How to Make the Case for Your Company in the Interview

March 27th, 2018

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

Know the job.

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

Know your brand.

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

Know what candidates want.

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

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

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

7 Job Search Tips that Will Help You Get Hired Faster

March 6th, 2018

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.

 

Posted in: Blog

How to Decline a Job Offer with Grace

February 20th, 2018

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

Call them up.

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

Be grateful.

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

Make your reason clear and simple.

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

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

Stay in touch.

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

Need more help with your job search?

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

How to Climb the Ladder in Your Career in 2018

January 2nd, 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

November 21st, 2017

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?

Call Houston’s headhunters at Murray Resources. Our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates to local companies just like yours. Contact us today to learn more.

Ask a Houston Headhunter: What Should I Consider Before Deciding to Relocate for a Job?

July 11th, 2017

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

June 21st, 2017

HOUSTONJune 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.

Posted in: Press Releases

5 Secrets to Recruiting from a Top Headhunter in Houston

June 6th, 2017

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

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

#1: Tell a story in your job posting.

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

#2: Be thoroughly prepared for interviews.

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

#3: Provide a great candidate experience.

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

#4: Nurture connections.

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

#5: Always be improving.

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

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

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

Screening Candidates on Facebook? Beware the Pitfalls

July 15th, 2014

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

May 8th, 2013

The demand for talented accounting professionals is as strong as ever, with Houston, Texas being a particularly hot market. So how do companies attract the Houston accounting professionals they need? While we may be biased, enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies can be an effective method for locating the talent your company needs in a cost effective, timely manner.

Below are a few tips on finding the perfect Houston accounting staffing agency.

Inspect a firm’s online presence

Accountants are in hot demand all over the country, so it is important that Houston accounting staffing agencies be up on local job opportunities and update postings accordingly. Before enlisting the help of a staffing firm, look at the firm’s online job postings and pay attention to post dates. Agencies that frequently replenish job opportunities are more likely to be piped into the local accounting community – and adept at filling their jobs – than firms that show out-of-date job openings.

A firm’s online presence goes beyond its website job postings. Many agencies will also have a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook. Pay attention to the firm’s frequency of accounting-related posts. The more mentions pertaining to the industry, the more the firm will know about available job opportunities and qualified candidates looking for new positions.

Ask around

Reputation is everything in the recruiting world. Companies and candidates can learn a lot about Houston accounting staffing agencies by simply asking hiring managers who’ve recently posted jobs and candidates that landed roles at local companies. Longevity in the market is a good barometer of success. For example, Murray Resources, a leading Houston staffing agency, has been serving the market since 1988.

If you are new to the area and have yet to make reputation-informing contacts, try attending a local networking event. You can also check your local HR chapter for recommendations.

Focus on firms with multi-disciplinary specializations

If you are looking for qualified candidates, consider enlisting the help of Houston accounting staffing agencies that specialize in a variety of industries. For example, Murray Resources’ team includes recruiters with deep experience in the fields of accounting, finance, engineering, human resources, marketing, sales, manufacturing, operations and administration. Contacting agencies that have multi-disciplinary specializations can help companies looking to fill positions beyond accounting roles.

Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.

Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.

Why You Need to Keep Employee Favoritism in Check

April 9th, 2013

As top Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that favoritism is one of those things that doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, in fact, it can have a big impact in the workplace. Sometimes, though, it’s hard not to favor employees who do better work or are easier to deal with. That said, it’s important to keep favoritism in check; otherwise, you’ll create a sense of animosity among your team, which can tear it apart.

In addition, favoritism can actually cause you to make bad decisions, which can harm your company and your career. For instance, if there’s a particular person on your team you have a lot in common with, get along great with, and consider a friend, then you may be more inclined to favor them. You could recommend them for a promotion when an opportunity arises based on your feelings for them, not on whether they’re the best person for the job. That’s why it’s so critical to be mindful of favoritism.

So what are some signs favoritism is a problem in your workplace? Here’s a look at a few:

• You regularly invite certain employees to your home or social events.
• You let only certain employees have privileges, like company laptops or cell phones, based on your relationship with them…not on their job duties.
• You hand out perks to the same employees or take the same employees to lunch over and over again.
• You have certain employees that you don’t even know their last name, and others that you know their kids’ middle names.
• You make promotion decisions based on your relationships with employees, not based on value added or work produced.

If the above signs sound familiar, then you’ve got a problem with favoritism on your hands. To combat it, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Mind the rules.

It’s easy to let issues slide when it involves a favorite employee; but don’t let it. Even your favorites need reminders. So be consistent with how you apply the rules.

Tip #2: Be conscious of how you communicate.

It’s easy to talk up a favorite and talk down to one that’s less favored. But be inclusive with your language rather than exclusive. Don’t always be touting the work of one particular employee and not acknowledging others.

Tip #3: Create boundaries.

Don’t let your personal and business lives collide. Create boundaries with your employees, even if it means not hanging out with a favorite employee on a regular basis. Otherwise, you’ll communicate the message that that employee is more important than your others.

Tip #4: Remember, you’re not their friend…you’re their boss.

So avoid always rewarding the chosen few and start looking at how you manage your team with a more critical eye so that everyone feels like they’re treated fairly. When you do, you’ll keep your employees happier and more productive.

Need Help Hiring For Your Team?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As leading Houston headhunters with 30 years of experience, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates. Not good candidates who may have the adequate skills. But people who are truly top performers. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you make smart hiring decisions, contact Murray Resources today.

 

5 Tips for Interviewing Top Houston Accounting Professionals

March 26th, 2013

Attracting qualified Houston accounting talent has become increasingly difficult in recent years, as demand for CFO’s, controllers, accountants, AP managers, payroll managers, and bookkeepers continues to grow. If your company has open accounting positions, you may only have a short window in which to evaluate candidates and make a decision. Take too long and you risk losing top talent to other opportunities.

So how can ensure you’re not only attracting qualifying accounting candidates, but that you’re also getting them interested in your company? One commonly overlooked way is to use your interviewing time for both evaluating the candidate and selling the opportunity. You may only have one shot in front of a talented accounting candidate – be sure to make the most of it.

Below, Murray Resource offers 5 tips for interviewing Houston accounting professionals:

Understand the market & explain job details

As discussed above – with the accounting field being so competitive, talented Houston accounting professionals have options. Rock star candidates are less likely to leave positions than they were during pre-recession times, so those who are on the market are typically looking for very specific attributes in a job. Make sure you have a well-prepared job description that is clear, concise, and demonstrates that the company knows what  it’s looking for in the position. Appearing unorganized is a clear ‘turn off’ to most candidates, particularly more structured accounting professionals.

Talk up your corporate culture

As with most candidates, accountants are interested in companies where they are likely to fit in. During the interview, discuss the specifics of your company’s culture and why you think they could be easily integrated. You want to get the candidate excited about working for your company, so give examples of employees with extensive tenure and why they’ve decided to stay over the years.

Discuss a candidate’s career path

Stereotypically, accountants are very process-oriented, but don’t underestimate the aggressive growth plans of many Houston accounting professionals. It is important to explain future opportunities to grow within your firm, if granted the position. Point to employees who were able to move up quickly as a result of their hard work.

Stay away from negative commentary

While there are certainly exceptions, accountants as a group tend to more risk averse than other candidates. Be honest about your company’s situation, but don’t dwell on negative attributes of previous employees or disappointing turnover statistics. Instead, share positive information and growth trends, with an eye towards future growth plans.

Express your interest

Accountants tend to be straightforward and, like most candidates, they want to know where they stand. If you’re interested in pursuing the candidate, before the interview is over express your interest. Outline the process going forward and let them know when they should hear back – and then make sure you follow the timeline, or at least communicate when if’s there’s a deviation.

Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations.

Murray Resources has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009.

To Call or Not to Call: Should You Reach Out to a Hiring Manager Before Applying?

March 26th, 2013

You know you’re up against dozens and even hundreds of job applicants every time you apply for a new opening. So is there anything you can do to stand out in the mind of a hiring manager – and get a call for an interview?

One idea you may have heard of is to contact a hiring manager ahead of time so you can make a connection and they can be on the lookout for your resume. So is this a good idea, or bad one?

If you know the hiring manager, then by all means, contact them. As Houston headhunters, Murray Resources knows that any leverage you can employ to get your foot in the door is certainly worth using.

However, if the hiring manager is a perfect stranger, then be careful about reaching out to them, even if you have a legitimate question about the job opening. Here’s why:

#1. They’re busy. Hiring managers are at their busiest when it’s hiring season and the last thing they want to do is field calls from job applicants. They’ve included all the detail they wanted to in the job posting and now they expect you to submit a resume based on that information.

#2. They’ll question your abilities. If you call a hiring manager with a question or in need of clarification, they’ll wonder if you’re going to need a lot of hand holding if hired. It’s best to just apply and leave your questions for the interview process.

So if you simply want to learn more about the position before applying, don’t bother the hiring manager. Just apply. Same goes if you’re not sure if you’re completely qualified; that’s what the interview process is for.

However, if you’re convinced that you have a good reason for calling the hiring manager ahead of time, then be sure to follow proper protocol. Be professional not pushy; don’t call a dozen times and keep hanging up because you get voicemail (hiring managers have caller ID too); don’t call at 4:57 pm on a Friday; and be sure to get the hiring manager’s name right.

Are You a Highly Qualified Professional Looking for a Great Job?

If you are, we want to know! Whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule, our Houston headhunters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

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

February 26th, 2013

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

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

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

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

Interview Tactic #1: They Don’t Lead.

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

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

Interview Tactic #2: They’re Silent.

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

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

Interview Tactic #3: They Engage in Small Talk.

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

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

Interview Tactic #4: They Evaluate Your Language.

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

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

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

Let Murray Resources know. Whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule, our Houston headhunters can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

4 Tips for Conducting a Skype Interview

February 5th, 2013

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

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

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

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

Tip #1: Prepare Ahead of Time.

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

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

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

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

Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your Conduct.

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

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

Tip #4: Do a Practice Run.

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

Want to Outsource Your Hiring Process to the Experts?

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

 

Ready to Quit? Here’s How

December 25th, 2012

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

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

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

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

Don’t Gloat.

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

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

Do Be Prepared to Leave.

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

Do Stand Your Ground.

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

Do Offer to Help.

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

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

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

 

6 Offers That Will Make Your Employees Happy

December 4th, 2012

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

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

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

#1: Offer Opportunities for Advancement.

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

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

#2: Offer Freedom.

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

#3: Offer the Chance to Work from Home.

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

#4: Offer Unique Benefits.

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

#5: Offer a Positive Work Environment.

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

#6: Offer Feedback.

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

Need Help Hiring Happy Employees?

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

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

November 20th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need More Help With the Job Search Process?

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

 

 

Are You Protecting One of Your Company’s Most Important Assets? (Hint: It’s Not Your People.)

October 9th, 2012

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.

Get Feedback.

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.

 

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