ideas. Take it one step further and actually ask them what their process is for developing ideas and solutions.

Tip #2: Read.

Reading industry publications is great; but don’t stop there.

Read fiction books to enlighten you about the personalities of others; read biographies to learn about great business or political leaders; read poetry for interesting perspectives on different topics. Read about diverse issues and in different genres to help inspire and motivate you.

Tip #3: Question.

People generally aren’t that good at asking questions; most are too caught up doing the talking. But great insight and learning comes from asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answers.

So whether in a meeting, at a tradeshow, or on a conference call, don’t be afraid to ask questions; to be direct; and to request clarification if a response is vague.

Tip #4: Challenge.

Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Policies that worked for one generation may not be as effective with the next. So identify and challenge company conventions. Ask “why”or “why not” things are being done or aren’t being done a certain way and propose newer, faster, better ways of doing business.

Tip #5: Dabble

Explore areas, topics, knowledge, and skills that are completely unrelated to your job. Take a music class, learn to ballroom dance, hone your public speaking skills, join a photography club. In the process, you’ll likely learn some lessons and fresh perspectives you can apply in the workplace.

Are You a Dynamic Thinker Looking for a New Job?

If you are, give Murray Resources a call. As leading Houston recruiters, we can connect you with opportunities – many of which aren’t advertised – at some of Houston’s top employers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.



7 Signs Your Leadership Skills Need Some Work

January 8th, 2013

You show up to work each day, ready to hit the ground running, manage your team, and deliver results. And yet, for some reason, your efforts are falling short, whether it’s a lack of respect from your team or less-than-stellar productivity.

What gives?

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that, for many managers, problems with effective leadership come from a lack of people skills.

So what are some of the people-related mistakes you could be making? Here’s a look at 7:

Sign #1: You don’t listen to your employees.

An employee comes to you for advice, guidance, or to air their frustrations…and you can barely look up from your computer to give them the time of day. You may think you can multi-task – listen and check your email at once. But what you’re communicating to your employee is that their problem isn’t really important enough to require your undivided attention.

Sign #2: You’re always negative.

Being a good leader requires you to be realistic…even when it means you have to tell your team things they don’t want to hear. But always bombarding them with pessimism and negative news – and not balancing it out with anything positive – is a recipe for a deflated and unhappy team.

Sign #3: You’re always positive.

On the flip side, if you’re always looking on the bright side of the situation, and glossing over any potential negatives, you’re not doing your team any favors either. When there are clearly issues or problems going on, employees expect for you to acknowledge them and put forth a plan for dealing with them, not repeat a bunch of empty affirmations.

Sign #4: You micromanage your team.

You are responsible for your team and the results – or lack of – they deliver. This, however, does not mean you should be a helicopter boss, constantly hovering over your employees.

Sign #5: You’re cold.

You show no interest in getting to know your employees on a personal level. You never crack a smile or demonstrate any warmth. Worse, you don’t offer any praise…even when an employee knocks it out of the park. But while you might think you’re simply calm and cool, you’re really coming off as impersonal and detached, impacting employee loyalty.

Sign #6: You’re a slacker.

You’ve earned your spot at the top, so now it’s time to take advantage of the perks in the form of two-hour lunches, leaving early every day, and delegating all your tasks to your team. But your employees aren’t going to respect you and likely aren’t going to work very hard for you as a result.

Sign #7: You’re two-faced.

You treat your boss and your clients like kings and queens, but behind closed doors, your employees must deal with your wrath. Or, perhaps you’re nice to an employee’s face, but then turn around and complain about them to one of their co-workers. This kind of treatment simply undermines morale and is a recipe for high turnover.

Every leader makes mistakes at one time or another. But most employees are smart – and if you’re regularly demonstrating the signs above, then they won’t respect you and will likely move on when an opportunity comes along. So work to sharpen your people skills!

Are You a Leader in Need of Hiring Help?

If part of your leadership issues come from not having the right people in the right positions, Murray Resources can help. As a top staffing agency in Houston, TX, we will partner with you to learn about your staffing needs and unique culture. We’ll then source and screen candidates with the right skills and personality to excel at your company.

Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.



Are You Making These Common Reference Checking Mistakes?

January 1st, 2013

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that reference checking is one of those steps in the hiring process many managers would like to avoid altogether. After all, what kind of candidate would give you a reference that wasn’t going to offer a glowing or positive review in the first place?

The answer: a lot.

In fact, one quick phone call could help you uncover lies or other unsavory information and take a candidate out of the running. And so while it does certainly require some legwork on your part, it’s well worth it in the end.

To help you get the information you need to make a smart hiring decision, here are some reference checking mistakes to avoid in the future:

Not Digging Deeper By Asking Good Questions.

Many companies have policies that don’t allow a manager or HR representative to do more than confirm an employee’s job title, salary, and tenure with the company; however, many also do not. As a result, you could be leaving vital information on the table if you only ask “yes/no” confirmation questions to candidate-supplied information.

Instead, take some time to dig a little deeper. For instance, ask questions like: “Would you employ John again in the future?” or “What are the top two areas John need to improve in?”

Not Getting References from Managers.

If a candidate gives you references from co-workers only, that could be a sign that they don’t want you to speak directly with past supervisors – a hiring red flag. That’s why it’s important to require that candidates give you two or three references from managers.

Again, even if the manager can simply only confirm employment information, the willingness to offer you a manager as a reference on the part of a job candidate indicates a lack of fear about what you will uncover.

Not Applying the Process Consistently Across All Job Candidates.

When it comes to reference checks, consistency is a must. Not only will it enable you to more accurately evaluate and compare candidates, but it also can help you avoid a claim of discrimination that could result from selective reference checks. So be sure to apply the same reference check process to candidates applying to the same or similar positions.

Not Checking References for Temporary or Contract Workers.

More and more companies are relying on temporary and contract workers today – and yet they neglect to require reference checks as a part of the screening process. But this adds an undue level of risk and liability to an organization.

Need More Help With Your Hiring Process?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we can help you find and evaluate today’s top talent – including conducting thorough reference checks, whether for full-time or temporary positions. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.



Four Reasons Why You Should Consider a Temporary Job

December 27th, 2012

As one of the leading temp agencies Houston employers and job-seekers engage for their job search, Murray Resources has noticed a substantial shift in the temporary job market in recent years. While temp jobs were once associated with making copies, filing papers, and stuffing envelopes, today’s temporary employment opportunities can be as challenging and fulfilling as any direct hire or permanent position. In fact, there are solid reasons why professionals might want to strongly consider a temporary position – below are four such reasons:

Freedom to Explore
If you’ve been locked into the same position or at the same company for an extended amount of time, a temporary position can provide a relatively risk free opportunity to refresh your career path. Temporary or contract jobs can provide an excellent chance to explore your passions, while providing valuable experience before jumping into a new career path.

While more experienced workers may still attach a stigma to temp jobs, no such preconceptions exist for Gen Y workers – they tend to value temp work for the freedom and flexibility these kinds of positions afford. Think like a Gen Y’er.

The Numbers Don’t Lie
As one of the premier temp agencies Houston employers turn to for qualified professionals, Murray Resources’ experience supports the recent reports of strong growth in temporary and contract positions across the U.S. Some studies even predict that our post-recession job market will be primarily comprised of temporary and contract work. Some statistics worth considering:

  • The number of temporary or contract jobs was up 6% over last year’s numbers in the first quarter of 2012 according to the American Staffing Association
  • The number of temporary or contract jobs added to the economy has been increasing for nine consecutive quarters since the recession officially ended
  • Over 40% more people hold temp jobs now than in 2009

Personal Branding Opportunities
Creating and growing your own personal brand is important, but only if you have the right type of exposure. Temporary or contract work exposes you to entirely new office environments, with a new set of colleagues and supervisors to whom you can demonstrate your value. By working diligently with an enthusiastic attitude, you can set yourself apart as a must-have asset for any company, earning respect and connections that may be valuable down the line – whether it’s a future co-worker, supervisor, or recommendation for a job in the future.

Potential Permanent Position
A note of caution to not use this last reason as your sole purpose for applying to a temporary or contract position, as converting a temporary position into a full-time position is generally a rarity. Employers typically hire temporary workers because they desire the flexibility it provides – or they simply don’t have the financial resources or desire to add another employee to their payroll. However, it does happen, and just because it is not a frequent occurrence doesn’t mean you should discount the possibility. If you treat a temporary assignment as you would a full-time job, supervisors will take note of the value you bring to the organization and may be willing to help create opportunities for you either through the company or with other connections they have.

We hope you take these insights into consideration as you embark on your next job search.

Are you a talented professional looking for your next career move?
As one of the top temp agencies Houston job-seekers turn to, let us help you explore your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Ready to Quit? Here’s How

December 25th, 2012

As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are plenty of workers out there ready to search for greener pastures, particularly with the economy rebounding somewhat. If you’re one of them, then you’re probably looking to the future, excited for the day when you can finally quit and move on.

But have you thought about how you’re going to exit your current job?

If you think the resignation process isn’t a big deal, think again. You never know when you may cross paths with your boss or co-workers; or if you’d be interested in coming back to the company at some point in the future (hey, it happens all the time). As a result, you want to ensure you make the process as easy on both you and your employer as possible.

So what can you do to handle your resignation with grace and professionalism? Here’s a look at some do’s and don’ts:

Don’t Gloat.

Even if you hate your job, your boss, and your co-workers, and you’re incredibly tempted to rub your great new job in their faces, don’t do it. Whatever the real reason is behind your resignation, you don’t necessarily need to share it. If, for instance, it’s because you can’t stand your boss, then keep those thoughts to yourself. When co-workers ask why you’re leaving, just let them know you accepted a job that’s going to enable you to achieve your career goals.

That said, if you do have an exit interview with HR, then you may want to bring up any legitimate issues. But try to be as diplomatic as possible and always take the high road.

Do Be Prepared to Leave.

If you’re ready to hand in your resignation, be prepared for your employer to also want you to leave…immediately. This is particularly true if you have a new job with their biggest competitor, or you handle confidential information. So don’t get blind-sided by this possibility; prepare ahead by removing any personal items from your office or computer.

Do Stand Your Ground.

Don’t be surprised, either, if your employer makes a counteroffer with a higher salary in order to keep you. But considering that most employees who accept counteroffers leave soon after anyway, it’s in your best interest to stand your ground and move onto your new opportunity. Remember, there’s a reason you went searching for a different job in the first place.

Do Offer to Help.

Ask your supervisor what you can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible, whether it’s tie up loose ends, delegate tasks, or train your successor. That said, don’t offer to stay on longer than you expected. Doing so can be a drain on you and depressing for the rest of the staff.

Are You a Talented Professional Looking for a New Opportunity in the New Year?

If you are, then call Murray Resources. As leading Houston headhunters, we can connect you with top employers – and top jobs – in and around the Houston area. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.



Why You Need to Be on LinkedIn – Even if You’re Not Job Hunting

December 18th, 2012

You’re not looking for a new job. So why waste time creating a LinkedIn profile, right?


As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that LinkedIn isn’t just for job candidates; it’s a networking tool. And it can offer a variety of important benefits to all professionals, whether you’re happy where you are or looking to jump ship.

So what are some specific reasons you need to be on LinkedIn?

Reason #1: You can build a big network.

Even though you may not be searching for a new job now, you likely will be someday. And if you only have a handful of people in your network, it’s not going to get you very far. Likewise, if you only reach out to people when you need something – in this case, a job – then they’ll be suspicious. It’s better to build a robust network, so it’s there when you need it.

Reason #2: You can join industry groups.

Not only can you join groups dedicated to your industry or profession, but you can also make connections with like-minded professionals. Through those connections, you can share best practices, learn from diverse discussions about topics pertaining to your industry, identify partnership opportunities, and build relationships that may benefit you in the future.

Reason #3: You could be tapped for an exciting opportunity.

Many of today’s hiring managers use LinkedIn as a source to recruit passive candidates. So even if you’re not looking for a new job, a Houston recruiter or hiring manager may find you through your LinkedIn profile and come to you with an exciting job offer. And if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you’re closing the door on these kinds of career opportunities.

Reason #4: You can keep your resume up-to-date easily.

Your LinkedIn profile page is basically like your online resume. And it’s easy to keep up-to-date as you move forward in your career, whether you land a promotion or enhance your skill set. As a result, when it is time to look for a new job, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Reason #5: You can build your reputation.

When you join industry groups and participate in the “Answers” sections of LinkedIn, you can build a name for yourself by offering insightful tips and advice to others. And doing so can help you advance your career in a positive direction.

Need Help Finding a New Job?

If you’re an active job seeker, instead of a passive one, and you’d like some help finding a new job, let us know. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources can connect you with top employers – and top jobs – in the area. Contact us today to learn more.



How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits (Part 2)

December 13th, 2012

If you’ve read part one of our two blog series on How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits, you’ve done your homework and are feeling confident about negotiating your salary and benefits. It’s now time to embark on the part two the process: execution.

Prove You’re Worth It
Katherine McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, explains that during the negotiation, “you have to be creative about demonstrating the value you’ll bring to the company.” Much like you’ve been doing throughout the interview process, you need to really drive home why you’re the perfect person to fill the specific job: unique skills, culminated experience, and a personality that fits with the organization’s culture are a few examples of good reasons to emphasize. “In a time of full employment, employers are looking for a person who can do the work,” she says. “In a time of unemployment, they are looking for the absolute best person to do the job.“ Be aware of the impression you’re giving off to the hiring manager, and focus on coming up with compromises and solutions throughout the negotiation that meet the needs of both you and the organization.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Word ‘No’
Sometimes, there are aspects of a new contract that are simply non-negotiable. The company may be on a budget and might not have the financial resources to fulfill a request; or they may simply have policies that they’re unwilling to compromise because they’ve become part of the organization’s culture. Whatever the reason, don’t be embarrassed or overly discouraged if your prospective employer has some issues on which they simply won’t budge. You’ll never know until you ask, and as long as you approach the negotiation politely and professionally, you will not do damage to your future working relationship.

What to Say When the Offer is Too Low
As with any negotiation, the possibility exists that you will not be satisfied with the offer. A couple of things NOT to do: don’t panic, and don’t take it personally. The organization is not trying to devalue you, nor are they trying to insinuate that the work you would be doing for them is unimportant. McGinn suggests that if you have grounds to do so (which, since you’ve done your research, you likely do), respectfully disagree with the figure they’ve put forth. One potential approach: “I don’t think I’ve done an adequate job of conveying the value I believe I can bring to your organization.” Take a minute here to discuss a few key points and then provide a counter offer backed up by research.

Ask For Help
Finally, negotiating a new compensation package is one of those areas in a job search where recruiting firms can add tremendous value. Many candidates, especially in today’s job market, are understandably uncomfortable with entering into these kinds of negotiations, as they’re reluctant to sound unappreciative of the career opportunity. Murray Resources and other Houston staffing and recruiting firms serve as the middle man in these kinds of situations, working to appease the mutual interests of both employers and candidates. While a new hire would be hesitant to broach the topic of salary or benefits negotiation with a prospective employer, the recruiting firm typically has an established rapport and proven track-record with them, as well as extensive knowledge of typical compensation plans.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing and recruiting agency, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.



How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits (Part 1)

December 12th, 2012

One of the most frequent questions we at Murray Resources, one of the top Houston staffing firms, receive from job-seekers is whether or not it’s appropriate to negotiate the salary and benefits when offered a job.

The Short Answer is Yes
Depending on the type of position, level within the organization, and the leverage you bring to the table, candidates should consider negotiating their salary/benefits when offered a job. In some cases a negotiation is expected, as this step provides the first opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills of persuasion, professionalism, and contract analysis to your new employer. For example, if you have been offered a senior sales position and accept the first offer extended, your future employer make question your ability to negotiate with potential customers. They also may question how much value you place on your own credentials.

Do Your Research
The first phase of a successful negotiation begins well in advance: preparation. Put yourself in the best possible position to have your demands met by entering into the discussion with well-researched facts and information to substantiate your claims. Explore the typical range of compensation within the industry for the type of position you’ve just been offered, and be sure to get your information from more than one source. There are a number of websites, including Salary.com, Vault.com, and Payscale.com. It’s also always a good idea to have trusted members of your own network weigh in on the issue, particularly if they’re involved in a similar industry. While you may be uncomfortable asking a friend in a similar position how much they make, try phrasing the question in a way that less directly addresses their own earnings: “How much do you think this company would be willing to pay someone in the position I’ve been offered?” Houston staffing firms such as Murray Resources are also good sources of market salary data.

Set Your Goals
Aside from just doing your research, the other crucial aspect of preparing for a negotiation of salary and benefits is determining what you personally want. Jack Chapman, career coach and author of Negotiating Your Salary, How to Make $1000 a Minute, advises to have an ideal number, a satisfactory number, and a no-go number set in your mind before you enter into the negotiation – and the same applies for your benefits package. Your ideal number represents the amount you would want to make in your perfect situation (within reason of your position’s typical compensation). The satisfactory number is one that’s based more on research and your own worth- what value you can bring to the company. And your no-go number, arguably the most important, is the figure over which you’d walk away from the offer. Having this number set firmly in your mind will prevent you from accepting a low ball offer and compromising your own worth. Remember to keep in mind that you are negotiating a compensation package, not just a salary.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, one of the top Houston staffing firms, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.



Are You Including These 5 Essentials in Your Job Postings?

December 11th, 2012

As the saying goes, “your people are your most important asset.” And one powerful tool to help ensure you recruit the best people is the job posting.

Unfortunately, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that some employers don’t take postings quite as seriously as they should. They whip something together at the last minute without putting a lot of thought and strategy into it.

But crafting strong job postings is a critical first step in your hiring process. Why? Because it goes beyond just advertising the job; it also:

• Entices the right candidates to apply
• Provides an opportunity for your company to make a good impression
• Forces you to think through your “needs” and “wants” in a new hire
• Enables you to focus your hiring process so that you can screen out unqualified candidates when reviewing resumes

So now that we’ve established why good job postings are so important, what are some essentials you need to include in yours? Here’s a look:

#1. The Duties & Responsibilities.

In other words, what will the new hire do? It’s hard for a candidate to envision themselves in a role if the description is vague. That’s why it’s important to offer some details in terms of the job responsibilities and key duties. The more specific you are, the better.

#2. The Requirements.

What kind of background are you looking for in a new hire? How many years of experience? What kind of track record? Which degrees should they hold? Should they be professionally certified? Do they need to have industry experience? Or are transferable skills acceptable?

#3. The Culture.

When it comes to “fit,” culture is critically important to the success of any new hire. And by communicating about your company’s unique culture upfront, you’ll have a better chance of attracting the kinds of personalities that will mesh well in it.

#4. The Perks.

Statements like “we offer competitive salary and compensation” are standard and candidates expect them and ignore them. Instead, make your posting stand out with unique perks your company offers, such as a flex time, the ability to telecommute, or free gym memberships. Those are the kinds of benefits that will get candidates thinking about working for your company.

#5. The Employer Brand.

Try to get across a sense of your employer brand to candidates. Whether you’re a dynamic, forward-thinking company, a family friendly small business, or a growing start-up, you’ll source better fit candidates when they have a sense of who you are as a company.

One other tip – While it’s important to include the information above, don’t make your posting too lengthy either. After all, you’re not writing a novel; you’re writing a job posting. And if you include everything but the kitchen sink, you’ll overwhelm and repel top candidates.

Need Expert Help With Your Job Postings?

If you do, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can help you craft effective job postings – so you attract the right candidates. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help.





How to Select a Temporary Staffing Agency

December 10th, 2012

In today’s business environment, with employers still searching for signs of economic stability, demand for temporary staff continues to grow.  “This is a worldwide phenomenon. The temporary help industry is growing all over the world,” says Arne Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina who studies the labor force.

And no longer are temporary workers limited to administrative roles. Companies are seeking temporary talent for positions ranging from marketing managers to interim CFO’s. Regardless of the position, selecting the right temporary staffing partner is a key decision for any company looking to engage talent. The right partner can provide significant flexibility and efficient access to talent.

In fact, according to the American Staffing Association: “Nine out of 10 business customers rated flexibility as an important reason to use staffing companies, saying it keeps them fully staffed during busy times.”

As a Houston temporary staffing agency, Murray Resources has put together a list of key considerations when selecting a temporary staffing agency. While each is important, they should be weighed appropriately, depending on the type of position(s), duration of the position(s), and the scale of the project(s).

How well does the staffing agency know your market/business?

Have they worked with companies like yours before? If the company has a strong track record of working with similar companies, they may be more likely to understand the nuances of your business and what it takes to make someone successful. Familiarity will often result in a more efficient staffing project.

Does the company take the time to understand your business?

Regardless of how well the agency knows your industry, will they take the time to understand your company and what makes it unique? Every company culture is different and most unsuccessful placements result from a mismatch in culture, not from a lack of skills. It’s worth seeking out a firm that will take the time to get to know your company.

How long has the temporary staffing agency been in business? Do they have a deep database of talent?

While not always the case, a newer agency is typically less likely to have the resources and staffing connections necessary to make placements quickly and efficiently. Work with a company that you feel comfortable has the requisite experience in the market in which you are seeking talent.

What is the staffing agency’s culture?

What is the company’s style and how well does it sync with your culture? As with businesses in most industries, staffing firms run the gamut from traditional and highly corporate to boutique and familial. Ideally, the connection you make with a staffing agency will result in a long-term partnership, so select a company that fits well with how you and your company prefer to operate.

How does the staffing agency operate and work with clients?

Ask the agency for references and seek information on how the staffing company is to work with, who was assigned to their project, and what they did – and didn’t – like about the process and results.

How responsive is the agency?

When you initially contacted the staffing firm, how quickly did they respond? Did your contact provide a direct line so you can reach them quickly? Temporary staffing projects are often time sensitive. Make sure you’re working with a firm that will respond to you in a timely manner.

How much turnover does the firm have?

Temporary staff recruiting is a notoriously challenging job and frequent turnover is common. While some recruiting firms have seemingly constant turnover, others tend retain their recruiters by providing an enjoyable and challenging environment. You’re better served working with a firm that has a stable workforce – otherwise repeat training, miscommunication, and lack of responsiveness can hinder even the simplest staffing project.

Will you have one point of contact?

How will your project be staffed? Will you have a designated contact whom you can call for any issues, or will multiple recruiters be handling your project? While most clients prefer one point of contact, make sure your preferences are understood from the project outset and can be met by the staffing agency.

How are candidates screened and tested?

Depending on the type of work for which they recruit, staffing companies will often assess and skills test potential employees. Tests range from general skills evaluations to specific software assessments. Make sure the staffing firm also conducts background checks and drug tests for all candidates.

How does the company recruit and retain its candidates?

Do they place ads in newspapers? Online? Rely on referrals from their database? There may not be a right or wrong answer, but you should understand whether the company’s recruitment methods sync with the type of candidate you’re seeking.

Are you looking to hire a temporary staffing agency?

Turn to Murray Resources, a leading Houston temporary staffing agency, for help in accessing Houston’s top temporary staffing talent. Contact Murray Resources online today or call 713.935.0009 to get started.


5 Creative Conversation Starters for the Company Holiday Party

December 7th, 2012

With holiday party season underway, it’s a perfect opportunity to get to know your co-workers in a less formal setting. To help break the ice, the recruiters at leading Houston staffing agency Murray Resources thought we would offer some ideas for all important conversation starters.

1. “I don’t think we’ve met before, I’m <name>.”

While this first one seems elementary, you’d be surprised at how many people are afraid to break out of their comfort zone and meet someone new at company get-togethers. Why miss out on the chance to make a new lunch buddy just because you don’t want to initiate contact with someone who doesn’t work on your floor? Having the poise to walk over and confidently introduce yourself starts off the conversation with a positive, inviting tone.

2. “How did you get your start with our company?”

This question is a great transition line to move past the inevitable what do you do/which floor do you work on/how long have you been working here banter. Your conversational partner may have come here from another company where you have a mutual acquaintance, or may have been hired through the use of a Houston staffing agency like Murray Resources; perhaps they’ll explain how they got their start in the industry, or maybe they’ll tell you about what they studied in college that made them want to be in this line of work. This kind of question is very open to interpretation, and its answers therefore usually contain a wealth of jumping-off points for your conversation.

3. “Have you been to one of these before? This is my first one.”

If it’s your first year with the company and your first holiday party with them, there’s no shame in admitting it! Everyone was a new kid on the block at one point, and will likely have some funny stories about their early days with the company. And if it turns out your conversational partner is a newbie like you, then you two already have something in common to talk about!

4. “What did you do over Thanksgiving?” or “Do you have any plans for the upcoming holidays?

This kind of question appropriately bridges the gap between personal and professional life, and can afford some nice insights about someone’s home life that people often don’t get the chance to discuss during the average workday. Most everyone has stories about holiday traditions and family get-togethers that are fun to share during this time of year.

5. “What do you love to do outside of work?”

This is perhaps our favorite get-to-know-you question to use at the annual company party, because it allows you to really learn something about your new acquaintance’s personality. Conversation flows smoothly when people are talking about their passion, and the most genuine connections are made when common interests are discovered and shared.

Successful networking, by definition the creation of meaningful relationships, begins with meaningful interactions. So instead of wasting your time in boring conversations at the upcoming company Christmas party, use some of these unique openers to create conversational situations that will allow you to learn more about your colleagues and what they’re passionate about.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston staffing agencies, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.



6 Offers That Will Make Your Employees Happy

December 4th, 2012

Think it’s all about big salaries and hefty bonuses? Think again.

As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are many more creative and less costly offers that will keep your employees happy and working hard.

Here’s a look at six of them – and how you can leverage their power:

#1: Offer Opportunities for Advancement.

There’s nothing more frustrating for an employee than to feel “stuck” in a position, like they’re not going anywhere. And that’s typically exactly when an employee jumps ship for greener pastures.

So even if you can’t offer an employee a promotion at this time, offer them opportunity for growth, whether it’s by funding continuing education courses or offering access to a career mentoring program. When an employee knows they’re learning something of value, they’ll be more inclined to stay at the company.

#2: Offer Freedom.

No this doesn’t mean allowing employees to come in and leave whenever they want to. But it does mean giving them the flexibility and autonomy to make decisions and do their job in their own way. Offering autonomy also cuts down on time lost waiting for approval from the “powers that be.”

#3: Offer the Chance to Work from Home.

This may not be feasible for all positions within the company, but it likely is for many. And having the ability to work from home, either a certain number of days a week or whenever they want to, is a perk most employees don’t want to give up…creating increased retention as a result.

#4: Offer Unique Benefits.

Maintaining a work-life balance is getting harder and harder for today’s employees. But you can make it easier for them by offering unique benefits that include services such as on-site daycare or flex dollars for childcare, adult and senior care, or access to free legal advice or financial consulting programs.

#5: Offer a Positive Work Environment.

Even if an employee loves their job, if they’re not happy in their work environment, then that’s going to translate into turnover. Employees are happier and more productive when they not only like what they do, but they like where they work. You can implement simple changes, such as keeping meetings to under an hour, or offering free lunch on Fridays.

#6: Offer Feedback.

When employees don’t know what your goals or expectations for them are, or whether they’re preforming well, then they’ll feel insecure and unhappy. That’s why communication in the form of feedback – both positive and constructive – is key.

Need Help Hiring Happy Employees?

If you need help with your hiring process, let Murray Resources know. As leading Houston headhunters, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates, where you need them and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.


Houston Accounting Professionals Job Outlook

December 3rd, 2012

This is an excellent time for Houston accounting professionals in search of challenging, new opportunities. While some industries and functions have experienced a decline in the recent economic downturn, the demand for accounting professionals is strong and predicted to continue to increase well into 2014. CFO’s, controllers, accountants, AP managers, payroll managers, and bookkeepers are all in high demand.

This increase in demand means that accounting professionals can generally enjoy better work environments, salaries, and opportunities for career advancement. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks was $34,030 in 2010, with job growth of 14% expected by 2020. The median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $61,690, with job growth of 16% expected by 2020.

According to Yahoo! Education, financial analysts and financial advisors can expect a 38.8% increase in available jobs in the next few years. As older generations begin retiring, this will open up new opportunities in many different organizations across multiple industries. New financial regulations and an increase in financial management processes within corporations are also driving demand.

Murray Resources works with Houston accounting professionals to match them with employment opportunities that fit their skill-set and work-style preferences. We work with employers in various industries that are actively seeking accounting professionals. If you are considering a transition in your career, then now is the right time to contact us.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruiting firm with experience helping talented Houston accounting professionals exploring their next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Houston Energy Conference Calendar

December 3rd, 2012

As the oil and gas capital of the U.S., Houston is home to some of the largest energy conferences in the world. Below is a conference calendar for Houston energy professionals looking to network in the industry. To suggest a conference for this list, please email info@murrayresources.com

(Last updated June 2014. Dates and locations subject to change – please verify)

Oil & Gas Summit US
September 4-5, 2014
Houston, TX (Location TBD)

Petroleum Innovation Expo
September 9-11, 2014
George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

Rice Global E&C Forum XVII Forum
Rice University, Houston, TX
Banquet Dinner & Reception, September 22, 2014
All Day Forum, September 23, 2014

43rd Turbomachinery/30th Pump Symposia
September 22-25, 2014
George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

6th AIChE Southwest Process Technology Conference
October 9-10, 2014
Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center, Galveston, TX

2014 Women’s Global Leadership Conference in Energy
November 4-5, 2014
Hyatt Regency Houston, Houston, TX

EnergyNEXUS Conference and Expo
November 11-13, 2014
George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

Deloitte Oil & Gas Conference
November 18, 2014
Houston, TX (Location TBD)

Offshore Technology Conference
May 4-7, 2015
NRG Park, Houston, TX

Esri Petroleum GIS Conference
April 8-10, 2015
George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

April 20-24, 2015
Houston, TX (Location TBD)


Holiday Networking Do’s and Don’ts

November 30th, 2012

With ample parties, gift-giving opportunities, and old-fashioned goodwill, the holidays just might be the perfect time to expand your professional network. Our recruiting team at Houston staffing agency Murray Resources has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind as you enjoy your holidays – and build your network:


Do- Attend as many holiday parties as you can bear. If you’re serious about expanding your network, the more highly-populated events you attend, the better your chances are to make connections with fellow partygoers. If you’re new to town and don’t know anyone throwing holiday soirees, check your local paper and local networking social media accounts to find out about events hosted for the public.

Don’t Overcommit. Notice in the above tip how we said to attend as many holiday parties as you can handle? It means don’t wear out your holiday cheer. If you really can only have fun at one or two events max, that’s fine; and if you can handle 5 booked weekends full of festivities, then more power to you. Bottom line, no one wants a Grinch at their party who spends the whole time griping about how many holiday parties they have to go to. Remember, you’re at a celebration- have a good time!


Do- Enjoy yourself at holiday events. Even if you’re goal is to capitalize on an event’s networking potential, remember that it’s still a party! People will naturally gravitate towards you if you’re exuding positive energy, so have fun!

Don’t Get egg-snockered. While everyone enjoys holiday spirits, Houston staffing agency Murray Resources would like to remind you that there is a limit. Too much of a good thing can often lead to embarrassment and regret the next day; don’t step on your own goals by driving away potential connections with crass or unruly behavior.


Do- Send gifts. While normally this might be construed as sucking-up throughout other points in the year, the holidays give you the perfect excuse to stand out in the eyes of a desired contact by sending them a little something to show your appreciation of or admiration for them. A thoughtful gift that caters to the recipient’s interests is a small gesture that can go a long way when it comes to making a genuine connection.

Don’t- Splurge on gifts for people you don’t know. While you may think sending Mark Zuckerberg a $300 bottle of wine for Channukah might get you a job at Facebook, chances are things probably won’t work out that way. Sending a stranger an expensive or extremely valuable gift can be very off-putting for the recipient- it makes them feel awkward or unjustifiably indebted to someone who they don’t know. Like we said before, a simple and thoughtful gift is the best route to go if contacting a stranger.


Do- Follow up with the contacts you made at holiday events. Don’t let offers to meet for coffee or to discuss a business proposition become unrealized party-talk. Send a follow-up email a day or two after the event to your new contact proposing a concrete time to meet and follow through with the plans you discussed. The prospect of a new year always brings with it an air of opportunity and new beginnings- capitalize on that energy by presenting your ideas as fresh and innovative.

Don’t- Harass a new connection. If a new contact fails to respond to your follow-up correspondence immediately, wait a week before reaching out again. The holidays are an extremely busy time of year, so be patient and flexible when it comes to respecting others’ schedules.


By sticking to these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be sure to have a merry holiday season while expanding your professional network!

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

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing agency, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Tips for Working with Houston Accounting Recruiters

November 29th, 2012

One of the best ways for Houston accounting professionals to discover new job opportunities is to work with a recruiting firm.  For candidates who have not worked with Houston accounting recruiters before, the team at Murray Resources has put together some tips that we believe will help you with the process.

Our process varies depending on the position, but here are some of the services you can expect when you work with us:

  • Resume Feedback
  • We help our candidates fine-tune their resumes to give them the best chance at making an excellent first impression.
  • Detailed Style and Skill Assessments
  • We believe that these assessments are vital steps to take in order to match job seekers with the right positions. We evaluate each individual’s work style and skills so that we can identify core strengths and areas that may need improvement.
  • Exclusive Job Access
  • We have relationships with many different employers, allowing us to present our candidates with unique opportunities.
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • We interview all of our potential candidates so that we can determine who might be the right fit for each position.
  • Salary Consultation
  • We have experience working in multiple industries and have placed countless candidates, affording us a thorough understanding of salary ranges in the job market today.

All of the organizations that we work with have very specific requirements when it comes to candidate qualifications. All of our candidates need to be able to perform all of the job responsibilities that are specified with each position and be a good fit for the unique company culture of each organization.

If you are considering working with Houston accounting recruiters, you should follow these key guidelines:

  • – Be honest about your skills.
  • – Apply for positions for which you are qualified.
  • – Be professional and dress professionally – Treat your meeting with your recruiter as you would an interview.
  • – Refer your contacts to positions that may be a good fit.

Working with a recruiter is an excellent way to find the right job that fits your professional needs. At Murray Resources, we take pride in our excellent track-record for placing job candidates with the right organizations.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston accounting recruiters for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


Relieve Stress with Office Meditation

November 28th, 2012

Thanksgiving now behind us and Christmas-themed commercials abundant, it’s safe to say that the holidays are officially in full swing. But with gifts to buy, festivities to attend, and relatives not to offend, we at Murray Resources, one of the premier staffing agencies in Houston, understand that this time of year can get pretty stressful in both your personal and professional life.

In the spirit of keeping your holidays merry and bright, try these stress-relieving meditation techniques next time you begin feeling overwhelmed at home or in the workplace:

The Inner Smile

Often used in Taoist and Buddhist circles to relax before meditation, this technique helps to loosen the facial muscles that tend to unconsciously tense up as your stress level builds. Close your eyes and imagine yourself smiling with your forehead, exuding positive energy and releasing tension. Once you feel the muscles begin to relax in the areas you’re concentrating on, apply it to other parts of your face such as your temples, cheek bones, and jaw.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing has a calming effect on both mind and body, as the physical act of releasing a breath is associated with the mental release of negativity and stress. Breathe in through the nose, imagining your abdomen as a balloon filling with air. Push your diaphragm down and out as you inhale so as to make as much space as possible for the balloon to expand. Once you have no more room to expand, exhale through the mouth just as deeply, envisioning all of your tension draining out of you with each release. Attempt to match the duration of your exhale to that of your inhale to create a measured, even pattern of deep breathing.

Body Scan Meditation

This technique attempts to relax your entire body by concentrating on certain body parts piece by piece. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Imagine you are being lowered ever so slowly into a warm, glowing hot spring. Concentrate on the sensation of warmth first in your toes, and let it slowly move up your body. If you’re pressed for time, you may only be able to focus on relaxing one or two parts of your body (i.e. shoulders and neck). If you have a little more time, however, slowly guide the warmth through your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, lower back, spine, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, back of the head, and finally forehead.

We at Murray Resources, one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, understand that holiday cheer comes with holiday responsibilities, which are often a source of stress at both home and the office. Keep this time of year from becoming overwhelming with these stress-relieving meditation techniques you can practice throughout your day!

For more detailed descriptions of each of these techniques, as well as even more types of meditation, check out the “12 Meditation Techniques for the Office” piece that inspired this post.

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

Turn to one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston– Murray Resources – for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.



The Best Time to Ask for a Raise

November 27th, 2012

So you have proven yourself as a valuable employee and put in countless hours on the job. Your supervisors have taken note of your excellent performance and you have been commended for your accomplishments. In light of all this positive reinforcement, you rightfully may be wondering, ‘Is it time to ask for a raise?’

The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources will all agree that timing is everything when it comes to this issue. Following these tips about knowing when to ask for a raise will put you in the best possible position to successfully negotiate your desired salary:

Do Your Research

Before you set up a meeting with your boss, you should do plenty of research about typical compensation for your particular position. There are a number of websites available that can give you a general baseline. For many positions, our Houston recruiters can give you a good idea of what the industry standard is. If you are being paid below the market rate for your position, then you may be more likely to receive a raise if you ask for one.

Consider the Economy

It’s no secret that we are currently experiencing a sluggish economy. With so many people facing layoffs and pay cuts, you may be hesitant to ask for an increase in your salary. Conditions are certainly better for you when the economy is stronger. If things are slower at your company and departments are facing cutbacks, you should probably wait at least one or two quarters to reevaluate things before approaching your supervisor for a pay raise.

Market Yourself

Many people make the mistake of failing to sell their manager on why they deserve a raise. Your supervisor may be aware of some of your accomplishments, but if you want a higher salary than you will need to be prepared to highlight many different ways that you have proven yourself as an asset to the company. Selling yourself the right way makes it much easier for your employer to consider you for a pay increase.

Consider a Change in Your Position

This long-term strategy puts you in a great position to ask for a raise when the time comes. First, ask your supervisor if you can transfer to a position with more responsibility. If you move to a new position that produces more value for the company, then you can leverage this as a reason to justify asking for a raise. Just make sure that you time your request appropriately and not when the company or your current department is short-staffed.

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

Turn to the top Houston recruiters at Murray Resources for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


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