Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Testing Time for Contract Staff

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Testing Time for Contract Staff

Article excerpt

Byline: WENDY LEDGER

The recruitment process is becoming more complex and competitive for temporary workers.

THERE was a time when recruiting a temporary worker meant simply calling an agency, requesting they send someone over to work, negotiating the terms and fixing the starting time. Now City temps need references, a detailed career history and have to pass a series of interviews before they can sign a contract. Recruiting temporary staff is almost as complex - and certainly as time-consuming - as recruiting permanent staff.

"Long-gone are the days when you could place a temporary candidate without having thoroughly checked their work eligibility or waded through five years' worth of references.

Such screening is holding up the recruitment process," says Nabila Sadiq, managing director at Joslin Rowe.

The City has changed a great deal over the past 10 years and, as a result, so has the recruitment process. Contract workers have become an important part of the City's workforce and are no longer employed just to fill gaps.

Instead they are hired for specific functions.

"It is as important for a temporary employee to fit in as it is for a permanent one," says Gareth Cowan of recruiter Gillow Purdie.

"Hiring temporary candidates is an effective way of building a team with a view to hiring them permanently. Consequently, getting a temporary position has become much more competitive."

The temporary market has changed considerably and employers now expect contract workers to have the experience, skills and work history that was once reserved for permanent staff.

David Hughes, managing director of Executive Connections, says: "Recruitment methodologies have evolved considerably over the past decade. With increased involvement from human resource professionals and the development of effective assessment tools, recruiting the right person for any position has become a science.

But, the process has become complicated and time consuming. …

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