Temp extraordinaire, Chris Wilkin, celebrates seven years of temping with Anne Corder Recruitment

Nel Woolcott and Chris Wilkin
Nel Woolcott, recruitment partner, and Chris Wilkin, temp extraordinaire

Temping can be a fantastic career choice and Chris Wilkin, temp extraordinaire with ACR for seven years, is a shining example of why.

With Chris now retiring, we wanted to say a big thank you for all of her hard work!

Nel Woolcott, recruitment partner at ACR, worked with Chris throughout those seven years. Nel said, “It’s been a real pleasure to have Chris on board, offering her skills to a range of local businesses.

“It’s not often that a temp walks through the door who works with us for seven years continuously! Chris has been an absolutely invaluable asset to many businesses time and time again.”

To celebrate Chris’ time temping with ACR, we had a chat with her about her experience as a temp, and she had advice for anyone considering a more flexible career option…

Temping as a career choice

Fourteen years ago, when Chris started on her job hunt with ACR in Peterborough, she was looking for a permanent role. ACR placed her in a temp position, which became a permanent role, but not long afterwards the company she was working for opened a branch in Bedford, and Chris was offered the opportunity to move to the new premises and set up the operation from scratch, which she did very successfully.

After eight years there, she decided to move back to the Peterborough area, and immediately contacted ACR to register again.  Chris realised that temping, with added flexibility, was a great long-term career choice for her.

“I didn’t consider registering with any other employment agency in Peterborough, as I was confident that ACR would help me find the type of placement I was looking for, as they had previously.  They were very supportive and positive towards my requirements at that stage in my career, which was exactly what I needed.”

She explained, “As a temp I’ve had the opportunity to build a wealth of experience in many different businesses.  Being flexibly minded is essential.  Temps are generally team players; they are adaptable and can turn their hand to different roles with ease.”

The benefits of temping

For Chris, there were many advantages to temping – beyond building an extensive and adaptable skill set.

“Temping is a really flexible career option, allowing the temp to choose the placements where they enjoy the work, the professional atmosphere and where they are accepted as a team member.”

“Not only that, but temping can help to build confidence in the workplace. My experience as a temp in various office environments gave me the confidence when meeting new people, adapting to new situations and working practices and handling phone calls – skills many businesses look for.”

Chris also explained that work completed by temps often stands out for all the right reasons:

“Temps are able to step into a business and make a difference straight away, taking the pressure off over-stretched permanent personnel immediately.”

To find out more about temping and its benefits for job seekers, have a read of Karen’s blog: Could temping be right for you?

Tips for temps

To round off our chat with Chris, we asked for her advice to anyone considering temping. She said, “Building a relationship with your temping agency can be a real benefit. As a temp, you’ll be abiding by their rules although it’s still up to you whether or not you accept assignments.

Chris also pointed out how temping is great for those still looking for a permanent job: “As a temp you can be earning money, while still attending interviews.  Employers understand that they must allow the temp time off to attend interviews.”

For those hoping to move from temp to perm within the organisation, Chris emphasised that it’s important for the temp to show off their skills.

“It is a win/win situation for both the temp and the employer”, Chris explained.

“For many companies, hiring a temp is their opportunity to experience the temp’s abilities and skills.  Whilst personality is not something they would necessarily look for in an interview, it is important that an employee’s character fits in with the establishment.

“They will be looking to see what the temp can bring to the company, but likewise, the temp will be considering whether the available position suits their needs.  The temp will have the chance to see how they fit into the organisation before accepting a permanent job offer.”

Three compelling reasons to hire a temp

In August 2015, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation released stats showing, “eight out of ten employers (79 per cent) cited the need to gain ‘short-term access to key strategic skills’” as the primary reason for hiring more temps. You can read the full news here.

With this statistic in mind, and Chris’ temping experience, we’ve put together our three top compelling reasons to hire a temp:

1. Chris explained that temps can “bring a new set of eyes to a business,” and she’s definitely right. Providing administration, secretarial and PA support, Chris had the opportunity to suggest different ways a business could increase its efficiency and organisation.  “This could only be done if the company was open to suggestions – I first had to prove my worth to gain their confidence.”

Chris told of two placements where she was able to completely revamp the business’ filing system: “It took an outsider to see how the system could be improved both practically and electronically and work more efficiently.  This saved the company a lot of time, not just in the short term but on a regular basis.  Each of the managers was really pleased with my work.”

2. Temps also help businesses cope with fluctuations in demand and alleviate the pressure of work.  By using the right temping agency you’ll be able to quickly find the right temporary support for your business. Hiring temps gives you the flexibility to increase your staff count when you need it most.

3. As Chris explained, “Hiring temps gives both parties the opportunity to ‘test the waters’. If a business is considering making a permanent hire, but needs immediate support on a temporary basis, it can always try a temp to perm position. This gives the company the chance to see how the temp works in the business, and how their skills can be of benefit.”

You can find out more about the benefits of hiring temps on our Temporary Staff page.