6 Sure-Fire Ways for Spotting the Strongest Candidates

December 11th, 2018

When you’re hiring, you want top-quality candidates and the right-fit new hire. Sometimes, though, it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Everyone either feels like they could be a potential fit or no one even comes close. Plus, the clock’s ticking and you need to hire. How can you spot the strongest candidates and keep your hiring process moving along? With these 6 sure-fire tips from Houston’s professional recruiters at Murray Resources:

#1: Make sure they followed directions when applying.

It might sound nit-picky, but if you asked candidates to include a certain subject line when applying and some don’t, it’s an indication they lack attention to detail. If they can’t follow directions when applying for a job, what can you expect from them once in the role?

#2: Evaluate the kinds of questions they’re asking.

Is a candidate asking run-of-the-mill, generic questions they found online? Or are they truly trying to dig deep to understand the role, get to know your company, and discern whether it’s all the right fit for them? The quality of their questions will also give you insight into how they think and what’s important to them.

#3: Talk about past mistakes.

Everyone hates the weaknesses question. But when a candidate can be open and honest about it, explaining what they learned from their biggest failure, it demonstrates accountability and transparency. People make mistakes; even the strongest candidates. It’s how they handle the crisis that can come after, what they learn from it, and how they apply it all that truly sets one apart over another.

#4: Create a mock scenario.

There’s nothing like seeing a candidate in action to help you evaluate whether or not they’re going to be a good fit for you. So, for instance, if you’re hiring a front desk receptionist, create a scenario where they have to answer a call and handle a client. It doesn’t need to be anything complex. However, it’s a simple way for you to ensure they have the skills and abilities to perform well in the role. That way, you can avoid surprises.

#5: Take them to lunch.

If you have a short list of candidates you’re considering, take each one to lunch with a few of your department members. Let them get to know your staff, ask questions and interact, all so you can evaluate how well they mesh. This can go a long way in ensuring they have more than just the technical aptitude to do the job, but the personality to complement the team.

#6: Don’t forget about references.

As professional recruiters in Houston, we know that reference checking is a time-consuming step. However, it’s a necessary one if you want to make sure a candidate that seems like a great fit is really going to be. So don’t skip it.

Also, when you call, ask more than just about job titles and tasks. Dig deeper to find out details like what work environment the candidate operates best in, how well they handle stress, what their biggest strength is and what past employers miss most about them.

If you’d like help sourcing the strongest candidates for your organization, call Houston’s professional recruiters at Murray Resources. We can help you locate and attract today’s top talent, all so you can build the most cohesive team possible. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

6 Killer Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your LinkedIn Profile

October 2nd, 2018

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, it can make or break your job search efforts. When you have a strong one in place, it will further convince a hiring manager you’re the right person for the job. A weak one, on the other hand, will do the opposite, sabotaging all that hard work you’ve put into your search.

To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, here’s a look at a few LinkedIn mistakes candidates make and how to avoid them:

An unprofessional photo.

As professional Houston recruiters, Murray Resources knows this is the first part of your profile a hiring manager will see. It’s therefore critically important. It doesn’t have to be highly formal or even taken by a professional photographer for that matter. However, it should make you look capable and confident. So avoid posting anything that’s blurry, fuzzy or grainy in any way. Also, skip the group shots where you’ve cropped others out.

A confusing headline.

Your LinkedIn headline is usually the second feature a hiring manager will see since it’s right after your name. The one you use will say a lot about you. When writing it, keep in mind it doesn’t necessarily have to be your job title, which might be relevant only in your company. Instead, it should give recruiters an understanding of your skills and abilities without any fluff (e.g. skip statements like “Strategic, Results-Driven Project Manager”).

Skipping the summary.

Summaries are undoubtedly hard to write. After all, how do you sum up your entire professional career in a few lines. However, don’t skip this part just because it’s a challenge. Instead, invest the time to write (and often rewrite and edit many times) a summary that’s going to showcase your strengths and why Houston companies should consider you.

A career history that doesn’t match your resume.

Whether you’re sending in your resume to HR, a hiring manager or a professional Houston recruiter, they’ll likely look you up on LinkedIn. If your profile is dated or doesn’t match what you sent in on your resume, it will leave them confused over the accuracy of your background information. Avoid this by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile and ensuring the two align with each other. They don’t need to be an exact match; there just shouldn’t be any major discrepancies between them.

No Skills, Recommendations or Activities listed.

The beauty of LinkedIn is that it can offer hiring managers a more well-rounded view of you not just as a candidate, but as a person too. This can help you to stand out in a sea of other candidates that they must screen on a daily basis. But to do so, you need to make sure sections like Skills, Recommendations and Activities are filled in with content that sets you apart.

Vague language.

If you’re stuck when it comes to writing your LinkedIn profile, you’re not alone. Many strong candidates experience writer’s block when it comes to this task. But don’t simply use vague language or copy and paste a generic or boilerplate profile from online. Instead, try to write the way you’d speak to a hiring manager. That means skipping statements, such as “I’m a detail-oriented team player,” and instead striving to come across as authentic, experienced and friendly.

Need help with your LinkedIn profile, resume or finding your next job?

Call the professional Houston recruiters at Murray Resources. We can assist with every aspect of your job search, so you find and secure the position that’s an excellent fit for you. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Ask Professional Recruiters in Houston: What Reference Check Mistakes to Avoid

September 19th, 2017

As professional recruiters in Houston, Murray Resources knows when it comes to the hiring process, reference checks play a critical role. The information you find out during them can help confirm the strength of a candidate, or uncover any weaknesses you’re not aware of. Whatever the case, they can provide insight and peace of mind next time you need to hire.

That said, there are some common mistakes hiring managers make that can negatively impact the process. Here’s a look at 4 of them:

Not checking references for all candidates.

Don’t make the mistake of checking references for some candidates and not others. If you do this, you won’t get a full sense of the candidates you’re considering for hiring. You can do less in-depth reference checks for lower level positions and more comprehensive ones for higher level roles. Just make sure whatever approach you take is consistent within positions.

Offering the job before checking references.

As professional recruiters in Houston, we know that some employers make a job offer contingent on reference checks. But what if a candidate ends up with weak references and you let your other top pick candidates go? It’s best to narrow your list of candidates down to two or three, and then check the references of each. You can then make a more informed hiring decision.

Not checking references.

You need to hire someone fast. That’s certainly understandable. But whatever you do, don’t skip the reference checking process. There are too many candidates who look great on paper and perform well during interviews, only to fall flat once on the job. But when you check their references ahead of time, you’re more likely to find out about any red flags or reasons to avoid hiring them.

Asking the wrong questions.

If you want to conduct effective reference checks, it’s important that you ask more than “yes” and “no” questions. For instance, instead of asking if Sally did a good job, ask the reference giver to offer some specific examples of how well Sally performed on the job. In addition, when details are vague or unclear, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions. This is your chance at getting behind the candidate mask.

Sometimes, employers simply don’t have the time or resources to conduct reference checks. If that’s the case for you, why not outsource some or all of your hiring process to the experts at Murray Resources. As professional recruiters in Houston, we can handle every aspect of your search – from sourcing and screening to interviews and reference checks – or simply the parts you don’t have time for. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help you making smart hiring decisions. Contact us today to learn more.

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