Insights from practitioners in Information Management

Issue 62 – Recruitment drive

This month we want to know what you are up to! Why? Well we have had more positions than we’ve had people, but a caveat there – people with certain skills and abilities that we know some of you have, that our clients desperately need. We also know that some of you are working full time and quite happy where you are, some of you regular readers are students with little time to spare for work as well as revision and study and even more of you aren’t actually living in WA. But what about the rest of you? What are you doing?

In this issue we will look at:
• Thank you;
• Benefits of contracting;
• How do you get the most out of the contracting experience?
• A Thought to ponder.

As an employment agency people are our life. Without you we cannot do what we do, and nor can the people who we do work for – our clients, your host employers. So first of all I would like to say thank you from the team at IEA, you make our jobs worthwhile. Why? Because you are a pleasure to work with, that’s why. We get enormous job satisfaction out of helping you get job satisfaction. And it’s always a pleasure to receive the client feedback, knowing that you helped make someone else’s job easier by doing what you do so well.

But we know that as an employment agency, we have more fixed-term contract work than permanent positions, and cannot therefore compete with those full-time jobs that are out there and in copious quantities at the moment. But here’s the thing, if you are currently busy and don’t have time to spare; do you know anyone who does? If so could you ask them to give us a call or better still register with us?

So what are the benefits of contracting?

• Contracting puts you into places and situations that you may not have thought about before. Of course this may put you off working in a particular industry or with a particular organisation entirely, but short, fixed-term contracts do allow you to try before you “buy” in.
• Employment agencies should be able to offer you a variety of work, both in terms of sectors and duties.
• Length of contract is variable, which means we can usually accommodate your need for long holidays, family and study commitments.
• You get the choice of whether or not you are happy to be put forward for a position. We give you the details of location, duties, hours and rates of pay and you make the decision as to whether or not you want to be considered. 
• Depending on the agency you choose to work for, you should get offered positions that are well within your range of skills and abilities. (Please note, this may not be the case with all agencies – especially if they don’t really understand your qualifications and experience).
• You can finish a contract with as little as 24 hours notice – although to be fair to the client, we hope that you don’t, and
• The pay is generally better as you get what is called “leave loading” on top of the normal salary.
• We know the language, the industry, and will pay you the correct rate for the job you are being asked to do;
• If you work on fixed term contract for IEA, you are employed by IEA – we pay your tax and super – did you know if you work for some agencies they won’t pay your super if you don’t earn over the requisite monthly amount of money? Well we do and always have done.
• If you have a problem at work, we will sort it out for you.
• We encourage a revolving door policy. If you decide to work elsewhere for a while we are first in line to offer you congratulations and we hope that one day you will come back to us with additional skills and knowledge. The more skills and experience you have, the more opportunities open up for you and the more money you are likely to earn.
• We have a comprehensive Occupational Health and Safety Induction. We know the first day on a new job is likely to be the most dangerous so we ensure you undertake the RCSA induction before being placed with a client (host employer). Should the unthinkable happen, we also have an Injury Management Policy and workers compensation insurance! But we would rather you didn’t need to use them.
• And perhaps the most important aspect of working as a contract employee for Information Enterprises is that we keep in touch with you. Not only do we speak to you on your first day to make sure you got there ok, and they are treating you well. We also speak to you on a regular basis throughout the contract so that we can make sure everything is going well, and if not, what we can do to help you. Of course you don’t have to wait for us to call you, the entire team at IEA are ready to help if you need to speak to us. 

Of course there are also downsides. These can include:

• There is generally no holiday or sick leave cover; if you don’t work you don’t get paid. But if you put aside the additional monies you earned (leave loading) you will cover this “problem” quite nicely.
• There may be a fast and often steep learning curve. Host employers don’t usually have the time to train “on the job” and as every organisation is different, including the systems they use, the practices undertaken and of course the people you will be working with, it can be quite stressful if you are not confident in yourself and your own abilities.
• Contracting is not for everyone – if you are not happy outside your comfort zone, then you will struggle going into a new workplace on a regular basis.
• And despite what we have said about there being more jobs than people, we (and other employment agencies) cannot guarantee additional work beyond your current contract.

How do you get the most out of the contracting experience?
• Be willing to learn from as many people who are willing to teach you. Mentors come in many ages and in many forms, so why not take advantage of the people you work with and the life experiences they have.
• Always be polite – you never know where the next job will come from, if you think this is only a two week job it doesn’t matter what attitude you have – then you are wrong. Perth is a very small place….people talk…make them talk about you for the right reasons. Besides which –
• Repeat business – clients ask for people they like, and who know the work and the organisation.
• Be helpful – but be aware of the duties as stated in your contract – if you do more you should be paid more.
• Dress standards apply. Always bear in mind that you are representing yourself, and future business opportunities – again be remembered for the right reasons.
• Time keeping is essential. Some fixed-term contracts have a limited time span due to a variety of reasons. If you are going in to replace someone who is on annual or sick leave, the host employer is not likely to tolerate tardiness or Mondayitis !!
• Be confident in your skills and abilities, after all we wouldn’t have placed you in a position if we didn’t think you could do it. But if you need someone to talk to – we are only a phone call away, or come down for a cup of tea. The kettle is always on.
• And finally – enjoy yourself, you spend a good portion of every day in the workplace, so start the day with a smile rather than a frown. You will only get one chance to live this day, so don’t waste time and negative energy wishing you were some place else.

A Thought to Ponder

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and
the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. “
Ellen Goodman (1941 – )