Amidst the uncertain economic climate, temporary jobs across the UK are on the up. Our latest quarterly research showed a sharp increase in temporary and contract vacancies and the recent edition of the Venn Index – a quarterly report on temporary and interim employment levels across the UK by Venn Group – also showed an increase.
We asked Robert Bowyer, Director at Venn Group for his advice on how to get the best out of the temporary market…
“Many professionals are embracing this upsurge in temporary employment opportunities. Those who enjoy the flexibility and financial rewards of short term contracts are enjoying the challenges and excitement that working as contractor can bring. But despite the recent rise in positions, the temporary market remains highly competitive.
Here are our five golden rules for temping your way to the top:
1. Radiate professionalism
In order to build a successful career as a temp it is essential that jobseekers portray a consistent aura of efficiency and ambition. Every contact with an agency or potential employer should instil confidence in your ability to succeed. Always arrive on time for appointments, be well presented and polite and keep in contact regularly. Competition is tough, and hirers will only consider investing in candidates who stand out from the crowd as competent individuals who demonstrate the highest level of professionalism.
2. Work with your recruitment consultant
Make sure that your consultant is an expert on market conditions, salary expectations and hiring trends. They will also know what skills and experiences are desirable amongst employers in your chosen field, so exploit their expertise. A quick phone call to your consultant once a week will emphasise your determination whilst maintaining your working relationship.
3. Be flexible
You may have a very clear idea of your ideal career path, but you should remain open minded to suggestions from your recruitment agency. There may be avenues which you have not yet considered but which match your skill-set perfectly. And if you are lacking in areas of experience which are a fundamental requisite of your dream role, it may be sensible to aim for a more junior position which you can use as a stepping-stone to your next post.
4. Be Reliable
The on-going success of a relationship between recruitment consultant and candidate relies on mutual trust and respect. As a result, sloppy timekeeping could damage your prospects with an agency – and failing to attend arranged meetings or interviews is likely to result in a termination of any arrangement. Recruiters tend not to work with candidates who don’t pull their weight. Conversely, temps who prove themselves as responsible and trustworthy can find they move from assignment to assignment seamlessly as they polish their skills and climb the career ladder.
5. Learn the art of networking
Networking both on and offline is essential for effective career management, keeping ahead of industry trends and making allies in the business world – particularly for temporary contractors. Talent and hard work are important factors in building a successful career, but without the right contacts, no one will know what a valuable candidate you are. Increasing your professional network can do wonders for your career and as a contractor you cannot afford to miss opportunities to meet people who may have the ability to enhance your prospects. The career satisfaction that temping brings lies in the variety and challenges the route offers – and connecting with others can open doors to exciting future opportunities.”