How to Benchmark Your Salary

March 26th, 2019

When you first start out in your career, you might be making the same amount as all those other entry-level employees. However, as the years accumulate and your experience grows, salaries can diverge wildly, even for those with similar backgrounds. So how can you ensure you’re being paid fairly?

#1: Look for job openings similar to yours.

Check our job boards and employer career sites in search of openings that are similar to your position. Not all postings will offer salaries and some will give a range. However, you should be able to gather enough data – especially on industry-specific job boards – that you gain a better sense of whether or not your salary falls in line with current opportunities.

#2: Leverage online tools.

There are many different calculators you can use online to gauge your salary. Once you enter information, such as your job title, location and current salary, you’ll be able to see where you stack up. Some examples of tools to use include Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth, Salary Wizard, Payscale’s What Am I Worth, and LinkedIn Salary. There are also industry-specific tools you can use, like Dice’s Salary Calculator if you’re an IT professional.

#3: Review general salary surveys.

Salary surveys offer an overview of the median or average compensation for employees in similar jobs. Data is typically collected through traditional mail, email, and online questionnaires. While often more broad in nature, these can give additional insight into whether your salary and the going rate are competitive.

#4: Ask a trusted co-worker.

You probably don’t want to go around asking all your co-workers what they’re earning. However, if you have a close friend at work in a role similar to yours, it’s worth having a conversation. If they don’t want to go into details, then offer them a range of what you’re paid and see if their salary is similar.

#5: Be sure to factor in benefits.

You might think you’re being underpaid. However, before you make that assumption, factor in the cost of your benefits and perks, too. For instance, you could be paid less salary than a counterpart at a competing company, but have a more generous health insurance package enabling you to actually take home more money.

#6: Talk to your boss.

If you, after your research, you find out your salary isn’t where it should be, schedule a conversation with your boss. Be prepared with all your findings, as well as a list of accomplishments and contributions you’ve made. Then make the case as to why you deserve a raise.

Want to Make Sure You’re Working with a Trusted Staffing Firm?

Look no further than Murray Resources. Check out our job board today!

Posted in: & Advice Columns

Want to Attract Top Talent? Create Opportunities, Not Just Openings

October 23rd, 2018

When it comes to attracting and hiring the best, it’s important to move beyond salary and benefits. In fact, according to a recent survey by Indeed, only 12% of employees cited salary as an important factor in their job. Not only that, but 55% said they’d consider turning down a pay raise if it meant a work environment or co-workers they didn’t like.

Clearly, it’s more about the opportunity and less just about the money. So how can you focus on those offerings that will attract high-quality people to your company? Here are some tips from Murray Resources – one of Houston, TX’s top staffing agencies – to get you started:


For a huge number of job candidates, flexibility is one of the top factors they consider when making career decisions, whether it’s through flex scheduling, telecommuting daily, or working from home one day a week.


Top candidates want to work for those companies that offer great products, innovative technology and have a strong reputation for stability in their industry.

Educational opportunities.

The smartest workers don’t want to stay where they are. Instead, they want to be able to access educational opportunities that help them acquire new skills and put them to use, adding more value to their employer’s bottom line.

Opportunities to advance.

In addition to educational opportunities, quality candidates want to work for companies where they know they can get ahead. So if you have a policy for internal promotions, play it up during the interview and hiring process.

Supportive culture.

Self-aware candidates will understand how they’re wired and look for those companies that have a culture that’s a fit for them. So during the interview and hiring process, make sure you educate candidates about your culture and what it’s like to be a part of the team.

Strong leadership.

The best candidates don’t want to put their careers into the hands of companies without great leaders. They’re looking for those organizations that have an executive team with a solid strategic vision and a passion for achieving the company’s mission.

Fairness, respect and integrity.

How you treat candidates during the interview process will send a loud and clear message as to how employees are treated on the job. So make sure you’re always respectful, communicating openly and honestly with all those you’re considering hiring.

Get help promoting the advantages of your employer brand and hiring the top candidates you need.

Hiring and promoting your employer brand to candidates takes a lot of work. If you don’t have enough time for the task in your busy schedule, consider handing it off to the team who can help: Murray Resources. As one of Houston, TX’s top staffing agencies, we have the experienced recruiters and expert process, all to deliver exceptional results in the form of high caliber employees.

Contact our Houston, TX staffing agency today to learn more or get started.

Hiring? Find Out What Really Attracts Top Talent

July 24th, 2018

When it comes to hiring, talented professionals have a lot of choices these days. So what can you do to make your company more attractive to them? As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has the answers you need. Here’s a look at a few key factors that come into play when candidates are weighing offers:

Pay & Benefits

Of course, compensation is a big part of the equation when it comes to deciding where to work. Not only do candidates need to be fairly compensated in order to maintain their quality of life, but also to demonstrate that you value them and the skills they bring to the table.


Every company is unique with different cultures. Your culture might be more casual and laid back, or more formal. Just make sure that it offers an environment that’s a healthy place to work for all individuals. They should feel respected, recognized for hard work, and encouraged to voice their opinions on issues that matter to them.


Today’s employees want more flexibility in terms of where and when they work. Companies that can meet those needs through telecommuting have a leg up when it comes to recruiting top talent. Offering the ability to telecommute two to three days each week seems to offer employers and employees the balance they both need when it comes to collaborating in the office and working from home.

Clear Expectations

If the job description seems vague, or if questions go unanswered during the hiring process, then the most qualified candidates will look elsewhere for opportunities. Instead, be clear about the role, responsibilities and qualifications. Also discuss growth opportunities, as well as challenges that come with the position.

Development Opportunities

Highly skilled individuals want to work for those companies that offer room for growth and opportunities to advance. To attract this level of talent, you need to offer incentives such as mentoring programs, training resources, stretch assignments and room for autonomy.


At the end of the day, employees want to work at places where they’re excited to come to work each day. That’s why long-winded job postings that are cumbersome to read don’t attract the right kind of people. Instead, show candidates what it’s really like to work at your company. For instance, post videos that offer tours of your office. Or ask employees to author posts about the culture and what they like most about it.

Interested in handing off parts of your hiring function to our experts?

Let Murray Resources know. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we’ve helped high-performance organizations build their teams for over 30 years – and we can help you too. Contact us today to learn more or get started.

Are You Making These 5 Common Phone Interview Mistakes

March 21st, 2017

Gone are the days of the initial interview being a face-to-face one. Most employers today first conduct a phone screen. These are usually shorter and less in-depth than a full in-person interview. But they give the employer enough to go on to decide whether a candidate should move forward in the hiring process.

That said, as one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we see some candidates make the same common mistakes in phone interviews, which impact their job search success. What are they – and how can you avoid them? Here’s a look:

1. Not setting aside a quiet, private time to talk.

When it comes to successful phone interviews, it’s important to schedule them at a time when you can focus and will have total privacy. That means doing phone screens while you’re driving, or while your kids are all at home isn’t a good idea. Nor is it wise to schedule one while you’re at work, sitting at your desk. Keep in mind, if the environment isn’t quiet and distraction-free, you’re not going to be able to focus and provide the best answers.

2. Not preparing.

Just as you would for an in-person interview, it’s important to prepare for a phone screen. That means researching the company ahead of time and developing a list of questions you’d like to ask. That also means reviewing the job postings again ahead of time so it’s fresh in your mind and thinking through how your background and skills are a good fit for the position.

3. Eating and drinking during the interview.

It’s ok to keep a glass of water next to you in case your throat gets dry. But other than that, don’t eat or drink during the interview. Nothing makes a worse impression in a phone screen than the sound of chewing or slurping.

4. Using call waiting during the interview.

If another call comes in during your phone screen, ignore it unless it’s an emergency. You should never put a hiring manager on hold, unless you want to send the message that you don’t really want the job.

5. Talking too much or too little.

It’s up to you to persuade the hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the job. That means providing persuasive answers that showcase your strengths and proven record of success. That does not mean droning on, or giving one-word answers to interview questions. If there’s a pause in the conversation, don’t jump to fill it with mindless chatter. Let the hiring manager take control.

Phone screens are the new interview. So avoid the mistakes above so you can ace yours – and move onto the next step in the hiring process.

Are you a hard-working, experienced professional looking for your next job?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests. Contact us today or search our Houston jobs now.

5 Biggest Hiring Regrets Managers Have

October 18th, 2016

Have you ever made a big hiring mistake? As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you’re like most experienced managers, the answer is “yes.” And you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to one study by CEB Global, hiring managers admitted that 20% of their employees shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That’s one in five new hires! That’s also a lot of time and money wasted.

So how can you avoid making expensive hiring mistakes? Start by avoiding these 5 regrets:

1. Not checking references.

Just because the candidate is your best friend’s cousin doesn’t mean you should skip the reference checking process. This is your chance to ensure everything they told you aligns with reality. It’s also an opportunity to gain deeper insight into their background, skills and results. It’s a step you don’t want to miss out on.

2. Not checking skills.

For positions where skill checking or employment testing is appropriate, do it. You won’t regret it. Plus there are literally hundreds of different types of tests available online that don’t cost a lot. Requiring these kinds of tests will not only help ensure you hire the best person for the position, but it will also give you more peace of mind about your decision and the process.

3. Not evaluating attitude.

Sure, the person you hire needs the right technical skills to do the job. But don’t focus solely on hard skills and forget to evaluate soft ones. These includes skills such as communication, collaboration, conflict resolution and organizational abilities. Even when a candidate has the strongest skills, they won’t thrive at your organization of they don’t have the right personality and attitude.

4. Letting personal biases get in the way.

Maybe the candidate is from the same hometown as you, or they went to the same college. This can make you feel more of affinity for them then you typically would. But don’t let these personal feelings get in the way of your hiring decisions. Remember, you need to hire the person who’s the strongest fit and most likely to succeed; not the one you like best.

5. Not going with your gut.

Something a candidate’s reference said caught you off-guard. Or a candidate said all the right things, but their body language communicated a different message. Whatever the case, your gut is telling you not to hire this person. Don’t ignore the warning bells. Reach out to others on the hiring committee and talk to them about your reservations before making a move. Perhaps there’s a good explanation, or maybe the candidate just isn’t the right fit for you.

Would you like expert help avoiding hiring mistakes in the future? Call Murray Resources. As one of the top staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources has worked with Houston’s leading organizations since 1988 to identify their human resource needs, locate top talent, and maximize employee productivity. Contact us today to learn more and find out how we can help you.

4 Steps to Creating Effective One-on-Ones With Your Staff

June 7th, 2016

You know you should be spending one-on-one time with each staff member to ensure they’re on track. The trouble is, your schedule is already filled and you don’t see it clearing up anytime soon.

It’s true these meetings can be time-consuming. But as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows if you don’t check in periodically with your people, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to provide timely feedback, while also motivating and encouraging them. To help you conduct effective one-on-ones with your staff, here are 4 steps to follow:

#1: Create a schedule…and stick to it.

Don’t expect to conduct meetings on the fly. Something will always get in the way. Instead, create a schedule for your one-on-ones and stick to it. You can create a weekly schedule, or a monthly or quarterly one – whatever works for you. Just put it on the schedule so both you and your employee can prepare for it. If you don’t, or if you regularly cancel, your employee won’t take the process seriously.

#2: Create a loose agenda.

There might be certain issues you want to bring up during a meeting. Make sure you create a loose agenda so you don’t forget about these important points. However, also schedule in time for you and your employee to speak freely. Remember, this isn’t a one-way conversation; your employees should feel comfortable bringing up their own issues, concerns and ideas.

#3: Create a distraction-free zone.

Don’t schedule a meeting, but then check your phone or email every five minutes. Or leave your door open so anyone can interrupt. It’s distracting to your employee and also rude. Instead, be mentally present so you can spend the time necessary with each employee and demonstrate your commitment to them. When you’re not distracted, you and your employee will both get more out of each meeting.

#4: Create a plan of action.

Before you wrap up the meeting, talk about next steps. For the best results, you should also follow up with your employee via email restating these action steps. That way, everyone is on the same page and clear about what they’re supposed to do and by when.

The bottom line? One-on-ones are a great tool for managers. They can help keep your employees engaged, while also demonstrating how much you value them.

Do you need help recruiting and hiring engaged employees for your team? Call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

5 Steps to Retaining Your Best Employees

February 16th, 2016

You finally have the right mix of personalities and skill sets on your team to deliver great results. But then, it happens: One of your top performers hands in their resignation. You didn’t see it coming. Where did you go wrong?

First, as a manager, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to some reports, approximately half of U.S. workers are actively seeking new job opportunities. That means even if your people seem happy and engaged, that doesn’t mean they’re going to stick around if a better opportunity comes their way.

The good news is that there are some steps you can take to keep your top performing employees on staff. Here’s a look at five of them:

Step #1: Find out what’s important to them.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows competitive compensation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to retaining top employees. Today’s workers want flexibility, challenging assignments, and a healthy work life balance. However, when it comes to your unique situation and your top employees, they may want something different altogether – and it’s up to you to find out what that is, whether it’s a bigger paycheck, or the ability to work from home.

Step #2: Help them grow.

Many times, employers eliminate or avoid offering training and development programs because they cost money. However, these kinds of programs will benefit your company in the long run not only through a more skilled workforce, but a more loyal one, as well. Also, these programs don’t have to break your budget. It may be a matter of finding the right mix of free and paid training opportunities, or getting creative, such as developing a mentoring program at work.

Step #3: Give them opportunities to get ahead.

If there aren’t opportunities to move up the ranks at a company, then your top performers aren’t going to stick around. It’s important to offer them new opportunities, stretch assignments, and a shot at getting promoted.

Step #4: Offer advice.

Take top performers under your wing. Offer them advice and guidance. Become a sounding board for their ideas and visions. Don’t be afraid to give them constructive criticism. In most cases, these are the types of people who want to know what they’re doing right and areas that could use improvement.

Step #5: Manage well.

When an employee resigns, it’s often because they didn’t get along with their manager. So when you’re leading your team, strive to offer clear goals and expectations, recognize and praise good performance, nip problems and conflict in the bud, and model the kind of behavior you expect from your employees. When you’re a great manager who’s honest, hard working and who has a strong vision, the best people will want to work for you.

Would you like help finding and hiring top people for your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Why Outsourcing to Technical Recruiters in Houston Can Save You Money

November 10th, 2015

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

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

Less Time-to-Hire

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

Increased Access to Candidates With Specialized Skill

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

A More Efficient Process

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

Top Technical Candidates

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

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

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

5 Pre-Interview Steps Every Employer Should Take

October 6th, 2015

You’ve spent hours defining the job, advertising the position, and scouring the employment marketplace for just the right candidates. Don’t blow it by not properly preparing for the job interview. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that being well prepared will help you make the most of this vitally important hiring tool. Here’s how to get started.

Step #1: Make sure you have enough time for the interview.

Don’t try to squeeze in a candidate between meetings, or schedule only a half hour for an interview. You need to set aside enough time to not only interview the candidate, but also give the candidate time to ask questions. Also, make sure that wherever you conduct the interview, it’s private and quiet and that you’re not constantly checking your email or text messages.

Step #2: Read each candidate’s resume again.

Even though you’ve read the candidate’s resume before, make sure you review it again before the interview. Make any notes on it about facts you want to check or questions you may have. Knowing the resume ahead will also give you more time to dig deeper – beyond the basics – during the interview.

Step #3: Keep the job description handy.

Make sure you also review the job description ahead of the interview and keep it nearby in case you need to reference it. Doing so will make it easier for you to assess each job candidate. Also, create a short list of the traits and qualifications that are absolutely essential and those that are simply nice-to-have. Besides specific hard skills and experience, think too about the type of personality you’re looking for in a candidate. Do you need someone who works well under pressure, some who’s an extrovert, or someone who can take a project and run with it? Identifying these intangibles ahead of time will make it easier for you to spot the candidates with them.

Step #4: Write out your questions ahead of time.

Have a standard set of 10 to 12 questions you plan to ask each candidate (so you can easily compare them later), but also be sure to ask some questions that pertain to each individual’s unique background. That doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t ask any questions off the cuff. You’ll know when it’s time to move off script.

Step #5: Be prepared to answer questions.

A good candidate will arrive at the interview with their own questions about the job, the company, and its culture. Be ready to answer their inquiries. Typically, most candidates ask about what the expectations for the position are, how their performance will be measured, what the company culture is like, the advancement opportunities available, and the benefits and perks offered.

Do you need more help finding and interviewing the best candidates? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

Can I Be Friends With My Employees?

April 21st, 2015

It can be difficult when you have a group of co-workers that you’re friends with. Then, when you’re promoted to manager, they stop inviting you to lunches, after hours drinks and other social events. But as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows it’s not you; it’s your new job. And as a manager, you shouldn’t be aiming to be friends with your staff. Why? Here are a few good reasons:

You’ll lose some credibility.

You need your staff to take you seriously. But when you’re friends with them, they won’t. For instance, rather than implementing an idea of yours they don’t like, they’ll just roll their eyes at you.

You’ll favor those you’re friends with.

It’s only normal to develop friendships with those you like and like to be around the most. But that’s not going to include every member of your staff. And those left out will view you as favoring the people you’re friends with. And, it’s more than likely you will end up favoring your friends / employees even if you have every intention not to. This could especially become an issue when you’re doling out promotions or raises. Without meaning to, you could offer better opportunities to those you’re friends with.

You might say something you shouldn’t.

When you’re the manager, you have a lot of difficult and sometimes painful decisions to make. And it can be a lonely job. As a result, it might be tempting to share some of these details with one of your friends / employees. But doing so could land you in trouble, especially if you’re talking about issues with other employees.

You’ll have a harder time dealing with performance issues.

It’s hard to tell a friend that their work isn’t up to par, or worse, fire them. If it was another staff member you weren’t friends with, you might not have any issues replacing them. But if they’re your friend, it will be much harder to do.

All that said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be warm and friendly with your staff. But you should avoid stepping into “best friend” territory and sharing too much personal information with any one staff member.

You might think being friends with your employees makes your job easier; but in the long run, you’re asking for trouble. There are simply too many complications that can arise when you get too close to your staff.

Do you need help staffing your team? If you do, call the experts at Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.


Get Off to a Great Start With Your Team in 2015

January 20th, 2015

What do your employees think about you? If you’re not sure, or if you suspect their impression isn’t a good one, then the New Year is an ideal time to take a step back, evaluate your performance and make improvements that will deliver great results. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Set clear expectations.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that more often than not, frustration and underperformance ensue when there are murky expectations. When employees don’t know what you want them to do – in terms of tasks, timelines, deliverables and goals – they’re going to flounder. They can’t read your mind. It’s therefore imperative that you work with each of your team members to set expectations and how you plan to measure their performance.

Don’t pay lip service.

If you tell an employee you’re going to do something, do it. If there’s a reason you couldn’t deliver, explain why. But when you consistently keep your word, even if the results or feedback aren’t what an employee hoped for, you’re going to create a high level of trust among your team members.

Ask for feedback.

Ask your staff to let you know when they have questions, concerns, or challenges they’re facing. When they do offer input, don’t get defensive. Remember, you’re all on the same team. And the information they offer can be invaluable in improving company performance. So strive to create an environment that promotes communication – one in which employees aren’t scared to come to you with ideas or issues.

Offer feedback.

Let your employees know where they stand. Give input – both positive and constructive – on a regular basis. Make sure employees know about areas that need improvement before they get too far off track. Don’t wait until year end performance reviews to assess the past year.

Make sure employees have access to the resources they need.

This goes hand-in-hand with offering feedback. If an employee isn’t meeting expectations, don’t simply tell them that. Make sure they have the resources they need to improve, whether it’s enrolling in a training seminar, shadowing a veteran staff member, or investing in newer equipment.

Concentrate on results.

Rules are in place for a reason. But if they’re hindering positive results and productivity, then they deserve a second look. Don’t be so committed to following the rules just for the sake of it. Look for faster, better, more agile ways to get things done.

Treat your people with respect.

Don’t yell, berate, insult, or embarrass your employees when you’re upset. There are far more productive ways to get the results you’re after. Instead, treat people with dignity and respect at all times.

If your people aren’t happy, they will eventually leave in search of a better opportunity. So follow the tips above to improve your management skills and create a healthier work environment in 2015 and beyond.

Has your company recently experienced turnover? If it has, and you need help with the hiring process, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, organizations all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.

How to Tell a Candidate “You Didn’t Get the Job”

December 2nd, 2014

When you find a candidate you want to hire, extending the offer is the fun part. But what about those candidates you have to say “no” to? How do you tell them that they didn’t get the job without burning any bridges? After all, some might be strong contenders for future positions at your company.

To help you reject job candidates the right way, consider these tips:

Tell Them Immediately

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources certainly understands that telling a candidate they didn’t get the job isn’t a task most hiring managers look forward to. But don’t drag your feet on it. Consider how you would feel if you were in their shoes. You’d want to know right away so you could move onto other opportunities. So once you know a candidate is out of the running for the job you’re hiring for, notify them immediately.

Whether it’s via phone or email is up to you – and dependent on how many candidates you need to contact. For instance, if the candidate was your second pick, then give them a call and let them know over the phone.

However, if you’re rejecting dozens of candidates who submitted weak resumes, an email works fine too. Your email can simply state the following:

Dear [First Name],

Thank you for your interest in the ABC position at our company. Unfortunately, we have selected another candidate for the job. We will keep you in mind for future opportunities and we encourage you to apply for other positions in our company, as well.


Your Name

Tell Them Why They Didn’t Get the Job

You can’t tell every candidate who applies for a position at your company why they didn’t get hired. But for those candidates who made it into the final round of the hiring process, you may want to offer some specific details as to why they weren’t the top pick.

For instance, if the candidate you did ultimately hire had five more years of experience, then share that information with the candidate you are rejecting. Not only will they appreciate knowing why they weren’t hired, but it will also create a more positive impression about you and your company when you’re honest and can offer helpful insight.

End on a High Note

Be sure to thank the candidate for interviewing with your company and wish them the best in the job search. Also, if you feel like they’d be a good fit for a position in the future, let them know you’d like to connect with them on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch.

And remember, informing candidates that they didn’t get the job should be a standard part of your hiring process. If it’s not, then candidates will become frustrated at the lack of communication – which will ultimately hurt your employment brand.

If you need more help hiring great candidates for your company, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

Entry Interviews: Are You Conducting Them?

November 4th, 2014

You’ve certainly heard of exit interviews when a worker resigns. But what about entry interviews?

If you don’t know what they are, entry interviews are interviews you conduct with your new hires – after they’ve spent some time on the job – to get feedback. And, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources can tell you they provide employers with a variety of benefits.

For instance, conducting entry interviews increases retention. When it comes to engagement, those first few weeks on the job are critical for a new employee. If they have a negative experience – whether it’s due to a lack of training and support, issues with their manager, or expectations going unmet, then it’s going to lead to frustration and a lack of loyalty.

When a conduct entry interviews, however, you can spend some time with your new hires to learn about and nip any issues in the bud early on. You can also find out about their experience with the hiring and onboarding process and hone in on areas that need improvement in your company. As a result, you can boost overall employee satisfaction and morale, while at the same time ensuring each new hire stays on track.

Another reason for conducting these kinds of interviews is that it sends an important message to new hires. It shows you value their opinion and care about their happiness within their jobs and at the company as a whole.

When you’re conducting entry interviews, what kinds of questions should you ask?

Here are a few idea starters:

  • Are your performance goals clear?
  • Are the expectations you had for your new job being met? If not, how is your job different from what you thought it would be?
  • Do you need additional training or support in any areas?
  • What was your opinion of the hiring process?
  • Are there any areas that need improvement?
  • What was your opinion of the onboarding process?
  • Are there any areas that need improvement?
  • What do you look forward to most about your job each day? Least?

Before conducting an entry interview, it’s important to wait at least 30 days (if not 60) so the new hire can get their bearings in the role and at the company. Also, keep in mind that these interviews are really just conversations. You shouldn’t be trying to interrogate an employee. You should be focused on learning as much as you can so your company can improve its hiring and onboarding process, as well as boost the whole employment experience for all staff members.

If you’d like more help hiring, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

When You Find Out an Employee is Job Hunting

September 16th, 2014

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that for most managers, losing a key employee is a major headache. Typically, though, when a team member comes to you with their resignation, the decision has been made and there’s not a lot you can do about it. What, however, should you do if you inadvertently find out an employee is looking for a new job…but hasn’t committed to making a move yet? Should you confront them, or wait until they come to you?

If it truly is someone who is a valuable employee, then try to head the situation off at the pass. Invite them in for an honest discussion – not to berate them about their job search. Here are some tips to help you hold this somewhat awkward, but completely vital conversation:

Prepare ahead of time.

Spend some time thinking about why this person is potentially leaving the organization. Do you think it’s due to more money, more challenging work, or a change of pace? If you’re their boss, then you should have some sense of why they’d want to move on.

Schedule a face-to-face chat.

Conversations like this must happen in person, not via email. There’s too much emotion involved and meaning that can get lost in translation. Schedule your discussion for a time you know you can give your employee your full attention.

Be open about how you feel.

That doesn’t mean yelling, insulting or threatening. Instead, you should let them know how valued they are and that you don’t want to lose them. You can say something like: “I have a strong sense that you’re thinking of leaving. You don’t have to confirm it. But I just want you to be aware that I truly value your contribution here. Is there anything we can do to keep you happy – and keep you here?”

Really listen to your employee.

Once you’ve said your peace, listen to what your employee has to say. There are two sides to every story and you may be surprised by what you hear or find out.

Learn from the experience.

Even if the employee still wants to leave, you may be able to find out where you missed the mark so you can avoid losing other key employees in the future.

A bonus tip: If the employee that’s thinking of leaving isn’t a strong performer in your organization, then don’t confront them. There’s no point since you don’t want to retain them. Instead, start thinking about who you’d like to fill the position in the future and start lining up potential candidates.

If a key employee has resigned – or is planning on leaving – and you need help filling the position, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your business success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your company and staffing needs, but we can also connect you with the top talent in a variety of fields.

Contact us today to learn more.

Advice for Recruiting Candidates on Social Media

September 2nd, 2014

Whether you know it or not, you shape your employer brand each day by communicating (or not) with candidates via social media. What message are you sending them? If you’re not sure or don’t know where to begin, here are a few tips to help you promote your company and its culture online:

  • Talk about industry news. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows one way to position your company as an industry expert – and attract top talent – is to share insights about industry news. Don’t just re-post a news press release, though. Talk about issues and offer your company’s perspective.
  • Share how-to tips and tricks. Offer information that will help people apply at your company. For instance, talk about what you look for in candidates and what hiring managers at your company expect candidates to bring to their first interviews.
  • Ask your friends and followers questions. Don’t be the only one doing the talking. Ask your prospective candidates questions. For instance, inquire what the #1 thing is they’d like to know about working at your company.
  • Post job openings. When you have an opening, broadcast it via your social media networks. Don’t just offer a laundry list of duties and responsibilities; be sure to focus too on all the perks of working at your company.
  • Let employees be your advocates. Invite employees to author blog posts or post videos about what they like best about working at the company and then share those on your social media profiles.
  • Tell stories about your company. For instance, if your company is involved in community philanthropy, tell stories about the organizations and people you’ve impacted. Post pictures of employees giving back and provide interesting tidbits about their experiences.

By educating people about what it’s like to work at your company, you can develop a pipeline of great candidates before you even have a job opening. But you have to go beyond just saying you’re a company devoted to “giving back to your community.” You need to actually show it. When you do, your recruiting efforts will be easier, more effective and less expensive.

That said, if your culture could use some work (i.e. you have unhappy employees and high turnover rates), then focus your efforts there first. It won’t matter how engaging your employer brand is online; if your culture is weak, focus on fixing that first.

If you need more help recruiting great candidates for your organization, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

5 Tips for Creating a Great Team That Gets Results

July 8th, 2014

As a manager, you have to rely on your staff to meet goals and expectations. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Objectives can go unmet, deadlines unfulfilled and projects sit idle all because a team isn’t operating at peak efficiency.

To help ensure yours isn’t one of them, here are 5 tips to help you make the right moves and lead your team to success:

1. Look to another successful team.

If there’s another team at your company that is the model of efficiency and positive results, then look to them as a prototype of how to build your team. Talk to the manager of that department and ask them about how they built their team, lessons learned, mistakes made, and any advice they can give you. You can even ask to sit in with them on team meetings to observe how they communicate and interact with each other.

2. Know each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Get to know all your team members on a more personal level so you can learn about where they shine – and areas that need improvement. That way, you can ensure that 1) they’re in the position best suited for their capabilities and 2) you can better manage and motivate them.

3. Create shared and individual goals.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you it’s important for your team members to know what the shared vision of the department is, as well as how they each fit in individually. So communicate the common goals you have for your team so everyone is on the same page and working together.

But also be sure to define individual goals, as well, so each person is clear on your expectations of them. This reduces ambiguity and ensures everyone is working in agreement with one another.

4. Show your team some love.

Employee recognition is priceless, and yet it’s also free. You don’t need to give team members big bonuses or expensive gifts to make them feel appreciated.

Instead, when you do offer recognition and rewards, make sure it’s timely, not a month after your team completed a big project. Also, when you’re rewarding someone individually, be specific. Point out the particular behavior you’re recognizing and tell them why you appreciate it and the impact it made.

5. Cut ties with weak links.

No manager likes to fire an employee; however, sometimes for the good of the whole team, it’s a must. Remember, if you make a hiring mistake, or someone is underperforming, they can truly sabotage a project, hurt morale, and impact customer satisfaction.

Have a vacancy in your company you need help filling? Contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we  can help your organization find the skilled and dependable people you need, who are also a fit for your team. Contact us today to find out more.

Managing Your Office Intern

June 3rd, 2014

If your business is like many, you’re looking to hire summer interns this year. In fact, according to, 56% of companies plan to hire more interns in 2014 than they did in 2013.

What’s more is that there’s an increase in the number of students in search of internships, likely due to the challenging economic climate. Last year alone, 67% of the college class of 2013 completed at least one internship during college – a 6% increase over the previous year.

In addition, both interns and employees report positive experiences: 84% of employers say hiring interns was a positive experience; similarly, 87% of students say that their internship was a positive experience.

Clearly, hiring interns can be a win-win situation, providing vital opportunities for college students and new grads to get their “foot in the door,” while providing employers with eager young talent to help them in the workplace.

But – just like any new hire you’d bring on board – interns need to be managed properly so both parties can maximize the experience. To help you, here are a few tips:

Set guidelines.

You don’t need to tell your employees what to wear or when to show up. But interns may need a little more guidance in this area.

Before their first day, be sure to give them the rules of the road: what to wear, when you expect them at the office, how long they will be working each day, what appropriate Internet use is, and the rules on office socialization.

Expose them to beneficial experiences.

Sure, you may need your intern to perform some mundane tasks. But, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you that you must mix that up with real-world, valuable experiences that will help them learn and grow as a future professional.

For instance, if you’re having an important meeting with your staff, ask them to sit in and take meeting notes. Then schedule some time afterward to talk about what was discussed during it; ask for their opinion on decisions made and whether they have any questions. That way, they’re helping you record the meeting, while also learning how the business world operates.

Provide plenty of feedback.

College students and new graduates are used to getting a lot of feedback from their professors. It’s important that you’re prepared to offer both constructive and positive input on their strengths and weaknesses throughout the internship experience.

When you do, be ready to give them specific feedback as to areas where they performed well – “You did a great job creating that presentation for our sales meeting.” – and areas where there is room for improvement.

The most important thing to remember when managing your intern is that the intern is not free labor. The experience is a learning one. And when you approach it with that attitude, you’ll both reap the benefits in the end.

Need more help hiring new college grads or seasoned professionals for your team? Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


Don’t Sink Your Ship! The Perils of Hiring Based on Emotion

May 13th, 2014

Hiring is kind of like dating. You meet someone and you click…or you don’t. Either way, it’s easy to let how you feel toward that candidate cloud your judgment when it comes time to make a hiring decision. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows too many managers make their choice with the thought in their head that “I just really liked that candidate.”

Unfortunately, hiring based on emotion has some perils.

Many times, it blinds people to the red flags that show up during the interview process. Whether they know it or not, managers tend to scrutinize candidates they don’t necessarily connect with far more than those they do. As a result, they think a candidate is great…only to be sorely disappointed when that new hire doesn’t work out. And then they’re back to the hiring game.

If this has ever happened to you, don’t get fooled again. Do what you can to take the emotion out of your hiring process and you will reap the benefits in the end.

To start, avoid these common mistakes:

Hiring out of desperation.

When you’re under pressure to hire, not only are you more likely to make a mistake, but you’re also more likely to let certain issues slide, like the fact that the candidate you really like doesn’t have a certain important skill set, but “hey, I really like them and I need to hire now.”

Don’t put the wrong person in a position just because you’re short-handed. Keep your standards high and take your time.

Hearing what you want to.

Most managers are quick decision makers and risk takers. These are great qualities for leading a team; but not so great for the hiring process. In fact, these traits can cause major hiring mistakes.

Effective hiring and interviewing takes times, patience, and exceptional listening skills. Just because a candidate looks great on paper and presents well in an interview does not mean they are the right fit. It’s critical to dig deeper, push harder and find out the real story behind each candidate.

Thinking you’re a good judge of character.

You may be when it comes to your team; but when it comes to hiring candidates who are often not putting their true selves forward, don’t assume you know it all. Choosing a candidate to bring on board isn’t like picking a new company to deliver office supplies. Hiring right takes a careful, thoughtful approach that may involve other’s opinions as well.

When faced with a hiring decision, your first step should be to recognize – not ignore – that there are emotions involved. Then take deliberate steps to think through the hiring process, create a plan and stick to it, and not rush into any decisions.

Need more help hiring for your team? Let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help ensure you have the right people – whether contract talent or full-time staff – in the right positions at the right time. Contact us today to learn more.


6 Signs It’s Time to Supplement Your Staff

March 18th, 2014

You don’t have the budget to hire new people, but your core staff is completely swamped. If this sounds familiar, then it could be time to supplement your team with contract staff. Here are 6 signs to help you tell for sure:

#1. More Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. But when you notice a significant uptick in errors, then it could be a sign that a) your staff is so burnt out they are growing disengaged and cutting corners; b) they simply have too much to do and don’t have time to check their work; or c) your deadlines and expectations are causing your team to move too quickly, resulting in sloppy work. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that mistakes cost you money and customers.

#2. More Stress

When the work environment is tense each day, your employees will eventually begin to wear out. You may see it in any number of ways, from increased costs in healthcare and workers’ compensation, to more sick days and lowered morale in the office. The end result is a negative impact on productivity.

#3. More Turnover

More stress naturally leads to higher turnover. Employees don’t want to come into an office where they’re constantly unhappy. They’ll eventually end up looking for a new opportunity in a healthier environment. This is especially true for key talent with in-demand skill sets.

#4. More Missed Deadlines

When your company is understaffed, you’re always focused on putting out the latest fires without a lot of thought to the big picture. As a result, it’s difficult to prioritize and complete work on time. And just one missed deadline is a huge deal for the customer expecting work done on time. It seriously harms your company’s credibility and ability to win new customers in the future.

#5. More Unhappy Customers

Whether it’s due to a missed deadline, a mistake, or poor customer service, being understaffed eventually hits the customer – which is where it’s going to hurt you the most.

#6. More Missed Opportunities

When you’re struggling to complete day-to-day work, chances are you’re not responding to new business opportunities or thinking about how you can maintain or sharpen your competitive edge.

The consequences of understaffing are clearly damaging. Don’t let it happen at your company. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help ensure you have the right people – whether contract talent or full-time staff – in the right positions at the right time. Contact us today to learn more.


Why You Need Strong LinkedIn Recommendations – and How to Get Them

January 28th, 2014

By now, you probably know that most recruiters and hiring managers are going to look at your LinkedIn profile when assessing you. So, of course, you want to put your best foot forward there. One way to do that is through recommendations from previous clients, bosses and colleagues.

But, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows that just any old recommendations won’t do. Hiring managers want to see ones that go into specifics as to why your past boss loved working with you; how you helped a customer save money and ramp up productivity; and how your problem-solving and creative thinking abilities were a huge benefit to a project you and a colleague worked on.

So when asking for a recommendation via LinkedIn, consider the following:

Recommendations don’t need to be long.

It used to be that recommendation letters were full page letters. Today, though, a substantial LinkedIn recommendation can consist of just a couple of paragraphs – as long as there is specific detail. You don’t want vague statements or fluff. So when asking someone for a recommendation, remind them that it’s not the quantity of what they write, but they quality.

Recommendations do need to be specific.

If you worked with a colleague on a specific project that produced terrific results, remind them of it. Ask them flat out if they would mind discussing that “project” in the recommendation they write for you.

For instance, “Our company was working on ABC initiative and we almost missed the deadline. But Mike stepped in and was able to take on some of the additional work so we could complete the project on time. Thanks to his willingness to go the extra mile, we got the job done on time…and the client was thrilled.”

By giving them a firm starting point, it will help them overcome any writer’s block. It will make the process a lot easier for them, plus you’ll get a more effective recommendation in the process.

If there wasn’t a specific project you want someone to focus on, then ask them to write about certain personality traits. For instance, if you’re looking for a leadership level position, ask them to discuss your leadership abilities, and interpersonal and organizational skills.

LinkedIn is a great place for hiring managers and recruiters to start when they are assessing candidates for a position. By having strong recommendations, you’ll ensure you are putting your best foot forward, standing out from the competition, and making a great first impression.

If you need more help with your job search, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area!

Contact us today to learn more.


Why Athletes Make Great Employees

January 21st, 2014

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner. Whether you’re into skiing, skating, or the luge, there’s no doubt you’ll walk away from your TV, tablet or computer with much admiration for the athletes that compete.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, what’s interesting to us is that many of the traits that make athletes great are the same ones that top performers bring to the workplace everyday.

So next time you need to hire, look for some of these traits in your candidates:

Goal oriented.

Not only do athletes set specific, measurable goals, but they are relentless in achieving them. If they encounter obstacles that are in the way of meeting their objectives, they quickly figure out how to overcome them.


Athletes rarely give up. You usually don’t see a skater walk off the ice after a fall. Even when the worst happens, they persist. They’re knocked down; they get back up again.


When a skier falls on the slopes, you don’t hear about them blaming the coach or the conditions. Typically, they are far harder on themselves and don’t point fingers. They know if they want to win, they will need to work harder, practice more, and not make the same mistakes again.


Athletes will often watch videos of themselves performing to identify their weak spots and other areas that could be improved. By shoring up their vulnerabilities, they become stronger and are far more likely to win next time they’re in the game.


Having a competitive spirit pushes people to excel in extraordinary ways. The desire to excel produces excellence in tasks ranging from the simple to the complex. Not only does being competitive drive the athlete-employee, but it also drives those around them to reach new heights – and new levels of success in the process.

A team mentality.

Even if an athlete is in a solo sport like skiing, they still have coaches, trainers and a variety of other professionals on their team. They’re used to working with others in order to achieve one common goal: to win.

Does hiring an athlete guarantee success at your company? No. No matter how accomplished they are in sports, a candidate needs to have the hard skills to get the job done. But when someone does have an athletic background – plus a track record of success in their careers – the sky’s the limit in terms of potential.

If you need more help hiring, call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we can take the hassle out of hiring – helping you source, screen and hire talent for your Houston area company.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.


Is Your Next #GreatCandidate on Twitter?

December 17th, 2013

When it comes to Twitter, you probably know it’s a good way to market your company’s products and services. But did you also know it’s a great place to recruit candidates?

In fact, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can tell you if Twitter isn’t in the mix of your recruiting efforts, then you could be limiting your ability to recruit the best candidates – especially when compared to your competitors that are on Twitter.

Consider these statistics:

According to a recent national survey from Jobvite, 39% of all job seekers are on Twitter, 23% of all job seekers have leveraged Twitter in their job hunt, and 8 million Americans credit Twitter as the source for finding their current job.

Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons to consider Twitter when you’re looking to hire:

You can connect with company followers.

When you post a job opening on your company website or on a job board, you are reaching people who are searching for jobs. Not a bad place to start, right?

But when you use Twitter to promote job openings, you’re going beyond job seekers to people who actually use your products or services, or who are familiar with your company. As a result, the applicants you do attract through this medium will oftentimes be a better fit for not only the job, but the company culture as well.

While you shouldn’t use the company Twitter account to only post job openings, doing so occasionally can bring in higher quality candidates.

You can expand your reach.

When you do post job openings on your Twitter account, not only will you be communicating with your followers, but you can also take advantage of their networks by asking them to re-tweet your post. So, for instance, consider something along the lines of:

“Looking for an experienced accountant. Great pay, generous benefits. Please RT.”

You can learn about a candidate.

You can look to a candidate’s Twitter profile to gain a better sense of their personality and whether they’d be a good fit for the company. While you shouldn’t base your hiring decision on that information alone, it can offer some valuable insight. For instance, if a candidate is tweeting inappropriate or vulgar material, then you may want to reconsider their candidacy.

Need more help sourcing great candidates for your job openings?

Call Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we use both traditional and high tech methods to source, screen and hire the very best talent for Houston area companies.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.


5 Deadly Interview Mistakes

November 19th, 2013

You’ve scoured the Internet for job opportunities. Spent countless hours polishing your resume and cover letter. And conducted days of research before an interview to learn more about the company. But alas, you’re simply not getting any call backs after the interview.

Where are you going wrong?

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources can tell you if you’re making any of the following mistakes during the job interview, then you’re making a bad impression on the hiring manager:

1. Answering Your Cell Phone

Before an interview, make sure you turn your phone or tablet off. The last thing you want to do is instinctively answer it when it rings…just as the hiring manager is trying to get an important point across. If you do, you will most likely wind up in the “do not hire” pile.

2. Dressing Unprofessionally

You don’t need to go out and buy a designer suit in order to look sharp during a job interview. What you do need to do is ensure your suit fits well, is in a muted or neutral color and is ironed and ready to go the morning of your interview. Nothing says “sloppy” or “unprofessional” better than clothes that are too casual or ill fitting.

3. Not Appearing Interested

If you’re really not that into the job opportunity – you’re more interested in the perks and benefits – then that attitude is going to come through loud and clear to a hiring manager. It’s important to show some energy and enthusiasm during the job interview. That doesn’t mean you need to be bouncing off the walls, but it does mean you need to appear eager and inquisitive.

4. Bashing a Past Boss

You could have had the worst boss in the world in your last job. But if you bash him or her during a job interview, you’re the one that’s going to wind up looking bad.

So if a hiring manager asks about why you left, be as diplomatic as possible. Instead, focus on what you learned and how you grew during your time at the company.

5. Not Getting Specific

Sure, you can say you’re the best at what you do. But what examples can you offer to back that up?

Hiring managers are looking for people with a proven track record of success and positive results. And when you can offer several strong ones in your job interview – that are relevant to the position – your chances of getting hired are far greater.

Need more help polishing your interviewing skills and landing a great job in Houston? If you do, let Murray Resources know.

As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality and help you prep for interviews, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area!

Contact us today to learn more.


4 Interview Questions That Make You Look Out of Touch

November 12th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that today’s top job candidates are savvy and want to work for companies that are one step ahead. But if you ask boilerplate, standard questions during the job interview, it’s going to reflect poorly on your company.

Think of it from the candidate’s perspective: Employers expect employees to stay-up-date and in-the-know about important issues; so why are you asking the exact same interview questions you did 10 years ago? Enough said.

To help you, here are some questions to avoid – and what can you ask instead:

1. Tell me about yourself.

This is such an open-ended and vague question and really serves no purpose. If you want to know something about a candidate, then ask them specifically.

For instance, if you want to learn more about their leadership role in an industry association, ask about that. If you want to learn more about how they got started in the industry, ask that directly. Skip the “tell me about yourself” intro question; it simply wastes time.

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?

While you might think this question uncovers a motivated candidate, it really begs for a canned answer. Most people don’t know where they’ll be in five years, let alone in five weeks.

A better question to ask would be what they hope to accomplish if they got the job, or what aspects of the job interests them most.

3. What’s your biggest strength / weakness?

Again, this is another question that candidates expect and prepare a canned answer for. However, if you’re going to ask this question, then be sure to follow up.

When a candidate talks about a strength, then ask them to give you a specific example of a project that enabled them to put that strength to use. If it’s a weakness, then ask them how they plan on improving. You really need to dig deeper for true insight on these issues.

4. Describe a project you recently completed.

This question again is too vague to really solicit the kind of useful information that will help you make a sound hiring decision. Instead, get specific.

If they listed a certain accomplishment on their resume, then ask them about it – e.g. “What are you most proud of about the ABC project you mentioned on your resume?” Also be sure to ask follow up questions, like “What would you have done differently?” and “What did you learn from the project?”

If you need more help hiring smart, savvy candidates, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, we use both traditional and high tech methods to source, screen and hire talent for Houston area companies.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you.


What’s In (or Not in) Your Job Posting?

October 8th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows your job posting is a candidate’s first interaction with your company. It’s going to give them a sense of who you are and what you need.

Unfortunately, many hiring managers post openings that don’t reflect well on the company. They’re either vague and difficult to understand or, on the other end of the spectrum, offer way too much information.

But a job posting doesn’t need to represent every in and out of the job and the company. It simply needs to give candidates a snapshot so they can discern whether it’s the right opportunity for them.

So what should your job posting say to potential candidates? Besides the basics – job title, duties, full or part-time status and requirements – here’s a look at a few key ingredients to include in yours:


Your job posting should not be full of legalese and corporate jargon. You’re talking from one human to another. Also, the tone of your posting should reflect the company’s culture. If you offer a more creative, laid back environment, then a more formally written post isn’t right for you…and vice versa.


Most employers offer plenty of detail in their job postings. The trouble is, most of the detail is about their requirements for the candidate. But remember, you’re trying to attract top-notch talent. And to do so, you need to educate them about what’s in it for them.

So be sure to include the unique perks that your company offers. Have an on-site cafeteria and fitness center? Promote it. Offer a flex schedule? State it. Pay for advanced degrees for employees? Tout it. These are the things that make your company different and special – and will help you stand out among your competitors vying for the same candidates.


You’ve written a captivating job posting, chock full of details about why your company is so great and why a candidate should want to work there. But if you forget to include keywords, no one’s going to be able to find it. So if, for instance, you’re hiring an accountant, then be sure to use that keyword, along with other relevant ones, like CPA, throughout the job posting.

Another tip? Don’t forget to put social sharing buttons in each of your job posts. Someone may be looking for a job for their spouse or a friend and when you make it easy for them to share, you’re expanding your reach.

Need more help attracting high quality talent? If you do, let Murray Resources know.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today to find out more.


5 Hiring Tips that Won’t Break Your Budget

September 10th, 2013

Face it. With all that sourcing, screening, interviewing, testing and assessing, the hiring process can get expensive…fast. But, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows you can cut costs – without cutting corners – if you invest a little extra time and effort upfront in the process.

To help you, here are 5 tips to consider:

#1: Evaluate Your Top Performers

Hiring for a sales position? Look to your top performer or top few performers in your sales department and think about their common personality traits, skills and attributes. Then, with those attributes in mind, create a persona that outlines the kind of individual you’re looking for.

#2: Appeal to High Quality Candidates in Your Job Postings

Once you have a sense of the kind of candidate you’re looking for, you can craft a stronger job posting that better appeals to them. Skip the long-winded job requirements and include only the “must-haves” for the position, as well as a compelling message that will attract top candidates.

So how do you do that? Before you put pen to paper, talk to your current employees and ask them what they like best about working for the company. Their perspective on the advantages may be very different from your own.

#3: Think Outside Typical Talent Pools

When employers are looking to hire, they typically look to the same talent pools that consist of mid-level career professionals. However, some of the most talented individuals are those who are semi-retired and looking for part-time or consulting work; mothers returning to the workforce after staying home with their kids; and military veterans transitioning into the private sector for the first time. So look outside the typical talent box when you need to hire.

#4: Promote the Opening in a Variety of Places

Don’t simply create your job posting, publish it on a big job board, and sit back and wait for candidates to roll in. Instead, advertise your job opening in a variety of places. For instance, if you need people with strong technical skills, partner with vocational schools to find the candidates you need.

In addition, invest some resources into developing your own company’s career website or web pages. Candidates applying through your website – who are seeking your company out – will generally be better qualified than the average person applying through a job board.

#5: Work With a Staffing Agency

Sometimes you have a position that’s hard to fill, or you simply don’t have the time to spend on sourcing candidates. When this happens, consider working with a staffing agency to find and hire the people you need.

A reputable staffing agency will spend the time to get to know your company and your hiring needs – and then get to work finding great candidates for you. Best of all, they can oftentimes help you hire in a more cost efficient manner than doing it on your own.

Interested in learning more about working with a staffing agency?

Contact Murray Resources. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.


What a Hiring Manager REALLY Wants to Hear from You

August 20th, 2013

You’ve got a big interview coming up. You’ve been researching the company online, practicing your answers, and coming up with a list of thoughtful questions to ask about the job. But do you know what the hiring manager really wants to hear from you when they’re asking a particular question? In other words, do you know the exact areas, skills, and experiences they are most interested in…and what responses will get their attention?

If you don’t, not to worry. We’re here to help! Below is a list of questions hiring managers typically have about each candidate and what they really want to know about each. When you keep these things in mind, you can boost your confidence, answer questions more effectively, and stand out from the sea of other applicants applying for the same job as you.

Here’s a look:

Do You Have the Right Mix of Hard & Soft Skills?

Having the right technical skills to do the job is a no brainer if you want to move forward in the hiring process. So you need to convince the hiring manager that you have the chops.

But as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows there’s more to a great candidate than hard skills. That’s why you also need to indicate you have the soft skills that are a fit for doing the job as well.

For instance, if the position is for an accountant, you need to showcase you accounting skills, as well as your ability to collaborate with others to ensure the company stays on track financially. So if someone has a little less experience than you in accounting, but shows a stronger ability to collaborate effectively with others, they may have a leg up on you.

Are You a Cultural Fit?

When a hiring manager starts asking questions about the kinds of environments you work best in, they’re probing for a cultural fit. They want to ensure that if you were to come on board, you have the personality that not only fits with the position and the department, but the company as a whole.

What’s Your Attitude Like?

You may have the most experience of all the job candidates, but if your attitude comes across as anything but positive, then you could be out of the running. Employers want to hire people with positive attitudes, who are ready to tackle problems and devise solutions; people who don’t need to have their hand held and don’t complain every time things don’t go their way.

Do You Really Want the Job?

Sure, you want a job. But do you want this job? That’s what hiring managers want to know. The last thing they want to deal with is a candidate who gets hired and then leaves after six months. So if you come across as eager to learn and enthusiastic not just about the job, but about the company as well, you’re more likely to get hired.

Need More Help Getting Noticed By Hiring Managers?

If you do, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today to learn more.




4 Tips for Interviewing ‘Green’ Candidates

July 9th, 2013

Now that school just let out, you’re probably being inundated with resumes from new graduates. But, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows this demographic can be tough to assess because they typically don’t have a lot of work experience.

So when it comes time to interview them, how can you tell whether or not they are a good fit for you? Here are a few tips to consider:

Tip #1: Determine your goal for hiring.

When it comes to an entry level position, your goal for hiring should be something along the lines of bringing in a new hire who has the ability to learn new skills quickly and who can develop into a valuable contributor. However, if your goal is to hire someone who can hit the ground running, then an entry level employee isn’t right for your needs.

Tip #2: Look beyond skill set.

A new grad is likely lacking in the skill set department. So instead of skills, look for those who are eager to learn, seem enthusiastic about your company, and have a personality that will mesh well with your company culture (you can assess this by conducting a personality test). Your goal should be to hire someone who is a good fit for the company and has the potential to develop into something great.

Tip #3: Assess the basics.

Again, since you can’t really evaluate skill set, look at other areas that can demonstrate to you whether or not a candidate is worth considering. For instance:

  • Did they show up on time to the interview?
  • Are they dressed professionally?
  • Are they articulate and able to answer your questions?
  • Do they ask meaningful questions about your company and the culture?
  • Do they seem enthusiastic about the position?
  • Will they be open to new ideas and receiving instruction?

Tip #4: Assign homework.

Yes, they’re out of school. But that doesn’t mean they’re done with homework. And since you don’t have a lot of information to go on to evaluate them – in the form of work experience and references – then assign them a task and see how they perform.

Don’t set them up for failure and give them a project that’s completely out of their league. But do give them a challenging assignment that enables you to assess their abilities, as well as their commitment to getting the job done.

And if you need additional help finding your next great hire, let Murray Resources know. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, companies all over the city rely on our expertise to source and retain talent for for a variety of positions, ranging from entry level to C-level. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more.



When to Quit Without Notice

June 25th, 2013

Giving two weeks notice is standard practice that most workers follow and most bosses expect. And really, walking off the job without notice could hurt your career in the long run.

However, as one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, Murray Resources knows there are some situations when leaving without giving notice is a must – and in fact, the faster you get out the better. Here’s a look at a few of them:

• The working environment isn’t safe or you’re being asked to carry out unsafe tasks.

• You’re being asked to do something illegal or unethical.

• You’re being physically or verbally abused, or you’ve been sexually harassed by your boss or a co-worker.

• Your mental health is being endangered by your job and related stress. (That’s doesn’t mean you’re stressed about a hot project or difficult customer. It means that your health is truly in danger because of your job.)

• You’re not being paid on time or being paid the agreed upon salary or compensation.

However, if you’re not experiencing any of the above situations or issues – you just really hate your job or your boss – then stick it out. You never know when a potential employer might contact your current employer for a reference check, so you want to leave on the best terms possible. The satisfaction of walking off the job isn’t worth the headache you may face if future opportunities are impacted by that decision.

In addition, company policy may require you to give two weeks notice in order for you to receive full benefits, like pay for vacation time you didn’t use. And when you quit without notice, you’re likely forfeiting what you’re owed.

Finally, when you quit without notice because of an issue with your boss or company management, keep in mind that you’re leaving your co-workers – who may be innocent bystanders – in the lurch. You never know when your paths may cross again some day and you don’t want to leave behind a bad impression.

So unless you are in danger, not being paid, or being asked to do something illegal, then suck it up and stick it out. You’ll be glad you did in the end.

Ready to Hand in Your Two Weeks Notice in Favor of a Better Job?

If you are, give Murray Resources a call. As one of the leading Houston, TX staffing agencies, we take your career success personally. Not only will we work one-on-one with you to learn about your background and personality, but we can also connect you with exciting and rewarding opportunities at some of the top employers in the area! Contact us today to learn more.



Job Search Facts vs. Fiction

April 23rd, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows there are a lot of myths out there when it comes to job searches. But in order to ensure your hunt is as effective as possible, you need to know the facts.

So what are some of today’s most persistent tall tales? Here’s a look at 5:

Myth #1: The most experienced person always gets hired.

Not true. Yes, experience is important in order to get hired; but it’s certainly not the only factor evaluated. Today’s employers are looking beyond that – to soft skills and personality – during the hiring process. They want to ensure new hires can do the job and mesh well with the culture. That approach doesn’t always translate into the most experienced person getting hired.

Myth #2: You need to go to great lengths to stand out.

Some job candidates think that pestering a hiring manager will help them secure an interview. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Not always and not in the case of a job search. Likewise, some candidates think that engaging in outrageous stunts or “creative” strategies will help them get a job. While it may make them stand out, it’s usually not in a good way. Want to really stand out? Write a great cover letter and resume that showcases your accomplishments.

Myth #3: Your resume can’t be more than a page.

A recent college grad may have a resume that’s only a page. But if you have extensive experience, your resume can – and should be – more than a page. So stop trying to cram all that information into a page in 8-point type. A two-page resume is completely acceptable.

Myth #4: Networking is the only way to find a new job.

Networking is in fact a proven way to find a new job. But it certainly isn’t the only way. Plenty of candidates find jobs simply by applying to openings, garnering an interviewing, and impressing the hiring manager.

Myth #5: Hiring managers will respond within a few days.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, even if you’re an ideal candidate. Some hiring managers don’t respond to any job candidates until the application process has officially ended, which could be a few weeks or longer. Others are busy hiring for multiple openings and handling internal company tasks that responding to job applicants isn’t their top priority. So if you don’t hear back in a few days, don’t assume you’re out of the running.

Need More Help Finding a New Job?

If you do, you’ve come to the right place. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests, whether you are looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.



Posted in: Blog, Job Search Tips

How Effective is Your Employee Training Program?

March 12th, 2013

In a perfect world, new hires would hit the ground running, delivering positive results almost immediately.

In the real world though, your investment in the hiring process doesn’t (or shouldn’t) stop once a new hire is on board. In fact, it’s really just the beginning. New hires need proper training, resources, and support in order to learn the ropes and ensure they’re clear on expectations.

And, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that if you don’t invest in training, you could be putting your new hire’s future at risk. Employees who aren’t trained well wind up confused, frustrated, disengaged, and ultimately, back on the job market.

So how can you ensure new hires are well trained? Start by avoiding these common new hire training mistakes:

Mistake #1: Looking at Training as an Expense, Not an Investment.

Many times, when the budget needs to be trimmed, employee training can be one of the first programs on the chopping block. But this is a huge mistake! Studies support common sense – the better trained employees are, the better they perform on the job.

Mistake #2: Assuming a Highly Qualified Employee Doesn’t Need to Be Trained.

Just because a new hire has plenty of experience and exceptional credentials doesn’t mean they should skip the training process. In fact, all new hires should be required to go through some level of training.

Mistake #3: Not Following Up With a New Hire After Training.

You’ve spent weeks training your new hire. They’re good to go, right? Possibly. But don’t let your investment in training go down the tubes by not following up. Just because they say they know what to do, doesn’t always mean they do. So check in with them on a regular basis to see how things are going, to answer any questions, and to address any concerns.

Mistake #4: Not Evaluating Your Training Program.

It’s imperative that you evaluate your training program regularly to ensure it’s as effective as possible and delivering measurable results. Doing so will help you identify what’s working and what’s not – and tweak the program so it’s even stronger.

Mistake #5: Limiting Training to Only New Hires.

Training shouldn’t only be for new hires. In fact, your company should support all of your employees’ efforts to gain new knowledge or skills. When you do, you will not only help employees enhance their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses, but you’ll generate a better skilled workforce in the process.

If you have questions about employee training – or other HR-related concerns, give us a call. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Houston, TX with 30 years of experience, Murray Resources can take some of the hassle out of your staffing and HR function, so you can focus on running your organization. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

Annual Performance Review Myths BUSTED

November 21st, 2012

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

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


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

Why This Myth Exists:

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

The Truth:

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

MYTH #2:

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

Why This Myth Exists:

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

The Truth:

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

MYTH #3:

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

Why This Myth Exists:

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

The Truth:

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

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

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

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


How to Set Up a Successful Informational Interview

November 13th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Top 5 New Manager Mistakes

November 11th, 2012

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

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

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

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

Mistake #2: Not Defining Goals and Expectations.

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

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

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

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

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

Mistake #5: Avoiding Advice.

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

Need Help Hiring?

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


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

October 26th, 2012

Happy almost-weekend, everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





6 Things Your Manager is Looking For

October 17th, 2012

Staffing agencies in Houston, TX such as Murray Resources can be a valuable career resource, not just for finding a job, but also for helping you get off to a quick start in your new role.

One of the ways staffing agencies can help is by preparing you for your first day on the job and communicating the nuances of the company, role, and your new manager. However, there are several basic characteristics that most managers agree are important for their employees to be successful:

1)      Be on Time – No matter what type of manager you work with, leaders expect their people to be on-time to work. Being late to work and/or to meetings can convey disogorganization or perhaps worse, a lack of respect for your coworkers time. As Woody Allen famously said, “80% of success is just showing up.” He probably should have added “on time”.

2)      Be Honest – It’s a given that managers expect their employees to be honest in obvious ways such as not stealing and inflating expense reports, but that also extends to more innocent mistakes. Most managers will accept honest mistakes as long as they’re made aware of the error before it’s too late to correct it.

3)      Be Considerate – Some managers will “put up” with star employees who are difficult to deal with or who are less considerate of their co-workers – but why make them choose? Performing well while respecting your co-workers will help ensure you’re a critical part of the team.

4)      Be Adaptable – At most companies, priorities are constantly in flux as new internal and external demands arise. Having the ability to quickly adjust and to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously is a quality most managers value highly.

5)      Think Creatively – While some tasks at work may become mundane, the most valuable employees are able to think critically about their work and to offer creative solutions. Managers love employees who don’t just present problems, but can also offer thoughtful fixes.

6)      Get things done – At the end of the day, work is about accomplishing tasks. Employees who can be trusted to get large quantities of work done are typically given more challenging and higher priority tasks – just the type of employee managers are looking to promote.

Follow the above tips and you’re well on your way to a solid foundation at your new company – and working with staffing agencies in Houston, TX such as Murray Resources can you help fine-tune your approach at work to ensure you maximize success in your new role.

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.

Creative Ways to Improve Your Resume

October 11th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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


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.

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