September 16, 2004

I managed to finish the biscuits today

Via Troubled Mike, I’ve been reading the diary of a Morrisons worker, and decided that it’s high time I blew the whistle on the recruitment industry.
I started, obviously, with the post below.
Blocking sales calls from agencies used to be part of my daily grind. In my former life as an office manager, I was of the opinion that recruitment agencies were the spawn of the devil. I’m partly inclined to think that most of them still are, although the one that I work for is an exception. After all, they have ISO 9001 [thanks to me].
The decision to get ISO 9001 came at a bad time, coinciding as it did with the new Employment Agencies Act, revisions to the Asylum and Immigration Act that require us to check every single candidate’s right to work in the UK, and the accession of all those little eastern european countries to the EU. All at once, clients are having to answer fiddly little questions about whether they do risk assessments, and staff are fighting tooth and nail not to have to do any extra paperwork.
It’s because of the cockle-pickers, you know. The Employment Agencies Act applies to all agencies, whether they recruit for the IT industry, nursing, models and actors, drivers, or people like me who just want to fill in forms. Theoretically, as well as getting proof of ID, agencies are supposed to seek proof of essential qualifications, and obtain references for any candidate likely to be working with vulnerable groups of people. It’s a big burden on the agencies, and I would estimate, from my own experience, that a very, very small number of agencies are actually bothering with all this.
I’ve got an appointment on Monday to register with another agency, and they have asked me to bring a photocopy of my passport. They’re not checking up on any of my qualifications or experience, and have already put me forward to the client without meeting me.
Our legal advisor has told us that there are about 12 people acting as Inspectors for the Department of Whoever it is that checks up on these things. I should think a lot more cockle pickers will have to drown before anyone is prosecuted for not filling in the right forms.
My contract is nearly up, and I have spent the entire day compiling a mailshot of my own CV, to send to 121 companies in the area. I have no idea if this will bring in any jobs, but the consultants seem to think it’s a good scheme, and the company doesn’t mind paying for it. I will miss working here, because by their very nature, all the staff are really, really nice. They are absolutely the very nicest people I have ever worked with.


3 thoughts on “I managed to finish the biscuits today

  1. My agency isn’t in London, Dan, so I don’t think it would be much use to you.

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