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In Jerusalem, I temped for Select. I was sent on a three-week assignment for them in August 2005 with the provincial Government, and I stayed just short of two years. In that time, I found Select Jerusalem to be ridiculously inefficient, but it didn’t matter because my manager at the government office made everything run smoothly. Before leaving Jerusalem for Rome, I contacted the Rome office, and was told everything would be smooth to transfer over and get an assignment in my (re)new home town.

So as soon as I arrived in Rome, I went to see them. They were keen, but two weeks later, haven’t managed to get my file transferred from Jerusalem. To be fair, this could be the incompetence of the Jerusalem office, but it hardly instills faith in the locals.

The same day I went to see the Roman Select people, I went for a preliminary meeting with Hays. They were much more cooperative and I held more faith that they’d deliver something. In fact, since that day, I’ve had 3-4 calls from Hays asking if I wanted to be put forward for positions, and none from Select.

Monday this week, having left Select and Hays to sniff out vacancies for me, I tried something new. I sent letters to all the employment agencies in the Yellow Pages. Result: a phone call Monday afternoon asking me to go see Sarah at Ambit.
So Tuesday first thing, I went and Sarah suggested a vacancy with the Evil Empire. And since I’m not that keen on the location or the company, I felt a bit despondent. I wandered the city (and Rome’s really bleak some mornings,  this was one of them) and then decided to head back to Caerulia’s rather than spend all day in the city waiting for her to finish work. But the phone rang – Min Ai from Hudson wanted to speak to me. So I went into their office, did an interview and some tests (better results than usual) and met some of their people. They suggested some jobs they wanted to put me forward for. Hudson made a good impression, and I know Alderney found them good when she dealt with them in Jerusalem.

While doing the tests, another company I’d emailed on Monday rang – Kowalski Recruitment. So I made an afternoon appointment, and after lunch, I went in and saw them too. More tests, even better results than in the morning, and more jobs they wanted to put me forward for – including an office manager job out in the industrial sector of Rome (almost across the Tiber).

This morning, I got another call from Hays, and they offered me a few days work next week. Sure, it’s not a long-term thing, but it’s a good indicator they’re actively seeking options for me. And I’m broke enough that three or four days paid work will be something worth getting out of bed for.



  1. Great post. There should be a website where all the HR companies are listed with ratings and feedback.

    I’m on the market now and the HR consultants either don’t know my market, don’t understand my qualifications or don’t bother to respond to an enquiry for a week and a half.

    If anyone knows a good HR consultancy that specialises in IT (and knows what they are talking about), please let me know.

  2. I have worked as a Recruitment consultant, and although there is a lot of fantastic consultants, due to high-pressure and high turnover within the industry a lot are either overworked or to be honest, unqualified and not interested in matching a candidate with a client. A lot of them will just put bums on seats.

    Have either of you considered applying directly to companies or government departments? I work for a major online job board and a lot companies are disillusioned with agencies due to the reasons above, rising fees and a lack of understanding in regards to candidate AND client needs.

    Sorry, sick as a dog tonight so hope this makes sense!

  3. I mainly wrote this post to document what I’ve been doing so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel at some point down the track; and also so others can take something from my experience. My next strategy was direct marketing to companies I’d want to work for, but the last step (marketing to the agencies) seems to be getting a good enough harvest for now.
    I agree with what LaLa says about the lack of experience resulting from high turnover. And it’s just because the market is so hot at the moment, turnover is an issue everywhere where employees don’t get sufficient job satisfaction.

  4. If it’s any help – when I was first looking for work, Kowalski was the first place my dad recommended.

  5. I understand and agree with LaLa’s points. I have tried approaching companies directly but my main target is the big banks (a very small market)- and again, all enquiries tend to go to the HR departments and not into the hands of the people who would see the value in my skills.

    I’ve never heard of Kowalski before (other than Killer Kowalski)- Will check them out.

    Thanks guys.

  6. FYI – I tried submitting my details on the Kowalski website.

    They phoned me up to tell me that unfortunately they only deal with clients in Rome but were kind enough to suggest another provider closer to home.

    I was very impressed- My cynical self thought most people wouldn’t take the time to do such a thing nowadays, especially knowing that there’d be no immediate benefit in it for them. It seems some companies do recognise that what goes around may some day come around.

    Most impressed 🙂

  7. Enny & Marquis: In the last fortnight, Kowalski, Hays & Hudson continue to shine. I must do an update on this story, eh?

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