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

October 18th, 2017

HOUSTON, Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruiting firm, today announced that the company’s president, Marsha Murray, has been recognized as a Stevie Award finalist in the “Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services” category.

Each finalist will be recognized as either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Award winner at an awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Friday, November 17, 2017.

The Stevie Award for Women in Business honors women executives, entrepreneurs, and the companies they run – worldwide.  The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards. More than 1,500 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. Finalists were chosen by more than 170 professionals worldwide serving on five specialized judging committees.

“I’m thrilled for our entire team, as this award is really a reflection of the wonderful work they do for our clients and candidates on a daily basis. As recruiters, we are truly in the people business and our company is only as strong as the people who work for us. As we enter our 30th year of business, winning this award represents a wonderful milestone for company,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

“Every year we say that the current crop of Stevies for Women nominations couldn’t be better, and the next year we’re proven wrong,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards.  “The judges’ scores and comments bear witness to the fact that this year we will honor a truly remarkable class of women and women-led organizations in New York on November 17.”

Nominations were submitted by organizations in 25 nations including AustraliaBahrainCanadaGermanyIcelandIndiaItalyJordanKenyaLebanonMexicoNew ZealandNigeriaPakistanPhilippinesPortugalSaudi ArabiaSingaporeSouth AfricaSouth KoreaSwedenTaiwanTurkeyUnited Kingdom and the United States.

More information about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, including the full list of Stevie Award winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/Women. More information about Murray Resources can be found at www.murrayresources.com.

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 seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. 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 http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Posted in: Press Releases

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 to Select a Temporary Staffing Agency

December 10th, 2012

In today’s business environment, with employers still searching for signs of economic stability, demand for temporary staff continues to grow.  “This is a worldwide phenomenon. The temporary help industry is growing all over the world,” says Arne Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at University of North Carolina who studies the labor force.

And no longer are temporary workers limited to administrative roles. Companies are seeking temporary talent for positions ranging from marketing managers to interim CFO’s. Regardless of the position, selecting the right temporary staffing partner is a key decision for any company looking to engage talent. The right partner can provide significant flexibility and efficient access to talent.

In fact, according to the American Staffing Association: “Nine out of 10 business customers rated flexibility as an important reason to use staffing companies, saying it keeps them fully staffed during busy times.”

As a Houston temporary staffing agency, Murray Resources has put together a list of key considerations when selecting a temporary staffing agency. While each is important, they should be weighed appropriately, depending on the type of position(s), duration of the position(s), and the scale of the project(s).

How well does the staffing agency know your market/business?

Have they worked with companies like yours before? If the company has a strong track record of working with similar companies, they may be more likely to understand the nuances of your business and what it takes to make someone successful. Familiarity will often result in a more efficient staffing project.

Does the company take the time to understand your business?

Regardless of how well the agency knows your industry, will they take the time to understand your company and what makes it unique? Every company culture is different and most unsuccessful placements result from a mismatch in culture, not from a lack of skills. It’s worth seeking out a firm that will take the time to get to know your company.

How long has the temporary staffing agency been in business? Do they have a deep database of talent?

While not always the case, a newer agency is typically less likely to have the resources and staffing connections necessary to make placements quickly and efficiently. Work with a company that you feel comfortable has the requisite experience in the market in which you are seeking talent.

What is the staffing agency’s culture?

What is the company’s style and how well does it sync with your culture? As with businesses in most industries, staffing firms run the gamut from traditional and highly corporate to boutique and familial. Ideally, the connection you make with a staffing agency will result in a long-term partnership, so select a company that fits well with how you and your company prefer to operate.

How does the staffing agency operate and work with clients?

Ask the agency for references and seek information on how the staffing company is to work with, who was assigned to their project, and what they did – and didn’t – like about the process and results.

How responsive is the agency?

When you initially contacted the staffing firm, how quickly did they respond? Did your contact provide a direct line so you can reach them quickly? Temporary staffing projects are often time sensitive. Make sure you’re working with a firm that will respond to you in a timely manner.

How much turnover does the firm have?

Temporary staff recruiting is a notoriously challenging job and frequent turnover is common. While some recruiting firms have seemingly constant turnover, others tend retain their recruiters by providing an enjoyable and challenging environment. You’re better served working with a firm that has a stable workforce – otherwise repeat training, miscommunication, and lack of responsiveness can hinder even the simplest staffing project.

Will you have one point of contact?

How will your project be staffed? Will you have a designated contact whom you can call for any issues, or will multiple recruiters be handling your project? While most clients prefer one point of contact, make sure your preferences are understood from the project outset and can be met by the staffing agency.

How are candidates screened and tested?

Depending on the type of work for which they recruit, staffing companies will often assess and skills test potential employees. Tests range from general skills evaluations to specific software assessments. Make sure the staffing firm also conducts background checks and drug tests for all candidates.

How does the company recruit and retain its candidates?

Do they place ads in newspapers? Online? Rely on referrals from their database? There may not be a right or wrong answer, but you should understand whether the company’s recruitment methods sync with the type of candidate you’re seeking.

Are you looking to hire a temporary staffing agency?

Turn to Murray Resources, a leading Houston temporary staffing agency, for help in accessing Houston’s top temporary staffing talent. Contact Murray Resources online today or call 713.935.0009 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.

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.

 

Five Ways to Prepare for Your First Day on the Job

November 12th, 2012

It’s a great feeling when Houston staffing agencies like Murray Resources set you up with an employment opportunity that turns into an actual job. But how can you ensure that your first day will be the lasting, positive impression that you want it to be?

Below we’ve compiled a list of important details to keep in mind when preparing for a successful first day:

1)      Look up the office address and parking situation – There are few worse feelings in the world than showing up late to an important event, especially in an unfamiliar environment. Running late to work on a normal day is stressful enough, but spending an unplanned extra 15 minutes of your commute driving around lost on unfamiliar roads or turned around in the parking garage on your first day at a new job puts you in a frenzied, negative mindset that can ruin what was supposed to be an exciting and fresh start. Many times, interviews are conducted by Houston staffing agencies or at a company’s corporate office and not the actual location where you will be working, so be sure to double check the address and directions to where your actual office is.

2)      Dress to impress – In any unfamiliar professional setting, especially on your first day at a new job, it’s always better to err on the side of overdressed rather than under. The first impression you make often happens before you even open your mouth, so wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident within the boundaries of professionalism. Something you would wear to church or a nice dinner with your grandparents is always a safe bet for an office environment.

3)      Did you bring your papers? – Most of the time, your first day will be spent filling out paperwork, signing forms, and watching training videos. This new employee paperwork usually requires certain kinds of official documents to prove your identity, citizenship, proof of residence, etc. Get in contact with an HR representative or the new hire advisor at the company who can tell you what documents to bring on your first day so you can get all of the necessary paperwork out of the way. Commonly requested official documents include driver’s license or State issued Identification Card, Social Security Card, Passport, Birth Certificate, or Right to Work permits.

4)      Get to know your company – As we’ve already touched on, an unfamiliar environment can easily feel intimidating and overwhelming. A great way to curb these anxieties is to conduct some research about the company you’re starting with so that you’re more familiar with what to expect upon your arrival. Learning about your new employer’s industry, recent news, and corporate policies and values is usually just a matter of browsing through the company website. Showing up well-informed on your first day leaves a great first impression on colleagues and supervisors when they see how much you care about your new position and are willing and eager to learn.

5)      Connect with fellow co-workers – Utilizing social networking sites such as LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people you’ll be working with before you even step foot in the office. Engaging your soon-to-be-colleagues in conversations about shared interests or even just questions about the company can greatly help lessen the stress of feeling alone when you first arrive, and you can learn a lot more about a person through their social media profiles than in that 15-second introductory break room conversation.

Your first day on the job plays a major role in determining your attitude towards your new company and setting the tone for your time with them. These five helpful hints will help you to start off on the right foot for what’s sure to be a new and exciting journey!

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

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

 

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.

 

Murray Resources President Wins Female ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award

November 9th, 2012

(Houston, TX – November 9, 2012) – Murray Resources, a leading Houston recruiting firm, today announced that the company’s president, Marsha Murray, has been recognized as a Bronze Stevie Award winner in the “Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services” category.

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. All winners were publicly announced at a gala in New York City.

“It’s exciting to win this award because it’s really an acknowledgement of the wonderful work our team does every day. Any entrepreneur recognizes that their company is only a strong as their people and I’m proud of the team we’ve built and look forward to what lies ahead as Murray Resources enters our 25th year in business,” said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources.

“I’m very pleased that we were able to conclude our tenth year of organizing Stevie Awards programs with a very successful Women in Business event,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.  “This year’s Stevie Award-winning women are the most accomplished, impressive group we’ve ever had.  Their stories of success will be an inspiration to women around the globe who dream of starting and growing a business and making a difference in the world.”

More information about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, including the full list of Stevie Award winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/Women. More information about Murray Resources can be found at www.murrayresources.com.

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

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.

The Importance of Personal Branding for Your Career

October 29th, 2012

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

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

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

http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/your-personal-brand-normal-is-not-enough/

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

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

 

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

October 26th, 2012

Happy almost-weekend, everyone!

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

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

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

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

http://blog.brazencareerist.com/2012/10/17/5-underused-tactics-to-make-an-immediate-genuine-connection-with-anyone/

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

6 Common Resume Typos to Avoid

October 24th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Online Networking Tips

October 19th, 2012

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

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

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

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

http://media.newjobs.com/cms/static-content/info/PDF/online-marketing-guide.pdf

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

October 18th, 2012

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

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

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

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.

 

 

Your Facebook Timeline is Your Digital Resume

October 13th, 2012

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

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

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

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

http://mashable.com/2011/12/31/facebook-timeline-resume/

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

 

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

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

5 Networking Tips You Haven’t Heard

October 12th, 2012

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

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

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

http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2012/08/06/5-networking-tips-you-havent-heard/

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

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

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

Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume

October 11th, 2012

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

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

http://career-advice.monster.com/resumes-cover-letters/resume-writing-tips/creative-ways-to-improve-your-resume-hot-jobs/article.aspx

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

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

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

 

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

Office Workouts

October 10th, 2012

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

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

http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/l/blofficeworkout.htm

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

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

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

 

Why You Must Ask Follow-Up Questions in an Interview

October 2nd, 2012

You know that part of effective hiring is asking candidates good interview questions. But how often do you follow-up on each candidate’s answer?

As a staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that if you don’t, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to properly vet your candidates. In fact, the answers that candidates give to a follow-up question can typically offer you more insight into who they are and what they can do for you.

Some examples of typical follow-up questions include:

• Really? Tell me more.
• Why do you think that happened?
• How did you make that happen?
• What would you have done differently when faced with similar issues?
• What specific steps did you take to achieve that?
• How would you go about achieving the same results here?

Still not convinced you need to ask follow-up questions? Here are a couple of reasons why it’s so important:

You Can Dig for More Information.

When you ask a candidate a question, their first response is typically programmed. It’s the answer that the candidate practiced for hours in their living room or in their car on the way to the interview. The second response, however, is closer to the truth. That’s why it’s so important to ask follow-up questions…you get the opportunity to dig a lot deeper. In addition to asking follow-up questions, you can also ask important questions more than once, just in a different way.

You Can Better Assess the Information.

In canned answers, candidates will typically offer vague information, rather than specific details. Follow-up questions enable you to dig for those details. However, if a candidate is still offering you vague answers, then that could be an indication they’re lying or embellishing what really happened. If a candidate is truly responsible for the results they say they delivered, then they should be able to offer you very real numbers and specifics.

The bottom line is that the better you are at asking follow-up questions, the more effective of an interviewer you will be. By asking good follow-up questions, you’re able to dig deeper for relevant facts and information and then evaluate whether a candidate is the right fit for you.

Need Help Interviewing…So You Make a Great Hiring Decision?

If you simply don’t have the time or resources to devote to interviewing and hiring, let us know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can work with you to identify your human resource needs and locate top talent, all while you focus on other priorities. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

Why Numbers Matter on Your Resume

September 25th, 2012

Imagine this scenario:

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

• Worked as a salesperson.

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

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

The lesson here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want Resume Help from the Experts?

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

6 Mission Critical Job Search Tips for Veterans

September 18th, 2012

Going from the military to civilian life can certainly be challenging. But, as Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that when it comes to your job search, you can leverage the power of your military experience so that you stand out in a sea of other candidates. Here’s how:

Tip #1: Reposition Yourself.

Employers may have a lot of respect for you…but that doesn’t mean they understand the value you bring to the table. They may picture you on the frontlines, not in a boardroom. That’s why it’s important to reposition your experience in a way that highlights your transferable skills, such as leading a team, problem solving abilities, and resilience in the face of challenges.

Tip #2: Speak Civilian.

Most employers aren’t familiar with military jargon, so avoid it in your cover letter, resume, and during the job interview. If you’re not sure what the civilian equation for a certain title, role, or assignment is, then look it up using the Military to Civilian Occupation Translator (http://www.acinet.org/moc/).

Tip #3: Be Relevant.

As a veteran, you may have completed dozens of training courses and hold many certifications. But you don’t want to submit a 10-page resume. So be selective about the educational and training experience you wish to highlight. For instance, if you’re applying for a management position, then include relevant leadership training you’ve undergone. Also, when you get a job interview, you’ll need to be able to explain how your education and training stacks up against a traditional, four-year college degree.

Tip #4: Promote Yourself.

You’re probably used to being a part of a team, rather than going it alone. But when it comes to your job search, it’s not a team effort. Therefore, you really need to work hard to promote yourself and demonstrate why an employer should hire you. To do so, be sure to:

• Customize your resume for each position.
• Go through past performance reviews in search of relevant accomplishments you can highlight on your resume.
• Hiring managers love results. So include statistics, percentages, and specific examples to demonstrate your successful track record.

Tip #5: Research Companies That are Hiring Veterans.

As Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows that many companies today have dedicated programs for hiring veterans. So do some research to find out who those companies are and what kinds of job openings they have.

Tip #6: Be Persuasive.

Unfortunately, some hiring managers have preconceived notions about veterans, such as they’re only good at following orders. So it’s your job to change their minds and present yourself as a professional with highly valuable skills and abilities. It may be difficult to change minds via a resume, but be sure to highlight important achievements and results during your job interview.

Want More Help from the Job Search Experts?

If you’d like professional help from experienced Houston recruiters, let Murray Resources know. We can work directly with you to craft an effective resume, polish your interview skills, and search for jobs in the Houston area that are a great fit for you. Contact Murray Resources today to get started!

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

7 Skills to Look for in Your Next Great Hire

September 11th, 2012

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

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

Here’s a look:

#1: Communication Skills.

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

#2: Interpersonal Skills.

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

#3: Flexibility.

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

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

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

#5: Resilience.

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

#6: Creative Thinking.

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

#7: Organization.

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

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

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

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

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Hiring Overqualified Employees

September 4th, 2012

As one of the leading Houston staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows there are plenty of people out there who are hard working, highly skilled, motivated…and unemployed. Whether the victim of downsizing, a diminishing industry, a lack of seniority, or just plain bad luck, they may apply to a position at your company that they’re completely overqualified for.

So the question becomes: Should you hire them?

After all, they have tons of experience and a clear record of accomplishments. At the same time, they may jump ship at the first opportunity that comes along to take a step up.

There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to hiring someone who’s more than qualified. To help you make a decision, here’s a look at some of them:

The Good

• Value. When you hire someone who’s overqualified, you’ll likely get more bang for your buck than if you were to hire someone less experienced. Not only that, they may be able to offer some valuable intangibles, such as mentoring to entry level employees.

• Ability. If you hire someone who’s overqualified, then there will be less of a learning curve, if there is one at all. This means they can become productive faster and positively impact your bottom line.

• Contributions. Someone who’s overqualified has probably “been there, done that.” So they may be able to offer you a unique perspective or innovative ideas that you might not get from a less experienced employee.

The Bad

• Lack of Value. An overqualified employee may demand pay that’s less than what they’re used to earning, but still more than you can afford.

• An Attitude. Just because an employee is overqualified doesn’t mean they’re going to bring a good attitude with them. Some might be bitter about taking a step back in their careers, while others might be arrogant know-it-alls.

The Ugly

• Quick Turnover. This is the biggest drawback because not only does it reduce productivity and morale, but it also means you’re back to the drawing board when it comes to hiring for the position.

Still not sure whether to hire an overqualified candidate?

Then consider a contract or temporary to hire arrangement, where you try out the candidate (and the candidate tries out the position) for a set period of time, then you both make your decisions after that time. Who knows? In the meantime, a higher level position may open up in your organization that’s the perfect fit for the candidate.

Want to Outsource the Hiring Process?

If you’d like to outsource some of the hiring process to staffing experts, you’ve come to the right place. As one of the leading Houston staffing agencies, Murray Resources can take the hassle out of hiring for you – so you can bring an exceptional candidate on board that meets your needs. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

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

How to Survive a Major Job Interview Blunder

August 28th, 2012

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources knows that job interviews aren’t exactly the most pleasant situations for candidates. They’re high-stress interactions that typically come at a time when you have a lot on the line.

It’s no wonder, then, that many candidates mess up during their interviews, from blanking on their answer to a question to blabbering on about nothing to sharing too much personal information.

Sound all too familiar to you?

If it does, then take a deep breath and relax. Most people screw up at least one job interview in their lifetime, so you’re certainly not alone. That said, there is something you can do to attempt to rectify an “interview gone bad.” What is it?

Send the interviewer a thank you letter – immediately.

You’re probably wondering what good that will do; but the answer is: A lot.

By doing so, you can attempt to salvage your reputation and perhaps put yourself back in the running for the job. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll demonstrate your humility and professionalism, which could help you should another job opportunity within the company arise in the future. And finally, even if you never see the hiring manager again, at least you’ll be able to leave a positive final impression.

But to craft an effective letter, it must contain a few essentials:

• Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity to interview.

• If you know you screwed up on a particular answer, then the hiring manager likely knows it, too. So use the letter as an opportunity to right the wrong. For instance, if you blundered the question about your career accomplishments, then highlight a few keys ones that pertain to the position.

• Re-iterate why you are, in fact, a great fit for the job opening and the company.

• Keep it short and sweet. And end it on a positive note.

 

Here’s what NOT to do:

Make it seem like it was the hiring manager’s fault…like somehow, they didn’t conduct an effective interview or ask the right questions, leading to your missteps. If you do that, then you won’t just screw up once; you’ll do it twice.

Want more help with your job search?

Let us know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Murray Resources can match you with a job that’s the right fit for you. Search our jobs in Houston or contact us today to learn more!

When Your Completely Unreliable BFF Asks for a Job Recommendation

August 21st, 2012

As one of the leading in staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we at Murray Resources know that the economy is still brutal out there for many. As a result, candidates are leveraging every connection they have in order to land jobs.

But what should you do if a friend asks for help in their job search – specifically, for you to recommend them or to serve as a reference – and you know they’re not the most reliable person?

The bottom line is that helping out a friend that you know is “less than dependable” could harm your credibility within your own network. So proceed with caution when it comes this kind of situation and consider the following first:

Do You Have a Copy of Their Resume?

Before committing to doing anything, ask your friend to send along their resume. If it’s filled with employment gaps, poor grammar, and bad spelling, you probably won’t want to send it along to anyone in your network or at your company. That said, you can still offer to lend a hand by helping them to polish their resume.

Are You Willing to Offer a Formal Referral?

Passing along a friend’s name and resume to a hiring manager is different than offering a formal referral. If you’re asked to do the latter, you’re essentially saying that you vouch for your friend, their skill level, and the fact that you believe they’ll do a good job. If you’re not comfortable doing so, then simply give your friend the contact information for the hiring manager and ask them not to bring up your name.

Are You Comfortable Working With Your Friend?

If your friend is asking for a referral or recommendation to a job with your current employer, think long and hard about whether to say “yes.” For instance, they may know your “real feelings” about your boss and if they tend to have loose lips, then offering a recommendation could be a nail in your coffin at the company.

Need Help With Your Own Job Search?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading in staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we’ve partnered with many of the top employers throughout the city for over 24 years. As a result, we can match you with opportunities that are a terrific fit for you! Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.



6 Ways to Make New Hire Orientation More Interesting

August 14th, 2012

For many new hires, orientation is a drag, plain and simple. But as one of Houston’s top recruitment firms, Murray Resources can tell you that considering the orientation process is typically their first experience with the company as an employee, it’s critically important to get them engaged from the get-go.

So how can you transition your orientation from a snooze-fest into an interesting and effective process for your latest recruits? Here are 6 ideas:

1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes.

What kinds of questions will they have? What are some of the biggest challenges they will face in their first few weeks? Anticipate their anxieties and concerns and provide them with answers at their fingertips. For instance, you may want to create a booklet with a company directory, industry or company lingo and acronyms, important buzzwords, and commonly asked questions.

2. Celebrate Your New Hire’s First Day.

Obviously you need your new employee to get to work. But take a step back and look at the big picture. How much more valuable and loyal will they be in the long run to your company if they feel welcomed, comfortable and enthusiastic? So rather than simply conducting basic introductions, host a party or a luncheon for your newest team member. You may even want to consider making it a family affair by inviting his or her spouse.

3. Roll Out the Welcome Mat.

Create a welcome basket for your new hire complete with coupons and a map to local eateries, a company t-shirt, and other goodies. This will reinforce the fact that the company is glad to have them on board. Also, have your new hire’s desk ready to go on their first day, including their computer and email login, so they don’t have to stand around and wait for a place to sit and a computer to work on.

4. Put the Paperwork Online.

The last thing you want is a new employee to go home and tell their family they spent the whole day filling out forms. But thanks to technology, much of the required paperwork for your new employee can be done online ahead of time. So offer that convenience to them.

5. Assign a Welcome Mentor.

Assign a welcome mentor to each new employee. These should be people who are generally personable and willing to help. By doing so, you’ll offer the employee a go-to resource to ask questions and get the information and support they need. Also, make sure you have either their welcome mentor or someone from the company waiting when they first arrive to greet them.

6. Keep Things Brief.

There’s no need for an orientation process that lasts for two, eight-hour days…unless, of course, you want to bore your new employee to death. So just review the most important issues and the major policies. At most, orientation should last a few hours.

Need Help Hiring?

If you need help with your hiring or orientation process, give Murray Resources a call. As one of Houston’s top recruitment firms, we have the expertise you need to recruit and retain top talent at your organization. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

Posted in: Blog, Tips

The #1 Job Description Mistake Employers Make

August 7th, 2012

When it comes to your job description, bigger is not necessarily better.

Unfortunately, some of today’s employers don’t heed this warning. And with the proliferation of online – and either low- or no-cost – job posting sites, job descriptions have gotten longer and longer. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that rather than educating candidates about a position and company, these long-winded postings are actually turning them off.

So how can you get the best of both worlds – craft a job description that’s informative and engaging, without being overwhelming?

First, be mindful of the requirements you include. Obviously, the scope of requirements you need to list will depend on the nature of the job. For instance, a posting for a part-time administrative assistant is going to look different from a posting for a company comptroller.

That said, be aware that the people you want to attract are busy and don’t want to pour through 10 pages of information. So focus on the key points, including:

• A couple technical skill requirements
• A couple soft skill requirements
• A couple technical and soft skill “nice to haves” (but not required)
• Keywords that candidates will use in their search for jobs

And keep in mind, less is more. You’re simply trying to attract qualified candidates, not relate your company’s entire 50-year history to them.

Another element to keep in mind is that you should be educating candidates as to why they’d want to work for your company. The hiring process isn’t all about you, after all…it’s about finding the right match between you and a potential employee. And in order to do so, you need to highlight some of the perks, whether it’s flexible hours, a family friendly environment, generous benefits, or an on-site workout room.

At the end of the day, the job description is the first impression candidates will get about the position and your company. As a result, it’s important to attract and engage…not overwhelm.

Want Help With Your Job Descriptions?

If you’re ready to outsource the job description writing process, let us know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources can help you with every step of the hiring process, including crafting effective job descriptions that attract top talent. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

 

Does Your “To Do” List Ever Get Done?

July 24th, 2012

If you’re like most managers, the answer’s probably “no.” No matter how hard you try, you cross one task off, only to add five more in the process. But, as Houston, Texas recruiters, Murray Resources knows that instead of blaming it on being “just too busy,” you may not be gaining ground on your “to do” list for a few other reasons. Here’s a look:

You’re Procrastinating.

Everyone has things they’re responsible for, but in reality can’t stand doing. So go ahead, admit that you hate dealing with performance issues or customer complaints. But then you need to take action and handle it. However, if it’s a lower level task you’re avoiding, perhaps delegating it to an assistant is your best bet, so you can focus on other priorities.

You’re Constantly Interrupted.

You sit down at your desk to begin that big report that’s due next week, when an employee knocks on your door…or the phone rings….or you receive an urgent email. Sound familiar? Distractions are definitely one of the biggest hindrances to getting your work done. So if you really need quiet time to focus on a task, then close your door, put up a “do not disturb” sign, and let your assistant know that you’re not to be interrupted unless it’s a true emergency.

Your Tasks Aren’t Defined.

Sometimes it’s easier to take on quick and easy tasks and just get them done. But when it comes to larger, more complicated responsibilities, it can be hard to get going since there’s typically a lot more involved. One way to get started is to write down all the small steps you need to take in order to make real progress on a big project. After all, a big project will seem more manageable in smaller, bite sized pieces.

You’ve Over-scheduled Yourself.

If you have back-to-back meetings all day and not a single moment to breathe, then you need to give yourself a scheduling break. Otherwise, you’re going to burn out…and then you’re really not going to get anything on your “to do” list done.

Are You Over-worked and Need to Hire?

If you’ve got to much to do – and not enough time to do it, then perhaps it’s time to bring someone on board who can help you get the job done. As Houston, Texas recruiters, Murray Resources can help you find the people you need, where and when you need them. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

What to Do When You Make a Major Mistake at Work

July 17th, 2012

An important client email falls through the cracks; a critical deadline is missed; or a math error is made on important financial statements – whatever the mistake, it’s bad…and you know it.

So what should you do when you’re in this position? And how can you control the damage? Here are some tips:

Don’t Panic.

As a leading employment agency in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that everyone makes mistakes. And if you’re going to deal with the mistake in an effective way, you need to calm down and breathe.

Decide When to Inform Your Boss.

If it’s an emergency situation (for instance, your boss is on his way to a meeting and you told him the wrong address), then you obviously need to let your boss know immediately. However, if the mistake isn’t as pressing, take a bit of time to come up with a solution before informing your boss. That way, you can soften the blow and hopefully redeem yourself a little along the way.

Apologize…But Not Profusely.

Accept responsibility, apologize for the mistake, explain what you will do to correct it, and then move on. Don’t keep apologizing…otherwise, you’ll magnify the error.

Determine What You Can Do in the Future to Avoid Similar Mistakes.

Decide what you can do going forward to avoid making the same mistake twice. Perhaps you need to slow down and check your work more carefully. Maybe there needs to be a formal review process in place for certain important documents. Whatever the case, it’s important to learn from the mistake so you don’t repeat it.

Want to Get Back on Track in Your Career?

If you’ve reached a point of stagnation in your career, and are bored and making silly mistakes as a result, then perhaps it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your career. To get started, read this blog post from Murray Resources titled “Get Back on Track: How to Create a Career Plan.”

 

 

 

7 Steps to Hiring a Top-Notch Administrative Assistant

July 10th, 2012

When it comes to administrative assistants, they may not be the highest on the pay scale or on the corporate ladder, for that matter. But, as one of the top administrative staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that they’re also, many times, the glue that holds things together…from managing tight schedules to putting together presentations on a moment’s notice to returning important phone calls on behalf of company leaders.

Considering the vital nature of their role, how can you go about hiring the right administrative assistant for your company? Here are seven steps to get you started:

Step #1. Identify Your Needs.

The most effective route to take is to first identify exactly what your needs are. For instance, if you travel a lot, then someone with experience coordinating travel schedules would certainly be an asset.

Step #2. Craft an Effective Job Description.

When writing a description, keep in mind it shouldn’t be a novella…try to keep it concise. That said, it’s important to include details such as an overview of the position, including specific tasks; specifying whether the assistant will work for one executive or multiple ones; and desired traits, like strong computer, organizational, and communication skills, along with plenty of resourcefulness.

Step #3. Screen Out Badly Written Resumes.

If a candidate can’t use proper grammar or spell your name right, do you really want them emailing your biggest clients and representing your company? Probably not.

Step #4. Look for Someone With Experience.

With the high unemployment rate, more and more people who are out of work apply for jobs they’re really not qualified for – like administrative assistants. Without a real understanding of what the position entails, they think, “All I have to do is make coffee and answer phones. How hard can that be?” But the truth of the matter is experience counts in this position.

Step #5. Find Candidates Who Have Worked at Similar Companies.

If you still have a plethora of resumes, even after screening out those with poorly written resumes and those without experience, then look next for candidates with experience working in a similar company as yours. They’ll likely know the ins and outs of the industry and be able to hit the ground running faster as a result.

Step #6. Conduct Phone Screens & Interviews.

Depending on how many candidates you’re left with, the next step should be to conduct phone screens or interviews. If it’s more than a half dozen candidates, then use the phone screens to further whittle down your list of candidates to meet with face-to-face.

Step #7. Evaluate Personality.

While skills and experience are important, considering the amount of time you will be spending with this individual, personality is just as important…if not more. So make sure you mesh well with the person you choose to hire.

Need Help Hiring Your Next Administrative Assistant?

You’ve come to the right place. As one of the top administrative staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows how to find the highly organized, efficient, and skilled support staff you need. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

 

How to Improve the Hiring Experience for Candidates

July 3rd, 2012

Despite what some managers might think, the hiring process isn’t all about them. While it’s important to find the right person to hire, it’s also important to ensure all candidates have a positive experience with the hiring process.

Why? According to a recent CareerBuilder poll, 56% of employers who recruited employees in the past year reported that a candidate rejected their job offer. In addition, one-in-seven job seekers reported having a worse opinion of the employer after they were contacted for an interview.

While you might not think that sounds like a lot, it adds up over time – impacting your reputation as an employer. And, as one of the leading staffing firms in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that if you’re looking to hire top talent, then they’ll run the other way if your company is known for treating job candidates poorly or being a resume black hole.

So what are some things you can do to ensure a positive experience for all candidates, regardless if you hire them or not? Here are some quick tips:

Communicate More.

One of the things candidates hate most when it comes to the hiring process is a lack of communication. So ramp up communication efforts. Create an automatic email with text thanking the candidate for their application and explaining next steps, such as “If we feel you are qualified for the position, we will contact you to schedule an interview.” Also, if a candidate gets an interview, but doesn’t get the job, follow up with a phone call. Don’t just let them twist in the wind, waiting to hear back.

Take a Balanced Approach to Interviewing.

When preparing for interviews, create a plan and approach each in a balanced manner. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one looking for answers; the candidate too could – and should – have questions and so provide them with enough time to get the information they need.

Ask Candidates for Feedback.

Once the search process is complete, reach out to a few candidates – as well as your new hire – and ask them for feedback about the process. You can even send them an email, linking to an online survey if that makes it easier for you. But the bottom line is that you can’t improve the candidate experience if you don’t know what you’re doing right – and what you’re doing wrong.

Create an Online Persona of Your Company.

For instance, use your website and social media channels to provide candidates with a closer look at who you are as a company. Don’t just promote your job postings here, promote your company culture, as well as information a candidate won’t find in your Careers section. That way, your candidates will be more educated about your company and whether they’d fit in there.

Want More Help Hiring?

Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing firms in Houston, Texas, our top priority is delivering exceptional job candidates, not good candidates who may have the adequate skills. But people who are truly top performers. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Murray Resources today.

 

 

 

When Does an Employee’s Cancer Diagnosis Become a Disability?

June 26th, 2012

As a top temporary staffing agency in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that if you manage a business, the chances of you having an employee who gets sick are high. But what about when an employee is diagnosed with a serious illness, like cancer? What is the law – and what are your responsibilities under it?

When Cancer is a Disability

Cancer is a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act when it or its side effects substantially limit(s) one or more of a person’s major life activities.

For example:

An employee is diagnosed with cancer and because of a weakened immune system caused by treatment, he has to temporarily avoid interactions with most people except for medical professionals, caregivers and immediate family.

Even in less severe cases, when cancer does not necessarily limit the major life activities of an employee, the diagnosis could lead to other issues, like anxiety and depression. When such conditions last long enough – for several months, for instance – and impact an employee’s ability to interact with others, eat, sleep, or perform other life activities, then this falls under a disability protected by the ADA.

What You Should Do

Under the law, you must provide accommodations for your employee just as you would for any other disabled employee. In other words, you must make reasonable accommodations that enable the employee to perform the essential functions of their job. Part of this includes communicating with the employee to determine what their needs are.

Examples of how you might accommodate them include:

• A more flexible schedule, a part-time schedule, or reduced hours
• Allowing the employee to work from home
• Re-assigning non-essential functions of their job
• Allowing for rest periods during the day
• Creating a private space for the employee to make phone calls (to doctors or other caregivers) or to rest in
• Allowing for a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act

Keep in mind that cancer impacts people emotionally, physically, and mentally in different ways. Therefore, as an employer, it’s important to work with your employee to consider a variety of means in which you can help accommodate them.

Need to Supplement Your Workforce?

If you have an employee on sick leave, and need to supplement your workforce until they return, let us know. As a top temporary staffing agency in Houston, Texas, we can give you access to a network of qualified and dependable temporary talent – where and when you need it.

Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

How to Keep Your Staff On Track During the Dog Days of Summer

June 19th, 2012

It’s June – which means many of your employees are probably thinking about vacations, long weekend trips, and afternoons lounging in the sun. And as a manager, it can be a challenge to balance the need for your company to remain productive and your employees’ desire to enjoy their summer. But as one of the leading temporary staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, we at Murray Resources know that you can get the best of both worlds, keeping employees happy while still maintaining productivity. Here’s how:

Don’t Start an Important Project.

When it comes to mission-critical projects, you need your team engaged and motivated. So summer may not be the best time to launch such an initiative. If you can, wait until the fall when everyone is refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Shorten the Day or Work-week.

Consider implementing summer hours. For instance, rather than closing up at 5, end the day at 4 or 4:30 to give your employees a little extra down time. If that’s not possible, then consider closing early, at 3, for instance, on Fridays. A shortened day or work-week will go a long way in increasing employee satisfaction.

Expect Vacations and Down Time.

Don’t try to fight the fact that employees will want more down time over the summer. It may create a scheduling hassle for you, but the faster you accept it, the more time you’ll have to devote to dealing with it.

Set the Tone.

It’s your job to set a good example for your staff. So if you’re leaving early every Friday, but won’t allow your employees to do so, you’re going to create some animosity.

Have Some Fun.

Summer is time for play, so factor in some fun during it. Have an an employee picnic, plan a golf outing, or host a barbecue during lunch. You’ll keep employees happier – and working harder – when they can maintain a positive work-life balance.

Need Some Extra Help in the Summer Months?

If you do, let us know. As one of the leading temporary staffing agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources can give you fast access to skilled, qualified, and dependable people to cover increased demand, vacation time, or maternity or sick leave. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

“Must Do’s” and “Absolute No-No’s” to Remember in a First Interview

June 12th, 2012

In today’s day and age of social networking, people are sharing information…a lot of it. But as one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources know that when it comes to a job interview, you really need to put your filter in place and be strategic about what you choose to say – and what you don’t.

So with that said, here’s a look at some absolute do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your next interview:

Do Talk About:

• Do talk about your professional goals, why you applied for the position, and how you think you can make a positive impact both on the company and your career should you get hired.

• Do talk about professional passions and what motivates you. You can also discuss why you chose to work in a particular industry, and what excites you about your career and your field.

• Do talk about ways you’ve invested in yourself. For instance, discuss any continuing education classes or workshops you’ve taken, public speaking seminars you participated in, or advanced degrees you earned. This will show the interviewer that you take your career – and your career growth – seriously.

• Do talk about your greatest work accomplishments. Before the interview, think of three to five achievements that really highlight your strengths and values as a professional. Talk with confidence, but try not to boast.

Don’t Talk About:

• Don’t talk about any personal beliefs. Whether they’re religious, political, or that you think dogs are better pets than cats, don’t go there. For all you know, the person interviewing you could be a die-hard cat lover.

• Don’t talk about past bosses or work experiences you hated. While you’ll certainly be asked about your most challenging assignment or workplace situation, spin those into the positive by discussing what you learned from the experience. So absolutely no boss-bashing allowed!

• Don’t name drop. You might think doing so makes you sound well-connected, but you really come off as arrogant instead. In addition, you might unwittingly drop the name of someone the interviewer doesn’t like.

• Don’t talk about personal issues. This includes topics such as health problems, marriage problems, other personal problems, issues with your house, and problems with your child’s daycare provider. The interviewer doesn’t want to hear it and you’ll leave a negative impression as a result.

Want to Learn More About What to Say in a Job Interview?

Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, Texas, we can work with you to craft a solid cover letter and resume and prepare for your next interview – so you make the best impression possible! Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

Got a New Job? You Still Need to Network!

June 5th, 2012

Your job search has finally come to an end. Now you can stop writing cover letters, preparing for interviews, and networking everywhere you go, right? Wrong!

While you can quit the cover letters and interview prep sessions, as one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources know that you should always be networking.

With that said, here are some tips to help you network your way to success at your new job:

Connect With Other Newer Hires.

Seek out people who have been hired at the company within the last year. They can give you the scoop on leadership styles, how your performance will really be measured, and any obstacles or challenges they’ve faced as a new recruit.

Connect With Movers & Shakers.

Once you know who the other newbies are, ask your boss who the company key players are. Seek them out at company events or in the lunchroom and introduce yourself. Strike up a conversation and try to get to know them.

Accept Invitations.

If co-workers invite you to lunch, or for a drink after work, take them up on it. You might not want to do it every day, or every week, but at least you can pick their brains and learn more about the organization you now work at. The faster you get up to speed, the better.

Reach Out Beyond Your Department.

It’s easy to get into the habit of only socializing with those nearby or in your department. But the larger your network, the more successful you will be, especially if you’re looking to get promoted in the future. Not only will reaching out give you an opportunity to network, but you’ll also better understand the business as a result.

Don’t Overdo It.

While networking is critically important to career success, don’t constantly be trying to set up meetings or pestering company leaders. Keep it relaxed and informal. Make an effort; but don’t make it your #1 priority.

Want to Network Your Way to a New Job?

We can help. As one of the leading employment agencies in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources has an extensive network of top employers we work with and can give you access to. If you’re ready for a new opportunity, contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your career goals.

6 Tips to Help You Recruit Smarter

May 22nd, 2012

As executive recruiters in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows that recruiting certainly isn’t always easy. A blend of art and science, the right approach can lead to beautiful results. The wrong approach, however, can lead to disaster. So how can you avoid making recruiting mistakes when you’re looking to hire? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1. Always Be Hiring.

Don’t just look for people when you have an open position to fill. Be open to hiring when the right person comes along. Remember, many skills can be learned, but attitude and smarts matter more to ensure the right fit.

Tip #2. Look to Your Top Performers for Inspiration.

Your best employees are good at what they do and likely hang out with others who are also good at what they do. So ask them for referrals. But go beyond that and ask about which organizations they belong to and what trade publications they read. These are great outlets to place your job postings in.

Tip #3. Post What You Don’t Want.

If your job posting is vague, you’re more likely to attract a large number of candidates, many of them unqualified. But rather than including loads of detail, include a few key requirements, such as “Do not apply unless you hold an advanced degree in mathematics.”

Tip #4. Let Candidates Know What They Can Expect.

Another way to improve your job postings is to let candidates know what to expect on the job. So rather than stating something like “strong sales skills required,” instead state “a typical work week includes at least five sales meetings, in which you will be expected to educate customers about the benefits of our products.”

Tip #5. Require Some Homework.

It’s hard to tell how well a candidate will do on the job with just a resume and cover letter. So create an assignment for the top candidates to complete before making a hiring decision. This will really show you who is passionate about the company and who’s not.

Tip #6. Ask the Candidate What They Want.

One way to see if a candidate is a good fit for the organization is to ask them about what their dream job looks like. By finding out what a candidate really wants, you’ll have a better sense of whether their desires and your needs blend well together.

Want Some Help With Your Recruiting Process?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As executive recruiters in Houston, Texas, we’ve been providing world-class recruiting services to leading companies in Houston for over 23 years. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for you, please contact Murray Resources today.

What Hiring Managers Look For When They Google You

May 15th, 2012

If you’re searching for a job in Houston, Texas, you probably already know that many hiring managers are going to Google you.

But do you know what they’re looking for?

According to new research by CareerBuilder, the majority of hiring managers – 65% – look to social networking sites to see how job candidates are presenting themselves online; 51% checked to determine if the candidate seemed like a good fit for the organization.

In the study, Facebook and LinkedIn were cited as the social networking sites most turned to by hiring managers. And some of the details they saw online that proved positive for candidates included:

• Demonstrating professionalism
• Demonstrating strong communication skills
• Showcasing their personality and a variety of interests
• Creativity
• References and recommendations posted by other people

On the other hand, some of the negatives that impacted a hiring decision included:

• Posting provocative or crude pictures
• Posting comments or pictures that indicated heavy alcohol or drug use
• Making discriminatory comments
• Demonstrating poor communication skills
• Badmouthing a former employer

And in fact, a full 34% of hiring managers reported not hiring a candidate because of something negative – like the examples above – they saw online.

So the bottom line is to think before you post.

In other words, be mindful of how you present yourself online, particularly on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, since that’s where most hiring managers look. And no matter what you do, don’t post inappropriate images or content that will make a possible employer think twice about hiring you.

Need Some Help With Your Houston, Texas Job Search?

Give Murray Resources a call. As one of the top employment firms in the area, Murray Resources can give you access to a variety of rewarding jobs in Houston, Texas that many times aren’t advertised. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

What are Retaliation Claims – And How Can You Avoid Them?

May 8th, 2012

As if your company wasn’t facing enough challenges and risks, there’s a new one to worry about – employee retaliation claims. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources knows these claims are on the rise and, in fact, have increased nearly 70% from 2000 to 2010. What’s worse is that they can have a major impact on workplace morale and productivity.

So what are they – and how can you avoid facing one?

Retaliation is essentially an adverse or vindictive action an employer takes against an employee who’s engaged in a protected activity. For example, firing an employee who is a whistle-blower or who is requesting workers compensation.

Furthermore, a number of court decisions over the past few years have broadened the definition of retaliation. For instance, in one case, an engaged couple worked for the same firm. When the woman filed a discrimination charge against the company, her fiancé was subsequently fired. The Supreme Court ruled it was unlawful for the employer to take adverse action against the fiancé because of his relationship with the woman who filed the discrimination charge.

To help you avoid a retaliation claim, here are 4 tips to keep in mind:

1. Train Your Managers.

Create a written policy prohibiting retaliation, and train your managers on it. Discuss what retaliation is and how they can avoid it.

Also, make sure your managers know how to react if they receive a claim of discrimination or harassment from an employee. Since managers are usually going to be the first person to receive such a claim, it’s critical they know how to properly respond to and resolve the situation…so a retaliation claim doesn’t shortly follow suit.

2. Don’t Make Decisions Based on Emotion.

Anger should not dictate decisions you make about a worker’s employment status. So take a step back, cool down, and think things through before moving forward.

3. Be Consistent With Enforcement.

Once you’ve put rules in place, enforce them. Otherwise, selective enforcement can actually support a claim of retaliation, particularly if enforcement efforts are increased right after a retaliation claim has been filed.

4. Offer Multiple Avenues for Filing Complaints.

If a manager is the source of alleged harassment, an employee is not going to want to turn to him or her to file a complaint. So be sure to offer more than one avenue for filing a complaint. Once the complaint has been received, follow up with the employee to ensure there’s been no adverse actions taken.

Want to Learn More About This & Other HR-Related Topics?

As one of the leading staffing services firms in Houston, Texas, Murray Resources has delivered extraordinary recruiting and staffing solutions to Houston’s leading employers for over 23 years. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help you.

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

Murray Resources President Named Finalist For Woman Business Owner of the Year Award

August 11th, 2008
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HOUSTON (October 23, 2007) – Marsha Murray, President of Houston staffing firm Murray Resources, Ltd., was recently recognized as one of eight finalists for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Houston Chapter Woman Business Owner of the Year Award.

The association recognized Murray for her ability to excel the growth of her business while promoting good community relations and supporting other woman-owned businesses.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a finalist for this award,” Murray said. “The opportunities and support of other women business owners provided through organizations such as NAWBO have been instrumental to the successful growth of my business as well as the growth of myself as a business owner.”

Founded as a home-based business in 1988, Murray has grown her 100 percent woman-owned business leaps and bounds. Focusing on the quality of candidate placement rather than the quantity of placements, Murray has developed the firm to have a client base of more than 750 clients and 3,000 candidates on its roster today. The firm has earned a hard-won reputation among its client base for providing the most successful client matches than other competing firms – receiving a 95% match satisfaction rate versus an industry rate that falls somewhere in the 50-60% range.

Murray has made a tremendous impact on the community through the creation of new jobs and community service. She is also a devoted advocate of organizations that support women in business, serving on many of these organizations’ as well as other non-profits’ boards.

 

About Murray Resources
Murray Resources is a leading staffing and placement firm based in Houston, Texas, providing quality temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical and professional-level placement services. Over the past 20 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. As a result, Murray Resources enjoys one of the most consistent track records in the industry based on client satisfaction surveys for delivering “best fit for success” staffing solutions. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009 or log on to www.murrayresources.com.

Posted in: Press Releases
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