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.



What to Do When You’ve Got Everything a Job Opening Requires…but the MBA

November 27th, 2012

Picture it:

You come across a job opening that sounds right up your alley. The more you read on, the more excited you get. And then you get to the end, where it says “MBA required.”

You don’t have an MBA, but you have all the other skills and experience required for the position. Plus, you just know you could do the job and that you’d be a great fit for the position.

So should you ignore the requirements and apply anyway?

As top Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that hiring managers typically use requirements to avoid being deluged by dozens, or hundreds of unqualified candidates. They hope that by including an “MBA required” statement, that they’ll reduce the number of unqualified candidates applying for the position.

But, if you truly meet all the other requirements and have a great fit background for the position, then you should apply anyway.

That said, you’re already facing a significant hurdle with that lack of degree. As a result, you’re going to need to make an extra effort to stand out. Here’s how:

Be Relevant.

Come up with a list of as many skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the particular position. Then weave those points into your cover letter and resume. You need to showcase that despite your lack of an MBA, you have the background to do the job – and be successful at it.

Be Savvy.

Do you know someone who already works at the company who could refer you? Hiring managers are much more open to candidates that are referred to them by trusted sources.

Also, if you do know someone, ask him or her for tips on getting hired. They may be able to give you the scoop on what types of accomplishments or experience are particularly important to the hiring manager.

Be Confident.

Don’t let your lack of an MBA undermine your confidence in an interview. If anything, it’s even more important for you to project confidence and showcase your professionalism and proven track record. However, if you feel defensive and nervous, it will come through in your interview answers.

Be Open.

Perhaps your lack of MBA will hold you back in getting the offer. However, if you impress the hiring manager with your background, then they may offer you a different opportunity or information about an upcoming position. Even if it’s not the job you originally wanted, be open to these kinds of opportunities. You never know where they might lead.

Want More Job Search Help?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As top Houston recruiters, we partner with leading employers in the area – and can give you access to a variety of rewarding jobs in your field. Contact us today to learn more!



5 Tactics to Stand Out as a Job Applicant

November 26th, 2012

We at Murray Resources, leading Houston recruiting firm, know it’s a tough job market out there in this economy. We’re committed to helping people become their best candidate possible when it comes to applying for a position, and we’ve acquired some tricks over the years that can help a candidate get that extra edge necessary to land an interview. Intrigued? Then check out our list of 5 techniques that will help you to stand out as a job applicant below:

Snail mail:

In addition to electronically submitting your application, cover letter and resume for a job opening, surprise someone in HR by mailing a hard copy directly to the reviewer. While some bloggers have written this tactic off as superfluous or outdated, we know firsthand that when wading through a sea of electronic submissions, it’s refreshing to receive the personal touch of a hand addressed letter containing a thoughtful cover letter and resume. Just be sure to follow all instructions in the application when doing so, and indicate in your cover letter that you’ve also submitted an electronic copy for their review.

Leverage Your Connections:

As we’ve stressed every week on this blog, networking is a huge part of landing your dream job. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who already works at the company you’re interested in, or who is in the same industry as your ideal employer, see if they can help you get your foot in the door. Meet up with your connection for lunch or coffee and politely ask if they’d be willing to write you a recommendation or make an introduction for you. A good word from someone in the business can go a long way in a reviewer’s eyes.

Utilize Social Media:

More and more companies are turning to social media platforms to engage with customers as well as job seekers. Take advantage of these direct lines of connection with a target employer by interacting with them on their social media profiles. Liking their Facebook page, commenting on their LinkedIn posts, and following them on Twitter are all great ways to learn more about the company, its culture, and upcoming events and opportunities. As an award-winning Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources is constantly using social media to share new job openings, career advice, and recent successes with clients and candidates who follow us.

Strategic Resume Naming:

We’ve touched on the topic of common resume blunders in some of our previous posts, but we think one of them in particular is worth revisiting. As the job application process becomes increasingly digital, reviewers are swamped with more and more generically named resumes, i.e. “John Smith Resume,” “Smith Resume 2012,” or worst of all, simply “Resume.” Your resume file name provides one of the first opportunities to convey your creativity and enthusiasm for the position you’re seeking to a potential employer. Don’t waste the opportunity to stand out by using a generic title to save your resume that you’re uploading to an electronic application. Name your resume document something specific to the job you’re applying for that will catch a reviewer’s eye, i.e. “John Smith- Coca Cola, Inc. Financial Analyst Resume.”

Show Your Appreciation:

If our first four tips helped get you through the first round of the application process and landed you an interview, congratulations! But you’re not finished just yet. If you really want to stand out as a job applicant, after your interview, always always ALWAYS (did we mention always?) send a personalized thank you note to your interviewer. Email is obviously the quickest and easiest way to do this, but handwritten letters are pretty rare these days and add a personalized touch to an already nice gesture. Aside from thanking your interviewer for their time, there are a number of other topics you can mention in your note: reemphasize something you and your interviewer discussed during your time together, congratulate the company on a recent success, or even include an article that may be pertinent to the industry if you think your contact would find it interesting.

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

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



6 of the Best Online Networking Resources For Job Seekers

November 23rd, 2012

It’s no secret that networking online can lead to real life opportunities. The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources have compiled a list of six  networking websites that do a particularly good job of facilitating the transition from on-screen compatibility to in-person connections.

If you’re a job hunter and trying to broaden your network, consider using these sites to find networking events and other opportunities in your area:

1. MeetUp.com

MeetUp.com is an excellent resource for anyone looking to make new contacts. Free to join, this website allows you to connect with people of similar interests and to find a wide variety of networking events in your area. Rather than having to keep up with specific businesses, MeetUp lists all of your local events in one convenient spot, so you’ll never miss a networking opportunity.

2. LunchMeet

As the name implies, LunchMeet is a smart-phone app that allows users to setup lunch meetings with members of the LinkedIn network. Users can download the app for free and then post their availability. The app will then search for professionals in their area who may be able to meet you for lunch. The app is a great resource for making new contacts, learning about different industries, and perhaps even finding out who may be hiring in your area.

3. Ryze.com

With over 600,000 users, Ryze is a site that allows users to build a networking-oriented profile that showcases their talents and connects them with professionals from all over the country. Users must apply through Ryze’s website to become a member, theoretically ensuring that only top talent will be found on their site. If you work in a high-tech industry, this site is a particularly powerful networking resource.

4. BrazenCareerist.com

Brazen Careerist was originally created for college students and others just starting out in business. The site is run by a popular blogger who posts helpful content about working and finding work in today’s economy. The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources have linked to articles from the site from our own company blog.

5. BranchOut

BranchOut is a smart-phone app that visitors to Facebook can use to look for potential job listings at companies where their friends work. The app can help users find out whom they know that can put a good word in for them at the hiring company.

6. Meteor

Meteor is another app that uses social networking platforms to search for networking opportunities. The app connects to a user’s Facebook or LinkedIn account and gives them recommendations based on their network and interests.

With online networking being such a significant part of today’s job search, we hope these websites are useful in expanding your networking opportunities while helping you bridge the gap between the web and the real world.

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.



Houston Accounting Professionals Continue to See Strong Demand

November 21st, 2012

According to a recent article in the Houston Business Journal, already strong demand for Houston accounting professionals is expected to increase as national firms continue to expand and relocate to Houston to take advantage of the region’s rapid economic growth. Some experts predict that the city will experience one of the largest increases in labor demand over the next decade.

Increased M&A activity among Houston accounting firms is a significant contributor to city’s shortage of accounting talent. In addition, accounting firms in the Midwest, Northeast and West Coast markets are looking to Houston’s economy as an opportunity to expand their client base.

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.


Annual Performance Review Myths BUSTED

November 21st, 2012

There are three words that, when combined in a certain order, have the power to raise the collective blood pressure of an entire office: Annual. Performance. Review.

The recruiters at Murray Resources, the award-winning Houston staffing agency, are constantly receiving questions about annual appraisals from employees, and we think it’s high time to de-bunk some of the myths that make the concept of an annual performance review so daunting.


An annual performance review is your boss’s chance to rehash every little mistake you’ve made as an employee over the past year.

Why This Myth Exists:

Employers often don’t do a good enough job setting proper expectations for performance reviews. The purpose, the process, and the possible outcomes are typically under-communicated, creating unnecessary anxiety going into the review.

The Truth:

An annual performance review is really an opportunity for an employer and employee to step back and assess how well the employee met their work objectives for the year, to learn from past mistakes and, to set new goals for the future.

MYTH #2:

An annual performance review is a waste of an employer’s and employee’s time since it covers past projects instead of looking forward.

Why This Myth Exists:

Reviewing a year’s-worth of accumulated work can be an overwhelming notion, with employees assuming they’ll have to review the difficult-to-recall minutiae of past projects.

The Truth:

Annual performance reviews are just that: the review of an individual’s ANNUAL performance. While individual projects likely received specific feedback, an annual performance review gives employers and employees the opportunity to review projects at a higher level and to identify / discuss general work patterns that may have formed over the past year.

MYTH #3:

The annual performance review is the only time when serious feedback can be offered and discussed with employees.

Why This Myth Exists:

As a leading Houston staffing agency with a client base of over 800 companies, we get it: work days can get hectic. With deadlines to meet and tasks to be accomplished, it’s easy for managers to get wrapped up in the day-to-day responsibilities of their position and to feel that they don’t have time for a formal meeting with an employee to discuss their work habits.

The Truth:

While annual performance reviews are indeed an important part of keeping employees on track to meet their goals, they shouldn’t be the only time feedback is given. Quarterly or even monthly one-on-one meetings with employees are a great way to ensure short-term goals are being achieved and small issues don’t grow into big ones over the course of a year. Frequent feedback in a comfortable, more informal environment lessens the anxiety of a pending annual performance review.

We hope that with these three common myths busted, you’ll be able to walk into your next annual performance review less anxious and more prepared.

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

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



Do You Really Need to Give a Potential Employer Your Salary History?

November 20th, 2012

As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows one of the issues job candidates struggle with during the hiring process is when they’re asked to give a salary history. Many see it as invasive and don’t understand why a potential employer wants to know; others see it as an effort for the employer to sabotage their efforts toward a higher salary.

But the fact of the matter is that if you’re asked to give a salary history – and you don’t – then you’ll likely wind up out of the running for the job.

Fair or not, there are some valid reasons why employers request salary histories…and they’re not doing it to be difficult or not pay you what you’re worth. So what are they? Here’s a look:

• As a benchmark. Employers know you want an increase in pay and they’re not trying to sabotage you in that regard. However, they don’t want to offer an amount that’s well over the amount you were being paid before. For instance, if you’re making $45k per year, they assume that an offer of $50k would be satisfactory.

• As a performance evaluator. Employers want to see a steady increase in pay. Being able to demonstrate salary increases over the years tells them that you’ve performed well on the job. However, if you were making more or the same amount of money five years ago, and there’s no good reason (e.g. taking a year off to stay home with small children, etc.), then they’ll wonder why.

With that in mind, how can you maximize the salary negotiation process – so you wind up with a great offer?

• Know your worth. Know the fair market value of what someone with your experience and skill set should be paid in the Houston area. That way, if an employer offers less, you’re armed with the knowledge and information to press for more.

• Factor in benefits. When evaluating an offer, don’t just automatically discount it if it’s less than what you wanted. For instance, if the compensation package an employer is offering is $75k and your current compensation package is worth $78k, then use that gap as leverage to negotiate more salary or better benefits, such as a flexible schedule or dental insurance.

• Be honest always. And finally, whatever you do, be honest about your salary history. If an employer is interested in hiring you and wants to know your salary history, they can request a W2 from a past employer. And if you’ve lied about a past salary amount, then you’ve likely just killed your chances of landing the job.

Need More Help With the Job Search Process?

Let us know. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can not only help you find out about great job opportunities, but we can also help you navigate your way through the treacherous waters of a job search. Contact us today to learn more.




How the Best Employees Approach Their Jobs

November 19th, 2012

The best Houston staffing agencies take pride in helping employees find the right positions to fit their needs. At Murray Resources, we know how important it is for you to make the right impression at your new job, especially if you foresee yourself looking to advance within the company.

In order to help you set yourself up for success, we’ve created a list of tips that will help you approach your job the right way and get you on track for career advancement:

Look For New Ways to Create Value

The best employees are always looking for new ways to create value at their jobs. This may mean learning new language skills or becoming acquainted with new technology. Learning new skills makes you a more valuable asset to the organization and can lead to new opportunities with the company down the road.

Volunteer to Take On New Challenges

Do you see ways in which you could help your manager or someone in your department with a difficult task? Helping your colleagues tackle new challenges is a great way to stand out as a star employee.

Find the Tasks Nobody Wants to Take On

Sometimes the most valuable work that needs to be done is avoided by everyone else because it is too challenging or time-consuming. By showing supervisors that you are not afraid of hard work, you can make the kind of impression that will stick out in their mind when they consider people for promotions and advancement opportunities. If no one else wants to do it, you should view this task as an excellent opportunity to make an impact.

Have a Positive Attitude

Though it may sound cliché, this is one of the best ways to provide value to your employer. Positive attitudes are contagious and will spread around your department quickly. As a premier Houston recruiting firm that’s been around for almost twenty-five years, we have hard evidence to testify to the impact a positive attitude can have in the workplace. This kind of energy boosts employee morale across the board and increases productivity, and your supervisors will be sure to take note.

Staying Engaged With Your Work No Matter What It Is

Some of your tasks may be more exciting than others, but if you want to make a good impression, approach everything you do with the same level of commitment and urgency. Consistently taking on every challenge with enthusiasm distinguishes you from other employees who don’t give their best effort on things they don’t find interesting.

Always Look For Ways to Improve

There is always a way to make your workday more productive and efficient. If you have a chance, sit down with your supervisor and ask for ways that you can improve your performance. The best employees are always looking for new ways to improve and produce better results, adding value to both their company and their own personal brand.

Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources are here to help you find new ways to improve your performance on the job. By following the tips we have listed above, you will establish yourself as a valuable asset to any company and are setting yourself up for future success.

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

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



How You Know When It’s Time to Change Jobs

November 17th, 2012

Afraid of the uncertainties that changing jobs can entail, many people try to convince themselves that it’s normal for a job to be a source of unhappiness and undue stress. If you find yourself dreading your morning commute and feeling miserable throughout the day, it’s probably time to start looking for a different position. We spend the majority of our adult lives working, so it’s important that we enjoy what we do!

For all those people trying to convince themselves otherwise, premier Houston staffing agency Murray Resources has put together a list of signs that say it’s time to find a new fit:

You Spend a Lot of Time Staring at the Clock

Unfortunately, we cannot speed up time no matter how often we look at the clock. If you find yourself checking the time excessively throughout the day, disappointed when you find that not as much time has passed as you hoped, chances are you’re bored with your day-to-day activities and should start looking for a more stimulating environment.

You Want to Progress, but the Advancement Opportunities are Unappealing

You know that you would like to take on new responsibilities and move forward with your career, but what your boss or his boss does on a daily basis simply does not interest you. If this is the case, you may consider contacting our Houston staffing agency to help you find a company with better advancement opportunities and room for your own personal growth.

You Come Home Stressed Almost Every Day

Stress from work can really take its toll on our private lives. If you come home stressed all of the time, it can be almost impossible to enjoy your time off. Your personal relationships and even your physical health may suffer. While small levels of stress at work can help motivate you to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks, excessive stress from your job shouldn’t be spilling into your home life. The professionals at Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing agency, have hundreds of candidates whose lives changed for the better after leaving leaving an excessively stressful job.

You Dread Waking Up and Going to Work

If you find yourself hitting the snooze button more often than usual, it may not be due to lack of sleep. It is hard for anyone to be excited about waking up and going to work if they do not enjoy what they do everyday. You should strive to find a position that provides you with engaging challenges that will keep you motivated and energized everyday.

Another Career Sounds More Interesting to You

Sometimes we can find ourselves working a job that really does not match our personalities. If there is another career out there that you’ve always wanted to explore, there is no better time than the present to start pursuing it.

You Don’t Enjoy Talking About Your Job

Have you ever been having a conversation with your friends or loved ones and found yourself reluctant to discuss your job? This can be a sign that you are not really fulfilled by your current position- if you love what you do, you’d want to share your experiences with those whom you love.

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

Your job shouldn’t feel like a grind, and if it does, then it’s time to make a change. Murray Resources is an award-winning Houston staffing agency that specializes in finding job hunters the right position to fit their individual needs. If you are ready to start exploring more rewarding career options, then Contact Murray Resources today.



How to Deal with a Disruptive Colleague

November 16th, 2012

When working in an office environment, you’re exposed to a number of different personality types, some of which you’ve never encountered before, and not all of which are going to be easy to work with. The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources have put together a list of the best ways to deal with disruptive personality types commonly found around the office.

1. The Terrible Phone Talker

This person is always on the phone, and not solely for business-related matters. Not only does it sound like they are yelling every time they’re on a call, but also their personal conversations are distracting you from concentrating on your tasks at hand. Here’s how to handle the situation:

  • Politely ask your neighbor to speak more quietly when they are on the phone because it disrupts your workflow. Also, suggest that they might want to make their personal calls in a more private area, as the workstations aren’t sound-proof and they probably don’t want all of their colleagues knowing the intimate details of their personal affairs.
  • If their behavior persists, you can ask your supervisor to move either the Talker or you to another workspace, citing an inability to focus and hindered productivity as problems stemming from your current location.


2. The Imprudent Inspector

You and your colleagues spend most of your waking hours at work, so it’s nice to know a little bit about each others’ interests and lives outside of the office. Sometimes, however, you encounter a colleague who consistently takes the “we’re all friends here” mentality a little too far. They constantly cross the line and ask intrusive personal questions. It’s important to nip this behavior in the bud to ensure your time at work is spent in a pleasant, productive atmosphere, not dreading personal invasions of privacy. Some solutions:

  • The Imprudent Inspector often isn’t intentionally trying to make people uncomfortable with their intrusive inquiries. They usually just don’t understand the boundaries of socially acceptable conversation. Be direct when they broach an inappropriate topic by saying something like, “I really don’t think that’s an appropriate subject to discuss at work,” or “I don’t feel comfortable sharing that information from my personal life.”
  • If the behavior persists, talk to someone in your company’s HR department about some office sensitivity training. A refresher course on appropriate and inappropriate office banter can help him or her be more cognizant of and deliberate with the kinds of conversation they create.


3. The Desktop Drummer

This person is a close relative of the Toe Tapper, Squeaky Chair Spinner, and Gum Smacker. All of these nervous habits are usually ones that someone performs unconsciously, but are nonetheless still distracting to the people around them. Our Houston recruiters recommend using these two tactful methods to approach the subject:

  • Approach your co-worker amicably by asking if they’ve been under a lot of stress recently; you’ve noticed that they seem to be fidgeting a lot. If so, see if there’s anyway you can help them out.
  • If that doesn’t help, politely suggest that they express the habit in a way that doesn’t prove distracting to those around them. If they drum their pen on the desk, ask that they do it on a surface that will mute the sound (i.e. their leg or a mousepad). If they tap their foot, suggest they cross their legs and do it mid-air instead of on the floor.

The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources recommend that it’s best to approach a disruptive colleague directly, and remain polite but firm when voicing your grievances. Alerting HR of more personal issues is always a good idea as well, as they have been trained to handle these kinds of situations and can do so in a way that doesn’t affect your relationship with an otherwise agreeable co-worker. If the distracting behavior persists after you’ve exhausted these aforementioned avenues, only then should you consider speaking with your supervisor about the problem. We do maintain however that enlisting a supervisor’s interference should be a last resort. By using these tactful techniques to approach a disruptive personality in the workplace, you can ensure that you and your colleagues are able to produce your best quality work in a pleasant, conflict-free environment.

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.



10 Most Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make

November 15th, 2012

At Murray Resources, leading Houston staffing agency, we strive to help job seekers find employment more efficiently and effectively. With almost twenty-five years of experience in the recruiting industry, we’ve amassed a working knowledge of techniques that prove advantageous on the job hunt, and others that fall flat.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common mistakes job seekers make with the hopes that you’ll avoid this slip-ups when preparing your own applications:

1) Not Following Application Instructions

This mistake can end your chances at landing an interview before the race has even begun. Employers often will include specific instructions on their applications to see how well candidates pay attention to detail. When you are filling out an application, thoroughly read through the material and make note of any special instructions or requirements. Once you think you’ve completed an application, be sure to double check everything before submitting it.

2) Giving Up Too Soon

Especially in times of economic duress, this is a mistake we see happen far too often. Tired from what has felt like a long and laborious job search, candidates will throw in the towel before the application process is complete. You may be the perfect candidate for a job but if you give up too early in the game you’ll never know it. Persistence is crucial in any job search, and ultimately will pay off when you find the company that’s just the right fit.

3) Keeping a Job Search Too Narrow

Flexibility is important when you’re trying to find a position that meets your needs. In a competitive job marked, consider broadening your search to include other positions you may not have considered before. For example, if you have experience as a copywriter for an advertising agency, you may also consider marketing or media buying positions as well. Think outside the box when it comes to transferable skills you’ve acquired throughout your life.

4) Focusing On Salary

It’s tempting to try to find a job that pays the highest salary, but there are a number of other factors that are crucial to ensuring your success with a company. While compensation is important, you should also consider the company culture, your coworkers, the company’s history and growth opportunities within the organization as well. Your salary should not be the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing the right company to work for.

5) Submitting a Bad Resume

If there’s one thing this Houston staffing agency can’t stress enough on this blog, it’s that your resume is IMPORTANT. Your resume will be your first point of contact with a potential employer, your chance to make the right impression from the very beginning. Grammatical errors, formatting inconsistencies and confusing language can all be huge turnoffs. Before you submit your resume to any organization, you should tailor it to the position you are applying for and double-check for any mistakes. If you want more resume help, check out our past post about 6 common resume typos to avoid.

6) Lacking Accountability

Looking for a job is often said to be a full time job in and of itself. In order to keep yourself on track, enlist someone that can hold you accountable for meeting deadlines and submitting applications throughout your job search. Having a friend, loved one or fellow job searcher to keep you accountable is a great way to make sure you make progress in your search.

7) Listing Out-of-Date Contacts

When you list references on your resume, these contacts should be up-to-date. Nothing says that you are unprepared as clearly as poor job references. Before you add these people to your resume, contact them and let them know that you are looking for a new job and ask them if they will provide you with a good reference.

8) Adding “Filler” Content to Your Resume

When job seekers start feeling like they’re getting nowhere with all of the applications they’ve submitted, resumes began to fill up with more adjectives than accomplishments in an attempt to make a candidate seem more qualified. We know it’s hard, but avoid adding filler content to your resume at all costs. Fluff only weakens your first impression, and makes it look like you’re making excuses rather than presenting yourself as a qualified applicant. Focus the content of your resume on measurable results that will be relevant to the position you are applying for.

9) Neglecting Social Media

Social media has created fantastic opportunities for modern job seekers. In fact, many employers will list an available position on their Twitter feed or Facebook page before they move on to other job search sites. Take advantage of these avenues of direct communication with a prospective employer by closely following and engaging with their social media platforms.

10) Going It Alone

When it comes to your job search, you want to give yourself the best chance at finding your ideal position. To do this more effectively, consider working with a Houston staffing agency who has experience in your industry. Murray Resources has an unparalleled track record of success when it comes to placing candidates in the right positions, and we have the experience and resources that can help set any job seeker up for success.

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

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


Houston Recruitment Firm Offers 5 Ways to Relax and De-Stress at the Office

November 14th, 2012

Impending deadlines, increased workloads and demanding managers are just a few of the variables that can start to make you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities throughout your workday. The key to success in these types of situations is knowing how to manage this stress and not let it negatively affect you. We at Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruitment firm, have compiled a list of 5 techniques to help you relax and unwind at work.

1. Remember to Breathe

Studies show that when we are stressed or anxious, we tend to take shorter breaths. While it may not sound like a big deal at first, did you know that this irregular pattern of breathing can lead to light-headedness or headaches? Deep breathing is an excellent technique for calming the nerves and clearing the mind. Here’s how to do it:

  • In order to take long, deep breaths that fill your lungs with air, allow your diaphragm to push out and down as you breathe in slowly. As you exhale, pull your diaphragm in slightly.
  • Inhale through your nose for a slow five count, and exhale through your mouth for a slow five count. With each exhale, envision all of your tension, stress, and negative energy leaving your body.
  • Continue breathing in this fashion for one to two minutes.
  • Repeat this process at least three times throughout your day, more frequently in times of heightened stress.

2. Listen to Classical Music

Studies have also shown that classical music and piano compositions can help people relax by engaging their brain in a different kind of analysis. By focusing on the intricacies and complexities woven throughout a piece, the mind works to place and predict each note, while you can let your other worries dissipate. If classical music isn’t to your liking, there are a number of other soothing styles of music that can help to lower your stress levels through the same process of mental distraction: jam bands like Explosions in the Sky compose lyricless ephemeral music; instrumental cuts of bluesy electric guitar riffs from Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn can be relaxing; there are even soothing electronic pieces in genres like trance or dubstep that can help to ease your stress levels. Rather than starting your day listening to the morning news in your car, try listening to the relaxing music of your choice instead. You can even bring your iPod to work and listen to a track or two on your lunch break.

3. Massage Your Neck

Mounting stress can manifest itself in the form of tense muscles in the neck and shoulders, leading to headaches and general discomfort. Counteract these negative side-effects by stretching and massaging your neck and upper back muscles while at your desk. At least three times a day, use one or both of your hands to massage your neck muscles for about 60 seconds. If things are really tight, consider getting a massage every two weeks or so to relieve built-up tension.

4. Take a Walk

The professionals at our Houston recruitment firm will tell you that this is one of the best ways to relax in the middle of a stressful workday. Spending hours on end sitting in the same position staring at a computer screen is neither healthy nor productive. When you have the chance to take a break or go to lunch, go for a brief walk (music optional) to clear your mind. If possible, get outside for some fresh air. Going for a leisurely stroll helps to relax muscle tension and get your blood pumping, making you feel more alert and energized.

5. Laugh

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, researchers agree that taking a moment to laugh is a great way to keep stress at bay. Take a break in your day to swap stories with your office neighbors about something funny that happened over the weekend. Or, if you’re feeling a little anti-social, the Internet is a great place to find a quick laugh. There are tons of websites that post funny images (Imgur and Buzzfeed) or satirical articles (The Onion and Cracked) that can lighten your mood, or you can always browse through the millions of cute kitten videos on YouTube!

Regardless of your position in a company, chances are you’re going to encounter stress at work. Our five tips offer ways to cope with that stress while maintaining your own productivity and mental focus, proving to yourself and those around you that you can perform under pressure.

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

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


How to Set Up a Successful Informational Interview

November 13th, 2012

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has seen informational interviews work well for job seekers looking to enter a new industry or job function. A well-executed informational interview can provide job leads, opportunities for industry-related introductions, and a more focused search for candidates looking to break into a particular sector.

Below we’ve compiled a list of five crucial steps for conducting a successful informational interview:

1)      Target Your Search — Prepare a detailed list of intriguing industries and types of companies in which you would potentially want to work. Be sure to narrow your list to a few industries that are not only interesting to you, but also are practical for your abilities and an environment in which you could achieve success. From this list of industries and companies, compile a list of any personal contacts you might know in this sphere.

2)      Make Contact and Be Specific – After you’ve highlighted the people you know in your target industries and related companies, reach out to your contacts to set up an official appointment. It is extremely important that from the onset you convey to your potential interviewee that you are not looking for a job. Be specific in explaining the true purpose of your proposed informational interview- that you are looking for career advice and insights about that particular industry from someone who knows it well. Also, while it may be tempting to try and set up an informal meet-up to learn about an industry via casual conversation, this is a business interview and should be conducted as such. A professional atmosphere helps to ensure that both parties stay on topic, and you glean the specific information you’re looking for.

3)      Be Flexible – Remember, this contact is taking time out of their day to meet with you. Be flexible and understanding when it comes to working around their busy schedule. Someone who has agreed to participate in an informational interview has done so because they are passionate about their career and want to share their insights with an interested audience; the advice they have to offer is well worth the hoops you may have to jump through to accommodate them.

4)      Create An Agenda – Of all the steps, this is the one in which you get to showcase your professionalism as well as your creativity. When coming up with a list of questions for the interview, do some research on the industry/company of your informational interviewee. Thorough research gives you a foundation of knowledge from which you can create insightful and specific questions, and also shows your interviewee that you’re dedicated and committed to put in the time and effort to learn about their industry.

5)      Show Your Appreciation – After the meeting, make sure your interviewee knows just how appreciative you are of their time and insights that they shared with you. Send them a thank you email or handwritten note as soon as you get home expressing your gratitude for their willingness to take time out of their schedule to help you. It’s also a nice gesture to send them an update later on down the road if you end up acting upon a piece of advice they’ve given you, or landing a job in their industry. If they cared enough to meet with you, they likely want to hear about your progress and success!

Sticking to these five simple steps will ensure that you conduct a productive and successful informational interview. Armed with valuable knowledge about your career interests, staffing agencies in Houston, TX like Murray Resources can better help you take the next step of landing that dream job!

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

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



Five Ways to Prepare for Your First Day on the Job

November 12th, 2012

It’s a great feeling when Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources set you up with an employment opportunity that turns into an actual job. But how can you ensure that your first day will be the lasting, positive impression that you want it to be?

Below we’ve compiled a list of important details to keep in mind when preparing for a successful first day:

1)      Look up the office address and parking situation – There are few worse feelings in the world than showing up late to an important event, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Running late to work on a normal day is stressful enough, but spending an unplanned extra 15 minutes of your commute driving around lost on unfamiliar roads or turned around in the parking garage on your first day at a new job puts you in a frenzied, negative mindset that can ruin what was supposed to be an exciting and fresh start. Many times, interviews are conducted by Houston staffing agencies or at a company’s corporate office and not the actual location where you will be working, so be sure to double check the address and directions to where your actual office is.

2)      Dress to impress – In any unfamiliar professional setting, especially on your first day at a new job, it’s always better to err on the side of overdressed rather than under. The first impression you make often happens before you even open your mouth, so wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident within the boundaries of professionalism. Something you would wear to church or a nice dinner with your grandparents is always a safe bet for an office environment.

3)      Did you bring your papers? – Most of the time, your first day will be spent filling out paperwork, signing forms, and watching training videos. This new employee paperwork usually requires certain kinds of official documents to prove your identity, citizenship, proof of residence, etc. Get in contact with an HR representative or the new hire advisor at the company who can tell you what documents to bring on your first day so you can get all of the necessary paperwork out of the way. Commonly requested official documents include driver’s license or State issued Identification Card, Social Security Card, Passport, Birth Certificate, or Right to Work permits.

4)      Get to know your company – As we’ve already touched on, an unfamiliar environment can easily feel intimidating and overwhelming. A great way to curb these anxieties is to conduct some research about the company you’re starting with so that you’re more familiar with what to expect upon your arrival. Learning about your new employer’s industry, recent news, and corporate policies and values is usually just a matter of browsing through the company website. Showing up well-informed on your first day leaves a great first impression on colleagues and supervisors when they see how much you care about your new position and are willing and eager to learn.

5)      Connect with fellow co-workers – Utilizing social networking sites such as LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people you’ll be working with before you even step foot in the office. Engaging your soon-to-be-colleagues in conversations about shared interests or even just questions about the company can greatly help lessen the stress of feeling alone when you first arrive, and you can learn a lot more about a person through their social media profiles than in that 15-second introductory break room conversation.

Your first day on the job plays a major role in determining your attitude towards your new company and setting the tone for your time with them. These five helpful hints will help you to start off on the right foot for what’s sure to be a new and exciting journey!

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

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



Top 5 New Manager Mistakes

November 11th, 2012

Just promoted into a management role? Congratulations…now the real work begins. And if you’re like most new managers, you’ll likely make some mistakes during the transition process. However, by being aware of what the most common ones are ahead of time, you can certainly take steps to avoid them, minimizing the impact on your new team.

So what are they? Here’s a look at five new manager mistakes:

Mistake #1: Looking Over Everyone’s Shoulders…All the Time.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that a new management role is stressful. Enthusiastic about your new position, it’s no surprise that you’ll want to be in on every meeting, phone call, and decision. However, micro-managing is annoying and it says to your new staff that you don’t trust them. So rather than looking over their shoulders at all times, communicate your goals and expectations to each employee…and then give them the freedom to deliver.

Mistake #2: Not Defining Goals and Expectations.

Speaking of communication, a lack of it is also a problem, particularly when it means you’re not clearly communicating goals and expectations to your team. So meet with each team member individually and discuss what you expect from them and how success will be measured. Also, be sure to ask questions so you know they understand what you’re trying to communicate to them.

Mistake #3: Making Too Many Changes, Too Fast.

Sure you’ve got great ideas and a strong track record…that’s how you landed the promotion in the first place. However, if you have lots of ideas and plans for your new team, take your time in implementing them. Understand that your staff is still adjusting to a new boss and making many radical changes on top of that will be hard for them to accept. So take your time…and invest your efforts in building trust and a rapport first.

Mistake #4: Letting the Promotion Go to Your Head.

You’ve been promoted, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean you can treat people with disrespect. If you do, then that’s a fast path to unhappy employees…not a good position to be in considering that your success depends upon their productivity and results.

Mistake #5: Avoiding Advice.

Don’t think that just because you’re a manager that you know it all. In fact, the best leaders in the world got their because they heeded wise counsel and know that they STILL don’t know it all. And if you’re a new manager, you’re going to be expected to make tough decisions just as well as veteran managers. So seek out advice and insight from trusted colleagues and mentors, as well as your own team members.

Need Help Hiring?

You’re the boss – and now you have to wear a lot more hats. If one of them is hiring, Murray Resources can help you along the way. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can source, screen, interview, test, and verify backgrounds, all so you can focus on managing your new team, while gaining access to top talent. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.



How Can Starbucks Advance Your Career? The Best Networking Tip for Job Seekers

November 9th, 2012

At Murray Resources, our Houston recruiters are always looking for new ways to help people find methods to improve their job search. When it comes to finding and capitalizing on new opportunities, there is no better technique than effective networking. The number one tip we always recommend to our candidates is to plan your meals as networking opportunities.

In his breakthrough book about networking, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi discusses how important it is to set up business lunches with new contacts. The author cites several examples where success in business and politics is the result of personal relationships. He claims that reaching out to other people for help and looking for ways you can be generous is the best way to find a path to success.

Ferrazzi recommends that you set up new business lunches and networking opportunities as often as you can. By widening your network, you have the chance to meet new individuals and offer your services. Many people are more than happy to help out if you are sincere and ask for help.

Start out by making a list of people you would like to meet with in your industry. This can be accomplished executives, human resource managers or professors at business schools in your area. Houston recruiters recommend that you send each individual a short and personalized e-mail and offer to buy him or her lunch. Be sure to include your intentions for the meeting, such as asking the person questions about their industry or finding out about ways you can volunteer your services.

And since buying a new person lunch everyday can become expensive, offering to meet someone for coffee is just as effective. Many people are happy to sit down and talk about their work over a latte—especially when someone else is buying! Remember that you are asking someone else to volunteer their time to sit down with you; be flexible when it comes to accommodating his or her schedule.

Our Houston recruiters will all agree that sharing a meal with someone is one of the best ways to expand your personal network and find out about new opportunities that may be available. Keep in mind that you should always be looking for ways to provide value to these people before you ask for any favors. If you follow these steps then you will be surprised at how many new doors may open up for you.

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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