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Using temp agencies to connect you to your next job

Using temp agencies takes the hassle out of contacting employers directly.  Moreover there are specialist agencies dedicated to finding temporary jobs in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

There are many reasons people look for temporary jobs.  Students may want to earn extra income between term time, whilst school leavers are looking for work experience. Others try a role before settling on the permanent side of it.

Contractual, seasonal and 'casual work' can offer flexibility. For instance you may want to go travelling between assignments.

Agency workers have been granted fairer working rights, thanks to recent European and UK government legislation. This affects one to one and a half million temporary workers, who can now enjoy the same pay and holiday conditions as permanent employees.

With over 17,000 job recruitment firms across the UK, you may feel intimidated by the sheer number of them. However, sites like agencycentral.co.uk allow you to break down the search by sector and geographical location.

The agency sign up process is fairly simple.

  1. You will normally be expected to submit a CV online or via email.
  2. A face-to-face or telephone meeting with a recruitment consultant will be held to discuss your skills and competencies.
  3. You will then be matched with relevant work.
  4. A short typing speed or computer literacy test may have to be undertaken, if you are looking for administrative jobs.

There are a wide range of benefits to seeking work this way.

  • It can save you money and time. i.e. you don't need to search though the classifieds or spend money on stamps to contact employers.
  • You are not normally charged for the service as the agency takes a fee from the employer for placing you.
  • Targeted job searching means your skills and requirements are matched to relevant jobs.
  • You can receive additional support, such as CV and cover letter writing, as well as mock interviews.

A good tip is to negotiate the hourly rate offered, depending on your experience.  Keep in touch with your recruitment consultant on a weekly basis to ensure they are actively seeking work for you.

As well as having a presence on the high street, some temp agencies issue email job alerts when you sign up online, including reed.co.uk and badenochandclark.com. Register with at least two, to ensure the best chance of a job placement.

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