Spotlight: Ryan Murphy

This week’s spotlight focuses on one of our fearless leaders, Ryan Murphy, or “Murph” as most of us call him. As one of Conexess’ partners, Ryan has worked primarily in the Nashville office, while also working to grow our newest office in Orlando. He was our owner’s first hire and he’s been helping grow the company ever since. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have him on the Conexess team, so this week we are spotlighting Ryan to show our appreciation for everything he does for our company! We already know Ryan and we think he’s a pretty cool guy, but since you may not know him, we thought we’d give you the rundown on Mr. Murphy by asking him to tell us a little bit about himself.

Q: What do you consider to be the best part of living/working in Nashville?

A: I love how Nashville is a “big city” with a small town feel. You can be downtown and then in a rural part of town in 20 minutes. That’s pretty cool.

 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about recruiting?

A: The Relationships. It is a really rewarding feeling when you have people begin to come to you because you have (at least I hope) a good enough reputation where people begin to refer you. I have made what I would consider some pretty good friends though recruiting.

 

Q: Do you have any fun nicknames?

A: Murph, Smurph

 

Q: What is something you’re passionate about?

A: Golf and Duck Hunting. My wife says she is a hunting widower when duck season comes around. I end up spending double because when I go on a hunting trip she goes….shopping….

 

Q: Fun Facts about Murph:

       A-1: He was an All-State Football and Baseball Player.

   A-2: He hates flying-“I get sweaty palms and have anxiety. It’s bad.”

A-3: And add to the list: the fear of tornadoes- “I have re-occurring dreams about tornadoes. It’s really weird.”

 

Q: Where is the best place to eat in Nashville?

A: Impossible to name just one. So I’ll say Husk and Urban Grub.

 

Q: What is your favorite weekend activity?

A: Hunting and golfing.

Connect with Ryan on Linkedin & Twitter!

LinkedIn: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

LinkedIn is one of the best networking tools available today and it’s to your advantage to utilize it. While it is an amazing tool, if you do not use it correctly you run the risk of damaging your personal brand. Lucky for you, we are here to help! Why take our word for it? As recruiters we practically network in our sleep so we know a thing or two about properly using a networking site like LinkedIn. So here are a few helpful hints for making the most out of your LinkedIn account.

  1. “Think of your profile as a professional brochure”

This is your chance to show off your accomplishments and brag on yourself a little. Tread lightly; you don’t want to appear overly confident in your abilities. Exaggerating the truth will not win over potential employers. Honesty is always the best policy here.

  1. “Use the Project Section”

The project section is a great way to keep track of and showcase your previous work. Where you may not have room on your resume to list all of the projects you have worked on, LinkedIn is limit free. You can list to your heart’s content! Be careful not to list every single project you have ever worked on. Choose only the projects that best showcase your skills.

  1. “Stay Relevant”

Make sure you are immersing yourself in the right groups on LinkedIn. Follow only those groups that are relevant to your interests and career. This is another great way to show others that you are a well-rounded and informed individual in the business community.

  1. “Connect with a Purpose”

While I can admit to being envious of those with “500+” connections, it’s important to remember that quantity does not always mean quantity. Connect with those who provide value instead of a number.

We hope these tips have been helpful. Feel free to connect with any of our recruiters via LinkedIn. If you’re currently job searching, we have a whole list of career opportunities on our website as well. Feel free to reach out, we’d love to chat.

Myth Busted: Recruiters Don’t Bite

Recruiting companies more times than not get a bad rap for the way they do business. They hire candidates just to fill a position quickly and reap the benefits. As a result, the candidates are not properly paired with the right employer or position. We think that’s pretty backwards; don’t you?

At Conexess we aim to make the recruitment process pain-free, and even fun. Mentioned in our last blog, it’s essential to build a genuine relationship with a candidate in order for us to truly place them in the right position.

Still hesitant about working with a recruiting company? These are just some of the benefits you will receive if you change your mind and decide to work with us:

  1. Time Saved

In this day and age, time is our biggest asset. Handing over the “job-searching reins” to a recruiter takes a load of stress off your shoulders. Doesn’t that sound nice? But wait, there’s more!

  1. A Wider Array of Choices

We’ve been in the business of bridging the gap between talent and opportunity for over 20 years, so needless to say we know the industry pretty well and we have contacts that you might not. We even have a giant list of career opportunities on our website for you to apply to.

  1. A Perfect Match

Our recruiters take the time to get to know you. We find out more than what you listed on your resume so we can match you with a position that will set you and your future employer up for success.

Keep in mind, not all recruiting companies are one and the same. It is a sad truth that most recruiting firms use a churn-and-burn method that fills positions quickly and satisfies a candidate’s need for instant gratification. In return, their turnover rate is sky-high and candidate satisfaction is at rock-bottom. Take a look at our website or one of our social media sites. We think you’ll like what you see. Interested in handing over the “job-searching reins”? Give us a call. We are here to help!

Top 5 Recruiting Techniques: The Conexess Files

Here at Conexess some may see us as a little unconventional in the staffing world, but we like it that way. We like getting to know our clients and we hope they like getting to know us too.

Our belief system is pretty simple:

Trust, Humility, and Balance are three words that have built our core set of beliefs. We are not a typical churn-and-burn staffing company that fills positions as fast as we can. Instead, we are simply regular people helping other people connect their talent with opportunity. So how do we compete against the big-name staffing companies? It’s pretty simple actually.

  1. Sincerity

We get it, finding a job is tough, like really tough. At Conexess, we want to get you a job-we are recruiters after all. But more than that, we want to find you the right job.

That being said, we’re going to treat you like a real person. We understand what it’s like to be on the job hunt. It’s tough and it’s our job to make it easier for you.

  1. Building (Real) Relationships

Our sole purpose is to connect talent (that’s you) with opportunity. More than that, we want to find you a career opportunity that is a good fit. Remember when I said we aren’t like those big-name staffing firms who fill positions using the churn-and-burn method? I wasn’t kidding. Here’s our thinking: If we put a candidate in a position they will hate and ultimately resign from, they are highly unlikely to come back to us to find them another job. This is exactly why we take the time to build an actual relationship with our clients. The more we know about you, the better job fit we can find for you.

  1. Integrity 100% of the Time

This is a big one and it absolutely goes hand-in-hand with being genuine. The definition of Integrity: “the quality of being honest and fair” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). We want to be as transparent as possible with our clients. If we can have an open line of communication, we are going to have a better chance at finding our clients the right job.

  1. Happy Wife=Happy Life

Ok, this one might sound odd, but bear with me-I have a point. Think of the Conexess team as the “Wife” and our clients as the “Life”. When a company has happy employees who respect the company’s culture and beliefs, then your clients will benefit. We have fun doing our job and we hope you have a great time working with us too. Connecting talent with opportunity is meant to be fun!

  1. Walking a Mile in THEIR shoes

Contrary to popular belief, we are not mind readers. To combat this shortcoming, we try to immerse ourselves in our client’s world or rather “walk a mile in their shoes”. If we can align our thought processes and understand where the other is coming from, the job search process tends to go a whole lot smoother.

That’s it! We don’t have any gimmicks or tricks up our sleeves to lure you in. It all boils down to one main objective: Find the job, but first find the right fit.

Like what we do? Check us out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram-we’re on them all! Interested in our services? Our website has current career opportunities.

Company Retreats: They might be just what the doctor ordered

Why do we, at Conexess Group, believe it is important to take time out of your busy schedule to go on a company retreat? There are many reasons, but here we will take a look at two of the key reasons it is essential to get out of the office.

  1. New Place=New Ideas

What’s the big deal about getting out of the office? Why can’t we just sit in the board room and toss around ideas?  Gathering a large group of people in the office, where the phone is ringing, emails are filling inboxes, and to-do lists are a mile long, can prove to be a challenge. On top of that, trying to get everyone gathered and focused might be like herding cats in your office.  Or, if your business is like ours, we have offices in three cities, so brainstorming is not exactly ideal when you are hundreds of miles away from eachother. In cases like these, holding a yearly company retreat may be your only chance to get everyone gathered to employ new company initiatives, set quarterly or yearly goals, and really dive in to how to improve the company.  Remember that busy, fast-paced office? Still think it’s the best place for idea generation? If your answer is the same as ours (Hint: “It’s No”), getting your team in a clutter and distraction-free place once a year, might be just what the doctor ordered.

Now, we’re not saying turn off your phone and throw away your laptop and as a result your company will come up with the best idea short of sliced bread. No-the idea is to get out of the office, get your team in a new environment, and set aside time to brain storm. Time management is key in these situations and setting aside designated times to brain storm, check emails, and talk with clients is necessary. With all of the brainstorming your team will be doing, holding at least one “meeting of the minds” will allow you to put pen to paper and jot your ideas down. Besides coming up with awesome, industry changing ideas, it’s also a good idea to leave time for a little fun, rest and relaxation. This leads us to the second reason it can be beneficial to get out of the office.

  1. Two words: TEAM BUILDING

Organizational culture is one of the top factors new employees consider before accepting a new position. This trip, Conexess brought three new staff members: one account manager, one technical recruiter, and one operations specialist, on the retreat. Speaking as one of those new team members, this trip was an awesome opportunity to build relationships with those from our Detroit & Orlando offices. Only three weeks in at the time, I had already talked to several of them via phone or email, but I think we can all agree that a face-to-face meeting goes a lot further when you are doing business.

That being said, at each retreat, Conexess holds a team building exercise of some sort to foster new relationships and to strengthen old ones. In the past, we may have had a scavenger hunt or something similar. This year, we decided to mix things up. Instead of a scavenger hunt, the First Annual Conexess Retreat Relays were held and to say our company is competitive would be an understatement (Click Here). Often times, when we are busy at our desks, it can be difficult to find the time to build good, working relationships with our coworkers.  The Retreat Relays were a great way to break the ice and build relationships within the company.

After attending my first retreat as a Conexess team member, I can easily say that organizational culture matters. If your employees are happy, then your clients are happy, and, in turn, your company will profit. Retreats are a great way to set cultural expectations, shake off the cob webs, and build relationships that benefit the company. To see how we retreat visit our Facebook page and check out the Summer Retreat 2k15 album.

 Enough about us! Tell us about your company’s #retreat and any great #teambuilding ideas you might have. Tweet us @conexess; we’d love to hear from you!

Luau Open House

If you missed our post about moving our Nashville office to a new location, check it out here. In November, we left our sleek downtown space to move into a recently remodeled building in the Berry Hill area. On April 16th from 3-8PM, we are opening our new office to Y-O-U! Conexess is excited to announce a luau-themed Open House to officially launch our new office in the community of Nashville that we love so much. We will have a pig roast, contests, tiki drinks, and more! So dust off your grass skirt and start practicing your hula skills because there will be a prize for the attendee who can hula the longest! If you have any questions please contact Kayte at kcharlier@conexess.com, and we hope to see you on the 16th! RSVP and more info here.

Spotlight on Matt Baker

As difficult as it is to follow last month’s Spotlight (Ryan Seelhoff), the Orlando office is proud to put the Spotlight on Matt “the Touchdown Maker” Baker! Matt’s dedication and work ethic is paying off in a big way this year as the Orlando office continues to grow and mature in a very challenging market. When Matt isn’t spreading the good word about Conexess, he facilitates sports training sessions in his home town of Saint Cloud, Florida. Conexess is proud to have this beast of a team player on OUR team!! Go Matt!

Best thing about living/working in Orlando:

Being close to family, and the amazing weather year round.

Favorite part about being a recruiter:

Having the opportunity to help people find the perfect career path.

Nicknames:

Baketrain- I’ve had that name since the high school football days. (Toot…toot!)

What is something you are passionate about?

Fitness and helping develop young athletes.

Little known fact about you:

I have huge addiction to workout sneakers. I must own over 20 pairs.

Best place to eat in Orlando:

Jimmy Bear’s BBQ.

What is your favorite weekend activity?

Boating and spending time with family and friends.

Connect with Matt on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

Business Lunch Do’s and Don’ts

Business lunches can be a lot like dates. Oftentimes you are meeting with someone you don’t know very well, you have to dress up, and it’s best to think of a list of conversation topics beforehand. Maybe that last part is just me…regardless, here are a few tips to help you navigate the ins and outs of lunch meetings.

<DO>

Email/phone ahead to confirm the lunch. There is nothing more annoying than showing up to a scheduled lunch, only to receive a frantic call from the person you’re supposed to meet asking to reschedule after 30 minutes of sitting alone in a restaurant. The waiter will think you have an imaginary lunch date, and you will have wasted at least an hour of your time.

<DON’T>

Order the most expensive item on the menu. Be considerate – of the other person if they are paying, or of your company if you are expensing the bill.

<DO>

Dress at or above the level of the person with whom you are meeting. That is the “Golden Rule” at Conexess, and it goes hand in hand with my own belief that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

<DON’T>

Talk with food in your mouth, be on your phone, chew with your mouth open, slurp your soup – basic table manners most definitely apply. Finishing school not required, but please, be polite.

<DO>

Be direct, but also meaningful when it comes to conversation. You should have an objective for the lunch, whether it is getting to know the person better, or closing a deal. Make sure that you accomplish your lunch goal before going your separate ways.

<DON’T>

Arrive unprepared. Research the person with whom you are meeting, and have any questions, papers, contracts, etc. prepared and with you when you get to the lunch. It is also helpful to tell the person you’re meeting what you’ll be wearing that day to streamline the introduction process.

While following this list of do’s and don’ts won’t guarantee a successful meeting, it will undoubtedly get you on the right track. How do you feel about business lunches – love or hate? Any tips to share? Leave a comment below, and let’s go to lunch sometime!

The Nerdiest Blog Post You Ever Did See

Or, as most of us would say, Happy Valentine’s Day! Working at an IT Staffing company, nerdiness just comes with the territory. In the spirit of the upcoming “holiday” (thank you, Hallmark), here are our best geeky pick-up lines. Enjoy!

“Roses are #ruby

Violets are blue,

It’ll make my day

If I get a call from YOU” 

“Do people call you Google? Because you’re everything I’ve been searching for.”

“You are hotter than the bottom of a laptop that has been in use for 5 hours.”

laptop

“If I had a bitcoin for every time I saw someone as attractive as you, I’d have one bitcoin.”

bitcoin

“Talk nerdy to me.” – Jason Derulo

talk nerdy to me1

 

*User discretion is advised – these lines have been known to make Trekkies and computer programmers alike go weak at the knees. Just make sure you’re prepared to catch the intended recipient when he/she falls.

 

Lessons Learned while Networking

If you don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you hear about an upcoming networking event (and by warm and fuzzy, I don’t mean about to hurl), never fear – that can change! Speaking as a former wallflower, I can now confidently say that I genuinely enjoy networking events. If you had told me that I would feel this way 10 years ago, I would have laughed in your face. Or more realistically, giggled timidly and then awkwardly shuffle-walked away. Attending networking events well is all about perspective. The first networking event that I went to by myself was a little bit terrifying – nerve-inducing to the point of giving myself an audible pep talk in my car in the parking lot. It went a little something like this:

“Kayte, you are a big girl, you can do this. They won’t be mean to you, and if they are you can leave immediately. Just walk in, order a drink, take a quick lap, meet one person, and then you can leave.”

I ended up staying for 2 hours. I had a wonderful time, and made connections with people that I still keep up with nearly a year later. Since then, I have tried to attend one event each week. Not because I’m a cat lady and have nothing better to do with my free time, but because every time I go to a networking event, I walk away with something new (and not because I’m pickpocketing people while I’m there). Here are a few tidbits that I’ve picked up along my networking journey; I hope they are helpful to you!

  1. Set a goal before you walk in: my goal is always to meet at least one person. I don’t let myself leave until that happens. Decide what you want to glean from the event, and don’t let yourself bail until you have achieved exactly what you intended.
  2. Practice makes perfect: turns out that my high school lacrosse coach was right – the more you practice, the easier networking becomes. The hyperactive butterflies in your stomach will subside, you’ll begin to see familiar faces as you attend regular meetings, and before you know it, friends you drag along will comment that you seem to know everyone in the room – imagine that! So allow yourself to make awkward conversational faux pas in the beginning, stumble through a discussion with a CEO without realizing he’s the CEO until it’s too late to recover, and forget your business cards – you will learn from all of these experiences! And as painful as the situation might seem in the moment, odds are that no one will remember you as “the girl who spilled wine on herself” at the next event. Keep practicing! It gets easier, I promise.
  3. You just never know who you’ll meet: making valuable connections is the whole point of networking. If you have registered for the event via a site like Eventbrite, you may have access to the guest list and can then mentally prepare for the people you will meet there. Otherwise, you can just walk up to someone and start a conversation – that person could be your next employer/best friend/business partner/boyfriend/girlfriend/etc. You just never know!
  4. Humans are better than the 9:00 news claims: I cannot tell you how many times the strangers I’ve met at networking events have offered to help me. Whether it is a videographer suggestion, or recommending a friend of mine for a job opening, people (in Nashville at least) are pretty great. And while you never know what someone might be able to offer you, you also don’t know how you’ll be able to help them. This has been perhaps my favorite aspect of networking – getting caught up in the “how can I help you” mentality that everyone seems to share.
  5. Clinging to your safety raft gets you nowhere*: Bringing a few friends or coworkers with you to a networking event is great. BUT if you only talk to them all night, you might as well have gone straight home from work and watched Netflix because you will be missing out on all of the benefits of networking. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating, but taking the easy road is often not the most beneficial in the long run. So let go of that safety raft and make some new connections, you won’t regret it.

Here are a few of the networking events that I have attended in the Nashville area. Check out their websites, and I hope to see you at an event in the near future 🙂

Nashcocktail

Nashville Geek Breakfast

Network After Work

12th & Broad events

WiTT events

Girl Geek Dinner

What are you favorite networking events? Any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

*Unless it’s a literal safety raft and you’re stranded in the middle of the ocean, <my nightmare> then please hang on for dear life.