Pamela Murray, Senior HR Consultant, Willis, and Wendy Sellers, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MHR, Managing Partner, Human Capital Strategies, BlackRain Partners, discuss the evolution of flexible work arrangements, reasons to put a program in place, obstacles and challenges, and effect on the bottom line.
A Guide To Flexible Working
Essential know-how from Kelly Services
Demand for temporary and contract workers continues to rise as flexible working becomes a way of life in many companies. Temporary staff are becoming an integral part of business and the best can expect rich rewards. So whether you are a student looking for holiday work, a college leaver just setting out into the workplace, in a permanent job but would like to consider temporary work or keen to make temping your career you may have quite a few questions that need answering.
What is temporary work?
Temporary work means that you are not employed on a permanent basis by anyone. You have the freedom and flexibility to decide when you want to work and for how long. Kelly has a vast range of different temporary assignments on offer and they can range from a couple of days, a six month assignment or a three year contract and from part-time (just a few hours a day) to full time.
Temporary help is the most buoyant sector of the employment market – in fact there is a real shortage of talent and that’s where you come in.
What skills and qualifications do I need?
Whatever sector you work in, it is important to keep your skills up to date, as many employers will use temporary staff to bring specific skills into the company. If you are an office worker using computers then you will find that we have developed our own computer based training system PinPoint™ which is a very effective and fast way to learn new software.
If you have keyboard and other general office skills and you want to use them, then you will probably find yourself working in an office environment and even if you haven’t you may be able to take on a clerical role.
Temporary work is available right across the workplace, so there are opportunities for everyone, but is particularly strong in banking, insurance and telecommunications.
Whatever your skills and experience Kelly can help make the most of them by matching you to the right job.
Will there be a chance to make progress?
Your performance at work is carefully monitored both by Kelly and by the employer. In many cases we can offer free training programmes which will extend and improve your skills.
For instance if you have very basic keyboard skills we can help you improve your speed and accuracy, you may also be eligible for training in word-processing, database or spreadsheets. Kelly’s system PinPoint™ can train in over 50 software packages including the latest Windows applications. Kelly is committed to equipping its temporaries with the best and most up to date skills in the marketplace.
Temping offers you the perfect opportunity to taste a variety of working environments before you commit yourself. It can be a good way to start your career or a way of changing direction.
How will I know what to do on my first day?
Most companies will assign someone to show you the ropes on your first day but just in case you feel a bit lost then you might like to use the following checklist to make sure you know the essentials before starting work.
Find out where you will be sitting, where the toilets are, if there is a special eating area etc.
Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to do your work and that it is working. If you are unsure about any aspect of the operation then either ask someone in the office or ask your Kelly consultant.
Make sure you are introduced to the people with whom you will be working and that you also know the names of the key people within the organisation.
If you will be answering the telephone ask how the company like it to be done, how they like messages taken, how the internal telephone system works and for an internal telephone list. Ask for examples of letters and reports etc. to show you the house style.
Make sure you know how to use both and find out if you need to keep a record.
Working with someone for the first time isn’t always easy. Whatever type of work you are doing, everyone has their own way of doing things so it is important that you are absolutely clear on the following points:
- What is the deadline?
- What should the work look like when it is finished?
- Do you have all the information/ resources to complete the task?
- If you have any queries who will be available to ask?
- Remember – good communication is the key to a successful working relationship.
About Kelly Services - Global: Kelly specializes in providing world-leading staffing solutions. Backed by an international network of more than 2,600 offices in 39 countries, including 21 European countries, is serving clients around the world by delivering a wide range of services, including recruiting, human resources management and placement for job-seekers. All offices, with more than 555,000 employees, apply the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM).