“My consultant took over as my recruitment consultant at a time when adult social work opportunities seemed to have disappeared altogether. I felt as if I was being passed from one person to another and was beginning to get sick of repeating the same details to one new name after another.
“She appeared from nowhere, and suddenly things seemed to start happening. From the outset she spoke as if she'd bothered reading my CV and seemed to hear things I was saying about my job skills and travel radius. She quickly set up two interviews, and I got a job almost straight away.
“Because of the current situation in adult social work, I have only been in short contracts, with some scary gaps (18+ months per placement used to be the norm). Throughout the time, my consultant has kept me informed about what is happening, and called regularly even when no work was available. I know she is ahead of the game, because every offer she sends me comes a day or two later from a rival agency.
“She is always professional and sometimes surprises me – like the time she noticed my birthday, which was so unexpected I didn't know what to say.
I like to know how things work, and my consultant seems willing to explain what is going on without resorting to platitudes – that's important when the job market is down, as it's my livelihood and I need the information. It's probably not the best use of her time, so I appreciate it when she indulges my questions and gives thought out answers.
“I don't tend to call a lot when work is stable, but she keeps in touch despite my reticence, and has surprised me by sorting out a few pay issues that I usually see as strictly my problem to resolve.
“It would be nice to talk about a long stable placement with plenty of choices (my first couple of years with Liquid were an effortless run of long contracts with me negotiating my own moves), but the current situation must be much harder to handle, and my consultant has always produced something before any other agency or job search.
That probably says more about her skills than an easy market would, and it's nice to know that when times are difficult, someone you rely on is good at their job.
“I'm the wrong person to say how nice and friendly my consultant is to deal with, but she struggles on, and in my reticent way I appreciate it more than I probably show. Again, a sign of skill and competence on her part.”
Gawain - Social Worker, Older People Team