Kate MacDonald loves her job – helping people, newcomers in particular, find good work.
Kate is the Senior Associate of Business Development in the Administrative and Customer Support division in the Ottawa office of Robert Half International (RHI), a global staffing firm with over 325 offices.
On December 21, she gave a brilliant coaching session to 18 lucky ENW women on how to make the best use of staffing agencies, in particular hers which does a lot more than place people with employers.
After a “just right” presentation that included today’s labour market in Ottawa, and how to use LinkedIn, she outlined the advantages of contract versus permanent placements. Firstly, there are more of them, the pay is the same, they give you more and varied experiences, but most importantly, they build your network and references more quickly. “You are seen by more people who can attest to the quality of your work,” she explained.
To start working with RHI, the best way is to simply call and ask the receptionist for the e-mail address of the right recruiter for your skills. “This is very important, if you aren’t contacted in a week, FOLLOW UP with the recruiter!” she stressed. People are busy, notes get lost, it’s not personal. “Annoy us!” she added in all seriousness.
Because contract work moves very quickly – employers want someone yesterday — you will be required to give your references to your recruiter along with your resume and credentials at your first meeting.
As an RHI candidate, you have free access to thousands of hours of training programs, as well as career coaching from your recruiter. “Remember, you can always ask your recruiter for advice,” Kate pointed out.
Kate answered questions ranging from how to deal with gaps in employment, is it OK to leave a job before it ends how much notice is required (normally two weeks), is over qualification an issue (not for contract work), and security clearances (agencies will get them for you).
In closing, and several times during her session, Kate gave out her e-mail and LinkedIn addresses and urged the ENW clients to contact her. First and foremost, she is a recruiter in a highly competitive and fast-paced market; always looking for new talent. This morning, newcomer talent.