Are You Making These Common Reference Checking Mistakes?

January 1st, 2013

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

The answer: a lot.

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

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

Not Digging Deeper By Asking Good Questions.

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

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

Not Getting References from Managers.

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

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

Not Applying the Process Consistently Across All Job Candidates.

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

Not Checking References for Temporary or Contract Workers.

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

Need More Help With Your Hiring Process?

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


Posted in: Blog

15 Critical Questions You Should Ask Every Temporary Employment Firm

July 13th, 2010

Landing a position through a temporary employment agency can provide a host of benefits, like a flexible schedule, supplemental income, and the ability to test the waters at different companies. But if you’ve never worked for a Houston temporary employment agency before, you may have some questions. That’s a good thing! Before committing to a particular agency, you should ask each a variety of questions to ensure they’re a good fit for you.

Here’s a list of 15 important questions to help you get started:

Questions to Ask About the Temporary Employment Agency

1. How long have you been in business?

2. Why types of Houston employers do you work with?

3. What are some examples of the job opportunities that you fill?

4. How much do your services cost? (Hint: If the employment agency tells you they charge job seekers for their services, then it’s time to say good-bye. Reputable employment agencies don’t ask applicants to pay for placements in temporary job assignments.)

Questions About How the Process Works

5. Will you contact me when a position I’m suited for becomes available, or should I call to check in? How often?

6. What happens if I want to turn down a job opportunity? Is that allowed?

7. What if I accept a temporary job opportunity, but realize after a few days things aren’t working? What should I do?

8. If I show up to an assignment and the company decides they don’t need me, do I still get paid?

9. Will I receive training? Do I have to pay for the training? (Again, if the answer’s “yes,” it’s time to turn and walk away. A reputable employment agency will not ask you to pay for training.)

10. What if the Houston employer you place me with wants to hire me full-time? Can I accept?

Questions About Pay & Benefits

11. Approximately how much do the jobs I’m qualified for pay?

12. How do I track my hours?

13. How often will I be paid?

14. Do you offer any benefits, such as health insurance, to temporary employees?

15. Do you pay overtime to temporary employees? If so, what’s the rate?

Make sure you get the answers to these questions – and any others you may have – before committing to a particular temporary employment agency. And if you want to add Murray Resources to the list of Houston temporary employment agencies you’d like to possibly work with, then please feel free to contact us to learn more. Or, to get an idea of the types of positions we can give you access to, take a look at our current job openings in and around the Houston area.

Posted in: Blog

STEP 6: Drug Screen

October 29th, 2008

Drug Screening

As a condition of employment, all candidates are provided a copy of Murray Resources’ Temporary Applicant Guidelines and are required to sign an acknowledgement form that they have read the policy in detail and understand and agree to its terms. A 6-panel drug-screening test is administered upon request of the client company.

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STEP 4: Skills Testing

October 29th, 2008

Appropriate skill tests are administered to viable candidates. Murray Resources uses an online assessment tool that is the most accurate and validated testing and training site of its kind. Using this technology, the company has the capability of testing a wide and diverse range of skill sets.

The software we use for our testing/training is “Prove It!”. Prove It! gives Murray Resources the power to identify and select the most talented candidates and employees.

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STEP 3: Criminal background check

October 29th, 2008

Harris County JIMS

Every candidate who comes through the door at Murray Resources is given a Harris County JIMS background check. This online service provides a detailed report that covers civil and criminal records in Harris County.

Murray Background Checks

For all temp-to-hire and direct hire placements, Murray Resources has the resources to provide extensive background and nationwide criminal check information as well as perform statewide social security background checks.

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STEP 2: Reference check

October 29th, 2008

Murray Reference Checks

Employment experts estimate that 30 percent of resumes contain false or exaggerated information. Dates of employment are often expanded to cover gaps, or college degree information is inaccurate. As part of the process, Murray Resources conducts degree checks and verifies information with previous employers.

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STEP 1: In-depth face to face interview

October 29th, 2008

Murray Resources conducts face to face interviews that give clients valuable information about each candidate’s interests, goals, and work style. They help refine the search down to the top two or three candidates and provide guidance through the final interviews and completion of the hiring process. This ensures the client is hiring the best possible candidate for the position.

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STEP 5: Behavioral/Workstyle Assessment

September 29th, 2008

Murray Resources uses the DISC Personality Profile, the most established, validated, and reliable behavioral work style assessment tool. The DISC Personality Profile system uses a four-dimensional model of normal behavior and helps identify candidates who are in the same quadrants of the behavioral demands of the job.

A Work Environment Assessment is conducted with input from clients who share insights on work place, culture, and behavioral characteristics that lead to success on the job at their company. Since successful performance often relates to matching an individual’s natural behavior with the behavior best suited for a specific job in a specific setting, this assessment is very useful in identifying candidates with the desired tangible and intangible skills and qualities.

Posted in: Blog
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