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Temp To Perm Arrangements – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

High street recruitment agencies have always been big advocates of the “temp to perm” arrangement.  For the uninitiated, I will explain briefly what this entails; you have a permanent post vacancy in your company.  An agency offers a temporary worker for a trial period (usually of up to 8 or 12 weeks) with an option for you to offer the person a permanent role at the end of this trial period.  During the time they are a temporary worker, they are employed by the agency, not your company, and therefore you have no payroll or admin commitment.  If the person doesn’t work out during the trial period you can ask for a replacement person.  At the end of the trial period, some agencies will offer a free temp to perm transfer; others will arrange an additional fee to be paid.  Of course, during the temporary period you will have paid the agencies premium per hour for the temporary worker.  Sounds fab, right?!  Well, there are lots of reasons why a temp to perm arrangement is definitely NOT the easy/cheap option.  Here’s why:

The big 5 scary things

The Big 5 Scary Things Being self-employed has its pitfalls and in my two years of being self-employed I think I may have fallen into most of them. When talking to people who are considering leaving employment to work for themselves, these same 5 worries crop up in conversation. It seems these are the Big 5, the things that scare people the most and put them off being self-employed. Here are my experiences with the list of Scary Things…

1. Getting behind on the mortgage – at one stage I owed 4 months’ worth and it was getting to the really scary letter stage…I ignored the letters first. My philosophy was that if I rang them and told them that I still didn’t have the money it would push me over the edge completely. Stupid, eh? Anyhow, in the end I called, got it converted to interest only, made some horrible payments and am now paying off arrears monthly. I still have a roof over my head.

2. The Bank – I put my banking manager’s direct dial in my phone and always answered or called him back ASAP. I had a 2 month period where the company had NOTHING going through the account…so I spoke to the Man at the Bank and told him what steps I had put in place to cut costs, what I planned to do to sort out getting more money into the company and agreed to call back in 4 weeks. Guess what? I got in more money than I’d promised and called him within 2 weeks to tell him. They’ve gone quiet again. Quiet is good in the world of the banks.

3. Loneliness – being self-employed is the loneliest thing in the world at times. My advice is join a networking group such as There you will find likeminded people (nutters) like yourselves who dreamed of being released of the shackles of employment and making it on their own. There you will find great new collaborative suppliers, customers, advice for free, go to motivational meetings that start your day off with a bang (and bangers…poor joke I know…sorry) and probably get a brand new shiny set of mates who get what you’re going through. Go join now.

Top Ten Tips When Making An Appointment via Telesales – Part 2

Top Ten Tips When Making An Appointment via Telesales

This is a direct follow on from my blog about starting to make cold telesales calls…when you actually get to speak to the decision maker, use this structure:

1)      Remember – be yourself, people buy from people especially on the phone! A smiley, happy voice but in your normal tone will be fine, don’t sound too scripted, too salesy or artificial.  You will get nowhere if you sound like you’re about to try and flog them double glazing.

Top Ten Tips To Starting To Telephone Cold Call – Part One

Top Ten Tips To Starting To Telephone Cold Call – Part One

I’ve been making appointments via the phone for over 25 years…here’s some quick tips to help you get started.

1.       Be prepared! Sounds obvious, but make sure you have lots of paper and a pen cos you are going to need to make some notes.

2.       Who do you need to speak to? The Director? The HR Manager? The Facilities Manager? Higher up the food chain so to speak, the better results you will get. Make sure before you pick the phone up you know what decision maker you need to be asking for.

3.       What’s the aim of your call? Be sure before you pick up the phone. Is it to fact find? Get a name? Make an appointment?

4.       Receptionists are not Gatekeepers, dragons or destined to make your life hell. They are merely doing their job and acting as their employers have asked them to.  Bodes well to remember that because the quicker you make friends with the receptionists the quicker you will get through to the decision maker.

5.       Best opening line ever coming up…wait for it…” Hello, I wonder if you can help me please?”.


The definition of telesales is…

a)      is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits to prospective customers to buy products or services via the telephone (Wikipedia);  or

b)      Taking 20 minutes to talk someone to death extolling the virtues of  the features and benefits of a product or service via the telephone or c) a soul destroying occupation that went out with shoulder pads and red lipstick…er that’s the first time round e.g. the 80’s for you fashionistas out there.  Methinks it’s all of the above actually.

In today’s online, world wide open market place, apparently anyone can electronically sell their wares via a website or a cleverly thought out email campaign.   But here is the bottom line folks – people buy from people. 

The human element is key – the building of a rapport with your prospect customers is best achieved face to face.  The further development of that relationship and therefore the development of the business you can do with that client is also best done in person.

Eyeballing your customer is where it’s at.  That’s where the appointment making bit comes in. 

I’ve always been great at selling via the phone.  Actually, that is a big fat lie.

To be good at telesales, you are supposed to sell features and benefits.  People described as good telesales people are the ones who talk people into products and services over the phone.  I’ve never done that.   My real talent lies in selling face to face.  To do that you need an appointment…and that’s where the real problem lies. 

The weird and wonderful world of networking

This post is by Victoria Roberts


Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of networking.  If you’re a virgin networker, don’t be scared…I can gently show you the way.  If you’re a seasoned networker – bravo! I love it too.  If you’re of the tried and didn’t like variety…read on as well…you may be surprised.

After 15 years in the corporate world, I didn’t ‘get’ networking.  The only networking I had been to was the kind of scary ones where you have to be there at the crack of dawn week in week out, cant’ miss it and have to give referrals (“My Auntie Margaret needs her carpet cleaning” cue applause)or the informal ones by the Chamber of Commerce.  They were useless for me…as a woman, walking into a room full of pinstripes suits in a bar was bad enough, never mind trying to make conversation with strangers! Nope, I would stand in the corner with a couple of people I already knew, down my vino and run, which defeated the object.   I prefer some structure and some fun…for my bet, you can’t beat 4Networking ( though there are lots of fab networking groups all over.  Google networking in your area and get yourself to a few to try.  However it doesn’t matter who what or how the networking event is, there are some golden rules and some useful tips you need to know.

So for the virginal, tried and died and downright scared…here are my Top Ten Tips to get the most out of your networking:

Being a fab interviewer

This post is by Victoria Roberts


Just because you’re great at your job and you know what you need from a new employee doesn’t mean you’re a good interviewer.  In fact, some of the most knowledgeable and experienced people I know totally suck at interviewing.  That’s because it’s a real skill; the ability to find out vital information from someone without prejudice and within a set timescale takes planning, procedure and much thought.  Here’s a few simple hints to getting the most out of your interviews;

Top Ten Tips When Recruiting a New Team Member

advice on how to make sure you get the right person to fit into your work team Read the rest of this entry »