Eight weeks ago, my husband and I made the move back to Northern Ireland. We were living and working in London for a number of years, doing the rat race, spending extortionate amounts on rent, and commuting on the tube everyday with the 3.7 million other people, swashed together during rush hour!
Don’t get me wrong…I love London and we did have a lot of fun, but after a while we felt the pull back to Northern Ireland, as ultimately I think every true Northern Irish does.
There really is a lot to be said for our wee country. For us, it wasn’t just about being closer to family, but also for what Northern Ireland had to offer; a better quality of life, being able to buy a house, building a community of people around us who weren’t just passing through London for a short period of time, being within a short drive of the beach or countryside, and having the potential for a healthier work-life balance.
The move meant I had to once again reconsider the direction in which I took my career. My background is in Human Resources and Recruitment within the Design industry, so I had a number of transferable skills and therefore options to work with. Being unsure of the market in Northern Ireland and the type of company I wanted to work for, I considered interim roles might be a good option as it would give me the flexibility while settling into life in a new city, and time to find that perfect role, however when Grafton Recruitment offered me this position, it was too good to pass up!
I’m now working alongside the two leading HR Specialist Recruitment Consultants in Northern Ireland, Richard McFarland and Ryan Calvert, to collectively make us the largest team in this specialist market. While Richard and Ryan recruit permanent positions for HR professionals, I am building my network and focusing purely on the contract, fixed term contract, and temporary market.
Moving to a new city is only one of the reasons why someone like me might consider being employed on a temporary basis. Others who might be more attracted to the temporary market are:
- Graduates fresh out of University who have a plethora of choices in career directions available to them. Companies come in all shapes, forms, and sizes and there is so much to choose from, be that private, public, or third sector. Then it’s a case of breaking these sectors down into industries, from manufacturing, professional services, and utilities, to education, healthcare, and NGO’s. With so much choice available, it’s a good idea to get varied experience across as many ‘sector and industry’ combinations to figure out what you enjoy the most. Different sectors will often give you specialist knowledge and experience in one area of HR compared to others…for example, HR professionals tend to get more employee relations experience in the Manufacturing Industry, whereas Professional Services may offer more experience in talent attraction, staff retention, or employee engagement.
- People who have been out of work for a while, due to any and many reasons; a career break, maternity/paternity leave, being made redundant, someone who has had a long term illness, for example. Being employed on a contract role is a great way to ease yourself back into work, to keep your skills fresh, your CV up to date, make money which is paid on a weekly basis, while giving yourself the flexibility to work without the commitment of a permanent role before you are ready to commit.
- Career changers want the flexibility of a temporary position, especially if they are studying something new and often demanding of time.
These groups are most definitely not mutually exclusive and are just a few scenarios that might mean someone favours a temporary role over a permanent one.
In today's workforce, businesses need to rely on contract staff more often than they used to, due to new and shifting demands on the organisation. Our ever changing economic landscape means business need to be able to think on their feet more quickly, and have greater agility, to diversify in different ways.
These times of transition for companies mean they will more often than not have to recruit for areas of interim change, new business functions, or for training up current staff in a new way.
The benefits to an organisation for employing staff on an interim basis means they don’t have to worry about expanding their team for the long-haul, yet have the extra support available to them for a period of time to help them over a back log of work, or with a specific project. A flexible workforce with differing industry experiences can bring new and fresh ideas to the table, particularly helpful for these special projects.
Human Resources is a profession with a higher rate of interim roles, especially Maternity cover roles compared to any other. Some might say I am stumbling on dangerous ground by saying this, but the fact is (and I say fact for that very reason) that 79.3% of HR professionals in the UK are female, with 65.1% at Senior Management or Director level (Source: UK Labour Market, Employment by Occupation). As to why so many HR professionals are female, is another discussion.
The demand for HR Contractors continues to show no sign of reducing. Working on an interim role, especially within the HR profession where there are an ever-growing abundance of them, have so many benefits; experience across different sectors, flexibility, less competition for the role at interview stage, continuous progression up the career ladder for perpetual contracting professionals, higher salaries in most cases, creating your own professional network and utilising it’s needs, to learn a lot in a concentrated space of time when hired to do a specific task or project for example; Change Management, Strategic Planning, Training a new division in the company. The benefit to the employee in a temporary role, is they get to encounter new experiences and challenges and often helps produce a more rounded HR professional, which ultimately benefits any organisation.
The HR Specialist team at Grafton Recruitment is the largest in Northern Ireland. We have the largest pool of HR professionals on the market and can continue to provide the most suitable staff for interim roles for your company. Here are some scenarios of clients we have worked with to hire temporary staff for in the past few months:
- Recruitment and Selection
Volume Recruitment Campaign - Manufacturing Company - Co. Tyrone
Grafton HR worked extensively with this client who had a spike in recruitment so required the help of a recruitment specialist for a large volume of staff. This was a temporary in-house recruitment requirement to help our client get over this busy hurdle.
- Learning & Development
Large public sector organisation - Belfast
The organisation was going through a large phase of diversification and needed to train staff accordingly to meet a specific need within the business. HR processes where reviewed and realigned involving all team managers, not just the HR sector. A Training and Development Manager was employed for the term of this project.
- HR Generalist
Tech Company - Co. L/Derry
This company merged with another business and their in-house HR professional had to temporarily move up into a Strategic Organisation Development role for a period of 6 -12 months. A HR Manager was hired on the same time frame to take responsibility for the day-to-day HR duties.
Kathryn Bennett - Consultant Overview
Kathryn joined the Specialist HR Team in July 2017, responsible for all contract, temporary, and interim roles for HR professionals, across all levels and sectors in Northern Ireland.
She has 5 years experience in Recruitment, having worked for specialist architecture and design recruitment consultancies in London. Prior to joining Grafton, Kathryn was employed as HR Manager for an Architectural practice in London and Los Angeles, dealing with all HR issues from the general ‘day to day’ to the more complex cases such as redundancies, tribunals, writing UK and US contracts, heavy employee relations, and change management.
Having this first hand experience in a professional setting, Kathryn brings extensive knowledge of HR policy and procedures to our team. This gives her that extra step ahead of her competitors, to source the most suitable and talented candidates on the market for your company. She can also help provide up to date market information, such as salary guides, hiring trends, and market analysis.
Kathryn is enjoying being back home in Northern Ireland where the grass literally is greener on the other side!
Kathryn has a number of live roles available and would be happy to help with any queries or advice regarding contract roles for HR Professionals in Northern Ireland. You can contact her directly on the mobile number 0777 319 7909, or via email at email@example.com