By Katie Gerrard, Senior Consultant at I am recruiting
There’s been big changes in temporary recruitment since I first started in the sector, bright eyed and keen to learn, back in 2001. Since then, we’ve been through economic ups and downs and a dramatic reshaping of the laws governing temporary workers’ rights.
The one thing which hasn’t changed however is how many of our organisations, particularly within the membership and charity sectors, rely on temporary staff whether they’re on short term contracts, daily rates, or paid by the hour.
Think about it – what would happen if every casual member of staff downed tools and left the building?
Actually, don’t think about it – no one needs that level of anxiety – but it certainly helps to remind us how hard working temporary staff are and how important they can be to an organisation.
Working as a temporary recruiter has given me so many great stories, I often daydream about whether I should write a book. I’m sure you have your own stories too. It seems many of us can remember a time a temp did something unexpected or caused an issue. But I think these events are incredibly rare – like restaurant reviews we don’t always hear when things go well.
Take note of those stars that shone bright. Do you remember the temp who was woken up at 8am with an emergency booking then glided into the office at 9am, taught themselves how to use the telephone switchboard, found the contacts list, and finished the pile of filing they found on the desk? We do.
Do you remember the temp who sat for two weeks stapling exam papers and putting them in envelopes? We do.
Do you remember the temp who whizzed through your data entry in three days rather than five saving you 30% of your budget? We do.
We remember these and more because they happen consistently. A great temp makes everyone’s lives easier but the better the job they do the less you notice them.
Many candidates on casual contracts have such interesting lives and stories too, there are actors, singers, and writers between gigs. In the summer there are students and teachers; and then there are career temps who relish learning about each organisation they work for. For many, temporary work offers a stepping stone into a new industry or career, the chance to prove yourself or try new things. If I ever write that book it could tell of all the great careers which started with a phone call offering a couple of weeks work but a lifetime of opportunity.
That’s why we’re spending the summer championing our temps. We’re proud of the work our temporary staff do to help the sector reach its aims and objectives.
So… do you remember the temp who made a difference to your organisation? Even if you don’t recollect their name at first (in fact, especially if you don’t) jog your memory, tell us why they made an impact and enter them into our competition to be the I am recruiting temp of the year!