4 Top Tips for Finding Seasonal Talent

November 6th, 2012

It’s that time of year again…and it can be a double edge sword for those businesses that rely on seasonal workers. While the holidays can certainly be a busy and profitable time of year, seasonal hiring also brings with it a high level of stress.

So what can you do to ease the burden and make the most of this year’s holiday season?

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources knows that just like with full-time hiring, the best approach to recruiting is to find quality talent…not just warm bodies to fill seats.

To help you in your quest, here are some recruiting tips to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Start early.

If you haven’t already begun the recruitment process for this year’s holiday season, you need to immediately start building a candidate database and beginning the interview process.

Once things pick up around Thanksgiving, you should already have your new hires trained and ready to go. On the other hand, if you wait another week or two, you will certainly be left scrambling to hire, which can impact the quality of your seasonal workers.

Tip #2: Recruit your own customers.

Sure, you may post job openings in the local newspaper and on job boards. But so is every other business that needs seasonal workers. So to find the best, think outside the box a little.

For instance, consider hiring your own customers to work during the holiday season. Advertise in your store and in email blasts the openings you’re looking to fill. Let customers know that in addition to an hourly wage, they can also earn discounts. Good customers will no doubt represent you well since they already know a lot about your products.

Tip #3: Get referrals from employees.

Another great source for recruiting is referrals from trusted employees. You may have employees with spouses, friends, or college-age kids looking to make some extra money during the holiday season.

Tip #4: Reach out to retirees.

Many retirees are interested in working…just not full-time jobs year round. In addition to offering you plenty of experience and a strong work ethic, you can always re-hire senior workers for future peak needs, unlike younger workers who generally move on to other jobs.

Need More Help Hiring Seasonal Workers?

Let us know. As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can connect you with top seasonal workers – where and when you need them. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more about how we can help you!

 

What To Do When You Don’t Know the Answer to a Job Interviewer’s Question

October 30th, 2012

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources understands that job interviews are stressful enough, even when you’re well prepared. But what happens when you’re asked a question that you’re not prepared for – and that you don’t know the answer to?

Rather than having a panic attack or making like a deer in headlights, there are some steps you can take to turn a negative into a positive:

Take a Deep Breath.

First, take a deep breath inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. It’s okay if you need to take a moment to get your thoughts together. Remember, just because you lack the right answer for a certain interview question doesn’t mean you’re not a great fit for the job.

Keep in mind, though, it’s important to not come across as nervous or anxious in these kinds of situations…even if you aren’t quite sure what to say right away.

Be Honest.

Don’t try to navigate your way through a topic that you have no knowledge of; you’ll come across as dishonest and ill-prepared. It’s much better to honestly admit you lack expertise in a certain area than to attempt to say what you think the interviewer wants to hear – especially when you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

Don’t Apologize.

That said, don’t take your admission too far. In other words, don’t apologize or make excuses for the fact that you lack knowledge or experience in a certain area. If you do, you’ll simply highlight your deficiency in the mind of the interviewer.

Appear Confident.

Simply state matter-of-factly that you haven’t had the opportunity to gain experience in a certain area, but that you’re eager to learn about it should you win the job. Even better, provide an example of a skill that you didn’t have before accepting your last job, but you were able to acquire through hard work and a willingness to learn.

If you can keep your composure in a job interview, even when you don’t know the answer, you’ll score big points with the interviewer. You’ll demonstrate that you can stay calm under pressure and think on your feet – two traits that are important for almost any job.

Need More Job Interview Help?

As a leading staffing agency in Houston, TX, Murray Resources can offer you additional guidance with crafting your resume, prepping for interviews, and finding job opportunities that are a great fit for you! Contact Murray Resources to get started.

Why You Must Ask Follow-Up Questions in an Interview

October 2nd, 2012

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

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

Some examples of typical follow-up questions include:

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

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

You Can Dig for More Information.

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

You Can Better Assess the Information.

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

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

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

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

 

How “Saving” Money Now on Understaffing Costs You Later

September 7th, 2012

Leverage. Optimization. Streamline. Lean and mean. Do more with less. Maximize resources. Right size. Over the past decade, the challenging economic times have driven some of the most commonly-used corporate phrases into becoming actual management strategies.

While quality improvement, re-engineering, and right-sizing initiatives have resulted in unparalleled gains for American businesses, the long-term effects of cutting too deep and staying understaffed are often hidden. In many instances, understaffing has become a real threat to future prosperity.

Below are just a few of the hidden costs of understaffing:

Stressed employees – Understaffing virtually ensures employees are stretched beyond the limits of what they can sustain over extended periods. The result is a stressful environment, where employees battle to get the same (or more) amount of work done with less help. In this environment, workers are generally concerned with just getting through day. Value-added initiatives typically stall, while teamwork and morale often suffer.

Higher personnel costs – Years of research supports that stressed employees are much more likely to get sick, stay home, and require workers’ compensation. In addition to the related hard costs, tending to personnel issues can be a significant drain on management resources.

Mistakes – When organizations try to produce more work using a constrained workforce, attention to detail will inevitably suffer. Whether it’s paying an engineer rework a project or replacing incorrect orders, those mistakes cost money.

Missed deadlines – How much do you have to pay for late deliveries or projects that aren’t completed on time? Empty desks (that need to be filled) mean the rest of the workforce pushes products out the door later than you (and your clients) will want.

Unhappy customers – Customers notice when we’re one day (or hour) late with a promised product. They also notice when the product isn’t perfect. Unhappy customers do not result in repeat business. How much would it cost you per year to lose even one of your best customers? Chances are, it’s more than the cost of the extra assistant your staff needs.

Missed opportunities – One of the most commonly overlooked consequences of stretching your staff too thin is missing new business, partnership, and related opportunities. Networking lunches, ‘thank you’ dinners with top customers, and breakfasts with prospects tend to take a back seat to the more pressing issues, such as getting orders out the door and satisfying current clients. Yet reductions in business development activities will eventually take a toll on the new business flow for an organization, ultimately costly your company significant revenue.

Employee turnover – Even if you continue to pay your current workforce well and offer the same benefits you always have, burned-out employees will not stick around indefinitely. Chances are, there is another company offering similar benefits while maintaining a well-equipped staff.

Disadvantage against competition – Compound all of the above repercussions of a too-lean staff, and it’s obvious why competitors will enjoy another company’s  “cost-cutting” methods. While the cost-cutting company stretches the remaining employees too thin, competitors will jump at the opportunity to produce quality products, on time, and with a smile on their faces.

Yes, running lean can save money in the short term, but don’t underestimate the costs associated with lost business, reduced productivity, and increased workplace stress.  A well-staffed business not only allows your employees to do their best work, but it also gives you the best chance of remaining successful in today’s competitive marketplace.

What’s your take on understaffing? Have you experienced it? How did it go?

Ready to build your team?

Hiring is difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. As one of the leading Houston staffing agencies, Murray Resources can take the hassle out of hiring for you – so you can bring an exceptional candidate on board that meets your needs. Contact Murray Resources today to learn more.

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