How to Disagree with Your Boss – Without Offending Them

March 7th, 2017

As a top Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows it’s an uncomfortable situation for most employees. You think your boss is going down the wrong path, or isn’t considering all angles. But you’re afraid of offending them by offering your opinion. Here’s how you can you disagree with your boss, but still be diplomatic:

Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Your opinion matters and it’s your job as an employee to offer it up, especially when it can make a crucial difference in an important decision. Not only that, but if you want to move ahead in your career, you need to get comfortable with voicing your opinion in a mature and rational way.

Don’t get emotional.
You might be passionate about your position. But the best way to get your boss to tune out or be unreceptive to your message is to get emotional. Keep your feelings in check and simply view yourself more in a consulting role. In other words, strive to simply collaborate and offer advice that will lead to the best possible solution.

Let go of your ego.
You might think you’re right. But don’t let your ego get the best of you. Instead, rather than making the case for why you’re spot-on, talk about how your idea or solution would better benefit the company. Frame it in a way that takes “you” out of the equation.

Don’t nitpick.
It’s important to be assertive at work. That said, you don’t want to nitpick every single thing that you disagree with your boss on. As the saying goes, “choose your battles.” But it’s especially important to speak up when your performance will be impacted, or the company’s bottom line.

Talk privately.
If you’re in the midst of a big brainstorming session and everyone is voicing their opinion, then it’s fine to let yours be known. However, if it’s a sensitive situation, or you adamantly disagree with a decision your boss made, don’t call them out in front of everyone. Timing is everything and it’s important to pick the right moment to challenge your boss.

Be diplomatic.
Don’t just come right out and say you disagree. If you want your boss to be receptive to your comments, it’s important to phrase your opinion in a softer way. You can say something like, “Can we look at this another way? For instance, at X.” or “I understood that a little differently. My take was that Y and Z.”

In the end, once you’ve voiced your disagreement, if your boss chooses to ignore it, it’s their decision. You need to accept the situation, though you may continue to respectfully disagree.

Interested in more tips to help with your career? Check out our resource center. As a top Houston staffing agency, we can also help connect you with new opportunities in the area, so you can advance your career and achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.

The #1 Secret to Better Hiring in 2017

February 14th, 2017

Hiring just got a whole lot harder. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment was at 4.8% in January 2017. That means it’s not a buyer’s market anymore and candidates have a lot more opportunities to consider. As a hiring manager or employer, what can you do? The answer’s easier than you might think: bring in the experts at a Houston staffing agency.

Here’s how a staffing agency can help you:

#1: They have in-depth knowledge of the candidate market.

While you might only hire a few times a year, recruiters at staffing agencies are constantly networking, sourcing candidates and hiring them – all year round. As a result, they know what kind of talent is available, how to best attract and recruit the best professionals, and what competitive compensation you should be offering them. This insight and information will help you recruit better candidates, faster.

#2: They can recruit hard-to-find or specialized talent.

Hiring today is challenging enough. But when it comes to a demanding position that requires hard-to-find skills, it can seem almost impossible to fill. But recruiters at a staffing agency know how to source active and passive candidates who are more selective about opportunities. They spend a lot of time recruiting top talent, including those with specialized skills, so you can leverage their network to find people with the background you need.

#3: They can speed up the hiring process.

When you’re inundated with resumes and cover letters, it can be hard to properly screen every candidate and also get your daily work done. But a recruiter at a staffing agency is trained to screen resumes and hone in on the skills you’re looking for. Not only that, but they can conduct phone screens and interviews to further qualify candidates. That way, the candidates you do end up seeing are those who are all a good fit for the job you’re offering.

#4: They can help you create a strong employer brand.

Your reputation in the candidate marketplace can have a big impact on the quality of talent you’re able to attract. A good staffing agency partner can help you develop an appealing employer brand. They’ll know where to advertise your company and openings, and how to position you as an employer of choice, including what it’s like to work at your organization, including culture, as well as perks and benefits.

If you need to hire – but are hard-pressed for time or resources – consider outsourcing the recruiting process to professionals who do it all day. You can benefit from the reach, network, and proven processes of a trusted staffing agency partner.

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

6 Tips for Conducting Phone Screens

May 17th, 2016

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

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

Tip #1: Create a short list.

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

Tip #2: Prepare your questions.

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

Tip #3: Follow a consistent format.

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

Tip #4: Promote the opportunity.

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

Tip #5: Talk about next steps.

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

Tip #6: Rate your candidates.

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

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

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Are You Setting Clear Expectations for Your Staff?

January 5th, 2016

One of your people isn’t getting the job done. They keep missing deadlines. They constantly come to you with questions. Goals are falling by the wayside and work quality is slipping.

Sound familiar? While a weak employee may be the culprit, another possibility is that your staff member is operating on unclear expectations. As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows when your people don’t fully understand what they’re supposed to be doing and when, they’re never going to be able to perform well.

So how can you go about setting crystal clear expectations – so your employees can deliver? Here are some steps to take:

Step #1: Assess the job.

Are the right people in the right roles? Do their job descriptions actually align with their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? While a job description won’t define every aspect of a job, it does set forth an outline as well as basic expectations. So if you hire someone to perform a certain job, but that position doesn’t match at all what they’re currently doing, then that lack of alignment could be the cause of weak performance.

Step #2: Define goals.

As a manager, an important part of your job is to define goals for yourself and for your employees. In addition, you need to ensure the goals you do set match up with larger, organizational strategies and objectives. But before you assign certain objectives to your staff, work with each one in the goal setting and strategizing process. When they have a voice in it, they’ll be more vested and motivated to succeed.

Step #3: Set the tone.

Your people look to you to set the tone. So if you expect your employees to arrive at work by a certain time, or dress in a certain way, then you should live by those same rules.

Step #4: Talk often.

Don’t wait until year-end performance reviews to talk with your employees. You should be checking in with them regularly, even if it’s on an informal basis. It’s also much easier to touch base throughout the year to learn about issues, concerns, or questions they may have and deal with them before they become emergency situations. During these talks, you can let your staff members know too where they stand – areas in which they’re performing well and those that could use some improvement.

Step #5: Get new hires on board.

When you hire a new employee, make sure you define clear expectations from the start. You’ll reduce the chance of performance issues down the line if you explain what you expect, when you expect it by and how success will be measured.

When you don’t set clear expectations, it can result in a dysfunctional team that gets little done. Instead, take the steps above to define goals and expectations so your employees produce the best results.

Do you need help hiring for your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Why Outsourcing to Technical Recruiters in Houston Can Save You Money

November 10th, 2015

The economy has changed dramatically in recent years, making recruiting the right technical candidates more challenging than ever. From fierce competition due to skills shortages to ever-evolving business conditions, finding and hiring the right people in this new recruiting environment requires a different approach.

However, when you outsource the task to an expert – in other words, technical recruiters in Houston – you can find the best technical candidates, avoid the risk of hiring mistakes, and save time and money in the process. Here’s how:

Less Time-to-Hire

When you work with technical recruiters in Houston, they have a proven process in place based on years of industry experience and insight. So when you need to fill a position – whether on a contract or full-time basis – they immediately know where to look and may even already have relationships with candidates who would be a good fit. Rather than spending your valuable time searching for strong candidates, you can focus on other priorities and leave the task to the technical recruiting experts.

Increased Access to Candidates With Specialized Skill

Finding technical candidates can be a challenge, but sourcing those with a specialized skill set can be downright impossible…unless, of course, you’ve partnered with reputable technical recruiters in Houston. Recruiters are always doing just that…recruiting. So they come across a wide array of technical talent with various competencies across all levels, including those who may suit your unique needs.

A More Efficient Process

Between advertising fees and time to interview candidates, there are many direct and indirect costs to hiring. And they can add up quickly. But when you work with technical recruiters in Houston, you pay one fixed fee, so you know the expenses walking into the partnership. An experienced recruiter is also far more efficient with the process in terms of both cost and time.

Top Technical Candidates

In many cases, a new hire will quit after just a few months on the job, oftentimes due to lack of fit. However, when you work with a technical recruiter who understands the industry, you can gain access to better fit candidates, make a better hiring decision and avoid the costly risk of a hiring mistake.

Finding the right technical talent for your job opening be both challenging and expensive. But when you outsource the task to a technical recruiter, you can lower costs, gain access to top talent, and reduce the hassles of hiring.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working with a technical recruiter in Houston, call Murray Resources. As top Houston technical recruiters, we can give you access to the highest quality talent, whether you need a programmer, project manager, or desktop support personnel. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

4 Ways to Attract High Achievers to Your Company

April 7th, 2015

Your company has a rewarding and challenging opportunity, offers generous benefits, and is on the cutting edge of industry. You’ll have no problem attracting great candidates for your job opening, right?

Wrong. As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows attracting the best candidates is a challenge for every company, even the top ones. Why? Because high quality talent has options when it comes to where they want to work, even in this uncertain economy. As a result, they can be choosy when it comes to evaluating job opportunities.

So how can you go about attracting high achievers to your team? Start by following these tips:

#1: Write clear and concise job descriptions.

If your job description is four pages long and focus only on your needs, then it’s going to turn off many of the best candidates. Instead, make sure your description of the role and its requirements is crisp and easy to understand. Also focus some of your attention on why a candidate should want to work for you.

#2: Create an easy-to-use application system.

Top candidates are going to give up if your application system is clunky, hard to use, or takes too long to apply through. Remember, you’re not using the system to actually make a hiring decision; you’re simply trying to find the best candidates and filter out the weak ones. In addition, top talent aren’t going to waste their time struggling with an antiquated system riddled with technical issues; they’re going to move onto another opportunity.

#3: Be professional and respectful.

If you cancel a candidate’s interview at the last minute with no explanation or apology, don’t expect them to stick around, waiting for you to reschedule. Likewise, if you told a candidate you’d be making a hiring decision by Friday and it’s now Wednesday of the following week, they’re going to feel like they’re being strung along. The smartest candidates know that if they are treated poorly during the hiring process, then they will likely be treated in the same manner once hired.

#4: Be upfront with candidates.

Many employers withhold critical information, such as salary and challenges the new hire will face on the job, until they’ve made an offer. But those details are important to candidates who want to know the good, the bad and the ugly of the position before making a decision. If you’re guarded about talking about these realities of the job, then top candidates will see it as a red flag and move on.

Need more help hiring high achievers at your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

4 Strategies for Connecting With Top Candidates

December 16th, 2014

Sure, it’s an employer’s market when it comes to hiring. However, as a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows the best candidates are still in demand – which is why you need to build a talent pipeline, even if you don’t need to hire at the moment. When you do, you’ll have a robust network of proven talent whom you can bring in quickly when you do have an opening.

So how do you connect with top candidates and get them interested in working for your company? Here are 4 strategies:

Strategy #1: Join industry groups and online forums.

Do some research to determine the ones that most likely have the kinds of candidates you’re looking for on them. Make yourself seen and your voice heard. Answer questions, get involved in discussions, and engage with potential candidates who might be a good fit for your company.

Strategy #2: Author a blog.

Starting a blog can provide you with a variety of benefits. Not only can it help you enhance your company’s online visibility, but it can also attract talented candidates. Post articles of interest to potential candidates and respond to any comments they post. Strive to create a community around your blog posts and position your company as a great place to work.

Strategy #3: Get active on social media.

Build an online presence on social media websites and industry websites that are pertinent to your business. Share advice, re-post helpful content from other sources, and interact with potential candidates.

Strategy #4: Build a career website.

If your company website doesn’t have a careers section, or a stand-alone career website, now’s the time to create one. Today’s candidate expects to easily access information about your company’s culture and the benefits of working there. Make sure you post job openings, as well as other content of interest, like videos, articles, blog posts, and insider news and advice. You can even create a candidate newsletter and have individuals subscribe via your website.

Attracting the best candidates is all about building relationships. Follow the tips above to increase your accessibility and stay top-of-mind with your next top performers.

Need more help hiring for your company? Call Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Make the “What Are Your Weaknesses?” Question More Effective

October 21st, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that many employers ask the same question in job interviews – “tell me about yourself,” “why do you want to work here?,” and “what are your weaknesses?” The problem with the latter question is that most job candidates are prepared to answer it, oftentimes with a less-than-genuine response. Think “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist.” It’s no surprise; after all, individuals don’t want to give you any ammunition that would make you reconsider their candidacy.

But the purpose of every interview question you ask is to get behind the candidate mask; to uncover the true professional, revealing each job candidate’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills and abilities. Questions that elicit a canned response are not a good way to do that.

If you want to learn about a candidate’s weakness, instead rephrase the question in a way that will produce a more genuine response. According to Leadership IQ, a research and management consulting firm, that means instead of asking “what are your weaknesses?,” you should ask them to describe what their last boss considered their weaknesses. That forces people to be less scripted and helps you better assess their emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

What are some other questions you can ask to get to the bottom of a candidate’s true strengths and weaknesses? Here’s a look:

  • What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?
  • What changes have you made over the course of your career to be better at what you do?
  • When have you failed on the job? Describe what happened and what you learned from it.
  • What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people? How do you rate yourself in those areas?
  • If you could start your career over again, what would you do differently?
  • What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

The best interview questions aren’t ones that provoke a cookie cutter response. Rather, good questions give each candidate an opportunity to sell themselves – with real-world examples – and highlight why they’re the strongest contender for the job.

Need more help interviewing candidates and finding your next great hire? Call Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Survival Tips for New Managers

August 19th, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows taking a job as a manager of an existing team is tough. Not only are the employees used to the old manager’s approach, but they might not be open to your way of doing business. If you’re the new boss, here are 5 survival tips to overcome this tricky situation and gain your team’s respect:

Tip #1: Don’t insult their former manager.

You’re walking into a situation where you may not know much about the politics or past loyalties. Even if you disagree with the old boss’s approach or policies and see glaring errors, be diplomatic when discussing them. The last thing you want to do is insult a former, well-loved manager and create a sense of animosity among your new staff members.

Tip #2: Take change slow.

You can’t possibly learn about the team and all the challenges they face in a few days. So don’t take over the reigns and start implementing change immediately. Go slow. Take some time to get to know the situation and why things are done the way they are before making big changes.

Tip #3: Get to know your people.

Take an interest not only in your team members as employees, but as people. Ask about their work, get their view of the department’s strengths and weaknesses, and find out what they need from you. Plan to meet with each employee individually so you can ask questions like:

  • What are your career goals for the year? Are you on track to achieve them?
  • What are some obstacles to success you’re experiencing?
  • What do you think that’s working that we should be doing more of?
  • Is there anything I can do that would help you do your job better?

Tip #4: Communicate your approach and expectations.

Talk about your objectives for the team and the way that you like to work – for instance, do you like in person updates, or progress reports via email? Ask what questions they have about your goals and expectations.

Tip #5: Expect some resistance.

You’re the new kid on the block and your employees are probably comfortable in the way things are. So if you start going around, changing processes and procedures, expect some resistance. Don’t take it personally or get defensive. Just clearly explain your reasoning and how the changes will benefit the team as whole.

Need help hiring for your team? Call Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

4 Quick Tips for Screening Resumes

July 1st, 2014

As a leading Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to the hiring process, one of the most labor-intensive tasks is weeding through all the resumes you’ll be getting. You might get a few dozen – or a few hundred, depending on the job and where you’re located.

However many you do get, it’s important to keep a few key points in mind when you’re screening resumes so the process is both efficient and effective. Here’s a look:

Tip #1: Know what you’re looking for before you start.

Before you begin the resume screening process, know what kind of candidate you’re looking for to fill the position. Have a list ready of the four or five non-negotiable skills you require and use that as a tool to screen out candidates who don’t fit the bill. When you have a clear picture of who a strong contender is for the job, you’ll have a much easier time screening resumes.

Tip #2: Wait until you have all resumes before you begin the screening process.

It’s tempting to review each resume as it comes in, but you’re simply making the process more time-consuming. Instead, wait until the end date of your job posting and then start reviewing all the resumes you receive.

When you do it all at once, or at least break the task into a few chunks, the process is going to be far more efficient than if you screen resumes one at a time or in a piecemeal fashion.

Tip #3: Don’t look for the perfect candidate.

The resume screen is only the first part in what’s going to be a more extensive hiring process. And you’re not making a hiring decision on a person’s resume. You’re simply deciding whether or not to move that person on into the interview process.

If you’re really uncertain about a particular candidate, pick up the phone and conduct a quick screen. After speaking directly with them, you’ll have a clearer sense of whether you want to pursue them further.

Tip #4: Do look for strong candidates.

When you’re screening resumes, look for those candidates who present a neat and professional resume free from typos and errors. Also look for candidates that go beyond listing out all their daily tasks on their resume and demonstrate a track record of accomplishments. And finally, when screening resumes, try to identify an upward trend in career path. Advancement is a good sign of a solid candidate.

Taking the steps above is your first line of defense in avoiding a bad hire. However, if you simply don’t have the time to screen resumes, call Murray Resources. As a leading Houston staffing agency, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source, hire and retain top talent for permanent, temporary, part-time and contract opportunities.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

 

Get More from Exit Interviews

February 11th, 2014

As a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency, Murray Resources knows that no one likes to conduct exit interviews. After all, who wants a valuable employee to leave?

That said, when you conduct effective ones, you can actually garner information that will help your company in the long run. So rather than looking at an exit interview like something to check off your “to do” list, instead approach it like an opportunity to learn.

To help you, here are a few key tips to keep in mind:

Always conduct them.

Exit interviews should be standard operating procedure at your company. Employees will know to expect them and won’t think you’re trying to interrogate them when you ask to schedule the meeting.

Don’t schedule the interview right after the employee resigns; give both parties some time to prep. But do conduct an interview a few days before the employee’s last day. If you conduct it on their last day, they might not be as focused since they’re trying to tie up a multitude of loose ends.

Have a manager from a different department conduct the interview.

One of the primary reasons people leave their jobs is because they are having issues with their direct managers. If that manager conducts the interview, the employee will hold back their honest opinion as a result.

Instead, have someone who isn’t directly connected with the employee conduct the interview. That way, the employee will feel more comfortable about being open and honest about their experience at the company.

Ask good questions.

Just like any interview, you shouldn’t walk into an exit interview with plans to simply wing it. You need to ask pointed questions in order to garner valuable information.

For instance, ask the employee about why they wanted to work at your company in the first place and why they changed their minds about staying. Also, ask about their new opportunity, how they heard about, what they will be doing, and what they are most excited about at their new employer. These kinds of questions will give you some additional insight as to why they’re leaving.

Leverage the intel.

Don’t just let the feedback the employee gives you languish. Instead, put it to use by addressing the issues and concerns they brought up. If you don’t, then conducting exit interviews at all is simply a waste of time.

About Murray Resource

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. When you need help hiring – whether for contract, temporary, direct-to-hire, or full-time positions – give us a call. We can help.

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: www.murrayresources.com.

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 www.murrayresources.com.

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: www.murrayresources.com/employers.

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 www.murrayresources.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

What Happens To My Resume Once I Submit It To A Recruiter?

March 25th, 2013

Have you ever sent your resume to a recruiter and then waited – sometimes for several weeks – before hearing back? Fear not, your resume hasn’t fallen into a black hole. Here’s some insight from Houston staffing agency, Murray Resources, on what happens to your resume after you click ‘send’ or ‘submit.’

Step #1: The Six-Second Once-Over

It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive hundreds, even thousands, of resumes for a single job posting. While ATS’s (applicant tracking systems) are commonly used by larger companies to sort through resumes, most external recruiters still view each resume manually (some recruiting firms employ junior recruiters or researchers to help screen and sort the influx of resumes).

So how do recruiters possibly review that many resumes? According to a recent study performed by TheLadders.com, recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning resumes for fit. But don’t let that short amount of time fool you – most recruiters are highly-experienced professional resume screeners and know exactly what they’re looking for. According to the study, 80% of those six seconds are spent on the following information:

  • Name
  • Current Title / Company
  • Previous Title Company
  • Current position start and end dates
  • Previous position start and end dates
  • Education

Tip: Increase your chances of getting through this step by making sure your resume is clear, concise, and easy to follow – and that you are applying for a job that fits your qualifications. If a recruiter is unable to easily find the information they’re looking for, they’ll move on.

What if I haven’t heard back at this point?

Don’t panic if you don’t hear right away. For some jobs the process of sorting through resumes and setting up interviews can take a few weeks. It’s also not uncommon for employers to make changes to a job’s requirements, which can delay the process. If you haven’t heard from a recruiter in 2-3 weeks, feel free to call or email the firm to follow-up.

Step #2: The Short Phone Call

If the recruiter is optimistic about your chances of being a good fit for the particular job for which you applied – and/or they believe you may be a good candidate for other jobs for which they recruit – the second step is typically a phone call with the recruiter. Treat this like a formal phone interview and make sure to be prepared with questions about the job and reasons that you’d make the perfect candidate. The call is usually short, but may last as long as 15 or 20 minutes.

Tip: Stay positive when talking about past employers and experience. This call serves as your first real contact with the recruiter and is a chance for them to get to know you. Make sure to put your best foot forward. Murray Resources’ Phone Interview Preparation document can help you get ready.

Step #3: The In-Person Meeting

For many recruiting firms, including leading Houston staffing agency Murray Resources, the next step is to meet the candidate in person. This allows both the recruiter and the candidate to learn more about the candidate’s potential fit for the position. Arrive for this meeting in professional dress and with extra copies of your resume, as you would for an interview with a potential employer. Be prepared to walk the recruiter through your background, your current work situation, and discuss why you are the perfect person for the job.

Step #4: Recruiter Presents Candidate’s Resume

If after the in-person meeting, the recruiter and candidate both feel there is a strong fit with the position, the recruiter will then present the candidate’s resume to the client as someone they would recommend for the position. If, however, either party thought there wasn’t a strong match for the particular job, recruiters will keep the resume on file for when a better fit comes along.

How often to check in? Unless a recruiter has specifically asked that you call to check in about job openings or to inquire about a position, try to resist the temptation to consistently call recruiters. Murray Resources, a leading Houston staffing agency recommends that if you are looking for a temporary position, to call no more than once per week. For permanent or direct hire positions, the firm recommends calling to check in every few weeks. Another approach is, instead of calling, periodically email the recruiter to let them know you are still in the job market. Outline steps you have taken to build your resume or to otherwise improve your marketability. For more tips, view our tips for working with recruiters.

Murray Resources

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

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

How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits (Part 2)

December 13th, 2012

If you’ve read part one of our two blog series on How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits, you’ve done your homework and are feeling confident about negotiating your salary and benefits. It’s now time to embark on the part two the process: execution.

Prove You’re Worth It
Katherine McGinn, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, explains that during the negotiation, “you have to be creative about demonstrating the value you’ll bring to the company.” Much like you’ve been doing throughout the interview process, you need to really drive home why you’re the perfect person to fill the specific job: unique skills, culminated experience, and a personality that fits with the organization’s culture are a few examples of good reasons to emphasize. “In a time of full employment, employers are looking for a person who can do the work,” she says. “In a time of unemployment, they are looking for the absolute best person to do the job.“ Be aware of the impression you’re giving off to the hiring manager, and focus on coming up with compromises and solutions throughout the negotiation that meet the needs of both you and the organization.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Word ‘No’
Sometimes, there are aspects of a new contract that are simply non-negotiable. The company may be on a budget and might not have the financial resources to fulfill a request; or they may simply have policies that they’re unwilling to compromise because they’ve become part of the organization’s culture. Whatever the reason, don’t be embarrassed or overly discouraged if your prospective employer has some issues on which they simply won’t budge. You’ll never know until you ask, and as long as you approach the negotiation politely and professionally, you will not do damage to your future working relationship.

What to Say When the Offer is Too Low
As with any negotiation, the possibility exists that you will not be satisfied with the offer. A couple of things NOT to do: don’t panic, and don’t take it personally. The organization is not trying to devalue you, nor are they trying to insinuate that the work you would be doing for them is unimportant. McGinn suggests that if you have grounds to do so (which, since you’ve done your research, you likely do), respectfully disagree with the figure they’ve put forth. One potential approach: “I don’t think I’ve done an adequate job of conveying the value I believe I can bring to your organization.” Take a minute here to discuss a few key points and then provide a counter offer backed up by research.

Ask For Help
Finally, negotiating a new compensation package is one of those areas in a job search where recruiting firms can add tremendous value. Many candidates, especially in today’s job market, are understandably uncomfortable with entering into these kinds of negotiations, as they’re reluctant to sound unappreciative of the career opportunity. Murray Resources and other Houston staffing and recruiting firms serve as the middle man in these kinds of situations, working to appease the mutual interests of both employers and candidates. While a new hire would be hesitant to broach the topic of salary or benefits negotiation with a prospective employer, the recruiting firm typically has an established rapport and proven track-record with them, as well as extensive knowledge of typical compensation plans.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing and recruiting agency, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

 

How to Negotiate Salary and Benefits (Part 1)

December 12th, 2012

One of the most frequent questions we at Murray Resources, one of the top Houston staffing firms, receive from job-seekers is whether or not it’s appropriate to negotiate the salary and benefits when offered a job.

The Short Answer is Yes
Depending on the type of position, level within the organization, and the leverage you bring to the table, candidates should consider negotiating their salary/benefits when offered a job. In some cases a negotiation is expected, as this step provides the first opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills of persuasion, professionalism, and contract analysis to your new employer. For example, if you have been offered a senior sales position and accept the first offer extended, your future employer make question your ability to negotiate with potential customers. They also may question how much value you place on your own credentials.

Do Your Research
The first phase of a successful negotiation begins well in advance: preparation. Put yourself in the best possible position to have your demands met by entering into the discussion with well-researched facts and information to substantiate your claims. Explore the typical range of compensation within the industry for the type of position you’ve just been offered, and be sure to get your information from more than one source. There are a number of websites, including Salary.com, Vault.com, and Payscale.com. It’s also always a good idea to have trusted members of your own network weigh in on the issue, particularly if they’re involved in a similar industry. While you may be uncomfortable asking a friend in a similar position how much they make, try phrasing the question in a way that less directly addresses their own earnings: “How much do you think this company would be willing to pay someone in the position I’ve been offered?” Houston staffing firms such as Murray Resources are also good sources of market salary data.

Set Your Goals
Aside from just doing your research, the other crucial aspect of preparing for a negotiation of salary and benefits is determining what you personally want. Jack Chapman, career coach and author of Negotiating Your Salary, How to Make $1000 a Minute, advises to have an ideal number, a satisfactory number, and a no-go number set in your mind before you enter into the negotiation – and the same applies for your benefits package. Your ideal number represents the amount you would want to make in your perfect situation (within reason of your position’s typical compensation). The satisfactory number is one that’s based more on research and your own worth- what value you can bring to the company. And your no-go number, arguably the most important, is the figure over which you’d walk away from the offer. Having this number set firmly in your mind will prevent you from accepting a low ball offer and compromising your own worth. Remember to keep in mind that you are negotiating a compensation package, not just a salary.

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

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

 

5 Creative Conversation Starters for the Company Holiday Party

December 7th, 2012

With holiday party season underway, it’s a perfect opportunity to get to know your co-workers in a less formal setting. To help break the ice, the recruiters at leading Houston staffing agency Murray Resources thought we would offer some ideas for all important conversation starters.

1. “I don’t think we’ve met before, I’m <name>.”

While this first one seems elementary, you’d be surprised at how many people are afraid to break out of their comfort zone and meet someone new at company get-togethers. Why miss out on the chance to make a new lunch buddy just because you don’t want to initiate contact with someone who doesn’t work on your floor? Having the poise to walk over and confidently introduce yourself starts off the conversation with a positive, inviting tone.

2. “How did you get your start with our company?”

This question is a great transition line to move past the inevitable what do you do/which floor do you work on/how long have you been working here banter. Your conversational partner may have come here from another company where you have a mutual acquaintance, or may have been hired through the use of a Houston staffing agency like Murray Resources; perhaps they’ll explain how they got their start in the industry, or maybe they’ll tell you about what they studied in college that made them want to be in this line of work. This kind of question is very open to interpretation, and its answers therefore usually contain a wealth of jumping-off points for your conversation.

3. “Have you been to one of these before? This is my first one.”

If it’s your first year with the company and your first holiday party with them, there’s no shame in admitting it! Everyone was a new kid on the block at one point, and will likely have some funny stories about their early days with the company. And if it turns out your conversational partner is a newbie like you, then you two already have something in common to talk about!

4. “What did you do over Thanksgiving?” or “Do you have any plans for the upcoming holidays?

This kind of question appropriately bridges the gap between personal and professional life, and can afford some nice insights about someone’s home life that people often don’t get the chance to discuss during the average workday. Most everyone has stories about holiday traditions and family get-togethers that are fun to share during this time of year.

5. “What do you love to do outside of work?”

This is perhaps our favorite get-to-know-you question to use at the annual company party, because it allows you to really learn something about your new acquaintance’s personality. Conversation flows smoothly when people are talking about their passion, and the most genuine connections are made when common interests are discovered and shared.

Successful networking, by definition the creation of meaningful relationships, begins with meaningful interactions. So instead of wasting your time in boring conversations at the upcoming company Christmas party, use some of these unique openers to create conversational situations that will allow you to learn more about your colleagues and what they’re passionate about.

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

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

 

Holiday Networking Do’s and Don’ts

November 30th, 2012

With ample parties, gift-giving opportunities, and old-fashioned goodwill, the holidays just might be the perfect time to expand your professional network. Our recruiting team at Houston staffing agency Murray Resources has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for you to keep in mind as you enjoy your holidays – and build your network:

———

Do- Attend as many holiday parties as you can bear. If you’re serious about expanding your network, the more highly-populated events you attend, the better your chances are to make connections with fellow partygoers. If you’re new to town and don’t know anyone throwing holiday soirees, check your local paper and local networking social media accounts to find out about events hosted for the public.

Don’t Overcommit. Notice in the above tip how we said to attend as many holiday parties as you can handle? It means don’t wear out your holiday cheer. If you really can only have fun at one or two events max, that’s fine; and if you can handle 5 booked weekends full of festivities, then more power to you. Bottom line, no one wants a Grinch at their party who spends the whole time griping about how many holiday parties they have to go to. Remember, you’re at a celebration- have a good time!

———

Do- Enjoy yourself at holiday events. Even if you’re goal is to capitalize on an event’s networking potential, remember that it’s still a party! People will naturally gravitate towards you if you’re exuding positive energy, so have fun!

Don’t Get egg-snockered. While everyone enjoys holiday spirits, Houston staffing agency Murray Resources would like to remind you that there is a limit. Too much of a good thing can often lead to embarrassment and regret the next day; don’t step on your own goals by driving away potential connections with crass or unruly behavior.

———

Do- Send gifts. While normally this might be construed as sucking-up throughout other points in the year, the holidays give you the perfect excuse to stand out in the eyes of a desired contact by sending them a little something to show your appreciation of or admiration for them. A thoughtful gift that caters to the recipient’s interests is a small gesture that can go a long way when it comes to making a genuine connection.

Don’t- Splurge on gifts for people you don’t know. While you may think sending Mark Zuckerberg a $300 bottle of wine for Channukah might get you a job at Facebook, chances are things probably won’t work out that way. Sending a stranger an expensive or extremely valuable gift can be very off-putting for the recipient- it makes them feel awkward or unjustifiably indebted to someone who they don’t know. Like we said before, a simple and thoughtful gift is the best route to go if contacting a stranger.

———

Do- Follow up with the contacts you made at holiday events. Don’t let offers to meet for coffee or to discuss a business proposition become unrealized party-talk. Send a follow-up email a day or two after the event to your new contact proposing a concrete time to meet and follow through with the plans you discussed. The prospect of a new year always brings with it an air of opportunity and new beginnings- capitalize on that energy by presenting your ideas as fresh and innovative.

Don’t- Harass a new connection. If a new contact fails to respond to your follow-up correspondence immediately, wait a week before reaching out again. The holidays are an extremely busy time of year, so be patient and flexible when it comes to respecting others’ schedules.

———

By sticking to these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be sure to have a merry holiday season while expanding your professional network!

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

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

Tips for Working with Houston Accounting Recruiters

November 29th, 2012

One of the best ways for Houston accounting professionals to discover new job opportunities is to work with a recruiting firm.  For candidates who have not worked with Houston accounting recruiters before, the team at Murray Resources has put together some tips that we believe will help you with the process.

Our process varies depending on the position, but here are some of the services you can expect when you work with us:

  • Resume Feedback
  • We help our candidates fine-tune their resumes to give them the best chance at making an excellent first impression.
  • Detailed Style and Skill Assessments
  • We believe that these assessments are vital steps to take in order to match job seekers with the right positions. We evaluate each individual’s work style and skills so that we can identify core strengths and areas that may need improvement.
  • Exclusive Job Access
  • We have relationships with many different employers, allowing us to present our candidates with unique opportunities.
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • We interview all of our potential candidates so that we can determine who might be the right fit for each position.
  • Salary Consultation
  • We have experience working in multiple industries and have placed countless candidates, affording us a thorough understanding of salary ranges in the job market today.

All of the organizations that we work with have very specific requirements when it comes to candidate qualifications. All of our candidates need to be able to perform all of the job responsibilities that are specified with each position and be a good fit for the unique company culture of each organization.

If you are considering working with Houston accounting recruiters, you should follow these key guidelines:

  • – Be honest about your skills.
  • – Apply for positions for which you are qualified.
  • – Be professional and dress professionally – Treat your meeting with your recruiter as you would an interview.
  • – Refer your contacts to positions that may be a good fit.

Working with a recruiter is an excellent way to find the right job that fits your professional needs. At Murray Resources, we take pride in our excellent track-record for placing job candidates with the right organizations.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, one of the leading Houston accounting recruiters for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

Relieve Stress with Office Meditation

November 28th, 2012

Thanksgiving now behind us and Christmas-themed commercials abundant, it’s safe to say that the holidays are officially in full swing. But with gifts to buy, festivities to attend, and relatives not to offend, we at Murray Resources, one of the premier staffing agencies in Houston, understand that this time of year can get pretty stressful in both your personal and professional life.

In the spirit of keeping your holidays merry and bright, try these stress-relieving meditation techniques next time you begin feeling overwhelmed at home or in the workplace:

The Inner Smile

Often used in Taoist and Buddhist circles to relax before meditation, this technique helps to loosen the facial muscles that tend to unconsciously tense up as your stress level builds. Close your eyes and imagine yourself smiling with your forehead, exuding positive energy and releasing tension. Once you feel the muscles begin to relax in the areas you’re concentrating on, apply it to other parts of your face such as your temples, cheek bones, and jaw.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing has a calming effect on both mind and body, as the physical act of releasing a breath is associated with the mental release of negativity and stress. Breathe in through the nose, imagining your abdomen as a balloon filling with air. Push your diaphragm down and out as you inhale so as to make as much space as possible for the balloon to expand. Once you have no more room to expand, exhale through the mouth just as deeply, envisioning all of your tension draining out of you with each release. Attempt to match the duration of your exhale to that of your inhale to create a measured, even pattern of deep breathing.

Body Scan Meditation

This technique attempts to relax your entire body by concentrating on certain body parts piece by piece. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Imagine you are being lowered ever so slowly into a warm, glowing hot spring. Concentrate on the sensation of warmth first in your toes, and let it slowly move up your body. If you’re pressed for time, you may only be able to focus on relaxing one or two parts of your body (i.e. shoulders and neck). If you have a little more time, however, slowly guide the warmth through your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, lower back, spine, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, back of the head, and finally forehead.

We at Murray Resources, one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, understand that holiday cheer comes with holiday responsibilities, which are often a source of stress at both home and the office. Keep this time of year from becoming overwhelming with these stress-relieving meditation techniques you can practice throughout your day!

For more detailed descriptions of each of these techniques, as well as even more types of meditation, check out the “12 Meditation Techniques for the Office” piece that inspired this post.

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

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

 

The Best Time to Ask for a Raise

November 27th, 2012

So you have proven yourself as a valuable employee and put in countless hours on the job. Your supervisors have taken note of your excellent performance and you have been commended for your accomplishments. In light of all this positive reinforcement, you rightfully may be wondering, ‘Is it time to ask for a raise?’

The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources will all agree that timing is everything when it comes to this issue. Following these tips about knowing when to ask for a raise will put you in the best possible position to successfully negotiate your desired salary:

Do Your Research

Before you set up a meeting with your boss, you should do plenty of research about typical compensation for your particular position. There are a number of websites available that can give you a general baseline. For many positions, our Houston recruiters can give you a good idea of what the industry standard is. If you are being paid below the market rate for your position, then you may be more likely to receive a raise if you ask for one.

Consider the Economy

It’s no secret that we are currently experiencing a sluggish economy. With so many people facing layoffs and pay cuts, you may be hesitant to ask for an increase in your salary. Conditions are certainly better for you when the economy is stronger. If things are slower at your company and departments are facing cutbacks, you should probably wait at least one or two quarters to reevaluate things before approaching your supervisor for a pay raise.

Market Yourself

Many people make the mistake of failing to sell their manager on why they deserve a raise. Your supervisor may be aware of some of your accomplishments, but if you want a higher salary than you will need to be prepared to highlight many different ways that you have proven yourself as an asset to the company. Selling yourself the right way makes it much easier for your employer to consider you for a pay increase.

Consider a Change in Your Position

This long-term strategy puts you in a great position to ask for a raise when the time comes. First, ask your supervisor if you can transfer to a position with more responsibility. If you move to a new position that produces more value for the company, then you can leverage this as a reason to justify asking for a raise. Just make sure that you time your request appropriately and not when the company or your current department is short-staffed.

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.

 

5 Tactics to Stand Out as a Job Applicant

November 26th, 2012

We at Murray Resources, leading Houston recruiting firm, know it’s a tough job market out there in this economy. We’re committed to helping people become their best candidate possible when it comes to applying for a position, and we’ve acquired some tricks over the years that can help a candidate get that extra edge necessary to land an interview. Intrigued? Then check out our list of 5 techniques that will help you to stand out as a job applicant below:

Snail mail:

In addition to electronically submitting your application, cover letter and resume for a job opening, surprise someone in HR by mailing a hard copy directly to the reviewer. While some bloggers have written this tactic off as superfluous or outdated, we know firsthand that when wading through a sea of electronic submissions, it’s refreshing to receive the personal touch of a hand addressed letter containing a thoughtful cover letter and resume. Just be sure to follow all instructions in the application when doing so, and indicate in your cover letter that you’ve also submitted an electronic copy for their review.

Leverage Your Connections:

As we’ve stressed every week on this blog, networking is a huge part of landing your dream job. If you’re fortunate enough to know someone who already works at the company you’re interested in, or who is in the same industry as your ideal employer, see if they can help you get your foot in the door. Meet up with your connection for lunch or coffee and politely ask if they’d be willing to write you a recommendation or make an introduction for you. A good word from someone in the business can go a long way in a reviewer’s eyes.

Utilize Social Media:

More and more companies are turning to social media platforms to engage with customers as well as job seekers. Take advantage of these direct lines of connection with a target employer by interacting with them on their social media profiles. Liking their Facebook page, commenting on their LinkedIn posts, and following them on Twitter are all great ways to learn more about the company, its culture, and upcoming events and opportunities. As an award-winning Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources is constantly using social media to share new job openings, career advice, and recent successes with clients and candidates who follow us.

Strategic Resume Naming:

We’ve touched on the topic of common resume blunders in some of our previous posts, but we think one of them in particular is worth revisiting. As the job application process becomes increasingly digital, reviewers are swamped with more and more generically named resumes, i.e. “John Smith Resume,” “Smith Resume 2012,” or worst of all, simply “Resume.” Your resume file name provides one of the first opportunities to convey your creativity and enthusiasm for the position you’re seeking to a potential employer. Don’t waste the opportunity to stand out by using a generic title to save your resume that you’re uploading to an electronic application. Name your resume document something specific to the job you’re applying for that will catch a reviewer’s eye, i.e. “John Smith- Coca Cola, Inc. Financial Analyst Resume.”

Show Your Appreciation:

If our first four tips helped get you through the first round of the application process and landed you an interview, congratulations! But you’re not finished just yet. If you really want to stand out as a job applicant, after your interview, always always ALWAYS (did we mention always?) send a personalized thank you note to your interviewer. Email is obviously the quickest and easiest way to do this, but handwritten letters are pretty rare these days and add a personalized touch to an already nice gesture. Aside from thanking your interviewer for their time, there are a number of other topics you can mention in your note: reemphasize something you and your interviewer discussed during your time together, congratulate the company on a recent success, or even include an article that may be pertinent to the industry if you think your contact would find it interesting.

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

Turn to Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

 

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. MeetUp.com

MeetUp.com 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.

3. Ryze.com

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.

4. BrazenCareerist.com

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.

 

Annual Performance Review Myths BUSTED

November 21st, 2012

There are three words that, when combined in a certain order, have the power to raise the collective blood pressure of an entire office: Annual. Performance. Review.

The recruiters at Murray Resources, the award-winning Houston staffing agency, are constantly receiving questions about annual appraisals from employees, and we think it’s high time to de-bunk some of the myths that make the concept of an annual performance review so daunting.

MYTH#1:

An annual performance review is your boss’s chance to rehash every little mistake you’ve made as an employee over the past year.

Why This Myth Exists:

Employers often don’t do a good enough job setting proper expectations for performance reviews. The purpose, the process, and the possible outcomes are typically under-communicated, creating unnecessary anxiety going into the review.

The Truth:

An annual performance review is really an opportunity for an employer and employee to step back and assess how well the employee met their work objectives for the year, to learn from past mistakes and, to set new goals for the future.

MYTH #2:

An annual performance review is a waste of an employer’s and employee’s time since it covers past projects instead of looking forward.

Why This Myth Exists:

Reviewing a year’s-worth of accumulated work can be an overwhelming notion, with employees assuming they’ll have to review the difficult-to-recall minutiae of past projects.

The Truth:

Annual performance reviews are just that: the review of an individual’s ANNUAL performance. While individual projects likely received specific feedback, an annual performance review gives employers and employees the opportunity to review projects at a higher level and to identify / discuss general work patterns that may have formed over the past year.

MYTH #3:

The annual performance review is the only time when serious feedback can be offered and discussed with employees.

Why This Myth Exists:

As a leading Houston staffing agency with a client base of over 800 companies, we get it: work days can get hectic. With deadlines to meet and tasks to be accomplished, it’s easy for managers to get wrapped up in the day-to-day responsibilities of their position and to feel that they don’t have time for a formal meeting with an employee to discuss their work habits.

The Truth:

While annual performance reviews are indeed an important part of keeping employees on track to meet their goals, they shouldn’t be the only time feedback is given. Quarterly or even monthly one-on-one meetings with employees are a great way to ensure short-term goals are being achieved and small issues don’t grow into big ones over the course of a year. Frequent feedback in a comfortable, more informal environment lessens the anxiety of a pending annual performance review.

We hope that with these three common myths busted, you’ll be able to walk into your next annual performance review less anxious and more prepared.

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

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

 

How the Best Employees Approach Their Jobs

November 19th, 2012

The best Houston staffing agencies take pride in helping employees find the right positions to fit their needs. At Murray Resources, we know how important it is for you to make the right impression at your new job, especially if you foresee yourself looking to advance within the company.

In order to help you set yourself up for success, we’ve created a list of tips that will help you approach your job the right way and get you on track for career advancement:

Look For New Ways to Create Value

The best employees are always looking for new ways to create value at their jobs. This may mean learning new language skills or becoming acquainted with new technology. Learning new skills makes you a more valuable asset to the organization and can lead to new opportunities with the company down the road.

Volunteer to Take On New Challenges

Do you see ways in which you could help your manager or someone in your department with a difficult task? Helping your colleagues tackle new challenges is a great way to stand out as a star employee.

Find the Tasks Nobody Wants to Take On

Sometimes the most valuable work that needs to be done is avoided by everyone else because it is too challenging or time-consuming. By showing supervisors that you are not afraid of hard work, you can make the kind of impression that will stick out in their mind when they consider people for promotions and advancement opportunities. If no one else wants to do it, you should view this task as an excellent opportunity to make an impact.

Have a Positive Attitude

Though it may sound cliché, this is one of the best ways to provide value to your employer. Positive attitudes are contagious and will spread around your department quickly. As a premier Houston recruiting firm that’s been around for almost twenty-five years, we have hard evidence to testify to the impact a positive attitude can have in the workplace. This kind of energy boosts employee morale across the board and increases productivity, and your supervisors will be sure to take note.

Staying Engaged With Your Work No Matter What It Is

Some of your tasks may be more exciting than others, but if you want to make a good impression, approach everything you do with the same level of commitment and urgency. Consistently taking on every challenge with enthusiasm distinguishes you from other employees who don’t give their best effort on things they don’t find interesting.

Always Look For Ways to Improve

There is always a way to make your workday more productive and efficient. If you have a chance, sit down with your supervisor and ask for ways that you can improve your performance. The best employees are always looking for new ways to improve and produce better results, adding value to both their company and their own personal brand.

Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources are here to help you find new ways to improve your performance on the job. By following the tips we have listed above, you will establish yourself as a valuable asset to any company and are setting yourself up for future success.

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

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

 

How You Know When It’s Time to Change Jobs

November 17th, 2012

Afraid of the uncertainties that changing jobs can entail, many people try to convince themselves that it’s normal for a job to be a source of unhappiness and undue stress. If you find yourself dreading your morning commute and feeling miserable throughout the day, it’s probably time to start looking for a different position. We spend the majority of our adult lives working, so it’s important that we enjoy what we do!

For all those people trying to convince themselves otherwise, premier Houston staffing agency Murray Resources has put together a list of signs that say it’s time to find a new fit:

You Spend a Lot of Time Staring at the Clock

Unfortunately, we cannot speed up time no matter how often we look at the clock. If you find yourself checking the time excessively throughout the day, disappointed when you find that not as much time has passed as you hoped, chances are you’re bored with your day-to-day activities and should start looking for a more stimulating environment.

You Want to Progress, but the Advancement Opportunities are Unappealing

You know that you would like to take on new responsibilities and move forward with your career, but what your boss or his boss does on a daily basis simply does not interest you. If this is the case, you may consider contacting our Houston staffing agency to help you find a company with better advancement opportunities and room for your own personal growth.

You Come Home Stressed Almost Every Day

Stress from work can really take its toll on our private lives. If you come home stressed all of the time, it can be almost impossible to enjoy your time off. Your personal relationships and even your physical health may suffer. While small levels of stress at work can help motivate you to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks, excessive stress from your job shouldn’t be spilling into your home life. The professionals at Murray Resources, award-winning Houston staffing agency, have hundreds of candidates whose lives changed for the better after leaving leaving an excessively stressful job.

You Dread Waking Up and Going to Work

If you find yourself hitting the snooze button more often than usual, it may not be due to lack of sleep. It is hard for anyone to be excited about waking up and going to work if they do not enjoy what they do everyday. You should strive to find a position that provides you with engaging challenges that will keep you motivated and energized everyday.

Another Career Sounds More Interesting to You

Sometimes we can find ourselves working a job that really does not match our personalities. If there is another career out there that you’ve always wanted to explore, there is no better time than the present to start pursuing it.

You Don’t Enjoy Talking About Your Job

Have you ever been having a conversation with your friends or loved ones and found yourself reluctant to discuss your job? This can be a sign that you are not really fulfilled by your current position- if you love what you do, you’d want to share your experiences with those whom you love.

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

Your job shouldn’t feel like a grind, and if it does, then it’s time to make a change. Murray Resources is an award-winning Houston staffing agency that specializes in finding job hunters the right position to fit their individual needs. If you are ready to start exploring more rewarding career options, then Contact Murray Resources today.

 

How to Deal with a Disruptive Colleague

November 16th, 2012

When working in an office environment, you’re exposed to a number of different personality types, some of which you’ve never encountered before, and not all of which are going to be easy to work with. The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources have put together a list of the best ways to deal with disruptive personality types commonly found around the office.

1. The Terrible Phone Talker

This person is always on the phone, and not solely for business-related matters. Not only does it sound like they are yelling every time they’re on a call, but also their personal conversations are distracting you from concentrating on your tasks at hand. Here’s how to handle the situation:

  • Politely ask your neighbor to speak more quietly when they are on the phone because it disrupts your workflow. Also, suggest that they might want to make their personal calls in a more private area, as the workstations aren’t sound-proof and they probably don’t want all of their colleagues knowing the intimate details of their personal affairs.
  • If their behavior persists, you can ask your supervisor to move either the Talker or you to another workspace, citing an inability to focus and hindered productivity as problems stemming from your current location.

 

2. The Imprudent Inspector

You and your colleagues spend most of your waking hours at work, so it’s nice to know a little bit about each others’ interests and lives outside of the office. Sometimes, however, you encounter a colleague who consistently takes the “we’re all friends here” mentality a little too far. They constantly cross the line and ask intrusive personal questions. It’s important to nip this behavior in the bud to ensure your time at work is spent in a pleasant, productive atmosphere, not dreading personal invasions of privacy. Some solutions:

  • The Imprudent Inspector often isn’t intentionally trying to make people uncomfortable with their intrusive inquiries. They usually just don’t understand the boundaries of socially acceptable conversation. Be direct when they broach an inappropriate topic by saying something like, “I really don’t think that’s an appropriate subject to discuss at work,” or “I don’t feel comfortable sharing that information from my personal life.”
  • If the behavior persists, talk to someone in your company’s HR department about some office sensitivity training. A refresher course on appropriate and inappropriate office banter can help him or her be more cognizant of and deliberate with the kinds of conversation they create.

 

3. The Desktop Drummer

This person is a close relative of the Toe Tapper, Squeaky Chair Spinner, and Gum Smacker. All of these nervous habits are usually ones that someone performs unconsciously, but are nonetheless still distracting to the people around them. Our Houston recruiters recommend using these two tactful methods to approach the subject:

  • Approach your co-worker amicably by asking if they’ve been under a lot of stress recently; you’ve noticed that they seem to be fidgeting a lot. If so, see if there’s anyway you can help them out.
  • If that doesn’t help, politely suggest that they express the habit in a way that doesn’t prove distracting to those around them. If they drum their pen on the desk, ask that they do it on a surface that will mute the sound (i.e. their leg or a mousepad). If they tap their foot, suggest they cross their legs and do it mid-air instead of on the floor.

The Houston recruiters at Murray Resources recommend that it’s best to approach a disruptive colleague directly, and remain polite but firm when voicing your grievances. Alerting HR of more personal issues is always a good idea as well, as they have been trained to handle these kinds of situations and can do so in a way that doesn’t affect your relationship with an otherwise agreeable co-worker. If the distracting behavior persists after you’ve exhausted these aforementioned avenues, only then should you consider speaking with your supervisor about the problem. We do maintain however that enlisting a supervisor’s interference should be a last resort. By using these tactful techniques to approach a disruptive personality in the workplace, you can ensure that you and your colleagues are able to produce your best quality work in a pleasant, conflict-free environment.

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.

 

10 Most Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make

November 15th, 2012

At Murray Resources, leading Houston staffing agency, we strive to help job seekers find employment more efficiently and effectively. With almost twenty-five years of experience in the recruiting industry, we’ve amassed a working knowledge of techniques that prove advantageous on the job hunt, and others that fall flat.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common mistakes job seekers make with the hopes that you’ll avoid this slip-ups when preparing your own applications:

1) Not Following Application Instructions

This mistake can end your chances at landing an interview before the race has even begun. Employers often will include specific instructions on their applications to see how well candidates pay attention to detail. When you are filling out an application, thoroughly read through the material and make note of any special instructions or requirements. Once you think you’ve completed an application, be sure to double check everything before submitting it.

2) Giving Up Too Soon

Especially in times of economic duress, this is a mistake we see happen far too often. Tired from what has felt like a long and laborious job search, candidates will throw in the towel before the application process is complete. You may be the perfect candidate for a job but if you give up too early in the game you’ll never know it. Persistence is crucial in any job search, and ultimately will pay off when you find the company that’s just the right fit.

3) Keeping a Job Search Too Narrow

Flexibility is important when you’re trying to find a position that meets your needs. In a competitive job marked, consider broadening your search to include other positions you may not have considered before. For example, if you have experience as a copywriter for an advertising agency, you may also consider marketing or media buying positions as well. Think outside the box when it comes to transferable skills you’ve acquired throughout your life.

4) Focusing On Salary

It’s tempting to try to find a job that pays the highest salary, but there are a number of other factors that are crucial to ensuring your success with a company. While compensation is important, you should also consider the company culture, your coworkers, the company’s history and growth opportunities within the organization as well. Your salary should not be the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing the right company to work for.

5) Submitting a Bad Resume

If there’s one thing this Houston staffing agency can’t stress enough on this blog, it’s that your resume is IMPORTANT. Your resume will be your first point of contact with a potential employer, your chance to make the right impression from the very beginning. Grammatical errors, formatting inconsistencies and confusing language can all be huge turnoffs. Before you submit your resume to any organization, you should tailor it to the position you are applying for and double-check for any mistakes. If you want more resume help, check out our past post about 6 common resume typos to avoid.

6) Lacking Accountability

Looking for a job is often said to be a full time job in and of itself. In order to keep yourself on track, enlist someone that can hold you accountable for meeting deadlines and submitting applications throughout your job search. Having a friend, loved one or fellow job searcher to keep you accountable is a great way to make sure you make progress in your search.

7) Listing Out-of-Date Contacts

When you list references on your resume, these contacts should be up-to-date. Nothing says that you are unprepared as clearly as poor job references. Before you add these people to your resume, contact them and let them know that you are looking for a new job and ask them if they will provide you with a good reference.

8) Adding “Filler” Content to Your Resume

When job seekers start feeling like they’re getting nowhere with all of the applications they’ve submitted, resumes began to fill up with more adjectives than accomplishments in an attempt to make a candidate seem more qualified. We know it’s hard, but avoid adding filler content to your resume at all costs. Fluff only weakens your first impression, and makes it look like you’re making excuses rather than presenting yourself as a qualified applicant. Focus the content of your resume on measurable results that will be relevant to the position you are applying for.

9) Neglecting Social Media

Social media has created fantastic opportunities for modern job seekers. In fact, many employers will list an available position on their Twitter feed or Facebook page before they move on to other job search sites. Take advantage of these avenues of direct communication with a prospective employer by closely following and engaging with their social media platforms.

10) Going It Alone

When it comes to your job search, you want to give yourself the best chance at finding your ideal position. To do this more effectively, consider working with a Houston staffing agency who has experience in your industry. Murray Resources has an unparalleled track record of success when it comes to placing candidates in the right positions, and we have the experience and resources that can help set any job seeker up for success.

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

Turn to premier Houston staffing agency Murray Resources for help in exploring your next career opportunity. Contact Murray Resources today to get started.

Houston Recruitment Firm Offers 5 Ways to Relax and De-Stress at the Office

November 14th, 2012

Impending deadlines, increased workloads and demanding managers are just a few of the variables that can start to make you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities throughout your workday. The key to success in these types of situations is knowing how to manage this stress and not let it negatively affect you. We at Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruitment firm, have compiled a list of 5 techniques to help you relax and unwind at work.

1. Remember to Breathe

Studies show that when we are stressed or anxious, we tend to take shorter breaths. While it may not sound like a big deal at first, did you know that this irregular pattern of breathing can lead to light-headedness or headaches? Deep breathing is an excellent technique for calming the nerves and clearing the mind. Here’s how to do it:

  • In order to take long, deep breaths that fill your lungs with air, allow your diaphragm to push out and down as you breathe in slowly. As you exhale, pull your diaphragm in slightly.
  • Inhale through your nose for a slow five count, and exhale through your mouth for a slow five count. With each exhale, envision all of your tension, stress, and negative energy leaving your body.
  • Continue breathing in this fashion for one to two minutes.
  • Repeat this process at least three times throughout your day, more frequently in times of heightened stress.

2. Listen to Classical Music

Studies have also shown that classical music and piano compositions can help people relax by engaging their brain in a different kind of analysis. By focusing on the intricacies and complexities woven throughout a piece, the mind works to place and predict each note, while you can let your other worries dissipate. If classical music isn’t to your liking, there are a number of other soothing styles of music that can help to lower your stress levels through the same process of mental distraction: jam bands like Explosions in the Sky compose lyricless ephemeral music; instrumental cuts of bluesy electric guitar riffs from Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn can be relaxing; there are even soothing electronic pieces in genres like trance or dubstep that can help to ease your stress levels. Rather than starting your day listening to the morning news in your car, try listening to the relaxing music of your choice instead. You can even bring your iPod to work and listen to a track or two on your lunch break.

3. Massage Your Neck

Mounting stress can manifest itself in the form of tense muscles in the neck and shoulders, leading to headaches and general discomfort. Counteract these negative side-effects by stretching and massaging your neck and upper back muscles while at your desk. At least three times a day, use one or both of your hands to massage your neck muscles for about 60 seconds. If things are really tight, consider getting a massage every two weeks or so to relieve built-up tension.

4. Take a Walk

The professionals at our Houston recruitment firm will tell you that this is one of the best ways to relax in the middle of a stressful workday. Spending hours on end sitting in the same position staring at a computer screen is neither healthy nor productive. When you have the chance to take a break or go to lunch, go for a brief walk (music optional) to clear your mind. If possible, get outside for some fresh air. Going for a leisurely stroll helps to relax muscle tension and get your blood pumping, making you feel more alert and energized.

5. Laugh

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, researchers agree that taking a moment to laugh is a great way to keep stress at bay. Take a break in your day to swap stories with your office neighbors about something funny that happened over the weekend. Or, if you’re feeling a little anti-social, the Internet is a great place to find a quick laugh. There are tons of websites that post funny images (Imgur and Buzzfeed) or satirical articles (The Onion and Cracked) that can lighten your mood, or you can always browse through the millions of cute kitten videos on YouTube!

Regardless of your position in a company, chances are you’re going to encounter stress at work. Our five tips offer ways to cope with that stress while maintaining your own productivity and mental focus, proving to yourself and those around you that you can perform under pressure.

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

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

How to Set Up a Successful Informational Interview

November 13th, 2012

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has seen informational interviews work well for job seekers looking to enter a new industry or job function. A well-executed informational interview can provide job leads, opportunities for industry-related introductions, and a more focused search for candidates looking to break into a particular sector.

Below we’ve compiled a list of five crucial steps for conducting a successful informational interview:

1)      Target Your Search — Prepare a detailed list of intriguing industries and types of companies in which you would potentially want to work. Be sure to narrow your list to a few industries that are not only interesting to you, but also are practical for your abilities and an environment in which you could achieve success. From this list of industries and companies, compile a list of any personal contacts you might know in this sphere.

2)      Make Contact and Be Specific – After you’ve highlighted the people you know in your target industries and related companies, reach out to your contacts to set up an official appointment. It is extremely important that from the onset you convey to your potential interviewee that you are not looking for a job. Be specific in explaining the true purpose of your proposed informational interview- that you are looking for career advice and insights about that particular industry from someone who knows it well. Also, while it may be tempting to try and set up an informal meet-up to learn about an industry via casual conversation, this is a business interview and should be conducted as such. A professional atmosphere helps to ensure that both parties stay on topic, and you glean the specific information you’re looking for.

3)      Be Flexible – Remember, this contact is taking time out of their day to meet with you. Be flexible and understanding when it comes to working around their busy schedule. Someone who has agreed to participate in an informational interview has done so because they are passionate about their career and want to share their insights with an interested audience; the advice they have to offer is well worth the hoops you may have to jump through to accommodate them.

4)      Create An Agenda – Of all the steps, this is the one in which you get to showcase your professionalism as well as your creativity. When coming up with a list of questions for the interview, do some research on the industry/company of your informational interviewee. Thorough research gives you a foundation of knowledge from which you can create insightful and specific questions, and also shows your interviewee that you’re dedicated and committed to put in the time and effort to learn about their industry.

5)      Show Your Appreciation – After the meeting, make sure your interviewee knows just how appreciative you are of their time and insights that they shared with you. Send them a thank you email or handwritten note as soon as you get home expressing your gratitude for their willingness to take time out of their schedule to help you. It’s also a nice gesture to send them an update later on down the road if you end up acting upon a piece of advice they’ve given you, or landing a job in their industry. If they cared enough to meet with you, they likely want to hear about your progress and success!

Sticking to these five simple steps will ensure that you conduct a productive and successful informational interview. Armed with valuable knowledge about your career interests, staffing agencies in Houston, TX like Murray Resources can better help you take the next step of landing that dream job!

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

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

 

Top 5 New Manager Mistakes

November 11th, 2012

Just promoted into a management role? Congratulations…now the real work begins. And if you’re like most new managers, you’ll likely make some mistakes during the transition process. However, by being aware of what the most common ones are ahead of time, you can certainly take steps to avoid them, minimizing the impact on your new team.

So what are they? Here’s a look at five new manager mistakes:

Mistake #1: Looking Over Everyone’s Shoulders…All the Time.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that a new management role is stressful. Enthusiastic about your new position, it’s no surprise that you’ll want to be in on every meeting, phone call, and decision. However, micro-managing is annoying and it says to your new staff that you don’t trust them. So rather than looking over their shoulders at all times, communicate your goals and expectations to each employee…and then give them the freedom to deliver.

Mistake #2: Not Defining Goals and Expectations.

Speaking of communication, a lack of it is also a problem, particularly when it means you’re not clearly communicating goals and expectations to your team. So meet with each team member individually and discuss what you expect from them and how success will be measured. Also, be sure to ask questions so you know they understand what you’re trying to communicate to them.

Mistake #3: Making Too Many Changes, Too Fast.

Sure you’ve got great ideas and a strong track record…that’s how you landed the promotion in the first place. However, if you have lots of ideas and plans for your new team, take your time in implementing them. Understand that your staff is still adjusting to a new boss and making many radical changes on top of that will be hard for them to accept. So take your time…and invest your efforts in building trust and a rapport first.

Mistake #4: Letting the Promotion Go to Your Head.

You’ve been promoted, that’s great. But that doesn’t mean you can treat people with disrespect. If you do, then that’s a fast path to unhappy employees…not a good position to be in considering that your success depends upon their productivity and results.

Mistake #5: Avoiding Advice.

Don’t think that just because you’re a manager that you know it all. In fact, the best leaders in the world got their because they heeded wise counsel and know that they STILL don’t know it all. And if you’re a new manager, you’re going to be expected to make tough decisions just as well as veteran managers. So seek out advice and insight from trusted colleagues and mentors, as well as your own team members.

Need Help Hiring?

You’re the boss – and now you have to wear a lot more hats. If one of them is hiring, Murray Resources can help you along the way. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can source, screen, interview, test, and verify backgrounds, all so you can focus on managing your new team, while gaining access to top talent. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

How Can Starbucks Advance Your Career? The Best Networking Tip for Job Seekers

November 9th, 2012

At Murray Resources, our Houston recruiters are always looking for new ways to help people find methods to improve their job search. When it comes to finding and capitalizing on new opportunities, there is no better technique than effective networking. The number one tip we always recommend to our candidates is to plan your meals as networking opportunities.

In his breakthrough book about networking, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi discusses how important it is to set up business lunches with new contacts. The author cites several examples where success in business and politics is the result of personal relationships. He claims that reaching out to other people for help and looking for ways you can be generous is the best way to find a path to success.

Ferrazzi recommends that you set up new business lunches and networking opportunities as often as you can. By widening your network, you have the chance to meet new individuals and offer your services. Many people are more than happy to help out if you are sincere and ask for help.

Start out by making a list of people you would like to meet with in your industry. This can be accomplished executives, human resource managers or professors at business schools in your area. Houston recruiters recommend that you send each individual a short and personalized e-mail and offer to buy him or her lunch. Be sure to include your intentions for the meeting, such as asking the person questions about their industry or finding out about ways you can volunteer your services.

And since buying a new person lunch everyday can become expensive, offering to meet someone for coffee is just as effective. Many people are happy to sit down and talk about their work over a latte—especially when someone else is buying! Remember that you are asking someone else to volunteer their time to sit down with you; be flexible when it comes to accommodating his or her schedule.

Our Houston recruiters will all agree that sharing a meal with someone is one of the best ways to expand your personal network and find out about new opportunities that may be available. Keep in mind that you should always be looking for ways to provide value to these people before you ask for any favors. If you follow these steps then you will be surprised at how many new doors may open up for you.

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

 

Five Simple Steps to A Successful Cover Letter

November 1st, 2012

We at Murray Resources, award-winning Houston recruiting firm, have devoted these past few Thursdays to the important task of rallying your resume, and we hope you’ve taken our tips into consideration when preparing your own. We’d like to shift our focus today, however, to the document that can determine whether or not your resume even gets reviewed: the cover letter.

In many instances, your cover letter is the first impression you give to an employer- pretty important role, wouldn’t you say?  The cover letter is perhaps the most personalized part of the initial job application process. While resumes can tend to be a bit dry in listing out your work history, accomplishments,  skills, etc., a cover letter gives you the opportunity to present yourself, your interests, and your motivations in the light you wish for a potential employer to view you.  You get the chance to present the information you want an employer to see, all the while showcasing your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. In case you haven’t picked up on the theme by now, a top Houston recruiting firm, Murray Resources, is telling you: cover letters are important.

Now that you’re beginning to grasp the significance of a well-written cover letter, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I start?” Our article today comes from the career experts over at Monster.com, and provides you with an easy to follow, 5-step formula for writing an effective cover letter. So while having a polished resume is crucial to presenting yourself as a competitive candidate throughout your job search, be sure to include an equally polished cover letter that will set you apart from the pack!

http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/cover-letter-tips/5-simple-steps-to-a-successful-cover-letter-hot-jobs/article.aspx

Want More Cover Letter or Resume Help?

Then be sure to attend the  Murray Resources “Resume and Cover Letter Tips and Techniques” workshop next Thursday, November 8! Receive individualized feedback and advice on how to craft an effective cover letter and resume that will successfully convey your skills and interests to prospective employers.

Advance tickets are being sold for $25 through November 7th, and tickets purchased on the day of the event will be $35. Purchase your tickets online with a friend and receive a 20% discount for the both of you!

If you can’t make it, give Murray Resources a call. As a leading Houston recruiting firm, we can offer you additional guidance with crafting your cover letter and resume, prepping for interviews, and finding job opportunities that are a great fit for you! Contact us today to get started.

How to Stay Healthy at Work

October 31st, 2012

In the spirit of Halloween, how about we share with you some scary statistics? We at Murray Resources, leading Houston recruiting firm, aren’t fitness experts, but the following figures are taken from the CDC’s 2011 report on United States Health:

25% — The amount of American adults who report that they are not physically active at all.

35.9% — Percentage of American adults over the age of 20 classified as obese.

60% — Percentage of American adults who don’t get the amount of recommended physical activity they require to stay healthy.

And the total amount of moderate physical activity adults need to maintain a healthy weight is…

30 minutes a day. Five days a week. Seriously, that’s it.

Like we said, we’re not doctors, nor are we psychics – but we’d be willing to bet that you can find a spare 30 minutes throughout your day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Why not use your time spent sitting at a desk to get a jump start on staying fit? Today’s tips come from Military.com, which provides some great workouts that you can do at the office to get your heart pumping and your energy up!

http://www.military.com/military-fitness/workouts/office-workout

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.

 

Houston Recruiting Firm – Murray Resources – Launches Mobile Website

October 24th, 2012

(Houston, TX – October 24, 2012) – Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruiting firm, today announced that the company has launched a new mobile website, providing an enhanced mobile experience specifically designed for candidates on the go.

“Our candidates are telling us that they’re increasingly utilizing mobile devices to access information during their search – and the data supports it. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in mobile visitors to our website over the past 12 months, with visits from mobile devices up 281% year-over-year in the third quarter. Our data also shows that mobile visitors, on average, spend more time on our site and visit more pages vs. non-mobile visitors,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

In addition to providing a clear and easy-to-navigate layout, the new mobile site gives candidates quick access to the site’s most important features, including the company’s open jobs. Candidates can now view and apply to open jobs directly from their mobile devices.

Ms. Murray continued, “Searching for a job can be one of the most frustrating and difficult times in a person’s professional life. So while there’s certainly a proliferation in tools available to the job seeker, what makes this particular launch so exciting is that it makes the job search process easier.”

Murray Resources’ mobile website features:

  • Clear, streamlined design and navigation
  • Direct link to job openings, allowing candidates to view and apply to open jobs
  • ‘Click to call’ – candidates can now call Murray Resources with a simple button tap
  • Mapping – with one click, visitors can view a map and find directions to Murray Resources’ office
  • ‘Who We Place’ section outlines functional areas for which Murray Resources recruits
  • Twitter Feed – displays the company’s recent twitter activity

To visit Murray Resources’ new mobile website, users can simply visit www.murrayresources.com from their smart phone.

About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales.  Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

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!

http://www.lindseypollak.com/archives/back-to-basics-the-15-most-important-resume-tips-for-young-professionals

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.

 

 

Murray Resources President Named Finalist for ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award

October 11th, 2012

Winners to be Announced During Award Gala in New York City on November 9, 2012

(Houston, TX – October 11, 2012) – Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruiting firm, today announced that the company’s president, Marsha Murray, has been named a finalist in the 9th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, and the companies they run – worldwide.  The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

More than 1,200 entries were submitted this year for consideration in more than 90 categories, including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Communications Campaign of the Year.  Ms. Murray is a Finalist in the ‘Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services’ category.

“Being a finalist for the Stevie Award is particularly exciting because it recognizes our team for the amazing work that they do every day. Any entrepreneur knows it’s the people who walk through the door every day that make the organization. I’m continually inspired by our team’s dedication and commitment to building what I believe is the best recruiting firm in the country,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

Finalists were chosen by more than 130 business professionals worldwide during preliminary judging.  More than 90 members of the five final judging committees will determine the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging. The awards will be announced at during a gala event in New York City on November 9th, 2012.

About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston recruiting firm and staffing agency. The company serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune™ 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations, in the areas of administrative, accounting, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, manufacturing, marketing, operations, and sales.  Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about The Stevie Awards at www.stevieawards.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

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!

http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2012/10/01/how-to-prepare-for-and-close-your-next-interview/

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:

http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/personal-branding-accelerates-professional-advancement/

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.

 

How to Retain Your Rock Star Performers

August 31st, 2012

You know the guy who lingers by the water cooler, going on about last night’s reality TV show, while all but ignoring an impending work deadline? He’s likely happy just to have a job. But what about your star performers? The highly-skilled professionals whose loss would strike a significant blow to the company? How do you keep them engaged, challenged, and fulfilled at your organization – and keep them in your organization? Will the occasional “Well done!” and good pay keep them around? Unlikely.  As a leading Houston staffing agency, here’s what we know about keeping rock star performers around:

Simplify processes – Star performers love spending time on real challenges, but loathe busy work. One way to help keep them engaged is to remove non-value added tasks. A company we know of has employees upload their credit card statements into a system that automates their expense reports, while their competitor requires employees to staple receipts to a blank piece of paper and line item every transaction. All else being equal, which company is more likely to retain star employees? When managing work becomes a larger task than doing the work, your best employees will grow frustrated quickly.

Provide the best tools – Just as you wouldn’t compete in a tennis tournament with a wooden racquet, you shouldn’t expect your top talent to perform at their highest level with antiquated tools. While purchasing “best-in-class” software and devices for every facet of their job may be cost prohibitive, work with your employees to identify the most critical tools and then invest in them.

Eliminate micromanaging – Nothing frustrates a talent more than a micromanaging, helicopter boss. Once given the tools necessary to do their job, talent professionals expect the autonomy and trust to perform. The best way to enhance their productivity is to eliminate the unnecessary red tape that stands in their way.
Keep them up-to-date with information – Unless you’re in the antique business, your industry is rapidly evolving. Keep your employees up-to-date with information on their industry, function, and jobs. If you think you can’t afford training, competing with an undertrained, under informed workforce will almost certainly be more costly in the long run.

Recognize their work – Showcasing a star performer’s work can be a strong motivator. We know of one boss who sent a note to “The Ellen Show” detailing how proud he was of an employee’s contributions. The submission didn’t make the show, but it went a long way in letting the employee know her work was valued. Be creative in seeking out methods to showcase your employees’ talent.

Challenge them –Given the choice between a fabulous work environment with ho-hum work or challenging work in a so-so setting, most talented professionals will choose the thought-provoking work. So while flexible schedules and corner offices are wonderful perks, they’re worth little if you aren’t pairing them with stimulating work.

Keep them in the loop on project context – Let your rock stars know how their projects fit into the broader company picture. After they’ve completed a project, communicate what’s next. Great employees are always looking ahead for the next challenge and will want to know how they fit into the grand scheme.

Got any advice for keeping your rock star employees your own? Let us know what’s worked for you.

About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services.

Over the past 24 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009

Houston Recruiting Firm – Murray Resources – Launches 6 Month Guarantee Program

July 23rd, 2012

(Houston, TX – July 23, 2012) – Murray Resources, an award-winning Houston-based staffing agency and recruiting firm, today announced the launch of its innovative 6 Month Guarantee program.

Murray Resources’ 6 Month Guarantee ensures that any full-time, direct-hire placement made through Murray Resources before the end of 2012 is guaranteed to still be employed 6 months following the candidate’s date of hire or Murray Resources will refill the position at no charge.

“We’re excited to launch the program because it embodies Murray Resources’ commitment and reputation for finding quality matches between companies and candidates. With our 25-year track record of placing candidates in roles where they truly excel, we’re able to offer a guarantee that is three times the industry average,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

Facts about Murray Resources:

– Historical 95% client satisfaction rate
– Client referrals are the company’s largest source of new business (43%)
– 11 Fortune™ clients as customers
– Average employee tenure over 5 years
– A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau

Founded in 1988, Murray Resources serves a base of over 800 client companies, including numerous Fortune 1000 companies and high-growth small and medium-sized organizations throughout the greater Houston area. The firm places administrative and management talent in the accounting, engineering, finance, human resources, marketing, operations, and sales functions and has a database of over 8,000 candidates.

In a study commissioned by the firm, Murray Resources’ clients reported a 95 percent match satisfaction rate versus an industry rate of between 50 and 60 percent. The company has been named a “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal and the #1 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Business in the Personnel Category by the Houston Business Journal.

Prospective employers who are interested in working with Murray Resources to build their teams are advised to visit the company’s website at www.murrayresources.com or call 713.935.0009.

Prospective candidates may view current job opportunities by visiting Murray Resource’s job board at jobs.murrayresources.com.

About Murray Resources
Murray Resources is a leading recruiting firm and staffing agency based in Houston, Texas, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services. Over the past 30 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or visit www.murrayresources.com.

A Million Thanks from Murray Resources

December 28th, 2010

As 2010 comes to a close this week, we’d like to take the time to thank our many clients and candidates. We have a million reasons to be grateful to you, but most importantly, we’d like to thank you for your continued loyalty and support. We appre­ci­ate the trust you have placed in us and we promise to con­tinue working hard and working smart to help you find people and find work.

We’d also like to thank you for letting us share our ideas and knowledge about staffing, human resources, and job searches through this blog. We think it’s a privilege that you look to our Houston staffing agency as a source of information for your business or your career. So again, thank you!

We’d also like to thank you for all the great feedback we’ve gotten from you in 2010. Hearing about your success stories is such a pleasure – whether it’s in finding people or finding work – and it reminds us why we got into this business in the first place.

And finally, we’d also like to send you and your family our best wishes for a joy-filled holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! We’ll see you in 2011!

Posted in: News

A Message of Thanks from Murray Resources

November 16th, 2010

In 1789, then-President George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving as a reminder of the feast celebrated by our forefathers after surviving their first winter in Plymouth. More than two centuries later, we’re still celebrating Thanksgiving and using it as a time to reflect on our many blessings. And despite the uncertainty in our economy, there is much to be grateful for here at Murray Resources.

To our clients:

We are deeply thankful for your continued loyalty to our Houston staffing agency. Without your support, we simply would not exist. We also know that trust is earned and we pledge to continue delivering the exceptional candidates and top-notch staffing solutions you’ve come to rely on.

To our job seekers:

Searching for a new job in Houston can seem overwhelming, and at times, frustrating – we know that. And we are so grateful that you’ve chosen Murray Resources to help you along the way. We always have your best interest at heart and promise to continue to work diligently to match you with opportunities that are a terrific fit for you.

To our employees:

We are truly lucky to have a team of such smart and dedicated professionals. We know that each day, you go above and beyond to meet the needs of our clients. You care about our clients, and about our staffing agency as well, and it shows in your work. For that, we are grateful.

So, as 2010 quickly comes to a close, we invite you to pause and reflect on the many things you have to be thankful for this year. We’d also like to wish you a Thanksgiving filled with peace and joy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in: News

6 Mistakes Managers Make When Giving Feedback

November 9th, 2010

You know that, as a manager, you have to give your employees feedback in order for them to grow and develop into top performers. But, as a Houston staffing agency with lots of experience dealing with people, we know sometimes it can be an awkward prospect – particularly if it’s negative feedback you have to give. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid it altogether, rather than face the unpleasant situation head on. So to make your job of giving feedback a little less painful, we’ve put together a list of six common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Waiting until the performance is well below expectations before speaking up.
  2. Giving feedback only when things go wrong.
  3. Giving negative feedback in front of co-workers.
  4. Criticizing performance without offering recommendations for improvement.
  5. Avoiding annual performance reviews.
  6. Offering generic praise without specific examples.

Offering constructive criticism isn’t always easy. But when you give good feedback, you’ll only stand to benefit in the form of a solid team operating at peak efficiency. With that said, here are some tips to help you give good feedback:

Be proactive.
If you see a performance issue happening, act immediately. The longer you wait, the worse it will get.

Give specific examples.
No one likes to give (or get) negative feedback. But for it to be effective, you have to be clear and state specific examples. So instead of saying something like, “You’re a bad communicator,” consider saying, “I think a lot of the mistakes you make are a result of not asking enough questions at the beginning of each project.”

Make a plan.
Give your employees a plan of action to improve their performance. Be clear about your expectations and the time period within which you want to see a change. Also, be sure to follow up with them.

Offer praise too.
Let your employees know that they are valued. Tell them specifically how their hard work contributed to a happy customer or meeting an organizational goal.

6 Ways to Avoid Layoffs at Your Houston Company

July 20th, 2010

It’s the dreaded “L” word. Layoffs. Both employees and employers fear the unwelcome proposition of losing their job, or laying people off. Sitting down face-to-face with an employee and actually saying the words is no easy task; plus layoffs mean your company isn’t at its healthiest. Not exactly the situation you want to be in.

But while cutting staff might be an inevitability in the near future, there are some steps you can take to try and avoid layoffs.

Step #1: Encourage attrition.

Do you have a number of employees who will retire in the near future? Think about creating and offering an attractive incentive package to those who qualify. Also, if you’ve had any employees who have recently quit or been fired, don’t fill those positions if possible. Reassign those duties to your existing workforce until you are able to hire again.

Step #2: Institute a hiring freeze.

If you’re experiencing an increase in demand at your company, it can be tempting to hire again. But you may want to consider placing a freeze on hiring until the situation has stabilized. If you have a seasonal peak in demand, or have employees out on maternity or sick leave, consider using a staffing company to hire temporary employees for the time being.

Step #3: Reduce hours worked.

While this is sure to be met with some protest and trepidation on the part of your staff, you may want to consider creating a four-day work week to lower the number of hours worked and salary paid. Assure your employees that this situation is temporary and will help the company to avoid future layoffs. To offset this, you may want to allow your employees to trade pay for company stock.

Step #4: Limit overtime.

Overtime is expensive if you’re paying it to your full-time employees. Instead, think about hiring some temporary employees to get the work done. It may cost much less in the long run.

Step #5: Encourage job sharing and leaves of absence.

Allow full-time employees to become part-time employees and share their job roles with each other. Or, if you have an employee who you know wants to take an extended trip to Europe, or write a book, ask him or her to take a leave of absence without pay, but with benefits, for a period of time.

Step #6: Tap into the power of temporary staffing.

Take on more projects and increase productivity – without an increase in overhead – by using temporary employees. Once the project is complete or work flow starts to slow down, simply release the temporary workers.

At Murray Resources, we’ve helped many employers throughout Houston to weather the tough economy by taking full advantage of strategic, temporary staffing. If your company is currently in a position where layoffs seem imminent, please contact Murray Resources. We may be able to help you avoid them.

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