Sharon McGarvey is master of her very own Ingeus dating game … and the prize for job seekers is a new work opportunity.
 
Based in the Greater Manchester area, Sharon is an Employer Account Manager with Working Well (Work and Health Programme) which provides tailored support to individuals with disabilities and health conditions who are seeking employment.
 
“When I meet a new client I explain that my approach is a bit like a dating game,” said Sharon. “My comment always makes them laugh and they start to relax.”
 
“I use this analogy to illustrate that I take my time to match job seekers with vacancies that are going to be right for them,” she added. “I explain the support that I can provide and then I go through my tick box exercise. I want to see if they have the right skills, the flexibility to do the hours, the means to travel and I ask about their interests and what they would like to do. If someone is happy in their employment, they are more likely to continue in the role which is great for them and the employer.”
 
WORK OPPORTUNITIES WITH EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES
 
New job opportunities are increasingly being provided by employment agencies that can offer job seekers flexibility in either fulltime or part-time work in a range of settings.
 
“I think it is vital that people seeking employment recognise the important role that agencies play in the current jobs market,” explained Sharon. “I have many years of experience and I deal with a number of selected employment and recruitment agencies that I trust. They are very supportive of the people they take on and are transparent in all of their dealings.
 
“An employment agency can provide a vital stepping stone for job seekers, particularly for individuals who have not worked for some time. When an Ingeus client is placed in a new position by the agency, I explain that this is their opportunity to prove they are a good worker by turning up on time and working hard.
 
“The agencies normally pay weekly which can really help with household budgeting when people are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.”
 
She commented: “Sometimes the placement will lead to permanent employment with the company, which is great news for our client. Working through an agency also means that someone can try a variety of roles and their experience can be included on their CV. Their short term placements will not be seen in a negative light by a future employer as they are with an employment agency meeting the changing needs of their different clients.”
 
TESTING THE WATER
 
Major Recruitment is a national recruitment agency that has been working with Sharon for nearly two years. Will McNerlin, Account Manager based in their Wigan office, said: “During this period of time we have been able to place around 80 Ingeus clients into a range of vacancies.
 
“I feel that we have established a very productive relationship that is offering different working opportunities. We can provide individuals with a number of short term options to try without having to make a big commitment to one company. Major Recruitment also offers flexibility; we can accommodate people’s restricted hours if they have other responsibilities. We may have a fulltime vacancy that could be adapted to provide employment for two people looking for part-time work.”
 
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