Advantages Friendly staff, actually gave me work (unlike some temp agencies)
Disadvantages Took some time to call me with work - not great for students wanting holiday work, they'd be back at uni! Or for anyone who needs money quickly.!
Over a year ago, I had just returned from my gap year, and was very, very poor. I decided to sign up with some temping agencies, while I searched for a permanent post.
*Yes, I know, it took me long enough to get around to writing this review - I've only just discovered that Ciao includes recruitment agencies!*
I temped for a few months with another agency, which stopped giving me work. So I decided to look for another agency.
Brook Street is obviously a national chain, readers might have heard of them. I registered with the Brighton branch, there is one in Haywards Heath as well. I felt like working in Brighton, although it isn't the closest town for me to get to. It is manageable though, a whole 15 minutes by train. The consultants did seem reluctant to believe that I could mange this arduous journey. I had to convince them I was willing to work within a reasonable walking distance of the station. Agencies always do this. I suppose they need to know that you can get to work, especially if you don't drive.
The registration process wasn't too painful. I was able to register on the same day I dropped in. It's always a bit tedious repeating your job history etc. (especially if you go into several agencies in one day), not to mention annooying when you have your CV with you. Their application form wasn't particularly unusual. They did the usual typing and data entry etc. tests, and the chat about what sort of work you were looking for and could do.
I had by this point been temping with the other agency for my local council. The guy (technical term for a recruitment consultant) seized on this information eagerly, and convinced himself I was desparate to work in the public sector. I tried to emphasize that I was just as happy to work in the evil profit-making sector, in fact, to work for Satan himself, as long as I got paid. Recruitment agencies often try to lmit the work they'll offer you, so again, not something unique to Brook Street.
I got a call a week or so later with a one day assignment, surprisingly, for a local council. This involved reception work. It turned out to be answering the phone, and being a general office dogsbody - photocopying, mailing and entering data in spreadsheets - the boring stuff no-one wants to do. It was work, I left at 5 p.m. No problem.
This is another tendency of agencies. They give you a 1- or 2 - day assignment as a sort of test, you know, to make sure you're not a sociopath or drooling moron.
That said, there was some doubt over the duration of the assignment. The ongoing temp had called in sick, which apparently she had done for a couple of days, and they were trying to get to the bottom of what was happening. I got a call explaining that there might be an ongoing post or there might not, and another one to say the usual girl had "recovered" and so teh job wasn't available. To their credit, Brook Street were honest and kept me informed.
I got a call about part-time work in a publishing company the next week, but never heard anything more about it, although I said I'd be interested.
|Quality/Suitability of job offers|
|Consultant feedback time|
|Range of prospective employers|
|Flexibility of office hours|
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