07. Nov 2018

A Storm is Brewing: The Choppy Seas of Temporary Working

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Standing at the end of Brighton Pier, James looks out across the English Channel. The water is choppier than unusual The waves swell up and break. Above them dark clouds gather.

A storm is coming.

He knows he only has a little time to take a breath and clear his head out there on the pier before he has to get back to the office. Or before the storm makes landfall. Whichever comes first. Yes, it’s always a matter of time.

Back at the office, where James is a recruiter for temp workers, another storm is brewing.

And again, it’s time that’s got him backed into a corner.

The time it takes to write up the job descriptions. The time needed to post them to the ever growing list of job boards. Then again the time it takes to wade through the torrent of CVs that flood his inbox. The time lost to vet each one of them. The time it takes for all the phone calls and the time wasted waiting for calls back. The lost time once he learns the applicant was scooped up by a speedier firm. It’s always the time.

And it’s enough to set any recruiter on edge.

Especially knowing this is just the beginning.

It’s only going to get more intense.

Job recruiters, employment agencies, HR departments, the whole lot are finding themselves struggling continuously to stay afloat and not drown in the storm. Because the very nature of our economy is undergoing a seismic shift. Because the nature of employment is rapidly changing. Full-time, long-term jobs are quickly going extinct. Gone are the days of lifelong careers. In much of Europe, over 20% of the workforce are temporary workers. And that number is expected to grow in coming years. That’s a lot of staffing James has to do. A lot of phone calls and adverts and emails and CVs he’ll have to navigate.

And a lot of racing against other firms.

Not ordinary races, either. Think of boat races through a tempest.

And he doesn’t know if he can keep up. If he’d rather sink than swim.

James isn’t the only one facing this storm either. Near him on the pier is Nicolas. Nicolas came here for work a year ago. He’s found some, but it’s been piecemeal and sporadic. And it’s been difficult. Mountains of job boards to climb, countless agencies to keep track of, too many phone calls to remember. And the scheduling nightmares. He’d like to spend a little bit more time on the pier too. Have a little time to himself.

But, as always, it’s time for him to check his diary, fix his schedule, to return the calls and get back to the hunt.
They both wonder how long this storm will last. They both wish for a bit of simplicity and, as always, as little bit more time.
Both turn around and head back down the pier now. James to his office, Nicolas to his computer. In this opposite direction, the sky is again blue, the sun still shines. The ferris wheel keeps turning.

Life looks a bit easier. Simpler. Brighter.

They both have a good feeling. Maybe that’s change blowing in the storm’s wind? Perhaps something better is coming? Indeed.

Temporary staffing and temporary working won’t always be this stormy. Good times are on the horizon.

It’s only a matter of time.