Hiring? Get Strategies for Improving the Interview Process

May 22nd, 2018

The job interview is your ticket to finding the best candidates to hire. The more effective it is, the better your hiring decisions will be.

Sounds simple enough, right? And yet, according to statistics, nearly half of new hires fail on the job within the first 18 months. All of those might not be due to weak interviews. However, as one of Houston’s seasoned staffing firms, we know that many hiring mistakes can be avoided by a sound process that helps you interview more consistently and effectively. To help improve yours, here are a few strategies to put to use:

Make sure interviewers are trained

If the people conducting interviews aren’t on the HR staff – and are managers in their departments instead – make sure they’re thoroughly trained on interview best practices. For instance, you want to instruct them to evaluate candidates more on facts, not on hunches or impressions. Likewise, you can provide behavioral based interview training so they have the tools and tactics needed to take a deeper dive into a candidate’s background and experience.

Be transparent about the opportunity

Talk to every candidate about what the position entails and what it’s like to work at the company. When they ask about challenges that come with the role, be honest. Don’t try to sidestep these kinds of questions. Also, don’t make claims that aren’t true. If a candidate does accept the job based on inaccurate information, they probably won’t stick around for long.

Offer a positive candidate experience

The interviewer isn’t the only doing the evaluating. Candidates too are sizing up your organization and the opportunity. It’s important not to lose sight of that in the interview process and to create a positive candidate experience as a result.

When candidates are left in the dark after an interview, are treated rudely by a staff member, or aren’t given the time to ask questions during an interview, it’s going to impact their impression of your company. Even if you don’t end up hiring them for the current position, they could be the right fit for one down the line. So you want to put your best foot forward with each one.

Ask candidates why they want to work for you

There are plenty of candidates out there looking for just any job. You want the ones who have a strong desire to work at your company and land this opportunity. To find them, ask why they want the job. If they don’t have an answer, then they’re probably not the right fit.

Schedule two rounds of interviews

It can be tough to tell whether a candidate is right for the job after just one interview. That’s why it’s important to schedule a second one. Interviewers can take the time needed to regroup and reflect on candidates. In addition, a second interview offers an opportunity to get behind the candidate mask and dig deeper into each one’s background.

Get better hires with Murray Resources

Don’t have the time or resources to devote to the hiring process? Let Murray Resources help. As one of Houston’s top staffing firms, we can deliver the talent you need through a rigorous sourcing, interviewing and hiring process. We can even conduct skills testing and background checks, all to ensure you get the high-quality people you need. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Need Help with Staffing in Houston? Here’s Why You Should Choose a Local Firm

January 23rd, 2018

Whether you don’t have enough time in your day, or the manpower on your team to meet your staffing demands, you know you need professional help. At the same time, with so many staffing firms in Houston to choose from, it can be tough to find the one that’s right for you. One criteria you should look for is a firm that’s local. When you do, you can benefit from a variety of distinct advantages, including:

More detailed understanding of the local candidate market.

When it comes to staffing firms, local, Houston ones will have a deeper understanding of the city’s candidate market. As a result, they’ll not only be able to find talented professionals faster, but also those who are higher quality, too. On top of that, they will have more knowledge about how to attract top candidates, from the right level of compensation to offer to what the area’s professionals are looking for in potential employers.

More knowledge about your company.

When you work with a local provider of staffing in Houston, they can get to know your company better, as well as its unique staffing needs. Through tours and regular on-site visits, they can gain a more in-depth understanding – not to mention a first-hand look – at your organization and its culture. As a result, they can help you stay optimally staffed with more targeted and effective recommendations and advice.

More insight into local business challenges.

If you’re working with a national company, it can tough for them to fully understand the nuances of your company and the issues you face with staffing and hiring. However, when you partner with a local provider of staffing in Houston, instead, they will have a better understanding of the marketplace and business challenges you’re dealing with on a regular basis.

More personalized service.

When you work with a local staffing firm – versus a larger national provider – you can expect a more personal relationship and services that are specifically tailored to your unique business demands. You’ll also often get a team who’s more responsive to your needs and who can stay in closer contact with you more frequently. These are professionals who are focused on building a long-term relationship with you, not simply on filling empty seats.

Get more with a local staffing firm!

As a leading provider of staffing in Houston, Murray Resources can help you find the qualified people you need, where and when you need them, for a vast array of positions. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Posted in: Human Resources

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.


How Loyal Are Your Employees?

August 2nd, 2011

Less than you might think.

In fact, according to a recent MetLife study, only 44% of small business employees feel loyal toward the company they worked for in 2010. That might not sound so bad, until you consider the fact that that number is down from 62% in 2008.

So why the drastic drop?

While there were a variety of reasons stated, the primary one was dissatisfaction with employee benefits. Approximately 50% of those surveyed who are not very satisfied with their benefits hoped to be working for another employer. On the other hand, 72% of those who were very satisfied with their benefits also felt a very strong sense of loyalty to their employer.

But, according to data gleaned from the survey, when it comes to benefits programs, it’s not necessarily about spending more in order to achieve more loyalty. It’s about optimizing your offerings, understanding your employees’ needs, and communicating openly and often.

Offering Non-Medical Benefits

The study showed that about half of the employees surveyed found it important to offer a comprehensive benefits program that included access to life, dental, and disability insurance, even if the employees themselves had to pay all of the costs. Wellness programs were another benefit that employees expressed serious interest in.

Understanding What’s Important to Your Employees

There seems to be a gap between what drives loyalty for employees and what employers think drives loyalty. For example, 38% of employers believe that retirement benefits are important loyalty drivers, while 64% of employees believe they are. Quite a difference!

What’s more is that in this economy, the stress of struggling with financial concerns has taken a toll on many employees, contributing to a rise in health-related costs and a decrease in employee productivity. As a result, 52% of employees reported being interested in receiving financial information and advice through a workplace education program.

Ramping Up Communication Efforts

According to the study, approximately 55% of all employees do not find their benefits materials to be clear and comprehensive. In addition, only about one in four were satisfied with their benefits communications. Among the changes employees wanted to see most were:

  • Information available on the Internet
  • More frequent communication
  • Information tailored to life events

While changing the way you communicate about benefits may not seem like a major priority, it can have a big impact. In fact, it can be the difference between benefits that are clearly understood and valued, and benefits that are overlooked or underutilized.

The bottom line is that in this economy, employee loyalty is more important than ever – especially among your star performers. However, if you are experiencing more turnover than you’d like, Murray Resources is here to help. As one of Houston’s premier staffing firms, we can partner with you to not only attract and hire the best talent, but also develop strategies for reducing turnover and maintaining employee loyalty. Contact us to learn more.

Hire Now!