Martha is a HR graduate and contractor placed through Cpl Cork. In this interview, she shares her experience of working as a HR contractor and finding a HR Job in Cork.

Martha graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Development and Food Policy in 2018. After completing her studies, she worked as an Administrator and then moved to a new role as Property Manager for a Property Management Company.

As a Property Manager, she gained experience working with clients and managing client assets, screening applicants, carrying out reference checks, conducting viewings, writing up lease agreements and complying with GDPR regulations.

She then returned to college on a part-time basis to do a Masters in Human Resource Management. In February of 2020, Martha secured a role as a HR Administrator.

In the time leading up to securing a full-time HR job, Martha was keen to gain more experience and secure a role where she could coincide her learning with her HR career.

To do this, she took a contract role with the hope of putting her college learnings into practice and learning new systems. A day at work mainly consists of HR supported tasks with high levels of communication for team members based in Ireland and the UK.

Examples of tasks may include assisting with payroll related queries, time and attendance updates, people operations, contract/addendum management, maternity/paternity leave and occasionally cross-functional projects.

We spoke to Martha about her experience as a HR contractor and her advice for any other HR graduates or those looking to develop a career in HR.

What do you think are the benefits of working as a temporary contractor through an agency?

Working with an agency means continuous support, not only from the new organisation but also the extra layer from the agency staff.

This is provided through regular communication and checking in to see if you are happy with your role. Not a lot of jobs would have this much support and guidance.

How did you find your experience from applying for the job?

Overall, I found it a very positive experience. Everything moved quite swiftly and there were no prolonged periods of uncertainty or waiting times compared to some roles where the process can take up to two months.

My Recruiter Rory was encouraging, a pleasure to work with and kept me informed of every step. HR was extremely clear in what the role would entail and in the early stages it was evident that the role was suitable to what I was looking for.

How has working as a temp contractor helped you in your career path?

I am studying a two-year part-time HR Masters so I didn’t think I would get a relevant role until graduating.

However, with the help of Cpl, I have been lucky enough to get an entry-level job in HR and kickstart my career, while giving my studies real-time examples in my day to day role.

Did you have any reservations or concerns working with an agency and taking on a temporary contract? If so, what were they and how have they changed?

Initially, I was concerned that temporary work would mean short term but the contract I have been given is for 12 months.

I have also been treated no differently from any permanent staff in the organisation and regularly get the opportunity to participate in meetings.

What would you say to a candidate who is hesitant about taking on a temporary contract? Is there any advice you would give and would you recommend it?

Focus on the role and what it can do for you as you never know what it might lead to.

Has COVID-19 impacted you in any way as a temporary contractor?

It has affected me no differently from other employees in the organisation. I’m working from home now and Cpl have regularly checked in for additional support.

If you’re a recent HR graduate, looking for experience in HR or more flexible working arrangements get in touch. I specialise in Contract HR & Office Support roles in Cork and would be happy to advise.