Personal experiences working for Hay's Accountancy
When I left the NHS, National Health Service, in 2007, after a period of ill health, little did I know that I would return. I definitely did not envisage returning as quickly as I did. Within 5 months, when I thought I would look for some temporary work, I was back working in the NHS. However, this time I was working for Hay's Accountancy.
The hospital trust where I had worked in the past had its own pool of clerical bank or temporary workers at one time. Some years ago, in an attempt to cut costs and be more efficient, this went out to the private sector. The in-house pool of staff was, and is, still run for nursing staff. The clerical work contract was given to Hay's Accountancy, although there are other agencies active in the MHS currently.
Hays is a national company, which operates in most large towns and cities in the UK. In my city, it is run from quite a small and basic office in the old town. When I registered with them, I was aware that they had other temporary work, not just NHS jobs.
However, with my working background, I was interviewed with temping for the NHS in mind. Initially I only wanted a few hours, to prop up another temporary job. After registering though, I heard nothing and thought that I would give them a call, as I was going on holiday.
My Hay's consultant told me that they had received very few part-time posts with the hours that I wanted, and so I agreed that I would consider anything, once I was home from holiday. I know that throughout the summer break the trust has masses of University students working in the temporary clerical posts, many of whom, for one reason or another, end up staying.
I returned from holiday and, within four days, I received a phone call from Hays, which offered me a full time post. It was at a scale higher than when I worked for the trust. The work was expected to last for one to three months.
I started that post and continued for around six months. I then accepted a permanent part-time post working for the NHS.
I had my difficulties working for Hays but overall it was fun, positive and good experience. Some of the problems were because I had never done this type of work before and, after a brief two days with the temp who preceded me, I was on my own. The only other person in the office worked two days a week. She was also on sick leave for two months. The office should ideally have had three staff.
I give you all of this background, as a personal experience, to show what you may find working for Hays.
You need to be fairly flexible and resourceful, as you may have to train yourself. As a temp it may be that there is no-one around to actually help and advise, when the going gets tough. I know despite not always getting things right, and making some mistakes, I was successful in this post. However, I did not want to stay, as it was a full time post and carried much responsibility.
What I have found from my experiences is that if, for example, you wanted a permanent post with our trust, you stand a very good chance of getting it, if you are temping there first. Many new employees arrive this way, these days.
As my workload increased, when I was a temp, my boss agreed to an admin support temp to help me where possible. By that time, I was confident in my work and able to train her.
When you register with Hays, you will need to make an appointment first. They will no doubt advise you, but you need to take with you your passport and two forms of ID, such as a fuel bill with your name and address on. They will need to have your bank details also.
You may also have to complete a questionnaire and take a typing test. All of this is to try to match you with appropriate work. After all, it is no good putting you in as a fast and accurate data in-putter, if a keyboard is a mystery to you.
You will then have an interview with the consultant, for the NHS if appropriate, and one other person. This was done fairly informally and was nothing to panic about.
Hays pay weekly and, as such, you only have to give one weeks notice of your intention to leave. However, for NHS workers, if they actually secure the post that they have been working in as a temp, they have to give one month's notice. I think this is because so many staff end up in permanent posts in the NHS.
My pay always arrived promptly, in my bank account, on a Thursday or Friday. On a Wednesday, your pay slip arrives in the post with a time sheet and envelope for the next week.
Each week you have to complete a time sheet and get your manager to sign and agree your hours. My manager was very good and my hours were somewhat flexible. I worked more hours when the service needed me to and less when home pressures demanded it.
The completed time sheet is then posted to Hay's head office in the provided, addressed envelope, but you need to supply the stamp. Hays recommend that you use a first class stamp to ensure prompt payment, but I do not always do this and I have had no problems.
When I started working for Hays, the hourly rate included a payment in lieu of holidays, which made for a good rate of pay. Of course, there was no holiday pay. This changed however, in line with European rules. Each week your pay shows an amount which is deducted and is to pay for any holidays. If you do not take any holidays, this amount of pay can be taken at the end of your contract. Bank Holidays used to be unpaid but this may have also changed.
For me working for Hays was a positive experience. If you have any problems, your consultant is only at the end of the phone line and will try to help you as much as possible.
You receive a starter pack once you have your first assignment with Hays, and this includes time sheets and plenty of information. There is a leaflet, which, if you complete and recommend a friend, who registers with Hays, gives you Â£100 worth of House of Fraser vouchers.
Hays offer that degree of flexibility, which so many people need these days. You could work for them just as a stopgap, or on a permanent basis, temping in various roles. Remember also that, if you are struggling to find permanent employment, it may be a good way to secure a job.
Please note: The rates of pay, in my experience, are way above the minimum wage.
Hays Customer Services telephone number is: - 0800 716026 although there are local office numbers. They are an international company operating as far away as Australia.