Blog

Own a Small Business? Here’s How to Hire Smarter

September 25th, 2018

Hiring is one of the most important aspects of your business. But it can also be one of the hardest. After all, it’s tough to really tell what a candidate is like on paper. Even when they’re in your office for an interview, they’re typically only showcasing their strengths and skills, all while offering you the right answers.

On top of that, as a small business in Houston, you don’t have the robust HR department that a large corporation does. You’re on your own when it comes to hiring and if you’re not well-trained in interview and evaluation techniques, it can be tough to find and recruit the best quality candidates.

To help make the process easier for you – so you can focus on running your business and increasing profitability – here are some tips from Houston staffing firm, Murray Resources, to put to use:

Source candidates from the right places.

General job boards are a good place to start. But don’t focus solely on them. Make sure you’re targeting those avenues that reach the specific talent you need. For instance, if you’re looking to hire an IT person, attend a hack-a-thon or network at an industry event.

Get references from employees.

Another great place to find out about top talent is to ask your current team of employees. Find out from them whether they know anyone who’d be a good fit for the position. You might want to even implement a rewards policy if you hire someone an employee referred.

Be clear about the position.

It’s difficult for a candidate to know whether a job is the right fit for them if they only have vague details. Both in the job posting, as well as during the interview and hiring process, it’s therefore critical that you’re clear about what the job entails, including day-to-day tasks, as well as any challenges a new hire might encounter.

Promote your strengths.

As a small business in Houston, there are plenty of good reasons why candidates should want to work for you. Make sure they know what they are. Whether it’s your flexible work policy, easy-going atmosphere, or great pay and benefits, it’s important to not only focus on your needs during the hiring process, but a candidate’s as well.

Don’t move too quickly or settle for less than what you need.

When you need to hire, it’s often under the gun. As a leading staffing firm in Houston, we get that. But don’t let that lead to a hasty hiring decision or hiring someone you’re not sure about. If you do, then the chances of a mistake are far greater.

Don’t forget about training and onboarding.

Once you hire your new employee, the work doesn’t end there. It’s just as important for you to offer an onboarding and training program to welcome them and get them up to speed faster.

Ready for help with hiring for your small business?

Murray Resources is here for your team. As a leading provider of staffing in Houston, we can help you find the qualified people you need, where and when you need them, for a vast array of positions. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

Tips for Communicating with Candidates During the Hiring Process

September 11th, 2018

When you’re in the middle of hiring, you’re focused on sourcing and screening talent. But did you know that how you communicate with candidates is just as critical during the process? When you keep them in the loop, they’ll appreciate it, building goodwill and a strong employer brand in the process – even if they don’t get hired.

On the other hand, when they’re in the dark or never hear back, they’ll become frustrated and disgruntled with your company. They might even lash out on social media.

To avoid this happening to you, here are a few tips from Murray Resources, top Houston headhunters, for communicating with candidates:

Create an auto response for resumes.

Don’t leave candidates wondering whether you received their resume. Instead, set up an auto response so they know their application materials are under review. These are easy to create and will not only notify candidates that you received their resume, but help keep them informed about the process and the next steps going forward.

Stay connected with those you interview.

For those candidates you’re actively interviewing, stay in touch with them regularly. An occasional touchpoint email is an easy and effective way to let them know the progress of hiring and when to expect a decision. It’s also important to thank them for their patience and tell them you appreciate their time interviewing with you.

Communicate with candidates you don’t hire.

For those who don’t make the cut, inform them as soon as possible. You want to create a positive experience for them and possibly continue the relationship if they were a strong candidate. Communicating with them openly – and in a timely manner – is a good way to do that.

Make hiring decisions quickly.

One of the top ways to lose out on talented candidates and to increase their frustration with your hiring process is to drag your feet when it comes to making a decision. Instead, keep the process moving along swiftly. If there’s a hang up, keep candidates informed throughout it so they don’t feel ignored.

Need more help with your hiring process?

Call the team at Murray Resources. As top Houston headhunters, we’ve been working with leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Simply contact us today to get started or learn more about how we can help your company.

Posted in: Blog

4 Common Interview Questions You’ll Be Asked – and How to Answer Each

September 4th, 2018

When you have a job interview on the horizon, it’s important that you prepare ahead of time. But how can you do that if you don’t know the questions you’ll be asked? As one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources has the answers you need. Whatever field you work in and whatever your experience level, there are several questions that most hiring managers ask. Here’s a look at them and how to respond to each one:

Why do you want to leave your current job?

Don’t just say you’re looking for more responsibility or a new challenge. Instead, get specific about what it is you’re seeking out in a new role and with a different employer. Whatever you say, just don’t badmouth your previous employer, even if you’re leaving due to an issue with your boss or company management.

Why are you interested in this job?

Hiring managers ask this question for a few different reasons. They’re wondering if you’re prepared enough to talk in detail about what it is that most interests you about the position and their company. They also want to gain a sense of what’s important to you in a job. When you’re answering this question, focus on the opportunity, not on the short commute or amazing benefits you would have.

What areas does your boss say you need to improve on? Which areas do you get the most praise for?

These are the kinds of questions where you’ll be talking about strengths and weaknesses. In terms of strengths, focus on those that are most relevant to the employer and the opportunity. For weaknesses, answer this question authentically, not with “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist.” Hiring managers have heard these lines before and won’t be impressed by them.

What are your salary expectations?

Candidates dread this question and for good reason: You don’t want to leave money on the table. That’s why it’s up to you to conduct some research before your interview and find out what your skills and experience are worth on Houston’s employment market. That way, you can answer this question intelligently, based on facts and numbers, not just an amount you pull from the sky.

Interested in professional help preparing for interviews or any other aspect of your job search?

Connect with Murray Resources, one of Houston’s top employment agencies. We can help you polish your resume and improve your interview skills, all so you secure the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

13 Easy Questions to Ask to Find Out About a Company’s Culture

August 21st, 2018

When you’re interviewing for a job, you know it’s important to ask about the details of the position and what would be expected of you if hired. But are you also asking about the company’s culture and what day-to-day life is like at the organization? If not, then you’re missing out on an important opportunity to truly assess whether the role is right for you.

At Murray Resources, we can help. As experienced Houston recruiters, here are a few questions you should be asking to give you more insight into whether a culture is a fit for you:

#1: What do you like most about working here? What do you like least?

#2: Do employees spend time socializing outside of work? If so, how?

#3: Does the company offer training and development opportunities to its employees?

#4: Are employees recognized for results? If so, how?

#5: How does the company celebrate achievements and successes?

#6: How would my manager share feedback with me about performance? How often?

#7: How much collaboration is there across teams and departments? Is it done primarily in person or electronically?

#8: Is there room for growth with the company and opportunities to advance?

#9: Do employees generally work a lot together or more independently?

#10: Does the company invest in team-building activities? If so, what kind and how often?

#11: Does the company give back to the local community or to any charitable causes?

#12: What types of personalities seem to thrive most within this organization?

#13: Is there a focus on work-life balance at the company?

Some of these questions might be more relevant than others depending on the position you’re interviewing for, as well as your particular wants and needs. So you can certainly pick and choose among them. In addition, come up with your own list to address topics and issues related to culture that are especially important to you. That way, if you are offered the position, you can accept or decline it based on an accurate sense of what it truly entails and what it’s like to work at the organization.

Need more help with your job search or evaluating offers?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As Houston recruiters, we can assist you with all aspects of your job search from start to finish. Not only that, but we can connect you with rewarding opportunities at some of the city’s leading employers, all so you can get the job that’s a great fit for you.

Contact our Houston recruiters today to learn more – or get started.

Posted in: Blog

Skills vs. Attitude: Which is More Important to Hire for?

August 14th, 2018

When it comes to the hiring process, you know you need to evaluate for both skills and attitude. But is one more important than the other? If, for instance, you have two strong candidates – one with a better attitude and potential and the other with a stronger skill set – which should you choose?

It can definitely be tough to tell and with so much on the line, you don’t want to make a mistake. Murray Resources, leading Houston headhunters, has the answers you need. Here are some tips to help you during the decision-making process:

Consider the job.

For some jobs, it makes sense to focus more on attitude; for others, technical skills are of prime importance. That’s why you should first and foremost consider the job you’re hiring for.

If, for instance, you need a highly analytical accountant, then the best attitude in the world won’t matter much if their mathematical skills aren’t up to par. That’s not to say you’d hire someone with a poor attitude; it just might not take center stage during the hiring process.

If, however, you need a customer service representative who can handle problem situations with tact and empathy, then attitude is going to outweigh technical skills that can be taught.

Consider your company and its culture.

You might get resumes from candidates with tons of experience and plenty of enthusiasm. However, once on the job, you could find out they’re a complete dud. What gives? After all, they seemed to have both the right technical skills and a good attitude.

As Houston headhunters, we know it often comes down to poor fit. For example, if your culture is fast-paced and collaborative, and your new hire is more the laid back, lone wolf type, then they’re not going to thrive, even with the right skills and a positive attitude. So cultural fit is critically important to assess, as well, beyond skills and attitude.

Consider the candidate.

When you’re trying to decide between a candidate with a better attitude and one with more skill consider the strengths and weaknesses of each. Does one candidate seem more focused on learning and skill development than another? Is there a clear winner when it comes to communication skills? How do they work best and which is a better fit for your particular company and culture? In the end, your goal is to ensure whomever you do hire will be with you for the long-term.

Need help hiring candidates with the right skills and a great attitude?

Call in the the experienced Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing world-class recruiting services to leading companies in and around Houston. Contact us today to learn more or get started with our firm.

Posted in: Blog

Hiring? Find Out What Really Attracts Top Talent

July 24th, 2018

When it comes to hiring, talented professionals have a lot of choices these days. So what can you do to make your company more attractive to them? As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has the answers you need. Here’s a look at a few key factors that come into play when candidates are weighing offers:

Pay & Benefits

Of course, compensation is a big part of the equation when it comes to deciding where to work. Not only do candidates need to be fairly compensated in order to maintain their quality of life, but also to demonstrate that you value them and the skills they bring to the table.

Culture

Every company is unique with different cultures. Your culture might be more casual and laid back, or more formal. Just make sure that it offers an environment that’s a healthy place to work for all individuals. They should feel respected, recognized for hard work, and encouraged to voice their opinions on issues that matter to them.

Flexibility

Today’s employees want more flexibility in terms of where and when they work. Companies that can meet those needs through telecommuting have a leg up when it comes to recruiting top talent. Offering the ability to telecommute two to three days each week seems to offer employers and employees the balance they both need when it comes to collaborating in the office and working from home.

Clear Expectations

If the job description seems vague, or if questions go unanswered during the hiring process, then the most qualified candidates will look elsewhere for opportunities. Instead, be clear about the role, responsibilities and qualifications. Also discuss growth opportunities, as well as challenges that come with the position.

Development Opportunities

Highly skilled individuals want to work for those companies that offer room for growth and opportunities to advance. To attract this level of talent, you need to offer incentives such as mentoring programs, training resources, stretch assignments and room for autonomy.

Authenticity

At the end of the day, employees want to work at places where they’re excited to come to work each day. That’s why long-winded job postings that are cumbersome to read don’t attract the right kind of people. Instead, show candidates what it’s really like to work at your company. For instance, post videos that offer tours of your office. Or ask employees to author posts about the culture and what they like most about it.

Interested in handing off parts of your hiring function to our experts?

Let Murray Resources know. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we’ve helped high-performance organizations build their teams for over 30 years – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

Hiring? Get Strategies for Improving the Interview Process

May 22nd, 2018

The job interview is your ticket to finding the best candidates to hire. The more effective it is, the better your hiring decisions will be.

Sounds simple enough, right? And yet, according to statistics, nearly half of new hires fail on the job within the first 18 months. All of those might not be due to weak interviews. However, as one of Houston’s seasoned staffing firms, we know that many hiring mistakes can be avoided by a sound process that helps you interview more consistently and effectively. To help improve yours, here are a few strategies to put to use:

Make sure interviewers are trained

If the people conducting interviews aren’t on the HR staff – and are managers in their departments instead – make sure they’re thoroughly trained on interview best practices. For instance, you want to instruct them to evaluate candidates more on facts, not on hunches or impressions. Likewise, you can provide behavioral based interview training so they have the tools and tactics needed to take a deeper dive into a candidate’s background and experience.

Be transparent about the opportunity

Talk to every candidate about what the position entails and what it’s like to work at the company. When they ask about challenges that come with the role, be honest. Don’t try to sidestep these kinds of questions. Also, don’t make claims that aren’t true. If a candidate does accept the job based on inaccurate information, they probably won’t stick around for long.

Offer a positive candidate experience

The interviewer isn’t the only doing the evaluating. Candidates too are sizing up your organization and the opportunity. It’s important not to lose sight of that in the interview process and to create a positive candidate experience as a result.

When candidates are left in the dark after an interview, are treated rudely by a staff member, or aren’t given the time to ask questions during an interview, it’s going to impact their impression of your company. Even if you don’t end up hiring them for the current position, they could be the right fit for one down the line. So you want to put your best foot forward with each one.

Ask candidates why they want to work for you

There are plenty of candidates out there looking for just any job. You want the ones who have a strong desire to work at your company and land this opportunity. To find them, ask why they want the job. If they don’t have an answer, then they’re probably not the right fit.

Schedule two rounds of interviews

It can be tough to tell whether a candidate is right for the job after just one interview. That’s why it’s important to schedule a second one. Interviewers can take the time needed to regroup and reflect on candidates. In addition, a second interview offers an opportunity to get behind the candidate mask and dig deeper into each one’s background.

Get better hires with Murray Resources

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to the hiring process? Let Murray Resources help. As one of Houston’s top staffing firms, we can deliver the talent you need through a rigorous sourcing, interviewing and hiring process. We can even conduct skills testing and background checks, all to ensure you get the high-quality people you need. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

4 Tips for Dealing with Job Search Fatigue

May 15th, 2018

You’ve been at it for months, sending in resumes, interviewing and following up. And still, you haven’t had any luck with your job search. You’re growing frustrated and more stressed out by the day. Should you just give up and stay where you are?

As one of Houston’s trusted employment agencies, Murray Resources knows if you’re really not happy in your current role, it’s important to keep up your hunt. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to push through job search fatigue and find the right opportunity for you. Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Tip #1: Expand your search.

If you’re simply looking for Houston jobs online, then you need to broaden your horizons. While there are many great opportunities posted every day, you need to search beyond the major job boards if you want to find a position faster. This includes looking to other niche or specialty sites, networking both online and offline, and getting help from professional employment agencies in Houston.

Tip #2: Invest in yourself.

If you’re not finding the job you want because you don’t have the right skills or certifications, then now’s the time to invest in yourself professionally. Take some time out from your search and sign up for the development courses you need. Read books about the skills you’re looking to acquire or get started earning that advanced degree if that’s what you need to take your career to the next level.

Tip #3: Have some fun.

If all you’re doing is working and searching for a new job, you’re going to burn out. Instead, make sure you balance your day. If you’re unemployed, then structure it like you would a work day, where you take breaks, have lunch and end the day at 5. If you’re employed, set aside a certain number of hours each day or week devoted to your job hunt. When time’s up, walk away and focus on something you enjoy.

Tip #4: Take time out.

If you’ve been searching for a new job for months without any success, there’s a reason. Take a step back and evaluate your efforts. Are you applying for jobs in Houston you’re truly well-suited for? Are you getting interviews? Are you interviewing and not hearing back?

Asking these kinds of questions will help you gain a sense of where things are going wrong and also what it is you want out of your next career move. After all, you don’t want to get a new job just to make a switch. You want to find something you truly love that’s a great fit for you.

Ready for professional help with the process?

Call Houston’s leading choice for employment agencies: Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been working with many of Houston’s top employers, including leaders in the energy industry, Fortune 500 firms, financial services firms, and more. We know who’s hiring and what local employers want from candidates. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact our team today.

Posted in: Blog

What to Do When a Candidate Seems Too Good to Be True

May 8th, 2018

You know there’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. Each one has their own weaknesses or drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine the issues you can live with and the deal breakers you can’t.

However, what if you stumble across a candidate that seems too good to be true? They check all the right boxes and then some. You’re worried they’re pulling the wool over your eyes. And yet, you’re tempted to offer them the job today, right now. What should you do to ensure you make a smart hiring decision? Here are a few tips from Murray Resources – leading Houston recruiters – to help you:

Invite them back for a second interview.

Not sure about a candidate? Bring them back for a second interview. When you do, dig deep, get specific and ask detailed questions. Also, if they offer any vague answers,  follow up and encourage them to elaborate. Listen for signs that they’re simply repeating a practiced answer that sounds good, or if they’re really showing their authentic self. The more detail they can offer, the more confident you can be in their responses.

Give them a homework assignment.

As Houston recruiters, we know that sometimes candidates look great on paper and ace the interview, only to fall apart once on the job. To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, give the candidate a small assignment similar to the work they’d do if hired. This will give you a good indication of their ability to follow directions, get tasks done in a timely manner, and how well they’d perform if offered the job.

Check their references carefully.

Get at least three references total from the candidate with two of them being from past managers or bosses. When you call references, talk to them specifically about attitude and work quality. These are the two areas that will have the biggest impact on the candidate’s success in the job, so any insight a past manager can offer will be extremely valuable.

If, after following these steps, you feel uncomfortable with the prospect of hiring a seemingly perfect candidate, then go with your gut. There’s a red flag or something holding you back, even if it’s on a subconscious level. When you hire, you want to have total peace of mind that the person you’re bringing on board is right for the job and your company. So don’t make a move until you’re sure.

Would you like professional help with the hiring process?

With the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources, not only do you get expert assistance sourcing, screening, and hiring great candidates, but we can also serve as your go-to source for tips, information and advice on hiring. With our team, you get a true partner in your company’s staffing success. Learn more today by contacting our Houston recruiters.

Posted in: Blog

Ask the Houston TX Headhunters: What to Do When the Job Offer Isn’t Your First Choice

May 1st, 2018

When you’re searching for a new job, the end goal is an offer. But what should you do when one comes in, yet it’s not your first choice? It’s a good opportunity with a reputable employer. At the same time, you’re hoping to get the offer from the dream company you’re interviewing with next week. Should you take a risk and turn it down? Or should you err on the side of caution and accept a solid opportunity?

As Houston, TX headhunters, Murray Resources can help. Here are some questions you should ask yourself so you can make the best decision going forward:

Do the job responsibilities interest you?

Think through the tasks you’d have to handle on a daily basis. If you’re going to be put into a role that doesn’t excite you in any way, then the job isn’t right for you. If, however, you think you’d be interested in and challenged by the responsibilities that come with it, then it’s certainly worth considering.

How does the compensation stack up?

If you’ve done your homework and know your worth on Houston’s employment market, then you should have a good sense of whether the compensation is fair, or if you’re being undercut. When evaluating the offer, don’t forget to weigh the benefits, like health insurance, flex scheduling, retirement options, and all the other perks and rewards.

What’s your financial situation?

If you’re crunched and feeling the pressure, then you might need to bite the bullet and accept the job offer. You don’t want to put yourself and your family at risk for a position that might not come through, even if it is your dream role.

Do you want to work there?

If you ask yourself this question and your gut says “no,” then you have your answer. If, however, you’re not sure, then make a list of the pros and cons of accepting the offer. Consider aspects of the opportunity like work culture, commute and who your manager would be. Once your list is complete, see which side is longer. It should be pretty clear about whether or not you think the opportunity is a good fit for you.

Will this position help you achieve your career goals?

If the job offers you the opportunity to gain the skills and experience you need to reach a higher goal, then consider taking it. This is true too if the company has an internal promotion policy and advancement opportunities. With it, you’ll be one step closer to your goals, plus you’ll have the chance to move up and take on even more responsibility in the future.

Are you confident you can succeed in the role?

If you’re not, then the job might not be right for you. Every role comes with its fair share of challenges and learning curves. But if you’re hesitant about whether you’re going to be successful in the role and able to meet performance expectations, it might be time to reject it.

How likely is it you’ll get your dream job?

If there’s a good possibility, then you might want to hold out and wait to see if another offer comes in. But if it’s a stretch with little chance of you getting the job, then the offer you have on the table is certainly worth considering.

Are there any deal breakers?

In other words, is there any aspect of the job that you really don’t like, such as a long commute? If there is, these must enter into your decision-making process, so you make the right choice going forward.

Interested in job search help from Houston, TX headhunters?

Connect with the team at Murray Resources. If you’re not getting the offers you want, we can work with you to learn about your background, career goals, and skill set, all so we can connect you with rewarding jobs that are a great fit for you. Contact our Houston, TX headhunters today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

What to Look for When Hiring Houston Temps

April 24th, 2018

Your seasonal hiring program is likely well underway. With a big increase in demand about to hit, you need Houston temps with the skills and flexibility to get orders out the door, take on new projects and manage a wide variety of customer needs. But whatever you do, don’t hire in a hurry. If you do, you could wind up bringing people on board who don’t meet your needs or worse yet, make big mistakes, impacting your company bottom line.

Instead, when you’re hiring for seasonal work, make sure you invest the time and effort during the hiring process to source and recruit high-quality employees. To do so, be on the lookout for the following key traits:

Dependability.

You need Houston temps who are going to show up on time and get the job done. If they can’t meet that basic qualification, then it’s going to cause headaches and hassles for you down the line. So if a candidate walks into an interview five minutes late, then cross them off the list. This is a good indication of what’s to come if they get hired.

Flexibility.

Another important trait to look out for when hiring seasonal workers is flexibility. You might need those who can work nights, weekends and day time shifts. Whatever the case for you, it’s important that you communicate those expectations during the hiring process so candidates are fully aware of them. Let them know too if they could possibly be called in on short notice, or if they have to work summer holidays. When you find those people who are willing to be flexible and offer you plenty of availability, it will make your life easier during the season ahead.

A good attitude.

Nothing sucks the energy out of the workplace quite like a bad attitude. So look for those people who are enthusiastic and seem like a positive asset to the team. If a particular candidate comes across as bored or disinterested during the hiring process, expect them to bring that same attitude onto the job.

Strong communication skills.

You need people who will come to you with questions and concerns, and also bring up issues as they arise. Likewise, they need to be able to get up to speed quickly and become a productive part of the team. This all requires good communication skills. A good indication that a candidates has them is one who asks a lot of questions and presents themselves as articulate and conscientious.

The right personality for the job.

It’s also important to take into account cultural fit when hiring. When you hire temporary workers who mesh well with the rest of your team, it’s going to have a more positive impact on your company overall. For instance, if you need someone who’s an extrovert and loves talking to customers, the candidate who comes across as shy and quiet likely won’t be the best fit for you.

While this is a busy period of the year, it’s important to take the time you need to invest in hiring the right Houston temps. When you do, you’ll gain more flexibility, get more done, and make customers happier.

Don’t have the time or resources to invest in temporary hiring this season?

The team at Murray Resources can help. We are experts at hiring Houston temps and can give you fast access to a network of talented temporary workers for a wide variety of positions. Simply contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

How to Make the Case for Your Company in the Interview

March 27th, 2018

In an interview, you expect candidates to sell themselves and why you should hire them. But you too have some persuading to do. In fact, as experienced Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that top talent has their pick of job offers and if you don’t make a solid case about what sets your organization apart from the competition, they could accept offers from other companies. To help ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here are 3 tips to follow:

Know the job.

If you don’t know the ins and outs of the particular position you’re hiring for, learn as much as you can about them. This way, you can talk authentically about the benefits and pitfalls that a candidate might face if hired, so they can get a clear picture of the opportunity. Not only that, but truly look objectively at the position. If you were looking for a similar job, would it be something that interests you? If not, then the best candidates aren’t going to want to accept it either. Think through how you can make it more attractive so you can recruit the quality people you need.

Know your brand.

Companies tend to talk about their brand with new hires, but not as much with candidates. But your brand is a big part of what sets you apart from other employers; it’s what differentiates you from everyone else. So, as you’re talking with candidates, weave in important points about your company, how it’s unique, and what your existing team likes most about working there. And don’t rely on clichés, like how you’re really one big family. The best candidates will see through this. Instead, dig deeper and offer them information about the experienced executive team, the kinds of innovative people they’d be working with, and how the company deals with issues, like market challenges.

Know what candidates want.

As Houston headhunters, we know that every candidate is different and motivated by varying factors. That said, there are a few that top everyone’s lists. For instance, talk about scheduling flexibility and telecommuting if you offer it to employees. Also discuss compensation and salary, as well as any perks that employees especially enjoy. Other areas to consider include your internal promotion policy, mentoring and continuing education opportunities, and your recognition and rewards program. These will help candidates get a bigger picture sense of what you can offer them and their careers, all so you can attract and hire the best people.

Interested in more recruiting and hiring help from Houston’s top headhunters?

Turn to the experts at Murray Resources. As Houston headhunters, our biggest priority is delivering exceptional job candidates to local companies just like yours. We make the sourcing, screening, interviewing, and evaluating process easier, so you can hire right, the first time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your team.

Posted in: Blog

Interview Questions to Evaluate a Candidate’s Skill Set

February 27th, 2018

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that in the recent past, there’s been a big focus on evaluating soft skills during the interview process. While that’s important, don’t also lose sight of assessing each candidate’s technical skills too. They can have a personality that meshes perfectly with your culture; but if they can’t do the job, then they’re not much use to you. That’s why it’s critically important to ask the right questions during the interview.

Before you create a list of questions, though, identify the specific skills each candidate should have. Also, think through the gamut of answers that would make the most sense for each question. To help you in the process, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Describe the most recent project you worked on. What were your responsibilities with it?
  • Describe the project you are most proud of. Why?
  • Do you hold any technical certifications?
  • How do you maintain your technical knowledge and skills?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your abilities?
  • What kinds of challenges do you think you’d encounter in this position?
  • Tell me about the most difficult technical challenge you’ve encountered and how you resolved it.
  • What technology is most important to you in your everyday work life?
  • Have you ever been asked to do something you didn’t know how to do? What was your response?

When you’re asking these questions, it’s not only important to assess the answers, but also be on the lookout for certain red flags. For instance, if answers are vague or not clear, dig deeper and ask follow up questions. If the candidate still struggles to answer the question, it could be due to a lack of technical expertise.

Likewise, look for those candidates who are flexible and willing to learn from their successes and failures. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we know you don’t want those people who think they’re always right and rigid about how they approach every project. Those who are will be far less likely to collaborate well with your existing team.

Finally, during the interview process, evaluate not just what the candidate says in their answers, but how they say it. For instance, do they seem bored and tired, or full of energy, enthusiasm and passion for their field? If it’s the latter, you’re far more likely to hire a candidate who will become a committed team player.

Need more help interviewing and hiring top technical candidates?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, we can get to work sourcing, screening and vetting high-quality candidates, all while you focus on other business priorities. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

How to Decline a Job Offer with Grace

February 20th, 2018

As top headhunters in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that when you’re looking for a new job, it’s thrilling to get an offer. However, sometimes it can be tough when it’s not really the job you wanted. So how do you go about turning it down, without burning any bridges in the process? Here are a few tips to consider:

Call them up.

You might be tempted to send a quick email or text when you want to turn down an offer. After all, it’s an uncomfortable situation. However, picking up the phone and making the call is the professional thing to do. The hiring manager will appreciate your response and you’ll be able to soften the blow a little easier on the phone.

Be grateful.

Even if you don’t want the job, it’s still important to show your appreciation and be grateful for the opportunity. After all, the hiring manager likely spent a lot of time on you, reviewing your resume, conducting a phone screen and interview, and checking your credentials. So offering a sincere and heartfelt thank you will go a long way in easing a stressful situation like this.

Make your reason clear and simple.

You don’t need to go into great detail about why you’re turning down this job offer over another. Simply explain that you’re declining the position and if it’s relevant, that you’re accepting a job elsewhere. You can simply say something like:

“After thinking about this position, I don’t think it’s the best fit for me at this current time” or “This is such a great opportunity, but after careful consideration, I’ve decided to go with another company’s offer.”

Stay in touch.

You never know what could happen down the line. You could re-launch a job search in the next year or two. Or the hiring manager could land at a different company where you two cross paths again. That’s why it’s always a good idea to stay in touch and ask if it’s ok to connect on LinkedIn.

Need more help with your job search?

Contact the professional team of Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. Organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in: Blog

Engineering Recruiter Tips: How to Always Be Recruiting

February 13th, 2018

As leading engineering recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows that if your company is like most, you’re always on the lookout for good talent. However, sometimes they can be hard to find due to a variety of factors. One of the biggest is when you recruit. Waiting until you have to fill an open seat can result in a hasty hiring decision. In reality, you should always be recruiting, especially if you want to find the best candidates in today’s tight engineering marketplace. To help you, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Position your company as a thought leader.

There are a variety of ways in which you can do this. For instance, you can go to industry forums and websites and answer questions there. You can also create a blog and promote it on various social media sites. Or you can submit articles on hot topics and trends to industry publications.

Give guest talks.

Whether it’s at a local college, with an industry group, or to a more general business group, getting involved in speaking engagements is a good way to raise your company’s profile and attract better engineering talent. While you might not think you have the time to get involved in this circuit, you can use the same talk – albeit tweaked – for different engagements. But as engineering recruiters in Houston, we know it’s a good way for people, as well as potential candidates to connect your company with a face, earning it credibility in the process.

Create an employee referral program.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to find and hire new engineers is through employee referrals. So if you don’t already have a referral program, then now’s the time to start one. When you do, not only will you have access to a regular stream of pre-qualified talent, but by rewarding employees who offer referrals you also have a powerful retention tool.

Develop an effective website.

No doubt when engineers are interested in working for your Houston company, one of the first places they will look is your website. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you have a Careers section that does more than simply highlight job openings. It should also showcase makes your company a unique and innovative place to work. Beyond that, you can also include employee videos and guest blog posts about your company’s culture, exciting initiatives, and new projects you’re working on.

Need more help recruiting engineers to your Houston team?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As engineering recruiters in Houston, we know where to look to find world-class engineering talent, all while you focus on other business priorities. To learn more about how we can help you recruiter smarter, contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

Tips from Houston Recruiters for Improving Your Hiring Process in the New Year

January 9th, 2018

As leading recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows your hiring process is critical to business success. So if yours isn’t running smoothly, here are a few key areas to focus on:

Improve your job descriptions.

Your job description is the first thing potential new hires will see about your company. Make the best impression possible with a clear and concise posting. It should succinctly explain the position, and also why a candidate should want to work for your company. It doesn’t need to be long-winded or complicated; in fact, if it is, it will turn off top talent.

Make applying easy.

When your application process is complicated and cumbersome, candidates are going to want to give up. That’s why you need to make it easy. If you have an online application process, make sure that it’s simple to get through without too many steps. Or you can simply ask candidates to email you their resume and a cover letter.

Strengthen your interviewing process.

When you’re interviewing candidates, make sure you’re well prepared ahead of time. This means defining the questions you should be asking, outlining the flow of the conversation, and reviewing their resume ahead of time so their background is fresh in your mind.

Focus on the candidate.

Too many times, the hiring process focuses strictly on the company and their needs. But this can be a big turn-off for many top candidates. Instead, when you take a more balanced approach, your chances of bringing a great new hire on board increase significantly. So during the interview and hiring process, make sure you’re selling the opportunity to candidates.

Go into detail about the perks and benefits of working for the company, as well as any other unique offerings you have. Also, provide a positive experience throughout the process. That means always treating them with respect, answering their questions, and being responsive when they follow up.

Keep your expectations realistic.

Don’t draw a hard line when it comes to job requirements. If, for instance, you’re requiring 10 years of experience and a candidate has nine years, plus an incredible background, call them in for an interview. In many cases, potential great hires will come your way that don’t always fit the mold of what you were expecting. So keep an open mind when they do.

Build a strong employer brand.

One of the best ways to attract top talent is to build a strong employer brand. You can do this in any number of ways. For instance, make sure you have a strong social media presence and effective website. Another way is to promote your company and the work it does giving back to the local community. Whatever you do, the better your employer brand, the more top quality professionals will want to work for you.

Need more help with your hiring process in 2018?

Call Murray Resources. As leading recruiters in Houston, we can handle the work for you, while you focus on other business priorities. From sourcing and screening to skills testing and background checks, we can ensure you get top-quality candidates, where and when you need them. Contact us today to get started.

Posted in: Blog

Tough Call: Making the Decision Between Two Strong Candidates

December 12th, 2017

During the hiring process, you might be hoping for one top candidate to emerge. But, as local headhunters in Austin, Murray Resources knows that when you have two equally strong individuals, it’s certainly a tough decision. How can you best make the call – and choose the right one? With just a few tips:

Look at the big picture.

You have an immediate opening you need to fill. But before you make a decision, look at the big picture of the position and evaluate who would be the best-fit person overall in the long-term. For instance, one candidate might have more growth potential than another and could therefore be a more valuable and lucrative investment for your company.

Evaluate culture and personality.

Your company likely has a distinct workplace culture. Finding people who are the best fit for it is important. If you don’t, you’ll hire those who can do the job, but won’t be happy within the workplace. As a result, they’ll grow disengaged over time and will eventually leave. Your best bet instead is finding and hiring those people who can blend well with your culture.

Think about enthusiasm.

Does one candidate seem more enthusiastic or energetic than another? As headhunters in Austin, we know this is just another indication as to which candidate could be a better fit. Beyond energy level, assess interest too by thinking about which candidate asked more questions during the hiring process. Also, who followed up with you after the interview or wrote a thank you note? As you’re thinking about these different aspects of the process, it will quickly become clear who was more enthusiastic.

Give them a homework assignment.

If you’ve weighed all these factors and are still undecided, give them both a homework assignment. It should be just a small project that doesn’t take long to complete. But whatever they submit should give you some more insight into their work quality, level of enthusiasm, ability to adhere to directions and deadlines, and communication skills.

Once you have decided on a particular candidate, don’t lose touch with the other. They were obviously a strong contender for a reason. You don’t want to lose contact with them just because they weren’t right for this particular position.

Need professional help with your candidate sourcing and selection process?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As experienced headhunters in Austin, we can help you source, recruit, screen and ultimately hire the best-fit professionals for a wide range of positions at your company. Simply contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

What Top Candidates Look for in Jobs

November 28th, 2017

Gearing up to hire for your company? It’s easy to focus on your wants and needs in a candidate. But are you also considering what today’s top talent wants in a job? As recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows if you’re not, then it’s going to be tough to communicate and market your opportunity in a way that’s most attractive to them.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few key attributes that local candidates look for in job opportunities:

Professional development.
Top candidates don’t want to stay stagnant in a position for the next 10 years. Instead, they always want to be learning and growing. And when you offer them opportunities where they can access professional training and development, they’re not only more likely to accept your job offer, but also to stay loyal to your company for the long-term.

Scheduling flexibility.
With technology today, it’s easier than ever to offer your employees some flexibility when it comes to scheduling. Whether you allow flex scheduling – where employees can start and leave either earlier or later in the day – or you opt for telecommuting, it’s up to you. But, as recruiters in Houston, we know that offering this benefit is an important one, especially when you’re striving to attract younger candidates.

Recognition.
Nobody wants to work at a place where they’re not recognized and rewarded for a job well done. This makes people feel like a valued part of the team and can enhance recruiting and retention efforts considerably. So create a culture of recognition and be sure to promote it during the hiring process.

An alignment of values.
Top quality candidates often look for companies that display a reputation and values that align with their own. They also want roles in which they can truly excel and make an important contribution. That’s why, when you’re in the middle of the recruiting and hiring process, you should always discuss and promote workplace values and culture. When you do, you’re more likely to attract those candidates who are the right fit for you.

A healthy culture.
In today’s world of social media, a company’s reputation can spread fast. And if yours has one for not treating employees well, or a stressful or toxic work culture, then you’re going to have a hard time sourcing and hiring the best candidates. On the other hand, a healthy culture – mixed with fun and a focus on work life balance – can go a long way in attracting quality talent.

Open communication.
As recruiters in Houston, we know that employees want to feel like a part of the team; not subordinates taking orders. That’s why it’s important to have an open communication policy with them, setting clear expectations and goals from the start. It’s also important to make sure they have an opportunity to have their voices heard and feel empowered to make a difference at your organization.

Need professional help recruiting and hiring talent for your company?
Call Houston’s trusted recruiters at Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve helped high-performance organizations – including numerous Fortune 1000 companies – build their teams. And we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Ask a Houston Employment Agency: How Do I Make a Great Impression During an Interview?

November 14th, 2017

As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And, as one of Houston’s top employment agencies, Murray Resources knows if you ace your opportunity, it could lead to an exciting new job offer. To help you get there, here are some tips to remember:

Show up on time, looking professional.

It sounds like a no-brainer. But too many times, candidates show up a few minutes late, or wearing clothes not appropriate for an interview. Just because the company comes across as more casual than corporate doesn’t mean you should don anything less than a suit for an interview.

Be friendly with everyone you meet.

You may not realize this, but if you’re rude to the receptionist or parking attendant, it could very well get back to the hiring manager. So make sure you’re respectful and friendly with everyone you meet, whether it’s an entry level employee or the chief executive.

Know when to talk and when to listen.

During an interview, you don’t want to drone on endlessly about your skills and experience, talking over the hiring manager as they try to ask follow up questions. Make sure you’re a good listener. That means staying quiet until the interviewer is done talking or asking their question. This will also help to ensure you have the full question before you attempt to answer it.

Ask smart questions.

Go beyond the basics and ask more sophisticated questions that will help you a) better evaluate the opportunity and b) impress the hiring manager with your preparedness. These include questions such as:

  • How will my performance be measured?
  • What are some common traits among the company’s top performer?
  • What do employees like most about working at the company?
  • How does this position fit into larger company-wide goals?

Don’t forget about body language.

Sometimes, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that has the most impact on a hiring manager. So smile and make eye contact. Offer a firm handshake. And don’t slouch or fidget during the interview. Even if you are anxious, try your hardest not to show it.

Need more help acing your next interview – or getting one?

Call Murray Resources, one of Houston’s top employment agencies. We can connect you with leading jobs often not advertised and help you prepare for your interviews – all so you land the job you want. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

Tips for Finding Talented Engineers – from Houston’s Engineering Recruiters

October 3rd, 2017

As experienced engineering recruiters, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to hiring engineers, you have a tough job. Whether you work in oil and gas, construction or a different industry entirely, you need people with the technical competencies to get the job done. At the same time, they need the soft skills to blend well with the team. It’s a tall order to fill. How can you find the right engineering talent? Start with these tips:

Invest the time into recruiting.

Sometimes, you need to hire in a hurry. But that’s never a good strategy when it comes to sourcing and hiring quality talent. And considering that the average cost of a bad hire is 30% of the person’s salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the stakes are high. So take your time to iron out the details of the job description, and in recruiting and qualifying potential candidates. When you do, you’ll have a better chance at sourcing those who are the right match for your needs.

Evaluate soft skills.

As leading engineering recruiters, Murray Resources knows the best engineers combine strong hard and soft skills. So when you’re screening and interviewing, make sure you look beyond technical capabilities. You want someone who’s going to be able to work well on your team and become an asset to it.

Move quickly once you identify a strong candidate.

Once you identify one or two good candidates, you need to move quickly. In today’s market, technical talent doesn’t stay on the job market for long. And your top pick candidates are likely talking to other companies like yours. So don’t let a long-winded interview process, with panel after panel, slow you down. Instead, once you identify a great candidate, try to move the process along as quickly as possible.

In addition to that, provide a positive experience for every candidate. If you leave a candidate alone in an interview room for 15 minutes – with no explanation – or are constantly checking your phone during an interview, you’re not going to make a good impression.

Partner with engineering recruiters.

If you don’t have the time or resources to source and screen engineering talent, then outsource the process to engineering recruiters who do. Here at Murray Resources, for instance, we have an engineering division with experienced recruiters and robust connections in the field of engineering. As a result, we can often help you find the talent you need, faster.

Ready to put our engineering recruiters to work for you?

Murray Resources’ professional recruiting consultants know where and how to find world-class engineering talent. For over 30 years, we have recruited professionals for leading companies in the energy industry, as well as for numerous local manufacturers and utilities. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

Ask Professional Recruiters in Houston: What Reference Check Mistakes to Avoid

September 19th, 2017

As professional recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows when it comes to the hiring process, reference checks play a critical role. The information you find out during them can help confirm the strength of a candidate, or uncover any weaknesses you’re not aware of. Whatever the case, they can provide insight and peace of mind next time you need to hire.

That said, there are some common mistakes hiring managers make that can negatively impact the process. Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Not checking references for all candidates.

Don’t make the mistake of checking references for some candidates and not others. If you do this, you won’t get a full sense of the candidates you’re considering for hiring. You can do less in-depth reference checks for lower level positions and more comprehensive ones for higher level roles. Just make sure whatever approach you take is consistent within positions.

Offering the job before checking references.

As professional recruiters in Houston, we know that some employers make a job offer contingent on reference checks. But what if a candidate ends up with weak references and you let your other top pick candidates go? It’s best to narrow your list of candidates down to two or three, and then check the references of each. You can then make a more informed hiring decision.

Not checking references.

You need to hire someone fast. That’s certainly understandable. But whatever you do, don’t skip the reference checking process. There are too many candidates who look great on paper and perform well during interviews, only to fall flat once on the job. But when you check their references ahead of time, you’re more likely to find out about any red flags or reasons to avoid hiring them.

Asking the wrong questions.

If you want to conduct effective reference checks, it’s important that you ask more than “yes” and “no” questions. For instance, instead of asking if Sally did a good job, ask the reference giver to offer some specific examples of how well Sally performed on the job. In addition, when details are vague or unclear, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions. This is your chance at getting behind the candidate mask.

Sometimes, employers simply don’t have the time or resources to conduct reference checks. If that’s the case for you, why not outsource some or all of your hiring process to the experts at Murray Resources. As professional recruiters in Houston, we can handle every aspect of your search – from sourcing and screening to interviews and reference checks – or simply the parts you don’t have time for. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help you making smart hiring decisions. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Ask a Houston Sales Recruiter: How to Best Interview Sales Candidates

July 18th, 2017

Your sales department is mission critical to your company’s success. After all, without an effective one, you’re not going to have enough cash flow to operate your business. That’s why when you’re hiring for a sales position, you need to find talented individuals who can contribute to the team – and the bottom line. How can you do that? Start with these interview tips from our experienced sales recruiters in Houston:

Ask good questions.

When it comes to interviewing sales candidates, you can’t walk into the room, wing it and expect to get the information you need. That’s because you need to dig deep to get specific details that will help you hire the right person for the role.

Not only should you ask about their sales track record and biggest accomplishments in past position, but other essentials that are important to the position. For example, if 50% of the job requires travel, then you need to discuss what that entails and ask questions that will help you get a sense of whether candidates are comfortable with that type of demand.

Role play with the candidate.

Beyond interview questions, it’s also important for you to get a sense of each candidate’s style and tactics when it comes to selling. After all, if they can’t sell while role playing, how can you expect them to be a top performer in other high-pressure situations? Role playing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as asking the candidate to sell you the tie they’re wearing or purse they’re carrying.

Assess their personality.

Skills and track record are critically important, but so too is personality. That’s why it’s important to assess each candidate’s personality while you’re interviewing them, as well as through a personality test. There are endless options online, or you can hire a testing company to conduct the assessment for you. Either way, you can ensure you’re hiring someone with the right personality for the job – and your culture.

Give them an assignment.

Once you have a short list of candidates narrowed down, give them an assignment or ask them to come back and make a sales presentation so you can assess their performance. That way, you can evaluate their skills and abilities in a real-life scenario and ensure you’re hiring the best-fit person for the job.

One hiring mistake on your sales team can cost your company big time. Why not outsource the recruiting and screening process to top sales recruiters in Houston?

At Murray Resources, our experienced sales recruiters can help you locate leading sales talent across a broad range of industries and job levels. From VP of sales to account executives, we’ve helped many of Houston’s top companies build their sales teams with A-level talent. And we can help yours too. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Ask a Houston Recruiter: What to Look for in Top Finance Candidates

July 4th, 2017

When it comes to hiring for finance positions, you need those with more than just an ability to crunch numbers. They also need strong ethics, as well as business and leadership skills. As leading finance recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows it can certainly be a tough bill to fill. That’s why accounting and finance positions are consistently ranked some of the toughest jobs to hire for.

So how can you enhance your chances of finding the right finance professionals for your needs? By looking for these qualities in candidates:

They love the work.

Many professionals get into the field because of its stability and compensation. However, if you want to hire real innovators, then you need those who are passionate about their work. They’re the ones who will drive bottom line results at your company; not the candidate who’s just in it for a comfortable lifestyle.

They’re learners.

As top finance recruiters in Houston, we know the field is constantly evolving with more sophisticated tools and technology, along with new regulations. It’s therefore important to find those people for your team who are naturally curious and always learning. You can assess this quality in a number of ways; for instance, asking about what industry-related books they’re reading, or about any new certifications or licenses they’ve acquired.

They have a quantifiable track record.

Don’t let candidates get away with talking about their skills and experience in a broader sense or qualitatively. Instead, dig deeper. Specifically, ask candidates to quantify their accomplishments. In other words, what results did they deliver for past employers? You’ll have a much clearer sense of whether a candidate is right for the role.

They have career goals that align with your company.

When interviewing candidates, strive to find out what motivates each one individually. Is it money? Career advancement? A more flexible schedule? If you want to find candidates whose goals align with your company, it’s important to understand what drives them.

They have strong soft skills.

So much in finance is about technical capabilities. But while you’re assessing those, don’t forget to evaluate soft skills. A candidate might have an impressive resume and background. Yet, if their personality doesn’t mesh with your culture, they’re not going to last long. Likewise, if they have poor communication skills or bad workplace etiquette, they’re going to negatively impact morale.

Don’t forget to test your top picks.

Don’t be afraid to test out your top candidates for skills and abilities. Give them a short online test, or homework assignment that can help you gain a clearer picture of what they bring to the table. At the very least, you can verify they’re capable of performing on the job.

Do you need help finding qualified finance professionals for your team?

Call Houston’s proven finance recruiters at Murray Resources. From CFOs to financial analysts, we have the knowledge and experience to source the finest candidates for both full-time and contract job openings. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

5 Secrets to Recruiting from a Top Headhunter in Houston

June 6th, 2017

As leading headhunters in Houston, Murray Resources knows that hiring the right candidate is both a challenge and an opportunity. You’ve got to weed through dozens or even hundreds of resumes and get behind the candidate mask during the interview. Plus, there’s all the legwork: scheduling phone screens, checking references, performing background checks, and more. At the same time, hiring also presents an important opportunity to help your company innovate and grow – which is why it’s such a critical function.

So how can you recruit and hire the absolute best for your team? As experienced headhunters in Houston, Murray Resources has you covered. Start with these 5 tips:

#1: Tell a story in your job posting.

Don’t post a lengthy job description full of company jargon. Keep in mind, the job posting is a candidate’s first interaction with you. And if you want to attract top talent you need to tell a story. What makes your company great? Why should a candidate want to work for you? What’s does the role entail and what’s unique, inspiring and challenging about it? Take your time in creating a job posting that’s going to make an impact and resonate with top talent.

#2: Be thoroughly prepared for interviews.

When interviewing and hiring candidates, the fundamentals still matter. That means being prepared with meaningful questions for the interview. Don’t simply wing it and expect to get the information you need. Also, before the interview, conduct some research on the candidate. Check them out on LinkedIn, review their resume again, and take a look at their online portfolio. That way, you’ll be able to delve deeper with questions that are specific to a candidate’s skills and experience.

#3: Provide a great candidate experience.

Throughout the recruiting and hiring process, make sure you treat every candidate with respect. You don’t owe them a job. But in today’s day and age of social media, one bad candidate experience can go viral or get Tweeted around the world – tarnishing your employer reputation in the process. Remember, even if you don’t extend a job offer, a little respect goes a long way.

#4: Nurture connections.

So you didn’t hire a particular candidate. But maybe they’d be a great fit for a future opportunity at your company. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch when you’ve identified those who could be a potential asset to your team down the line. Stay connected with them and nurture the relationship for future opportunities.

#5: Always be improving.

You might have a thorough recruiting and hiring process in place. But as top Houston headhunters, we recommend you should still always be improving and tweaking. Look to other organizations as to what they do during their hiring processes. Read about best practices and industry trends in hiring and recruiting. And always be on the lookout for ideas or tips that can help you boost your hiring success – and help your company grow.

Don’t have the time or resources to handle all your hiring needs in-house?

Call in the the experienced Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing world-class recruiting services to leading companies in and around Houston. Contact us today to learn more or get started with our firm.

Posted in: Blog

5 Tips for Interviewing New Grads

May 23rd, 2017

As Houston staffing experts, Murray Resources knows that interviewing new graduates can be more challenging than veteran candidates. That’s because they’re light on experience, which can make them hard to evaluate. How can you pick out the strongest asset to add to your company roster? Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the process:

Tip #1: Use a checklist when hiring.

Before you begin the interview process, create a checklist of qualifications and traits that you’d most like to see in your new hire. Take a look at the job posting again and think through what it takes for success in that particular job. Once you have a checklist in place, it will be far easier to hone in on the candidates who make the cut and those who don’t.

Tip #2: Set the tone.

The candidates you interview will probably be more nervous than those with experience. After all, they’re most likely used to an academic setting, not a professional one. That’s why it’s important to set the right tone. You want to gain their trust so they open up. At the same time, you want to send the message that you’re a professional organization with high standards.

One good way to begin is with some ice breakers. Ask the candidate about their hobbies or why they chose a certain degree program. Try to find a common ground to keep the conversation flowing and natural. This is a good way to make them more comfortable and also gain more insight into their personalities.

Tip #3: Steer clear of industry jargon.

Remember, you’re not interviewing a candidate with 10 years of experience. So stay away from company or industry jargon they may not be familiar with. If you have to use it, then explain what it is. If you don’t, they’ll assume they should know what it is and will feel more nervous because they don’t. Keep in mind, the more comfortable you make the candidate, the more honest their answers are going to be.

Tip #4: Don’t make snap judgements.

The interviewing process is stressful for even the most experienced candidates. So expect those new to the workforce to be even more anxious. So don’t judge them too harshly over seemingly minor mistakes. Give new graduates a little more leeway than you would to those with years of experience.

Tip #5: Ask behavioral questions.

The candidate might not have work experience to relate. However, they can certainly use academic, volunteer and internship experience when answering behavioral questions. This will help ensure the candidate you ultimately do hire is a good fit for the position and the company.

Need more help with your interviewing and hiring process?

Call in the experts at Murray Resources. As Houston’s top staffing experts, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in: Blog

5 Biggest Hiring Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them

May 9th, 2017

As top Houston staffing experts, Murray Resources knows a hiring mistake isn’t just a drain on morale and productivity. It can actually cost you up to 30% of the first year’s potential earnings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s why it’s so important to avoid missteps in the first place. To help you in the process, here are some common pitfalls that can lead to hiring mistakes:

1. Vague details.

When it comes to the job description, it’s important to have a clear-cut sense of the duties and responsibilities. Not only that, but it’s also important to have a good understanding of the type of person who will be successful in the role. How many years of experience should they have? What skills and competencies are essential? Before you start searching for the perfect candidate, it’s vital to have these details ironed out first.

2. Skipping steps in the process.

From the phone screen to reference and background checks, every step of the process has a purpose. And if you skip steps during it, then you’re putting yourself at risk. So though it might take some extra time to perform phone screens and call references, it will produce better results in the form of higher quality candidates.

3. Not asking behavioral interview questions.

It’s important to ask the basics in an interview, including “why do you want to work here?” and “what do you know about the position?” But if you want to truly gauge a candidate’s skill level, it’s important to dig deeper with behavioral interview questions. This means asking candidates to give you specific examples of their behaviors, abilities and past accomplishments. When you do, you’ll get a much clearer picture of whether the candidate is right for the role.

4. Not evaluating for cultural fit.

Just because a candidate has the right skills and abilities doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for the job. Keep in mind, you’re hiring the whole person, not simply their hard skills. That’s why it’s so important to check for cultural fit. To do so, ask questions about the environment a candidate most likes working in and talk about what your company’s culture is like. A mismatch between culture and personality, on the other hand, will lead to disengagement and turnover.

5. Going it alone.

In today’s competitive marketplace, hiring the right people can be tough. That’s why it’s important to have a staffing partner that knows where to find talented, hard-working professionals. They can also reduce your time to hire, while improving the quality of those you do bring on board.

If you’re ready to outsource your hiring process to professionals, give Murray Resources a call.

As one of Houston’s top staffing experts, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in: Blog

How to Nail Behavioral Interview Questions

May 2nd, 2017

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that during an interview, you’re going to be asked a lot of questions. Why do you want to work for us? What do you know about our company? How do you see yourself contributing in this role? But beyond these common questions about the basics, you’ve also got to be prepared to answer behavioral interview questions.

These are the questions that dig deeper and require you to give specific examples of your past experience. For instance:

  • Tell me about a career goal you set for yourself and how you achieved it.
  • What’s the biggest mistake you ever made on the job? How did you handle it?
  • What career success are you most proud of? Why?

These questions can certainly take more thought to answer and make candidates more nervous as a result. But here are some tips to help you answer them more effectively:

Understand why they’re asked.

The purpose of asking behavior based questions is that employers believe past success is a predictor of future success. And in many cases, they’re right. So if you can demonstrate with your answers that you have a track record of positive results, an employer will feel more confident in hiring you.

Do your homework to prepare for them.

Preparation is essential to get your answers right. But how can you prepare if you don’t know what you’re being asked? A few ways:

First, learn all you can about the company – their history, vision and mission, products and services, key company players, and industry trends affecting them. That way, you’ll have a better chance of tying in your background with their specific needs.

Second, re-read the job description and focus on the key essentials the company is looking for. Make a list of them and think through how your background fits in. For instance, if the company is looking for someone with experience with a software program and you have five years working in it, you’ll want to highlight that.

To prepare even further, you can also research common interview questions associated with the requirements they’re looking for. This will not only help you prepare, but also feel more confident walking into the interview.

Have numbers ready to go.

Did you increase sales? Save money? Save time? Manage a team? Acquire new clients? Whatever your past roles, think of the numbers associated with your accomplishments in them so you can quantify your track record. Solid numbers to back up your answers always goes a long way in impressing an interviewer.

Create a stockpile of examples.

What work accomplishments or projects are you most proud of? Think of three to five and then flesh them out. Consider the problem you were tasked with solving, how you went about doing it and why you chose that method, and the results it produced. This is a surefire way – with a beginning, middle and end – to effectively answer interview questions.

Need more help preparing for interviews or finding job leads?

Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the top job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can not only help you locate the opportunities that best match your skills and interests, but also prepare for interviews. Contact us today to learn more, or search our Houston jobs now.

Posted in: Blog

How to Deal with a Job Candidate Who Lies

April 25th, 2017

You might think that resume or interview lies are few and far between. But according to Career Builder, 58% of hiring managers say they’ve caught a lie on a resume. Some of the most common areas that candidates lie about include:

  • Dates of past employment – making it seem like they were at a company longer than they really were.
  • Educational or career credentials – listing a college diploma when they didn’t graduate.
  • Salary history – inflating their most recent one in the hopes of getting a higher offer.
  • Job title – exaggerating past ones, such as adding “senior.”
  • Claiming credit – making it seem like they solely achieved something while it was really a team effort.

So if this just happened to you, you’re certainly not alone. Once you get over your shock and disappointment, how can you deal with the situation?

If the lie was a big one, then you can just put their resume in the recycling bin and move onto the next candidate. After all, if someone isn’t going to be honest during the hiring process, they certainly won’t be once on the job.

If, however, you’re not completely sure the candidate lied – and there seems to be a discrepancy – ask the candidate about it. If they’re honest, then they’ll have a good explanation or it simply could have been an error on their part.

If you’re not satisfied with their answer, though, then cut them loose. The last thing you need is to hire someone and be constantly questioning whether they’re being straightforward with you or not. Moving forward, make sure you:

  • Flag any possible falsifications or inconsistent details when reviewing candidates. Then question the candidate about them during the phone screen.
  • If it’s a question about skills or abilities, perform a skills test to verify the knowledge the candidate claims to have.
  • To check credentials, ask for official proof and documentation, for instance transcripts from college.
  • Also, don’t skip the all-important step of checking references. This is your opportunity to verify that what the candidate has told you about their skills and abilities, as well as their past positions, is really true.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring, and reference and background checks?

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

Posted in: Blog

7 Questions Every Candidate Should Ask in an Interview

April 18th, 2017

As one of Houston’s top job agencies, Murray Resources knows it’s every candidate’s worst nightmare. You accept an offer and eagerly await your start date. But once on the job, you realize the position just isn’t for you. What can you do? Avoid this situation in the first place by asking plenty of questions during the hiring process. If you don’t, you could wind up in a position that’s not a good fit.

So with that in mind, what are some key questions to ask – and why? Here’s a look:

#1: Can you explain the daily tasks and responsibilities of this job?

If the hiring manager doesn’t communicate clearly about what the role entails, it’s up to you to ask. Otherwise, you won’t know whether or not you really want the job. By learning about the daily tasks, you can also get a better grasp on whether you have the right skills and experience to perform the job.

#2: What are your expectations for this role in the first three, six, and 12 months?

Beyond duties, you want to gain a big picture sense of what you’d be expected to accomplish in your first months and year on the job. You also want to ensure that what the hiring manager is asking seems reasonable. If, on the other hand, they start outlining goals that are beyond your capabilities, that’s a red flag the job might not be a good fit for you.

#3: What’s the culture like at the company?

This is one question that many candidates neglect to answer – but it’s just as important as inquiring about the position. If you don’t have a good grasp on the culture and it winds up not being a good fit for you, then you’re not going to be happy in it.

#4: Where do you think the company is headed in the next few years?

You want to work for a company that’s growing and innovating. Otherwise, it will remain stagnant and even begin to shrink. On the other hand, when a company has big plans – and a big vision – for the future, you have a better chance at accessing opportunities for advancement there.

#5: What are the biggest opportunities and challenges in the department?

When making a decision about a potential job opportunity, it’s important to have an accurate sense of both the good and the bad. You shouldn’t only look at the upside of a job – and ignore the down side – unless you want to be blindsided once you start. That’s why it’s important to get a good handle on both the challenges and opportunities you could be facing.

#6: What do you like about working here?

Asking this question can give you further insight into the culture. Also, if the hiring manager pauses and stumbles over their answer, then you might want to think twice before accepting an offer.

#7: What’s your timeline for hiring?

Before you leave an interview, be sure to ask this question so you know what to expect going forward. That way, you’re not sitting around, wondering and waiting for your phone to ring. You’ll also have a sense of when to follow up if you don’t hear back.

Have more questions about the hiring process?

We have answers. As one of Houston’s top job agencies, we can help you with every aspect of the job search process, from start to finish – all so you land the rewarding job you want. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

5 Smart Interview Strategies for Job Candidates

March 14th, 2017

You’ve managed a successful career and earned plenty of accolades along the way. But job interviews still make you nervous. You’re not alone. Whether you have five or 30 years of experience, interviews are stressful situations for most job candidates, no matter how high up on they corporate ladder they are. But the reality is, if you want the job, interviews (and sometimes many rounds of them) are a process you’ll have to endure.

That said, as one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, Murray Resources knows there are some steps you can take so you’re more comfortable during interviews and perform better as a result. Here’s a look at 5 of them:

1. Be confident; you already got an interview.

It’s normal to be nervous. There’s a lot at stake. However, keep in mind you’ve already passed an important first milestone – getting the interview. Not all candidates are called in for one. So when you are, there’s a reason.

2. Memorize information about the company.

The more you know about the company, the more confident you’ll feel walking into the interview. Read about and memorize a few key facts about the company so you can weave those details into your interview answers and questions. You might say something like, “I noticed on your website your company is acquiring XYZ firm. Can you tell me how that would impact this role?”

3. Know your audience.

Before the interview, know the format (e.g., is it a panel interview or a one-on-one?), the players, and the position details. Then create a list of questions you’ll likely be asked and practice your answers. Also, consider any weaknesses or gaps in your experience and how you’ll address them with interviewers.

4. Sell your accomplishments.

When you’re in an interview, don’t simply tell the interviewer about your accomplishments. Sell them. That means being able to quantify specific accomplishments, as well as talk about the impact they had on the overall company bottom line.

5. Re-frame any negatives into positives.

Even when an interviewer asks you about a skill you don’t have, or a weakness, turn the negative into a positive. For instance, when talking about an area where you fell short, make sure you talk about what you learned from the experience and how you were able to apply that knowledge at work. Or, if a particular project got off track, explain the corrective action you took and the end result you were able to achieve.

In addition, a few other tips to keep in mind for interview day success:

  • Keep your answers concise and on target.
  • Be mindful of your body language.
  • Don’t crack jokes.
  • Smile and be engaging.
  • Ask about next steps before leaving.
  • Follow up with a thank you note to those you interviewed with.

If you’d like more help acing interviews and finding your next job, turn to the experts at Murray Resources.

As one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, we can connect you with top employers in the city, as well as rewarding jobs in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Posted in: Blog

The Best Interview Questions to Ask to Find Top Talent

February 28th, 2017

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows when it comes to successful interviews, it’s all about the questions you ask. The wrong ones can lead to a hiring mistake, while the right ones can help you uncover your next top performer. But with so many options out there – and limited time during an interview – which ones are an absolute ‘must’ for you to ask? Here’s a look:

Why did you apply for this job?

This is a good ice-breaker question to ask. It gives the job candidate a chance to explain what interested them about the opportunity and the company, without being too aggressive or hard-hitting. It will also give you a chance to learn a little bit about what makes them tick.

Why do you think you’re the best fit for the job?

It’s important to ask this question for multiple reasons. First, it will showcase whether or not the candidate has done their homework. If they don’t understand what your company does or who it serves, they’re not going to be able to demonstrate fit. Second, it gives them an opportunity to talk about their unique strengths and abilities in relation to your job opening. So, if a candidate tells you about specific skills or accomplishments that relate directly to the role and your needs, it’s a good sign of a strong, well-prepared candidate.

What job on your resume did you like the most? The least?

Asking these kinds of questions will help you get a sense of what drives an individual candidate and whether that aligns with your company’s unique needs and culture. If their favorite job or company has similar qualities as the position you’re offering, then that’s a sign they could be a good fit. But the reverse is also true. If the job they liked least sounds like the role you’re hiring for, then it’s a good indicator the candidate wouldn’t stick around for long if hired.

Show me how you would…(fill in the blank).

When you ask a candidate to explain to you how they would complete a certain task or fulfill a certain goal that’s in the job description, it will give you some serious insight into how they think. It will also help you understand how they’d perform if offered the job.

Why do you want to leave your current role?

Finding out why a candidate wants to leave their current job can tell you a lot about their expectations, how they see themselves, and what’s important to them. It will also give you a chance to evaluate whether you can offer them what they’re seeking in a new role.

Every interview and every interview question is important. That’s why, if you’re not comfortable with the process or don’t have much time to invest in it, you should consider outsourcing it to the experts.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources has worked with the city’s leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Unemployed? Here are 4 Things You Should Be Doing

January 10th, 2017

You’re unemployed. So obviously, you should be looking for a job. But beyond that, what can you do to make this scary and frustrating time a little more manageable – and increase your odds of finding a new opportunity? Here are 4 tips:

#1: Network.

As one Houston’s most experienced job agencies, Murray Resources knows there’s almost always a collective groan when the topic of networking comes up. However, it really is one of the best ways to uncover potential opportunities. To effectively network when you’re unemployed, make sure you:

  • Connect with existing contacts. Reach out to old and existing contacts, including former co-workers, fellow alumni, friends, family, former professors and college advisors, and old bosses. Ask them to lunch. Get together over coffee. And inquire about job opportunities opening up in their companies and organizations.
  • Make new contacts. Attend networking events and industry conferences and seminars. Network online, network in person. Go to a lecture. Sign up for a class. Or join the local chamber of commerce. Not only can you significantly expand your network, but you can have some fun in the process.

#2: Develop a routine.

Your job gave your days and weeks structure. Without it, it can feel like you’re floating aimlessly in a giant abyss. That’s why it’s so important to develop a regular routine.

For instance, get up and dressed at the same time each day. Spend the first half of the day job searching and the second half networking. Designate certain days – such as every Tuesday – as days to follow up on job leads. Be sure to make time for getting out of the house, as well. For instance, a couple mornings a week, bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and work on your resume and job search there.

#3: Volunteer.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a U.S. federal agency that promotes volunteerism, those who volunteer have a 27% better chance of finding a new job when compared with those who don’t. Not only is volunteering a productive way to spend your time, but you can acquire new skills and meet new people along the way. In addition, it makes a positive impression on hiring managers when they see it on your resume.

#4: Get a temporary job.

Worried about income or long employment gaps on your resume? Then consider temporary work through a job agency. That way, you can earn money, gain new skills, expand your network – and perhaps even find your next full-time job.

Interested in learning more about the possibilities available with temporary work? Contact Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s most experienced job agencies, we can connect you with top employers in the city, as well as rewarding temporary jobs in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Answering Interview Questions When You Don’t Know the Answer

December 13th, 2016

Have you ever been in a job interview and asked a question you didn’t know how to respond to? It can be an embarrassing and awkward situation. As the candidate, you want to have all the right answers for the hiring manager who’s interviewing you. But when you don’t, what should you do? Here’s some advice to help you:

When You Can’t Answer a Behavioral Based Interview Question

Behavioral based interview questions are simply those that ask you to give an example; for instance, “explain a time when you handled a conflict with a customer.” As one of Houston’s leading job placement agencies, Murray Resources knows the purpose is to get away from the “what-if” scenarios in an interview and talk about real world situations. Employers want to know how you handle conflict, communicate with others, and deal with change. These kinds of questions help them delve deeper into how you respond and operate – so they can understand how you might perform in the future.

Behavioral questions should be easy to answer when you have a specific example. But if you don’t, then just be truthful. It’s ok to say something along the lines of:

“Honestly, I can’t think of a time when that happened. I haven’t encountered a situation like that in the workplace. I can tell you how I would approach it if I had, though.”

When You Can’t Answer a More Traditional Interview Question

When you can’t answer a behavior based question it’s because you’ve never faced a certain situation before. But what about when you’re asked a more traditional interview question – and you’re stumped? Here are some tips to help you handle the situation:

Take a deep breath and calm down.

Getting asked a question you don’t know the answer to can make you look like a deer caught in headlights. But don’t let your nervousness get the best of you. Otherwise, you won’t be able to think clearly and work through an answer in your head.

Ask a follow up question.

The reason you don’t know how to answer may be that the hiring manager didn’t ask a clear question to start with. So follow up with your own question to ensure you fully understand what they’re asking you. It’s better to ask for clarification then try to make something up.

Explain what you do know.

If there’s a part of the question you do have a good answer to, then start there. You might be able to work through the rest of the answer as you’re talking.

Be honest.

Don’t fake your interview answer. A hiring manager will be able to see right through it. So if you can’t come up with an articulate answer, then be honest. Tell them:

“That’s a great question, but I don’t know the answer off the top of my head. Can I follow up with you on that after the interview?”

Remember too, it’s not always the details of an actual response a hiring manager is interested in. They want to know how you think on your feet and respond under pressure. And when you follow the tips above and you’ll be able to handle any interview question that comes your way.

Need more help with resumes, interviews, and finding a new job in Houston? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s leading job placement agencies, we work with employers all over the city to fill positions in a variety of fields on a contract and full-time basis. If you’re ready to put our expertise to work for you, contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

How to Hire the Best Temporary Workers During the Holidays

December 6th, 2016

The holidays are here – and if your business is like many, it’s a hectic time. You have an increase in demand and projects that need to be wrapped up before year’s end, while employees are requesting vacation time off. It’s certainly a balancing act, one made easier with the help of temporary workers. To help ensure you hire the best ones – and can get the most from them – here are a few rules to keep in mind:

Rule #1: Get referrals from employees.

As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows the best temporary workers will come from employee referrals. Not only can referrals give you a quick source of talent, but it’s also a great way to find candidates who will likely be a better cultural and performance fit. After all, who knows better what it takes to succeed at your company than existing staff members? You can even consider rewarding your employees for successful referrals through bonuses or other incentives.

Rule #2: Take time to interview each candidate.

Don’t hire temporary workers on the fly. Take the time to properly screen and interview candidates to ensure the person you hire is the best fit. Keep in mind, too, you need people who can get up and running quickly. You don’t have the luxury of weeks of training and onboarding like you do with full-time employees. That means, during the interview, you have to ask good questions so you can rest easy that you’re hiring those who can truly thrive. Some questions include:

  • Tell me about your related experience.
  • Give me an example of how you handled a difficult customer in the past.
  • What makes you a great fit for this job?
  • Why do you want this job?

Rule #3: Look for a positive attitude.

A positive attitude can make a huge difference when you’re hiring workers. Someone who’s happy to show up at work and driven to deliver will infuse energy into your workplace. On the other hand, someone who’s bored or unenthusiastic will do barely enough to get by. So look for those candidates who seem excited about the opportunity.

Rule #4: Undercut the competition.

If your competitors are offering a certain hourly wage for temporary workers, offer a dollar or two more, if you can. The extra money will be well worth it in the form of better temporary workers and higher productivity.

Rule #5: Partner with a temporary staffing agency.

As a leading provider of temp services in Houston, Texas, we know hiring temporary or contract workers can sometimes be a struggle. But we’re here to help. We have the expertise, proven processes, and network of candidates to help ensure you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. We can do all the legwork and minimize hiring missteps and risks, all so you get the skilled, dependable, enthusiastic people you need.

If you need help hiring temporary workers for your company during the holidays – or any time of year, call us today. We can help.

Posted in: Blog

5 Biggest Hiring Regrets Managers Have

October 18th, 2016

Have you ever made a big hiring mistake? As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you’re like most experienced managers, the answer is “yes.” And you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to one study by CEB Global, hiring managers admitted that 20% of their employees shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That’s one in five new hires! That’s also a lot of time and money wasted.

So how can you avoid making expensive hiring mistakes? Start by avoiding these 5 regrets:

1. Not checking references.

Just because the candidate is your best friend’s cousin doesn’t mean you should skip the reference checking process. This is your chance to ensure everything they told you aligns with reality. It’s also an opportunity to gain deeper insight into their background, skills and results. It’s a step you don’t want to miss out on.

2. Not checking skills.

For positions where skill checking or employment testing is appropriate, do it. You won’t regret it. Plus there are literally hundreds of different types of tests available online that don’t cost a lot. Requiring these kinds of tests will not only help ensure you hire the best person for the position, but it will also give you more peace of mind about your decision and the process.

3. Not evaluating attitude.

Sure, the person you hire needs the right technical skills to do the job. But don’t focus solely on hard skills and forget to evaluate soft ones. These includes skills such as communication, collaboration, conflict resolution and organizational abilities. Even when a candidate has the strongest skills, they won’t thrive at your organization of they don’t have the right personality and attitude.

4. Letting personal biases get in the way.

Maybe the candidate is from the same hometown as you, or they went to the same college. This can make you feel more of affinity for them then you typically would. But don’t let these personal feelings get in the way of your hiring decisions. Remember, you need to hire the person who’s the strongest fit and most likely to succeed; not the one you like best.

5. Not going with your gut.

Something a candidate’s reference said caught you off-guard. Or a candidate said all the right things, but their body language communicated a different message. Whatever the case, your gut is telling you not to hire this person. Don’t ignore the warning bells. Reach out to others on the hiring committee and talk to them about your reservations before making a move. Perhaps there’s a good explanation, or maybe the candidate just isn’t the right fit for you.

Would you like expert help avoiding hiring mistakes in the future? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has worked with Houston’s leading organizations since 1988 to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Contact us today to learn more and find out how we can help you.

Posted in: Blog

How to Deliver a Great Performance in a Phone Interview

October 11th, 2016

Phone interviews seem like just something to get through on your way to the main event – the in-person interview. However, as one of Houston’s top placement firms, Murray Resources knows if you don’t take these screens seriously, you’re not going to get very far in the hiring process.

How can you deliver a great performance and move onto the next step? Here are 6 tips:

Tip #1: Be prepared.

Just like you would for an interview at an employer’s office, you need to prepare for your phone screen. That means reading through the job description again and researching the company and the position. It also means developing a list of questions you’d like to ask, as well as bullet points of your own relevant experience to highlight.

Also, be sure to have a hard copy of your resume and cover letter by your side. The beauty of a phone screen is that you can reference these documents as needed throughout the interview. In addition, you can take notes while the interviewer is talking and jot down any important questions or points that come to mind so you can bring them up later in the conversation.

Tip #2: Have a quiet time and place set aside.

Scheduling a phone interview at 3 pm, when your kids get off the bus at 3:30 isn’t a good idea. Even if the interview is only supposed to last 20 minutes, what happens if the interviewer is running late or the conversation goes over? Nor is it wise to have the interviewer call you when you’re at work, or at a place where there’s loud noise or the potential for disruption. Instead, ask the interviewer to call you at home during a time when you know you won’t get interrupted.

Tip #3: Smile when you’re answering questions.

The interviewer can’t read your body language. But when you smile during some of your responses, it infuses more energy and life into your answers. Also, be mindful of the pace you’re speaking at during a phone interview. Don’t talk so quickly that the interviewer has a hard time understanding you.

Tip #4: Use the mute button as needed.

If you need to take a drink of water, or you want to type in the company’s web address into your browser, take advantage of the mute button. Your interviewer will never know you hit it – and you can minimize any potential noises or distractions. Just make sure you remember to un-mute your call once you start answering questions.

Tip #5: Promote yourself.

It’s up to you to convince the hiring manager that you deserve an interview. So take every advantage you can to promote your experience, skills and successful accomplishments throughout the conversation. Show your enthusiasm and be prepared to explain why you’d be a good fit for the job.

Tip #6: Follow up with a thank you note.

A few hours after the interview, send a follow up thank you email. Reiterate your interest in the job and why they should consider hiring you.

Need more help preparing for interviews and finding your next job? Call Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top placement firms, we can learn about your background and career goals, then get to work matching you with great new opportunities. Contact us today to get started.

Posted in: Blog

Why Your Newest Team Members are Either Failing or Quitting

September 6th, 2016

It’s your worst nightmare come true. You spent months recruiting qualified candidates; weeks screening and interviewing them; and hours on the phone conducting background and reference checks. And while your new hire starts off enthusiastic and engaged, you realize after just a short time that you’ve made a terrible hiring mistake.

How could this have happened – and what can you do to avoid a repeat going forward?

First, as one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that you’re not alone. In fact, according to a study by Leadership IQ, around 46% of new hires fail on the job. That’s nearly half!

Second, in order to fix the problem, you need to know why new hires fail in the first place. According to that same study – based on 5,247 interviews, here are a few reasons:

  • Lack of coachability. Twenty-six percent of new hires failed because they couldn’t accept and positively implement feedback on their performance.
  • Lack of emotional intelligence. Twenty-three percent were unable to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as accurately assess the emotions of others.
  • Lack of drive. Seventeen percent failed because they didn’t have the necessary motivation to excel and achieve their potential on the job.
  • Wrong temperament. Fifteem percent of new hires failed because their attitude or personality weren’t well suited for their work environment or position.
  • Technical incompetence. Only 11% failed due to a lack of the necessary technical skills.

Based on this study, clearly attitude, personality and cultural fit all play a pretty big role in determining whether or not a new hire will succeed on the job. That means, next time you’re hiring, don’t simply focus on technical competence and skill set. It’s not the best predictor of job success.

Instead, look at the issues above – coachability, emotional intelligence, drive/motivation and temperament/personality. When you assess these areas during the hiring process – in addition to skill set – you’re far more likely to find and hire those people who are a good fit and truly have what it takes to succeed on the job.

Another area to focus on if you want to retain your new hires is onboarding. It’s vital you have an effective and well-designed onboarding process in place to welcome new employees and educate them about their place within the larger culture.

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to recruiting or onboarding new employees? Let the experts at Murray Resources help you. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, we’ve worked with the city’s leading organizations to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Let us help you too! Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

How to Answer – Why Are You Leaving Your Current Employer?

August 9th, 2016

As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to the interview, there are a lot questions that might make you squirm. “Why are you leaving your current employer?” is probably top on your list. After all, you aren’t leaving because you’re happy, engaged and motivated. So how can you be honest and authentic, without sounding bitter or resentful?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when answering this tough interview question:

Tip #1: Don’t badmouth your current employer…

If your instincts are telling you not to talk badly about your current employer – even if you’re leaving because of weak leadership or a toxic work environment – then they’re definitely right. Even if you’re miserable at work, save the negativity for your spouse or best friend.

Tip #2: …But be honest.

It may sound contradictory to be honest without being negative. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Start by considering what you’ve learned from the experience. Even if it wasn’t a good one, it probably taught you about the kind of leadership or work environment you should be looking for in your next job.

You can say something along the lines of:

“I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given at my current employer. However, it’s a small business environment and I’ve learned that I work better in a larger work culture with more room for growth. So I’m really looking for an opportunity where I can continue to learn different things and acquire new skills.”

Also, if you were fired from your last employer, it’s important to be honest about that situation, as well. If you’re not – and the hiring manager calls the company – they will quickly find out you lied. Instead, give an answer to show what you learned from the experience and how it will benefit you in this new position.

Tip #3: Practice your answer.

It’s important you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it ahead of time. Your goal is to come off as self-aware and open. You don’t want a hiring manager to have any questions or red flags in their minds as to why you’re leaving your current employer. So assume this question will be asked and be well prepared to answer it in a positive way.

Whatever you do say, don’t talk about how you simply want to make more money or are looking for a more senior job title. These kinds of statements will sound shallow and self-serving to a hiring manager.

Need more help finding great job opportunities and preparing for interviews? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire job search process – from writing a strong resume to preparing for interviews to finding job opportunities that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

4 Red Flags When You’re Searching for a New Job in Houston

July 26th, 2016

If you’re searching for a new job, you’re likely focused on cover letters, resumes, and preparing for interviews. But don’t get so absorbed in these details that you lose sight of a potential employer’s red flags. If you do, you could wind up accepting a position you’re not a good fit for. To help ensure that doesn’t happen, here are 4 red flags to be aware of:

You’re not sure you can do the job.

You’ve heard about the details of the job – now you’re not sure you have the abilities to perform well in the role. You may be desperate for work, buts as one of the leading job placement agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows accepting an opportunity that you won’t thrive in can only result in frustration and misery. So if you’re concerned you don’t have the skills and experience to get the job done, then it’s probably best to keep up your search.

You only get vague job details.

You’re asking questions about tasks and responsibilities, short- and long-term goals and how your success will be measured. All you’re getting in response are vague answers. If the hiring manager can’t or won’t get into specifics about the job, then take it as a big warning sign that things could change significantly after you’re hired.

You had a poor interview experience.

You met with the hiring manager – who would be your boss if you accept the job – and the experience wasn’t great. They were rude, judgmental, critical, or just didn’t seem to understand the value you could offer. Keep in mind, if you walked away from the interview feeling badly, just imagine having to work there each day. Your boss is going to make a big impact on your job satisfaction and ability to get ahead. So if you’re not comfortable with them, then it’s not the right job for you.

It just doesn’t feel right.

Whenever you think about the job, you get an uneasy feeling. You can’t exactly put your finger on it, but something about it just doesn’t sit right. If this sounds familiar, it’s your intuition kicking in and you should listen to it.

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, it’s tempting to take the first job offer that comes your way. But before you make a move, make sure the employer isn’t showcasing any of these big red flags.

Need more help finding a job – and an employer – who’s right for you? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job placement agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests – whether you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

Hiring Temps? Make Sure You Ask These Interview Questions

July 19th, 2016

Temporary staffing is on the rise in companies across the country, as well as right here in Houston. In fact, the number of jobs in the temporary help services industry reached an all-time high of 2.9 million in May 2015, accounting for 2.4% of all private sector jobs in the U.S. That’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If your business is one of the many hiring on a temporary basis, how do you go about finding the best candidates?

Just like you would for a full-time, permanent employee, it’s important you properly vet each person you’re considering. Keep in mind, a customer isn’t going to care if someone was full-time or temporary if they aren’t treated well. As one of Houston’s top temporary staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows part of finding the right temporary workers includes asking the right questions during the interview process.

To help you make the best temp hiring decisions, here are several questions to ask in the interview:

Can you tell me why you want to work in a temporary job? Are you looking for a long-term or short-term assignment? If a full-time job opened up, would you be interested in applying?

Why ask: These questions are important to ask because they help you gauge the candidate’s career goals – and whether they align with your needs. For instance, say your company is increasing a big increase in sales and subsequent orders. But you’re not sure you can sustain it, so you want to bring in temporary workers to handle the demand without increasing overhead. It’s important to hire those who may be interested in full-time work should it become available. Asking these kinds of questions can give you a better sense of whether the candidate is open to such an opportunity.

What hours would you like to work? Are there certain days of the week you can’t work? Are you able to work different shifts?

Why ask: A candidate may have all the skills you need. But if they can’t work around your schedule and be available when you need them to be, then it’s a no-win situation. It’s important, instead, to find those candidates who can meet your scheduling needs and who can also be flexible should those needs change.

Tell me about a time when you had to adjust to a new workplace situation.

Why ask: When it comes to temporary work, a lot of adjustment is involved. Every time a worker starts a new assignment, it’s with a different company, a different culture and a different set of rules. That’s why, to be successful, a temporary worker has to be able to quickly assimilate.

If I called your last boss, what would they say about you?

Why ask: You’re likely going to call references and asking this question gives you the chance to see if what a candidate tells you matches the information the references give.

Just because you’re hiring a worker on a temporary basis doesn’t mean you shouldn’t thoroughly interview each candidate you’re considering. The questions above are a good place to start – so you can make the best hiring decision.

Do you need expert help hiring temp workers – and taking your company to the next level? Call the team at Murray Resources. As one of Houston’s top temporary staffing agencies, our extensive database of over 8,000 candidates allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to our clients’ growth and productivity goals. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

4 Tips for Working With Houston Job Agencies

July 12th, 2016

Sometimes, when it comes to job hunting, it’s not what you know – but who you know. Enter job agencies.

Job agencies can be especially helpfully if you’re looking for a new position in or around Houston and want some professional help with the process. Not only do recruiters within these agencies have long-standing relationships with many top employers in the city, but they can also assist you with creating a great resume and cover letter, and polishing your interview skills – all so you can make the best impression possible.

That said, not all job agencies are created equal. So how can you find one that’s a good fit for you? Here are 4 tips:

Tip #1: Research.

Before you sign on the dotted line with any job agencies in Houston, make sure you do your homework. You want to ensure the one you do select is a good fit for the kinds of jobs and companies you’re after. For instance, some job agencies specialize in certain industries, or types of employment – like temporary or full-time. It’s important you find an agency with experience placing candidates like you – so you can get the most out of the relationship.

Tip #2: Prepare.

You’ll have a much better chance of finding a great job through a search agency if you’re well prepared. That means going into your first meeting with an understanding of the types of jobs you’re looking for, and also being able to explain your skill set and experience. Also, make sure you’re familiar with the salary expectations for the types of positions you’re qualified for so you can properly evaluate any job offers.

Tip #3: Listen.

When you work with a job agency, expect for your recruiter to offer you advice on your resume, cover letter and interview skills. Don’t get defensive. Remember, they want to connect you with great job opportunities in Houston. But to do so, you need to know how to position yourself in the best possible light. So listen to and follow their guidance and recommendations.

Tip #4: Be patient.

Don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately from your recruiter about job opportunities. It can take some time to find the right assignment for you. So be patient and stay in contact with your job agency so you can find out about any new developments.

Also, if you come across any jobs that interest you in the meantime, let your recruiter know. They may be able to offer you advice on how you can make the best possible impression when you apply.

Interested in learning more about working with a job search agency? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading job agencies in Houston, we can assist you with the entire search process – from crafting a strong resume and preparing for interviews to giving you access to job openings that are a great fit for your skills and background.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

5 Job Search Mistakes That Will Cost You the Job

May 24th, 2016

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows the job market can be fierce. One false move and you could knock yourself out of the running for a great opportunity. What are some mistakes even the best job seekers have made in the past? Here’s a look:

Mistake #1: Not following instructions when applying.

You may not want to give a list of referrals or your salary history. However, if you don’t follow the instructions of the job postings, don’t be surprised when you’re not called in for an interview.

Mistake #2: Submitting a five-page resume when you have three years of experience.

Even for those with 10+ years of experience, two pages typically suffice when it comes to submitting a resume. If you do send in an excessively long resume, then the hiring manager will view you as self important or think you can’t edit and focus on your strengths.

Mistake #3: Following up…in person.

You had an interview with the hiring manager and they told you to expect to hear back in a week. It’s now been two. It’s perfectly acceptable to send a quick email asking about the status of the position. However, if you just applied for the job and show up on the company’s door step two days later inquiring about the position, you’re going to look unprofessional.

Mistake #4: Arriving to an interview too early.

Sure, you want to show the hiring manager you’re eager for the job. However, showing up 30 minutes early – or more – for an interview will simply make you look desperate. Ten minutes early is fine. If you arrive sooner than that, then wait in your car or go to the coffee shop around the corner.

Mistake #5: Asking about perks and benefits too soon.

Of course, you want to know about benefits and perks of a particular opportunity. But ask too early – for instance,  your first question during the phone screen – and it could look like that’s all you’re after. Instead, you want to show the hiring manager that you’re interested in the opportunity and that you’re a good fit for it. Ask about the benefits once you’re deeper into the hiring process.

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

6 Tips for Conducting Phone Screens

May 17th, 2016

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that today phone screens are the norm in the interview process – and for good reason. How many times in the past have you invited a candidate in for an interview and realized two minutes in that they’re not the right fit? It’s a waste of time for both you and the candidate. On the other hand, a phone screen can help you avoid this scenario and filter out weak candidates.

With that said, how can you best conduct a phone screen so you can focus on top talent? Here are 6 tips to help you:

Tip #1: Create a short list.

You received 100 resumes. But you don’t want to conduct that many phone screens. Instead, narrow your list to your top 10 candidates.

Tip #2: Prepare your questions.

Don’t wing a phone interview. You need to prepare in advance. Keep in mind, you shouldn’t be asking dozens of questions at this point. However, you should have a list of five or six questions you ask each candidate. These questions should cover topics essential to the job and that will help you make a decision about whether or not to move a candidate forward in the process.

Tip #3: Follow a consistent format.

Every phone screen you conduct should follow a similar format. Begin with a quick introduction about the company and the job. Then move onto your questions. Take notes while the candidate is answering questions so you can remember key details and better compare all candidates once your phone screens are complete. Also, be sure to answer any questions the candidate may have about the position and what it entails.

Tip #4: Promote the opportunity.

If the candidate seems like they could be a good fit, sell the opportunity. Explain why they’d want to work for the company and give a quick overview of the key benefits and perks they can enjoy. Remember, top talent has their pick of positions – and won’t stay on the market for long.

Tip #5: Talk about next steps.

At the end of the conversation, talk to the candidates about the next steps in the hiring process. How and when will they hear from you next? If you don’t think they’re the right fit for the job, then let them know, while also being polite and thanking them for their time.

Tip #6: Rate your candidates.

Once all your phone screens are complete, rate your candidates to decide who to ask to come in for an interview. You should end up with several possibilities – not just one.

Do you need more help with phone screens – or any other part of the hiring process? Call the team at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

Can You Over-prepare for a Job Interview?

May 10th, 2016

You’re searching for a new job. So you know how important it is for you to prepare for an upcoming interview. But can you prepare too much? To the point where you actually hurt your chances of landing the offer?

In a word: Yes.

As one of the leading recruiting agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows if you’re spending days researching interview questions, studying your “lines” before an interview, and practicing your answers in front of the mirror again and again, then you’re preparing too much. Rather than coming off like an authentic human being, you’re going to sound like a robot full of canned answers. And great companies don’t hire robots.

Instead, next time you need to get ready for a big interview, follow these tips:

  • Don’t write a script. It’s tempting to research “top interview questions” on Google and then write out and practice your answers to every single one. But this is how you end up sounding rehearsed. Instead, look up common questions and simply jot down a few bullet points you’d like to get across about each one. That way, you can deliver a great answer without sounded scripted.
  • Know what makes you different. Rather than simply trying to rehearse the right answers to questions, spend time thinking about your experience and background – and what unique strengths you bring to the table. Really think through the job and why you’re a great fit for it. Have relevant accomplishments in mind that you’re ready to talk about that showcase your skills and abilities. Be ready to demonstrate what makes you different or unique and what lessons you’ve learned along the way.
  • Show some personality. Sure, you might look great on paper. But if the hiring manager sees a nervous candidate giving canned answers, you’re not going to get hired. Employers want to hire people who have positive attitudes and are enthusiastic about the job. So don’t focus on delivering stiff answers, even if you think they’re the “right” ones. Instead, let your personality shine through and show the hiring manager why you’re interested in the job.

Remember, there’s a line between being well prepared and sounding rehearsed. You need to think about why you’re a great fit for the job and be ready to get specific with examples. But you don’t need to script exactly what you’re going to say ahead of time.

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

3 Pre-Interview Steps Every Employer Must Take

May 3rd, 2016

As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that conducting effective interviews is part art, part science. The right approach can help you screen out weak candidates and focus on top talent. But the wrong approach can lead you into a world of trouble – in the form of a hiring mistake. To help you in the process, here’s are 3 pre-interview steps you should take before you even schedule your first interview:

Create the team.

Set up a planning meeting to develop the interview teams for both first and second round interviews. The first round interviews might simply be conducted by an HR representative and the hiring manager. The second round of interviews, though, can include other company leaders who would work with the new hire, potential co-workers, internal customers and any other important stakeholders. At this point, you should also plan out the interview and follow-up process with the team.

Develop the questions.

Work with the interview team to develop the first round of screening questions they should ask. These should include more basic questions about each candidates’ background and expertise, such as “Tell us about yourself,” and “Why are you interested in working for this company?”

Also, work out behavior-based questions that interviewers in the second round should ask, like “Tell me about a time you had to handle an angry customer.” In addition, you can include scenarios, role plays, and ask the candidate how they would solve a certain problem or overcome a particular obstacle.

Whatever questions you do come up with, just be sure to ask all candidates the same basic ones so it’s easy to make comparisons later on about each individual.

Train the interviewers.

Each member of the interviewing team should be assessing different aspects of the employee, such as experience, technical skills, cultural fit, communication skills, etc. When you take this approach, the team will be more likely to notice and assess the full spectrum of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

When assessing a candidate, team members should also be trained to be as specific as possible. For instance, rather than noting a candidate has “weak communication skills,” they should be note the candidate’s lack of eye contact or vague answers. This will make the process of evaluating each candidate and making a final hiring decision far easier.

Would you like to outsource interviewing – or the entire hiring process to the staffing experts? Call Murray Resources. As leading Houston recruiters, we can take the hassle out of hiring  – all so you can focus on other priorities while still gaining access to high quality talent. Contact us today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

How Your Houston Company Can Hire Top Employees (Hint: It’s All About Sourcing)

March 1st, 2016

Your interviewing and skills-testing abilities might be top-notch. But if your sourcing process is less-than-stellar, recruiting top people to your team is going to be a challenge. Why? Because if your candidate pool is weak, it will impact your ultimate hiring decision. You need to ensure you’re sourcing the strongest candidates from the start, so you can interview, test and eventually hire the very best. Here’s how:

Consider what the job entails.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that sourcing the best candidates needs to start with a vision of what the job entails. So ask yourself this: What will a candidate need to do in order to be successful on the job? What are your goals and expectations for them within 90 days and six months of being hired? What will their specific tasks and responsibilities be?

Don’t just rely on what you think you know about the position. Talk the department head, as well as the people who will be working alongside the new hire so you can gain a clear sense of what this person will need to accomplish.

Focus on what makes your job better.

In other words, why should someone want to work for your company? In order for a candidate to want to make a move, you need to offer a compelling pitch. Most traditional job ads only focus on what the employer is looking for. Make yours stand out and advertise what you can offer to the candidate.

Sharpen your marketing skills.

Broadcast this message in your online job posts, as well as when you’re communicating directly with candidates. Make sure they understand not only what they will be doing, but what they also can be learning and becoming if they accept your offer.

Leverage your resume database.

Don’t forget about the resumes you keep on file. When you’re looking for your next great hire, now’s the time to tap into your resume database. You may have the ideal candidate right at your fingertips. Reach out to the strongest contenders with an email describing the opportunity and why they should consider making a move.

Tap into your network.

Candidates aren’t the only ones who should be networking during the job search process. When you’re sourcing potential employees, networking is one of the most effective tools in your arsenal. When someone refers a contact to you, call them immediately to find out whether they’d be open to a discussion.

Do you need more help sourcing and hiring Houston’s top talent? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

Posted in: Blog

How to Recognize Great IT Candidates

December 15th, 2015

As Houston technical recruiters, Murray Resources knows when it comes to IT, hiring isn’t easy. While you may have a good amount of candidates apply for a position, spotting the strongest ones can be a challenge. And, as you know, a high performer is going to have a far more positive impact on your bottom line than someone who’s just mediocre. So how can you recognize great IT talent next time you’re looking to hire for your tech team? Here are some tips to help you:

Tip #1: Define Your Ideal Candidate

Don’t start the hiring process without knowing precisely the kind of candidate you’re looking for. Before you begin, define their role and the skills, experience and personality that best fit it. Identity not only the tasks, duties and responsibilities associated with the position, but think too about goals and how success will be measured. The more you can define the role and who your ideal candidate is, the better chances you’ll have of spotting them.

Tip #2: Don’t take a hard line on experience.

For example, if you’re looking for a candidate with at least five years of programming experience, but you find a great candidate with only three years, don’t overlook them. If they’re smart, passionate and eager to learn, they may become a more valuable asset to your company than someone with more experience. Hard skills can always be learned; attitude usually cannot.

Tip #3: Don’t focus on imperfections.

It’s true that some of the best candidates don’t have the perfect resume, a flawless GPA, or a degree from a prestigious university. But don’t let these details get in the way of you finding the best candidate. Strong candidates don’t always come in neat packages with perfect resumes; some may have a more unorthodox background. Don’t overlook these “diamonds in the rough” when you’re hiring.

Tip #4: Perform your due diligence.

That said, don’t skip important steps in the hiring process just because you like a certain candidate. It’s always important to check references, verify credentials, and performs skills and personality testing to ensure you make the best hiring decision.

Tip #5: Promote the opportunity.

Once you have a handful of candidates you’re interested, it’s up to you to promote the position and your company to get them excited about coming on board. Some ways to do that include talking about the interesting and challenging work, the company’s commitment to investing in the latest technology, opportunities for advancement, and any other perks and benefits you think would appeal to them. Get them excited about working for you.

If you’d like more help hiring tech talent for your IT team, call Murray Resources. Our Houston technical recruiters are highly experienced at identifying and placing world-class information technology (IT) talent. Our in-depth technical knowledge allows us to pinpoint even the most highly-specialized IT professionals for a wide range of companies and projects throughout Houston. Whether your needs are full-time / direct hire or temporary / contract, we can help. Contact us today.

Posted in: Blog

How to Spot a Weak Candidate

December 1st, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that hiring mistakes are expensive. But the good news is that many times, they can be avoided. To help ensure you filter out the weak candidates – and focus on the strong ones – be on the lookout for these negative traits:

They give you ambiguous information.

When you ask a candidate a question, they should be able to offer you detailed information and examples from past work experiences that highlight the skill set and experience you’re interested in. However, when a candidate can’t go into a specifics, it’s a sign they lack the background you’re after.

They give long-winded answers.

Sometimes a candidate may ramble due to nerves. But in many cases, it’s a sign that they don’t really understand what you’re asking. In addition, not being able to offer a concise answer means their communication skills need improvement.

They’re too informal about the interview.

They may show up a few minutes late, dress in attire that’s not completely appropriate and keep their cell phone in hand during the interview. These types of behaviors shows a total lack of regard for both you and your company…and it’s also a sign of what’s to come should you hire this person. A strong job candidate doesn’t need to be overly formal, but they should know how to act professionally during the interviewing process.

They aren’t prepared.

It’s important for candidates to spend some time before the job interview researching your company. Doing so enables them to ask insightful question to assess whether the position is a good fit for them and also shows their enthusiasm for the job. However, when a candidate shows up ill-prepared, it demonstrates they’re not willing to put in the work…even during the interview process.

They focus on the negative.

Most people have had a boss or co-workers they didn’t care for at some point during their careers. However, when a candidate focuses on negative experiences like these, it’s a sign that they lack judgment and professionalism.

They focus on the money.

It’s only natural for a candidate to want to know about the compensation, benefits and perks associated with the position. However, if their first few questions revolve around salary and vacation time, then the candidate likely doesn’t care much about the job or the company.

When a candidate demonstrates the traits above, then it’s time to cross them off your short list. If you’d rather outsource the process to the experts, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Posted in: Blog

How to Tap Into Hidden IT Talent in Houston

November 17th, 2015

If you’re looking to hire IT talent, you know it’s not simply business as usual. Competition is fierce. The good news is that, as IT recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you that if you rethink your approach to recruiting, you can uncover hidden technical talent and hire the IT people you need, where and when you need them. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Ask for Referrals

When you need talented IT professionals, the first place you should start is by asking your existing IT staff for referrals. They’ll likely know people not only looking for jobs, but those with the right technical skill sets and background. You also may want to create a referral program or offer financial incentives if you do end up hiring someone an existing employee refers. Doing so will help you build a pipeline of qualified technical talent when you need to hire.

Create a a Twitter Search

Another question to ask your tech team besides whether they have any colleagues to refer is which Twitter hashtags to look out for when you’re sourcing candidates. Once you create a list, set up accounts with social monitoring websites, such as HootSuite, to learn about online conversations using those keywords.

Narrow Your Search

LinkedIn is a great place to start when you’re looking for IT talent. However, you need to go beyond the site in order to be effective with your efforts. One way to do that is by using online collaboration sites to narrow your search. These sites speak to a specific skill set such as Google Code, Working With Rails and Stack Overflow. When you narrow your search, you’ll have a much better chance of uncovering candidates with the skills and experience you need.

Create a Recruiting Program With Local Colleges

Your next best IT hire may still be in college. So don’t overlook these up-and-comers when you’re searching for technical talent. To tap into new college recruits, set up an internship program with your local college or colleges. Also, connect with any IT or computer engineering clubs at the schools so you can get on the radar of the members there and try to forge relationships with them.

Go to Competitions

Find out when technology and programming competitions in your area are and plan to attend. When you do, these contests give you a front and center peak into the IT talent within your community and an opportunity to network with them. To find out about events in your area, look to websites like Meetup.com.

If you need more help uncovering hidden technical talent – so you can build the strongest IT team, give Murray Resources a call. As experienced IT recruiters in Houston, we can give you access to the highest quality talent, whether you need a programmer, project manager, or desktop support personnel. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Blog

How to Hire the Right Personalities For Your Team

November 3rd, 2015

When you’re hiring – regardless of whether it’s for a big corporation or a small family business – you need people who are a fit for your company. As leading Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows the best employees go beyond having strong hard skills. They have the soft skills that enable them to adapt well to the company culture and their positions, and are therefore able to perform at their best.

So if you’re ready to hire, or are considering doing so, how can you make sure you recruit those who have the right personality for your team? Before you start, ask these questions:

#1: What kind of personality are you looking for?

For instance, if you’re hiring a receptionist, being friendly and outgoing are significant traits for the job. However, if you’re hiring a bookkeeper, being detail oriented is far more important. So think about the position you’re hiring for – as well as the types of personalities that thrive within your company culture – and make a list of the key traits that you should be looking for in candidates.

#2: What questions will you ask to screen for the traits most important to you?

Once you’ve defined the traits most important to the position, make sure that the hiring and interview process will effectively screen for them. For instance, if you need someone who can think on their feet, ask a curveball question – such as “If Americans were the tallest people in the world, how would you go about proving it?” – when you’re interviewing them.

#3: How will you demonstrate the company’s personality during the interview?

Another way to find candidates with the right fit personality is to make sure you educate each individual about the company’s culture. If you communicate that your culture is laid back and informal, for instance, and a candidate knows they work better in a more structured environment, it’s likely they’ll filter themselves out of the running for the job, or not accept an offer should you extend one.

#4: How will you approach the interview?

It’s important to approach the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation. The more comfortable a candidate feels, the more likely it will be that they will open up and share more details about themselves. As a result, you’ll better be able to assess whether or not they’re a good fit for your opportunity.

Do you need more help hiring candidates that are the fit your organization? Call Murray Resource. As leading Houston recruiters, we can take the hassle out of hiring  – all so you can focus on other priorities while still gaining access to quality talent. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

Posted in: Blog
<
Hire Now!