The tips of temping by Frankie
Registering with the temps team at Bis Recruit wasn’t what I’d expected. Hardened from what seemed like hours of fruitless online applications and countless unanswered emails, I had fully prepared for the registration process to be equally as painful. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised! Half an hour later, I emerged from the offices on York Street with a mind buzzing full of great CV advice, warmed from a cup of tea and with a new job on the horizon.
Since then I have been working at Bis; covering as Office Manager/Candidate Coordinator while the lovely Charley enjoys her honeymoon. My few weeks here in the office have given me an insight into the world of temping from a recruiter’s perspective and below are the five key things that I’ve learnt:
First impressions are as important as they say. You would be amazed at how many candidates secure recurrent, long term bookings with our clients because of the great impression that they made on a very short booking. It seems so simple but being on time, remembering names, asking insightful questions and taking notes during the handover are easy ways to make a good impression quickly.
Be proactive about updating your availability. Everybody has their own reasons for choosing to work on a temporary rather than a permanent contract; the main positive being that it provides a level of flexibility that compliments childcare, studying, travelling, long-term job hunting and secondary working commitments perfectly. However, these other obligations can invariably lead to an irregular and unpredictable availability status, and it can be hard for everybody to keep up! My advice for mitigating any problems with this is to keep your consultant up to date. If you’re free, then telling the recruiter will keep you in the front of their mind when relevant roles come into the office and increase your chances of getting a job offer. If not, then it saves you having to pick up an unnecessary call on that beach in Crete! The temp consultant at Bis, Harriet, makes this process easy by sending out a weekly email and text asking about any plans for the week ahead. All you need to do is reply!
Communicate. Things go wrong. It’s inevitable and sometimes unavoidable. But rather than let the anxiety or awkwardness of the situation prevent you from letting the consultant know that there’s a problem, say as soon as possible. The agency exists as an intermediate between you and the employer, and it’s their job to facilitate your smooth transition into the new company. If there’s an issue, then keep them informed and let them do what they’re good at!
Be honest about your skills. It’s crucial to be honest about what skills you possess (especially when it comes to computers)! If a consultant is under the wrong impression about your capabilities in areas like Microsoft Office then disaster could ensue. Our temp jobs can often require data entry and updating databases or spreadsheets, research analysis, filing or transcription, and there is nothing worse than a candidate being unable to finish a booking because they are struggling with the software. It may not seem like a big stretch to inflate your Excel skills from ‘basic’ to ‘intermediate’ on an application but remember why people are asking the question and answer conservatively.
Always offer to make the tea! My only advice is to make a list…