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A review written by Gorrit in 2001 suggests at the end that Crone Corkhill are not as good as they once were. I'm afraid to say that I think this is the case.
I arrived in London in April last year and sent out my resume to lots of different agencies, applied for jobs on line anything to get a start in work. The first agency to respond to me was Crone Corkhill, the Hammersmith Office.
So I went along and signed up and met my agent to be, Clair, who was lovely and pointed me in the direction of a few other things I would need to set myself up with in London, such as she wrote me a letter so I could get a bank account.
I did all the standard tests, you can choose which software applications you wish to test for, for example if you have no idea what to do with access, or no interest in using they don't waste your time testing you on it - unless you want to.
I know they also checked out my references as they told me they had been contacted.
The offices in Hammersmith are in a new building so quite nicely laid out, but a small office with only two recruiters on the secretarial side. By the way I can't comment on any other recruiting that Crone Corkhill do as it is only Secretarial work that I do.
I am on a two year visa so Claire suggested to me that temping would be the way for me, as it is easier to get work. The next day I was called up and asked to go and work and for the next month or so I did steady work for this office. By this time I had found my apartment and headed for North London so Claire, always willing to help out and answer my questions, pointed me in the direction of the West End Office. Unfortunately shortly after this Clair left to go and work elsewhere.
This is where I hit problems. Although they found me a lot of work and kept me almost steadily employed for the next year, if I rang them looking for help the agent assigned to me would not answer my calls. Always busy, in a meeting, on the other line.. hmm. But if she was trying to contact me about a role she wished to fill she was amazingly there when I called back. You ring into the main reception and they will put you through to the agents room, where you will only get the agent you are after by luck, they seem to have a system of anyone answers the phone. They open early (I have gotten through at 7.30 before)and stay open late also.
On one occasion a company asked for me to return to work further for them, and as the rate had been a little low I asked for a small increase. My agent said she would contact the company and see if they still wanted me and she would call me back. This was early in the week and the job was to start the next Monday. Two days later I called her back and she wasn't available. So I called again, she was on the phone, I left messages and then in a final attempt on Friday afternoon I called back to be told in snipey tones by the agent who answered the phone "If I had got the position my agent would have called me". On Monday morning the company I was to work for called me, why wasn't I there? Oh yes, it turns out that they had sorted out my rate but no one had bothered to tell me.
So I went back to work, and continued working for them for a while.. until a few months ago I reached the end of another assignment. So I rang into the office and the agent that answered the phone told me I had been on her list to call, she had a job on offer - was I interested? It sounded fine so of course I was interested. I left a festival early on the Sunday night, drove back through the night, arrived home very tired at around 3am the Monday morning, slept, forced myself to get up, made myself all presentable and turned up to the job. On arrival no one there could figure out what on earth I was doing there. So finally they got in touch with the agency and they had been all confused and what the company wanted was to interview people for a full time job. I spoke to the agent and she said "Can I call you later to discuss remuneration for your travel". Its now about 2 months later and I have not heard from this agent, not even for an apology. I rang my other agency and they got me work (thankfully) the next day.
Now if that all wasn't cause to annoy me enough, let me talk about the payroll department, I get paid through a limited company and this seems to confuse payroll no end. Even though this is quite a common thing to do. There was one instance where I had done several one day jobs at a time and the payroll department just kept refusing to pay me for one, insisting they already had paid me. They hadn't. After weeks of calls to my Limited Company and the payroll department, much re-faxing of timesheets I finally got paid.
I'm still working through another agency at the moment, and I have had problems with their payroll department but my agent is fantastic so I can cope.
Crone Corkhill (or Crystal as they are also known as) have 3 London offices for secretarial work in the City, West End and Hammersmith. They recruit for both temporary and permanent roles, and have different divisions within the secretarial areas such as Legal or Banking.
They will send you a newsletter every so often and they have incentive programs such as temp of the month, or refer a friend programs. Their rates are standard (compared to other agencies I work with) and they seem to have a steadier flow of work than other agencies I have worked with. They recruit for junior and senior roles. They have sent me on a variety of positions from Team Sec to PA.
As is standard you submit your timesheet once a week, due on Fridays, to be paid the next Friday, so a weekly pay for temps.
Their website has a job search section, though this doesn't work too well for temp positions because they go so quickly.
They have lots of recommendations on their website from satisfied customers (that they have placed in roles) obviously I'm not one of them! There is also a section on their website for new arrivals to London with some information about starting out.
I did start out well with them and so I will say its possible its just the agents I have dealt with and not the whole company. Payroll departments seem pretty bad with most agencies for temps, I guess because we move around a lot.
There are also offices in Slough, Milton Keynes and Reading.