5 Tips for Staying Healthy on the Job
Staying healthy at work is a challenge. From the constant stream of snacks in the lunchroom to sitting in front of a computer all day, the office environment takes a toll on your body. However, the good news is that there are small steps you can easily implement today to achieve better health over time on the job. Here’s a look at five of them from the Houston headhunters at Murray Resources:
Be more mindful about what you eat.
Offices are notorious for bagel Fridays, birthday parties for co-workers, ice cream socials and leftover subs from that big corporate meeting. These can add to your daily enjoyment, as well as to your waistline.
Instead, be more mindful about what you eat. For instance, before a company event, have a piece of fruit to fill you up so you can more easily say “no thanks.” This will help you stay strong in the face of temptation.
Drink more water.
Staying hydrated offers loads of benefits. It makes you feel fuller for longer and gives you more energy. What’s more is that it can actually improve brain function, as well, positively impacting performance. To make it easy, bring a large water bottle to work with you each day and simply keep filling it up. You should aim to drink around eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses.
Even if you love your job, it gets stressful. This, in turn, can lead to sickness and burn out. That’s why taking breaks and using your vacation time is so important. Not only will you be able to rest your body, but your mind, too.
Get enough exercise.
When you’re busy, it’s tricky to fit workouts and activity into your day. However, you’ll feel better and actually be able to get more done. So commit to regular exercising, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a few days a week.
You can go for a walk during lunch or hit the gym after work; whatever fits best into your lifestyle. One way to stay motivated is to ask a friend or co-worker to join you. Even small steps, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further away from the office, can lead to improvements over time.
Keep it clean.
A few major sources of germs and illness are right in front of you, on your computer keyboard, mouse and office phone. Viruses, for instance, can survive for days, putting you at risk. So break out the disinfectant and wipe down these objects on a daily basis.
Working without good health would be a lot harder. That’s why you should put some effort, like the tips above, into getting into better shape. When you do, you’ll not only enhance your career performance, but your quality of life, too.
Ready for a job that’s a healthier fit for you?
If you’re burned out or overworked, you might be looking for a position that offers more of a balance. The Houston headhunters at Murray Resources can help. We can assist you in defining your game plan, accelerating your job search with effective strategies, and ultimately helping you land a healthier role that makes you happier. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
10 Staffing Strategies for Controlling Costs
Are you looking to improve operating margins in your business? It could be beneficial to take a look at your staffing strategy for ways to control costs. From the assembly line to the executive office, effective staffing is essential to maximizing profitability.
Below are ten practical staffing strategies to reduce overhead, controlling operating costs, and improve organizational performance.
1) Convert Fixed Costs to Variable
If your company is like most, labor is the most significant line item on your P&L. To minimize that expense employers should implement a planned staffing model to convert fixed costs to variable. This can be accomplished through the reduction of core staff to levels necessary to maintain normal operations. Then partner with qualified temporary staffing vendors to supplement your staff with trained temporary personnel to meet peak production demands as needed. This strategy is particularly useful for industrial labor, as well as for technical and professional projects.
2) Eliminate Overtime
Employee overtime is a costly way to get work done. Using temporary employees in place of overtime can reduce labor costs by 20% or more.
3) Limit Benefits Expenses
On average, benefits cost 20% – 25% more than payroll expenses. Where appropriate, use temporary and payrolled employees (employees who are paid through a staffing firm or professional employment service) to limit benefits expenses. This option is most often used for interns, project professionals, and other short-term employees. Using temporary and payrolled employees in place of independent contractors will also reduce your employment risks.
4) Reduce Training Costs, Scrap & Rework
Training is expensive–and not just the hard dollar cost of the training program. There are also the soft costs of lower productivity and poorer quality that result from employing novice staff. Reduce training costs and improve work quality and productivity by employing skilled temporary employees. By working closely with your staffing partner, you can gain access to candidates who are well-trained and have experience in the skills you need. To enhance productivity further, partner with your staffing firm to create an initial orientation and training program for new hires.
5) Shift Administrative Burden
When you use temporary staff instead of direct hires, all costs associated with processing and administering payroll and benefits are transferred from your company to the staffing firm. This results in a drastic shift in the administrative burden and a reduction in the associated costs.
6) Prevent Unemployment Claims
Unlike short-term direct hire employees, temporary personnel work for your staffing partner—not you. Consequently, their unemployment claims don’t affect your rating or your bottom line.
7) Reduce the Risk of Hiring Mistakes
A bad hire can cost you between two and seven times the employee’s annual salary. Staffing firms follow rigorous screening procedures for both temporary personnel and direct hires, which increases your chances of getting the right person. They will most often provide candidates who not only possess the skills and experience you require but who also have the personality traits needed to thrive in your work environment. To further reduce your hiring risk, you can also take advantage of your partner’s temp-to-hire services and direct placement guarantees.
8) Take Advantage of a Staffing Firm’s HR Capabilities
If hiring duties are sidetracking your key employees, use your staffing partner to handle screening, testing, interviewing, and reference checking. Their expertise can free your personnel to concentrate on critical activities and can reduce your time to hire.
9) Cut Costs by Hiring
Capacity constraints are a significant source of cost. Restrictions may affect the throughput of a plant or the productivity of an executive. To eliminate the bottlenecks, consider adding temporary or full-time staff. Bringing in administrative support frees key personnel to focus on core job duties (not only do you get a more productive employee, but the administrative work gets done for significantly less cost). Add labor to relieve process constraints and improve productivity. Use technical and professional temps to keep projects on track. By adding the right people, work will get done more efficiently, with less administrative headache, and for less cost.
10) Avert Costs Associated with Burnout
Many companies may take the concept of “lean thinking” too far. They push direct staff to produce more with fewer resources. Moreover, as the stress increases, problems with quality, productivity, absenteeism, and turnover increase as well. Take the pressure off by using temporary employees. The additional personnel will help your staff avoid burnout, reduce the cost of defects, avoid productivity losses, and limit turnover expense.
At Murray Resources we are proud to be considered a partner to our clients and to be relied upon to deliver top quality candidates for even the most time-sensitive temporary and/or contract staffing needs. Our extensive candidate network allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to our clients’ growth and productivity goals.
If your company is seeking top performers, please contact us today online or call us at (713) 935-0009.
The Hidden Costs of Understaffing
What is understaffing really costing your company?
Over the past decade, many businesses have mastered the art of doing more with less. Quality improvement, re-engineering, and right-sizing initiatives have resulted in unparalleled gains for American business. But the long-standing mantra of running “lean and mean” is resulting in costs that few anticipated. In many instances, understaffing has become a real threat to future prosperity.
Is the key to success really making due with less or are the hidden costs of understaffing and lost opportunities a potential threat to your business? Consider the following example of Fairfield Print and Graphics, a mid-sized commercial printer.
Case Study: Fairfield Print and Graphics
Owned and operated by Richard Stafford, Fairfield lost two experienced graphic designers at the end of June. Rather than replace them, Mr. Stafford reasoned that he could juggle schedules and pay a little overtime to get the work done with his remaining staff. He calculated that he would save thousands of dollars.
We’ll Never Use You Again
Weir Trucking, Inc. contracted Fairfield to format and print its annual report, due to shareholders by July 15th. Preparing the report was a complex job, and because they were short-staffed, Fairfield employees worked a total of 120 overtime hours on the Weir project. While the reports were delivered on time, Weir became extremely upset because their logo was printed in the wrong shade of blue and one of the bar graphs contained erroneous information. Fairfield printed 5,000 correction inserts at a cost of $250 and refunded Weir half the $4,000 fee for the reports, but Weir vowed it would never use Fairfield’s services again.
During July, First Community Bank, an existing customer, requested that Fairfield redesign and print an updated mortgage form. Likewise, Josef’s Fine Dining wanted a series of new coupon flyers produced. A potential new customer, Sky Hi Tech, was interested in having an employee handbook printed. Because Fairfield’s staff was already at maximum capacity, Mr. Stafford had to turn down the work – a revenue loss of $5,200. Whether any of these organizations will use Fairfield in the future is uncertain.
Not only was Fairfield forced to turn down work, it also had to pass on a strategic business opportunity. Ideas On-Line, creator of Fairfield’s Web site, finally had the time to design a new on-line ordering page. However, no one at Fairfield had time to work with Ideas On-Line, so Mr. Stafford had to postpone the project.
Fairfield’s creative director and office supervisor, Cathy Lynn, always did more than her share. However, the added stress she felt during July proved too much. Cathy accepted a position with another company that offered her a comparable salary and a less demanding working environment. Mr. Stafford estimated that it would take one highly-experienced full-time designer and one part-time administrative assistant to replace Cathy.
Adding It Up
At the end of July, Mr. Stafford added up the “savings” that resulted from understaffing and compared them to the cost of hiring two new employees (See the table below entitled, “Fairfield Cost Comparison for July.”)
The decision to limp along short-staffed during July cost Fairfield $2,360 more than hiring two new employees. Over the course of a year, the company stood to lose almost $30,000. As disturbing, it took only one month to lose a valuable team member, several customers, and an opportunity to acquire e-commerce capability. In fact, all Fairfield gained from the decision was an office full of overworked and overstressed employees. Realizing his mistake, Mr. Stafford reconsidered and decided to hire three graphic designers (one to replace Cathy) and a part-time administrative assistant.
Fairfield Cost Comparison for July
|Cost of Understaffing||Cost of Hiring|
|Weir insert correction||$250||Monthly salaries of two graphic designers (173 hrs x $18/hr x2)||$6,228|
|Overtime (60 hrs x $15/hr x 2)||$1,800|
|Lost revenue from turning down work||$5,200||Monthly benefits costs of two graphic designers ($850 x 2)||$1,700|
|Monthly salary of an extra part-time administrator (86.5 hrs x $12/hr)||$1,038|
Risks of Understaffing
Fairfield’s story may be fictitious, but the costs of understaffing are real. While sometimes a boon to short-term profitability, understaffing may expose your organization to unforeseen and unacceptable risks, including the following:
Scrap and Re-work—When organizations attempt to force more work through already constrained production processes, attention to detail tends to suffer. As a result, error rates typically rise.
Late Deliveries and Failure to Complete Projects On Time—Staff shortages affect production capabilities, which impairs your ability to meet production and project schedules.
Increased Stress—As employees are stretched to meet job requirements, their stress levels rise and they become incapable of maximizing their performance.
Customer Dissatisfaction—Delivery and quality problems invariably result in decreased customer satisfaction, which may be compounded by poor service from overworked and overstressed staff.
Increased Personnel Costs—Stress increases expense. As tension in the workplace rises, so does absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, and the need for more management.
Increased Turnover—Burned-out employees don’t stay complacent. Even the best compensation packages may not make up for the decreased quality of life. Dissatisfied employees aren’t likely to stay around for long.
Inability to Capture New Opportunities—A company hard-pressed to meet its current commitments cannot hope to undertake new endeavors successfully.
Competitive Disadvantage—Without the capacity to ensure exceptional quality and service and to explore new business opportunities, organizations place themselves at a significant long-term disadvantage, compared to competitors that do not operate understaffed.
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
Don’t be fooled into believing that running lean always saves you money. The costs associated with lost business, reduced productivity, and increased workplace stress are often far greater than the cost of hiring. A well-staffed business allows your employees to do their best work, which gives you the best chance of remaining successful in today’s competitive Marketplace.
Murray Resources Can Help
It’s important to maintain adequate staff levels, but for most organizations hiring is not a core competency. If you’re spending your time finding and screening job candidates, your attention to critical business responsibilities becomes diverted.
Murray Resources can help you determine your personnel needs and suggest a number of alternatives to satisfy those requirements. Options we can offer you include the following:
Temporary Personnel Services—Qualified temporary personnel to work on assignment at your company during peak work periods.
Direct Hire Services—We can assume responsibility for finding qualified candidates for your direct staff openings.
Temporary-to-Direct Hire Services—You can initially “try out” a promising candidate by placing him or her on assignment. If you are satisfied with the temporary employee’s performance, you can then offer that person a direct position.
Contact Murray Resources to learn more about how to avoid the hidden costs of understaffing through utilizing various recruiting and employment strategies, or call us at (713) 935-0009
5 Techniques for Creating a More Positive Candidate Experience
Every hiring process is unique. Sometimes, it’s even different within the same company. However, as Houston headhunters, Murray Resources recommends that one feature they should all have in common is creating a positive experience for the candidate. When candidates are welcomed and respected, it not only helps attract better-quality talent, but also boosts the company’s employer reputation overall. So if yours could use some improvement, here are 5 techniques to incorporate now:
#1: Be open about the process.
Communication – or lack of – is often the most frustrating part of the hiring process for candidates. So commit to making it better for those you recruit and interview. From the start, be clear about what the hiring process looks like and then make sure you follow through. Talk about what to expect, how many interviews there will be, what candidates need to bring, how soon you’ll follow up and any other important details to share.
#2: Ask insightful questions.
Top candidates are assessing you just as much as you’re evaluating them. That’s why the quality of the questions you ask is key. Avoid the off-the-wall or irrelevant ones that aim to put candidates in the hot seat. Instead, stick to time-tested questions, such as behavioral ones, as well as those that enable you to dig deeper into each candidate’s background and expertise.
#3: Promote the opportunity.
When it comes to hiring, it’s a two-way street. Beyond candidates selling themselves and persuading you as to why they’re the best fit, it’s important for you to promote the opportunity, as well. As Houston headhunters, we know that today’s top candidates have their choice in offers, so discuss what makes your company and the position different. Focus on areas such as perks and benefits, culture and leadership, innovation and stewardship, or continuing education and advancement.
#4: Ask for feedback.
If your top-pick candidates are consistently turning you down, there’s a reason. It’s important to find out why so you can identify areas that need improvement in your hiring process. You can even create online anonymous surveys so candidates feel more comfortable being honest.
#5: Turn to Houston headhunters.
If you’re still in need of assistance interviewing candidates, turn to a professional team of Houston headhunters. Whether you want them to take on the job of interviewing fully, or you simply need some tips and advice on creating a better experience, they’re experts in the process. In the end, their goal is to help you bring on board the best possible candidate, while minimizing your risk of a hiring mistake.
Interested in learning more from some of Houston’s top headhunters?
Call Murray Resources. We can help you identify talent quickly and place the right people in the right positions, at the right time.
How to Interview and Hire Top People Each and Every Time
A Guide to Hiring the Best Talent
The most important aspect of any business is recruiting, selecting, and retaining top people. Research shows that those organizations that spend more time recruiting high-caliber people earn 22% higher return to shareholders than their industry peers. However, most employers do a miserable job selecting people, having little knowledge of how to interview and hire top people each and every time. Many companies rely on outdated and ineffective interviewing and hiring techniques. This critical responsibility sometimes gets the least emphasis.
Below are several reasons why traditional hiring and interviewing techniques are inadequate:
- The majority of applicants “exaggerate” to get a job
- Most hiring decisions are made by intuition during the first few minutes of the interview
- Two out of three hires prove to be a bad fit within the first year on the job
- Most interviewers are not properly trained, nor do they like to interview applicants
- Excellent employees are misplaced and grow frustrated in jobs where they are unable to utilize their strengths
A Five-Step Interviewing Process
Cisco CEO John Chambers said, “A world-class engineer with five peers can outproduce 200 regular engineers.” Instead of waiting for people to apply for jobs, top organizations spend more time looking for high-caliber people. An effective selection and interviewing process follow these five steps:
Step 1 | Prepare – Prior to the interview make sure you understand the key elements of the job. Develop a simple outline that covers the job duties. Possibly work with the incumbent or people familiar with the various responsibilities to understand what the job is about. Screen the resumes and applications to gain information for the interview. Standardize and prepare the questions you will ask each applicant.
Step 2 | Purpose – Skilled and talented people have more choices and job opportunities from which to choose. The interviewer forms the applicant’s first impression of the company. Not only are you trying to determine the best applicant, but you also have to convince the applicant this is the best place for them to work.
Step 3 | Performance – Identify the knowledge, attributes, and skills the applicant needs for success. If the job requires special education or licensing, be sure to include it on your list. Identify the top seven attributes or competencies the job requires and structure the interview accordingly. Some of these attributes might include:
- What authority the person has to discipline, hire, and/or fire others and establish performance objectives
- What financial responsibility, authority, and control the person has
- What decision-making authority the person has
- How this person is held accountable for performance objectives for their team, business unit, or organization
- The consequences they are responsible for when mistakes are made.
Step 4 | People Skills – The most difficult to determine, as well as the most important part of the process, is identifying the people skills a person brings to the job. Each applicant wears a “mask.” A good interviewing and selecting process discovers who is behind that mask and determines if a match exists between the individual and the job. By understanding the applicant’s personality style, values, and motivations, you are guaranteed to improve your hiring and selecting process.
Pre-employment profiles are an important aspect of the hiring process for a growing number of employers. By using behavioral assessments and personality profiles, organizations can quickly learn how the person will interact with their co-workers, customers, and direct reports. They provide an accurate analysis of an applicant’s behaviors and attitudes, otherwise left to subjective judgment.
Step 5 | Process – The best interviews follow a structured process. This doesn’t mean the entire process is inflexible without spontaneity. Rather, each applicant is asked the same questions and is scored with a consistent rating process. A structured approach helps to avoid bias and gives all applicants a fair chance. The best way to accomplish this is by using behavioral-based questions and situational questions.
50 Best Behavior-Based Interview Questions To Ask
Behavioral-based interviews emphasize past performance as a predictor of future performance. While the questions and characteristics listed below are by no means comprehensive, they should provide a great starting point for your next behavioral interview.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Leadership:
- Tell me about a time when you accomplished something significant that wouldn’t have happened if you had not been there to make it happen.
- Tell me about a time when you were able to step into a situation, take charge, muster support and achieve good results.
- Describe for me a time when you may have been disappointed in your behavior.
- Tell me about a time when you had to discipline or fire a friend.
- Tell me about a time when you’ve had to develop leaders under you.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Initiative and Follow-through:
- Give me an example of a situation where you had to overcome major obstacles to achieve your objectives.
- Tell me about a goal that you set that took a long time to achieve or that you are still working towards.
- Tell me about a time when you won (or lost) an important contract.
- Tell me about a time when you used your political savvy to push a program through that you really believed in.
- Tell me about a situation that you had a significant impact on because of your follow-through.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Thinking and Problem Solving:
- Tell me about a time when you had to analyze facts quickly, define key issues, and respond immediately or develop a plan that produced good results.
- If you had to do that activity over again, how would you do it differently?
- Describe for me a situation where you may have missed an obvious solution to a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures.
- Tell me about a time when you surmounted a major obstacle.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Communication:
- Tell me about a time when you had to present a proposal to a person in authority and were able to do this successfully.
- Tell me about a situation where you had to be persuasive and sell your idea to someone else.
- Describe for me a situation where you persuaded team members to do things your way. What was the effect?
- Tell me about a time when you were tolerant of an opinion that was different from yours.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Working Effectively with Others:
- Give me an example that would show that you’ve been able to develop and maintain productive relations with others, though there were differing points of view.
- Tell me about a time when you were able to motivate others to get the desired results.
- Tell me about a difficult situation with a co-worker, and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time when you played an integral role in getting a team (or work group) back on track.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Work Quality:
- Tell me about a time when you wrote a report that was well received. What do you attribute that to?
- Tell me about a time when you wrote a report that was not well received. What do you attribute that to?
- Tell me about a specific project or program that you were involved with that resulted in improvement in a major work area.
- Tell me about a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Creativity and Innovation:
- Tell me about a situation in which you were able to find a new and better way of doing something significant.
- Tell me about a time when you were creative in solving a problem.
- Describe a time when you were able to come up with new ideas that were key to the success of some activity or project.
- Tell me about a time when you had to bring out the creativity in others.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Priority Setting:
- Tell me about a time when you had to balance competing priorities and did so successfully.
- Tell me about a time when you had to pick out the most important things in some activity and make sure those got done.
- Tell me about a time that you prioritized the elements of a complicated project.
- Tell me about a time when you got bogged down in the details of a project.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Decision Making:
- Describe for me a time when you had to make an important decision with limited facts.
- Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
- Describe for me a time when you had to adapt to a difficult situation. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you made a bad decision.
- Tell me about a time when you hired (or fired) the wrong person.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Ability to Work in Varying Work Conditions (stress, changing deadlines, etc.):
- Tell me about a time when you worked effectively under pressure.
- Tell me about a time when you were unable to complete a project on time.
- Tell me about a time when you had to change work mid-stream because of changing organizational priorities.
- Describe for me what you do to handle stressful situations.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Delegation
- Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
- Tell me about a time when you did a poor job of delegating.
- Describe for me a time when you had to delegate to a person with a full workload, and how you went about doing it.
If You’re Looking For Behaviors that Revolve Around Customer Service
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate customer.
- Tell me about one or two customer-service related programs that you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of.
- Tell me about a time when you made a lasting, positive impression on a customer.
Every temporary or contract candidate we present for a position has been through rigorous skill and assessment testing to ensure they have both the skills and behavioral work style to match the job requirements and your company’s culture.
Our MASTR (Murray Assessment, Screening, Testing and Referencing) recruiting and candidate assessment process assures the highest quality matches between job seeker and employer, so your firm will receive candidates who not only have the right qualifications but who also have the appropriate personality and cultural fit for your organization. Learn more about our process.
Tips for Communicating with Candidates During the Hiring Process
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.
Skills vs. Attitude: Which is More Important to Hire for?
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.
Speed Up Your Job Search with These 5 Simple Strategies
It’s easy to get into a rut when you’re searching for a new job. Once you do, the process can slow down, which is a frustrating experience. But don’t panic. There are steps you can take to speed up your hunt and find a new job faster. Here are a few tips from our Houston headhunters to consider:
Expand your network.
Most job opportunities come by way of networking. While it’s a good idea to search the job boards for positions, it’s also vital that you schedule regular networking events into your week. These can be online, in-person, or a mix of both. Also, make sure you notify friends and family of your job search. When you do, you’ll increase your odds of finding out about new opportunities.
Review your resume.
If your resume isn’t aligned with the positions you’re applying for or if it’s full of vague language like “team player,” then you’re not going to get a lot of calls for interviews. Instead, read through each job posting first and make a list of your skills and qualifications that are most pertinent. Then, before you apply, modify your resume so it’s as relevant as possible. The less generic your resume, the more you’ll stand out to a hiring manager.
Polish your interviewing skills.
Interviews are stressful for even the most experienced candidate. One way to offset the associated nerves is through practicing your answers. As Houston headhunters, we recommend making a list of common interview questions and then respond to them one by one. You can even record yourself so you can evaluate your body language, tone of voice, and interview effectiveness. To further polish your skills, ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview with you.
Evaluate your online presence.
What happens when a recruiter or hiring manager Googles you? Do the search results reflect positively on you? If not, then you’ll need to take some steps to clean things up. In addition, make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and that it matches the resume you’re sending in.
Rethink your approach.
If you followed the steps above and still aren’t getting calls for an interview, it’s time to take a step back and consider the positions you’re applying for. Are you truly qualified for them? Or are you under- or over-qualified? If you want the best results from your search, then it’s important to make sure you’re applying to the jobs you’re best-suited for.
Need more help finding a new job in the Houston area?
Connect with the Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. We offer talented, highly-motivated candidates opportunities across a broad range of industries and job functions. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
Can Old Posts on Social Media Hurt Your Job Hunt?
Your personal social media profile and job search are two separate aspects of your life, right? Wrong. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that in today’s world of recruiting, social media plays a big part in hiring. In fact, according to a Jobvite survey, 92% of recruiters use social media to find high-quality candidates.
What’s more is that even when you have accounts set to private, nothing really is ever so on the Internet. A friend could share your comments or an image, and it could easily wind up in the hands of a hiring manager.
So if you have some concern about past social media posts, what should you do? Here are some tips to put to use:
This is the first step many recruiters will take, so it’s important for you to see what they will find. Once you know what comes up, you’ll better be able to assess where you need to focus your efforts.
Take down inappropriate content.
If you have some incriminating photos online or mean-spirited or offensive comments on your profiles, take them down. Make sure that whatever you leave on your profile is saying something positive about you.
Ask friends to un-tag you.
If there’s content that reflects poorly on you, but a friend posted it and tagged you in it, ask them to take it down or to un-tag you. In most cases, they’ll comply, so it’s worth the effort.
Be mindful about what you post.
In the future, be careful about what you post. It’s tempting to go on a rant about someone you don’t like, but this simply makes you look immature. So post wisely. Also, don’t ever post any content that could be construed as offensive or profane.
As leading Houston headhunters, we know the last thing you want is to be rejected for your dream job based on something silly you posted three years ago. But it happens every day since so many recruiters and hiring managers vet candidates online and in their social media profiles. Follow the tips above to help ensure it doesn’t happen to you.
Need more help with your job hunt?
Let the Houston headhunters at Murray Resources assist you. We can become your go-to partner in your job search success, whether you need help with your resume and interviews or connecting with great-fit opportunities in a broad range of industries. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
How to Make the Case for Your Company in the Interview
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.
7 Job Search Tips that Will Help You Get Hired Faster
Looking for a new job? As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to your search, there are many steps you can take to speed up the process of getting hired. To help you along the way, here are 7 quick tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Set up alerts on the major job boards.
Whether through text or email, you can use keywords and job titles to get job alerts to positions that were most recently posted. This can help you get your application in the door faster to opportunities that are a good fit for you.
Tip #2: Only apply to jobs that are right for you.
Don’t take the quantity over quality approach to your job search. If you do, you’ll simply end up wasting time and prolonging your search. Instead, invest your effort into applying to only those positions that you are truly well-suited for.
Tip #3: Don’t take a break.
Job searches can be stressful. But even if you’re tempted, don’t take a break. You never know when that ideal opportunity could come along and you want to be first in line to apply to it when it does.
Tip #4: Customize your resume.
You should have one main resume that gets tailored to every position you’re applying for. While this will take more time upfront, you’ll actually wind up shortening your search by sending in resumes that are more targeted and therefore make a better impression on hiring managers.
Tip #5: Commit to regular networking.
It’s true that many jobs are filled through word of mouth. That’s why networking, whether online or in person, can have such a big impact on your job search efforts. So commit to a number of hours each week where you plan to attend an industry conference, business seminar, or local happy hour sponsored by the chamber of commerce. You never know who you’ll meet and where the opportunity will take you.
Tip #6: Have references lined up.
As leading Houston headhunters, we know one thing that could slow down your job search process involves references. While you don’t have any control over how long it takes on the employer’s end, you can speed things up by having a list of qualified references ready to go when the hiring manager asks for them. Don’t wait to be asked, then spend the next few days reaching out to potential references.
Tip #7: Know yourself.
It’s important to not only know what you’re looking for in a potential employer and job opportunity, but also what sets you apart as a candidate. This will help to keep your search more focused and also enable you to more persuasively talk about your skills and abilities.
Want more tips on getting hired faster?
Call the Houston headhunters at Murray Resources. We can become your go-to partner in your job search success, whether you need help with your resume and interviews or connecting with great-fit opportunities in a broad range of industries. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
How to Decline a Job Offer with Grace
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.
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.
How to Climb the Ladder in Your Career in 2018
Are you feeling stuck in your job? As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that whether you’re interested in a promotion, or a new opportunity at a different company, you can’t sit idly by and wait for the right possibility to come along. Instead, you need to be proactive in your efforts, all so you can uncover and attract great new opportunities in the year ahead. To help you in the process, here are some tips to consider:
Tip #1: Be open.
It’s easy to get stuck in your comfort zone and stay where you are. That’s fine, but it’s also not the way to move forward and achieve your career goals. Instead, if you want to take your career to the next level, you need to be open to new and different opportunities. Whether it’s taking on a stretch assignment, chairing a volunteer committee, or spearheading a new initiative at work, these are the kinds of challenges and roles that will enable you to acquire valuable skills, meet new people, and make yourself more marketable for a promotion or new job.
Tip #2: Build a strong network.
When it comes to getting ahead in your career, your network can play a big part. When you’re connected to the right people, you can find out about opportunities faster or that are not always advertised. Beyond that, you can also gain valuable insight and use your network as a sounding board when you’re trying to make important decisions about your career.
Tip #3: Be flexible.
Today’s workplace is changing quickly. If you want to keep up and get ahead, then you need to be flexible. Sometimes that might mean taking on a role or task that’s not necessarily part of your job description. Or it could be changing the way you do things in order to streamline processes and make your company more competitive. Whatever the case for you, you need to be flexible and roll with the punches if you want to achieve long-term career success.
Tip #4: Learn new skills.
If you want to be the best, then you should always be learning. Whether you’re reading industry publications and blogs, going to trade shows and seminars, or enrolled in online training, your goal should always be to sharpen your existing skills, as well as to gain new ones. When you do, you’ll become more valuable to your current employer, as well as more marketable to new ones.
Interested in professional help from Houston’s trusted headhunters?
Contact Murray Resources. As top Houston headhunters, we offer talented, highly motivated candidates opportunities across a broad range of industries and job functions. Call us today to learn more or get started.
How to Keep Employees On Staff & Happy
As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that at any given time, a majority of your employees are looking for a new job. That means if you’re not actively trying to retain them, the chance of losing them to another opportunity is high. So what can you do to keep top-quality people on board and happy at your company? Here are a few tips to help you:
Tip #1: Talk vision.
If your people don’t have a clear sense of where they’re going, they’ll eventually grow disillusioned. That’s why it’s important to talk vision on a regular basis. Not only that, but get into specifics about where they fit into the bigger picture and how their individual roles play an important part.
Tip #2: Set specific goals and measure performance.
For each employee, it’s important for them to know what’s expected of them and how their performance will be measured. So talk regularly on a one-on-one basis with your employees, checking in about their progress and any pain points or issues that are coming up. That way, you’ll have a better sense of where everyone stands, as well as better be able to nip problems in the bud before they escalate.
Tip #3: Offer skill development and training.
When it comes to the strongest employees, they always want to be moving ahead and advancing. That’s why it’s so important to offer them opportunities to acquire and develop new skills. Not only will they be more loyal to your company, but they can add more value in the process as they put their newfound knowledge to work.
Tip #4: Reward hard work.
When an employee goes above and beyond, reward them for their efforts. As top Houston headhunters, we know that even a few simple and specific words of praise can go a long way. You can also consider offering them perks in the form of extra vacation days or tangible items, like gift certificates.
Tip #5: Recruit for better fit employees.
When it comes to keeping employees engaged and motivated, one of the most important aspects is your recruitment process. If you’re not finding and hiring engaged and committed people in the first place – those who are a fit for your company’s culture – then you can’t possibly expect them to stick around for long.
Need more help hiring high quality workers and keeping them engaged?
Ask a Houston Headhunter: What Should I Consider Before Deciding to Relocate for a Job?
As experienced Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that making the decision to relocate for a job is a big one. You don’t want to pass up a golden opportunity out of fear of change. At the same time, it’s a gamble – and what if you don’t end up liking your new position?
To help you choose, here are 7 questions to ask yourself before you make a move.
1. Have you done your homework on the new location?
Before you make a decision, it’s important you do some research not only on the new job and company, but also your potential new hometown. Where would you want to live? If you have kids, where would you send them to school? What’s the cost of living and quality of life like? It’s important to do some leg work and answer these questions so you can make an educated decision.
2. Who will pay for moving expenses?
Moving within the same town or city is expensive. But moving to a completely different state or part of the state is even more so. That’s why it’s important to find out who foots the bill for moving expenses. Are you expected to pay or will your new employer?
3. Do I have a good handle on the job and company culture?
If you’re vague in terms of the job details, or if what you’ve learned about the culture doesn’t sit quite right with you, then is it really worth uprooting your life for the job? Probably not. Also, make sure you’ve had a chance to meet your potential boss and co-workers so you can gain a clearer sense of what your work environment and work relationships will be like.
4. Is the compensation package competitive?
If you’re leaving your hometown behind, you want to make sure the salary is worth it. When you’re pondering this question, you’ll also want to take into account cost of living in the new area. For instance, if the cost of living is much higher, then you could actually wind up taking home less money after you pay your bills – even with a larger salary.
5. Does the company have a strong reputation and track record?
If you’re giving up your job and moving your family, you want to ensure it’s to work at a reputable company with plenty of growth potential. So do your due diligence and research them online. Also, talk to anyone you know who has worked at the company or currently does.
6. What does my family think?
If you’re single, then this may not be a consideration. However, if you’re married and especially if you have kids, you’re going to want to get input from your family.
7. What’s my gut instinct?
If the job offer checks all the right boxes in terms of responsibilities, company reputation, and compensation – plus your gut it telling you to accept it – then congratulations! It sounds like you have a new job. If, however, your instincts are holding you back, then it’s either not the right job for you or you need to do more research before making a decision.
Whether you live in the Houston area, or are looking to move here, we’re your local job search experts.
As experienced Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Our clients are always looking for talented individuals for a wide variety of positions that oftentimes aren’t advertised. Ready to learn more? Search our jobs now or contact us today.
Murray Resources Named to Houston Business Journal’s List of Top Placement Firms
HOUSTON, June 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Murray Resources, a leading Houston-based recruiting firm and staffing agency, announced that the company has earned the number five spot on the Houston Business Journal’s list of top 25 direct hire placement firms in Houston and the number twelve spot on the list of top 25 temporary placement firms. The company was one of only three recruiting firms that ranked twelve or higher on both lists.
The Houston Business Journal’s list of top direct hire firms is based on the total number of placements made during the year, while the temporary placement list is based on the total number of billable hours accrued by temporaries on assignment during the year.
Marsha Murray started Murray Resources in 1988 with a $2,000 loan she used to purchase a typewriter, business cards, and a brochure. Almost 30 years later, the firm has grown to count over 800 companies as clients, including eleven Fortune™ 500 organizations. Murray Resources has placed thousands of job seekers in roles ranging from administrative assistants to c-level executives.
“Being named one of Houston’s top recruiting firms is a tremendous accomplishment for our team, but it’s also a reflection of our clients’ growth and the trust that they place in us to find great talent for their teams. We recognize that our clients and candidates have choices and we don’t take their decision to work with us for granted. It’s something we have to earn and live up to every day,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.
Murray Resources has been in high-growth mode over the last two years, including the following initiatives:
- Increased headcount by 25%, adding significantly to its recruiting and business development teams.
- Acquired Kingwood Personnel, a leading north Houston staffing agency. (May 2015)
- Launched ResumeSpice, a nationwide career coaching and resume writing service. (June 2016)
- Launched Murray Industrial division to provide light industrial staffing services. (September 2016)
“While our focus has always been on providing the highest-quality services to our clients, being able to grow our company while being recognized as one Houston’s top recruitment firms is a wonderful accomplishment for our team. We anticipate an even stronger 2017, as Houston’s economic environment continues to improve. Our Houston Growth and Staffing Outlook Report for 2017 projected increased hiring activity for 2017, which has certainly been the case through the first half of the year,” said Keith Wolf, managing director of Murray Resources.
About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. The company has repeatedly been named by the Houston Business Journal as one of Houston’s 15 largest direct hire firms. In 2013, 2015, and 2016 the firm was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, IT, light industrial, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.
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5 Secrets to Recruiting from a Top Headhunter in Houston
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.
Screening Candidates on Facebook? Beware the Pitfalls
Thanks to social networking sites, it’s easier than ever for hiring managers to get the dirt on job candidates. In fact, according to a Career Builder survey, 12% of 1,150 hiring managers said they have used social networking sites to screen potential candidates. Of that 12%, 63% said they did not hire a person based on their profiles.
Specific reasons included:
- Provocative or inappropriate photos
- Drinking or drug use
- Bad mouthing a company or employee
In addition, in a survey published in April 2013, SHRM found 77% of its members reported regularly using social networking sites for recruiting, up from 56% in 2011.
As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows social media posts can certainly help you get behind the candidate mask. For instance, you can gain a clearer sense of a candidate’s personality and better discern whether they’d be a good fit for the company’s culture.
However, it can also cause you to lose out on top candidates if you’re too reliant on information gained on social media sites. Keep in mind that many social media profiles were created by users to stay connected with friends and family…not to land a job. In addition, many times people post information that may be embellished or inaccurate simply to build a certain image of themselves. A candidate also may not control an image posted of them on a social media site, so consider the overall context.
The bottom line?
The picture presented could be misleading in terms of whether a candidate would be a good fit for the position. Just because a profile post doesn’t exactly get you excited about a candidate, that doesn’t mean they aren’t the right person for the position.
On the flip side, just because a candidate posts about volunteer work and exercising – positive activities – doesn’t mean they are a better fit for the job than someone who spends their weekends partying with friends. Remember, relying too much on social media sites for candidate screening can foster an overly positive or negative image of a candidate.
It can also land you in legal hot water. For instance, a candidate might allege that your use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn uncovered protected class information (such as race or religion) that was then used to disqualify them for the job.
When using social media to screen candidates, tread carefully. It’s a great tool for gaining deeper insight into a candidate, but it shouldn’t be used to make any final employment decisions.
Ready to outsource your candidate screening process to the professionals? Call Murray Resources. As leading Houston headhunters with 30 years of experience, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates. Not good candidates who may have the adequate skills. But people who are truly top performers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make smart hiring decisions, contact Murray Resources today.
How to Select a Houston Accounting Staffing Agency
The demand for talented accounting professionals is as strong as ever, with Houston, Texas being a particularly hot market. So how do companies attract the Houston accounting professionals they need? While we may be biased, enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies can be an effective method for locating the talent your company needs in a cost effective, timely manner.
Below are a few tips on finding the perfect Houston accounting staffing agency.
Inspect a firm’s online presence
Accountants are in hot demand all over the country, so it is important that Houston accounting staffing agencies be up on local job opportunities and update postings accordingly. Before enlisting the help of a staffing firm, look at the firm’s online job postings and pay attention to post dates. Agencies that frequently replenish job opportunities are more likely to be piped into the local accounting community – and adept at filling their jobs – than firms that show out-of-date job openings.
A firm’s online presence goes beyond its website job postings. Many agencies will also have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. Pay attention to the firm’s frequency of accounting-related posts. The more mentions pertaining to the industry, the more the firm will know about available job opportunities and qualified candidates looking for new positions.
Reputation is everything in the recruiting world. Companies and candidates can learn a lot about Houston accounting staffing agencies by simply asking hiring managers who’ve recently posted jobs and candidates that landed roles at local companies. Longevity in the market is a good barometer of success. For example, Murray Resources, a leading Houston staffing agency, has been serving the market since 1988.
If you are new to the area and have yet to make reputation-informing contacts, try attending a local networking event. You can also check your local HR chapter for recommendations.
Focus on firms with multi-disciplinary specializations
If you are looking for qualified candidates, consider enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies that specialize in a variety of industries. For example, Murray Resources’ team includes recruiters with deep experience in the fields of accounting, finance, engineering, human resources, marketing, sales, manufacturing, operations and administration. Contacting agencies that have multi-disciplinary specializations can help companies looking to fill positions beyond accounting roles.
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.
Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.
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Why You Need to Keep Employee Favoritism in Check
As top Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that favoritism is one of those things that doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, in fact, it can have a big impact in the workplace. Sometimes, though, it’s hard not to favor employees who do better work or are easier to deal with. That said, it’s important to keep favoritism in check; otherwise, you’ll create a sense of animosity among your team, which can tear it apart.
In addition, favoritism can actually cause you to make bad decisions, which can harm your company and your career. For instance, if there’s a particular person on your team you have a lot in common with, get along great with, and consider a friend, then you may be more inclined to favor them. You could recommend them for a promotion when an opportunity arises based on your feelings for them, not on whether they’re the best person for the job. That’s why it’s so critical to be mindful of favoritism.
So what are some signs favoritism is a problem in your workplace? Here’s a look at a few:
• You regularly invite certain employees to your home or social events.
• You let only certain employees have privileges, like company laptops or cell phones, based on your relationship with them…not on their job duties.
• You hand out perks to the same employees or take the same employees to lunch over and over again.
• You have certain employees that you don’t even know their last name, and others that you know their kids’ middle names.
• You make promotion decisions based on your relationships with employees, not based on value added or work produced.
If the above signs sound familiar, then you’ve got a problem with favoritism on your hands. To combat it, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Mind the rules.
It’s easy to let issues slide when it involves a favorite employee; but don’t let it. Even your favorites need reminders. So be consistent with how you apply the rules.
Tip #2: Be conscious of how you communicate.
It’s easy to talk up a favorite and talk down to one that’s less favored. But be inclusive with your language rather than exclusive. Don’t always be touting the work of one particular employee and not acknowledging others.
Tip #3: Create boundaries.
Don’t let your personal and business lives collide. Create boundaries with your employees, even if it means not hanging out with a favorite employee on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’ll communicate the message that that employee is more important than your others.
Tip #4: Remember, you’re not their friend…you’re their boss.
So avoid always rewarding the chosen few and start looking at how you manage your team with a more critical eye so that everyone feels like they’re treated fairly. When you do, you’ll keep your employees happier and more productive.
Need Help Hiring For Your Team?
If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As leading Houston headhunters with 30 years of experience, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates. Not good candidates who may have the adequate skills. But people who are truly top performers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make smart hiring decisions, contact Murray Resources today.
5 Tips for Interviewing Top Houston Accounting Professionals
Attracting qualified Houston accounting talent has become increasingly difficult in recent years, as demand for CFO’s, controllers, accountants, AP managers, payroll managers, and bookkeepers continues to grow. If your company has open accounting positions, you may only have a short window in which to evaluate candidates and make a decision. Take too long and you risk losing top talent to other opportunities.
So how can ensure you’re not only attracting qualifying accounting candidates, but that you’re also getting them interested in your company? One commonly overlooked way is to use your interviewing time for both evaluating the candidate and selling the opportunity. You may only have one shot in front of a talented accounting candidate – be sure to make the most of it.
Below, Murray Resource offers 5 tips for interviewing Houston accounting professionals:
Understand the market & explain job details
As discussed above – with the accounting field being so competitive, talented Houston accounting professionals have options. Rock star candidates are less likely to leave positions than they were during pre-recession times, so those who are on the market are typically looking for very specific attributes in a job. Make sure you have a well-prepared job description that is clear, concise, and demonstrates that the company knows what it’s looking for in the position. Appearing unorganized is a clear ‘turn off’ to most candidates, particularly more structured accounting professionals.
Talk up your corporate culture
As with most candidates, accountants are interested in companies where they are likely to fit in. During the interview, discuss the specifics of your company’s culture and why you think they could be easily integrated. You want to get the candidate excited about working for your company, so give examples of employees with extensive tenure and why they’ve decided to stay over the years.
Discuss a candidate’s career path
Stereotypically, accountants are very process-oriented, but don’t underestimate the aggressive growth plans of many Houston accounting professionals. It is important to explain future opportunities to grow within your firm, if granted the position. Point to employees who were able to move up quickly as a result of their hard work.
Stay away from negative commentary
While there are certainly exceptions, accountants as a group tend to more risk averse than other candidates. Be honest about your company’s situation, but don’t dwell on negative attributes of previous employees or disappointing turnover statistics. Instead, share positive information and growth trends, with an eye towards future growth plans.
Express your interest
Accountants tend to be straightforward and, like most candidates, they want to know where they stand. If you’re interested in pursuing the candidate, before the interview is over express your interest. Outline the process going forward and let them know when they should hear back – and then make sure you follow the timeline, or at least communicate when if’s there’s a deviation.
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.
Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.
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To Call or Not to Call: Should You Reach Out to a Hiring Manager Before Applying?
You know you’re up against dozens and even hundreds of job applicants every time you apply for a new opening. So is there anything you can do to stand out in the mind of a hiring manager – and get a call for an interview?
One idea you may have heard of is to contact a hiring manager ahead of time so you can make a connection and they can be on the lookout for your resume. So is this a good idea, or bad one?
If you know the hiring manager, then by all means, contact them. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that any leverage you can employ to get your foot in the door is certainly worth using.
However, if the hiring manager is a perfect stranger, then be careful about reaching out to them, even if you have a legitimate question about the job opening. Here’s why:
#1. They’re busy. Hiring managers are at their busiest when it’s hiring season and the last thing they want to do is field calls from job applicants. They’ve included all the detail they wanted to in the job posting and now they expect you to submit a resume based on that information.
#2. They’ll question your abilities. If you call a hiring manager with a question or in need of clarification, they’ll wonder if you’re going to need a lot of hand holding if hired. It’s best to just apply and leave your questions for the interview process.
So if you simply want to learn more about the position before applying, don’t bother the hiring manager. Just apply. Same goes if you’re not sure if you’re completely qualified; that’s what the interview process is for.
However, if you’re convinced that you have a good reason for calling the hiring manager ahead of time, then be sure to follow proper protocol. Be professional not pushy; don’t call a dozen times and keep hanging up because you get voicemail (hiring managers have caller ID too); don’t call at 4:57 pm on a Friday; and be sure to get the hiring manager’s name right.
Are You a Highly Qualified Professional Looking for a Great Job?
If you are, we want to know! Whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule, our Houston headhunters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.
4 Tactics Hiring Managers Use to Get You to Crack in a Job Interview
If you’re in the middle of a job search, then you know that performing well in an interview is critical in order for you to land a new position. As a result, if you’re like most job candidates, you probably spend your fair share of time researching common interview questions and preparing your answers.
But did you know there’s more to interview prep than that?
In fact, as leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are a variety of tactics hiring managers use in order to get behind the mask – and find out the truth about each job candidate. And some of these strategies can cause a weak or unprepared candidate to crack.
So what are they? And how can you best handle them? Here’s a look:
Interview Tactic #1: They Don’t Lead.
Many hiring managers today use behavioral interviewing. This is where they ask you to offer specific examples of your track record, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. But they’re not just looking for examples, they’re also looking for what you learned from those situations…they just don’t tell you that.
What to do: If, for instance, a hiring manager asks you something like “Tell me about a time you failed on the job,” you shouldn’t simply offer any old example. You need to tell them about the situation, but also what you learned from it and why you’re the stronger job candidate as a result.
Interview Tactic #2: They’re Silent.
Silence can be deadly during a job interview for the simple reason that most job candidates find it awkward. As a result, they try to fill the void with a stream of mindless chatter and can reveal damaging information as a result.
What to do: When there’s an awkward pause in the conversation, wait for the hiring manager to speak first. If the time is still steadily ticking by, prompt the hiring manager with a question of your own – such as “Did you have another question about that last topic?”
Interview Tactic #3: They Engage in Small Talk.
You may think a hiring manager is especially warm and friendly. But what they really may be doing is using small talk to get you to reveal additional information about yourself.
What to do: Don’t ever let your guard down. And don’t reveal personal information, such as details about your home or family life. While employers aren’t allowed to use information such as marital status and whether you have children in their hiring decision, that kind of information could still unconsciously influence a hiring manager’s opinion of you.
Interview Tactic #4: They Evaluate Your Language.
According to Leadership IQ, language usage is far different between high performers and low performers, if you know where to look. For example, high performers generally speak in the first person (“I” and “we”), whereas low performers tend to speak in second (“you” and “your”), and third person (“he,” “she,” or “it”). Low performers also tend to speak in absolutes (“always” and “never”) and adverbs.
What to do: When you’re answering questions, focus on the individual contributions you made and the unique value you brought to the table. Don’t use a lot of flowery adjectives; speak in clear, concise, and confident terms.
Are You a Confident Candidate in Search of Your Next Opportunity?
Let Murray Resources know. Whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule, our Houston headhunters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.
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4 Tips for Conducting a Skype Interview
A Skype interview is likely never going to replace the face-to-face interview.
However, as leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can tell you that more and more companies are using video interviewing during their hiring process to take the place of the phone screen or first-round interviews.
In fact, according to market research firm Aberdeen Group, 42% of companies use video as part of their hiring process for senior executive, management, and entry-level positions.
So if you’re interested in integrating video technology into your interview process, where do you begin? Here are some tips to help you get started:
Tip #1: Prepare Ahead of Time.
Just like you would for an in-person interview, make sure your prepare ahead of time. For instance, don’t wait until the last minute to add a candidate to your Skype account; instead exchange usernames a couple of days before the scheduled interview.
Also, so you don’t lose time, ask the candidate to connect a few minutes ahead of time. This gives you the opportunity to see who’s really excited about the opportunity and is early…and who shows up with just seconds to spare.
Tip #2: Conduct the Interview in a Professional Space.
If you work out of a cubicle, then that’s not a good place to conduct a Skype interview. Instead, find a private space, such as a conference room, where it will be quiet. Also, make sure there’s a plain background behind you; anything else could make it hard for the candidate to focus.
Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your Conduct.
Bright colors and bold patterns might look great in person; but on video, they’ll simply serve as a distraction. So be sure to wear solid, neutral colors.
Also, make sure that you’re always facing the camera during the interview and looking into the camera when directing a question to the candidate. Otherwise, it won’t look like you’re making eye contact with him or her.
Tip #4: Do a Practice Run.
There’s nothing more annoying or unnerving to a job candidate than a video feed that keeps cutting out just when they’re trying to make a key point. So do a practice run ahead of time to ensure your equipment is up to par. You want it to help you during the interview process – not hinder you.
Want to Outsource Your Hiring Process to the Experts?
If you simply don’t have the time or resources to devote to hiring the people you need, let Murray Resources know. As leading Houston headhunters, we can handle the process for you – sourcing, screening, interviewing, and testing candidates – all so you make a great hiring decision. Contact us today to learn more.
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Ready to Quit? Here’s How
As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are plenty of workers out there ready to search for greener pastures, particularly with the economy rebounding somewhat. If you’re one of them, then you’re probably looking to the future, excited for the day when you can finally quit and move on.
But have you thought about how you’re going to exit your current job?
If you think the resignation process isn’t a big deal, think again. You never know when you may cross paths with your boss or co-workers; or if you’d be interested in coming back to the company at some point in the future (hey, it happens all the time). As a result, you want to ensure you make the process as easy on both you and your employer as possible.
So what can you do to handle your resignation with grace and professionalism? Here’s a look at some do’s and don’ts:
Even if you hate your job, your boss, and your co-workers, and you’re incredibly tempted to rub your great new job in their faces, don’t do it. Whatever the real reason is behind your resignation, you don’t necessarily need to share it. If, for instance, it’s because you can’t stand your boss, then keep those thoughts to yourself. When co-workers ask why you’re leaving, just let them know you accepted a job that’s going to enable you to achieve your career goals.
That said, if you do have an exit interview with HR, then you may want to bring up any legitimate issues. But try to be as diplomatic as possible and always take the high road.
Do Be Prepared to Leave.
If you’re ready to hand in your resignation, be prepared for your employer to also want you to leave…immediately. This is particularly true if you have a new job with their biggest competitor, or you handle confidential information. So don’t get blind-sided by this possibility; prepare ahead by removing any personal items from your office or computer.
Do Stand Your Ground.
Don’t be surprised, either, if your employer makes a counteroffer with a higher salary in order to keep you. But considering that most employees who accept counteroffers leave soon after anyway, it’s in your best interest to stand your ground and move onto your new opportunity. Remember, there’s a reason you went searching for a different job in the first place.
Do Offer to Help.
Ask your supervisor what you can do to help make the transition as smooth as possible, whether it’s tie up loose ends, delegate tasks, or train your successor. That said, don’t offer to stay on longer than you expected. Doing so can be a drain on you and depressing for the rest of the staff.
Are You a Talented Professional Looking for a New Opportunity in the New Year?
If you are, then call Murray Resources. As leading Houston headhunters, we can connect you with top employers – and top jobs – in and around the Houston area. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.
6 Offers That Will Make Your Employees Happy
Think it’s all about big salaries and hefty bonuses? Think again.
As leading Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows there are many more creative and less costly offers that will keep your employees happy and working hard.
Here’s a look at six of them – and how you can leverage their power:
#1: Offer Opportunities for Advancement.
There’s nothing more frustrating for an employee than to feel “stuck” in a position, like they’re not going anywhere. And that’s typically exactly when an employee jumps ship for greener pastures.
So even if you can’t offer an employee a promotion at this time, offer them opportunity for growth, whether it’s by funding continuing education courses or offering access to a career mentoring program. When an employee knows they’re learning something of value, they’ll be more inclined to stay at the company.
#2: Offer Freedom.
No this doesn’t mean allowing employees to come in and leave whenever they want to. But it does mean giving them the flexibility and autonomy to make decisions and do their job in their own way. Offering autonomy also cuts down on time lost waiting for approval from the “powers that be.”
#3: Offer the Chance to Work from Home.
This may not be feasible for all positions within the company, but it likely is for many. And having the ability to work from home, either a certain number of days a week or whenever they want to, is a perk most employees don’t want to give up…creating increased retention as a result.
#4: Offer Unique Benefits.
Maintaining a work-life balance is getting harder and harder for today’s employees. But you can make it easier for them by offering unique benefits that include services such as on-site daycare or flex dollars for childcare, adult and senior care, or access to free legal advice or financial consulting programs.
#5: Offer a Positive Work Environment.
Even if an employee loves their job, if they’re not happy in their work environment, then that’s going to translate into turnover. Employees are happier and more productive when they not only like what they do, but they like where they work. You can implement simple changes, such as keeping meetings to under an hour, or offering free lunch on Fridays.
#6: Offer Feedback.
When employees don’t know what your goals or expectations for them are, or whether they’re preforming well, then they’ll feel insecure and unhappy. That’s why communication in the form of feedback – both positive and constructive – is key.
Need Help Hiring Happy Employees?
If you need help with your hiring process, let Murray Resources know. As leading Houston headhunters, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates, where you need them and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.
Do You Really Need to Give a Potential Employer Your Salary History?
As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows one of the issues job candidates struggle with during the hiring process is when they’re asked to give a salary history. Many see it as invasive and don’t understand why a potential employer wants to know; others see it as an effort for the employer to sabotage their efforts toward a higher salary.
But the fact of the matter is that if you’re asked to give a salary history – and you don’t – then you’ll likely wind up out of the running for the job.
Fair or not, there are some valid reasons why employers request salary histories…and they’re not doing it to be difficult or not pay you what you’re worth. So what are they? Here’s a look:
• As a benchmark. Employers know you want an increase in pay and they’re not trying to sabotage you in that regard. However, they don’t want to offer an amount that’s well over the amount you were being paid before. For instance, if you’re making $45k per year, they assume that an offer of $50k would be satisfactory.
• As a performance evaluator. Employers want to see a steady increase in pay. Being able to demonstrate salary increases over the years tells them that you’ve performed well on the job. However, if you were making more or the same amount of money five years ago, and there’s no good reason (e.g. taking a year off to stay home with small children, etc.), then they’ll wonder why.
With that in mind, how can you maximize the salary negotiation process – so you wind up with a great offer?
• Know your worth. Know the fair market value of what someone with your experience and skill set should be paid in the Houston area. That way, if an employer offers less, you’re armed with the knowledge and information to press for more.
• Factor in benefits. When evaluating an offer, don’t just automatically discount it if it’s less than what you wanted. For instance, if the compensation package an employer is offering is $75k and your current compensation package is worth $78k, then use that gap as leverage to negotiate more salary or better benefits, such as a flexible schedule or dental insurance.
• Be honest always. And finally, whatever you do, be honest about your salary history. If an employer is interested in hiring you and wants to know your salary history, they can request a W2 from a past employer. And if you’ve lied about a past salary amount, then you’ve likely just killed your chances of landing the job.
Need More Help With the Job Search Process?
Let us know. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources can not only help you find out about great job opportunities, but we can also help you navigate your way through the treacherous waters of a job search. Contact us today to learn more.
Are You Protecting One of Your Company’s Most Important Assets? (Hint: It’s Not Your People.)
You often hear the saying that “your people are your most important asset.” But there’s another asset – an invisible one – that is just as important.
Your company’s culture, as leading Houston headhunters Murray Resources can tell you, is one of the main reasons why top talent either desperately want to work for your organization – or avoid it like the plague.
If your workplace culture falls into the former category, then it’s in your best interest to protect it, particularly as your company is growing. After all, besides helping you recruit the best people, a positive workplace culture can increase morale, improve productivity, and boost the reputation of your organization. On the flip side, a negative workplace culture can have wide-reaching and damaging effects.
Unfortunately, many of today’s organizations don’t even realize part of what makes them so great is their culture…until it’s gone. They get so busy hiring additional employees, taking new orders, expanding into different markets, and strategizing and planning for the future that their unique workplace culture falls by the wayside as they grow.
Don’t let it happen to your organization! It is possible to evolve and grow, while still retaining the culture that your employees and customers have come to know and love. Here are some tips to consider along the way:
Expect Resistance to Growth.
Some people embrace change; many, however, do not. And your employees and managers are no different. They have likely grown comfortable with the way things are, making it difficult for them to see why change is necessary. The Houston headhunters at Murray Resources have seen this happen time and time again when companies enact major changes, so expect some resistance.
Show Them the Big Picture.
Once your employees and managers understand where you’re trying to steer the company, it’s much more likely they’ll get behind you…and get on board. So think about what kinds of questions and objections they may have and prepare your answers for them. Educate them about this opportunity for growth and how it could positively impact each one of them in the future.
Also, be sure to solicit feedback from your employees. Not only will you gain some great insight before moving ahead with any growth plans, but your team will buy into your plans and ideas more if they have some ownership in the process.
Be Clear About New Goals and Expectations.
Explain how the new company vision will impact each employee’s responsibilities and job performance expectations. Also communicate any new opportunities for advancement that are available. For instance, let them know that while you may expect more from each individual, if they step up, they will earn greater rewards.
Does Your Growing Company Need Help Hiring?
While you’re busy executing your plans for growth, Murray Resources can handle the hiring process for you. As top Houston headhunters, we utilize a comprehensive evaluation and assessment process to match today’s top companies with the area’s best talent – quickly and efficiently. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help you.