How Long Should an Interview Thank You Letter Be?

January 17th, 2019

Once you’ve completed your resume and cover letter, you’re done putting pen to paper, right? Actually, if you’ve had an interview, then you have another document to write: the post-interview thank you letter.


You might be thinking it’s unnecessary. After all, in today’s day and age of texts and Tweets, who’s actually going to read it? The answer is: plenty of hiring managers. In fact, in a recent CareerBuilder study, 86% of hiring managers said NOT sending a thank you note demonstrated a lack of follow-through. That’s why it’s so important to make the effort and write the letter.


But when it comes to what you send, how long should it be? And what should be in it?


Your interview thank you letter should be short, no more than a few paragraphs. You’ll want to open thanking the hiring manager for their time and perhaps talking about a particularly memorable part of the interview that comes to mind.


Next up, reiterate why you’re a fit for the job. This should be around two paragraphs at most. You shouldn’t be regurgitating what’s on your resume in this section. Instead, highlight those one or two relevant strengths that make you the best-fit person for the job. If you forgot to mention an important fact about your background during the interview, this is also a good place to bring it up.


Finally, it’s time to close the letter. Here, you can restate your interest in the position and the company. Personalize it even further by talking about one key detail about the organization that really stands out and makes you want to work for them. While you don’t want to come off as desperate, hiring managers like to know you’re enthusiastic about the opportunity.


Once you’re done writing your letter, expect to rewrite it a few times until it’s pitch perfect. Before you send it, also proofread it and then ask a friend or family member to proofread it again. You don’t want a small grammar or spelling mistake to sabotage your efforts.


When it comes to sending your interview thank you letter, your best bet is email. The hiring manager could be making a quick decision, so you want to get the letter into their hands as soon as possible.


Need more help writing a compelling thank you letter that distinguishes you?

Turn to the career consultants at ResumeSpice. We can help you display your appreciation, showcase your strengths, and stand out from other candidates with a well-written thank you letter. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

What Type of Thank You Works Best: Note, Letter or Email?

January 10th, 2019

When it comes to your job search, sending an interview thank you letter is a must. However, when you do, what’s the best approach to take? Do you mail a type-written letter or send in a hand-written notecard? Or should you simply submit an email for the sake of time?


It can certainly be an overwhelming decision to make in circumstances that are already stressful. To help you make the right move, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each and which tactic to take in your unique situation:


Interview Thank You Email


There are many benefits to writing an interview thank you email. Email is how most people correspond in business today. Plus, if you know the hiring manager is going to be making a fast decision, then it’s the quickest way to get your letter into their hands. In addition to timeliness, if you interviewed with a panel and have many thank you’s to send out, email can offer you the easiest, most convenient option.


One tip if you are emailing a note? Use your desktop computer or laptop. Your phone screen is small and it’s much easier to make a spelling or grammar mistake on it, as a result.


Interview Thank You Note


The downside of email is that it’s impersonal. So if you know you have a little bit of time, it can go a long way to send in a hand-written interview thank you note. A well-crafted one, written neatly, can help you stand out among other candidates who don’t make the same effort.


However, before you take this approach, keep in mind the type of position and company. If you’re after a high-tech job in a fast-paced environment, then a hand-written note might actually make you look dated. If, though, you’re applying for a creative positive at a medium size organization, it can help you stand out as unique.


Interview Thank You Letter


For many types of jobs, typing a letter is a standard reply. This will showcase your business etiquette and also demonstrate to the hiring manager that you’re adept at writing a formal letter. This is important if the type of job you’re interviewing for is related to office work, such as an administrative assistant or executive secretary, especially if letter writing is a part of the job.


At the end of the day, there are advantages and disadvantages to the different types of interview thank you letters, notes and emails you can write. First and foremost, timing is key. If the hiring manager is making a quick decision, email is best. Beyond that, it’s important to reflect on the kind of company you’re interviewing with to ensure you take the approach that will appeal to them most.


Need assistance in writing a compelling thank you response after the interview?


ResumeSpice is here for you. We can help you write a letter that distinguishes you from other candidates, so you can increase your odds of getting the job. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Are You Active on LinkedIn? Here’s How the Right Action Can Help Your Career

January 9th, 2019

You might be busy. But if you’re interested in making a career move in the New Year, then you need to get active on LinkedIn. Not sure where to start? Here are a few quick actions from the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice you can easily take in the days and weeks ahead that can have a big impact on your career in 2019:


Keep your profile current.


It sounds like a no-brainer. And yet, many professionals have stagnant profiles that sit there year after year without so much as a word change. But if you want to stand out and make the best impression possible on recruiters and hiring managers, you need to ensure your profile is current and compelling.


Keep in mind, too, your profile doesn’t need to read like a resume. It should offer more unique insight into who you are and what you do in order to get your audience engaged. You can do that in any number of ways, from telling a story to promoting your portfolio to sharing a video of an important career highlight.


Post status updates.


Status updates help your connections learn about your skills and experience; they also keep you on their radar. Not only that, but according to LinkedIn, job seekers who updated their status weekly were 10 times more likely to be contacted by recruiters. Some different update ideas include asking questions, sharing quotes and information, talking about industry trends, or offering your take on a hot career-related topic.


Stay social.


If you want to make the most of LinkedIn, it’s important to stay social on it. That means regularly engaging with your contacts by liking, sharing and commenting on their activities. It also means taking the time to research and seek out new connections. When you do, though, don’t send a generic connection message. Take the time to craft a custom invitation to connect.


Join a group.


Being active in a Group on LinkedIn can offer many different benefits. It can help you expand your network within your field beyond those in your immediate circle. It can also help you increase your visibility among other industry professionals, as well as recruiters and hiring managers looking for professionals like you. Finally, it can give you a forum for posting your own questions and engaging in discussions that can enhance your knowledge base.


Search jobs.


At any given time, there are millions of different job opportunities being promoted on LinkedIn. So if you’re looking to make a career move, spend some time searching these and setting up email alerts so you’re notified when new opportunities get posted.


Interested in a new job in the New Year?


Connect with the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice for help with yours. We can help you build a powerful presence online, all so you can achieve your career goals. Call us today at 832.930.7378 to learn more or get started.

Invest in Your Personal Brand: Why Career Marketing is So Crucial to Professional Advancement

January 3rd, 2019

Just 10 years ago, all you needed to apply for a new job was a cover letter and a resume. Things have changed dramatically since then. In today’s world, a personal brand is a must. But what exactly does that mean, and how can you create one to advance your career in 2019?


A personal brand is simply a way to differentiate yourself. It defines the unique value and experience you offer. It showcases your personality so you come across as authentic. And it positions you as a leading professional that employers want to hire. At its essence, it’s how people remember you.


That’s critically important in a competitive job market. For instance, when you have a polished and professional personal brand, you’ll benefit in many valuable ways, including:


Improving visibility in your industry.


This is vital, particularly when it comes to looking for a new job. The better known you are, the more recruiters and hiring managers you’ll get in front of. Not only that, but realistic or not, visibility equates to more familiarity. Companies want to hire people they know because they feel more comfortable with them.


Broadcasting more authority.


When you have a strong personal brand, it shows that you’re a trusted authority. Your opinion is, therefore, going to matter to more people. Recruiters and other professionals will seek you out and connect with you on an emotional level. This will help to build more trust among you and your network, which can play an invaluable part in your career.


Showcasing special skills.


You have a specialized combination of work and life experience that can set you apart from other candidates. When it comes to what makes you unique as a professional, a personal brand will help you show it off, whether it’s through your own website, blog posts, articles you author on LinkedIn, or speaking engagements.


Setting yourself apart from the competition.


At the end of the day, whether you’re looking for a new job, to expand your network, or the chance to take your career to a whole new level, a personal brand can play a key role. It will help to make you more memorable as you strive to achieve your career goals.


Ready for professional help creating a personal brand?


Turn to the team at ResumeSpice. We offer a variety of services, from professional bio writing to LinkedIn profile writing and more, we’ll help you develop your own compelling personal brand. To get started, call us today at 832.930.7378.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

5 Techniques for Creating a More Positive Candidate Experience

December 26th, 2018

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.

Breaking Resume Myths: Limiting to One Page May Limit Your Potential

December 26th, 2018

Writing a resume is a delicate balance. When it comes to how long yours should actually be, you’ve probably heard the “one-page” rule. However, it’s not necessarily true and can actually wind up hurting your job search if you stick to it. Here’s why:


You cram too much information in.

If you’re desperately trying to stick to one-page during the resume writing process, chances are, your margins are going to be too narrow and fonts too small. As a result, hiring managers aren’t going to read your resume. They’re busy and need to be able to quickly and easily scan each one. If they require a magnifying glass to read yours, they’re likely going to skip it.


You leave out vital information.

In an effort to pare down your resume to a page, you could be leaving out critical information; the kinds of details that would distinguish you from other candidates. That’s why you shouldn’t be solely focused on length. Instead, concentrate on highlighting what’s important and most relevant for the hiring manager to know about you. You might still need to edit; however, you have a lot more flexibility with two pages instead of one.


It makes you look inexperienced.

Hiring managers expect experienced professionals to have a resume that’s more than one page. They also expect it to be polished and professional, with plenty of white space and proper formatting. So if your resume is jam-packed and messy-looking on a single page, it’s not going to reflect well on you or your background.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, if you just launched your career or only have a couple of years of experience, your resume should be one-page long. Anything more than that will make you look presumptuous, or like you’re unwilling or unable to edit. Stick to a single page and use appropriate margins and a font size that’s reasonably easy to read. That means one-inch margins and at least an 11-point font. Hiring managers will notice and thank you for it.


Writing a compelling resume takes a lot of work. On top of content, you need to think about other details, like length. If you’d like professional help and advice with the process, turn to the experienced resume writers at ResumeSpice. Whether you need some quick feedback or a total overhaul, we can help. To learn more, call us today at 832.930.7378.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

How to Customize Your Cover Letter for the Job – Without Forcing It!

December 18th, 2018

You’ve spent hours on your resume. When it comes to your cover letter, it’s tempting to cut corners. But as expert cover letter writers, the team at ResumeSpice knows doing so can sabotage your job search efforts. Hiring managers actually do read these and they offer you another valuable opportunity to set yourself apart as a candidate.


So when it comes to crafting a compelling one, how can you go about customizing it for each position in a way that seems authentic, not forced? Start with these simple tips:


1: Read through the job posting again.

What skills and abilities do you have that seem most important to this particular employer? Make a list then be sure you’re highlighting them in your cover letter. You don’t need to cover each one. Just one or two where your background is the strongest. This will enable hiring managers to quickly see you’re a fit for the position.


2: Open with a compelling statement.

Instead of just stating you’re applying for “XYZ job,” write something that grabs the attention of the hiring manager. They’re going to be seeing many boilerplate letters that all start off the same. So when you take this approach, you’re going to entice them to keep reading.


Some ideas about what to lead with include:


  • Highlighting someone who referred you to the job or a mutual connection.
  • Bringing up an industry trend to demonstrate your knowledge and experience.
  • Talking about why you entered your career field and expressing passion for what you do.


3: Tell a story.

Is there a particular project you worked on that’s highly relevant to the position? Did you recently win an award that speaks to your unique skills and abilities and the value you can offer in this role? Are you genuinely attracted to this company’s products or services? If so, why?


Whatever the case, when you tell a story, you’re going to bring your background to life in a way that’s more personal to the hiring manager. This will further enable you to distinguish yourself among other candidates.


4: Skip the superficial.

When it comes to your cover letter, don’t litter it with superlatives and unsubstantiated claims. Instead, clear and simple language is your best approach. Calling yourself a “guru” or a “star” candidate will undermine your credibility and make it seem like you’re more fluff and less substance.


5: Proofread, proofread, proofread.

Just as with your resume, it’s important to proofread your cover letter carefully to check for mistakes in grammar and spelling. It’s also critical to ensure that you’ve addressed the letter to the right person and that their name and job title are spelled correctly.


If you’d like professional help creating a well-written cover letter, turn to the cover letter writers at ResumeSpice. Not only do we know what hiring managers are looking for, but how to set your background apart so you get noticed and get called for an interview. To learn more, call us today at 832.930.7378.

Posted in: & Advice Columns

The Importance of Keeping Your LinkedIn Profile Up to Date

December 11th, 2018

So you’re not a social media expert. That doesn’t mean you should keep up a 10-year-old LinkedIn profile and call it a day. As LinkedIn profile writers, ResumeSpice knows that in today’s world, every professional – from entry-level to executive – should have a regularly updated one. Here are 5 critical reasons why:


#1: It’s assumed you’ll have one.

Imagine applying for a job and a hiring manager looks you up on LinkedIn. What will they find? If it’s old information, they’re going to wonder about your ambition and enthusiasm for your career. It’s simply presumed that experienced professionals will have updated LinkedIn profiles and if you don’t, it can seriously set your career back.


#2: Recruiters are looking for people like you.

Whether or not you’re looking for a new job, recruiters are looking for people like you. But if your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have your current skills and abilities, then don’t expect to show up in their searches. There are many different and exciting opportunities that could come your way from your profile – if it’s routinely updated. If not, you’ll get passed by.


#3: It makes you seem driven.

If your profile is polished and professional, with all your skills and abilities up to date, you’re going to stand out. However, if it’s not completed or you haven’t touched it in years, it can send the message that you’re less-than-driven when it comes to your career. It can also communicate that you’re not paying attention to detail or don’t understand the importance of LinkedIn. Either way, it doesn’t paint you in a positive light for hiring managers and recruiters.


#4: It gives people a sense of who you are.

The beauty of your LinkedIn profile is that you can infuse more personality into it than your resume. It, therefore, gives recruiters a better sense of who you are and how you think. This can be the key to distinguishing your background and skills from another candidate they’re considering.


#5: It helps you expand your network.

When your profile has the most recent information, your peers and colleagues will be better able to find and connect with you. This can especially handy when you’re searching for a job and looking for leads on new opportunities. You’ll already have a solid network of connections with similar business goals and careers you can turn to for advice and help with the process.


Now that you know the importance of keeping your network updated, where do you begin? If you don’t have the time or expertise, simply turn to the LinkedIn profile writers at ResumeSpice for help. We know what recruiters and hiring managers look for in profiles and can help you build a powerful one that gets the results you want. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more or get started.

How to Interview and Hire Top People Each and Every Time

November 20th, 2018

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

November 17th, 2018

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

September 11th, 2018

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

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

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

Create an auto response for resumes.

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

Stay connected with those you interview.

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

Communicate with candidates you don’t hire.

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

Make hiring decisions quickly.

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

Need more help with your hiring process?

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

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

August 14th, 2018

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

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

Consider the job.

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

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

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

Consider your company and its culture.

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

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

Consider the candidate.

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

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

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

Speed Up Your Job Search with These 5 Simple Strategies

July 17th, 2018

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?

July 3rd, 2018

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:

Google yourself.

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

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

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.

Difficult Star Performers – Work With Them or Let Them Go?

July 12th, 2016

Most leaders face this dilemma at some point in time: they have a star performer who’s smashing goals, and on paper they’re clear keepers. But in person they’re disruptive or entitled…or maybe even a jerk.

To keep or not to keep?

Is it better to retain, and work with these disruptive star-performers – or are we and our companies better served wishing them well and letting them go? The answer to this may not be as simple as you’d think. Companies need to make money to survive and grow, so keeping the rainmakers may mean they sometimes have to overlook a little bad behavior. It can often boil down to what a company or manager is willing to accept and how far they’ll let certain behaviors go.

It depends…

Marc Prosser, Co-Founder at Fit Small Business asks himself this question when faced with this dilemma: “Should the rules be rewritten to accommodate one person?” To Prosser, the answer “really depends on the situation.”

Prosser’s biggest concern is ensuring that accommodating one individual won’t affect his company’s ability to manage others. He continues, “We don’t want to create a double standard that will cause animosity. We also don’t want to accommodate a jerk, which is different from star performer.”

Ultimately, your employee may be a star performer with a few bad behaviors, and you may be okay with that. But if they get to a point where they are a liability – legally or otherwise – it may be time to reevaluate the need for them.

Let them go…
Sometimes, even after you run the numbers, it’s more valuable to your team and your company as a whole to let high achievers with bad attitudes go. For Ian Wright, founder of British Business Energy, an energy comparison service, “it’s often best to let star performers go rather than bending over backwards to accommodate them.” From Wright’s experience, letting his star go ended up improving the morale of remaining employees and, in turn, they began performing better and bringing in more business. It was a win-win for Wright. He was able to keep bringing in a lot of sales while also retaining an effective and happier sales team.

But I don’t want to say good-bye
Max Robinson of Aims Glasgow Media
has found a way to have his star performer but keep peace in the office, too. “Rather than forcing them to stick to our rules, I’ll generally deal with them on a freelance basis.” Robinson provides the ‘talented-but-hard-to-work-with’ stars with a company phone and allows them to work remotely. This is a viable option if your company is open to working with a team member on a freelance or contract basis.

Sometimes the benefit of a star performer’s skills far outweigh the hassle of putting up with them. And sometimes bad behaviors are non-negotiable. As a manager, only you can decide how much you’ll put up with and how much bad behavior is acceptable within the policies of the company.

Need to find your next Superstar – who doesn’t behave badly? Murray Resources can help. As one of Houston’s top staffing agencies, we can connect you with the best talent in the market. Contact us today to get started or learn more.

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.

Murray Resources Wins Prestigious Houston West Chamber of Commerce ‘Star Award’

February 7th, 2014

HOUSTON, February 7 , 2014 – Today, Murray Resources, a leading recruiting and staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, was awarded the prestigious Star Award in the Business Services Category (11+ employees), by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce. The Star Awards recognize businesses that have positively impacted the West Houston economy. Entries are evaluated by an independent panel on the basis of their economic growth, contributions to the community, and West Houston impact.

“We’re extremely proud to have won this award, as it’s a testament, not only to our company’s financial performance, but also to the substantial contributions our employees make to the community. That’s something our employees are very passionate about and something in which Murray Resources takes immense pride,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

In addition to the Star Award recognition, Murray Resources’ growth over the past 3 years has earned the company a place on the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Marsha Murray was also recently named to the Houston Business Journal’s Who’s Who in Energy for the 3rd consecutive year.

Ms. Murray accepted the Star Award on behalf of Murray Resources at the 16th annual Star Awards luncheon held at the Houston Omni West on February 7th, 2014. Over 600 members of the West Houston business community were in attendance.

For more information about Murray Resource, please visit:

About Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. In 2013 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, 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

Posted in: Press Releases

Houston Staffing Agency Murray Resources Releases 2014 Houston Hiring Outlook Report

January 7th, 2014

HOUSTON, January 7, 2014 – Today, Murray Resources, a leading recruiting and staffing firm based in Houston, Texas, released the results of the company’s third annual Houston Growth and Staffing Outlook Report.

Since 2012 Murray Resources has surveyed Houston executives, HR staff, and hiring managers with the objective of gaining visibility into the economic and staffing outlook entering the new year. 60 Houston company leaders and executives, HR staff, and hiring managers – representing 20 different industries – responded to this year’s survey.

“Last year’s survey indicated that Houston companies would be hiring at levels not seen since the before the recession and that turned out to be the case. Almost 80% of last year’s respondents reported that they expected to increase hiring. This year’s report has that number at 53% – significantly lower, but still a healthy rate that indicates another strong year of hiring,” said Marsha Murray, President of Murray Resources.

For the second straight year there appears to be particularly strong demand for sales talent, with companies also reporting high demand for operations and engineering talent going into the new year. The top five areas expecting a moderate to significant increase in hiring are: Sales (38% anticipated increase), Operations (32%), Engineering (23%), Finance / Accounting (18%), Administrative (17%).

Additional key insights from the study:

  • Attracting qualified talent continues to be the most significant human resource challenge facing Houston companies. 57% of respondents anticipate their company’s ability to attract qualified employees to be their biggest staffing challenge in the coming 12 months.
  • Retaining current staff is a growing concern. 27% of respondents expect retaining current staff to be their biggest staffing challenge in the coming 12 months, versus 11% in last year’s survey.
  • Almost half of employers anticipate an increase in hiring full-time employees during 2014. 46% of respondents expect a moderate or significant increase in full-time employees in the coming year.

As with last year’s survey, HR executives, managers, and staff represented the majority of respondents (44%). The largest single group of respondents – HR Managers – comprised 22% of the survey base, while CEO/President/Principal/Partner and C-Level/VP/Director (HR) both represented 18% of respondents.

For information on Murray Resource’s recruiting and staffing services, please visit:

About Murray Resources

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. In 2013 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, 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

Posted in: Press Releases

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.


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.

6 of the Best Online Networking Resources For Job Seekers

November 23rd, 2012

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

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

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

2. LunchMeet

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


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


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

5. BranchOut

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

6. Meteor

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

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

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

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


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.



The Importance of Personal Branding for Your Career

October 29th, 2012

As a leading Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources has placed thousands of job candidates with over 800 clients throughout our 25 year tenure. One developing trend that we don’t see waning is the growth of personal branding.

When we or other Houston recruiting firms are looking through hundreds of applicants to fill a job order, only those qualified candidates who have a strong, unique personal brand are going  jump out. In order to stand out from the pack, the value you can add to an employer needs to be clear.

Author Rebecca Rapple discusses the importance of having a unique personal brand, and outlines a number of ways to differentiate yourself and increase your competitiveness in the job market.  As she says in the opening of her piece, “In order to get to a place you want to go, you need to act the way that you would when you get there.”

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

Turn to a leading Houston recruiting firm – Murray Resources – for help in exploring your next career opportunity.  Contact Murray Resources today to get started.


5 Underused Tactics to Make an Immediate, Genuine Connection with Anyone

October 26th, 2012

Happy almost-weekend, everyone!

Or as we at Murray Resources, one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX like to call it, happy Network to Get Work Friday!

What better time to network than when everyone is ready to unwind and de-stress from a long week? If that statement sounded contradictory to you, it looks like we need to help you revamp your definition of networking. Many people still are under the dated impression that forging new professional connections must take place in a business setting, wearing business attire, discussing business-related topics, etc…   What you’re hopefully beginning to pick up on from our weekly Friday rant, however, is that networking can happen anytime, anywhere, with anyone!

Our article today comes from Scott Dinsmore over at Brazen Careerist and provides what we think is an awesome list of five underused tactics to make an immediate, genuine connection with anyone. While Murray Resources and other staffing agencies in Houston, TX are valuable resources with an extensive network, creating lasting, meaningful connections is a responsibility that ultimately falls upon you.

With these five creative tips in mind (we especially love #4), we encourage you to treat every new interaction this weekend as a potential networking opportunity – have fun, be friendly, and see what happens!

Can’t wait until next Friday for more networking tips? Check out last week’s Network to Get Work post about online networking.

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

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





6 Common Resume Typos to Avoid

October 24th, 2012

Our team at Murray Resources, one of the premier staffing agencies in Houston, is committed to helping job seekers reach their maximum potential when it comes to being a competitive candidate for a position. A major aspect of this process is helping applicants craft effective resumes that can improve their chances of landing an interview. Many hopeul hires fail to realize that a resume’s presentation is just as important as its content, and misspellings or grammatical errors can eliminate even the most qualified of applicants from contention.

In order to ensure your resume is in top form, here are 6 common typos to avoid when preparing your resume:

1)      Spelling errors – A major pitfall in any piece of writing, especially a resume, spelling errors convey to potential employers that an applicant lacks attention to detail, a quality that’s never looked upon favorably. If you can’t be bothered to correctly spell something when representing yourself on an application, how can you be trusted to do so when you’re representing your company? Along the same vein, proper syntax is also paramount when writing a resume or cover letter. You won’t get a medal for knowing the proper usage of “their,” “they’re,” and “there,” but it can mean the difference between landing their interview or having them decide that they’re throwing your resume over there in the recycling bin.

2)      Poor Grammar – While this next point may seem obvious to some, you’d be surprised at how many resumes we review throughout the year that are chock full of grammar mistakes. Any job is going to require basic communication skills and your resume is the first demonstration to a potential employer that you possess those. A simple spell check on Microsoft Word can perform most basic grammar corrections, and if you are still struggling, staffing agencies in Houston like Murray Resources have great resources to help you overcome your grammar woes– just ask!

3)      Using incorrect verb tense – Another major typo that often occurs in resumes is using the wrong tense when describing one’s work history or skill set. If you’ve accomplished something that had an end date, be sure to describe it in the past tense (“I developed software”). If you’re still currently involved in an activity listed on your resume, explain it in the present tense (“I develop software”). It’s easy to fall into the pattern of uniformly formatting resume descriptions to a single tense, but employers want to have a sense of time and progression in your work history and accomplishments when reviewing your resume. Proper tense usage provides this kind of framing.

4)      Bullet usage inconsistency – If you use bullet points when providing descriptions on your resume, make sure to either always include a period at the end of each bullet point, or to never include a period at the end of each bullet point. It is grammatically acceptable for you to do either, but once you decide your formatting, be sure to keep it consistent throughout the duration of your resume.

5)      Employment history date blunders – Needless to say, including the dates of your past employment is a mildly important aspect of a resume! You absolutely must must MUST include the timeframe of when you were employed at past positions next to the description of your responsibilities while there. Failure to do so almost guarantees you won’t make it past the application round. Beyond just including these dates, though, is the important and recurring theme of formatting consistency. Whatever date format you choose (month written out or written as a number, etc.), be vigilant about keeping it uniform for all of your work history entries.

6)      Missing or incorrect contact information– Finally, perhaps our most important tip: ensure that the contact information on your resume is correct! Imagine having avoided all of the other resume pitfalls and intriguing an employer with your polished resume, only to include the wrong email address or mistype your phone number. You may be the most qualified applicant for the position, but a prospective employer isn’t likely to hunt down your updated contact information to offer you an interview, especially if they have a number of other qualified candidates who included their correct information. Double check to be sure that your email address, phone numbers, etc. are on your resume and  up-to-date.

Securing interviews all begins with submitting an effective cover letter and resume, and adhering to these six steps will help you to accomplish that. We hope that you incorporate this advice throughout your own job search process, and wish you all the best on your road to success!

Can’t wait until next Thursday for more resume rallying advice? Check out last week’s Rally That Resume post about the 15 most important resume tips for young professionals.

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

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


Online Networking Tips

October 19th, 2012

Alright everybody, this Houston recruiting firm has a real treat for you today!

Throughout our research, we’ve encountered a growing number of articles that combine the principles of Network to Get Work Friday with those of Social Media Saturday, addressing the growing importance of “online networking.” While this phenomenon made possible through the rapid advent of social media on the Web won’t be replacing face-to-face interactions any time soon, it does provide you with a number of new and innovative ways to expand your personal brand and professional connections.

Today’s piece comes from, one of the most widely used placement sites worldwide and a premier authority on Web-based job searching. We’re really excited about sharing it with you because it addresses almost all of the job-seeking techniques we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks. While the “Monster Guide to Online Networking” is admittedly a bit longer than most of the other articles we’ve posted throughout our “Best of: Career Tips, Tricks & Advice Columns” installment, we think it’s the most accessible and comprehensive source on the important topic of  online networking.

Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, using the tools outlined in today’s PDF will help keep you competitive and connected in a dynamic, increasingly digital job market.


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

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

Also, if you’re in the Houston area, be sure to attend the  Murray Resources “Resume and Cover Letter Tips and Techniques” workshop November 8! Receive individualized feedback and advice on how to craft an effective cover letter and resume that will successfully convey your interest to prospective employers. Purchase your tickets online with a friend and receive a 20% discount for the both of you!

Early bird tickets are being sold for a discounted price of $20 through October 24. Advance tickets sold after Oct. 24 will be $25, and tickets purchased on the day of the event will be $35.


Can’t wait until next Friday for more networking tips? Check out last week’s Network to Get Work post from Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency.

Resume Workshop Announcement & The 15 Most Important Resume Tips for Young Professionals

October 18th, 2012

For young professionals newly embarking upon a job hunt, we at Houston staffing agency Murray Resources know that you’re going to be facing a number uncertainties- which career path to pursue, where to begin looking for job openings, what kind of company culture do you prefer, etc.

Writing a compelling and comprehensive resume shouldn’t be one of these uncertainties.

Today’s article  from Lindsey Pollak, critically acclaimed author and next generation career expert, offers the 15 most important resume tips for young professionals entering the work world. We’re particularly big fans of her bonus tip at the end, so make sure to read all the way through!

Also, if you’re in the Houston area, be sure to attend the  Murray Resources “Resume and Cover Letter Tips and Techniques” workshop November 8! Receive individualized feedback and advice on how to craft an effective cover letter and resume that will successfully convey your interest to prospective employers. Purchase your tickets online with a friend and receive a 20% discount for the both of you!

Early bird tickets are being sold for a discounted price of $20 through October 24. Advance tickets sold after Oct. 24 will be $25, and tickets purchased on the day of the event will be $35.


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

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing agency, to help you explore your next career opportunity.  Contact Murray Resources today to get started.



Your Facebook Timeline is Your Digital Resume

October 13th, 2012

It’s Saturday morning, and perhaps we went a little overboard in celebrating the arrival of the weekend last night. But hey, nothing a little sleep and some coffee can’t cure, right? Time to curl up on the couch and treat ourselves to a bit of mind numbing social media surfing and OH MY GOSH THOSE PICTURES GOT POSTED?!?

Whether you’re comfortable in your career or are presently pursuing one, Houston recruiting firm Murray Resources can attest to the fact that more and more employers are turning to social media to vet current and potential employees for behaviors that might not align with a company’s image or values. In this digital day and age when information is more readily available and accessible than ever before, anyone using social media must be cognizant of the fact that making your private life public can come with some very real consequences. As the author of today’s article sums up in the comments section below his post,

“In both the online and offline world, I’m amazed at how the work/home life boundary blurs. Whether you’re flexing your friend network to find a job, or you meet your mate at the office party, the work/life boundary is vital, yet inevitably porous. Social media success demands the ability to confidently understand this overlap.”

Gerrit Hall, CEO and Co-Founder of online resume reviewing company Rezscore, wrote today’s piece whose content is likely even more relevant today than it was when originally published almost a year ago. In it, Hall describes how Facebook’s “Timeline” profile format is increasingly reminiscent of a digital resumé, and explains how to appropriately manage your social media without losing the integrity of your own personal style and usage. You can understand why leading Houston recruiting firm Murray Resources thought this a valuable article to share.

Although brief, we felt that this piece contained some very useful tips and interesting insights about social media management in today’s competitive job market. If you’re feeling confident in your online social media presence, we’d love to hear your thoughts about it on our Facebook or Twitter pages!


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

Turn to leading Houston recruiting firm Murray Resources to help you explore your next career opportunity.  Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

5 Networking Tips You Haven’t Heard

October 12th, 2012

Congratulations, you made it through the week! Friday is here, and the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources think it’s high time for some celebration. Hit the town with friends, take that special someone out to dinner, heck, go to the dog park for all we care! As long as you’re out and about interacting with those who matter to you, we consider it a successful weekend.

Coincidentally, they happen to have a name for this sort of thing in the work world, and it’s just as easy and beneficial as the above examples we just mentioned. Networking, or maintaining ties with old contacts while also making new ones, is a crucial part of creating professional opportunities for yourself now and in the future.

In today’s column, respected career blogger Alexandra Levit summarizes 5 networking tips you’ve probably never considered that will help you to expand both your contact list and your career horizons. While you have some free time this weekend, the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources encourage you to capitalize on chances to reconnect with an old colleague or go out and meet someone new; you never know what opportunities might arise!

Can’t wait until next Friday for more networking tips? Be sure to follow @MurrayResources on Twitter , where we post networking opportunities around Houston throughout the week! And check out our post about why you still need to network even if you just landed a new job.

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

Let the experienced Houston recruiters at Murray Resources help you explore your next career opportunity.  Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume

October 11th, 2012

Okay, so Murray Resources, one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, has worked with you on marketing yourself and acing the interview, but you’re still missing that crucial ingredient that gets you from point A to point B. No matter how good you are at interviewing or personal branding, you’re not going to get to sit down with a potential employer until you’ve piqued their interest with a unique, well-written, professional grade resumé.

In today’s article, Charles Purdy, Senior Editor at, gives you 8 creative ways to rally and revamp your resumé for a top-notch application that will get you one step closer to that dream job.

Can’t wait until next Thursday for more resumé rallying tips? Check out on of our previous posts about why numbers matter on your resume for more helpful advice!

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

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


Office Workouts

October 10th, 2012

Wednesday always seems to be the day when the weight of the workweek really seems to settle in, doesn’t it? You feel that fresh start, beginning-of-the-week vigor start to slip away, but you’ve yet to gain that Thursday/Friday, make-it-to-the-weekend motivation; you’re a little more tired, a little more stressed than you were three days ago, but you still have half the week ahead of you. In short, Wednesdays can be deflating for both mind and body.

But Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston staffing agencies,  is here to help you break up the mid-week monotony! What better way to alleviate stress than to get the blood pumping with a little office exercise? Today’s installment contains thirteen workout moves you can do while at your desk- all it takes is a chair, a water bottle, and a little creativity!

P.S. Even though we’re only posting these kinds of tips on Wednesdays, they can (and should!) be used throughout the week to keep you physically energized and mentally focused everyday!

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

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


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.


How to Prepare For and Close Your Next Interview

October 9th, 2012

Day two of our “Murray Resources Best of: Career Tips, Tricks & Advice Columns” segment brings us to a part of the job search process that is often cited as the number one source of anxiety for potential candidates: the interview. We at Murray Resources, one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, understand that anxiety, and we want to help.

Introvert, extrovert or anything in between, the prospect of a first impression potentially making or breaking a career path is nerve-wracking for just about any job applicant. But with practice and the right tools, you can learn to channel that nervous energy into a successful interview.

Our first article about interview tips focuses on arguably the two most important parts of an interview: the opening and closing impressions you imprint upon your potential employer. These tips on how to prepare for and close your next interview will help you to seal the deal!

Can’t wait until next Tuesday for more interviewing tips? Check out some of our previous posts on how to make the most of an interview!

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

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


Personal Branding Accelerates Professional Advancement

October 8th, 2012

Hello and happy Columbus Day, everyone!

We at Murray Resources, top Houston recruitment firm, are pleased to welcome you to our first installment of “Murray Resources’ Best of: Career Tips, Tricks, & Advice Columns.” We begin our week with a focus on the most important resource any candidate can bring into a job application – YOU!

As branding strategist Deborah Shane writes, “Smart, strategic personal branding can accelerate professional advancement. There is no getting around it, ignoring its importance, or doing it half heartedly.” Differentiating yourself from the applicant pool puts you on the fast track for success in any career, but if you don’t know where to begin, marketing yourself can often seem like a daunting task.

Straight from personal branding expert Dan Schwabel’s blog, we at leading Houston recruitment firm Murray Resources hope you enjoy Ms. Shane’s tips to help you stand out and get noticed in your quest for success:

Can’t wait until next Monday for more personal branding tips? Check out our previous post about what hiring managers look for when they Google you for more useful advice!

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

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


Murray Resources’ Best Of: Career Tips, Tricks, & Advice Columns

October 5th, 2012

Whether you’re a fresh-faced college grad looking to enter the work world, a seasoned veteran of the job hunt, a professional looking for a career change, or even an employer seeking guidance for best hiring practices, the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources want to help!

There is a seemingly infinite amount of self-help literature out there aimed at hopeful hires and active employers alike. With mountains of well-intentioned advice available online and in print today, the sheer magnitude of search results returned for phrases such as “career advice” or “job seeking tips” is enough to overwhelm even the most enthusiastic of applicants.

Beginning next Monday, we’ll be exposing our blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans to the best of what the career gurus of the Web have to offer. The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources have compiled an assortment of what we think are the some of the most effective and comprehensive tips, tricks, and advice columns, and will be posting one article per day that we hope our followers will find useful in their career-related endeavors.

Each article we post will correspond with the daily theme:

o Market Yourself Monday
o Interview Tips Tuesday
o Workplace Wellness Wednesday
o Rally That Resume Thursday
o Network to Get Work Friday
o Social Media Saturday

The journey toward your ideal career should be one of excitement, opportunity, and intellectual challenge, not stress, frustration, or disillusionment. Our goal is to create an organized collection of resources that will provide you with the tools necessary to carry out a positive, successful job search, and we hope you’ll find our compilation inspiring and beneficial in helping you to reach your full potential.

Stay tuned for exciting updates to follow!

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

Turn to the Houston recruiters at Murray Resources for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

Why Numbers Matter on Your Resume

September 25th, 2012

Imagine this scenario:

You’re an employer looking to hire a new sales associate. Which of the following statements gets your attention?

• Worked as a salesperson.

• 10 years of sales experience, named company salesperson of the month three times, and brought in $90,000 in new sales within a one year timeframe.

Obviously the second statement far surpasses the first. Why? Because it demonstrates a candidate’s abilities through cold, hard facts…a.k.a. numbers. It also gives the employer a better sense of the candidate’s experience and skill level.

The lesson here?

Numbers are an important part of your resume, regardless of the field you work in. As leading headhunters in Houston, Murray Resources can tell you they offer real-world examples of the value you bring to the table and can help set you apart in a sea of other candidates.

So how can you go about determining the best way to quantify your accomplishments on your resume?

One of the first places to start is past performance reviews. Look to them for inspiration and information about your accomplishments and how to quantify them.

If you don’t have copies of your performance reviews, then you’re going to have to sit down and brainstorm for a while. When you do, ask yourself the following questions:

• How have I saved employers time? In other words, did you make process improvements that made your company more efficient in some way, shape, or form? Or did you implement a new program that saved your customers time?

• How have I saved, made, or managed money for employers? For instance, did you shop around for and negotiate with a more cost efficient vendor? Did you identify certain areas where the company could save money and implement changes to help achieve those savings? Were you in charge of administering a large budget? Or did you bring in a large amount of new sales or clients each month?

• What other kinds of specific amounts or numbers demonstrate my skills or abilities? For instance, did you supervise a team of 15? Were you tasked with conducting new hire orientation for 10 new employees? Did you write 5 new RFPs or business proposals last year? Think about everything you’ve done in terms of tasks and then try to attach a number that demonstrates positive results.

Competition is fierce in the job market. That means you need to stand out via your resume in order to get your foot in the door and get an interview. And the more you focus on quantifying your abilities through numbers, the more likely you are to get noticed.

Want Resume Help from the Experts?

Turn to the top headhunters in Houston; turn to Murray Resources. We can help you craft an effective resume, polish your interview skills, and find job opportunities that are a great match for you. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

How to Make the Most of an Interview

September 13th, 2012

If you’ve ever conducted a search for a new employee when you’re desperate to fill an opening, you know how difficult it is to make a strong hire when the process is rushed. While some companies wait for candidates to apply for their open positions, others plan ahead and seek out employees before they’re needed. A big part of managing an effective hiring process is having a thorough, effective interviewing methodology – and having enough time to work through the process is essential.

Plan ahead, use the interviewing tips below, and you’ll be on your way to building a stellar team.

So what does hiring the best involve?

1. Brainstorm responsibilities – What will this person do? Jot down all the responsibilities you can think of in two lists – “nice to haves” and “must haves”. While it’s a brainstorming session, the more specific your descriptions are, the easier it will be when it comes to time to define the role’s requirements in terms of experience, education, and prior responsibilities. For example, your team may be seeking a marketing manager, but after the brainstorming exercise it may become apparent that most of the desired responsibilities are more sales related and therefore require more sales experience.

2. How will this person be evaluated / compensated? – Creating the right incentive structure for the job is essential. Not doing so risks unintentionally encouraging the wrong activities. Consider all possibilities, including base salary, commissions if applicable, bonuses, and profit sharing – and tie the variable incentives back to specific performance activities and results wherever possible. When putting together the final compensation structure, consider moving expenses, 401k, and expense reimbursements. Depending on the type of position and the competition in the marketplace, top candidates will be offered similar packages from other companies.

3. Don’t forget people skills – Since most of us can fake behaving normally for at least an hour or two, cringe-worthy behavior isn’t always apparent during the interview. So how can you get past the cover? Personality profiles and behavioral assessments are your answer. Put these assessments to good use because you may hire for skills, but it’s typically a lack of culture fit that dooms a new hire.

4. Manage your biases – Most interviewers develop an opinion of a candidate within a couple of minutes of meeting them and then spend the remainder of the interview gathering data to justify their initial impression. The best way to combat our own biases (positive or negative) is to prepare a list of standard questions to ask every candidate. Having a consistent roster of questions and rating process (and sticking to them) throughout all interviews will help you stay on task and ensure you’re comparing candidates accurately.

5. Sell the opportunity  – If you’re planning on hiring top talent, you’ll be competing with other companies who are also eager to bring them on. Interview with the mindset of not only determining if the candidate is the best fit for the job, but also demonstrating why your company is where they want to spend the majority of their waking hours.  Before you start interviewing, build a list of all the reasons why a prospective employee would want to work for your company. Supplement the list by asking current employees what they like most about their jobs.

So plan ahead, interview with a purpose, and use assessments and standardized questions to your advantage.

Ever used these tips to weed out a not-so-perfectly-fitted candidate and hire a great one instead? We’d love to hear your stories and tips.

And if you’d like some help with the process, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, we provide our clients with unparalleled market knowledge and access to the highest caliber candidates. So when you need to hire, turn to the recruitment firm you can trust…turn to Murray Resources. Contact us today to learn more.

7 Skills to Look for in Your Next Great Hire

September 11th, 2012

It’s always important to hire employees who are smart and hard-working. But, as a top Houston recruiter, Murray Resources can tell you that to really stay competitive in today’s challenging marketplace, you’ve got to dig a little deeper in the hiring process so you can uncover those valuable workers who think on their feet, bring innovative ideas to the table, and who are passionate about what they do and driven to succeed.

So what are some of the top skills you should be looking for during the hiring process to ensure you recruit the right person?

Here’s a look:

#1: Communication Skills.

There aren’t very many jobs out there in which good communication skills aren’t vital. Being able to represent your company well and present ideas articulately, whether in speaking or writing, should be something you look for in almost any hire. While this is a skill commonly sought after, it’s also one that many otherwise qualified candidates may not demonstrate.

#2: Interpersonal Skills.

People want to work and do business with people they like, making it critically important that you hire someone with strong interpersonal skills. This includes being a good listener and being able to build relationships, whether with co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, or customers.

#3: Flexibility.

Today’s business environment is highly unpredictable. Therefore, you need to hire people who can handle the unexpected by thinking on their feet and improvising new solutions, rather than complaining about the challenges they face on the job.

#4: Ability to Work as Part of a Team.

Any manager loves a top performing employee, but it’s also important that they serve well on a team.

#5: Resilience.

Showing resilience in the face of challenges and turning them into advantages is a highly valuable skill. During the hiring process, look for candidates who have demonstrated an ability to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

#6: Creative Thinking.

In a climate where employees must do more with less, being able to hire imaginative employees who can deliver better results with fewer resources can have a hugely positive impact.

#7: Organization.

You need to hire employees who can adhere to some basic time management rules to ensure customers or appointments don’t fall between the cracks or deadlines aren’t missed. While this doesn’t mean your next hire needs a Type A personality, it does mean that having the ability to stay organized – and on track – is important.

So how can you go about hiring people with these skills?

When conducting interviews, be sure to build questions around these critical skills so that you can evaluate each candidate effectively. For instance, you may want to ask a series of behavior based questions that force a candidate to offer specific, real-world examples of how they’ve demonstrated the skills above.

And if you’d like some help with the process, let Murray Resources know. As one of Houston’s leading recruitment firms, we provide our clients with unparalleled market knowledge and access to the highest caliber candidates. So when you need to hire, turn to the recruitment firm you can trust…turn to Murray Resources. Contact us today to learn more.


Hire Now!